Jute the job

A while ago, I saw ‘roosting pouches’ for sale… little pockets of woven natural fibre that birds can use for shelter in the winter and may choose to nest in in the summer… and I thought ‘I could crochet something like that out of jute’. Jute is a natural fibre from plants in the genus Corchorus, which is related to the mallows. You probably know it best in Hessian or burlap. So, over the past few days, whilst stressful things are happening elsewhere in my life, I have been playing around with this idea. I started off with a weaver bird nest in mind:

"Weaver Nest" by Tu7uh - Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Weaver_Nest.jpg#mediaviewer/File:Weaver_Nest.jpg

“Weaver Nest” by Tu7uh – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – click here for link

What I created on my first attempt was this:

First try

First try

It’s a bit wonky, but I thought it was a good start. However, I’m never going to be as skillful as a weaver bird, so my second attempt was more cylindrical, but came out rather larger than I had planned:

Second try

Second try

My third attempt is a better size, but the top was rather a fiddle to make:

Third try

Third try

Here are the first and second together so you can see the size difference:

Two and three together

Two and three together

And this is my latest:

Fourth try

Fourth try

I think it’s rather stylish and I’m sure a bird would consider it a good place to roost. Β I think I will make some more for sale, plus I’m going to write up the pattern for #4 and sell that too… I couldn’t find anything similar currently available on Ravelry.

It turns out that jute is quite pleasant to work with – I thought it would be tough on my fingers but, in fact, it’s not too bad and I have worked with wools that are rougher. So, I’d better get to work on some for the shop…

 

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24 Comments

  1. ourworldheritagebe

     /  August 23, 2014

    Great! I would really be interested in buying that pattern – would love to crochet some for in our big tree πŸ™‚ Do you buy the jute as rope then? Glad to hear it’s not to rough on the fingers, I sometimes get oversensitive fingers of certain yarns as well πŸ™‚

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  2. They are all just wonderful – I am sure there is a bird the right size for all of them! I have a huge roll of hessian thread left over from my macrame days – remember them? – which has been all round the world with me and has never found a use……….. Maybe the time has come! I hope your stressful days will ease soon xoxo

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    • I think that the stress is over… some decisions made today that should make life easier for the next six months of Mr Snail’s absence… and I’m hoping for some very happy over-wintering birds!
      Get that Hessian thread out… perhaps you can create a macramΓ© roosting-pouch

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  3. I’m thinking the pattern would also work very well if I made it in leftover baler twine (which I have lots of!) and used it for small hanging plants. Jute would rot over time because of the water they’d need. Of course, I’d have to learn to crochet properly first…

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    • Ah yes, a nylon/plastic thread would be more permanent… I’m thinking of waterproofing the roof of mine with latex, which might make them more attractive as a shelter/nest for the birds here in wet west Wales

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      • Or perhaps wax? I think also the baler twine ones here would be less attractive to termites and other gnawing creatures. I’d like to see your bird houses in use!

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  4. I am thinking that you might just be my most favourite person in the world! Anyone who would make little bird houses as sweet as those and who would try so hard to get them right is someone really special, They are sweet and so special and I think you are just lovely for making them.
    You have made my day very happy.
    Karen

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    • Thank you, Karen… we have really enjoyed watching the birds on our feeders this summer (for some reason they have wanted lots of food this year) and I’d like to think that I can help care for their needs over the winter too. Yesterday we got a delivery of two sacks of bird seed, so food should be plentiful for a while yet πŸ™‚ and these roosting-pockets should help with their shelter

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  5. May I recommend Robin, Sparrow and Ptarmigan Estate Agents when you come to rent out the properties for the Winter months?
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

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  6. WOW! My birds here would be most suspicious of a nest like that and it would probably end up full of spiders but WOW! You are such a clever clogs! As Ms Pauline said, I have jute left over from the 70’s from macrame days spent tangling up jute and hurling it into the “too hard!” basket that would be perfect for this purpose. Lubbly jubbly Ms Snail you clever little cephalapod you!

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    • I’ve never tried macramΓ©… all I can visualise are plant pot hangers and owl wall hangings! It does sound like your attempts were like my mother’s repeated tries at tatting… grubby knots and a lot of frustration!

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      • There are some very sexy tutorials out there for all sorts of things made out of macrame. It’s like every skill that had an outing and that is being revisited, it has been given an upgrade, a polish off and a bit of refining and now it appears to have a lot more possibilities than it once had πŸ˜‰

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  7. Oh, that is fantastic!!! I would definitely be interested in the pattern. πŸ™‚

    I hope things are well on their way to being lower stress for you!

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  8. Jute brings back memories for me, having grown up in Dundee which still had many functioning Jute mills at the time. Originally, the jute was processed using whale oil before the advent of cheap fossil oils that replaced it. Today there is a Jute museum which the last of the factories turned into.

    Dave

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  9. Such a cool idea–and the finished product looks great!

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  10. If you think how many tries it took for you to get this pattern down and then think about how wondrous Nature is to have the ability to create such an intricate work of art in one try without ever having been taught. I loved the post.

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  11. What a wonderful idea – I do hope you’ll put the link to buy your pattern on here, once you’ve made it? πŸ™‚
    Thanks for the Jute link, too πŸ™‚

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