I have been knitting this blanket it feels like for for 100 years. Ever since we started trying for a baby I knew that when we were pregnant I wanted to make an heirloom item in the form of a blanket for the baby. Something personal that I can bring the baby home in from the hospital and the baby can keep. So when we discovered this baby was going to stay I hunted down a pattern.
I saw this on Love Knitting and it was perfect for this project. I wanted to do something with rabbits as my husbands family are slightly obsessed with rabbits due to their Grandfather, who is a big influence on my husband, being a very successful rabbit farmer. The family collect rabbit items like ornaments and things and I’ve started doing it too. Its like our spirit animal so I wanted to link that in.
The pattern was designed by Suzanne Strachan and is called The Four Bunnies. It is a blanket knitted in knit and purl with embossed rabbits in 4 different positions. For the pattern she used Rowan Baby Merino Silk in a grey. I chose a beautiful pale green colour callef ‘Little Duck Egg’ by Sublime in Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK. I know it’s different to the pattern but I found this in my local shop and I just loved it. According to the Sublime website the yarns in this type are designed for babies as they are ‘reassuringly delicate, soft and smooth yarn’ in the ‘gentlest natural blend next to baby’s skin’. I loved the gorgeous green colour and the feel of the yarn.
The pattern itself is pretty simple it is a garter stitch edge with the embossed rabbits made by purling on the knit side following a guide. The instructions however were not clear to me. I couldn’t figure out how to emboss the bunnies at first and it took my knitting extraordinaire Mother-in-law to take a look at the pattern and discover the key on the very last page. It just shows you what an extra pair of eyes can do to help a project. She also gave me some 4mm circle kneedles on a loop which made it a lot easier as it is a lot of stitches! It can be a difficult pattern if you are not concentrating as you must follow the guide at all times to get the bunny shape but once I was in a rhythm it became a lot easier. I have been knitting this bunny Blanket all over the place taking it with me. To my Mums house, out to the garden and in the car on longer journeys I’ve been trying to squeeze rows in here and there. I finally finished the main blanket whilst we were on our Babymoon in Wales.
This is the final finished main blanket. You can see the four bunnies; successfully embossed and I’m really happy with it. It’s just what I wanted.
To finish the blanket the pattern has images on how to overstitch the bunny tails to make them stand out so I tried this and failed at it. I can’t follow diagrams I need written instructions or to be actually shown. So I watched some YouTube on Duplicate stitch and did this over the tails instead. As it’s a different stitch it made them stand out more so I am happy with it. My final touch was to use duplicate stitch further in the corner of one of the bunnies and put in our baby’s initials. We have already chosen his name and had it ready for so long before he was even conceived. This really made the blanket special for me. I’m 24 and a half weeks when writing this and I’m really pleased I could knit something like this for him to keep we will use this blanket to bring him home from the hospital and its just really special.
So one of my friends is having a baby in August. So I could not resist knitting a present for her and her baby boy to give to her at her Baby Shower. I love knitting toys, it is my all time favourite knit. They are just so fun to knit the little pieces and then build them together to make a 3D cuddly thing. So for my friend I used a Sirdar pattern from Hobbycraft. This was great as I could download the pattern then and there for £3.00 and print it out. The pattern is called ‘Dog’ (original I know) and is knitted in Sirdar Snuggly DK and Sirdar Crofter DK.
I love Sirdar Snuggly for babies it is so soft and the colour range is amazing it’s perfect for toys and for little hats and boots. The Crofter range is very clever it’s Baby Fair Isle design builds colour in stripes and patterns. I chose the colour way ‘Dougal’ which is blues oranges browns and whites for my dog. (Thus the name Dougal the Dog.) You need 100g of Crofter and 50g of Snuggly to make the perfect the dog and it is knitted on 3.25mm needles.
I really like the pattern it was pretty simple to follow and I loved seeing the colours come out in the yarn. I knitted it up in about 2 weeks in the evenings after work.
The build was ok, I had to reattach the legs twice as I couldn’t get them to line up with the seams but I got there in the end. I used chocolate brown acrylic for the eyes, nose and mouth. Faces are usually the worst part of knitting toys for me but this came together nicely and he has a good character face.
I love the crazy patterns and change in colours from the Crofter yarn. I think it’s a great toy for babies as it is so soft, so colourful and just so damned cute. It’s also a great size for cuddles but it is very light so is portable. I finished Dougal the Dog off with a yellow ribbon and gave it to my friend at her Baby Shower. I hope her new baby will like his doggy friend Dougal.
There are two things I love in this life. One is babies and the other is knitting toys for presents for babies. (Well all people really)
For this particular baby I wanted to make something quite big and just for him. So I thought what is the one thing that every child needs? The answer is a teddy of course. So I searched the Internet for a pattern as I have made all the other bear patterns I own and I do get bored. I came across the Big Berry Bear Teddy pattern by Lorraine Leathem on Ravelry. It’s such a cute and proper bear. With a big fat tummy and head.
Just the head and body
The pattern uses a self striping wool but I went for a classic beige and I got stuck in. It’s such a lovely pattern, it’s very clear and lovely to just follow along in the evenings. I changed the face a bit as I believe every toy has its own face that comes through as you start to embroider it on. And I used some orange glass beads for eyes that I found at the bottom of my knitting bag. For its ears and paws I needle felted some brown felt into the yarn for furriness and it worked really well.
