One of the favorite patterns of my Knit Nighters has been the Buddy Bear from Bev's Country Cottage. Since I first shared the pattern with the group in May of 2009, I know that many of these sweet little bears have been given as gifts and sent to charities by my friends in the group.For Easter, I wanted to give them a bunny pattern (we have done eggs and baskets in previous years); I couldn't find one that wasn't too tricky or time consuming, so I thought I would write one up myself, and started with the Buddy Bear as my inspiration. Thus, Buddy Bunny was born.
The bunny is worked on straight needles. Although the Buddy Bear was worked in garter stitch (knit every row), I did the Bunny in stockinette (knit a row, purl a row). The entire bunny is worked in one piece, starting with a leg. Once the first leg is worked, the yarn is cut, the leg is pushed to the end of the needle and the second leg is worked, then both attached to form the body. Then you work up through the body, cast on extra stitches on each side for the arms, bind off those stitches, work the head then the ears separately (much like the legs) then down the other side of the ears, to the head, arms, body and legs. You'll see -- it will make perfect sense in just a few minutes of knitting!
Buddy BunnyMaterials: Any yarn. Choose a needle size down one or two from what is suggested for the yarn; this will produce a denser fabric for stuffing. You will also need some polyfill for stuffing, a yarn needle, a stitch holder and scraps of yarn for embroidering the face.
For my bunny, I chose a white worsted weight acrylic I had in my yarn basket, and held a thin strand of mohair with it -- it's a very soft bunny! I used size 7 needles, but I probably could have gone with size 6; if the bunny had been any other color, the white stuffing would show through. My bunny is 12" tall and her arm span is 7".
Pattern: Leg #1: Cast on 8 stitches. Stockinette stitch 16 rows; leave tail and cut yarn.
For Leg #2, repeat as for #1.
Body: Now, push the two legs together on the needle and knit across both legs (you will now have 16 stitches across); stockinette for 16 rows.
Arms: Using the knit-on cast on, cast on 8 stitches at the beginning of each of the next two rows (32 stitches across). Stockinette stitch for 8 rows. Cast off 8 stitches at the beginning of the next two rows (back down to 16 stitches)
Head: Stockinette stitch for 19 rows.
Ears: You will work each ear separately, just like you did for the legs. For Ear #1, knit 8 and place the remaining 8 stitches on a holder for later. Now, stockinette stitch for 7 more rows.
Row 9: knit 2 together (k2tog), k4, k2tog (6 stitches).
Rows 10-12: Stockinette. Row 13: k2tog, k2, k2tog (4 stitches).
Rows 14-16: Stockinette.
Row 17: k2tog, k2tog (2 stitches). Rows 18-20: Stockinette
Row 21: Knit into the front and back of each stitch; now you will have 4 stitches Row 22-24: Stockinette
Row 25: Knit into the front and back of the first stitch, k2, knit into the front and back of the last stitch (6 stitches)
Rows 26-28: Stockinette
Row 29: Knit into the front and back of the first stitch, k4, knit into the front and back of the last stitch (8 stitches).
Rows 30-36: Stockinette.
Put the stitches for Ear #1 on a holder, then go back and repeat for Ear #2. Slide the ears together, begin careful not to twist them, and knit across.
Stockinette for 18 more rows to complete the head.
Repeat arms as above. Repeat body as above.
Legs: Knit 8 stitches as leg instructions above and bind off (put other 8 stitches on holder). Then, pick up stitches from holder and work as above. This is what you will get: Looks a little crazy, doesn't it? If you use a natural fiber, you probably will want to block your work here. With an acrylic, you can probably just proceed.
Fold the bunny in half and sew a seam starting at the pit of one of the arms, around the arm, head, ears, head, other arm and legs; leave a few inches of opening on the body for stuffing: Stuff the bunny as firmly as you like, using the end of a knitting needle to push the stuffing into the ends of the ears. Stitch the side opening closed. Thread the yarn needle with an 18" length of yarn and use a running stitch around the neck; draw up as you like and tie in a firm knot. Do the same around each ear. Pompom tail: Here is a fun way to make a little pompom -- use a kitchen fork and wrap the yarn around several times. Thread another length of yarn between the middle tines of the fork, draw up and tie in a firm knot. Attach to bunny's backside.
Use yarn needle and scraps of yarn to embroider the bunny's face; hide your knots in the neckline, and cover that with a bow or some lace. I added a little blush on the cheeks and inside the ears. And, I sewed up a little apron, because I am a little crazy like that. Give to a child you love. Or to one who needs a little extra love this Easter. Peace.