Rufus, crochet Northern cardinal pattern

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.

realistic crochet cardinal bird 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 images 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.