Christmas Crochet – a round up

Christmas 2017 is almost here, and what’s more fun than to add some quick crochet projects to your undoubtedly busy schedule? I mean: a  made-with-love little gift for that special friend, cute little xmas decorations to embellish gifts with, a darling crochet ornament to put on someone’s (or your own) tree for a personal festive touch?

No matter how much I’m hustling for time around this time of year, I always love making a couple of christmas projects. I’ve collected the majority of them here in this post, with direct links to the patterns/tutorials (all you need to do is click on the image), so you can get started right away (and there are even more ideas in my Christmas Pinterest Board …)

As for me, this xmas-making is a typical “win-win” situation: sitting down and taking the time to create something pretty – xmas songs playing softly in the background, candles lit, coffee on hand, wonderdog Mila at my feet. This way I’m putting the “zen” back into my busy schedule, which is just what I think we all need, especially at this time of year.
So, here’s to some happy (xmas) making, sweet people!

Merry xmas!

Marianne xx

PS: you might want to consider having a batch of the “Dekkers Christmas Cookies” on hand whilst you’re crocheting your little xmas projects 😉 – this is where you’ll find the recipe

Crochet Lantern(s)

During our most recent – as always pleasant and inspiring – “CraftKitchen”-bloggers meeting, we came up with the idea to have a “Christmas Challenge” amongst the five of us.
We would all receive a box with the same materials, and design a x-mas project with (most) of them: fun and exciting!

Usually we share our projects in our private “CraftKitchen-group” as soon as they’re finished (way before publication date), but this time it was decided that we should all keep our makes secret. This was not easy, haha!

Over the past few weeks all our projects have been published on the “CraftKitchen”-site, and it has been great to see what Janneke, Lidy, Lisanne, and Liza made! Even though all five of us used the same technique – crochet – we all came up with something different.I made a “Christmas Lantern”, and decided to crochet a non-Christmas version as well, and I’m sure you’re not surprised to see my second lantern is a pink one 😉The free pattern is available in Dutch and English, and I do hope you’ll enjoy crocheting it as much as I have enjoyed creating it!
The Dutch version can be found via the CraftKitchen-site, and here (on my blog); this is the link to the English pattern; for a complete overview of all the free crochet patterns on my blog, just click here.

Happy making!
Marianne xx

“Little Lenny” Cushion

It’s safe to state I’m a bit on a roll when it comes to finishing projects, and boy-oh-boy does that feel good. Especially since I’ve accumulated quite the list of free patterns over the past year (the bookmaking year ;-)), that I – of course – still want to share here!

“Little Lenny” is one of them; I have nothing but fun memories linked to this cute little pattern. It was offered as a freebie for the workshops taught during the my book launch parties, and was part of the “Colorful Crochet”-book tour as well.

Twenty-five “Little Lennies” first became a rectangular cushion (project for CraftKitchen), and simply because I could not stop playing, another 25 recently became thís square and more colorful version of that. I really love both, and am happily sharing the free pattern with you: enjoy!

“Little Lenny Cushion”
(US terms used – a Dutch version of this pattern can be found here – short version of the pattern in English is here – to convert cm to inches, click here)

slst: slip stitch
ch: chain
sc: single crochet
hdc: half double crochet
dc: double crochet

I’ve used a “join-as-you-go”-method to attach my squares; this is done in the last round (round 3). You’ll find this method described in the pattern as well as, plus some helpful photos. Of course you can join your squares any other way, if you like.

Things you’ll need:
Any (leftover) yarn, in a color combo that tickles your fancy (or suits your decor).
For the rectangular one I used:

* Durable Cosy Fine (Rose 226, Deep Fuchsia 238, Lime 352, Ivory 326);
* 5 mm crochet hook, scissors, darning needle, cushion insert 60 cm x 40 cm.

You can easily attach your crochet front to a bought cushion, but if you want to sew your own, you’ll be needing fabric too:
– for the front:
* a piece of 42 cm x 42 cm, off-white (all measurements include a seam allowance);
* for the small strip (color matching the colors in your project):
1 piece measuring 5 cm x 42 cm;
* 1 piece of fabric matching the colors in your project: 19 cm x 42 cm.

– for the back:
– 2 x 50 cm x 42 cm (if you want to make a so called “envelope-style” back – handy tutorial here – for easy removal of your insert); if you do not want that, 1 piece of 62 cm x 42 cm will do.

For the colorful, square cushion I used:
* Durable Cosy Fine, colors Coral 2190, Mandarin 2197, Honey 2179, Baby Blue 2124, Blue Grey 289, Turquoise 371, Ivory 326, Emerald 2135, Lime 352, Mint 2137, Deep Fuchsia 238, Vintage Pink 225, Raspberry 228, Rose 226, Violet 272;
* crochet hook 5,5 mm;
* cushion insert: 45 cm x 45 cm;
* fabric for the cushion cover (2 pieces of 47 cm x 47 cm)