Finished but naked Big Barry
When the bear was finished it looked a bit naked so I knitted a scarf in the colours of the baby’s Daddy’s rugby club that he plays for. Bright blue and canary yellow. It really finished the bear and he was renamed Big Barry. I hope he will be a good companion for Baby Callum as he grows. I was even more thrilled as I was asked to be Baby’s Godmother! Must have been because of Big Barry!
With his rugby colours
With his new owner
Whilst we have been out of our house I haven’t been able to knit very much and I’ve also been so tired recently I’ve found it hard to get the energy and inspiration to knit. Excuses I know but over the last 3 months I have finally knitted a decent pair of socks! (Well 3 as one was frogged and restarted!)
Over Christmas I bought some gorgeous sock yarn, Debbie Bliss Rialto Luxury Sock yarn to be exact. Some for me in shade 13 Montreux and I bought shade 14 Glastonbury to make some for my husband. My Mother-in-law however fell in love with the yarn as well so I let her have the other skein. I bought a pattern and some 3mm double points needles from a gorgeous knitting shop in Much Wenlock called Ippikin. (Worth a visit!) And I cast on the pattern on the fiddly little needles.
My Mother-in-law knitted her socks up very quickly and very well. It has took me a lot longer the first one I had to rip it back down as it was awful which is the beauty of knitting. But practice makes perfect and I am very proud of the socks. It was very relaxing in the end as the pattern was very simple, once I got the hang of it. The yarns are so lovely to knit with and the colours are so beautiful if you do need a sock yarn I would recommend this collection.
I have bought another skein for my husband in blues called Fuji so more practise is ahead!
One thing I love at this time of year is hats. bobble hats in particular. I feel like every year I am on the hunt for the perfect bobble hat knitting pattern. As a knitted I am loathed to spend any money on pre made hats and scarfs as I can make similar versions to the ones in the shops.
Using a new book in my collection ‘Big Needle Knits’ by Melanie Porter I mastered a linen stitch hat. Linen stitch is when you weave two colours together by knitting alternate stitches over the rows. it’s very hypnotic as the colours weave together and with it being a big needle knit (I knitted it on 10mm) it knitted up in no time. I used a wintery wine colour and a grey marl to mix the colours but you could use anything.
My husband was very jealous so I knitted him one as well in blue and grey so we are now one of those couples with matching hats. I wish I’d done a few more rounds on his hat as although the pattern says one size for all….it’s not. With linen stitch because it’s two yarns weaved together it makes a really warm weave which is a perfect bobble hat.
I loved the wine red colour so much I also made a hugh chunky rib scarf as well to match so we look pretty swish at the moment.
I have had a but of a knitting slump recently. It’s sad because knitting is my favourite thing to do but there has been so much going on and I’ve been planning so many other exciting things knitting has got pushed to one side and I had no inspiration at all. So I decided to instead of staring at the knitting chest I lovingly organised two months ago to pick up the needles and just go for it and see what happens.
On a whim I bought myself a rainbow marble yarn from a local shop in colours that would suit my house. Then using my favourite 4mm metal needles I started casting on moss stitch because it’s one of my fave stitches and just because I can.
Eventually I took it a bit more seriously and I have made a rather large and rather colourful draft excluder for the living room. I know it’s warming up now and it won’t be drafty anymore but the old excluder was a toy cat and it had had its day.
To make the excluder I just knitted in moss in rainbow wool till it was slightly longer than the door. I ripped open the old excluder to reuse the stuffing and the grit it had to make it heavy and the decorate it I made tassels for the corners. It’s a bit square and a bit long and very squashy but it does the job and looks very lovely.
Yes it’s a bit of a boring knit but starting to knit this suddenly filled my head with inspiration again and I was able to plan my next project and get excited about crafting and get out of my knitting slump. So thanks rainbow excluder as boring and squashy as you are you brought me back and my next project is already cast on!
I have been having a really tough time the last couple of weeks. It’s been hard to sleep and hard to not dwell on aspects of it. So I turned to knitting as a way to bring myself out of it. It’s worked in the past as I first learned to knit when I was at a low point in my life and was unemployed so I gave it a go. I think that knitting gives you some control over what you are making, it distracts your mind for a few hours and gives you pleasure to see the final object come to life and let’s you be creative.
I was struggling to find a pattern to follow that I could concentrate on so I went to the shop and bought ‘Simply Knitting Magazine’. If you have read my past posts you would see that I read this a lot as it has some great patterns and articles in it. This time it had an Alan Dart pattern for Monsieur Bernard which was perfect to get my mind off everything. I love Alan Dart patterns as although they are fiddly sometimes you always learn something new and he designs brilliant toys with lots of character.
The magazine had a free kit with it with all the yarn you needed and the pattern was easy to follow and I completed it under a week even with everything going on around me.
I have to admit I did run out of yarn at the end and had to fashion ears out of the head with pleats but I am really pleased with the finished bear. I also sewed some buttons onto his chest to add a bit of colour. My husband loves the bear and wants to take it with him to work to sit on his desk. So Monsieur Bernard is on his travels as a mascot. Hopefully he will bring luck as he has brought peace of mind and purpose to me.
This pattern Inspired me to get down to my local wonderland ‘Wooly Knits’ and I have finally bought myself one of their patterns and the wool to go with it and I hopefully will learn to knit on circular needles and cable for the first time. So thankyou knitting for getting me back to where I was and putting me back on the right path.