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Archive entry for March 2009

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March 2009

Easter Bunny

EasterBunny.jpg

"Who could resist this adorable dressed bunny?"
Well, I for one can resist the dressed part. I am not very fond of dressed animals (even stuffed ones). However, the dress is very pretty, and it would tone down the effect of the rather strong pink colour I have chosen for the rabbit. The Phildar yarn makes for a really soft effect; the pink is discontinued but there is a white, which I think would be very cute.
"So cuddly, a small child would love her at once. Very easily and quickly knitted in garter stitch throughout."

Instructions:

Bunny is worked throughout on No 8 needles and garter stitch (ever row knit). When making up, all seams are joined on the right side.

Body (work two pieces alike):
Cast on 11 sts using No 8 needles and chunky yarn.

1st row: Knit
2nd row: Knit twice in first stitch; knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [13 sts]
3rd row: Knit
4th row: as second row [15 sts]
Knit the next 6 rows.
11th row: as second row [17 sts]
Knit the next 11 rows.
23rd row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [15 sts]
Knit the next 3 rows.
27th-29th rows: Decrease 1 st at each end of the next 3 rows [9 sts]
Cast off 9 sts. The cast off edge is the neck edge.

Base:
Cast on 5 sts.

1st row: Knit
2nd row: Knit twice in first stitch; knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [7 sts]
3rd row: Knit
4th row: as second row [9 sts]
Knit the next 2 rows.
7th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [7 sts]
8th row: Knit
9th row: as 7th row. [5 sts]
10th row: Knit
Cast off 5 sts.

Making up the body:
Join the sides of the body, then insert the base, sewing it onto the cast on edges of the two body pieces.
Stuff firmly and gather up neck opening. (Try and stuff the body more firmly than the head so it has more weight, to give the toy more stability).

Front Legs (work four pieces alike):
**
Cast on 11 sts. Knit the next 2 rows.

3rd row: Knit twice in first stitch; knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [13 sts]
Knit the next 4 rows.
8th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [11 sts]
Knit the next 7 rows.
**
16th-17th rows: Decrease 1 st at each end of the next 2 rows [7 sts]
Cast off 7sts. The cast off edge is where the leg joins the body.

Making up the front legs:
Join each pair, leaving the cast off edges open.
Stuff firmly and sew up opening, then join this end to the body.
Run a gathering thread around the wrists, and mark claws with black straight stitches.

Back Legs (work four pieces alike):
Work as for front legs from ** to **.
Knit 5 more rows.
21st-22nd rows: Decrease 1 st at each end of the next 2 rows [7 sts]
Cast off 7sts. The cast off edge is where the leg joins the body.

Making up the back legs:
Stuff and make up as for the front legs and sew to body.

Tail (work 2 pieces alike):
[Editor's note: I did not use this tail. I made a tail with a white woollen pom-pom (see the picture) - why wouldn't you? I thought that, in the fable that is childhood, rabbits were renowned for their powder-puff tails. However, I think my tail turned out a wee bit large].
Cast on 5 sts.
Knit one row.
Increase 1 st at each end of the next 3 rows.
Knit 6 rows.
Decrease 1 st at each end of the next 3 rows.
Cast off 5 sts.

Making up the tail:
Join the two halves together, leaving an opening for stuffing.
Stuff and sew up opening. Join to body.

Head (work 2 pieces alike):
Cast on 11 sts. Knit the next 6 rows.
[Editor's note: The head pieces are not symmetrical. Mark the side (just use a safety pin, a stitch marker or a piece of coloured thread) where most of the increasing and decreasing happens - this is the nose and will help you match it up when you join the pieces. Also check that you are doing this shaping all on the same side of the piece].

*
7th row: Knit twice in first stitch; knit to end [12 sts]
8th row: Knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [13 sts]
9th row: Knit twice in first stitch; knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [15 sts]
10th row: Knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [16 sts]
*
Repeat from from * to * once more.

Knit the next 8 rows.
23rd row: K2tog; knit to end [15 sts]
24th row: Knit to last 2 sts; k2tog [14 sts]
25th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [12 sts]
26th row: Knit to last 2 sts; k2tog [11 sts]
27th row: K2tog; knit to end [10 sts]
28th row: Knit to last 2 sts; k2tog [9 sts]
29th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [7 sts]
30th row: Knit to last 2 sts; k2tog [6 sts]
31st row: K2tog; knit to end [5 sts]
32nd row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [3 sts]

Cast off 3 sts.

Making up the head:
Join the two halves together, leaving the cast on edges open.
Stuff firmly, shaping the dome of the head to look like a bunny.

Features (embroidered):
Nose: black satin stitch.
Mouth: black vertical and horizontal straight stitches.
Whiskers: long black straight stitches.
Eyes: White, blue, and black satin stitch, and outlined in black straight stitches.
Lashes: Four vertical straight stitches in black.
Eyebrows: black straight stitches.

