how to crochet a cardinal bird

Some animals I’ll probably never see for real, but I can make myself one! I proudly present to you my Northern cardinal amigurumi pattern.

Ever since I started watching the Cornell feeder watch Cam, I’ve been amazed by the Northern cardinals, especially the male. Red isn’t my favourite colour at all, but this bird looks absolutely magnificent. And not only the colour makes the bird so gorgeous, but both the male and female have that curious tuft! And the black face gives them even more character. I like a bit of extravagance when it comes to animals, and the cardinal has touched my heart. To fill the gap of not being able to see them soon, I made myself a crochet version of the male, and I hope many of you will be excited by this pattern for the same reason.

Birds are a different thing to design than furry animals. For birds, my goal isn’t to make them perfectly realistic, but more a representation of their character and beauty.

My cardinal has become an elegant and sturdy crochet bird. I exaggerated the crest and chose a sitting posture, so simple – plump crochet feet are a lovely feature (I don’t like adding realistic metal woven bird feet to my amigurumi). These crochet feet make the crochet cardinal look like a stunning cardinal plushy, which I love!

The black face was the most complex part to design. Most of you know that crocheting in a spiral doesn’t make the stitches stack up straight but diagonally. So getting the black face to look the same at both sides was pretty challenging. With some extra in- and decreases I managed to get it almost perfect. The other bit that was difficult to design was the tail. But I’m very delighted by what I came up with, and I think this is the perfect bird tail!

Here are some more pictures of Rufus, the fabulous crochet cardinal, and below them you can find all the info about the pattern.

This cardinal works up pretty fast, once you’ve made the first twenty-ish rls stitches (for which I made a very helpful instruction video) for the crest. I would say this is a moderately difficult pattern, but a beginner can mange to make it too, with some help from video tutorials. If you want to make a cardinal couple, you can easily turn the male into a female. Replace the red colour with a warm beige: start the head in red, and then change to beige after round two. This will lend a hint of red to the female’s crest, which I bet will look amazing!

This bird is made with Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool with a lot of fuzziness. It’s 4.3 inch / 11 cm tall. The pattern contains a clear and colour-coded description of how to crochet and assemble the doll, with instruction s next to the text and example pictures at the bottom to help you get everything right. In the pattern you can also find out what materials you need, the yarn colour numbers — in short, everything you need to know to make your own charismatic Northern cardinal plushy. All the additional information you need to know about this pattern you can find in the shop listings. You can purchase it in my shop at Ravelry, Etsy or order it here.

And heads up! This pattern has a one dollar release discount till the 23rd of February.

Row 1: Ch 8. Sc 3 times in the 2nd Ch from the hook. Sc in the next 5 Ch. Sc 3 times in the next Ch. Now move to the OTHER side of the chain, where no stitches have been inserted. For the next five sentences, work on this other side, Sc. Row 2: Ch 1 and turn. SlSt in the following stitch to connect (16) Working in the FLO, turn and work in the next seven stitches. Repeat three times in the following seven stitches. (17) Row 3: Ch 1 and turn Working exclusively in the back loop, Sc over the next eight Sc 3 times in the next st. Finish by sc in the next 8 stitches (19). Leave a long tail for sewing. Attach the arms using hot glue or sewing, as indicated.

Round 1: 6 Sc into a Magic Ring. SlSt in the subsequent st to finish (6) Lastly, leave a long tail for sewing. Pin the feet on as shown and sew on. Once done, weave in ends and cut any excess yarn.

Round1: Six Sc into a Magic Ring (6) Round2: *Inc* in the following five spaces Next stitch, Dc, Trc, and Dc into the same stitch Finish by slst in the subsequent stitch (13) and leave a long tail for sewing. Pin the tail on as shown and sew on. Once done, weave in ends and cut any excess yarn.

Completed! If you created this cardinal, please share a picture with me in the comments section below ??.

Finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing. Round 1: 6 Sc into a Magic Ring (6) Round 2: *Inc, Sc in the next 2 st* all around (8) Round 3: *Inc, Sc in the next 3 st* all around (10) Sew the beak on as indicated, being careful to stuff it before sewing it on completely. Once done, weave in ends and cut any excess yarn.

The black face was the most complex part to design. Most of you are aware that when you crochet in a spiral, the stitches stack diagonally rather than straight. Therefore, it was difficult to get the black face to appear the same on both sides. I was able to make it nearly perfect with a few additional in- and decreases. The tail was the other component that proved challenging to design. But I’m really happy with what I created, and I believe this to be the ideal bird tail!

Once you’ve completed the first twenty or so rls stitches for the crest (for which I created a very useful instruction video), this cardinal works up fairly quickly. This pattern is, in my opinion, somewhat challenging, but with some assistance from video tutorials, even a beginner can manage to complete it. You can easily change the male into a female if you want to form a cardinal couple. Warm beige should be used in place of the red color: the head should begin in red and switch to beige after the second round. This will give the female’s crest a pop of red, which I guarantee will look stunning!

I am proud to present to you my Northern cardinal amigurumi pattern! There are some animals I will probably never get to see in person, but I can make myself one!

This bird is constructed from Istex Lett Lopi, a 100% wool fabric with a lot of fuzzy texture. It’s 4. 3 inch / 11 cm tall. The pattern includes color-coded instructions that walk you through every step of crocheting and assembling the doll. You can refer to the example pictures at the bottom of the page for clarification. The pattern includes all the information you need to create your own charming Northern cardinal plush toy, including the list of supplies and yarn color numbers. The shop listings contain all the extra details you require regarding this pattern. You can order it here or buy it from my shop on Ravelry or Etsy.

Here are some additional images of Rufus, the amazing crochet cardinal, and all the pattern details are below them.