Sunday, March 30, 2014

knitted bunny improv

Okay, let's talk knitting for a bit.  We know I love to knit up bunnies!  There's that.  On my desk at work I have my first two knitted bunnies.  A lady I work with asked me last year (!) if I would knit a bunny for her niece's birthday in April.  I tried to dodge it.  Because of course then it's like, how do you put a price on one of these bunnies???  They do take hours to make, so even if I put like minimum wage price on the time it's out of the range anyone would pay for a toy!  You know?  But.  I eventually said I would.  Cue March 2014 (how did that sneak up?) and I realized that I better get busy knitting!  A few years ago I bought this pattern, Mother Bunny, from etsy.  I've used it a ton of times.

This time, though, I made major modifications to the body.  The pattern is written to make the body starting with the legs but on two needles knit flat and then joined to the body also knit flat.  I wanted the body to be all ONE piece, knit in the round.  So, I improvised.  Since this is basically knitted amigurumi, I just did like I would with crochet.  Start with 6 cast on stitches, join in the round and divide stitches between 3 double point needles.  Increase the next row each stitch to make 12 total stitches.  Then the next row increase evenly around to get up to the 17 stitches in the pattern.  Once one leg is as long as I wanted I put the stitches on "hold" on waste yarn.  Once both legs are done I divided the total stitches onto 4 double points and joined the main body color.  

Here's where I had to put my thinking cap on.  How to add arms?  As soon as I got the body as long as I wanted, I then just made a hole kinda.  Basically you just focus on one side of the body at a time.  I was working with 4 needles which means that 2 for the front and 2 for the back.  So, I knit across 2 needles, turned the work before going to the next 2 needles, and purled the next row across.  Knit row, purl row till I had 4 rows.  I left those stitches there and moved the working yarn across the little divide and did the same thing for the other 2 needles.  This created a "V" opening at each side.  I put the stitches from the needles on 2 separate pieces of waste yarn to save for later.

You can check my ravelry for more pictures, my rav name is colimachia.  Along the V I picked up stitches, I wanted 12 total, so I picked up 4 stitches along each side of the edge.  For the top of the arm I cast on 4 stitches and then joined that with the picked up stitches to make a circle with 3 needles.  Knit as long as I wanted, changed colors and then started decreasing down to 6 stitches, then thread the yarn through a needle and pull tight.

For the neck/shoulders I had put the stitches on "hold" on waste yarn.  Now, once the arms were done, I came back to them and picked them back up on needles, adding the stitches along the top of the arm.  I also picked up a few extra to ensure no holes :)  Now I'm back to 4 needles and I think like 43 stitches?  It doesn't really matter because I wanted to make sure I had no little holes.  For the next couple rows I just started decreasing evenly around till I got back to 34 stitches.  Usually I don't decreased the entire amount in one round.  So, like I decrease 2 stitches per needle on one round.  Next round same thing and so on.
Then, refer back to the actual pattern which started decreasing down to half I think?  I don't remember.  Anyway you get down to not many stitches (grin) and then you just thread a needle through the stitches and pull tight!  

I did the head exactly as the pattern, which is worked on two needles and is kind of a pain.  But the end result is so cute!  So it's worth it.
She wanted floppy ears, which the pattern does not have.  Again I improvised.  Most ears in patterns are knit in garter stitch which looks super bumpy and I don't think goes very well with the rest of the bunny.  So I stockinette and then sew felt along the inside for stability so the edges don't roll in.  If anyone really wants the ear pattern I made just message me and I can share it.  I just feel like I'm super rambling right now and who really wants to read all about that?  LOL  unless you're trying to actually make the bunny then who cares, right?  

Bottom line, I really, really love this little ballerina bun!  When I first put in her eyes she looked kinda mean.  I reworked the face a few times until I got her to look friendly.  Then, once the ears were on she looked like she was excited to dance!

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