Crochet oval shapes are used for amigurumi, to make the base of some bags, soles of baby shoes and wool slippers.
Most amigurumi patterns start with a magic ring that allows you to make a round shape that widens round after round. Another very common crochet shape is the oval!
The oval base allows you to create a three-dimensional shape that is not the same on all sides, but will have 2 longer sides and 2 shorter sides. This shape can be useful for making amigurumi with interesting and uncommon proportions (at the end of this post there are examples of amigurumi that start with an oval shape!). But this technique is also very useful for making the base of bucket bags, soles of baby shoes and wool slippers!
How to crochet an oval shape?
Everything starts with the chain stitch: the longer the starting chain, the more elongated the oval will be. After starting the chain of the desired length (or required by the pattern) you start working normally along the chain. When you reach the last chain you don’t have to turn the work – as if you were working in rows – but rotate the work clockwise and continue on the opposite side of the chain.
What is the back of the chain?
After having worked normally in single crochet along the chain, you can see that there is a free loop under each single crochet stitch, as if it were the base of the stitch. We have to work by inserting the crochet hook into those loops. Let’s move on to the photo tutorial that will make everything clearer!
Photo tutorial: how to work on the opposite side of the foundation chain
1. Work your foundation chain (as required by the pattern, 6 ch for this example).
2. Skip the first chain from the hook, single crochet in next stitch.
3. Work in single crochet along the chain until you have 1 chain left.
4. Work 3 single crochet into that last chain (it may vary depending on the pattern, usually it’s 3 or 5)
5. Turn your work clockwise, it’s time to crochet back along the opposite edge of your foundation chain!
6. Each loop indicates one stitch. Single crochet until you have one loop left.
7. Work 2 single crochet (it may vary depending on the pattern) into this last loop to complete the oval.
The oval is done! What happens now?
The oval can widen by increasing some stitches round after round. As soon as the base reaches the desired size, the same number of stitches are worked (in the round) for each round to make a three-dimensional shape.
Has anyone asked for examples? Here they are!
Elvie the elephant, Pedro the donkey, Marla the unicorn and Kimi the cat ‘s back. And also Norman the bunny head and body ans Prince Perry the frog, this last amigurumi starts from an oval to shape the eyes with increases and decreases!
Don’t forget to count the stitches at the end of each round, to avoid mistakes or fix the problem as soon as possible. Use a stitch marker in the last stitch of the round or use a tail of yarn (in a contrasting color) to easily count the stitches at any time! Here is a step by step tutorial that explains how to mark the rounds with a tail of yarn.
I hope you liked this free tutorial! Pin it on Pinterest board or save the image below!