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.
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.