Meet the most useful thing you might come across today: crochet ear savers! So quick and fun to make out of scraps and most importantly they make mask wearing so much more comfortable!
My venture into crochet ear savers came about when my good friend, Allison, was lamenting on Facebook at how uncomfortable the mask she had to wear at the hospital was on her poor ears. I felt bad for her and for my husband too. I hate wearing a mask for my weekly or biweekly grocery shopping–I can’t even imagine having to feel that elastic on my ears for hours on end day after day.
I’m one of those types of people where little things drive me absolutely batty. I’ve been known to search every corner of the house to stop some random buzzing thing or drip noise. So I know that elastic rubbing on my ears would drive me crazy. There are several ear saving solutions out there including headbands, scarves and fabric bands. But of course, a crochet version spoke to my heart!
Ear savers are about the easiest things to crochet and there’s several patterns out there. As usual, I’ve got my own spin and thought I’d share how I’m making them including an invisible join for a seamless finish and multiple sizes! The medium adult size in fun colors and buttons is perfect for Allison and for me.
A larger size for my husband works better for him. In fact, he declared the crochet ear savers ‘AMAZING’ and then went on to write a Facebook post about the zebra stripe buttons on the black ear saver and some relationship to the Tiger King. Sigh. I love that guy! I’m also secretly glad he loves them because I found that my fun style of crochet also trickled into my button stash…and I had a real hard time finding appropriately subtle and neutral looking buttons for a manly crochet ear saver!
Here’s how his fits in real life. The elastic straps still go over the ears, but then are held by a button on each side, thus relieving pressure and pain on the ears. Brilliant!
For button attachment, I pulled out my embroidery floss from that time in the 90’s when I was all into cross stitching. I can’t even tell you how much I loved finding the perfect shade of embroidery floss to sew on my fun buttons. Too much fun, really. And the many layers of floss made for less stitches to makes those buttons nice and secure.
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I kinda feel like mother earth, ya know? All efficient like. Dug into my stash for all those bits of worsted weight cotton yarn; you only need 4-5 yards for each one. Then digging through fun buttons and coordinating embroidery floss. Sigh. Almost like everything is right with the world. And then I can bust them out speedy quick like some crochet rock star hero. It seriously takes more time to sew on the buttons than it does to crochet the ear savers.
Crochet Ear Savers
Here is what you will need:
- US H8/5.00 mm crochet hook (here are my favorite crochet hooks)
- 4 (medium size) – 5 yards (large size) worsted weight cotton yarn such as Lily Sugar ‘N Cream yarn
- 2 Buttons. I prefer 5/8″ buttons but any size between 1/2″ and 1″ will work fine
- Thread or embroidery floss to sew on buttons.
- Tapestry needle, sewing needle and scissors
Resources and tutorials you may find helpful in following this pattern: Crochet Abbreviations, US to UK Crochet Conversion Chart. Find links to stitches on the “Tutorial” menu: Getting Started will show basic stitches used in many patterns and Crochet Stitch Dictionary shows our growing collection of crochet stitch tutorials.
The medium size ear saver is 4.75″ long and the large size is 5.75″ long. You may adjust the size of your crochet ear saver by adding or decreasing the starting chain.
Chain 20 for size medium. For large size, chain 24.
R1: hdc in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain across until last chain. In last chain, work 3 hdc for the 1st corner, then turn work, and work a hdc in the opposite side the chain across to the last stitch. Work 2 hdc in the last stitch. Fasten off and join with an invisible join which you can learn about here. This creates a seamless, continuous stitch like so:
Weave in ends. Then sew a button at each end with thread or embroidery floss.
Since originally publishing this pattern, I’ve heard a lot of concerns about buttons. What size buttons? Can I use a different size button? Oh NO, I’m OUT of buttons, what now? Can I crochet a button? Here are my best suggestions:
Raid your own stash if you can. I like the 5/8″ buttons. Other patterns recommend 1″ buttons. I think you could go down to a 1/2″ button and that would work too. You could also steal them off of garments that have seen better days and repurpose them.
You can put a shout out on your own personal Facebook page asking for button donations and then do a porch drop or pick up to get them from your friends or family. Many, many people keep buttons and would be more than happy to seem them put to good use.
You can also try crocheting a button and see if the elastic will hold in place. My suggestion is to try one first and make sure it will work before mass producing them. My Scrap Yarn Wine Cozy has an crochet appliqué button you could try. You could also try a 3 round button, working 6 sc into a magic loop in the first round; then increasing into every stitch in the 2nd round; then decreasing into every stitch for the last round and then closing that up with an amigurumi finish. Squish flat and sew on.
I’ve also seen a similar button with a tiny bit of stuffing inside so that the button is like a little ball. OR you could try crocheting around a washer. If you try any of these and find one is a great solution, let me know in the comments!
Want to Know How to Sew a Mask?
Here’s my husband modeling the mask I made him. I ended up going a little rogue and in my own direction to create the perfect mask. If you want to learn more, you can read about how to sew a mask here and then scroll down to the end and see my notes for my adjustments for the perfect fitting mask. Don’t you love how he rocks the Michigan State Spartans even in a health crisis?
I love seeing your finished projects! If you enjoyed making the Crochet Ear Savers I’d love to see yours on Instagram, be sure to tag me @crochet365knittoo. If you are on Facebook, stop over to the Crochet 365 Knit Too Facebook page or pop over to the Crochet365KnitToo Club and share a photo! I’d love to see your work!