Dog Bunny Ears

Do you want your doggie to be beautified up to look like a bunny rabbit? You know you do. You want your doggie to look this cute:

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Or maybe you’re normal and you don’t tease your puppy like I do. Gambit doesn’t seem to complain about being dressed up, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s his own damn fault.

Anyway, I thought I might just share this pattern anyway, as I’m kinda a bit happy about it.

Keep in mind, this pattern is for a boof-head staff. You will need to modify the width if you have, say, a Chihuahua. Or not, if you’re that kind of person.

Dog bunny ears

Materials:

  • measuring tape
  • 8ply wool (preferably 2 balls, as I double knitted to get so the headband as stiff as possible, but you could use a thicker ply, it’s up to you and the size of your dog.)
  • Contrasting wool for the inner ears
  • crochet hooks
  • straight needles, 4mm
  • Press stud

Measure your dog’s head where you want the headband to go. Write this down somewhere. There’s only so many times you can measure your puppy’s head before they start to eat the tape measure. Or maybe that’s just Gambit.

Take that measurement and be prepared to do math. You’ll need to know the measurement for:

 

One quarter. (D1)

3 quarters (D2)

1 Third (D3)

2 Thirds (D4)

So, say, I needed a size headband at 20cm

D1= 5cm

D2 = 15cm

D3 = 6.6cm (round that to 6.5)

D4 = 13.2cm (round that to 13)

 

Again, I used two strands of wool, double knitted, to help give the headband some thickness.

 

Using straight needles, cast on 2 stitches

Working in garter stitch.

Knit two stitches into each stitch (4 stitches)

Knit two stitches into first stitch, k2, knit two stitches into last stitch (6 stitches).

knit in garter stitch until work is D1 size.

Knit two stitches into first stitch k4, knit two stitches into last stitch (8 stitches)

continue in garter stitch until work is D3 from start.

Knit two stitches into first stitch k6, knit two stitches into last stitch (10 stitches)

continue in garter stitch until work is D4 from start

K2tog k4 k2tog (8 stitches)

continue in garter stitch until work is D2 from start.

k2tog k2 k2tog (6 stitches)

continue in garter stitch until work is the full size.

k2tog k2tog

k2tog

cut off thread and tie off the last stitch.

 

TO MAKE UP HEADBAND

Between the measurements D3 and D4 (essentially the middle section of the band at its widest.) use the crochet hook and some extra wool to weave the sides together. This should give you a thicker, tubed section of the headband. Just makes it a little easier for attaching the ears and having the ears stay upright. You can do this with a wool needle, but I found the single stitches from crocheting give the piece just a bit more stability.

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EARS:

Knit two the same.

Outside ear:

(I double knitted again.)

Cast on 8 stitches.

Knit ears to desired length in garter stitch.

I did 10 rows, because I wanted something small, and so I had a better chance of making them stand up. You may want them to be floppy, if that’s the case, go as long as you want.

K2tog k6 k2tog

k2tog k4 k2tog

cast off 4 stitches.

 

inside ear:

Contrasting colour. I used a really fluffy pink wool and did not double knit as the stability is held by the external part of the ear.

cast on 6 stitches

Knit the length of your external ear to the decrease, minus two rows.

k2tog k2 k2tog

k2tog k2tog

cast off 2 stitches.

 

TO MAKE UP EARS

Using a crochet hook, and a bit of extra wool, single stitch the inner and outer ear together. I did not put them together inside out, in fact I crochet them together the right way around. I did this so I could crochet over the top of the inner ear, thus helping to create a curve on the outer ear.

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TO MAKE IT ALL UP: (as you go along??)

Once you’ve made up your ears and headband, you’ll need to attach them. This is entirely up to how you want to make them look. As you have that doubled over section in the middle, I found the direct centre of that width, so the stitches would end up staying underneath.

 

Using press studs, and wrestling with the puppy, find the appropriate place to put them.

A knitted headband will stretch a few mm, even up to a centimetre or more, so keep in mind even when this is completed, you may need to readjust where you position the press studs. Have fun dodging dog bites and tricking your dog into thinking that this isn’t a toy to play tug of war with! No, really!

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And now you should have something to torment your puppy with.

 

If anyone out there in the universe does attempt my pretty bitza pattern and needs some additional information or thinks I’ve written up something wrong, please let me know. Hopefully I haven’t just given a bunch of people a pattern for an evil monster when they wanted bunnies.

Speaking of monsters, and a dress-up-able puppy — there may need to be a Godzilla costume in my puppy’s future.

