Now a word about bunnies

Republished from Issue #112 of HeartStrings Knitterly News. Read on about this local children’s literacy program.

I am pleased to have Tracey Graham as the guest writer for this month’s feature article. She shares about her local “Read to Your Bunny” literacy program. I think you will like it, and might even be inspired to do something similar in your area. So without further ado, let’s hear from her.

My friends and I have knitted up dozens of your gorgeous little bunnies for our local Read To Your Bunny literacy program. The program provides a book by Rosemary Wells, entitled Read To Your Bunny, {} information about the importance of reading to children while they are very young, a library card application, a coupon for our local independent bookstore, and a handcrafted, lovable squeezable bunny for each new baby born in our local hospital.

In the almost three years since two wonderful teachers (Janice Romeiser and Eleanor Browning) started this program in our little city of Emporia, KS (population ~28K), more than 1300 little babies and theitr parents have gone home with the RTYB package.

Most of the bunnies are made of washable cotton fabrics, lovingly cut out and stitched by the local quilt guild, stuffed and clipped by a bunch of volunteers who meet for monthly “Bunny Bees”, then get their eyes added in permamnent, nontoxic fabric paint on by co-Bunny-Queen Eleanor. That’s _most_ of them. But in the mix have been approximately 50 or so bunnies made by me and my knitter friends using your wonderful pattern. Every swatch I make becomes a bunny eventually, and most have gone on to a good home.

Earlier this month, on Worldwide Knit in Public Day, we had a knit-in at our farmers market and held a drawing for a GIANT bunny that I made from a ~20″ square. The drawing proceeds ($27.50) went to the RTYB program to help pay for the books, stuffing and copying materials. I have all made up a series of five bunnies in different stages of completion – just the square, head added, front feet stitched, back feet stitched, and ears added to show people the magic that happens when we follow your ingenious pattern each step of the way.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is THANK YOU for posting your ever so clever pattern online where I could find it three years ago when I wanted a quick and easy knitted bunny to add to the variety available for the RTYB program! This pattern has been so much fun for all of us!

While I do sell some of my knitting (scarves, hats, mittens, sweaters, etc.) at craft shows and art fairs, and I do keep some bunnies on my table for display (my business name is BoyzenBunny Fiber Arts – named for a stuffed rabbit I received as a gift more than 20 years ago – I’ve been a rabbit collector for years and years), I do not sell any of the bunnies knitted from your pattern. I have won a little bit of prize money at our local county fair with a particularly spectacular knitted bunny, but in keeping with the generosity of your free pattern, I do not sell bunnies. All the ones I’ve ever made have been either donated to a cause, or given away as gifts.

Thanks again for the great pattern. It’s so much fun to see what one can do with different yarns of different textures and gauges!

Tracey Graham

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Written by Jackie Erickson-Schweitzer - Visit Website

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