Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Crocheted Chocolate Easter Bunny

Introduction: Last year after Easter I bought a chocolate Easter bunny for a special purpose: to use as a guide to make a crocheted version. I looked over all of the bunnies and picked one that seemed to be generally the right size and shape. At home, I loosely drew around the chocolate bunny to use as a template—with a few modifications. I worked! I crocheted a chocolate bunny with increases and decreases to match the shape. 
(Later I ate the real chocolate bunny)

After making the first bunny, I started a second one but this time I wrote down the increases and decreases as I went so that others might create this bunny, too.

Depending on the type of yarn you use, your bunny will stand between 7 and 8 inches (18-20 cm).

About the pattern: I have to admit, this pattern will be different from the usual form because numbers of stitches are not given for each round. That’s because you are not joining rows and because the count is not as important as the shape. You just have to trust that this will work out if you follow the rounds. I have provided a template for you and, periodically, you can check your work against the template to be assured that the bunny is taking shape, just as planned. 

The template can be found at the end of this page, after the pattern instructions. 

Okay, let’s get started!

Just a reminder, this pattern is copyrighted. You are welcome to create as many bunnies as you like and use for giving or selling. Just don’t claim this pattern as your own or sell the pattern.

Chocolate Easter Bunny (crocheted)
designed by Claudia A. Lowman

Description: This 8 inch (20 cm) “chocolate” bunny is a fun addition to a child’s Easter basket filled with goodies or as part of annual décor to celebrate the holiday. What a great way to enjoy chocolate but one that is sugar, calorie and guilt-free!

This project is worked in continuous rounds of single crochets (sc) from the bottom up to the tip of the ear. The bunny is made up of two parts—the body and a base that is attached after the body has been stuffed with poly fiberfil. Final touches include button eyes and a ribbon at the neck. This photo shows the bunny sporting a yellow ribbon.

What you will need:
–yarn: Any regular worsted weight or dk weight yarn will work in one of three colors: medium brown (milk chocolate), dark brown (dark chocolate) or ecru (white chocolate). Acrylic yarn is preferred so that the bunny can be washed. 
– G hook (4 mm)
– scissors
– tapestry needle
– poly fiberfil stuffing
– ribbon
– buttons for eyes

Bunny Body, To start:
ch 34, join with a sl st, ch 1.

Tail and Foot Shaping
Rnd 1: Sc around, Work continuously without joining at the end of each round.
NOTE: Mark your work in two places: the beginning of the round and again at the halfway point. You may want to use different colors so you will know your starting point. The beginning of each round is the backside of the bunny; the halfway point is the front or belly of the bunny. All increases (inc) and decreases (dec) will be made at these two points (beginning/end, halfway point) to form the bunny shape, which is relatively flat. Periodically move the markers up as you progress up through the rounds.

You may want to use a counter to keep track of rows or, if you lose your place, simply count up the rows.
Rnd 2: Inc, sc up to the st just before the marked halfway point and inc in this st, sc in next (marked) st), inc, sc around to the 2nd to last st and inc, sc.
Rnd 3: Sc around.
NOTE: Your work will want to turn inward, so be sure to keep it turned correctly so that the right side of your work is out.
Rnds 4-6: These three rounds will be dec rounds. All decreases will be made by inserting hook into the next st, yo, hook into following st, yo, draw yarn through all 3 loops on hook (dec made).
Dec, sc to around to 2 st before the halfway point, dec, sc, dec, sc up to the last 2 st in the round, dec.

Back and Belly Shaping
Rnd 7: Inc in next 2 st, sc up to the 2 st before the halfway point, dec, sc, dec, sc around to the two st before the mark at end of the round, inc in these 2 st.
Rnd 8: Sc around.
Rnd 9: Sc to halfway pt, inc, sc around to the end.
Rnd 10: Dec, sc around to the final 2 st, dec.
Rnd 11: Dec, sc around to the halfway pt, inc, sc to the last 2 st, dec.
Rnd 12: Dec, sc around to the first st before the halfway pt, inc, sc, inc, sc to the last 2 st, dec.
Rnd 13: Dec, sc around to the last 2 st, dec.
Rnd 14: Dec, sc around to the 2 st before the halfway pt, dec, sc, dec, sc to the last 2 st, dec.

