Rabbits for Refugees

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Usually I make something just because it strikes my fancy.  This rabbit pattern was designed for a very specific purpose.  Before I post the pattern, I want to share the story.

My oldest son, who is nine, spent the past few weeks working on a project at church.  The 9- and 10-year-olds teamed up with a group which provides care and support in Syrian refugee camps.  The kids have been putting together care packages for refugee children.  They included a handwritten note (which will be translated,) and a friendship bracelet.  After the first day of the project, R came home very sad, having been introduced to the concept of refugees, but also very motivated to do something to bring them some comfort.

Over the next week, we spent a lot of time talking, and he motived me to make a small gesture.  Before going back to church, I went through my stash of crochet animals and pulled out all the pocket-size ones.  There were 31.  He brought them in (I was home with a kid recovering from illness) and reported that the woman leading the program was very excited.

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I wanted to make more, but those animals had been made early in my crocheting days.  They were from my own patterns, but were a bit cumbersome to make in bulk (or, like the spiders, just a bit weird.)  There was too much sewing and, frankly, the patterns weren’t as polished as I would like.

I perused the internet for a free pattern I could use.  Everything was too big, too cartoony, too ugly, too obscure, too simple, or too complicated.  So I set out to make something better.

I settled on a rabbit.  It would lend itself to no sewing, could easily be both cute and realistic, and they live everywhere.  I sat down, and after a short time had a prototype.  I showed it to the kids.  R asked “Is that a rat?”  I hadn’t put on a fluffy bunny tail yet and with the yarn tail hanging off the end and the ears a bit curled… yeah.  It kind of looked like a rat.  I put on a fluffy tail, called that one done, and started a second.

I tweaked the ears and got a recognizable bunny.

It wasn’t perfect.  I ended up trying a half dozen  ways of making the ears, almost as many for the feet, and a few different tails, before I declared the pattern finished.

By Sunday, I had 14 pocket-sized bunnies to donate (pictured above.)  I brought them to church with R.  The woman directing the project told me they were “perfect” because they don’t weigh much (14 grams, 1/2 oz each!,) are sturdy, washable, adorable, and hopefully will provide some comfort and playtime for the children to whom they are given.

Her gratitude left me fighting tears.  I am hoping to fill a small box with more bunnies and get them into the mail so she can give more.  It’s a small, small thing.  It doesn’t do anything solve the real problems the refugees face.  But maybe it will bring some of the kids a moment of happiness.

I have other projects in the works: a “cuddly froggie,” a couple moose, another baby blanket, an almost finished twin size blanket (chunky yarn!) a box of preemie hats to fill, and Miss C’s book to finally put together, but… the bunnies are quick.  I’ll find the time.

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4 thoughts on “Rabbits for Refugees

  1. Awesome, Virginia! I still don’t know how you find the time/energy to make LL OF THESE, BUT THEY WILL BE SO appreciated where they are going!

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