Use a felting sponge to work on, to protect yourself and to give yourself a base. I recommend reading through the pattern first, to get a good idea of how it works, then just follow the instructions. You don’t have to stab hard to get the wool sticking together, but do remember to turn your work as you needle it, or you will get a flat bunny.
Difficulty – medium – some experience of needle felting is useful. Otherwise, dive in if you’re feeling brave!
Materials and tools needed:
Hummock – 80cm of green merino wool (a 25g pack of wool should be more than enough for this)
Bunny – 80cm of pink (or colour of your choice) merino wool.
A good pinch of white or cream merino wool for the tail
2x size 40 needles, triangular or spiral
A needle holder (optional)
A felting sponge or brush mat
2x small black beads for eyes (seed beads work well)
A small quantity of white seed beads or colour of your choice, to sew onto the hummock
Thread to match the seed beads when sewing on
Strong black thread for sewing in the eyes
A long needle for sewing the eyes and hummock beads: a bead needle is best, if you have one
Optional awl for drilling eye sockets
1) Take the length of green wool and gently tug it in half to make two equal lengths. Then pull one of those lengths in half again, making three pieces of wool. Put one of the shorter lengths aside for the moment, as you will use it later
2) Take the longest length and spread it widthways a little, to make a strip or band. Take the other shorter length of wool and muddle it gently into a loose ball. This is your filling: place it in the centre of the long strip.
3) Wind the outer strip around the ball, enclosing it to make a little roll. Using two needles, shape a flat-bottomed hummock.
4) Use the curve of your thumb and forefinger to hold the base of the hummock in place as you work it. This will help you to get a clean, rounded shape. Go down to one needle when working the edge, for precision.
5) When your hummock feels quite firm, use the smaller set-aside length of green roving to cover it in a fine layer of wool. The layer should be even in texture. When it is completely covered, finish off the surface carefully, concentrating on smoothing out any crevices or bumps with the tip of the needle.
6) Now take the length of pink wool and divide it into two equal lengths. Remove a really good pinch of wool from one of those lengths and put it to one side for later. Gently pull the longer piece of wool into a strip, as before, then take the shorter piece of wool and muddle it into a loose ball for the filling. Again, place the filling ball onto the centre of the strip, but this time simply fold the strip over to enclose the ball, to make a little pouch or teardrop shape. Pull the sides of the outer wool around the filling to surround it.
7) Using two needles, form the main body of the Candy Bun as shown. Work only half of the wool, so that you have one bulbous end, which is its bottom. Leave the other half loose and unworked for now. Really work on the halfway point between the two, to make a nipped in neck, which defines the body from the head.
8) While the body wool is still soft but basically shaped, needle it to the hummock. Continue shaping until it is a smooth egg shape. Use one needle to tuck the bottom connecting edges in and under the body.
9) Now for the head; take the loose fibres and fold them back on the body. Use the folded end to shape a little head. The rest of the wool is shaped into a pair of long ears, which lie flat along the body. Use one needle to get the definition where the ears meet the back.
10) As you did with the hummock, use the spare set-aside wool to cover the bunny with a thin surface layer and finish off with one needle.
11) Take a good pinch of your white wool and add a fat bobtail, needling it directly onto the body and shaping once fixed.
12) Sewing in the eyes sounds more complicated than it really is. Take a good length of strong black thread on a long needle. Push the needle in at one eye point and take it through to the other side of the head, pulling the thread through so that you have an equal amount of thread on each side. At this point, you can drill tiny eye sockets, using an awl, if you wish.
Put an eye bead on one of the threads (you may have to take the needle off the thread to do this, unless you are using a beading needle). When the bead is on the thread, put the needle point into the eye socket and bring it up and through to the forehead area as shown. Repeat this on the other side, bringing the second thread out at the same place as the first.
13) Tie the two threads into a tight, secure knot, pulling the eyes snugly into the head as you do so. Then rethread the needle with both strands, push the needle back into the knot area and bring the thread ends out and away from the knot before snipping off. This is to prevent the knot from unraveling if it has too short ends. If you can still see the knot, use a tiny scrap of wool to patch over it.
14) Sew a scattering of beads onto the hummock, using thread that matches the colour of the beads. Now your Candy Bun is complete and ready to be adored!