My ornaments for the 4th Annual Holiday Ornament Swap.
And here is how to make them.
First, you'll knit the nest. Worsted weight 100% wool yarn in a nesty color. Size 11 double point needles. (I knit tightly and generally have to go up two needles sizes on a pattern, so you might be able to get away with 10s or 10.5s if you are a looser knitter and that is what you have on hand.)
CO 24 stitches and divide onto three needles.
Knit 6-8 rounds depending on if you like a deeper or more shallow nest.
(SSK, K4, K2tog) repeat around the round, you'll now have 18 sts
K one round
(SSK, K2, K2tog) repeat around the round, you'll now have 12 sts
(SSK, K2tog) repeat around the round, you'll now have 6 sts
Break yarn and thread the tail through your 6 remaining sts, pull snugly and weave in ends.
Felt your nest in the washing machine. Throw it in some kind of bag (pillowcase, lingerie bag, zippered pillow cover) and wash on hot with some non-linty clothes and detergent. If it hasn't felted enough with one cycle, wash it again, but check to make sure it isn't felting closed. When felted to your liking, shape the nest to dry.
Now for the eggs. Using 100% wool roving in the egg color of your choice, roll the roving into an egg shape keeping the roving as tightly wound as possible. Use a felting needle to felt the egg to your density, size and shape liking. Make as many eggs as you'd like in your nest. For the record, according to my google search, robins lay three to four eggs, and very occasionally five, at one time.
Admire your work. (And tend to any stab wounds you incurred while needle felting. I count three that are still throbbing from last night.)
Do you know about these needles?! I had a vague knowledge of their existence from pilfering my dad's sewing box while growing up, but became very familiar with them while reupholstering my parents' couch last winter. They are awesome and if you don't own one, this is the perfect excuse to go buy yourself one. So handy.
Using thread that matches the nest and beginning from outside the base of the nest begin sewing up and through the eggs. I found that repeating this pattern worked best: sew up and into one egg, over through its neighbor and then back down and out the bottom of the nest. Sew back over to where you began and tie the two tails off together. Snip them very close to the nest.
Thread your needle with a heavier thread for hanging. I used fine hemp, but embroidery floss would work well too. Run your needle around the rim of the nest from 2 o'clock to 10 o'clock. Be careful to keep the needle inside the nest's edge so that none of your thread shows through. Pull your thread through. Thread the two ends through a bead or two and tie it off. You don't need to use the beads, of course, but they make for a more finished look.