 

if Gambit were human, I’m sure he’d never forgive me. Good thing he’s a happy puppy.

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This is not a quiet space

I trawl a lot of knitting blogs. Mostly it’s in an attempt to identify interesting patterns to hack at next, or to work out what my newest pattern is trying to tell me.

(Knitting patterns, FYI, are like another language with about 15 million different dialects. If you don’t get a pattern where someone handily places a key at the start, you pretty much can’t be sure CB3 means what you think it means…)

I get the impression from a lot of these blogs that these people who knit and write are delightfully serene people who probably have cats, children, and sit surrounded by all they love and cherish while they knock out a bajillion pieces in an evening.

You know, the whole grandma-knitting stereotype. I know they probably don’t intentionally mean to come across this way, but I just can’t help but have it in my head.

 

The first point of difference is I have a dog:

 

Gambit the bunny

The second is I certainly would never think one of them has the capacity for language that I have.

Not once do I think that these ladies, head bent over their intricate cable knitting, lose five stitches off their needling with an accompayning, “F*k this f*king piece of f*cking f*k what the f*k do you think you are f*king doing you inanimate pile of s*t!”

This is probably the calmest phrase I can relay to you in what is becoming an extensive list.

My knitting isn’t created from love and peace, my knitting is created from pain and swearing (and love, because I do love a good insult, and my knitting doesn’t seem to be offended).

I’ve started a new job recently  (two, actually, and probably the biggest reason I haven’t updated in a while.) As it’s a job with its fair share of trauma attached (the client’s, not the people…mostly) they have some nice little extras to help keep us all sane. Well-being interviews, supervision sessions and mindfulness classes. When asked in my first well-being check if what my self care was, I smiled and said my knitting. People again seem to call to mind the peacefulness and tranquility of the knitting. I again reflect it’s actually the swearing and the concentration which clears this brain of mine.

Anyway, as it has been a while since I’ve blogged, I suppose I better put in some updates other than just a reflection.

Firstly, Ma and I have had our last two markets cancelled. Which is a bugger, because we usually sell our knitware at these markets before people really realise that Canberra is too cold to be outside in during Winter. We’ve since had to find alternative ways to try and move some of our stock.

The first way is this: https://www.etsy.com/shop/frogsnroses

We’ve had to increase the costs a touch in the shop to cover the costs of Etsy and Paypal, so please, if you like anything here you’re better off to come and see us at our markets. (Like a whole $2 better off, which is like the cost of a cup of tea at the Hall Markets, so seriously, you could get a nice cardi and a cup of tea for the same price and get us to hand it to you personally, like seriously, you know you want it!)

The other way is we may be trying to get in on the Bus Depot Markets. I’m still unsure about this market, they can charge like a wounded bull and the people there always seem way more professional than us. We do homey good-times well, where as BDM always seem to look like they’ve sprung out of some kind of designer magazine. Not that that’s a criticism, it’s more us being very aware of how we look and how that look is brilliant for the awesome Hall Markets. We’d also probably have to put up our prices to compensate for the additional stall costs, and I find that really frustrating. That, and Hall Market profits go to a charity, where as I don’t think it’s the same for BDM. So we’ll see. If I sell about 3 cardis or more on Etsy, I might just leave it for this year and stick with what we know.

Anyway, I guess that’s it for the time being. I’ll try to be a bit better about posting and let you know what I’m crafting, and what we end up deciding on.

 

Also, if you have any friends, family, neighbours who are looking for baby gifts, do be kind and flick them our store link, we’re always happy to help out and we do make to order. 😀

 

Cheers!

 

How to Run a December/Christmas Market Stall

Ma and I are old hat with these December markets. We’re totally onto our third one. Which is actually a big thing and loudly tells all who understand a market stall that we are suckered in now. There is no turning back.

You can tell the dedication of a marketter, or maybe their experience, at two key times of the year.

Are they there in the middle of July in minus degrees, and are their views in the December market the same as the previous November one. Essentially, wouldn’t it be sweet if we sold something today?

December markets attract a lot of new stalls. I know, November was when we started. And we started with the same attitude of the new stall owners. Oh yay! We’re going to sell everything because people have totally told us we make cool things.

Erm. No. Yes, you probably do make good things. I see a lot of good and sometimes some really awesome stuff. But I also see a lot of the same mistakes for first timers.

I’m not saying this from a ranty view point. I’m saying it because they were the same mistakes we made two and a bit years ago, and it has taken many, many stalls to start working out how to break even.

So, how to make it work?

