Category: Christmas

Crochet for The Needy Using Plastic Bags (Complete Guide to Crocheting Plastic Bag Mats for Homeless)



*Photo Source: Emma Nagle

If you’re a knitter or crocheter, then chances are, there’s a big, kind heart in that chest of yours. You’re selfless to the point of actually searching out ways to be of use to others, even strangers.

Yes, I know who you are and although you most likely would never admit it because you aren’t vain, but you know you have a heart as good as gold. In fact, your friends and family members tell you this frequently.

You’re the kind of person who experiences something like a high when you brainstorm new ways you can help people in need.

It’s eerie how well that description fit you, right? But, lets face it, you’re a crocheter/knitter and crocheters/knitters are all heart… And fingers (you gotta have em’ to crochet/knit, amIright?)

Since it’s the time of year that people tend to be in need the most, I thought I would work on putting up a post that might be useful to my fellow yarn-craters — an entire guide to teach you everything you need to create plastic bag mats for homeless people. This seems to be the most popular “gift” for homeless this year. I almost considered knitting blankets this year and donating them to be put together for the homeless, but when I read how well-received these plastic bag mats had been, I decided it must be a great idea after all. So, for those of you who are interested in learning how to crochet these, please read on. And do feel free to skip the next section if you’d like to get right to learning.

I still can’t believe it’s already really is that time of year again. You know, the time of year that causes your brain to flood with ideas and you spend 90% of your days brainstorming what project you’ll crochet/knit for the kids, and your parents, and your nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles.

You’ve got a project idea that perfectly fits each family member and loved one, and by-golly you’re determined that this year, you’re gonna complete each one. Sleep be damned! You’ll even stay up hours past your bedtime to make sure every project is done and every loved one warm and cozy in their new scarf, coat, or socks.

That’s that big ol’ heart of yours I was talking about.

Now that I know you inside and out, it’s a good time to get straight to the heart (no pun intended) of the issue here.

The homeless and needy don’t always have a warm bed to sleep in every night and if you’re anything like most of us yarn-crafting fanatics, this bothers you every year — knowing that people are spending their Holiday season just trying to stay warm each day.

I know. I’m the same way. That big ol’ heart sometimes just seems too big. Sometimes it downright hurts to have a heart. You just want to do something. Anything to help make sure other people get to spend their Holiday season warm and cozy at the very least. Each year, I look for a way I can help contribute to improving the harsh winter months for someone else and I believe the plastic bag mats will fit the bill perfectly.

One more important thing I’d like to address before I kindly step aside and let you start learning how to make plastic bag mats…

Like myself, a lot of you precious folks use yarn-crafting as a form of therapy, a way to whittle through the ugly winter months — to you and I, each stitch is just part of our battle with depression. We literally knit or crochet our way through the pain or melancholy that sometimes happens to us when the cold months strike. I’m right there with you my friend. But I’m determined to not let this year suck me in. I hope you will be, too.

This is How I’ll Battle Depression This Winter

I’ve decided that this year, I’m going to try my hand at these simple plastic bag mats. Since it costs virtually nothing to obtain a pantry full of those otherwise pesky bags, pretty much anyone with a crochet hook can contribute.

The purpose of making these mats is to provide homeless people with a clean, dry place to sleep at night. Since it’s made of plastic, there’s no worry of it absorbing water and being useless to sleep on or harboring bacteria and crud like some products made from materials like yarn. It’s also supposed to be lightweight, making them easy to carry around. Most importantly though, they provide some level of warmth to a person who otherwise might be exposed to the harsh weather.

So, if you’re like me and you struggle with depression and feel a painstaking desire to help people in need, join me in the Crochet for A Cause project and start making those “plarn” balls right away. I’ve compiled a list of different videos and tutorials to help you along the way. If you have any trouble, let me know and I will do my best to help out.

P.S. Please take the time to say thanks to the good folks who took the time to create these awesome tutorials.