Ears (work 2 alike):
[Editor's note: I worked both ears at once using two balls of wool (as I did for the head). This was because I found it easy to lose track of how many rows I had knitted with this fluffy yarn. A row here or there makes little difference to a toy, but you want the ears etc to be the same size.]
Cast on 3 sts in main colour on No 8 needles.
1st-3rd rows: Knit
4th row: Knit twice in first stitch; knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [5 sts].

Repeat these 4 rows 5 times more until there are 15 sts.

Knit the next 12 rows.

37th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [13 sts]
38th row: Knit
39th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [11 sts]

Cast off 11 (this is the edge sewn to the head).

Ears Linings (work 2 alike):
Cast on 4 sts in finer yarn contrast for ears on No 11 needles.
1st-3rd rows: Knit
4th row: Knit twice in first stitch; knit to last st, and knit twice in last st [6 sts].

Repeat these 4 rows 7 times more until there are 20 sts.
Knit the next 20 rows.
[Editor's note: As I worked the linings I kept comparing them to the ears to make sure they were coming out the right size. The result was that for the wool I had chosen I increased to 20 sts but then knitted 25 rows to match the length of the ears. You may note the ears are pretty large - but the head is also proportionally large, so I thought they looked right.]

53rd row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [18 sts]
Knit 3 rows.
54th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [16 sts]
Knit 3 rows.
55th row: K2 tog; knit to last 2 sts, and k2tog. [14 sts]
Cast off tightly.

Making up the ears:
Join ears and linings together. Fold wide end of ears in half, with lining inside, and sew to the head.

Materials

Original: 3 x 2oz hanks of Big Ben Knitting in Oystershell (main colour);
2ozs turquoise, and 1oz pink double knitting.
Scraps of black, royal blue, and white for features.

Example shown is knitted in 2 x 50g ball Phildar "Neige" (65 yds/60m per 50g ball), colour Oeillet (0013 discontinued).
Ear linings and tail in 25g ball of baby quick-knit (a fine double knitting).

One pair each of No. 8 (4mm) and No 11 (3 mm) needles.

Tension

Big Ben was a chunky wool and worked to a tension of approx. 14sts and 18rows to 4 inches on No 3 (6½mm) needles in stocking stitch.

The Phildar Neige tension is 11sts and 18 rows to 4 inches on No 5 (5½mm) needles in stocking stitch.

Size matters

Original instructions and yarn made a 12½ inch rabbit (including ears).

A word on the wool

Big Ben is a chunky wool similar in gauge to the Phildar I used but knits up very differently on the smaller needles.
The Phildar is rather like eyelash but softer and fluffier - and entirely acrylic. I can strongly recommend using a fluffy yarn like this as it is so forgiving in hiding the sewing up on a toy.
The ear linings are worked in a finer yarn.

I used a lurid pink for the rabbit - but wouldn't she be nice in white with pink ear linings?

Disclaimer
(well...almost)

In transposing any pattern it is always a risk that errors will be introduced, in spite of dedicated proof reading.
If you have any problems with this pattern, please and I will try and assist.

Bunny Clothes

I chose just to put a ribbon on the bunny. You could make the knitted tie instead or go for the whole dressed bunny look. The dress is pretty and allows you to see the cute little tail.
Clothes and tie are knitted in the finer (DK) yarn on No 11 (3mm) needles.

Neck tie:
Cast on 6 sts on No 11 needles.
Knit 19 inches (or as much as you need) and cast off.
Tie around neck with a bow at the front.

Dress:
Cast on 112 sts [Editor's note: Perhaps you can see now why I was less keen to make the little dress...].
on No 11 needles.
Knit 24 rows.
Next row: Cast off 47; knit 18 sts; cast off remaining 47.
Break yarn.

Rejoin yarn to centre 18 sts, and knit 14 rows.
[Editor's note: This is the pinafore part of the dress].

Next row: Knit 4; cast off 10; knit last 4 sts.
[Editor's note: The two sets of 4 sts are the beginnings of the straps].

Continue to work on the last 4 sts and knit 25 rows.
Next row: K2tog twice and fasten off
Work remaining 4 sts into a strap to match.
Sew up back seam on the skirt.

Dress Frills:
With No 11 needles and same yarn as dress, cast on 6 sts, and knit 1 row.
*Next row: K4, then turn and knit back.
Knit 2 rows across all 6 sts.*
Repeat from * to * until frill fits all around hem of dress.
Join short ends and sew to dress.

Make another frill the same and sew in place half an inch above the first frill.

Put dress on bunny and gather up waist edge to fit.
Sew straps into position on back of dress using French Knots.

© Christina Coutts 2007

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