Discover the magical world of Dot Pebbles, full of knitted flora and fauna designs. This is a challenging project for sure, but I’ve got 7 tips for knitting the Wild Rabbit pattern to help you make this realistic knitted bunny.
My first impression of wild rabbits was when my grandmother read Watership Down.
I can still see the cover of the popular book and how much she enjoyed the trials and triumphs of a warren of rabbits living in southern England.
In the late spring we see a lot of wild bunnies in our neck of the woods and Jersey-boy (our rescue dog) loves watching them hop and scurry at lightning speed.
I’m sure he hopes to catch one or two, but I think he’s finally realizing that his old legs are no match for those swift wild hares.
Dot Pebble’s Knitted Toy World
I have never seen patterns anything like the ones written by Claire Garland from Dot Pebbles. Each and every one has an enchanted quality that has you guessing whether its a knitted toy or a real live animal.
Many times when scrolling through Instagram, I’ve had to stop and zoom in to make sure that what I’m seeing is actually knitted and not a living creature.
She also has a few free patterns on her website and I plan on knitting the Toadstool Bookmark in the very near future.
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Claire’s book, Magical Woodland Knits is full of twelve beautiful patterns and the word “magical” couldn’t be more accurate.
On the cover you will find a beautiful Roe Fawn nestled amongst green foliage. There are also patterns for a Yellow-Necked Field Mouse, a Badger, a Robin Redbreast, and even a Wolf, just to name a few.
She also has an incredibly helpful section full of helpful tips and tricks.
You can also purchase the Wild Rabbit Pattern as a stand alone project on Etsy.
I looked high and low for the suggested yarns to make the knitted wild rabbit pattern. I am in the US and everywhere I looked, it was out of stock. It may be a more common yarn if you live in the UK or elsewhere, but I was out of luck.
Thankfully, I had two yarns in my stash that I believe made a good substitute and it worked out perfectly.
The first is Rowan Kid Classic in the colors:
The second yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze in the colors:
The combination of the gorgeous halo (fuzziness) of the Haze and the softness of the Classic makes the Wild Rabbit luxuriously soft. And it’s impossible to keep your hands off it.
Typically I use French knots when knitting toys, but the knitted Wild Rabbit pattern needed much bigger eyes than I could make.
I have a collection of plain black eyes, but I didn’t believe they would work well for this pattern.
There are suggestions in the pattern for the size and where to purchase them so I followed her advice.
The eyes I purchased worked wonderfully and they are quite realistic looking.
One note is that these are not safety eyes and you will need to secure them by sewing them on.
Also note that this is a seller in Canada and because of all the mail delivery delays it took a bit longer to receive them. But it was totally worth the wait, because they are really beautiful and fit the project perfectly.
9 Tips for Knitting the Wild Rabbit Pattern
- Use the yarns recommended in the pattern, the ones I used or a good substitute. The fuzziness of the mohair not only makes the rabbit look more realistic, but it covers a lot of imperfections, especially when mattress seaming.
- Don’t worry too much about the color changes. The pattern calls for a lot of minor color changes and I pretty much ignored them. I used only two yarns, where the pattern many times called for three held together. She uses that technique to subtly change the coloring of the rabbit. It’s a beautiful effect, but I found it wasn’t necessary. I paid attention to the main colors only.
- Trust the process. This is the best advice I can give you. I found myself becoming pretty frustrated in the beginning of the pattern because there was a big hole in my work within the first couple of rows. It’s ok, it’s supposed to be there and eventually you will fix that section.
- The section covering short rows is excellent. I found it to be the most concise written description for how to do short rows and now I know how to do them without fail.
- Make sure to follow the pattern exactly in the order it is written, I found no mistakes and it made more sense the further I got into the project.
- I used a combination of Poly Fil Fiber Fill and Poly-Pellets Weighted Stuffing Beads to stuff the rabbit. I only used the pellets when stuffing the bottom area of the body. It gives it a nice weight without looking overstuffed.
- Don’t use plain black eyes. Because this is a more realistic looking toy, it is best to use plastic or glass eyes that look more like a real rabbit’s eyes with a colored iris and black pupil. I purchased the ones directly from the pattern and they look fantastic.
Thoughts on Knitting the Wild Rabbit
This extraordinary pattern is worth the effort it takes to make it.
I would only recommend this pattern if you can read a knitting pattern with ease and feel comfortable knitting toys.
The pattern itself isn’t really difficult, but the construction is completely different from any other toy I’ve ever made.
I also found, at times, that I was a little confused about the pattern notes. I wasn’t exactly sure what I needed to do, so being comfortable “winging” certain parts would have been helpful.
That is why I’m recommending this pattern to folks who feel pretty confident knitting toys.
You will also a very helpful Facebook page for fans of Dot Pebbles knits. She shares lots of photos of her projects as well as photos from other knitters who have knit her patterns.
I think it would be a wonderful place to connect with other toy knitters and ask questions when needed.