*P.S. When you’re having trouble pulling out of an episode of depression and can’t seem to motivate yourself enough to start the project, just shoot me a message and we will can work at it together. I’m also happy to chat with others who may be struggling with finding yourself through these winter months, so please do not hesitate to get in touch. Sometimes I feel as if I’m withdrawing from the outside world and don’t really have people who I can just chat with during these times as well, so it’s always a pleasure to connect with you lovely folks.

How to Cut the Bags for Making “Plarn”

Cutting Plastic Bags

How to cut plastic bags for crocheting

The Following Video Shows Another Method of Cutting the Plarn + How to Make the Mats

Plastic bag mats for homeless tutorial

No Description

Here’s Another Video That Shows You how to Crochet Waterproof Bedrolls (The Same As “Mats”)

Recycled shopping bags crocheted into waterproof bedrolls

https://mumam.blogspot.com/2011/04/but-what-do-we-really-do.html

Finished Mats + Crocheting In Action! The Below Video Shows A Variety of Finished Mats + a Woman Crocheting One from “Milk Bags”

Creating sleeping mats out of milk bags

Sudburians are creating sleeping mats out of milk bags for those less fortunate in third world countries.

For The Knitters Out There, This Video Shows The Process of Knitting With Plastic Bags! You can follow the same basic directions for crocheting the sleeping mats by just swapping your hook for needles.

Plastic Bag Knitting

Knitting a plastic bag holder from ordinary plastic shopping bags.

I also look forward to seeing your lovely projects! Please share photos of your completed projects.



This New Year’s (2015) Clearance & Yarn Sale on Lion Brand

Hello my fellow yarn-craftin’ folks,

It’s the very first Monday of the new year 2015 and I found myself caught up checking out on-sale yarns. Being that it’s a new year and considering that most of the most popular yarn and craft suppliers didn’t exactly have to-die-for sales on yarn on New Year’s, I figured there must be a good sale coming soon. As I was checking my e-mail, I had one from Lion Brand and sure enough! They’re doing a sale on some select yarns, one of those being the “Amazing Yarn 3-skein value pack” which is 75% off the original price right now:

Here’s a close-up of Lion Brand’s Constellation yarn from their Amazing Yarn line.

I can’t honestly say that I’m really digging any of the yarns I’m seeing on sale, and that unfortunately includes the Amazing Yarn. At 75% off, I have to admit, I was tempted, but just can’t find anything I truly love about the colors there, so I thought it better to just back away and wait for a color I actually want or need to go on sale. However, I did think of you guys, so the sale inspired me to share for folks who might happen to like the yarn.

They also have a 3-skein value pack for the Baby’s First Yarn listed for 50% off, and the two colors featured on their front sales page are beautiful. — “Sea Sprite,” which is a mist or mint green, and a peach color called “Twinkle Toes.” Both colors I really love.



Baby Soft Yarn, in a 6-skein value pack
is also 75% off

The “Lemon Drop” is a pretty bold, sunshine-y color! I actually like this shade of yellow, and I typically have a very hard time finding yellows and oranges that I think are pretty.

Bellini Yarn, in 3-skein value packs
are 75% off too.

Can’t say I’m loving the Bellini line yet either, but I’m pretty excited to see Lion Brand doing a nice sale! Perhaps they’re getting ready for new selections! I’m so ready for new yarn choices right now.

A 3-skein value pack of Cotton Ease
is 75% off, but the colors I saw available — greens — were not to my liking, although I have been hoping to pick up some from the Cotton Ease line at some point.

Now the Da Vinci yarn in Oceania, which is also a 3-skein value pack that’s 50% off did catch my eye. I am very fond of those beautiful color combos. I could see some very artsy creations being made from a skein of the colors they had available. My favorite from this line is “Oceania,” the green/blue color combo skein shown below:

They also have a gradient gray/black colored skein.

Festive Fur is also featured on the sales page, in multiple colors and for 75% a 3-skein value pack.