Neck and Head Shaping
Rnd 15-16: Dec, sc to the halfway pt, dec, sc to the last 3 st, dec, sc.
Rnd 17: Sc to the halfway pt, dec. sc to the end.
Rnd 18: Inc, sc around to the last 2 st, inc, sc.
Rnd 19: Inc (2), sc to the st before the halfway pt, inc, sc, inc, sc to last 2 st, inc (2).
Rnd 20: Inc, sc to the st before halfway, inc, sc, inc, sc to the last 2 sts, inc, sc.
Rnd 21: Inc, sc to 2 sts before halfway pt, inc (2), sc, inc (2), sc to the last 2 sts, inc, sc.
Rnd 22: Sc to the st before the halfway pt, inc, sc, inc, sc to the end.
Rnd 23: Dec, sc around to the last 3 st, dec. sc.
Rnd 24: Dec, sc to the 2 st before the halfway pt, dec (2), sc to last 3 sts, dec, sc.
Rnd 25: Dec, sc to 3 st before the halfway pt, dec (3), sc to the last 3 st, dec, sc.
Rnd 26: Sc to 3 st before the halfway pt, dec (2), sc to the end.

Ear shaping
Rnd 27: Inc, sc to 2 st before halfway, dec, sc to the last 2 st, inc (2).
Rnds 28-30: Inc (2), sc to 1 st before halfway pt, dec, sc to the last 2 st, inc (2).
Rnds 31-32: Inc, sc to halfway pt, inc, sc to last st, inc.
Rnd 33: Sc around.
Rnds 34-35: Sc to halfway pt, dec, sc to end.
Rnd 36: Sc around.
Rnd 37: Sc to halfway pt, dec, sc to end.
Rnd 38: Sc around.
Rnds 39-40: Sc to halfway pt, dec, sc to end.
Rnd 41: Dec around.
Rnd 42: (Sc, dec) around.
Cut yarn leaving a 5” (13 cm) tail. Close up tip of ear and secure yarn ends.

Stuff bunny with poly fiberfil.

Base: The base is two parts that are layered together to form a firm stand for the bunny.
Using a G (4 mm) hook and the same yarn as bunny body, ch 12.
Rnd 1: 2 sc in 2nd st from hook, sc in next 9 sts, 3 sc in last st, sc 10 sts, join with sl st.
Rnd 2:Ch 1, 2 sc in same st, sc in next 11 sts, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 12 st, join w sl st. Leave 15 in (30 cm) tail.

For second base part, repeat Rnds 1-2 plus add a third round as follows:
Rnd 3: Ch 1, 2 sc in same st, sc in next 13, 2 sc in next st, sc in next 13, join w sl st, Leave 18 in (46 cm) tail.

Center smaller base on larger base and, using the tapestry needle and the yarn tail from the smaller one, st tog. Using the remaining yarn tail, st base to the bunny filling in with more stuffing, if needed.

You can check the progress of your bunny’s shape by laying it on this provided outline. You will likely need to "capture" this template by right clicking on it and saving it so you can print it out. It should measure about 8 inches (20.5 cm) high.
Tip: I used a clicker to keep track of my rounds, but it you don't and you forget where you left off, just count the sc rows up from the bottom to determine your next round. Also, checking against the template will be of helpful as you go along.

ETA: Since sharing this pattern, I have crocheted about 10 more chocolate bunnies. One is a white chocolate bunny that I thought I would add. Here it is.

Copyright 2013, C. Lowman. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Doll Halloween Costumes

This is a spur of the moment blog entry. I really planned the next blog to be a crocheted scarf pattern which I’ll be posting soon. As I write this, it's October and Halloween is nearing so I'm sharing this fun little post first in the hope that these costumes make you smile.

The photo above shows 5 of the 10 Bratz dolls that I costumed last October. After I made each one I placed it on my mantle in the living room and every time I passed by I just had to chuckle at the growing group. That's Frankenstein on the left, who is trying to scare everyone. Next in line is the cupcake girl complete with frosting and a cherry on top of her head. I call the middle one Hoodie girl. She's in Halloween color knits made from striped socks. Fourth from the left is a boy clown with a wig that I crocheted from fun fur and finally is a little girl with a candy corn hat that I knitted.  She's also sporting a candy corn sweat shirt, a black skirt and orange and black leggings.

I’m in a group on ravelry.com called Good Things Together in which one of our threads is called The Dollhouse. This year will be the third consecutive year in that thread that we are having a Halloween doll fashion show. I haven't started my costumes for this year so I'm sharing some that I made in the past two years. 

One of the careers I wanted to do when I was a child was fashion designer. I guess I still have that love deep inside because my favorite TV show is Project Runway. Along the way, in years past, I also designed and made costumes for college theater productions. 