“Little Lenny”-motif: crochet 25 (pattern in Dutch is right here)

round 1:  in a magic circle (or, chain 8, close with slip stitch in the 1st chain to form a ring): ch4 (=1st dc + ch1); * 1dc, ch1 **: repeat 14 more times, slip stitch into top of 1st stitch (= 3rd chain of the begin-ch4), pull circle/ring tight (16dc, including 1st ch3, and 16 ch1-spaces); fasten off, or – when you’re crocheting your square in 1 color – slip stitch into the next ch1-space;

round 2: (with same or new color – attach yarn in any ch-1-space of the previous round, or slip stitch into this space): ch5 (= 1st dc + ch2); * 1dc, ch2 **; repeat from * to ** 14 more times; slip stitch in top of 1st stitch (= 3rd chain of 5-begin-chains), your now see: 16dc and 16 chain2-spaces, fasten off, or when you’re crocheting your square in 1 color – slip stitch into the next ch2-space;

round 3: (with same or new color – start in any ch2-space of the previous round): * 1sc; in next ch2-space: 1 sc, 3hdc, 1sc; in next ch2-space: 1 sc; in next ch2-space: 2hdc, 1dc, ch2, 1dc, 2hdc (corner made) **; repeat from * to ** 3 more times; slst in 1st stitch, (16 sc, 28 hdc, 8 dc and 4 corners of ch2-spaces each); fasten off; sew in all your ends.

round 3 – Join-As-You-Go:
This round is crocheted as the regular round 3, but with a few changes – to make things easier, I’ve described this joining-round in full:

(with the same or a new color, slip stitch to/or attach yarn in the next ch2-space), crochet (sc, 3hdc, sc) in this ch2-space, sc in next ch2-space, in the next ch2-space: * (2hdc, dc, ch1, make the loop on your hook a bit bigger and remove your hook from the loop, put the hook – back to front – through the ch2-corner space of the motif you’re attaching your current square to (from hereon referred to as “motif 1”), put the loop back on your hook, pull this loop through the ch2-corner space of “motif 1”, chain 1, and continue crocheting on your current motif (from hereon called “motif 2”): dc, 2hdc); you’ve now succesfully attached the 1st corner of your motif 2 to a corner of motif 1;
sc in next ch2-space, in the next ch2-space you crochet (sc, 2hdc, remove your hook from the loop, put your hook back to front through the corresponding stitch of motif 1 – this is the 2nd hdc – put the loop back on your hook and crochet 1 more hdc in motif 2, sc): motif 2 attached in the middle of the square to motif 1, sc; sc in next ch2-space **;
repeat from * to **, attaching in (a) corner(s) and in the middle of (a) square(s) where needed; close this round with a slip stitch in the first sc; fasten off.

This “join-as-you-go”-method is called the “pull loop through”-method – a short, but great instruction video can be found here.
Tip: whenever you need to attach a square in a corner where 2 (or 3) squares have already been joined, you’ll want to put your hook through the joining-chain that lies on top of all the other joining-chains.

Happy crocheting all y’all – I’d love to see your “Little Lenny”-projects, so please share (via email: , or under the hashtag #littlelennygrannysquare).

Marianne xx

Mahoosive Wool

You might remember this blog post, when I reviewed Sarah‘s cool crochet book “Supersize Crochet”, and the shoulder bag I made from it. As the title of Sarah’s book very clearly indicates, all of the projects in this book require chunky yarn. It was around that time, I think, that the queen of chunky yarn, the lovely Andrea of “Woolly Mahoosive”, graciously sent me some of the giant balls of yarn that she and her company are known for, a 40 mm (!) hook included. I was in awe! Not just because the giantness of the wool is SO impressive, but the yarn itself is beautiful, soft and very nice, plus I loved the colors Andrea gave me to work with.

Catching up on stuff, summer itself and a broken arm got in the way of diving right in, but I made up for all that last Monday morning: an excellent start of my week, I can assure you. My plan for this yarn early on was to make a cat-bed for Quinn’s cat Ziggy, and I had found this pretty fabric to make the cushion that I wanted to go in the crochet bed a few weeks before (here) – isn’t it just the cutest? And – maybe the best of all – this project was finished in 1,5 hrs – start to finish! Not bad either for a change, right? I took notes as I went along, so I could share the “Ziggy Pet Bed”-pattern here with you right away!

“Ziggy Pet Bed” (US terms used)

Things you’ll need:
1 Giant Ball of Mammoth Acrylic, color: “Dove Grey” (more info: here)
40 mm crochet hook (info: here)
Some fabric (about 0,5 m) to make an insert/cushion (mine has a 43 cm diameter)
Fiber fill to stuff the insert/cushion with

Round 1: in a magic ring, crochet 6 single crochet stitches (6 sc);

Round 2: 2 single crochet stitches in every sc made in the previous round (12 sc);

Round 3: 2 single crochet stitches in every sc made in the previous round (24 sc);

Round 4: * 1 sc in the next sc, 2 sc in the next sc **; repeat all around (36 sc);

Round 5: in the back loops only of the sc made in the previous round: 1 sc in every sc made in round 4 (36 sc);

Round 6: 1 sc in every sc made in the previous round (36 sc);

Round 7: 1 slip stitch in every sc made in the previous round; fasten off, sew in your ends.

Cut two identical circles, the size of which will fit into your pet bed (do not forget a seam allowance); with right sides facing, sew the two pieces together, leaving a 10 cm opening so you can fill the cushion with fiber fill. Close the opening with little (hand) stitches, add your (leather) label (I love mine by “Mez11”), and you’re all done!

As you can see, Ziggy quite liked her new bed!

Love, Marianne xx