Ever since I made my sweet bunny from Little Cotton Rabbits I have been obsessed with knitting toys. I regularly go through spells of falling in love with learning new techniques and I’m falling hard for this one. I think part of it is the enchanting world that Julie (the creator of Little Cotton Rabbits) breathes into existence with her designs, and her blog in particular.
Knitting Toys Obsession
This may sound “stalkerish” and I promise I’m a friendly, well intentioned stalker, but I’ve gone back and I’m currently in the middle of reading her entire blog. You read that right…..the entire blog. I have been drawn into Julie’s lovely world and how she shares her triumphs and her struggles. She began writing in 2006 and I’m currently at June of 2016. Thankfully I have a few years of blog posts left to binge on!
Never Miss Another Blog Post!
Not only does Julie share her adorable toys, but by reading from the beginning you can see the evolution of her designing. The bunnies were not what they are today and she started out just selling the physical toys and not the patterns. I find that absolutely fascinating. I think many times we just assume someone had it perfect from the very beginning and that just isn’t the case.
As much as I love my little Ruthie Rabbit I did not love all the seaming and sewing required to complete a Little Cotton Rabbits pattern. Her patterns actually state and I quote:
Please note that this project is not a quick or simple knit. It takes me around 14 hours to make and finish each of the animals that I make and just under half of that time is spent on the finishing off. There are lots of separate pieces which require seaming and sewing and if you are looking for something fast and easy you would probably be better off finding a different pattern.Quote from Little Cotton Rabbits pattern on Etsy
She isn’t exaggerating. Not one little bit. Maybe she’s even sugar coating a little. She is actually warning people to go buy another pattern!
Double Point Needles
I needed a break from all that mattress seaming, but not from knitting toys! So when I stumbled upon the adorable designs of Susan B. Anderson I knew what my next project was going to be. I only had two problems.
- I didn’t know how to knit in the round on double point needles (DPNs) and…
- How would I choose which pattern to begin with?
Finally I decided on the adorable Bear in a Bunny Suit pattern and jumped on Youtube to find a good tutorial demonstrating DPNs for beginners. Trust me, you do not want to see me struggle with the first two rounds of DPNs! There’s a lot of mumbling under my breath. A few choice words typically leap out of my mouth. My family scatters to dark corners when they see those instruments of torture emerge from my notions bag.
So here is a wonderful tutorial showing how an expert casts on double point needles and shows you that it’s not so dang hard after all!
These are the exact needles I used to complete my adorable Ralphie, a Bear in a Bunny Suit. This post contains affiliate links and at no cost to you I may earn a teeny tiny commission, if you choose to purchase any of these supplies. Please know that I only recommend products I use and love! Thank you for supporting Le Petit Saint Crochet!
It Takes Forever
I honestly couldn’t believe how long it took to knit my Bear in a Bunny Suit. It felt like forever! I ended up timing how long it actually required to knit just one leg, one tiny little leg. Fifty-nine minutes and forty seconds. FIFTY-NINE minutes!!!! For one little leg! Now maybe part of that is that I’m fairly new to knitting toys but honestly knitting just takes longer than crocheting.
If you are coming from crocheting amigurumi be forewarned that knitting takes longer, a lot longer. And if you’re an impatient person like me, it will feel even longer than that!
Picking Up Stitches
Adding arms, legs, and ears is the best part about knitting on DPNs! There’s no sewing them on! Picking up stitches intimidated me at first but once I got the hang of it I was really pleased with how well this technique works. Instead of knitting an arm separately and sewing it on later, you knit it right onto the body! I absolutely love this technique and will use it as often as possible from this point forward!
For whatever reason the word “Kitchener” has always brought out a feeling of dread and torture. I have avoided any patterns that had that word in it. Maybe it’s because I associate it with knitting socks and that looks like pure hell to me! If I had realized that this pattern included doing the Kitchener stitch I would have run for the hills.
Thankfully I didn’t know that before making my purchase and I had no choice but to dig deep and learn how. Surprisingly the Kitchener stitch is so simple!! It’s actually easy and I found it very enjoyable indeed! Now I can’t wait to do it again! I found a wonderful and clear tutorial on YouTube for how to make the stitch. Seriously there is nothing to be afraid of!
Now that I’ve crocheted amigurumi and knit toys flat and in the round, I feel I have earned to right to have an opinion about which I prefer. To be honest I think there are pros and cons for each!
I honestly can’t say which technique I like the best and I will continue doing all three. My goal is to become more proficient with knitting toys that I am able to pick up any pattern and make it without any problems! That will mean lots and lots of ………. you guessed it, practice!
The Bear in a Bunny Suit is a wonderful pattern to learn how to use DPNS with. But know before you begin that it can be a frustrating process and that your toy probably won’t be perfect! Being comfortable with knitting also is a must before tackling this project as well!