Here’s my little pattern/photo guide to making a cute pair of knitted teddy ears that you can use to customise a hat, or anything else!
First, you’ll need to follow this little written pattern.
Abbreviations: k = knit, p = purl, k2tog = knit two together, ssk = slip slip knit (decrease), p2tog = purl two together, p2tog tbl = purl two together through the back loops, sts = stitches, RS = right side of work, WS = wrong side of work.
I have provided links at the end for all the techniques used here so if you come across anything you don’t know then just scroll down to find the appropriate tutorial.
Needle size: 3.75mm (US size 5), Yarn: DK weight.
Tension/Gauge: 6sts x 8 rows to 2.5cm (1 inch) in stocking stitch (stockinette stitch)
The ears are worked flat in pieces, sewn together and then stitched onto your hat or other item. They make an ear that is approximately 4cm high and 6cm wide (1 ½ x 2 ¼ inches).
Make two pieces for each ear. For a pair of ears you will need to make 4 pieces.
Using 3.75mm needles (US size 5) and DK weight yarn, cast on 15 sts.
Tip: I use the cable cast on, because this gives a firm edge that is easy to stitch into when attaching the ears.
Leave a long tail on your cast on of about 30cm (12 inches). You will use these tails for sewing up the ears and sewing them to your hat at the end.
First, work 10 rows in stocking stitch (stockinette stitch: starting with a knit row, knit and purl on alternate rows).
Shape ear top
Row 1 (RS): ssk, k to last 2 sts, k2tog (13 sts)
Row 2 (WS): p2tog, p to last 2 sts, p2tog tbl (11 sts)
Row 3: ssk, k to last 2 sts, k2tog (9 sts)
Row 4: p2tog, p to last 2 sts, p2tog tbl (7 sts)
Cast off (bind off) all sts.
Weave in the top tails (from where you cast/bound off).
Place two ear pieces together, with the right sides facing each other.
Sew them together using one of the cast-on tails, leaving the base of the ear open. I use back stitch for this step. The photo below shows you where to sew.
Turn the ear the right way out again. Now you have a nice ear shape with an open base.
Make as many ears as you require.
Stitching to a hat
Position the ear where you want it, leaving the base slightly open. Whip stitch the ear to the hat using the remaining cast on tail, all around the edge of the base.
This photo shows an ear sewn on to a swatch, using red yarn so you can see the stitching.
Tip: I leave the base slightly open like this instead of sewing it shut. This is so that the two layers of knitting that make up the ear are not touching each other where they meet the hat. This means the ear keeps a little bit of 3D shape and stands up without going limp.
Here are some ears on a hat my daughter asked me to make for her!
You can cast on fewer or more stitches to make the ears narrower or wider, and knit fewer or more rows to make the ear shorter or longer. Stop decreasing and bind off when your ear looks right to you for the shape you need. If you’re customising, do make a note of your stitch and row numbers and final stitch count so your second ear matches! You can stuff the ears if you want them more 3D.
If you’re a learner knitter, or even just need to jog your memory, here is a list of links that should cover absolutely everything needed for making the ears.