Silly Rabbits

I thought I got the Rabbit Problem out of my system a couple of months ago.  Clearly I was wrong.  My big brother asked me to please make these for his best friend's Easter present.  He especially wanted them to be every crazy color in the world, for which I just happened to have the perfect yarn.  Imagine.

I think they look like they are made out of candy.  Which should please my big brother, who is famous for his weapons-grade sweet tooth.  His doctor told him to make sure his diet included lots of different colored foods, so he bought the BIG bag of M&M's.  He also makes a regular habit of sending money to my children with strict instructions to hit post-holiday candy sales.  The days after Halloween, Christmas, Valentines Day and Easter are almost as big around our house as the holidays themselves.  And our dentist will get to build a vacation house in Spain.  Everybody wins.

Hoppy Easter!


When I passed the final deadline for my book, waaaaay back in November, I may have come a little bit unpinned.  All the stress from the book project culminated in a roiling thundercloud of pent-up knitting energy.  A cloud whose storm would just have to  blow itself out.  The deluge took a very strange form, and it's only now, after the last gust of the tempest has finally died away, that I can identify it for what it really was:

Hurricane Bunny Slipper:

Or, if not a real hurricane, at least a Tropical Depression:

I made 8 pairs of felted bunny slippers between Thanksgiving and New Year.  And there at the end, the gene pool started to mutate, because the last pair of bunnies actually came out chickens.  Scary.

Multiplied 3.jpg

I'm glad the slipper storm finally subsided, because the next evolutionary step from chickens would have been something really weird, like Ring-Tailed Lemurs, and nobody wants to see that.  Least of all me.

I never have fallen prey to this particular disease before: Potato Chip Knitting.  You know, where you keep telling yourself "just one more, and then I'll stop".  I have never wanted to make the same pattern more than once (heck, I'm lucky to get TWO sleeves, never mind a whole second sweater).  Usually, as soon as I'm finished with a project, I'm totally out of love with it.  In fact, it's usually kind of dead to me, and I have to put it where I can't see it for a while before I like it again.

Not so with the Bunnies.  I flatly could not get enough.  It was a full-on Bunny Binge.  So disturbing.

And then, as suddenly as it began, it was over.  I even took a few days off from knitting, which was very strange indeed, and actually caused my family some concern.  I read a book.  I went to a movie with Phillip, without any knitting in my purse (when he noticed this, he panicked a little bit - it was so cute).

And now I'm ready to do the next thing.  Which I am pleased to announce will be something you have all asked for.  A Lot.  I'll be blogging it as I go, and it will correspond to the Sweater Workshop ("Stranded with Mary") I'm teaching HERE, starting January 14 (Sign up!  Let's play with string!).

Happy New Year, Gentle Readers.  I'm pleased to be back from my trip down the rabbit hole.

Process Refinement

I'm still making bunny slippers.  THESE bunny slippers, to which I have added a few personalizations.  Mary Scott Huff Bunny Hacks, if you will:

First of all, as much as I love the original bunnies, I just couldn't leave their ears unlined with pink.  So I devised a cunning two-part ear plan, which worked out very well, thank you. 

Additionally, my overarching need to make bunnies for all the members of my family caused me to realize that they would have to be made in various sizes.  This prompted a bizarre side trip through the kitchen cupboards in search of wooden spoons, rolling pins, and eventually two mismatched soup ladles, with which to fashion some felted-bunny-stretching implements (no actual bunny slippers were harmed during this phase).  None of these slipshod attempts resulted in the precision device required for optimum bunny stretching.  Internet to the rescue:  I found THESE, which I wholeheartedly endorse for both bunny, and other, footwear stretching.  They adjust from a ladies size 6 up to an 11, which, augmented with some wadded-up plastic grocery bags, can make  bunnies even big enough for Phillip: (Shhhhh!)

You'll also notice that I added a few whiskers to Phillip's bunnies, which trend I think will continue on to at least the next pair.

And last, but certainly not least, I scored some Clover Pom Pom Makers, without which I am no longer willing to go on.  I used the larger of the two, FYI, for maximum tail-fluff.

In case you'd like to modify your bunnies as I did, here are my hacks:

Yarn:    Rather than DK weight as specified in the pattern, I used worsted weight (Patons Classic Wool, to be specific), holding 2 strands together. (I used the recommended size 11 needles for the bodies).  Bunnies to fit Phillip used about 1 1/2 skeins (220 yds each).

Bigger-ing:    For man's size slipper (Phillip wears size 10 1/2 US), I worked 40 rows in the body.

Toes:    Rather than garter st, I worked my toe pieces in st st, continuing to slip the 1st st of each row.

Ears:    With size 10 needles and one strand of MC, CO 9 sts.  Work 13 rows in st st, slipping 1st st of every row.  Next row (RS), sl 1, ssk, k 3, k2tog, k1. sl 1, p to end of row. Next row (RS), sl 1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1.  sl 1, p to end of row.  Next row (RS), sl 1, sl2 kwise, k 1, p2sso, k1. sl 1, p to end of row.  Next row (RS), sl 2 kwise, k 1, p2sso.  Pull tail through last st.  Make 4.  Weave in ends and felt. 

Linings:    With size 10 needles and one strand of CC (pale pink), CO 7 sts.  Work 13 rows in st st, slipping 1st st of every row.  Next row (RS), sl 1, ssk, k1, k2tog, k1.  sl 1, p to end of row.  Next row (RS), sl 1, sl2 kwise, k 1, p2sso, k1. sl 1, p to end of row.  Next row (RS), sl 2 kwise, k 1, p2sso.  Pull tail through last st.  Make 4.  Weave in ends and felt. 

After felting, place linings on top of ears with wrong sides together.  Sew in place invisibly by hand, using thread to match linings.  Fold ears and sew to bodies as directed.

Whiskers:    With a single strand of contrasting yarn, embroider whiskers with one long stitch each, on either side of nose.

Hop On, Gentle Readers.