This pattern is appropriate for even beginner knitters as you only need to be able to cast on and off and knit and purl.
About 30 yards of main color
5 yards of contrasting color for inner ears and tail
Wool roving if you want to needle felt the tail and inner ears
Wool for stuffing
Needles to match yarn gauge
(I used Peace Fleece worsted weight wool/mohair yarn with size 6 needles)
For the legs:
Cast on 10 stitches and knit for ten rows (garter stitch). (leave a 12” tail for sewing the leg up later)
Cast on 10 stitches (leave a longer tail, about 18 inches for stitching up other leg and back of bunny) on the same needle that is holding the other ten stitches and knit ten rows.
Now knit across all 20 stitches for 25 rows. Bind off.
Knit two arms – cast on 8 stitches and knit 8 rows, bind off. Repeat for other arm. (Leave a longer tail, about 9 inches after casting off for sewing bunny’s arm)
Taking the smaller tail, thread with a yarn needle and sew straight across “foot” , and then gather stitches to form a circle and stitch straight up leg. When you reach the top of the leg, make a knot with the other yarn end that is there.
Now do the same for the other leg using the longer tail. This time continue sewing all the way up the back of the rabbit. Make a knot using other small tail at the top. Now turn body piece right side out and stuff. When stuffing, take a small piece of wool and push down into one leg at a time. I find using a crochet hook to be very helpful. Continue stuffing all the way up to the head.
Now cut a piece of the same color yarn, thread a yarn needle, and starting at the back side of bunny (where the seam is), you are going to make a running stitch all around where the bunny’s neck is going to be. Pull tight and tie off. To hide yarn ends, thread each end of yarn and pull through body of bunny, pull and cut yarn.
For each arm, take the longer tail and make a running stitch across top edge, pull to gather and then sew down arm. Tie yarn to other tail and knot. Stuff arm and then sew up opening.
Sew arms to just under neck, on the side of the bunny, attaching last sewn up side to side of bunny. Tie off and hide ends.
For ears: Cast on 6 stitches and knit one row, purl one row (stockinet stitch) for 14 rows. Next row (knit stitch) knit two together , knit two, knit two together.
Row 16: purl
Row 17: Knit two together, repeat
Repeat for other ear.
For inner color of ear, either needle felt some wool roving, or if the bunny is for a baby, or you don’t want to needle felt, crochet (size h hook) – using contrasting color, chain 9 turn, single crochet in second chain from hook and down to beginning chain.
Sew inner color to ears.
Now to sew the ears to the head. The top of the head is still open. Take one ear and push the end of the ear into the top of the head and close the head seam. You may want to use a pin to hold, and sew closed by sewing straight across.
Repeat for other ear.
For the tail:
Either needle felt a ball or
Crochet: With size h hook, chain 2 and single crochet 6 stitches in first chain, slip stitch in first chain – this is round 1. Round 2: single crochet twice in each stitch around (12 stitches) – Round 3 and Round 4: single crochet in each stitch. Finish and sew on to bunny.
Add embroidered eyes and nose and a ribbon or piece of homespun fabric for a bow tie if desired.
Tonya,Mike and their six children learn, love and live on their homestead in northern Vermont making natural fiber toys and rustic home decor. They sell online at http://www.naturalearthfarm.com and blog about their homesteading experiences at http://plainandjoyfulliving.blogspot.com
Project photography by Adriana Jakobsen