This year, the first day of winter is today — December 21, 2019. Happy winter, everyone!
To me, nothing says “winter” quite like snowflakes. So here’s a free pattern for a winter snowflake applique that you can use for embellishing many different kinds of craft projects.
I’ve made this pattern bunches of times. So far, my favorite thing to do with this snowflake is using it as an embellishment for this snowflake potholder. It could also make a cute Christmas tree ornament; simply add a hanging loop made of chain stitches, or a purchased wire ornament hanger.
Find More Fantastic Crochet Snowflake Patterns:
If you want to get your hands on a whole bunch of amazing snowflake patterns, I recommend Crochet Snowflakes Step by Step by Caitlin Sainio as a book you’ll want to check out. This book is exclusively dedicated to the topic of crochet snowflake patterns — and the book includes thorough step-by-step instructions for each snowflake, with pictures. Not only that, you also get international symbol crochet charts and written-out text instructions, too. It’s a lovely book!
Another book I highly recommend is Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng. It isn’t at all supposed to be a book of snowflake patterns; it’s actually a library of crochet motif patterns, with a few more elaborate finished projects like a blanket, shawl, pillow and table runner also included. However, the book includes a whole section of hexagon motif patterns, and some of the hexagons included in the book make AWESOME snowflakes. Pictured at right, you can see one example. I’ve also crocheted this same motif in solid ice blue, which is another option for making this motif look like a snowflake. You can see the blue version pictured on this page.
This book also includes international symbol crochet charts for each project. This book was my most-used crochet pattern book last year in 2018, and I’m looking through this book again as I plan my new projects for 2020. I think you’ll LOVE it too!
I hope this post has pointed you in the direction of some lovely new snowflake patterns to crochet! Here’s wishing you and yours a blessed winter season this year.
Are there any kids on your gift list who are between the ages of 6 and 18? If so, I have a suggestion: Instead of giving them toys or candy, give them gifts that will teach them truly useful skills — skills that will engage them, keep them busy and provide them with a lifetime’s worth of benefits.
Why do I make this suggestion?
Lots of reasons.
As a freelance writer, one of the topics I covered most frequently in 2019 was the opioid crisis in the United States (which is on its way to becoming a global crisis). It’s tragic.
What I discovered in the course of my research about this crisis: The reasons for the crisis are numerous and complex. But, surprisingly, one of the things that most frequently drives people to abuse drugs is boredom.
And how do you prevent children and teenagers from becoming bored? That isn’t easy, is it?
Well, I can’t speak for everyone. But, as a teenager, I was not ever bored. Not ever!
I wasn’t ever bored because there were lots of things I liked to spend time on. I enjoyed crochet,knitting,crafts, reading, journaling, writing stories, cheerleading, watching movies, playing with my pets, spending time with my family and friends, going out with my boyfriend and working as a waitress at a local restaurant. There simply wasn’t any reason for me to be bored.
When I felt like maybe boredom could be coming on, the first thing I would do was reach for my crochet hooks and yarn. Using drugs was something that never even occurred to me as a possibility. Sure, I knew people who used drugs. And there were people who offered me drugs. I had no reason to accept the offers. I led a full life without drugs.
Ultimately, the gift of a full life is the gift that we need to give to our children if we hope to see an end to the opioid crisis.
We need to spend quality time with our children. We also need to encourage them to seek deep, meaningful friendships with others. We need to empower them to choose friends who will encourage them to be their best selves.
We need to teach them to read for pleasure.
We need to teach them useful skills that will engage them and give them ways to express their creativity. For me, crochet and knitting were the two that did the trick — and they’re two that I highly recommend teaching your kids (because they’re easy, popular, the barriers to entry are low, and there are easily accessible supplies available in an abundance of places ranging from your local Walmart to the internet to local craft stores if you happen to have them). But there are zillions of other possibilities: gardening,cooking,painting,drawing, computer programming, playing a musical instrument, martial arts, team sports — the list is really endless.
Since this is a knitting and crochet site, and since knitting and crochet were such an integral part of my own engagement in childhood, I’ll finish up this post by making some recommendations for fantastic gifts that can point a child in the right direction of these specific skills. But, really, I think the most important thing is to empower your children to learn at least one useful life skill that is of interest to them. It doesn’t have to be knitting or crocheting.
This is a truly adorable book filled with useful, easy-to-understand information aimed at kids. The book includes tutorials for finger knitting plus instructions for making bunches of super cute projects including scarves, hair accessories, home decor items and more. The projects are all appealing ones that I think could be good motivators for kids — particularly girls, but there are a few boy-friendly items too — to want to learn how to do finger knitting.
