Tips on making a bunny from a knitted square
I’ve been demonstrating how to transform a knitted square into a bunny to various groups of knitters, since I wrote the introduction to Bunny from a Square. There’s always a moment when people see the bunny emerging from the square; it’s quite magical if you have never seen this. Which got me thinking that really I should show this in a video clip. I’ve never made a video clip nor edited one! Well, that’s not a good enough reason not to try, is it? Hence the delay in publishing this post, whilst I taught myself how to make a video clip and how to edit it. Well, this became two video clips followed by rather a lot of photos. I hope you’ll enjoy this tutorial!
Firstly, do some sewing
Leave the yarn ends free; you will use them later.
This is the magic part!
Isn’t that cool!
How to make the ears rabbitty
Thread a yarn needle with a yarn end. Hold the edges of the neck together.
Join the two neck edges, marked with stitch markers, with a couple of stitches.
You can remove the stitch markers now. Turn the bunny so you are looking at the front of an ear. The edges roll backwards, but we want them to look rabbity, i.e. roll forwards.
Roll the edges of the ear forward into the centre and hold together with a stitch marker. Repeat on the other ear. You are now ready to secure the ears with a few stitches.
Pass the yarn needle between the ears, then through the first ear from back to front, catching one rolled edge.
Then, catch the second rolled edge by passing the needle back through the first ear. Pass the needle through the second ear, again catching one rolled edge. Then, pass the needle back through the second ear, catching the second rolled edge. Repeat a few times to secure both rolled edges on each ear. These stitches also close up the gap between the ears, hiding the stuffing.
Finish with the needle between the ears; make a few stitches to secure the yarn.
Hide the end by passing it through the bunny’s head before cutting it. Remove the stitch markers.
How to stitch the bunny’s body
Thread the yarn needle with the remaining yarn end. Pull on it if you want to tighten the gathers around the neck.
Use mattress stitch to sew the seam along the bunny’s back. Work with the right sides facing, one stitch in from the edge on each side. Take the yarn needle under the first horizontal strand between the first two columns of stitches on the right-hand side, then under the first two horizontal strands between the first two columns of stitches on the left-hand side.
Continue to take the yarn needle under the next two horizontal strands on each side. Alternate between the left- and right-hand sides until the bunny’s back is finished. Secure with a couple of stitches, but don’t cut the yarn.
Using the same yarn, stitch around the base using running stitch…
… then pull to gather. Make a few stitches over the gathered part to secure the end, and hide the end by passing it through the bunny’s body before cutting it.
At this stage, your bunny will have a rather cylindrical body; not quite the shape we want. To get the right shape, simply squidge the body onto a flat surface. The beauty of knitted fabric is that it will change shape.
Your bunny’s body is finished!
How to make the sweet little tail
You’ll need a fork and some yarn for the tail. I used a table fork for my first bunny, which was knitted using double knit yarn. Here I’m showing you a second bunny knitted from chunky yarn so I used a larger wooden fork. An even number of prongs will make things easier, but I only had a large fork with three prongs.
Cut a length of yarn about 30 cm long. Wrap the rest of the yarn round enough times to make a pompom. Put the short piece of yarn around the middle of wrapped yarn, pull tight and secure with a knot. You can see the problem with a fork with an odd number of prongs; there is a prong in the centre where we want to tie the knot. Just do it anyway.
If your knot is in the centre of your pompom, you can cut the loops without removing it from the fork. If your knot isn’t in the centre of your pompom, you’ll have to remove it from the fork, move the tie to the centre, then cut the loops. Make sure you don’t cut the yarn used to tie the pompom together.
Holding on to the two ends of the yarn, trim the pompom tail to make it a nice spherical shape. Don’t trim too much or your bunny may not have a tail!
Now use those yarn ends to attach the tail to the bunny. Squidge your bunny so it’s body is a suitable shape. Thread your yarn needle with one yarn end, place pass it through bunny’s bottom so the tail is in the right place and use both yarn ends to tie a knot or two. You can secure the tail with some stitches that will be hidden by the tail, then hide the ends by passing them through the bunny’s body before cutting them.
And finally bunny’s face!
Firstly, sketch your bunny’s nose and eyes. We’ll start with the nose.
Fold your yarn in half and thread the loop through the yarn needle. Move the needle so it is as far away from the loop as possible. Find the centre of the face and pass your yarn needle under a garter stitch ridge at the base of the nose. Then, pass the yarn needle through that loop. See what you did there? Isn’t that clever? That great tip, on how to secure yarn without a knot or stitches, is from Mr X Stitch.
Now make a straight stitch over two garter ridges. Repeat this stitch. That’s the vertical part of the nose done.
Next, make a diagonal stitch to the right, and repeat the stitch…
… then make a diagonal stitch to the left, and repeat. Your bunny’s nose is finished!
Finally, stitch the eyes, again repeating each stitch.
You could use buttons or safety eyes for your bunny, however both could be pulled off by small people and so become choking hazards. Yes, even safety eyes; they are designed to stay on woven, not knitted fabric.
Admire your cute bunny!
So Bunny from a Square is feeling less shy as he has a big brother. Keeping with the family tradition, they are now known as Little Bunny and Big Bunny!
Both Big Bunny and Little Bunny were made as described in Bunny from a Square. I used double knit yarn for Little Bunny and chunky for Big Bunny.