Here’s my black swan Bratz from last year. I did make a little black partial mask but it is not on the ballerina in this photo.

Photo above: I call these two little fairies Paris Hilton and her sister. They got scared out trick or treating and, while trying to run, one of the girls dropped her bag of goodies and everything spilled on the ground.

These fairy costumers were so easy to make! I used little girl’s frilly socks for the clothing and found the butterfly wings at the dollar store. With only a little sewing to close up the panty part of each costume, the outfits were done in a flash—very little fussing.

Photo above: I did manage to make this flapper outfit, as modeled here by a Liv doll. They have proportionately larger heads than Barbies.

While I’m at it, I’ll include two more photos from the year before. Below is another Liv doll as a nightclub singer.

The basic dress is from a commercial pattern. I crocheted the flower which took longer to make the whole dress! I also made the microphone and base formed using Fimo clay that I installed on a thin dowel. 

The Liv dolls are so much fun to pose. While no longer manufactured and rather short-lived in production, they are still easy to find at thrift stores for very little money and on ebay. They are bald but have wigs that fit with a nob on the crown of the head. Many times, if I have a head that I like from another kind of doll but the body is not articulated and can’t be posed as well, then I match skin colors of body to head and switch them out.

Finally, here is my Carmen Miranda outfit on the right, made two years ago.

Not everyone knows Carmen Miranda unless they are as old as I am or if they are old movie buffs. Carmen Miranda was a very popular movie star, singer and entertainer in the 1940’s and 50’s. She wore the most amazing costumes with fancy headdresses. 

I sewed the costume (no pattern) and crocheted the pineapple (also no pattern) and formed the bananas from Fimo clay. The grapes are little felted wool balls.

I am including a close up of the headdress. 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Crocheted Easter Eggs

Introduction: We kid around in ravelry groups about “fiber therapy,” saying it's our way of dealing with stress. It's actually true. I guess you could call it "creative meditation" and in the process we make fun, unique, beautiful, interesting, huggable, and/or wearable items.

Recently crocheting Easter eggs has been my personal fiber therapy. I had so much fun doing them I thought I’d pass along this little how-to for others who may want to create—whether or not they seek fiber therapy. The results will be the same for everyone—lovely little eggs to bring out and enjoy year after year.

What: These are crocheted Easter eggs that cover the regular size plastic ones that measure about 5¾ inches (14.5 cm) around the middle and 3½ inches (9 cm) from top to bottom. These eggs are very simple to create because each is a continuous spiral of single crochet stitches using multi colored (ombre) yarn—no need to change colors.

Let’s get started!

Crocheted Easter Egg (Ombre)

What you will need:
• a G Hook (4.0 mm)
• ombre cotton yarn, such as Peaches & Crème or Sugar ‘n cream (4 ply)
• scissors
• a tapestry needle
• a plastic Easter egg

Start: ch 2
Rnd 1: 6 sc in 2nd st from hook. Mark start of rounds but do not join on this or in future rounds.
Rnd 2: 2 scs in each st (12)
Rnd 3: *(1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st). Repeat from * around. (18)
Rnd 4: *(2 sc in 1st st, 1 sc in each of next 3 st). Repeat from * around. (22)
Rnds 5-10: 1 sc in each st around.

Decreases start in round 11. To decrease, draw up yarn in each of the next 2 sc, YO and draw through all 3 loops (dec made).

Rnd 11: Dec 2 st in this round like this: sc 9, dec, sc until you reach the last 2 st and then dec. (20)
Rnd 12: Sc in each st around.
Rnd 13: Slip egg inside with pointed end up. With egg inside your work, sc in each st around being mindful to keep your stitches tight.
Rnd 14: *(Sc 4, dec). Repeat from * around.
Rnd 15: 2 scs *(dec, 4 sc). Repeat from * around.

From this point forward, repeat the following: 2 sc, dec until you have a ½ inch (1.5 cm) opening. Cut yarn leaving an 8-inch (20 cm) yarn tail. Using your tapestry needle, gather up your stitches to close up the hole. Secure and hide your yarn tail. 

Addendum: I've been making other crocheted eggs, too—in all 24 of them this year. Most require color/yarn changes. Using solid color cottons, these eggs feature stripes and other patterns. 

Here is one of the baskets of crocheted eggs. These eggs feature various patterns and a limited color palette: pink, cream and periwinkle. 

Here is another set of my crocheted eggs. These eggs also feature various patterns with an even more limited color palette, only two colors: cream and cornflower.