Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Bunny Update

I've receieved a request to share my circular version of the lop-eared bunny pattern that appeared in the March 2008 issue of Creative Knitting. I'm not going to recreate the pattern here, because that would probably be closing in on copyright infringement. But I will share my notes on the adapation. So if you have the original pattern, you should be able to use my notes to work the pattern circularly.

I cast on the required number of stitches, and divided them on double pointed needles. I joined and knit row 1 according to the pattern. All the even numbered rows were plain knit. So I worked the pattern as written through Row 29, as written. NOTE: There are two edge stitches included in the flat version, to aid in sewing up. I left them in, so the back (or front, it's up to you, has two more stitches. Not a problem, just be aware of it.

Row 31 is dividing for the body. After slipping the required number of stitches to a holder for the arm, I cast on 2 stitches and then knit the next section of body stitches. Same then for the arm on the other side. This puts the seam, or beginning of round at the center back. I then worked the body rounds.

At this point, I left the body, and put the stitches for one of the arms on double points, attached yarn, and worked the arm rounds. On the first round, I picked up two stitches in the base of the two stitches I cast on when I joined the body. I knit and shaped the arms, pulling the yarn tail through the last remaining stitches to gather and close. After doing this, I stuffed the head, then both of the arms, and most of the body.
Back to the body. Remember, there are two more stitches on the body. Divide the body stitches in half, right side and left, and put one half the stitches on double points. Then work the first leg, casting on two stitches to join. Pull the yarn tail through at the end, again to gather the leg shut. Stuff this leg now. Then, put the remaining stitches on double points for the other leg, and join, picking up two stitches in the cast on stitches at the crotch.

I made sure I had long ends of yarn when joining yarns for arms and legs, and used these to snug together any gaps caused by the picked up stitches and joining. The ears were knit exactly as the pattern calls for. The only other change I made was to use a blunt needle and sew a running stitch around the neck, and pull it tight, knot, and work the ends in the help give the neck and head a little more definition.

I hope these notes help anyone who would like to knit these bunnies in the round. It was not too akward knitting on partially stuffed pieces, but then again, maybe I'm used to it, because I do it quite often.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cabin Fever Causes Feline Fury

This actually happened last week, but I didn't get a chance to take a photo until yesterday...picture wavy flashback lines, and read on...

There we were last night, having a peaceful dinner. I was on the sofa, with Rollie on one side and Lily on the other, and Rusty across from us, cuddled up on my shawl-in-progress. Everything seemed serene. About an hour later, I was going around the house watering plants, and when I passed by the shawl again, I noticed that it had a huge hole TORN into it, no doubt by feline teeth and claws. This is the Wool Peddler’s Shawl from “Folk Shawls”, and I was in the home stretch of completing it. I’m using a luscious wool/angora blend yarn from Kimmet Croft Fibers. And now – RUINED. The hole is back almost at the beginning, in the garter stitch section.

Needless to say, I was livid. I couldn’t believe my beloved Rusty would behave this way, but this is actually the second piece of knitting he’s attacked in the past week. The other was an acrylic sweater, and I saw him go after it, so I was able to grab it away with only a small, repairable snag. But this – three or four strands of yarn, mangled, leaving a big gaping whole in several rows of garter stitch. I almost cried. I felt like crying, but I think I was too shocked.
Why? Was it because Rollie had booted him off the sofa so he could sit next to me? Did he think I wasn’t paying him enough attention? Was he just bored; sick and tired of winter? He remains silent on the issue. And could he have chosen the worn out acrylic/mohair slippers that I was re-soling, that were right next to the shawl? No. Had to be something pristine. Something lovely. He did come to me later, and put his paws on my lap, but I wasn’t sure he was asking forgiveness. I think it was a threat. “Pay attention to me, or I’ll do it again!”

But I do pay attention. I follow him around like a servant, turning on taps when he’s thirsty, brushing his coat, giving him treats at the same designated times each evening.


I’ve been thinking all evening about how to repair the shawl. I’ve been to Sally Melville’s class on knitting fixes, but this vexes me. The garter stitch winds back and forth in such a way that I don’t think I can figure out how to re-weave it. And to do even try, I’d have to commit to making the hole even bigger. And weave in several ends, which I’ve been avoiding throughout, by carefully spit-splicing the new yarn when needed.

I thought about cutting into the knitting and getting rid of the offending section, and trying to knit back to the beginning. There’d be glitches at the edges, and at the center increase, and there would be stitches going in the wrong direction. I was so proud of the smooth, slip stitch edge I was adding to this shawl.

I think, what I will do, even though it is probably the laziest, most noticeable option, is try to needlefelt the loose ends together and close the hole. I will lay some strands of yarn underneath, and try and fuse everything back together. It will show, but hopefully not so much after a good washing. Since the shawl is for me, and was going to be a utilitarian piece, it won’t matter as much. Maybe once it’s done, I will look at it as a little touch of character. Maybe. Not today though. Today, I’m still a little peeved at the big orange guy. And he's not talking...

Sunday, March 09, 2008

It's True What They Say About Bunnies...

...they multiply! This was a fun project, and I haven't put all the yarn away, so I might even get a few more made before Easter. I had to search upstairs and down to find some ribbon for their neckwear, which was a painful reminder that I need to organize my supplies. It's almost warm enough now to go back upstairs and start working. I don't heat my upstairs in the winter, and the side attic up there makes great cold storage. But now that the days are getting longer, I can get back up there and start putting the place in order.

I'm not sure I'm ready for Daylight Savings though, which started today. What's the point of having more light in the evening? It's still way too cold and snowy to do anything outside. I'd rather have the extra light in the morning, when I'm trying to get up and get ready for work. I'd just switched back to morning showers, instead of evening ones. And I'd finally started waking up before the alarm clock. I wish the government would leave my circadian rhythyms alone. Tomorrow is going to be rough...