Easy.

1. Understand that you are not going to make a lot of money. If you are making handmade items, you will never be able to charge for the time it took you to make an item. Unless you charge yourself in cents per hour. Decimal cents in some cases. This will likely never be your day job. The market stalls that make money are resellers (those who buy up big on Ebay and sell the products), or food sellers (though, not really) and plants, I think, they seem to sell a lot. Some handmade market stalls can make a lot of money, it does happen, but it’s unlikely to happen on your first stall. A lot of people who make money with “handmade” stuff, started out that way and then ship their designs off overseas and get them to make their product on mass (which then starts the debate of what is a resell and what is handmade). So try to lower your expectations, otherwise you might have a really bad first time, which leads into;

2. Building a market takes time. If you are charging more than $10 for an item, people like to think. They like to think lots. They like to go away and ponder. This usually means going right away, back to their homes, and pondering until the next market. Or the market after that. Or the one after that, or a whole damn year of pondering, which I have seen. What Ma and I found was having cheap little items under $10, such as our hats, got people in. They bought something small, and then months afterwards they plod back into our stall and they’re the ones that buy the $35 items. And then you develop regulars, and then people who have been referred. It’s taken us two years, but we now have two regulars. They don’t come every market, but when they do, they buy something – or they order something. Our marketting neighbours have more than that, because they’ve been there way longer than us.

What this means is that you need to be there at the markets before the key December ones. If they’re monthly markets, October and November are a must. If they are weekly, I’d start at a minimum halfway through November. I saw a new December marketter selling beautiful product for $200 plus, beautiful re-purposed furniture. They sold nothing. You can sell items at my market that are worth that much, but rarely on the first go. If they don’t lose their nerve and keep coming, they might attract a few sales, but it will take time. Especially as this is a monthly market.

3. Diversify your product. My market, you can make the big sales. The metal worker near to us, (I have bought the most awesome robot from him, “8-C-O”) sells items well over $200, sometimes $300. Ma and I started off with $30-$40 quilts the first time, and that was all we had. We sold enough to make the money back from the cost of the market, but not much else. I think we only sold two quilts. We spent our time watching the stall next to us, and watching the nature of shoppers. Shoppers like a lot of things to browse, they like to think about big tickets items, but if they like your work, they’ll happily purchase the cheaper items while they think. The metal workers and artists who walk out with cash on hand, are the ones that have staggered pricing. The big pieces which stay for stall after stall (and eventually sell) and the small works from under $20 and $10, which they have on mass. Ma and I have cheap headbands, hats, and baby slippers. We sell more hats, (sometimes only hats) than we do our cardigans and clothing sets.

4. Know your market. I wanted to make fascinators and clutches. Baby clothes and cardigans were what we settled on, and that came about because Ma and I had a frank discussion about where our strengths lay, and how much time it takes to make an outfit versus a clutch. That, and our market attracts a lot of parents and babies and grandparents. That being said, we could have done anything, people will buy anything if the price is right. We sit between a stall that paints decorative masks and a stall that sells wood turned pens and clocks, and they both do very well. The point is more that whatever you decide to do, theme your whole store around it. If you want to do dog clothes, do everything to do with dogs. Collars, treats, beds, you can even stray into the other pet territory. When you try to do something outside that area, say, headbands for small children, shoppers won’t look, won’t know they’re there, or think they have something to do with dogs, which leads to slightly odd conversations.

So that’s it. My four steps to maybe having a good market. Sounds a bit daunting, but I find if you have these things in your head when you start, it gives you a better idea about how to approach what you’re doing, and maybe making some sales to help fuel your habit. Mine is the buying of wool. I run market stalls so I can buy pretty wool and knit cute things for kids I don’t know. And that is awesome.

As to other things. Our December stall is done. Made some good sales this time around, made up for a poor November. (No one buys in November, they just look and then come back for the Chrissie gifts in December.) So I’ll leave you with some photos. The panda and frog fabric I bought from Japan, and a shot of what I bought with my share of the profits this time. Yes, I am a cruel owner.

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And so I return

Unlike a prodigal anything, mind. More like a guilty dog slowly slinking in and hoping you don’t notice the the fact I just ate your long cared for rose bush.

So I’ve been away a while. A long while.

In that time I’ve run many a market – Mama and I are now permanent stall holders at our local market, which means we’re in some kind of weird club. A club that mostly consists of grey nomads and the mocking of resellers. Especially the lady behind us who sells clothes soaked in the cigarette smoke of the many she puffs away on throughout the day. (Despite this, she probably makes more than us, most resellers do.)

