April 20th, 2014
Writer and avid knitter Selma Moss-Ward joins us for a series of blog posts about becoming a first-time grandmother and knitting toys. Click here to read her previous blog posts.
Maybe because I’m a serious sock knitter, I found this pattern irresistible. Sock construction from cuff to toe cleverly shapes Bouncy Bunny Sock Critter from his neck up. Equally clever is how his legs and body, which are knitted first, flow into the ribbed neckline.
I knitted Bouncy Bunny in a heathery Wool-Ease® color called “Mushroom.” The naturalness of this shade is augmented by subtle black fibers, resembling guard hairs, spun into the yarn.
The legs are knitted and stuffed; then live stitches are picked up and bridged with cast-on stitches, so that the body has a good foundation. Following the pattern, I used contrasting yarn as a stitch holder, rather than a conventional metal or plastic stitch holder. This technique is best when knitting tubes of a small circumference with double-pointed needles. The stitches easily float from the double-point to the yarn needle, and are quickly picked up again when they’re needed.
You then knit to the top of the ribbed neck, divide the stitches, and work short
rows, as with a sock heel. The head is formed by these and by gusseting, as for a sock instep. Arms and ears are knitted separately and sewn on.
I embroidered Bouncy Bunny’s features, using a scrap of dark brown fingering yarn, rather than appliquéing them from felt, as the pattern suggests. When making knitted toys, I avoid adding anything that can be pulled off by young children, such as appliqués, buttons, and beads. Embroidery is quite attractive, and much more durable.
The tail is knitted in the same way as the arms and ears, but its length is shorter. I turned the tail inside-out after it was knitted, since I like the texture of reverse stockinette.
And here’s a “class portrait” of all the stuffed toys I’ve made from Lion Brand’s wonderful patterns—William the Hedgehog and Cuddly Caterpillar in the first row, Bouncy Bunny, Little Bunny, and Leo Lion in the rear. Soon they’ll all accompany me to Los Angeles, where they’ll take up residence with my grandson Max.
Selma Moss-Ward is a freelance writer who combines her love of writing and of knitting in her columns, stories, and blog posts. Selma is also an active classical musician and the caretaker of five wonderful pets. She lives with them and her husband in Rhode Island. Read a monthly fiction story by Selma in our Pattern Journal newsletter.