Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Visions of Easter Eggs Danced in Their Heads…

My final Easter project for this year is a pillow with a bunny and a Easter basket filled with eggs resting on grass:

What a nice little accent pillow! Originally I was going to have the bunny holding a carrot, but I didn’t have any orange yarn. And also, for the grass in the Easter basket, I was going to cut the loops so it looked more like grass coming out of the basket, but two opinions I had said no, and I decided not to cut it. You might cut it if you make this yourself. If you do, I would love to see it!

Making the pillow is probably the easiest part. On the yellow loom, and leaving a 8 inch tail, I cast on 32 pegs (using the corner peg and a loom clip) using Red Heart super saver white yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch and knit off until the pillow was 12 inches in length. Binding off I left a 8 inch tail. I did not close either end.

For the grass: On the yellow loom, leaving a 12 inch tail, I cast on 18 pegs using Red Heart super saver green yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 20 rows. You may want to knit off on more pegs if you want your grass to extend all the way across the pillow.

Then on the pink loom I made the various parts for the bunny, basket, and eggs as follows:

Bunny: For the outer leg: I cast on 7 pegs using Red Heart Super Saver baby pink yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 5 rows. I decreased yarn from left to right by one peg, knitting off on 6 pegs for 2 rows. I repeated this process until I got to 3 pegs. I knitted off on 3 pegs for 3 rows, then decreased yarn to two pegs and knitted 1 row. Then I bound off with a 6-8 inch tail.

For the head: I cast on 2 center pegs using baby pink yarn 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 2 rows. I then increased yarn on each side of the pegs by one peg to knit off 8 rows on 4 pegs. I then decreased yarn on each side of the pegs by one peg to knit off 2 rows on the 2 center pegs. I bound off with a 6-8 inch tail.

The ears and arms are two I-cords made to a length that is pleasing to you. My front ear is 2.25 inches long; the one in the back is 1.5 inches long. I simply sewed a line of white yarn through the center of the I-cord to make it look like the inside of his ears are white. The front arm is 1.5 inches long; the back arm is .75.

For the body I cast on 7 pegs using baby pink 1 over 2 e-wrap stitch to make a flat panel and knit off 5 rows. I decreased yarn from left to right by one peg and knit off on 6 pegs for 1 row. Then I decreased yarn again by one peg and knit off on 5 pegs for 2 rows. To make his white belly, I added white yarn to the left two pegs while the rest of the row is baby pink. I knit off 14 rows like this and then made all the rows pink again and knit off 3 rows. I then decreased the yarn by one peg from the left and knit off on 4 pegs for 4 rows to make the neck. You may want to make his neck shorter, depending on your taste.

For the eyes, nose and whiskers: I simply sewed on some Vanna’s Choice Navy yarn in the appropriate places. I also added white teeth by sewing on white yarn under his nose.

The tail : I did a drawstring cast on 4 pegs with the white yarn and knit off 4 rows. Pull the drawstring tight. Then bind off and pull the working yarn end tight. Then bring the two tails together and sew together, creating a little ball. You may want your cotton tail to be bigger; if so, increase the number of rows you knit off. Sew tail onto bunny.

I sewed all the bunny pieces together in a way that looked pleasing to me and set it aside.

Basket: I made 8 flat panels of varying sizes as follows:
For the horizontal bands – I made 3 bands. For each one I cast on the pink loom 3 pegs using a 2 strand combo of Homespun Wildfire and Shaker yarn e-wrap stitches. Leave 5 inch tails on each end.

Band 1 (top band): knit off 10 rows

Band 2 (middle band): knit off 8 rows

Band 3 (bottom band): knit off 6 rows

Set aside.

For the vertical bands: I made 5 bands. For each one I cast on the pink loom 3 pegs using Homespun saffron 1 over 2 e-wrap stitches, (leaving 5 inch tails on each end). I knit off 15 rows.

“Weave” the pieces together as you would weave a basket together. Lay top horizontal band over 1st vertical band, then put top horizontal band under 2nd vertical band. Repeat until you complete vertical band 5.Repeat process for horizontal bands 2 and 3, just below horizontal band 1. First I sewed the top horizontal band to the top of the vertical bands. Then I did the same for horizontal bands 2 and 3. Next I sewed the empty spaces between the pieces together using saffron yarn. And your basket body is done.

