Calling all crafters! The Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild needs your help in saving the animals rescued from bushfires in Australia.
The group’s initial call for support was answered with an influx of “koala mittens,” knitted by some fastidious and compassionate animal advocates, but there are several other items on the ARCCG’s list that are still in great need, and Piccolo Studio is helping crafters get started.
1. Joey Pouches
Many baby kangaroos have been left parentless, or unable to snuggle into their mothers’ pouches due to injuries sustained in the bushfires. They still need to be kept safe and warm, and the ARCCG is counting on some soft knit joey pouches to meet those needs.
Piccolo Studio recommends using 100% natural fibers in this pattern, the softest possible, and avoiding synthetics like polyester, plastic, or glittery material.
“The pouches are sewn in a 4:3 proportion with rounded bottom corners that each should take up about 1/3 to 3/5 of the total boom width,” the pattern directions state.
2. Wallaby Bags
Four layers of fabric make up this design, which keeps young wallabies comforted during the day, and is easily hung up in a nook, allowing the baby animals to sleep.
As reported by CNN, the New South Wales (NWS) government air-dropped over 2,000 pounds of sweet potatoes and carrots over wildlife habitats in Operation Rock Wallaby, likely helping many of the animals fend off hunger in the wake of the bushfires.
You can help comfort the wallabies with this pattern provided by Piccolo Studio, which can be made out of old pillowcases. You may have all the materials already!
3. Microbat Pouches
According to Backyard Buddies, microbes are the only mammals capable of flying sustained distances, yet some weigh no more than 3 grams.
The bushfires have left many microbats without homes or sources of food. Wildlife experts and volunteers are doing all they can to help keep these animals comfortable and nourished, but finding them suitable homes is an imperative. Where microbats cannot find places to roost in nature, they may make their homes in the roofs and walls of peoples’ homes, where they may be seen as pests, and exterminated.
Microbat pouches are a much safer, and much more comfortable alternative. This pattern from Piccolo Studio recommends a single pouch measure about 4 3/4 inches wide, and just about 7 4/16 inches long.
4. Bird/Rodent Nests
Hand-crafted nests of all sizes are needed to help accommodate the many birds displaced by the Australian bushfires. Everything from the tiniest hummingbirds to larger feathered friends and other nesting animals like rabbits are in need of some ad hoc comfort. If you are up to the task, you can provide it for them.
You will have to put down the knitting sticks and pick up a hook for this one.
“Since knitting creates a more flexible fabric than crochet, crochet nests made with light stitches, flat bases, and double-walled sides provide better stability, so the nests won’t flip over easily when occupied by active nestings,” the pattern states.
5. Bat Wraps
The pattern for cute and versatile bat wraps was designed by the Shoalhaven Bat Clinic and Sanctuary, and prepared by Naomi Huntsman.
Bats wraps should be made with 100% cotton flannelette and polypill stuffing, which can be taken from old pillows.
“Bat wraps simulate mothers; wings and are used by carers to wrap injured and orphaned bats so they feel safe,” the Animal Rescue Craft Guild writes.
Once you’ve completed your craft, or better yet, before, find a reputable organization working to protect animals in Australia, ask them where they need help, and send your goods on over.
In the meantime, you can also make a difference by clicking below.
Matthew Russell is a West Michigan native and with a background in journalism, data analysis, cartography and design thinking. He likes to learn new things and solve old problems whenever possible, and enjoys bicycling, going to the dog park, spending time with his daughter, and coffee.