Want to wear something special and lovely on Valentine’s Day this year? If so, we offer you several suggestions for delightful knitting and crochet projects to consider when your goal is dressing up for Valentine’s Day.
For starters, this beautiful yet practical Valentine Scarf would be a fantastic way to accessorize. You could dress it either up or down for daytime or evening wear. If you’re going for a casual look, this scarf pairs well with jeans or khakis and a long-sleeved t-shirt or sweater. Alternatively, if you’re dressing up, you could pair it with a dress, skirt, or suit. This scarf pattern is available for free here on our website.
This pretty flower applique is useful at any time of year, but it’s especially appropriate for Valentine’s Day. You could pin it to a hat or lapel, or use it to embellish a Valentine gift you’re giving to a friend or loved one.
I’ve crocheted my sample flower in shades of pink and purple, but it would be even prettier in red and white, or pink and white. Or perhaps you could even use red, pink and white all together in this flower, assuming you can find the right combination of button, ribbon and yarn. Any of these options would be ideal color schemes for crocheting Valentine’s Day themed flowers.
Valentine-Friendly Crochet Motif Patterns From Crochet Kaleidoscope by Sandra Eng
Crochet Kaleidoscope is one of my favorite crochet pattern books. It features patterns for gorgeous crochet motifs including flowers, squares, circles and many others that you can crochet in any color palette you choose — including Valentine colorways and many others. The book also includes patterns for making inspiring finished projects in addition to the motifs. There is also helpful color theory information, which makes this book a truly unique and useful reference for crochet enthusiasts.
I will create an exquisite family heirloom to be passed down to a child or grandchild- perhaps a beaded bag worked from a vintage pattern, or an elegant lace tablecloth
I will organize my yarn / thread stash, and donate or give away any yarns / threads I don’t plan to use
*__= fill in this blank with whatever number you think would be a good goal. Pick a number that is small enough to be manageable, yet large enough that you’ll feel like you really accomplished something when you’ve reached the goal.
Resources for Achieving Your New Year’s Resolutions:
Learn How to Crochet or Knit; Learn New Crochet and Knitting Skills: You can take a variety of different crochet, knitting and crafting classes either online or in person. If you’d be interested in the the online version, there are several resources I can recommend:
Get Inspiration for Organizing Your Yarn and Craft Supplies:
Take a look at my favorite yarn organizers and yarn organization strategies on this page. One higlight: A former colleague of mine, Beth Peterson, shared some truly inspiring photos of her organized crochet supplies. She’s been keeping everything in a basket, which is lined with a custom-made holder for her crochet hooks. Check it out!
How are your knitting, crochet and supplies organized? We’d love to have information about how you approach it; please share tips in the comments section.
Learn New Knitting and Crochet Skills
We’ve posted a wide variety of resources to help you with learning new skills and techniques in crochet.
As a child, I adored Valentine’s Day. It delighted me to make paper Valentines for all the other children I knew.
As an adult, I haven’t outgrown my fondness for making Valentines. Nowadays I enjoy adding crocheted edgings to some of them, and putting other artistic touches on them as well. I find it satisfying to make lovely things to give to others, even small things like Valentine’s Day cards.
I’ve discovered that it’s even more fun to make Valentine gifts for my loved ones — or at least, to add handmade touches to my gifts at times when it isn’t practical to create an entire gift from scratch.
If you celebrate this holiday, and you plan on giving Valentine gifts this year, here are some ideas for things you can make:
Let’s say you want to give candy or some small item as a Valentine gift to a sweetheart, friend, or colleague. A heart-shaped pouch would be a fun way to package it.
This is one of those designs where you can really showcase your own creativity. There are many different ways you could decorate this pouch — so feel free to dress it up with appliques, beads, ribbons, buttons or whatever other pretty baubles your heart desires.
If your intended recipient is a guy and the heart idea isn’t quite right for this occasion, you could always choose another pouch design instead. Our list of pouch patterns has several guy-friendly options to consider.
Crocheted Hats for Him
If your intended gift recipient is a guy, perhaps a crocheted hat would be a nice gift for him. The one pictured here is part of a hat and scarf set that I think is particularly nice for guys. It’s a bit of a time-consuming project, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a gift for casual acquaintances – but for the right guy, I think it’s worth spending the time on it. I can say that, having made the set for my own husband (although not specifically as a Valentine’s gift…) and he got significant, daily wintertime wear out of the hat for years before it got too shabby to make any more public appearances. Which reminds me that perhaps it’s time for me to begin making him another one…
There are all kinds of interesting things you can do with pretty crocheted flowers. You can attach them to hair accessories like headbands and hair clips. You can transform them into brooches or magnets. You can use them as embellishments on gift packages. Et-cetera!
More Valentine Ideas
Here’s a link to a list of free Valentine crochet and knitting patterns. The list includes bunches more ideas for interesting Valentine and heart-themed projects you can crochet. Happy crafting!
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.
I also find wire crochet endlessly fascinating. I’ve completed quite a few projects in this technique. While I don’t find it relaxing to work in this technique, I do usually love the results.
OK, maybe that’s not entirely accurate. Make that sometimes. Sometimes I love the results.
The thing is, wire crochet is not always the ideal technique for perfectionists. If you find it satisfying to crochet nice, neat, precise, evenly spaced stitches, you may find wire crochet a bit disappointing. While it’s technically possible to crochet evenly using wire, in practice it is pretty darned difficult to do.
This is one reason why I love the results sometimes, and sometimes not.
When working in yarn, I’ve practiced the afghan stitch to the point that I’m technically proficient at working it; I’m able to make a pretty tidy fabric using the stitch.
When I tried working the afghan stitch in wire, however, all of that went right out the window.
In the picture above, you can see my first attempt at working the afghan stitch using wire. I crocheted a small sample strip of the stitch using copper craft wire, which I then transformed into a beaded bracelet.
I think this design is pretty, and it has significant potential — although I’m not entirely happy with my first attempt. I’ve concluded that it would take more practice for me to produce a piece that’s up to my usual standards.
If you’d like to read more about my experiences with making this bracelet, and the techniques I’ve used to complete it, I invite you to take a look at the free bracelet pattern and instructions that I have shared.
If you’re new to the wire crochet technique, this is NOT a good starter project; I’d recommend trying this beaded wire crochet napkin ring first. That project is much easier than this one is.
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.
If there’s ever a time that you want to set a pretty table, it’s Christmas dinner. The table sets the mood for the entire meal; you want it to look amazing for your loved ones, not to mention for the family photos (especially if you’ll be posting them online.)
There are many possible ways to pretty up your table, and many different elements that could enhance you table settings and make them spectacular.
Of course, if you have a set of fine china or holiday dishes, it’s the ideal time to get them out and put them to use. Christmas is also the ideal occasion for using a pretty tablecloth or table runner. If you own a beautiful vase, it would be lovely to fill it with flowers and create a unique centerpiece.
And once you’ve done all that, you’d feel pretty silly putting paper towels on the table to use as napkins, wouldn’t you? Of course you would.
This realization could lead you down a whole new rabbit hole: How do you fold the napkins and keep them in place?
The answer, of course, is that you’ll want to use napkin rings to do that.
For you DIY types who like to make creative pretties to dress up your home decor, I invite you to consider the following free patterns for crafting your own napkin rings:
If you like the idea of making napkin rings, but the ones pictured above aren’t quite what you have in mind for your table, you’re invited to check out this list of 16 ways to make napkin rings. The list includes bunches more ideas, some of which involve craft techniques other than knitting or crocheting.
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.