Amigurumi patterns are good motivators for younger kids to learn how to crochet — because what child wouldn’t want to have such fun toys to play with after they’re finished crocheting? And many of the patterns are easy ones, requiring only chains,single crochet, and slip stitch plus some shaping and finishing skills.
The book you see pictured here, Amigurumi Adorable Collection, gets my vote as being one of 2019’s best value crochet pattern books. There are bunches of fun, playful, adorable patterns packed into this book at a super affordable price. The patterns in this book are suitable for boys and girls, both. I think any child who’s old enough to crochet would be excited to have a copy of this book.
If you’re shopping for Christmas gifts for one or more girls, I think Crochet for Girls by Zess is an excellent book to consider. This book will empower your girl(s) to crochet some fun, stylish new wardrobe pieces like sweaters, dresses, skirts, hats, leg warmers and purses. They’ll be able to enjoy all the satisfaction that comes from choosing suitable yarns and colors and then making their own garments and accessories.
The majority of the patterns in this book are for girls’ sizes 4,6,8 and 10. I think the ideal age for starting to crochet is usually around age 6; and you couldn’t expect a girl much younger than 6 to be able to read this book anyway. So if you’re going to give this book as a gift to a girl, I’d recommend giving it to a girl between the ages of 6 and 10. It’s also possible that there may be some mature 5-year-olds who could enjoy success with crochet, although they would need major help with actually making a project.
This book would also make a great gift for a mom who wants to crochet clothing or accessories for her daughters between the ages of 4-10.
This book is simply delightful, and I think girls will really enjoy crocheting from this book. They’re also likely to enjoy wearing and using the projects they make from it. I wish someone would make a comparable book on Crochet for Boys…
Any crochet hook or crochet hook set could be a good gift for a new crocheter who doesn’t already have the tools and supplies needed for crochet. If you’re totally, completely dead broke, a single aluminum crochet hook only costs about $3 and would be sufficient to help a new crocheter get started. Boye and Susan Bates are 2 of the most popular brands of aluminum crochet hooks. Either of these brands are great for beginners; both make sturdy enough hooks for beginners to succeed with. In general, a size H hook would be a good choice for a first crochet hook — or a size G, if your crocheter will be focusing mostly on making amigurumi crochet projects.
But, ideally, if you have the resources, it would be ideal to give your aspiring crocheter a set of multiple crochet hooks so s/he has the tools to crochet a broad variety of projects. A no-frills set of aluminum crochet hooks is still a budget-friendly gift. If you have a bigger budget for this particular gift, a set of sturdy ergonomic hooks, like Clover Soft Touch crochet hooks, would be an improvement over the simple aluminum ones. But any crochet hook that gets your gift recipient started is a good choice. S/he can always upgrade later.
I think the finger knitting book I mentioned above is an excellent choice for beginners to knitting for a number of reasons. One is that it entirely eliminates all the stress around learning how to hold knitting needles and figuring out which knitting needles to buy (never mind the expense of knitting needles. In general, needles are pretty affordable, but the expenses add up if you end up buying new needles frequently.)
But if you want to buy knitting needles as a gift for a new knitter, there are 2 resources I recommend consulting. The first is our beginner’s guide to knitting needles; and the other is whichever pattern your beginning knitter will start with. If there’s a pattern s/he wants to make, the ideal knitting needles are the size and style of needles recommended in the knitting pattern.
The Best Yarn for Beginners to Crochet and Knitting
In general, the best yarn for new knitters and crocheters is smooth and either light or bright colored. If there’s a pattern s/he wants to work, buy the yarn recommended in the pattern.
Otherwise, if you have absolutely no idea which yarn to buy for a beginning crocheter or knitter, I recommend Cascade 220 as being one of the top choices you’d want to consider. This yarn is sturdy, affordable, virtually flaw-free and easy to work with. It stands up to insane amounts of abuse. It comes in a huge color palette, so you’ll be able to find the colors you need. It’s easy to fix mistakes made with this yarn. In short, it’s everything a beginner could possibly want in a yarn.
So there you have it: Those are my thoughts on the ideal Christmas gifts for kids. I welcome your comments, particularly if you have other actionable suggestions for how to empower kids to lead happy and fulfilled lives — or other suggestions for gifts that will help them do so.
I finally made the decision to pull it off our list of best gifts in 2019 — but that’s only because so many of our readers have already bought copies of this book for themselves and all their friends who crochet. It hasn’t actually stopped being a great gift.
I own a copy of this book, and it is one of my most frequently-used crochet references; if you’re looking for a substantial gift to give a crochet enthusiast, one that s/he’s likely to get a LOT of use from, this book is a fantastic choice.
