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.
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:
Want to crochet a ladies’ scarf for Christmas? If so, you have zillions of possible choices — but the one pictured here is a particularly lovely choice. It’s totally gift worthy. And if you celebrate Christmas, this cheerful scarf could be a fantastic addition to your own wardrobe, too.
For those of you who don’t celebrate Christmas — and even for those of you who do — a quick color change would transform this scarf into an everyday design you could wear any time. You might prefer to crochet it in colors that match a favorite outfit, or a favorite sports team’s colors. There are many possibilities. I crocheted a couple of other versions in different holiday-themed colors.
The free crochet pattern is available here on our website, along with many other similar and not-so-similar patterns that might also be of interest. I invite you to browse through our pattern library to find a variety of different options for future crochet projects you’ll enjoy.
Hanukkah is coming up soon; this year’s Hanukkah celebration begins on the evening of Sunday, December 22, 2019.
If you celebrate Hanukkah, and you plan to have wine as part of your celebration, it might be nice to have a wine bottle cozy handy — especially if you will need to transport the wine to the home of a friend or loved one.
Pictured here: the wine bottle cozy embellished with an embroidered menorah patch. If you’d rather embellish it in a different way, I’ve provided several other ideas for you to check out on the pattern page:
This bottle cozy fits a bottle of Manischewitz kosher wine, as pictured; but that isn’t your only option for filling it. It also fits some of the square hard liquor bottles, like Jim Beam whiskey bottles and Jose Cuervo tequila bottles. There may be others; those are just a couple I happened to test when I was at the store. It also fits a fancy vintage crystal decanter I got at a flea market.
I think this is a fun and interesting project to work on, and, if appropriately filled, it makes a great hostess gift. I hope you’ll enjoy the free pattern.
To all our Jewish friends and subscribers, we wish you a blessed Hanukkah! Hope you’ll have a wonderful holiday.
I’ve crocheted this flower what seems like zillions of different times now, and each time I’ve enjoyed finding different ways to embellish it. One of my favorite ideas so far is this simple and pretty ribbon bow, which I attached to the front of the flower with sewing thread and a few discreet stitches.
I crocheted this flower in red wool yarn; I’m thinking a red wool flower makes a nice embellishment for a lot of different projects, and would have multiple uses during the upcoming holidays. When December rolls around, it could be used for Christmas items, and then when February comes it could also double as a Valentine accent too.
Bracelets are reasonably quick projects to crochet, and I love them because they allow for so much easy experimentation — with materials, colors, textures and forms.
I find that wire crochet bracelets are particularly interesting to experiment with. There are so many different ways you can make them. The wire, being stiff, can be sculpted in different ways if you like; and when you crochet with it, a sort of magic happens. It’s almost like creating a delightful fusion of lace and metalwork; the two disparate crafts intertwine and become one. Add beads to the mix, and the results are even more spectacular.
Pictured here are a couple of wire crochet bracelets that I’ve posted online, along with free patterns in case you’d like to crochet some similar pieces. The bracelet shown above is a wire cuff bracelet crocheted in Christmas colors. I adore its lacy look.
The bracelet shown at lower right is one of my latest beaded wire crochet projects. This design is crafted using wire, red coral beads, jasper stone beads, and glass beads. If you don’t already know how to make one of these, no worries, you can learn how to do it — for free! The free bracelet pattern is available right here on our website for you to use.
I’m showing you these particular bracelets because I think they are both nice designs for Christmas, which is coming up soon; it’ll be here before you know it. If you’d like to make yourself some pretty holiday baubles, these would be lovely to whip up for wearing to any upcoming holiday parties or gatherings. If these designs aren’t quite what you have in mind, our list of free jewelry patterns offers even more options. I hope you’ll enjoy browsing through them.
Are you looking for ways to improve your crochet, find new project ideas and get up to speed on useful crochet techniques? If so, you’ll definitely want to check out our series of crochet designer interviews. In the recent past, we’ve posted a couple of new designer interviews you’ll definitely want to check out — but if you haven’t been following our website for years already, there are a significant number of other interviews you’ll also want to catch up on.
If you haven’t yet mastered the art of crocheting garments that fit you perfectly, you’ll definitely want to check out Karen Whooley’s work. One of Karen’s special talents is creating shaping that makes garments fit well. Many of her wearable patterns feature an inclusive range of sizes — with multiple plus sizes available.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Karen about her latest crochet lace patterns (among other things). She has shared some tips and interesting tidbits that I found quite helpful. In particular, I think her lace crochet tips are brilliant, and I am sure others will find this information helpful, too.
Kristi Simpson is the author of more than 40 craft books, most of which are crochet books. Kristi’s latest book is Overlay Crochet, published with Leisure Arts. In this interview, Kristi explains what overlay crochet is all about — and she gives you some ideas about why you might want to try this technique, plus some glimpses at the truly spectacular, colorful projects you can make with the technique.
This technique is exciting because it can give the illusion that you’ve worked a crochet project with multiple colors in each row, when really, you’re only ever using one color at a time to complete these projects. It’s really good stuff. If you aren’t already a pro at this technique (and even if you are!) you’ll probably want to check this out.
Kristi is also a mom of 5 children. That’s FIVE! I am not sure how anyone with multiple kids ever gets anything (other than parenting) done, at all, ever — let alone crocheting. Let alone write books about crochet! But, Kristi manages to excel at it — and in this interview, she spills one of her best hints for squeezing in more crochet time. That’s my favorite part of this interview, and I’m hoping you’ll find it helpful, too.
In general, I’ve found that crochet designers are extremely generous with sharing hard-won tips and insights about their work — if only you take the time to ask them about it. I LOVE posting these interviews and sharing them with you. Overall, I think they give you an excellent way to pick up interesting tidbits you might not figure out on your own. I hope you’ll enjoy the entire series! You’re invited to check out more crochet designer interviews HERE.
You could take any design on the potholder pattern list and crochet it in Christmas colors, but some of the designs on the list are already “Christmas-y” as is. For example, this striped potholder resembles a candy cane if you crochet it in red and white yarn. (If not, it’s just an ordinary striped potholder, as you can see here.)
I haven’t got around to crocheting this Christmas tree design in wool yarn to use as a potholder yet, but it’s on my to-do list to try. Please feel free to use that idea if you’d like.
If you do, keep in mind that the design as originally written was meant to be used as an afghan square, and was crocheted in acrylic. You don’t want to use acrylic or other synthetics for making potholders, because acrylic yarn can melt and emit toxic vapors when it gets hot (as it most certainly will when coming into contact with hot dishes). Wool is a better choice for using to make potholders, because it is self-extinguishing (which means that, if you accidentally catch it on fire, the wool will not burn — the fire will most likely just go out on its own). Wool can safely be heated and is also biodegradable; acrylic yarn does not readily biodegrade. Cascade 220 yarn is my new go-to favorite yarn for crocheting potholders — I highly recommend it.