Shaping Amigurumi: How to Make Ears
It’s time for the next installment of the Shaping Series and this time we’re talking all about ears! How you create the ears for your amigurumi can vastly change the overall look of your project. Do you want them to be stiff and point straight up? Maybe you want long, floppy ears? No problem! We’ll cover the all basics in shaping amigurumi: how to make ears.
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Shaping Amigurumi: How to Make Ears
From Flat to 3D
When I first started messing around with amigurumi, my first idea for making ears was to crochet flat shapes like these cat ears:
And while this definitely works, it could be a lot better. The edges are naturally jagged which means the ears don’t look near as clean as the rest of the piece. However, that flaw can be solved with a border row like this one:
That looks much better, but another issue has cropped up. The ears are curling in ways I don’t like. It’s totally normal for flat panels of crochet to curl and normally the solution is to block your piece. (If you want to learn more about blocking, Heart Hook Home has a great article about it here.) Blocking can be a pain though and there’s an easier way to get around this issue.
And that’s to crochet your ears in the round rather than flat.
Leveling Up Your Ears
Creating your ears by working in the round is my personal favorite method and works really well for all sorts of shapes. Here’s those cat ears again, but made in the round this time:
The main concept behind this method creating a 3 dimensional shape that can be pressed flat. In this case I made a cone that I can press flat into a triangle. You might be wondering why that’s necessary when you could just make it flat in the first place.
Well, there are a couple of reasons:
- Cleaner: this method results in a cleaner overall piece with no messy side rows, border rows, or curling edges.
- Consistency: since these ears are made in the round just like the rest of your amigurumi, the stitches all look the same.
- Sturdy: with these ears being twice as thick, they’ll hold their shape easier.
- Depth: making the ears this way gives them much more visual depth.
So with all this in mind, let’s practice and look at how to make these cat ears.
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Cat Ear Tutorial
Disclaimer: The following tutorial is just an example and can be altered to suit your needs. For example, if you want your cat ears to be skinnier, work 2 rounds of single crochet in between increase rounds. If you want to learn more on basic shaping, check out this article.
For this sample, I used a 3.00mm hook and a 3 weight (DK) yarn (Lion Brand Mandala). Everything is in U.S. terms.
- MR – Magic Ring: Create a magic ring and work the specified number of single crochet into it (ex. MR6 = 6sc into the ring).
- Sc – single crochet
- Inc – increase: work 2 single crochet into the same stitch.
- Dec – decrease: (invisible decrease) insert your hook into the front loop of the next stitch, then insert your hook into the front loop of the following stitch, yarn over and pull through the first loop (3 loops on the hook), then yarn over and pull through all 3 loops on the hook.
Rnd 0: MR6
Rnd 1: sc around. (6)
Rnd 2: [inc, sc] 3 times. (9)
Rnd 3: sc around. (9)
Rnd 4: [sc, inc, sc] 3 times. (12)
Rnd 5: sc around. (12)
Rnd 6: [inc, 3sc] 3 times. (15)
Rnd 7: sc around. (15)
Rnd 8: [2sc, inc, 2sc] 3 times. (18)
Rnd 9: [inc, 5sc] 3 times. (21)
Rnds 10-11: sc around. (21)
Fasten off with a long tail. Press the cone flat and use a tapestry needle to sew the edges together. Then fold the 2 bottom corners together to curve the ears.
Now that we’ve looked at an example, let’s talk about how we can use this method to create differently shaped ears.
How to Make Other Shapes
Like I said near the beginning, this method is basically taking the 3 dimensional version of a flat shape and then pressing it flat. So if you wanted to make curved ears for a bear, you’d want to make a flat circle and fold it over into a half circle.
If you wanted to make tall, pointed bunny ears, you’d start making a thin cone-like shape that cinches in near the bottom.
The possibilities are endless!
However, one of the ear types that sort of deviates from this theme is when you want to make long, floppy ears. You’re still using the same concept, but in order to get any kind of drape, you’ll have to go up a hook size or two and use different stitches.
In this example, I used the same yarn, but switched to a 3.25mm hook and worked my rounds with double crochet rather than single crochet. With the looser stitches, you don’t need nearly as many rounds and the result has much more drape (floppiness).
Making ears for you amigurumi is easier than you think and you can be as simple or as complex as you want. If you’re making something a little more custom, I recommend looking at a photo and breaking the ears down into simple shapes so you can manipulate your increases and decreases to match the silhouette.
If you enjoyed this tutorial, make sure to bookmark it for later and share it with your crochet friends! What kinds of ears do you like to make the most? Leave a comment below.
Have a lovely day and stay crafty!