My hometown has an agricultural fair every August that I rarely miss. My brother watches the oxen pulls for hours and my mother lingers over the prize vegetables, but I always head straight for the rabbits! I totally love them: their blinky eyes, their fat bellies and their ridiculous ears.  And so when it comes to Easter and its wonderful cast of characters, for me, the bunny wins.

Our Big Cuddly Bunny gets its shape and inspiration from this winter's Big Snowy Owl. With a couple of key modifications a wide-eyed owl turns into a floppy-eared rabbit, full of sweet, earnest personality. Oversized and overstuffed, the Big Cuddly Bunny is just that, as loveable as the real thing! 

The Materials

 

 

  • Main Yarn: 6 skeins of Blue Sky's Bulky, 50% Alpaca and 50% Wool. I used the color Polar Bear. (Another option: 2 skeins of Cascade's Magnum, 100% Wool.)
  • Contrast Yarn (for inside the Bunny's ears): 1 skein of Blue Sky's Bulky. This color is Blossom.
  • Scrap Yarn (for the face). Nothing in your stash? Use a small skein of Needlepoint Yarn. I used Brown Paper Package's Trio in the color Espresso.

 

The Pattern

Gauge

2 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stockinette

Finished Size

15 inches from ground to top of head

38 inches in circumference

The Bottom

With the Main Yarn and the double pointed needles, cast on 8 stitches.

Place a stitch marker and join for working in the round, being careful to not twist your stitches.

Round 1: Knit into the front and back (kfb) 8 times. (16 stitches)

Round 2: Purl.

Round 3: *P1, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (24 stitches)

Round 4: Purl.

Round 5: *P2, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (32 stitches)

Round 6: Purl.

Round 7: *P3, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (40 stitches)

Round 8: Purl.

Round 9: *P4, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (48 stitches)

Round 10: Purl.

Round 11: *P5, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (56 stitches)

Switching to the circular needle...

Round 12: Purl.

Round 13: *P13, kfb, repeat from * to end of round. (60 stitches)

Purl 6 rounds.

The Body

Knit 37 rounds.

Next Round: *K8, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (54 stitches)

Knit 2 rounds.

Next Round: *K7, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (48 stitches)

Knit 2 rounds.

Next Round: *K6, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (42 stitches)

Knit 2 rounds.

Next Round: *K5, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round. (36 stitches)

Knit 2 rounds.

Turn the piece inside out and weave in the ends. Then turn it right side out and fill the bunny with a bag of stuffing.

The Bunny's Left Ear

Remove the stitch marker, and slip the last 5 stitches you knit onto a double pointed needle.

With a second double pointed needle, knit the next 5 stitches.

Rearrange these 10 stitches onto three double pointed needles (3 stitches on two and 4 stitches on the third). Join for working in the round.

Round 1: (K4, kfb) 2 times. (12 stitches)

Round 2: Knit.

Round 3: (K5, kfb) 2 times. (14 stitches)

Round 4: Knit.

Round 5: (K6, kfb) 2 times. (16 stitches)

Rounds 6 and 7: Knit.

Round 8: (K7, kfb) 2 times. (18 stitches)

Rounds 9 and 10: Knit.

Round 11: (K8, kfb) 2 times. (20 stitches)

Rounds 12 and 13: Knit.

Round 14: (K9, kfb) 2 times. (22 stitches)

Rounds 15-20: Knit.

Round 21: (K9, k2tog) 2 times. (20 stitches)

Rounds 22 and 23: Knit.

Round 24: (K8, k2tog) 2 times. (18 stitches)

Rounds 25 and 26: Knit.

Round 27: (K7, k2tog) 2 times. (16 stitches)

Rounds 28 and 29: Knit.

Round 30: (K6, k2tog) 2 times. (14 stitches)

Round 31: Knit.

Round 32: (K5, k2tog) 2 times. (12 stitches)

Round 33: Knit.

Round 34: (K4, k2tog) 2 times. (10 stitches)

Round 35: Knit.

Round 36: (K3, k2tog) 2 times. (8 stitches)

Round 37: Knit.

Round 38: (K2, k2tog) 2 times. (6 stitches)

Round 39: (K1, k2tog) 2 times. (4stitches)

Round 40: (K2tog) 2 times. (2 stitches)

Bind off by passing the first stitch over the second stitch.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

The Bunny's Right Ear

Orient your bunny so that the ear you just made is on the right (as in the above picture). Use the back circular needle to slip 8 stitches from the front needle.

Slip the next 10 stitches onto three double pointed needles (3 stitches on two and 4 stitches on the third).

Join new yarn and (kfb, k4) 2 times. (12 stitches)

Now join for working in the round...

Round 1: Knit.

Round 2: (Kfb, k5) 2 times. (14 stitches)

Round 3: Knit.

Round 4: (Kfb, k6) 2 times. (16 stitches)

Rounds 5 and 6: Knit.

Round 7: (Kfb, k7) 2 times. (18 stitches)

Rounds 8 and 9: Knit.

Round 10: (Kfb, k8) 2 times. (20 stitches)

Rounds 11 and 12: Knit.

Round 13: (Kfb, k9) 2 times. (22 stitches)

Rounds 14-19: Knit.

Round 20: (Ssk, k9) 2 times. (20 stitches)

Round 21 and 22: Knit.

Round 23: (Ssk, k8) 2 times. (18 stitches)

Round 24 and 25: Knit.

Round 26: (Ssk, k7) 2 times. (16 stitches)

Round 27 and 28: Knit.

Round 29: (Ssk, k6) 2 times. (14 stitches)

Round 30: Knit.

Round 31: (Ssk, k5) 2 times. (12 stitches)

Round 32: Knit.

Round 33: (Ssk, k4) 2 times. (10 stitches)

Round 34: Knit.

Round 35: (Ssk, k3) 2 times. (8 stitches)

Round 36: Knit.

Round 37: (Ssk, k2) 2 times. (6 stitches)

Round 38: (Ssk, k1) 2 times. (4 stitches)

Round 39: (Ssk) 2 times. (2 stitches)

Bind off by passing the first stitch over the second stitch.

Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Closing

Finish stuffing your bunny, making it firm and plump.

Slide 8 stitches to one end of the circular needle and the other 8 to the other end.

Cut a piece of the Main Yarn about 24 inches long. Thread it onto a tapestry needle and graft the two sides of the bunny's head together using the Kitchener Stitch.

As you weave in the tails, sew closed the holes.

Inside the Ears

Use the Contrast Yarn and the duplicate stitch to fill in a field of pink on the underside of each ear. Use relatively short pieces of yarn (18 inches or so). Because the yarn is single ply, a longer piece doesn't hold up very well to the rigors of duplicate stitch!

Do the same for the other ear...

Finishing Touches

THE TAIL

Use the Main Color and the largest size of a Pom Pom Maker to make a fluffy tail. (First time using a Pom Pom Maker? Visit our tutorial here!) Use the tails of the yarn that tied off the pom pom to attach the pom pom to the bunny's backside. Weave in the ends.

THE FACE

With a piece of dark scrap yarn, attach two buttons for the bunny's eyes. Then embroider a simple nose and mouth, like we did or however you like!