The basket handle is simply a saffron 2 peg 1 over 1 8.5 inch I-cord which I sewed onto the basket later on, as described below.

The ribbon is simply some Easter ribbon I bought at Michael’s. It is a print of multicolored Easter eggs on a yellow background from the Michael’s Celebrate It Easter Ribbon Collection. It was on sale for a little more than $1. I cut off a piece of ribbon and folded it over to make a bow. Then I took a sewing needle and some thread and sewed the ribbon together in the position that I liked it.

Eggs: I made 8 eggs using whatever yarn I had on hand. For each egg I used the pink loom 6 pegs (1 corner peg and 1 loom clip), making sure I left a 6 inch tail. I did a drawstring cast on and knit off 6 rows. I pulled the drawstring shut and then bind off, leaving a 6 inch tail. With a yarn needle I pulled the working yarn through the egg to the other end where the drawstring tail was coming out. Then I pulled the drawstring tail yarn back through the egg to the end where the working yarn came out. I gently pulled each tail to shape the egg how I wanted it and knotted the end which I wanted to be the top of the egg. Then I clipped the end of the tail from the top of the egg.

Putting everything on the pillow:

To attach the grass: I stretched out the grass across the bottom of the pillow. With an extra yarn needle, I pinned one end of the grass down on one side of the pillow. The side I was still stretching across is the side I started to sew the grass onto the pillow, using the tail from the grass and working my way around the edge, stretching it out to the desired length I wanted it to cover on the pillow. When I was done I removed the extra yarn needle and set it aside.

To attach the basket: I pinned one end of the basket to the grass using the extra yarn needle I had. Then I “cupped” the basket in such a way that it created an open pocket. Using the tails from the basket bands, I sewed the basket onto the pillow, shaping it at an angle so that the top is wider around and the bottom is narrow (but not too noticeably so). Once your basket is attached to the pillow, take some stuffing and stuff the basket, shaping it so it stays puffed out as if it were stuffed to the bottom with eggs. Stuff it almost to the top of the basket.

Next I sewed the back end of the basket handle onto the pillow and back of the basket. As I got to the top of the handle, I stopped sewing it to the pillow and sewed the bottom end of the front of the handle to the front of the basket.

For the basket grass: From left to right, I loosely e-wrap sewed the green yarn to the very top strand of yarn on the top rim of the basket. It should be sewed just tight enough the grip the edge but loose enough to cover the top edge so no brown of the basket shows through. Then I went e-wrap sewed in the opposite direction around the basket, leaving a loop of the yarn pulled out to simulate the basket grass. You may decide that you want to cut the loops so the grass has a “shaggy” look. If you do that, make sure that you do not pull the yarn after cutting it, or it will come out.

Next using a yarn needle I sewed the bunny onto the pillow where I wanted him.

To arrange your eggs in the basket: First I decided which egg I wanted the bunny to hold and I sewed that egg onto the bunny’s paws. Next I arranged the remaining eggs to my liking in the basket, tail end down. On a piece of paper I noted the color and placement of the eggs. Then I removed the eggs and sewed them into position, one by one, starting with the back row. Using a yarn needle I sewed the tail of the egg down through the stuffing in the basket and inside the pillow. Then I sewed the yarn back up through the pillow and stuffing into the egg, then I sewed the yarn back down through the egg and stuffing into the inside of the pillow. I repeated this process for each egg and then inside the pillow I knotted off the tails (but not too tightly so I could shape the eggs as needed).

Then I turned the pillow inside out, knotted any loose tails that needed to be secured to the pillow, and sewed up one end of the pillow from the inside. Then I put the inside of the pillow back in and stuffed the pillow, shaping it as I stuffed it. Then I sewed the other end of the pillow together.

Next I sewed the ribbon onto the basket handle and trimmed the ribbon ends. And the pillow was done!

And those are all my Easter projects for 2010. Hope you enjoyed them! I already have something special made for Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and I’m working on a few Spring projects as well. I’ll keep you posted! I ncase I don't post again before Sunday, everyone have a wonderful and blessed Easter! May the joy of the risen Saviour rise anew in your heart.

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