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Friday, 14 March 2014

'E' IS FOR Easter and Erik!

With Easter just around the corner, we at MillaMia HQ have been busy bringing a sweet new knitted character to life! Erik the Easter Bunny knitted in our Naturally Soft Merino in putty and snow is due to make his debut this week in a series of adventures and in conjunction with an exciting competition, but more about that next week . . .

I have been lucky enough to sneak out an early copy of the Erik pattern ahead of launch next Friday 21st March and have already started to knit him! He is simple enough, with much of the shaping achieved by basic increasing and decreasing but I thought it might be useful to show you how I put his cute little head together as I know that putting faces on knitted animals is very often the most difficult part to get right.

As you can see below, I have already knitted the head which is a flat, heavily shaped piece and therefore a little difficult to manipulate at this stage. I started by seaming the back of Erik's head with mattress stitch - yes! you already know that this is my favourite method of producing an almost invisible seam. I used a separate length of yarn to stitch the seam so that I can use the long ends to sew up the hole on top of the head and the other end to attach the head to the body.

Next the head needs to be stuffed firmly. Too little stuffing and you will find it difficult to achieve a nice round head shape, too much and you will begin to see the stuffing through the stitches. It is important that you leave the largest hole open at the moment so that you can position all the elements of the face easily.

I recommend a 'try and see if you like it' approach to positioning the face! Taking time at this point to make sure that you are completely happy with the features will save you much heartache later - the face, above all is what gives any knitted animal it's character. I have used safety eyes which can be purchased very cheaply at most haberdashers or craft stores. Remember to keep the seam at the back of the head and push the eyes through the knitted fabric approximately 1" apart. This can be tricky with the stuffing in but I find that seeing the head in its correct shape helps me to place the eyes much more effectively. Once you are happy with the position of the eyes, pull out some of the stuffing and turn the head partially inside out to expose the stalks of the eyes. Secure the 'washer' type backs and re-stuff.

The mouth and nose are a simple cross stitch with a double strand of snow yarn. Position this centrally and make sure to fasten off securely.

Next stitch up the end rows of the ears and tuck in any stray ends (I blocked these before stitching up to make it  little easier). The purple thread indicates the fold line - these ears have a little tip of grey. I used mattress stitch (of course!) to seam the inner white ear to the outer grey part.

Finally, position the ears on the head. I always pin them in place so that I can see if the whole face and head are visually symmetrical and most importantly, have the cute factor! Whip stitch the ears in place and the head is complete.

All Erik needs now is a body . . . !

Keep an eye on the Blog, FaceBook and Instagram next week to enter the Erik competition and find out where this rabbit about town has been visiting - he's quite the adventurer! Oh, and did I mention that this fun pattern is FREE?? Available next Friday from or Ravelry, get your needles at the ready and knit up a colony of eggstatic Erik's for Easter!

(posted by Max)

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