There are bunches of reasons you might want to crochet a Christmas blanket. Perhaps a blanket would make the ideal gift for one of your friends; or perhaps you’d like one for making your own home cozier and more festive during the holiday season. If you’d like to crochet a Christmas blanket for Christmas 2019, perhaps you’ll be interested in the following patterns:
To make this blanket, you crochet squares in 3 different patterns; one is a square with a Christmas tree motif, and the other 2 are checkerboards. Then you sew the squares together and add an edging. You can check out the free crochet blanket pattern HERE. There’s also a free pattern available for a matching Christmas pillow.
This festive blanket is an intermediate-level crochet pattern. To make this project, you’ll ideally want to use red and white worsted weight yarn plus a size H / 5.0 mm crochet hook. If you crochet to the correct gauge and follow the pattern instructions, the end result will be a blanket measuring approximately 56 inches (142 cm) x 56 inches (142 cm).
Would you like to make an afghan just like this one? Grab the pattern at either of the following links:
Want to customize your own Christmas afghan? If so, there are several other resources you should know about.
This oversized Christmas tree square could be used for designing your own Christmas blanket, or for any other similar Christmas projects you might happen to have in mind. This is a free crochet pattern, so please don’t hesitate to use it if you can think of something you’d like to make with it. And check out this page of Christmas patterns, because we’ve made bunches of other free Christmas designs available in addition to this one. It’s our Christmas gift to you — enjoy! (The page also includes links to some of our favorite pay-for Christmas books and patterns, plus links to our favorite free patterns made available by other designers, in addition to the free designs we’ve made available).
Crochet Stitch Dictionaries for Designing Your Own Christmas Blankets:
Most crochet stitch dictionaries aren’t specifically Christmas books, but you can use them for designing whatever Christmas projects you like — including blankets. If you enjoy designing your own blankets and other projects, the following are some wonderful stitch dictionaries you might want to consider adding to your crochet book stash:
500+ Crochet Stitches With CD — Booklet + CD Bundle:
If you have a need for massive quantities of different crochet stitches to work with,this bundle is the all-time, absolute BEST VALUE I know of. The bundle includes a CD-rom with 7 different PDF-formatted crochet stitch dictionaries, PLUS a beginner’s guide to crochet in paperback format. These books are mostly stitch dictionaries, but a couple of them also include stitch sampler blanket patterns. The paperback book also includes 2 lovely, appealing blanket patterns. So you actually get a nice mix of stitches, PLUS you also get a few blanket patterns, too. Plus you also get a beginner’s guide to crochet.
Various authors wrote the PDF e-books, which means that you get access to crochet stitches in a whole bunch of different styles. The books’ authors include some of the crochet’s most noteworthy “celebrities” — like Darla Sims and the late Jean Leinhauser, who has been acknowledged as one of the Great Matriarchs of needlework publishing.
Overall, I think this is a pretty incredible offer. If you need a new stitch dictionary, you should definitely consider grabbing this bundle before the folks at Annie’s come to their senses and raise the price on it.
Learn More About This Bundle:
I’m working on posting a more detailed product review of this bundle — so stay tuned for that. It’ll be available soon.
One of my favorite crochet pattern designers, Darla Sims, wrote this beautiful book giving you 50 different stitches that are all suitable to use for crocheting afghans and blankets. None of them specifically intended to be Christmas patterns (although, to my eyes, the 24th stitch pattern in the book looks a lot like Christmas trees; if you were to crochet rows 3 and 4 in pine green yarn, and the other rows in white yarn, I think it would look like rows of evergreens in the snow.) Anyway…while they aren’t specifically Christmas patterns, they’d be totally usable for designing Christmas blankets. Simply use Christmas-friendly colors for crocheting them, and combine them with Christmas-friendly motifs from other sources if you want to create a more overtly Christmas-friendly design.
We hope these ideas are inspiring to you, and that you’ll be able to find or design exactly the right pattern for the Christmas blanket of your dreams. Happy crocheting, and Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate this holiday.
Do you enjoy making Christmas gifts for your loved ones? If so, you still have some time between now and Christmas to finish some wonderful handmade gifts for them.
There are zillions of possibilities for nice things you could make for your family and friends. But if you live in an area where December is a cold month, mittens make lovely, practical gifts that the recipient will be able to use right away.
The Following Books Offer You Fantastic, Gift-Worthy Mitten Patterns to Knit and Crochet:
Brenda K.B. Anderson’s pattern book, Beastly Crochet, wasn’t specifically intended to be a book of Halloween patterns. However, if you celebrate Halloween, October is a great time for crocheting the patterns in the book. That’s because this pattern collection is all Halloween friendly.
