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Striped Bunny/Animal

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A Natural Cutie
Striped Bunny

Bunny takes a break from a busy day of being cute.

© Sarah E. White, licensed to About.com, Inc.

I had every intention as I was knitting this project for it to be a bunny, but as I was putting it together I wasn't completely sure if it was a bunny, a dog or some other creature not of this earth. It doesn't really matter, because it's cute, and served as a good way for me to use some yarn I wanted to use for something special.

The pink yarn here is the yarn I dyed with strawberries, while the yellow was dyed with dandelions. Of course if you don't have yarn you dyed yourself you can use any medium weight yarn you have around the house. Try knitting it in a solid color or bust your stash of odd balls and make haphazard stripes. Either way this cutie is sure to be hugged by some grateful little one.

Materials:

  • about 130 yards total of medium weight yarn of your choice; I used about 80 yards of the pink and 50 yards of the yellow
  • set of 5 size 7 or 8 US (4.5 or 5 mm) double-pointed knitting needles, whatever you need to make a somewhat firm fabric
  • stitch markers (optional)
  • short length of black yarn
  • tape measure, scissors and sewing needle

Gauge:

Gauge is not critical but I got 16 stitches and 26 rounds per 4 inches (4 stitches and 6.5 rounds per inch) in Stockinette Stitch in the round on size 8 needles.

Size:

Finished project is about 15 inches tall and 14 inches long from arm to arm. The body is about 12 inches around.

Knitting the Legs:

  1. Cast on 5 stitches in your contrasting color. Knit about 7 rows flat, or until the piece is roughly square.
  2. Using main color, pick up and knit stitches along the other sides of the square and knit the stitches already on the needle. Work stitches onto two or three needles, whatever is more comfortable for you. I got 15 stitches total.
  3. Knit until piece measures 4 inches from picked up stitches. Cut yarn and place stitches on a stitch holder (or just use more needles). Knit a second leg in the same manner, keeping the yarn attached when finished.

Knitting the Body:

  1. Knit across 7 stitches on the leg you just finished knitting. Cast on (I used the wrap cast on) 15, knit the whole other leg, cast on 15, knit the remaining 8 stitches from the first leg. 60 stitches. While you are knitting and casting on, distribute stitches onto double-pointed needles as is comfortable for you. I liked having stitches on four needles and knitting with the fifth.
  2. Work in the round in your main color for 2 inches, then in your contrasting color for 2 inches and your main color for 2 inches.

Shaping the Shoulders:

  1. Switch back to your contrasting color and knit 1 round. Distribute stitches on your needles so that you know where the first and last and middle two stitches are (place stitch markers if desired after the last stitch, before stitch 29, after stitch 30 and before the last stitch).
  2. Knit 1, slip, slip knit, knit to 2 stitches before the marked/middle stitches, knit 2 together. Knit 2, k2tog, knit to 3 stitches from end, ssk, knit 1.
  3. Knit a round plain. Repeat these two rounds until 32 stitches remain, ending with a plain round.

Knitting the Head:

  1. Change to main color and knit 2 inches.
  2. Work the same decreases as above, alternating with plain rows twice. 24 stitches.
  3. Work increases every round until 12 stitches remain.
  4. Graft the remaining stitches.

Ears:

Using contrasting yarn, cast on 5. Work in Garter Stitch 5 inches or to length of your choice. Next row, knit 2 together, knit 1, knit 2 together. Knit a row plain then Knit 2 together and bind off the remaining stitch. Make two.

Arms and Finishing:

Make the arms the same way as the legs, but bind off at the end instead of leaving the stitches live.

To finish, work eyes and nose of your choice on one side of the head using duplicate stitch. Sew on ears, then stuff and sew on arms.

Stuff the body as much as desired (don't forget the legs!) and sew up the bottom seam. Hug.

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