Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Let's Talk Bunnies

When I was a kid I belonged to an organization called Camp Fire Girls. It was sort of like Girl Guides/Scouts, except we didn't earn neat badges when we did projects. Instead, we got coloured beads. I'm not sure who came up with that idea, but I don't think it was a particularly good one.

I was always a little jealous of my cousin Kath, who got to be in Girl Scouts. However, when it came time for summer camp all jealous thoughts disappeared. The reason? We had Camp Sweyolakan, and it was truly a magical place. At least it seemed that way when I was a young girl. The camp was just for Camp Fire Girls. No Scouts were allowed, no matter how many neat badges they had earned during the year.

I jokingly said to Rebekah a couple days ago that our time together has felt a bit like being at summer camp. No summer camp would be complete without some craft time, so when Rebekah asked if I might have some yarn in my stash for her to make some Bunny Nuggets for Lucy I said I thought I might possibly be able to find some. (Please note this would be the observational equivalent of the captain of the Titanic saying he thought they would just stop off the coast of Newfoundland for a while.) Rebekah chose some colours and set to work.


The trio of bunnies is now sitting on my dresser, waiting for Lucy's arrival next week.

Rebekah's bunnies were cute, quick, and will no doubt be played with and enjoyed by Lucy. My rabbit project looks like insanity next to hers. Instead of stash busting for materials, I sent away for a kit. As far as being quick, well, all I can say is "if only." I ordered the Maggie Rabbit kit over a year ago, fully intending to have it done for Lucy for Christmas. That goal got downgraded to her birthday, which I am embarrassed to admit has now come and gone. The craziest thing about my rabbit is it isn't even something Lucy can play with. It's meant to be a decoration, not a stuffed animal a child can sleep or play with.

The process of making the rabbits (I decided making one wasn't going to be painful enough, so had ordered two kits) was excruciating. I don't care for hand sewing, which is how these rabbits are put together. In the spring I finally got some momentum and finished the blanket stitch around the body and the limbs. Then I did something no crafter should ever do. I stopped. Instead of stuffing the bits, sewing them together, and making the boots, I shoved it all into a bag and lied to myself. You know the one - "I'll work on it again in a few days." When I pulled it back out last week, a full three months later, this is what I had to work with.


I wish I could tell you the rest of the project went smoothly, but that would be an even bigger lie than me telling myself I was going to pull it out and work on it again right away. I got rid of almost all of my sewing stuff before I moved, and only had two embroidery needles left. As I sat on the porch stuffing and stitching I looked down at the wood floor planks and had the thought, "If I drop the needle it's going to fall through the cracks and be lost forever." Not more than three seconds later something happened (I'm still not sure what), and the needle flipped out of my hand and went directly through the very crack I had been looking at.

Then there were the limbs. I got the arms on with very little trouble, but the legs were a different story. They didn't want to stay in place while I stitched them, which made me want to say bad words. Many bad words. Then, after holding the first rabbit up to admire it, and seeing I had managed to sew one leg on the wrong way, I did say bad words. Many bad words.

After reading this you may be wondering why I chose a project I was ill-equipped to make, and that is ill-suited for the recipient. It's simple. The cute factor outweighs everything I just wrote about. I love these rabbits! One is for Lucy, and the other is going to stay on my fireplace mantle.


The most difficult thing to make turned out to also be my favourite: the boots.


So Lucy, I'm sorry your first birthday present is going to be late and, from the perspective of a one year old, completely useless. I wish I could promise you that this is going to be the only late and useless gift you get from your Nana. But that would be another lie.

Happy Birthday Lucy!

23 comments:

  1. Kristie, I think you should wait and give it to Lucy on her 15th birthday. I don't think will be able to fully appreciate the work (and angst) that went into these adorable bunnies! Especially those boots! As for that needle. . . .don't you know that we manifest our thoughts! I hope this will be a lesson for you to think only positive thoughts about what you want! :-) Like easier craft projects.

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  2. Totally gorgeous bunnies! I'm glad you got them finished, and I'm sure Lucy will love her bunny. She will probably play with it even if she isn't supposed to, those 1 year olds! ;)

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  3. I went to CGIT at the united church and we gals were big on crafts and those bunnies look amazing...

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  4. Love all the bunnies! I have been looking at those kits a lot during the past year, they are so darn cute. I cam imagine how fiddly they were, all that blanket stitch , yikes!! Yours look great! I love their knit dresses and their liberty fabric dresses and those boots, so cute!

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  5. Ah, you may be surprised Kristie - one year olds are ripe for falling deeply in love with a beautiful, soft and attractive bunny! They turned out really well, you should feel very pleased with them, and, hey, all crafters put aside projects, many projects. Some never get finished... I made soft dolls for a few years, and let me say I have sewn a few legs on back to front also :)) Happy Birthday, Lucy!

