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Sunday
Mar112012

Whit's Knits: Big Cuddly Bunny

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!

Reader Comments (47)

Love!
March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLayla
This is adorable. How big is the final bunny? I was shocked when I read 6 skeins...
March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMads
Hi Mads-

The finished size is listed under the "PATTERN" section but here it is again:

Finished Size
15 inches from ground to top of head

38 inches in circumference

It's big! Thanks for your question!

Molly
March 12, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
this project it's so cute that if i could learn how to knit just a bit i'll do it immedialetly,but unfortunately i'm really bad at it... do you also sell this AGH awesome cute fantastic super cuddly bunny?
March 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Hi Anna-

We don't sell any of our finished knitting projects but if you'd like to find someone to custom knit this for you please feel free to call our NYC store. They might be able to put you in touch with someone who does commissions. Their number is 212-420-8796.

Thank you so much for your nice comment!

Molly
March 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks ur so kind :) i'll definitely try to call from Italy As soon As I discover how to do it ! Thank u again :)
March 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
Very excited to try this bunny for my daughter's easter gift! Thank you for the pattern!
March 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily Spende
Loved making this, thanks for the lovely pattern!
I think there is a slight error in the instructions for the right ear; should Round 13 say
(Kfb,knit9) two times?
April 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSian
Hi Sian,

Yes!!! Thank you! I corrected the error for future bunny knitters!

Whitney
April 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Roughly what size pom-pom maker should I be using?
April 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJye
Hi Jye,

Good question! The pom pom maker I used was about 3 3/4 inches in diameter.

Thanks for asking!
Whitney
April 18, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
i don t know if you have my answer
i just want translate made for a person in french to do bunny not for sale but for me explains in english so hard for me
thanks for answer
brigitte "matilo"
April 19, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermatilo
Hi Matilo-

Unfortunately no one on our staff is a fluent french speaker but we are talking to someone about doing some French translations in the future so please stay tuned.

Thank you!

Molly
April 19, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I loved knitting this pattern! I thought the original size of the bunny was a little too big for me, so instead I went down to a worsted weight yarn and size 10 needles and came out with a successful bunny who is this guy's shorter, and skinnier, brother.
June 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Hi!

Sorry I am a beginner in knitting. I was wondering for the body for the bunny, what does it mean to use double pointed needles with 8 stitches?
So 4 double pointed needles are needed? 3 stitches will be on 2 needles while 4 stitches will be on another needle?

So sorry to bother you!
August 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiLing
Hi LiLing,

Yes, you will need a total of four double pointed needles: three for the stitches and the fourth for knitting. And you will cast on just like you said, 3 stitches on two needles and 4 on the third. If you need some more help we have a great Double Pointed Needles Tutorial right here: http://www.purlbee.com/double-pointed-needles-tutoria/2008/7/25/double-pointed-needles.html .

Thank you for your question and good luck!
Whitney
August 23, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am totally in love with your bunny, owl, and piggy! I may have to knit all three! Egads!
November 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulie
Hi
I'm still a bit of a knttingnovice, so I was wodering, Is it possible to make a smaller bunny, just by using different yarn and needlesize? Or will you need to change the pattern to get it right?
January 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLouise
Love this! I'm having trouble doing the duplicate stitch on the ears though. How are you supposed to do this without the different colour of yarn showing up on the opposite side of the ear?
January 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRachel
Hi Louise,

Yes! You can make a smaller bunny just by using thinner yarn and smaller needles. You don't need to change the pattern at all!

Thanks for your question!
Whitney
January 16, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Rachel,

You should be making your duplicate stitches just through one layer of fabric ("the underside of the ear"), never bringing your needle through to the other side of the ear.

I hope answers your question! Please let me know if you have any others and thank you for this one!

Whitney
January 16, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello! I was just wondering about what to do when you finish the first ear. How does one re-orient the bunny? Just move stitches from one needle to another until the needles are pointing the opposite direction?
January 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaline
Hi Maline,

You should place the bunny so that the first ear is on the right side (like the picture). Then use the back circular needle to slip 8 stitches from the front needle. You'll then need to slide your needles around so that the back needle with the 8 stitches is now in front and the tips of the needles are pointing to the left (like the next picture).

It's kind of a funny move! Let me know if you're still confused and we'll work it out! Thanks for your question!

Whitney
January 28, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Great pattern.
I'm confused about the KFB in the lower body section. Even though I am purling all the other stitches, do I move the yarn and knit into the front and back of the stich to increase? Or do I purl into the front and back?
Thanks, pat
February 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat
Hi Pat,

Yes, you do move the yarn back into the knit position to make the kfb. If I remember correctly, I wrote it that way because I liked the way a kfb makes a knit, then a purl stitch. Although, I'm sure it wouldn't be the end of the world to do a purl into the front and back!

Thanks so much for your question and good luck!
Whitney
March 4, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi! I'm almost finished with my bunny's body, and I'm really pleased so far. Reading ahead, I was surprised to see the ears aren't intarsia. Any particular reason why? I'm tempted to give it a go, but if you found intarsia just didn't work well, I'll plan to do duplicate stitch.

Thanks for such a cute pattern! I see a pig and an owl in my future.
April 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
Hi Michelle,

The reason I didn't use intarsia for the ears is because they're knit in the round. There are some techniques for knitting intarsia in the round, but they're kind of complicated and a little esoteric, so I thought that in the end, duplicate stitch would be the easiest solution.

