Friday, February 21, 2014

linen stitch bunny blanket

One of the featured patterns for February is the Mama and Baby Bunny pattern. When these patterns were originally published in my pattern collection, Festive Knits, the Baby Bunny pattern also included a simple blanket. However, we decided not to include the blanket when we published the two patterns together. Below you will find instructions for another simple, but lovely, baby blanket that any little toy would be happy to snuggle into!

There are two sizes given - the small blanket is shown in the photos. It is fairly quick to make, and a good size for the baby bunny or any other small toy. The medium blanket would be a good size for my regular sized (8-9”) toys. I’ve used fingering weight yarn because I have lots of pretty sock yarn scraps in my stash. But you could easily use a thicker yarn for a larger, or quicker, knit.

Linen Stitch Bunny Blanket

15-25 g of fingering weight yarn, pair of 3.25 (US size 3) knitting needles, tapestry needle
7.25 sts and 10 rows per 2.5 cm (1”)
Small (10 x 15 cm, 4 x 6”) or Medium (15 x 20 cm, 6 x 8”)

You can make the blanket from a single yarn, in a solid or variegated colour, or use up a bunch of yarn scraps for a more colourful blanket. If you use scraps, change yarns every 3 rows, leaving 3” ends when joining yarns, to be knotted into a fringe.

CO 47 or 61 sts.
Row 1 (WS): P1, s1, [p1, s1] to last st, p1.
Row 2: K1, [k1, s1] to last 2 sts, k2.
Repeat Rows 1-2 until blanket measures 10 cm/4” (small), or 15 cm/6” (medium), from the cast-on edge, ending on a WS row. Bind off. If you used a single yarn, weave in your yarn ends. If you used yarn scraps, overhand knot the yarn ends into a fringe on both ends of the blanket (you can add extra strands if you want a thicker fringe). Trim the fringe to 2.5 cm (1”)

CO = cast on
K = knit
P = purl
RS = right side
s1 = slip 1 stitch from your left needle to your right needle. Remember to bring the yarn forward before slipping a stitch on RS rows, and to take the yarn back before slipping a stitch on WS rows, so that the strands always show on the RS of the blanket. It’s important to keep an even tension when slipping stitches.

WS = wrong side

Save 50% on both the Mama and Baby Bunny pattern (Ravelry, Etsy), and the Flat Foot Floogies pattern (Ravelry, Etsy), until the end of February!

P.S. the little bunny in the first photo is from my Bedtime Clothing Bundle.

Friday, February 14, 2014

mystery knit-along 2014

Are you all ready for another super fun mystery knit-along? Everyone had such a great time last year, I knew I would have to do it again this year.

The pattern is now available in my Ravelry shop. Until the start date, February 28, the pattern file will only include the information you see here. Beginning on February 28, the download will include a new segment of the pattern. Each following Friday, for another 5 weeks, the pattern will include another new segment (each Friday, you should get a notice that a new update is available). The mystery part is that you won't know what the toy will be until the final week, although you are welcome to guess! You can join any time during the 6 weeks. I've tried to divide the pattern up as evenly as possible, but the first week has less knitting than the rest, so everyone will have a bit more time to join and catch up.

If you'd like to join us, you can find the Ravelry thread here. If you're not a Ravelry member, you can still purchase the pattern after March 28, and get the weekly updates. Maybe you and a group of your knitting friends can have your own knit-along!

The pattern is advanced-beginner to intermediate level. You will need to know how to work stockinette and garter stitch, increase (m1), decrease (k2tog and ssk), yo, cast-on stitches within a row, pick up stitches, sew seams, and the garment has sleeves that can be worked in the round (but that part is optional). There are many fun techniques in this pattern, so it would be a good chance to learn or practice new skills.

Here are all the materials you'll need for the project:
25 g of fingering weight yarn, pair of 3.25 mm (US size 3) knitting needles, set of four 3.25 mm (US size 3) double pointed needles (dpns, optional), three small buttons, scrap yarn, tapestry needle, hand-sewing needle and thread for attaching the buttons
Gauge: 7 sts and 10 rows per 2.5 cm (1")
50 g (100 m/110 yds)* of worsted weight yarn in russet or brown (MC), 25 g (50 m/55 yds) of worsted weight yarn in cream (CC), pair of 4 mm (US size 6) knitting needles, pair of 10 mm safety eyes or buttons, stuffing, black yarn to embroider the face, tapestry needle
Gauge: 5.5 sts and 8 rows per 2.5 cm (1")

Here are the yarns I've chosen for my toy. The Berroco Vintage yarn is a practical and affordable yarn for toys, and comes in lots of colours. I'm going to use the russet (colour 5176) for my main colour, and the cream (colour 5102) for my contrasting colour. The Blue Sky Alpacas Royal Petites (colour 1708) is for the garment. It's a lovely, soft yarn, and I have a few spare balls that I've been using for small projects.

*I've included the number of yards of yarn because I'm close to 45 g for the knitted pieces I've made for the sample. So if your gauge is off, or your yarn is thicker than what I've suggested, you may need more yarn.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

featured patterns: your projects

As part of my featured patterns series, I would like to share with you some of the toys other knitters have made. I hope these will serve as examples and inspiration for what you could make!

Don't forget, both the Mama and Baby Bunny (Ravelry, Etsy) and the Flat Foot Floogies (Ravelry, Etsy) are half price for the month of February!

I love how chubby and cuddly this bunny is! Don't you just want to hug him? The knitter who made this bunny also has an Etsy shop, where she sells some of her adorable toys.

I usually knit my pattern samples from yarn colours that match the actual animal, but it's fun to see how they look in all different colours!

If you're a Ravelry member, check out the projects page to see more Mama and Baby Bunnies.

Here's an adorable lamb lovey that's sure to be treasured for many years. I've noticed a number of knitters have worked the feet in garter stitch instead of stockinette. Babies do love different textures!

And finally, here is the sweetest ever bunny lovey, with an embroidered heart on it's tummy! It makes me want to add a little heart to all my toys.

If you need more cuteness, check out the other toys on the Ravelry projects page.

All photos have been used with permission.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Featured pattern - Flat Foot Floogie

The second pattern I'm featuring for February (because I didn't think of the idea in time to do one for January) is the Flat Foot Floogie. While this pattern is fairly recent (published last February) it tends to get overlooked because it's quite different from my other patterns. However, the people who have added projects to Ravelry are very enthusiastic about the toy.

As an added bonus, the pattern is 50% off during the month of February (Ravelry shop, Etsy shop)

The Flat Foot Floogies are both quick and easy to knit, and the end result is always cute. There is a large variety of yarns that would work well for it, from inexpensive acrylic yarns, washable wools, organic cottons, to luxury yarns for an heirloom gift. While I've knit mine in neutral colours, bright colours work just as well (you could even coordinate it to your nursery). Although it may not seem as cuddly as my other toys, my boys adopted the two pattern samples as soon as I was done with the photos. For added interest, you can put a rattle insert in the head. If you're making the toy for a baby, and don't want to use safety eyes, you can either embroider eyes, or sew on felt eyes.

If anyone has questions about the pattern, just leave a comment below, and I will add my answer to the bottom of this post.