Crochet an oval tutorail

How to crochet an oval shape – without counting stitches

Ovals are everywhere in amigurumi. Thing of teddy bear’s tummies, or even the white of a fried egg! This tutorial will explain how you crochet an oval – without counting stitches!

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that counting stitches is not my favourite thing. One, two, three… snooze. Instead, I’ve borrowed a technique which is more often seen in knitting: strategically placed markers which are “action points” and prompt you to do something. Not clear? Read on, and it will all make sense, I promise!

Because we’re crocheting amigurumi style, we’re working in spirals, without slip stitching to join rounds. As always, I’m using the US terminology. This post assumes you know how to chain, single crochet, and increase (two or three single crochets in one space). I’m using a DK yarn and a 3mm hook, because that’s often the weight I use for amigurumi (and this is an amigurumi blog!). You can use whatever weight yarn and size hook you need to get a fabric which you like.

How to create a crochet oval

  • Foundation chain – Chain a number of stitches. In the example, I’ve chained 5, but you can do as many as you want: more for a longer oval, fewer for a more circular oval.Chain five crochet stitches
  • Round 1 – Sc into the second chain from hook. Sc in every stitch until end.How to crochet an ovalSingle crochet twice more in the final stitch (3 stitches total in the final stitch).

    Mark the crochet increases with a locking stitch marker

    Pause for a moment, and mark the centre of these three stitches with a locking stitch marker. This is your ACTION STITCH and it will be important later.
    Turn the work and sc back into every chain the other side of the chain. You may notice your chain is a little ‘gap-y’. If this bothers you, rip out and go down a hook size for the chain. Or, just darn it shut when you’re finished. Single crochet three times in the final stitch. Mark the centre of these three stitches with a locking stitch marker. This is your second ACTION STITCH.

    Create a crocheted oval

  • Round 2 – sc in every stitch until one stitch before the first marked ACTION STITCH. 2 Sc in next stitch, remove marker, 3 sc in marked action stitch, 2sc in next stitch. Replace the marker in the centre of the three-stitch increase. Repeat to finish the other side of the oval.Repeat round 2 to make a crocheted oval any size you need.
  • Repeat until your oval is the desired size.

That’s it. Repeat round 2 twice more, or a hundred times more, and you’ll have a lovely crocheted oval of whatever size you want!

Crocheted oval shape

Just like in the circle, we have another pattern! This formula works because we are increasing every round. You can increase the size of this oval to make it as big as a bedspread if you like, or leave it teeny-tiny. Because it’s so flexible, you can use this formula to create any size.

What can you do with a crocheted oval?

  • Make a set of placemats for your table, in washable cotton
  • Use t shirt yarn and a 20mm hook to create a rug for the floor!
  • Stitch two ovals together for a cushion.
  • Fold an oval in half and add a clasp for a purse
  • Crochet a puddle for a toy duck to swim in
  1. Reply

    I have just started to make my daughter a rug, and your instructions have saved the day. Thank you.

  2. Reply

    Thanks, Rachel! I’ve tried several times to work out how to do a spiral oval to no avail. This is an elegantly simple solution. I’m going to try doing hdc’s in the 2nd round, and dc’s in the 3rd round, and see if it works and still lays flat.

    Hello, Nicole. If the piece is curling up, aka “cupping”, you could try going up a hook size. If it’s sort of ruffling, you can try going down a hook size.

    • Helen Loni
    • July 24, 2021

    Thank you so much for this tutorial. I’ve tried so often to do oval shapes and always get the wrong count somehow. Your explanation is so simple and easy that I’m dying to try it out and finally make that oval-shaped rug I’ve been putting off!

  3. Reply

    Hello do you have a newsletter or how do I follow your blog

  4. Reply

    I am using your 2,3,3 increase in the corners of an oval I am doing. I started the first few rounds in sc, but switched to dc. The change of stitch size worked in well. I know I have a few more rows to get to the size that I need the oval to be. As I am typing this, I am thinking that going back down to a sc to finish off the full oval would probably be the best idea, so as to no leave an unbalance side. I did my stitch change right after the first action stich set and 2 sc in next st.
    I was going to increase to trbl, but it left two much of a gap. While I will be painting the plaster mask this will be attached to, I don’t want too many gaps to show the mask through.

    So would reducing the stitch size back down to a sc be the best way to finish off this oval?

    • Bea
    • April 25, 2021

    This method works until the 4th round, then markers start migrating counter clockwise; no longer at the ends…then the piece starts to curl, looking more like a leaf and not oval.

    • Elizabeth Page
    • January 17, 2021

    I’m working my oval with heavy chenille yarn and an L hook. Instead of laying flat it’s curling like a banana. I love the instructions. Very easy to follow, but I must be doing something wrong. Maybe I’m using the wrong size hook?

    • Bkutsick
    • December 23, 2020

    Oh thank you so ,much for this post. I want to make oval placemats for my Christmas dinner table. I’ve tried other patterns but yours is so simple You’ve made me so happy. Thanks again!

    • Maureen
    • May 8, 2020

    You’re a genius! I have been watching so many videos on ovals and the counting makes me crazy. The markers with the 2,3,2 increase in the corners and where to place them was so easy to understand!! THANK YOU

    • Lisa n Yoffie
    • March 24, 2020

    how many are you increasing every round and where? In the middle 3 stiches?

    • Nicole
    • May 30, 2019

    I tried this but it begins to slowly starts to curl up instead of laying flat. Not sure what im doing wrong.

    • Ashley
    • May 2, 2019

    Is anyone else seeing the action markers gradually listing to the right for right-handed or left for left-handed crocheting?

    • Brenda Palmer
    • April 26, 2019

    Brilliant. I found you at the moment of total frustration in an inadequate pattern.,Bless your heart. Thank you x

    • Agnès
    • April 5, 2019

    Hi, Thank you so much for sharing this idea, Rachel. I’m a French speaking woman but your explanations are so clear that I had no difficulty to understand them. And congratulations for the detailed photos.. They are of complementary help !

    • Ame
    • January 7, 2019

    Thank you Rachel. Silly me. I use stitch markers for most patterns. For some reason, I hadn’t thought of using them for an oval pattern. Your tute is great.

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    • Geeta
    • August 5, 2018

    Thankyou so much for such clear instructions.

    • Ruby
    • June 14, 2018

    I’m going to use this for the soles of newborn booties, thank you for this “tutorial”

    • Gwen Cheng
    • June 8, 2018

    Thanks for the great tutorial! I’d like to crochet a trash bag for my car, with one side flat (back), and a semi oval at the front (just like a protruding pocket). Please tell me how to do this.

  6. Pingback: Now for something a bit different – 500 Stitches to Crochet

    • linda
    • July 4, 2017

    love it!!!!!! so simple don’t like counting either xx

    • Doris
    • June 2, 2017

    Thank you. I had a difficult time with an oval basket as the instructions were confusing. And I like that I can use this for other projects.

    • Nessa
    • October 15, 2016

    Thanks for this! Have been looking for an oval that isn’t just a rounded off rectangle

      • Rachel
      • October 21, 2016

      No worries, Nessa! I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂

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