When the chickens used on commercial farms are past their prime, some farms will simply sell off their birds for slaughter. However, some birds find their way into the hands of groups like the Little Hen Rescue, who step in and find homes for these birds.
Unfortunately, the hens aren’t always in the best shape when they reach the rescue. Often times, the practice of farming chickens leaves the birds bald, stressed, and sick. To help readjust these birds to life outside the confines of commercial farms, the rescue fits the bald birds with (adorable little) sweaters to keep them warm. That’s where the knitters in our audience come in. Little Hen Rescue has posted a pattern for the jackets and is encouraging anyone willing to help to knit and donate sweaters for a rescued bird.
Read on below for the pattern, or get it directly from the Little Hen Rescue.
From the Little Hen Rescue:
Double knitting yarn (100g makes approximately 3 jumpers)
2 buttons or 10cm Velcro
1 pair of number 8 (4mm) knitting needles
4mm crochet hook
Knitted in stocking stitch with garter stitch borders
Cast on 41 sts,
Work 4 rows K
Increase for tabs;
Cast on 10 sts at beginning of next row, k14, p to last 4 sts, k4.
Cast on 10 sts at beginning of next row, k14, p to last 14sts, k14.
Work buttonholes; (work these 2 rows straight if using Velcro).
(K2, yf k2tog) 3 times, work to end keeping edges in garter st.
Repeat this row for buttonholes on the other tab.
Cast off 10 sts at beginning of next row.
Next row – cast off 10 sts, k4, p2 tog, p to last 6 sts, p2tog, k4.
Dec 1 st at each end on every fol 6th row until 25 sts remain.
Divide for neck;
Work 11 sts, cast off 3, work to end – complete this half first.
1) k4, p to end
2) cast off 2, k to end
3) k4, p to end
4) k2tog, k to end
5) k4, p2tog, p to end
Work 4 rows straight
10) K to last 5 sts, inc in next st, k4.
11) K4, p to last st, inc in next st.
12) Cast on 2 sts, k to end, (11sts)
13) K4, p to end
Break yarn and rejoin to the other side of neck.
Work to match, reversing shaping’s and ending at winghole edge.
Next row – k, cast on 3, k across sts from other side of neck.
Next row , k4 inc in next st, p to last 5 sts, inc in next st, k4.
Inc 1 st at each end of every fol 6th row until there are 41 sts on the needle.
Work 6 rows straight.
Change to gst and knit 4 rows.
Sew on buttons or Velcro as desired.
Work double crochet around neck.
Once you’ve completed your sweater, you can mail it to the Little Hen Rescue at:
Little Hen Rescue
International postage rates will apply.