Friday, July 27, 2007

Finished Object: Bunny Blanket Buddy

What do you do when you are sick of working cables on both right-side and wrong-side rows using 3.25 mm (US 3) needles? Well, you make something out of fluffy novelty yarn on ginormous needles, of course!

BunnyFull2.jpg

Pattern: Bunny Blanket Buddy or Blanket Bunny Buddy or some combination of those three words. Available for “free” from the Lion Brand website. (Actual retail cost: the personal information that you don’t want Lion Brand to have)
Yarn: Plymouth Heaven, 100% nylon (and 100% fluffy!), color 12 (yellow), 2 balls. Plus scraps of Rowan 4-Ply Cotton for embroidery
Needles: 6.5 mm (US 10.5) and 5.0 mm (US 8)
Notions: A little polyester fiberfill
Recipient: someone’s baby

BunnyFace1.jpgComments: I chose this pattern because it looked easy and kinda cute. But, much to my delight, I discovered that the pattern is very, very clever. The bottom part (from the neck down) is pretty straightforward. The most exciting bits are when you cast on and bind off for the arms. (More on that later.) But once you get to the neck—hold onto your hats!—all cleverness breaks out.

The head is double-knit! You knit the front and back of the head at the same time, creating a “pouch” to stuff later. The ears are shaped and attached to the top of the head using short rows! After stuffing, the top of the head is gathered like the top of a hat! So there is NO seaming at all. How nifty-keen is that?

I’m so pleased as Punch about this toy. I thought it would be boring and mindless, but it turned out to be an interesting knit and super cute. I knit up the toy in a couple of hours and then spent almost as much time embroidering the face. Artistic I am not.

BunnyEars2.jpgHelpful Hints:
• The pattern doesn’t say to WRAP AND turn when working the short rows. So I didn’t. Bad idea. Wrap those stitches to prevent holes. You don't even have to bother picking up the wraps because they will just disappear in the fluffiness.

• This kind of fluffy yarn is quite bulky and does not have much stretch. Therefore, when you cast on and bind off for the arms and ears you must choose your methods wisely. Traditional cast ons (like knitting on or the cable cast on) and bind offs can yield very stiff edges. I used a backward-loop cast on and a lace bind off and my edges are soft and flexible.

22 comments:

kmkat said...

Great pattern! The thing that always stops me dead about knitting toys is the knowledge that after the fun knitting there will be at least that much time spent sewing. Gak. I might actually make this one.

thursday said...

That is *too* cute! And no seaming... wonder if anyone I know needs one of those...:)

Batty said...

Wow, that's cute enough to justify LB invading my privacy! It's extremely cuddly-looking

Pooch said...

Very cute and cuddly!! I have been knitting for charity. This is perfect for that and will put my Kiddo yarn to use!
Thanks for a great idea!

:)

amylovie said...

From Yarntopia to blogging in four days. You are speedy!

The recipient will love it.

Amy

ann said...

so cute!

Rachel said...

Adorable! I love pattern cleverness. I also love fluffy yarn like that. Your sleeping bunny looks very cuddly. Though he also looks as though someone hunted and killed a sweet toy bunny rabbit and took it to the taxidermist to be turned into a rug, which is kind of horrible.

Meredith said...

Aww, he turned out very cute! The yarn looks perfect for it too.

melody said...

Great pattern! Oh, and you don't have to give LB your ACTUAL information, just information.

Guro said...

Too sweet! Love his (her?) colour. And do we get another look at those crazy cables soon?

Jennifer said...

That is so darn cute! Double knit, huh? Very clever.

Rebel said...

Wow - that's a super cute little bunny! Love it.

Cheesy Knit Wit said...

Absolutely adorable Laura!

Sheryl said...

This is too cute - there is a baby in my life who would love this!

Debby said...

What a cute blanket!

It sounds like you and Rachel had lots of fun during your visit!!

bufanditas said...

Very cute indeed and a good way to use up yarn that is taking up stash space.

Knitcrazy said...

Yours is adorable..
I am going to make one for my GD who is coming to visit!!!
I was looking to sew one out of fleece but could not find a pattern on line..
Love the seamless head!!!

penny
http://pennyknits.blogspot.com/

Marina said...

HI, please help me, I am trying to make this bunny blanket, but I am very confused. rows 5-16 says sc in to last 3 sts and then continues ch 1 etc . How can I continue if I am at the end of the row???

Laura said...

Marina--

I can't find an email address for you so I'll have to answer you here. I hope you can find it.

I made the knit version not the crochet version and I'm pretty much useless at reading crochet patterns. However, considering the construction of the knit version, my guess is that after you get to the end of the row, you need to chain 1 to create a new stitch. That is, you should increase a stitch at the end of rows 5–16 (or whatever the pattern says).

Hope that helps,
Laura

Jill said...

just working one one now, the thing that put me off was it says 'gauge not important, then finished length 17"..that doesnt work, gauge is imortant if you want that finished measurement'
I frogged and started again, in cashmere, big needles, sooooo soft!

Debbie Z said...

I really didn't like the sample at Lion Brand, but I love yours, so I am gonna try the pattern after all, I usually make blankets, but went to a Sids training and blankets can play a part in the loss of the sweet angles, so I was looking for something else, and I think I have found it. Thanks

Make handmade said...

Great tutorial! i love it, thanks for sharing.