I was very inspired by finishing the Free Crochet Baby Blanket Pattern that I wrote about a while back. After finishing that blanket I couldn’t stop thinking about what else could go with that soft and fuzzy blanket. It also turns out that I needed a baby gift for a baby girl and I was looking to try making a new gift - something other than my normal free crochet baby blanket pattern.
My thoughts soon wandered to those cute loveys that you see with the different animal heads and soft blanket bodies. What a great use for the fabric remaining after completing my crocheted baby blanket. If you make a blanket and then make this lovey using matching material and a crocheted edge you will have a wonderful set for a special baby – blanket and lovie.
I decided to start with a bunny lovey with pink blanket material. The choice of pink worked well because I was able to use the blanket fabric inside the ears and for the nose of the bunny – creating a uniform look of togetherness in the pattern. Although I could have designed this to be machine stitched, I chose to hand stitch it. I believe the blanket stitch adds a wonderful vintage feel and it does not add much to the time. If you want to machine stitch you will need at add a seam allowance to the pattern.
Wool Felt or Wool Coating Fabric in ivory or white and a small scrap in a suitable eye color
Double faced Minky fabric in pink
DMC Stranded Embroidery Floss in pink, ivory and black
Yarn in ivory – fingering weight
Crochet Hook suited to your yarn ~1.75mm
Sharp Fabric Scissors
1. Pre-wash the wool felt or coating fabric in hot water by hand. This will make it more durable and reduce fraying if you use the coating as I did.
2. Print the template found at the end of this post. If you print to a pdf and select landscape the template should show as its own page. You can then print only this page. This should result in an ear length of about 5 1/2 inches. You may have to adjust the size of the image on your printer, since I had to adjust the size of the template image so that it would play nicely with the format of my site! Cut the bunny head pieces from the wool excluding the inner ears.
3. Cut the bunny inner ear from the double faced minky and a rectangular piece for the body about 9 1/2 inches by 20 inches. Cut matching rounded corners on all four corners of the rectangular fabric piece.
4. Connect the two “head front” pieces together along the front edge using a buttonhole stitch. See the end of this post for more information on the buttonhole stitch. The front edge is the side facing down on the template. Now join the two “head back” pieces together along the back edge. The back edge is the side facing up in the template drawing.
5. Join the head front pair to the head back pair using the buttonhole stitch. Before stitching the final edge use some wool roving to stuff the head. After putting in about 75% of the stuffing, cut a small piece of the minky fabric for a nose and stitch in place with pink floss. Use black floss and a stem stitch or chain stitch to put on a detail for the mouth. When the mouth and nose are finished add the final stuffing and finish the blanket stitch to close the head.
6. Fold the large rectangular piece of minky fabric in half and then half again the other way. Trim the inside corner off, making a hole in the center of the fabric. You should size your hole to be slightly smaller that the neck circumference. Start with a smaller hole than you think you need. The fabric does stretch and you can always make the hole larger. Manipulate the bulb under the bunny head to go through the hole in the fabric. It should be tight.
Note that in step 6, you cut a hole in the blanket and pull the ball at the base of the head through the hole. Because the ball is stuffed you can push it through a smaller hole relative to the size of the ball. I found that the head stayed in place very well without any additional stitching. If your head is loose then no worries, you can stitch the head in place if you like.
7. Cut a small pair of oval felt pieces for the eyes. I used green. Take a piece of black embroidery floss and separate out 3 strands. Make a knot at the end. Hide the knot under the eye felt as you stitch the eye felt in place. When you stitch around the eye felt with the embroidery floss catch the edge of the felt with your stitches to hold it down. Add a few eyelashes if you are making a girl bunny. Outline both eyes. Make a knot at the end of a new piece of embroidery floss. Insert your needle where you want the pupil of one eye to be and bring the needle out of the other eye where the pupil will be located. Pull the floss tight to make an indent at the eyes giving the head extra shaping. Make another knot to hold the shape. Stitch over the knot to create the full pupil shape on the second side. Bring the needle back through the head and complete the pupil on the first side. Make a small knot to secure when completed and try to hide under the pupil stitching. Bring extra floss through the back of the head. Pull tight and cut so end retracts back into the head and is hidden.
8. Stitch the inner ear on top of one of the wool ear pieces using a matching thread. Line up the back of the ear and attach to the front using the buttonhole stitch. Repeat with the second ear.
9. Stitch the ear to the head at the head seam using the ivory floss. You can play with the placement of the ears to give different looks I stitched down part of the side of the ear to make it flop forward.
10. Cut a small oval piece of wool and use a blanket stitch to attch to the bottom center of the minky to make a tail. Use a blanket stitch to attach with 3 strands of ivory embroidery floss.
Create the Edging ( I used the same edging as on the Crocheted Baby Blanket):
a. Foundation Stitch: Make a slip stitch and put it over your crochet hook. Start with the right side of the fabric facing you. Starting anywhere along the edge is fine. *Pierce the fabric 1/2 inch from the edge. Make a single crochet around the blanket edge. Chain two stitches. * Repeat between the * and *, making each pierce through the blanket about 1/2 inch from the last. When you have nearly completed the circumference of the blanket, count your single crochet stitches. Adjust the distance between your last few repeats to make an even number around the blanket. Join your last chain stitch to the first single chain you made with a slip stitch.
b. Chain 3 stitches. Double crochet in next chain stitch. Chain 5. Double crochet in next chain two space. * Double crochet in next single crochet space and in next chain 2 space. Chain 5. Double crochet in next chain 2 space. * Repeat from * to * until your have gone all the way around the blanket. Join to the beginning of the round with a slip stitch at the top of the chain 3.
c. Slip stitch in next double crochet and in next chain. Chain 5. Skip next chain. Double crochet, chain 3, double crochet in the next chain. Chain 2. Skip next chain. Double crochet in next chain. Skip next 3 double crochets. *Double crochet in next chain. Chain 2. Skip next chain. Double crochet, chain 3, double crochet in next chain. Chain two. Skip next chain. Double crochet in next chain. Skip next 3 double crochet.* Repeat from * to * until end of round. Join to the beginning with a slip stitch to third chain in beginning.
d. Weave in ends and trim.
I know whoever the recipient of your blanket is will love it! The only issue for you now should be finding the time to make more! If you want to try out some other edging there are many great books of edgings available. Have fun finding your favorites!
Buttonhole Stitch (Photo from the Embroider’s Guild):
a. Put a knot at the end of your floss. To start your Buttonhole Stitch, bring your needle up through one piece of felt, so that your knot is in between the two pieces of felt. Holding the two pieces of felt together as one, bring your needle up and around the edges and insert the needle through the back of the second piece of felt. Instead of piercing both pieces with the needle only go through one, then bring the needle and floss up between the two pieces and out the top edge.
b. Proceed with your button hole stitch as in the photo, bring the needle through both pieces of felt from the front and catch the floss behind the needle as you tighten it.
Chain Stitch (photo from the Embroider’s Guild)
a. Place a not at the end of your floss. Bring the needle and floss up from the back of the fabric.