Category Archives: Friends of HeartStrings Gallery

Italian Knitted Bunny, in support of Fondazione San Vincenzo

Connecting with people around the world is such fun. And when that connection can help people in other parts of the world, even if I might never be able to travel so far to see them, so much the better.

And such is my pleasure to introduce you to Paolo Dalle Piane, a knitter living in Tuscany, Italy. Recently, Paolo contacted me to get permission to use my pattern “Knitted Bunny from a Square” for the purpose of supporting a local charity group Fondazione San Vincenzo. The idea is that knitted items from the pattern would be sold during Christmas markets and the earned money donated to disadvantaged families. But since the charity ladies do not speak any English, Paolo would translate the pattern in Italian.

I am happy to announce that the Italian translation of Knitted Bunny from a Square is now available, Coniglietto da un Quadrato di Maglia, thanks to Paolo. Please visit Paolo’s blog site for more information about Paolo and charity support for Fondazione San Vincenzo.

Paolo's Knitted Bunny
Paolo's Knitted Bunny from a Square, courtesy of Paolo Dalle Piane

This Italian version marks the 4th translation of the original Knitted Bunny English pattern at The other language versions currently available, in addition to English, are Spanish, Dutch and Swedish. If you are interested in volunteering to do an official translation into another language, let me know!

Friendship Day: Joy’s Troika Wrap-around Faroese Shawl

Today is Friendship Day, a day to honor friends. You might remember my friend Joy when I posted about the fab Beaded Winter Wonderland Socks she knit. I dedicate today’s blog post to Joy and share with you the Troika Wrap-around Faroese Shawl she recently completed.

Joy's Troika Shawl
Joy's Troika Shawl

Here is her story:

I’ve wanted to knit the Troika shawl for a long time, and I had the right amount of yarn for one colour (a deep purple in Paton’s Classic Merino) leftover from another project, so I kept trying to match it, on a budget.  I was really happy when I did, and was so excited to cast on and start it.

The yarns I used ended up blending their colours in a very striking way.  I had tried to pick matching colours but never expected the result I appear to have gotten.  The variegated yarn has a high percentage of mohair, and the ivory coloured one is a balpul (hope I spelt that right) so I think that helped them mix better.

I’ve had strangers and people who usually are oblivious to clothing compliment me on it so it does seem to be something special to look at.  And I adore wearing it!  Its so cosy!

I’d just gotten past the section with the several increase rows when a fond friend had a misadventure and I had a terrible time.  I can’t describe the misery I went through.  Really believe your Troika shawl kept me sane.  I spent days just knitting it, those long garter stitch rows were precisely what I needed just then.  I cast it off a little before I got the news that things were sorted out.  So in a lot of ways this is a very special shawl.  And it is very warm and still very light, … and so easy to wear!  Always thought being able to tie it would be a fabulous feature, and its even better then I’d imagined it would be.


The back of the Joy's shawl
The back of the shawl showing the Faroese gusset shaping

Joy, thank you so much for sharing your special shawl and it’s story. I can almost feel its comfiness in the photos. I think it is neat to blend yarns, and I am always intrigued with what people come up with. I agree that the colors come together very well in this.


Side view of Joy's shawl
Side view of Joy's shawl: The Faroese shawl tails are tied at the back of the waist. The shoulders of this design are shaped for hands-free wearing without slipping

Photo credits: Joy’s Mother.

More information about the HeartStrings Troika Wrap-Around Shawl pattern and other Faroese Shawl Patterns.

I am SO appreciative of all you, my friends. Thank you for following me, sharing and supporting.

Today I hope you can spend time with your friends, too, whether near or far, and express love for them in ways whether small or large.

p.s. Friendship Day celebrations take place on the first Sunday of August every year. The tradition of dedicating a day in honor of friends began in US in 1935 and has since spread to many other countries. Are you celebrating where you live?



Bobbe’s Garden and the Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine

Do you remember the Jackie and the Beanstalk Magic Seed Packets I offered last April for free with orders of Kits or Yarn in the HeartStrings Shopatron store? Several people took me up on that offer to receive some purple hyacinth bean vine seeds (sometimes also called Egyptian Bean and several other names I have since come across) .

I’d been wondering the last few days who actually planted the seeds and how they were doing. It’s about that time of the year when even those with later planting season should now be starting to see pretty flowers and maybe even some  brilliant purple pods forming.

A lovely person, Bobbe J, apparently intercepted my thought waves. Because this weekend I received photos to enjoy and given permission to share. Bobbe is not only an avid knitter, but obviously has a green thumb as well as doing outstanding photography.  Here is what she said:

“The vine is so wonderful … The flowers are fantastic and the beans are just coming.  NO EAT BEANS. Wonderful plant thank you for sharing.”

Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine in Bobbe's garden - photo credit Bobbe J.
Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine in Bobbe's garden - photo credit Bobbe J.

Can you picture yourself knitting in Bobbe’s garden while enjoying this setting? Doesn’t her garden look beautiful, inviting and calming? I wanna be there! Thank YOU so much for sharing, Bobbe.

A closer shot of Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine in Bobbe's garden - photo credit Bobbe J.
A closer shot of the Purple Hyacinth Bean Vine - photo credit Bobbe J.

If you missed the offer earlier this year, I now have Jackie and the Beanstalk Magic Seeds (a.k.a. purple hyacinth bean vine) available for purchase. You too can grow lovely flowering vines like this, and I hope you will!

p.s. The reason Bobbe mentioned “No Eat Beans” is because I included a caution on my seed packets about the raw beans being poisonous to eat. Apparently if they are cooked well, they are ok to eat. But why take a chance? At least I have never done that so wouldn’t want to suggest it to someone else. I just enjoy seeing the vines with their beautiful dainty pink flowers and brilliant pods.

more Bunny Ears and Tail variations

Mary Lou Norton of Washington state is another of many Friends of HeartStrings who are so kind in sharing what they are knitting with HeartStrings patterns. She also contributed instructions and photos of ear and tail variations for the bunnies she made from the Knitted Bunny pattern.

Knitted Bunny photos from Mary Lou Norton

She wrote:

Hi Jackie

I have made 6 of your bunnies and here is how I did my ears and tails.

Also I use a knitting machine so hope these hand directions are good enough to understand what I did. LOVE your bunny.

I am providing here the instructions from Mary Lou exactly as I received them, i.e. they have not been edited for completeness, accuracy and consistency as would normally be done for my officially published HeartStrings patterns. But I think her instructions look reasonable ; so wanted to pass them along on behalf of Mary Lou for your enjoyment and use as you see fit.


cast on 6 stitches on a small double pointed needle, leaving enough yarn to sew this side to the body of the bunny


Row #1 Knit 1, P1, K2, P1, K1 TURN WORK

Row #2 P 1, K1, P2, K1, P1

Repeat these 2 rows for a total of 12 rows

decrease – K2 together, K 2, K2 together. You should have 4 stitches left

decrease in the same manor again leaving 2 stitches

Last row knit the last two stitches together, cut yarn (leaving a small tail) and pull through the last stitch… using a darning needle tack this loose end down at the top of the ear. Tight

Gather the cast on row a little bit and sew to bunny.

Knitted Bunny photos from Mary Lou Norton - ear variation


Make a idiot cord …….. co 3 stitches on small double pointed needle

knit across these 3 stitches… Push stitches to the beginning side of the needle (this is a slip row) and knit across these same stitches again. Continue the knit row, slip row 10 times total.. Pick up one of the CO stitches and knit it along with the first stitch on the needle. Continuing to have 3 stitches on your needles.

Knit/Slip 10 rows, pick up a stitch in the same space, knit 10 R. Repeat 5 times so you have 5 little loops/bumps, cut yarn. Fasten off….

Pull the yarn through the center so both tail ends are on the same side and sew to bunny bottom.

Mary Lou Norton

Walla Walla, WA

Knitted Bunny photos from Mary Lou Norton - tail variation

Interested in trying some other variations? I had posted some other ear and tail variations on the official Knitted Bunny pattern page at the website (I didn’t have this blog yet, at the time, I don’t believe). Thanks for Nicole Huau, Barbara White and Mary Lou Norton for their contributions to bunny happiness.

Dusty Bunny and Knitted Bunny

I love to hear and see what others are doing with HeartStrings patterns. How appropriate at this time of year to feature Mary Love in today’s Friends of HeartStrings Gallery with her pet bunny, Dusty, and the little knitted bunny she made as a beginner knitter. I think she did a great job, don’t you?!

Pet bunny Dusty and Mary's knitted bunny

Mary wrote:

I stumbled upon your site when I was searching for an easy toy pattern.

I just started knitting at the beginning of the year and joined a knitting group. They want to make toys to donate, and I thought this might be beyond my new beginner skills. So, you can’t imagine how happy I was to find your bunny pattern! It’s great! So simple, and I like the realistic shape of the rabbit. Even our pet bunny Dusty liked it as you can see in the photos … I’m going to try another one using a softer yarn.

Thanks again for this great pattern! I’ll check out more of the treasures on your site!

How cute is this?! Thank you so much, Mary, for sharing. Dusty is just precious, and so is your little knitted bunny.

Dusty kissing Knitted Bunny

Happy Easter!

 Mary's Knitted Bunny