Let us know how you do with intarsia, if you do decide to give it a try! And thank you so much for your question!

Whitney
April 8, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this! I made the bun last year. Here she is with my real bunny, Beatrice:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/56309825@N07/8697448012/in/photostream/

And here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/56309825@N07/8697449738/in/photostream/
April 30, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDrew
Hi ,

I love this pattern !

If I wanted to make a smaller version...say half the size , what sized needles and yarn would I have to use ? I'd like my bunny to be about 20cm.

Thank you so much :)
May 21, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSteph
Hi Steph,

Knitting at twice the gauge should make a bunny half the size. So, pick a worsted or light worsted yarn and knit it at 5 stitches to the inch (on whatever needles give you that gauge). Make sure to adjust the length of the body for the new proportions of your bunny!

Thanks for asking and good luck!
Whitney
May 24, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Do you happen to have a crochet version of this? Knitting really hurts my hands, so I pretty much stick to only crochet now.
July 31, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJohanna
Hi Johanna-

We don't have a crocheted version of this but you can check out all of our crochet projects here: http://www.purlbee.com/crochet-projects/

Thanks so much for getting in touch and please let us know if you have any more questions!

Molly
August 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, your bunny is adorable - unfortunately for me, my knitting skills are horrific...my crochet skills on the other hand, much, much, MUCH better! Any chance you might consider doing a crochet version of this? Otherwise, best I enlist the services of my mother :) Thanks, Keri
October 7, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertwolittleflowers
Hi Keri-

We don't have plans to do a crochet version of this project right now so it might be time to call mom ;)

If you'd like to take a look at all of our crochet projects you can do so here: http://www.purlbee.com/crochet-projects/

Thank you!

Molly
October 7, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Do you have any idea how many ounces are in each bag of stuffing? I have a couple of bags in the house that are measured in ounces and would like to order more (if I have to) before I begin the project. Thanks so much!!
October 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBridget
Hi Bridget-

Each bag contained 12 ounces.

Thank you!

Molly
October 11, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi,

I love this pattern, and was sooo excited when I finally got the right sized needles so I could make this bunny for my son. I thought I had the knack of knitting in the round after making some great cuffs with my size three needles, but I had to finally give up on this project (for now) after hours of trying to get the bottom part of the pattern.

A few questions: Do you have any suggestions on how to climate myself to these enormous needles? Should I just use smaller needles and yarn and make a smaller bunny?

Second, as of today, the link to your duplicate stitch tutorial is not working. Will it be up again?

I hope to eventually make the pattern as you wrote it, and I appreciate any help you can offer. Also, on a personal note, your site inspired me to learn to knit, and I've loved the projects you post, and had great success with the ones I've tried.

Thanks,

Charlotte
November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
Hi Charlotte,

I always remember Joelle, one of Purl Soho's owners, saying that she feels like Fred Flintstone when she uses jumbo needles. Sound familiar? It's true that big needles can be a little bit clumsy at first. Maybe you'd have more success starting out with a simple scarf first.

It's also a good idea to try the bunny with smaller needles and yarn. It would certainly be a good practice run!

Thank you for the nice comments and questions. Please let us know if you have any more and good luck!

Whitney
November 25, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi awesome people at Purl Soho! I modified the Big Cuddly Bunny pattern a bit to make a present for my brother's girlfriend, and it came out super cute! Just wanted you guys to see it and let you know that I posted some mods for anyone else who might want to make a miniaturized and slightly differently-proportioned version. You can see Baxter the Bunny right here: http://jingersnaps.wordpress.com/2014/01/20/baxter-the-bunny-a-new-super-squishable-friend/

Thanks!
January 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJinger
Hi,

Love this bunny pattern! Did you synthetic stuffing or wool stuffing?

Sonnie
January 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSonnie's
Hi Sonnie,

I used Fairfield's Poly-fil, which, as the name implies, is synthetic. We also carry a Bamboo Fiber Fill which is 100% natural. Both work; the Poly-fil is a little lighter and fluffier, while the Bamboo is a bit denser and heavier. Both can be found here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/72-sewing-patchwork-stuffing-batting?filters[]=1017

Thank you for the very good question, and please let us know if you have more!

Whitney
January 29, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This bunny is so so sweet! I was wondering if you knew where I could get this pattern in crochet? (blasphemy, I know!) Thanks!
Jen:)
March 31, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Hi Jen-

We don't have plans to do a crochet version of this pattern right now but you can check out all of our crochet patterns here: http://www.purlbee.com/crochet-projects/

Thanks for getting in touch!

Molly
April 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you! I really like how big and cozy he looks! Please let me know when you do make one in crochet! Thanks!
April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Hi! I loved the pattern for this, the owl, and the pig. I was wondering if you could maaaybe do a fox? I'm awful at coming up with my own designs. If you could do a pattern or even just give me tips on how to modify it, I would be super grateful. Thank you!
July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKelsey
Hi Kelsey-

We don't have plans to do a fox pattern any time soon but thank you for the suggestion! You might want to search Ravelry for a stuffed fox pattern.

Thank you!

Molly
July 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I've been wanting to knit this little (big) guy for a long time now, and I'm finally going to do it!

My daughter will be 2 in September, and she's getting a little sister in October. She absolutely loves ANYTHING made of yarn (she is so my daughter), and I will be making one of these to give to her when the baby's arriving. I'm so excited and I know she will ADORE it.

Thank you for the pattern!! Can't wait to get started on it - just reading through it I know I'll enjoy making this.
July 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEmily

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