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  6. I think that ALL of the rabbits are beautiful!!! Your two might have taken longer than you hoped or planned, but they turned out beautifully and will be much treasured by Lucy and you!! I hope that Lucy has a great birthday. xx

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  7. Hey Kristie,
    I love all the rabbits too. I guess this is a tale of perseverance and reward! I would have swore. And then I wold have thrown them away. I don't persevere enough ;) I love the blue knitted smock too.
    Leanne xx

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  8. Truly beautiful bunnies, sometimes things that you haven't wanted to work on turn out well, they did in this case.

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  9. You make me laugh Kristie! What a heroic effort to finish those two adorable bunnies. I can't be bothered with things like that, I don't like assembling toys. The good thing about Maggie is that even if Lucy loves it to death, you can give her a backup bunny :) it might be a few years before she needs it, plenty of time to make another one. Just teasing. I made my little boys monkeys, knit from top to bottom in one neat piece. The pattern is on Ravelry, called Jacopus (by Annita Wilmschut). They are very robust and would be suitable for Lucy. Cx
    P.S. Both rabbits are supercute, you did really well to make them. The boots are amazing!

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  10. Wow those bunnies are fabulous! Especially the boots.
    I am sure you are glad you tried again and finished the projects.
    Lucy and her family will always treasure that toy.

    I am presently making four of these (very easy) knitted toys - Knubbelchen (free ravelry pattern). Very little sewing which suits me.

    Enjoy your family get together and best wishes for Anton to arrive.
    LisaRR

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  11. Your bunnies are wonderful! When my (one) Maggie bunny kit arrived, I knew I would not be able to handle the hand sewing of the head/body/limbs. I just knew it would look like a monster. So I did what I was better at - machine sewing - and sewed her together, very near the edges, and then turned her so the seams were on the inside. She looks just fine - but let me tell you, it was not easy turning a felt bunny! She is SO cute, but I don't think I could do it again. (Don't even ask me about the clothes and boots - and somehow I think she needs undergarments!). Thanks for sharing your trials; I am glad to know I wasn't the only one!

    Janet in AL

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  12. I think all the bunnies are really cute. I'm not a hand sewer either so understand your frustration. I go into panic when I feel a button loosening on a pair of trousers. I know I can sew it back on, but, I also know I'll have to sew it back on every time I wear them!
    Your rabbits have turned out perfectly and a super gift to receive!

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  13. Boots make the outfit, so they say :) Lucy will love her bunny...probably to death....so I sort of agree...give it to her when she is older....let the bunnies live at Grandma's until the day one goes home with her. Gosh, I am mean....ha ha ha !

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  14. They are so cute, I love the little boots! Lucy will love her bunny no matter what, that I'm sure of.

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  15. Hi Kristie, Your Maggie Rabbits are gorgeous, and remind me of the kit I have put away somewhere for a "future" craft project. They are a labor of love!
    Erin in PA

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  16. You're right - they're just adorable. And the little knit dresses are so sweet.

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  17. The bunnies are really multiplying over there. :) I love the nuggets, how cute! And your Maggies came out beautifully. I've barely done any of my Maggie so far. I also put mine off. I was going to give it to my daughter next month for her birthday but then I decided I'd rather finish the blanket I'd been working on for her and give it then instead of Christmas as I'd originally planned. Now Maggie might be a Christmas gift instead. It's really okay because she's just barely old enough to be gentle and careful with such a special toy, so a few more months can only help. I'm sure Lucy will love her Maggies very much. :)

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  18. Did you "sing around the campfire"??? :)
    The bunny items are very cute. Part of me agrees with the commenter who suggested not giving the bunny to Lucy until she's older...but it would be really special for it to be something she grows up with. Tough call!

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  19. Yes indeed, the cute factor here is HUGE!
    -- stashdragon

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  20. Oh my gosh. The boots! The little knitted dresses! The sculptured bunny faces and floppy ears! They're adorable yet stately.

    I was a Campfire Girl too, for a very short time. :)

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  21. I love the trio of bunnies, and can imagine they'll be well loved. But seriously, the felt rabbits? I'm surprised you will want these to just be decorations. They look great, and I'll bet Lucy's rabbit will be well loved by her, and hopefully, well played with ... eventually. The boots really rock!
    Wendy x

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  22. Super post. Your paragraph about sewing on the legs had me laughing out loud. :-) The bunnies are gorgeous (especially the boots) and given the valiant efforts you made to finish them, Lucy will, I'm sure, treasure hers forever.

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  23. Lucy will grow up knowing that even if she has a whole pile of late and useless presents she also has not only the best Nana in the world - because every little girl knows that - but also the funniest. I reckon that's a winning combination with much the same compensatory value as the cute factor x

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