For example, let’s take the critters on the Beastly Crochet book cover (pictured.) If you look closely at their mouths, you’ll see these little monsters are stuffed with candy. They’re the perfect storage units for all the Halloween candy your little trick-or-treaters or party-goers might collect on Halloween night. Cute, aren’t they? You can crochet and felt them using the pattern and instructions given in this book.
If you want to make Halloween costumes for yourself or a child you know, this book has patterns you could use. There’s a super cute pattern for Sasquatch Slippers and Mittens, which I think might also work as bear claws. So you could dress up as a sasquatch or a bear if you make these. There’s also a vampire hat which could be the basis for an interesting Halloween costume.
The sweet skull hairpins are totally Halloween friendly. If those aren’t quite what you had in mind, you can check out bunches more knit and crochet skull patterns on our website. The link takes you to a list that’s mostly free patterns aside from the ones included in this book. The book also includes a sugar skull bag pattern, which I think is a little creepy — but I guess that’s the idea, right?
One of the fantastic things about this book is that the patterns are great for Halloween, but you can also use them at other times too. That translates to a great value for the time and money you spend on both the book and the projects. A big thumbs up to that!
Overall I really enjoyed this book, which tells you a lot since I am not someone who ordinarily enjoys crocheting skulls or creepy projects.
It’s September. Is it snowing yet? No? Well who cares if it’s too early for a blizzard; I love crocheting snowflakes.
Here at KnittingandCrochet.net, snowflakes are one of our favorite design themes. There’s something irresistible about them; every time I see one, it seems to me that their symmetry and their intricacy just beg to be captured in crochet. I adore beaded crochet snowflakes,filet crochet snowflakes, and just about every other type of snowflake you could dream of.
Where to Find Snowflake Patterns and Other Fancy Crochet Hexagon Motifs
There are bunches of places you can go to grab gorgeous snowflake patterns. One of my favorite resources for hexagon-shaped crochet motif patterns that you can use for making snowflakes is a book called Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng, published by Interweave. This book includes a spectacular variety of different motif patterns, plus finished projects like blankets, a table runner and others. So if you don’t want to spend all your crafting time making snowflakes, you’ll be able to use this book for crocheting some snowflakes as well as some other sorts of projects, too.
If you’d prefer to have a pattern book that’s completely dedicated to crocheted snowflake patterns, check out Crochet Snowflakes Step-By-Step by Caitlin Sainio. This book is published by St. Martin’s Griffin. If you’re a beginner to crochet, this is exactly the book you want — because it has some beginner-friendly projects, plus each snowflake is demonstrated using step-by-step color photo tutorials. The book also includes international symbol crochet charts, which are easy and intuitive to understand.
More Crochet Snowflake Patterns:
Be sure to check out our list of snowflake crochet patterns, which includes some excellent free snowflake patterns as well as some options for snowflake patterns for sale
(that are worth the money, in my opinion).
More Wonderful Crochet Patterns for Winter:
I hope you’ll take advantage of these and all the other outstanding winter knitting and crochet patterns we’ve made available for you — and that you’ll enjoy them. Many of our winter crochet patterns are available for free.
Sandi Rosner’s lovely book called 21 Crocheted Tanks + Tunics gets my vote as one of the most stylish crochet pattern book releases from the last few years. While there have been bunches of truly outstanding pattern books published in the last decade, this one stands out as having a significant number of flattering, wearable designs that were graded in a wide range of sizes. If you wear a size extra-small, 2XL or any size in between, you’ll find projects worth making in this book.
This book is useful in all seasons of the year. In spring and summer time, these tops make great standalone items to pair with shorts, jeans, skirts and khakis. In fall and winter, these tops make excellent layering pieces to wear underneath cardigans, blazers and jackets. Some of them would be suitable to wear to work, and most work well for casual wear, too. They’re all versatile pieces that you’re likely to get a LOT of use out of.
Here’s a fun limerick I wrote awhile back in celebration of joining crochet motifs as you go:
Piles of projects have ends that are loose.
Their numbers, I’d like to reduce.
So I’ve learned to join as I go.
Although it is slow,
There’s no longer any excuse.
Once you learn how to do join-as-you-go crochet motifs, you’ll love how you won’t have to weave in zillions of loose ends when you’ve finished your projects. It’s definitely a technique worth learning.
Check out Continuous Crochet and Seamless Crochet, two books by Kristin Omdahl that explore the join-as-you-go technique in depth. In my opinion, Seamless Crochet is the go-to reference on this topic. I had a hard time wrapping my head around how to turn any crochet motif pattern into a join-as-you-go pattern until I read this book. Continuous Crochet is a follow-up to that book featuring even more amazing, up-to-date clothing and accessory patterns that require minimal finishing.