And I still love it.

Life has changed, kinda a lot. I’ve moved in with the Boy, went overseas on a trip where I bought far too much fabric (or not nearly enough, Japan’s fabric shops were AWESOME, and I didn’t take a single photo mostly because I was too busy squeeing and dragging Boy from one shop to another…) We also acquired a rose-eating-dog.

I hope I’ll have some more interesting projects up soon. We have our big December market going, and, as always, I’m behind in hat making. I’ve turned I to a children’s milliner, from beanies to sun hats, I have it down. Or, I have orders piling up and the capacity to procrastinate. (Or ask the Mama to sew them up because I fail hard.)

In the meantime, a glorious scarf I’m knitting. The wool is from Bendigo Woollen Mill, soon to be our primary source of wool for our stall. The pattern comes from VO Knits. Can’t wait to see it finished. I may have to crochet a rose clasp for it, too.

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To Market We A-Go

Ma and I are getting good at this marketting business. Or, at least, we were until we decided to do one in July, in Canberra, in minus conditions. I’ll tell you what, though, it was a good incentive for buying children’s beanies. The amount of parents who brought their kids out without a beanie on their head when the temperature is reading -0.8C at midday, was a little scary. Good thing they found our stall, because we sold nothing else, really, except for those beanies.

So, instead of blathering about the annoying bits and bobs, and the crazy lady who accused us of overcharging (we epically undercharge, so that was confusing) I’ll share one market story with you today, because this was adorable.

It was coming to the closing time of the market, and the already small crowds were dwindling even more. One mother wanders over to our stall, leaving her children at the stall across which is covered in dolls. “Sweetie, come over here!” she calls.

She beckons the eldest of the two over, who cannot be more than 5. This blonde haired little girl has this giant basket bag over her shoulder, sitting inside is a small pink wallet and two my little ponies. Everything a girl needs. Her mother points out a little coin purse I made a while ago.

“How much is that?” Ma asks me.

“Five dollars,” I respond. I stand up from my comfy camp chair of awesome, and make my way to the front of the stall. The little one is looking at the coin purse with concentrated effort. She reaches over to pat the little girl’s bags lovingly. “Hello sweetie,” I say.

“Hello,” she responds, but she’s not looking at me at all. She has a purchase to make.

“She has some money to spend,” her mother adds, a highly bemused expression on her face. I can tell this has been a long day of the little one trying to work out what she would spend that money on.

“How much is that?” the little one asks, pointing to the pink and green bag.

“Ten dollars,” I say. She sighs. It’s a big sigh. There’s serious shoulder drop and hanging head.

I crouch down to her level. “How much do you have, sweetie?” I ask. She has moved on to the hair clips and head bands.

“Five dollars. Can you sell that bag for five dollars?”

“I can’t,” I say with exaggerated care. “Do you like the coin purse?”

“Oh yes, I just don’t think it’s good value to just have one thing,” she asserts.

“Well, that’s certainly a good point. Maybe I can do something about that for you.” I reach across the table and grab my display frame of hair clips. “How about this, if you want that coin purse, I’ll throw in a hair clip for you for free.”

“Oh,” she says, like the clever connoisseur she is. She investigates the hair clips with a cunning eye, and selects the set of white bows. “Yes, I think that will be quite good.”

“I think so, too,” I say, marvelling at a child who articulates brilliantly and uses ‘quite’ with ease.

She carefully hands over the coins; via her mother as she ponders the silver pieces, not sure how to make them a full dollar. She gracefully places the coin purse and hair clips in her giant basket bag, and then dashes off to her father and little sister, purchase complete.

Mere moment later, I am joined by the little sister and her mother again. The three year old insists on her desire to have a flower by pointing at the hair clips. “You want a clip like your sister?” her mother asks.

“Flower,” the little sister says.

Her mother takes the flower hair clips, rather than the bows, and places it in front of the little sister, indicating for her to choose.

She points beyond the clips to the headbands. “Pink!” she announces. It’s the pink flower headbands she wants more.

The last I saw of that family was a little sister, whipping off her beanie to put on the headband, running off down the lane. Her older sister was walking more precisely behind, hugging her basket bag close and peering at the items in the other stalls with a careful eye.

And that is why I do my market stalls. Because those kids are awesome.

Lastly, though, I catching up on all my friends and family requests for knitted items now. Here’s a sneak peak of the wool I’m going to use for Bec’s fingerless mittens. 😀 They are going to be well awesome, I’ve decided.