Joann does have Lion Brand’s “Fun”
yarn on sale for $1.57
right now, which isn’t half off its usual price of $2.09.

The pink color is gorgeous, but I never buy this yarn because it doesn’t come with much (only 85 yards.)

Caron Natura Acrylic
yarn is $1.72 on Joann right now, where it’s usually priced at $2.29.

It appears Lion Brand yarn is marked down on various other shopping sites, including some on Joann. There are several other small-ish yarns marked down a bit on Joann at the moment. Go here to see them all.

As far as ordering off Joann via the internet, I never do that unless I can get free shipping because their shipping fee (comes in around $6 for me) normally is just way too much when you consider your purchase being just a roll or two of yarn. That’s an instant $6 per skein/roll whereas if you went in-store, you’d save that & still be likely to find it marked down.

To shop their entire clearance page yourself here’s the link I found them on. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to get any emails notifying me of any other companies or manufacturers with nice sales today, but perhaps Joann and other companies will jump on the sale wagon soon!

Free Chevron Baby Blanket Pattern & WIP

Kendra Chevron 1
Kendra Chevron 2
Kendra Chevron 3

Kendra Chevron 4

Kendra Chevron 5
Kendra Chevron 4
Kendra Chevron 3

These are the many photos I’ve taken of the partially finished blanket I started crocheting… gulp… last year for my nephew. I used this wonderful free pattern which I’ve actually featured before already from Miracles Happen called the Ripple Crochet Afghan and adored every stitch. It has been one of the most relaxing, rewarding pieces I’ve worked so far. It went so smoothly, and I adore the design.

The pattern is very simple to follow and if you can crochet quickly, and have some time to spare right now, then you could probably finish a baby size before Christmas knocks at your door. Seriously, this is the ultimate relax-afghan, sort of. I suppose a single or double crochet only would be even more mindless to work, but this one has something a little more rewarding about its design.

Kendra Chevron 2
Kendra Chevron 6

Kendra Chevron 7
Kendra Chevron 5
Kendra Chevron 5

Hello my fellow crocheters, knitters and other awesome crafters,

You can see how busy I have been with my needles and hooks, huh? I forgot how fast Christmas could sneak up on us and I twiddled away my time and ended up not having all the projects done I’d hoped to already have completed by now. So, I’m having to scramble at the last minute to try and get them all done.

I have the little rose pink colored cardigan that I posted about last week, the one I have started for my niece and hadn’t finished the sleeves on. Those sleeves are something else. They are taking so much longer than I expected. I’m single crocheting them, so it’s a slow go.

And riding around in my purse is a piece of a sweater on a pair of size 6 needles. Remember in my cardigans to crochet and knit post where I featured several superbly gorgeous and stunning cardigans to crochet (for free!)? Well, at the end of that post, I shared the link to the awesome cardigan pattern by Lion Brand that I’m working on knitting. It’s the one called Curtain Call…

Well, yep. That’s the one on my needles right now, so I’m basically (no, not basically. I am.) switching between my niece’s little cardi and mine! I kid you not, I’ve even been carrying them around in my bag, and anytime my spouse is driving and stops the vehicle (and even at times when he’s not stopped at all, but driving!) I will pull the projects out and knit a couple of stitches, or crochet a few.

If only I didn’t get headaches from every single thing that is present on our beautiful earth! I can’t hardly knit or crochet (or do anything else that requires my vision) without my head pounding. So, here I am frantically pulling out my needles/hook and yarn to knit just one more stitch each time we stop. It’s literally yarn crazy in my world right now!

I’m surprised I haven’t found a way to knit/crochet while I’m using the bathroom yet. Hey… Next idea? Just kidding. Just kidding!

However, it would be pretty fantperb (that means fantastic+superb) if my love bucket could knit or crochet because I could just put him to work on one of the projects as I work the other. Oh Lord, I have a feeling that’s coming. Bless his heart, he’s already untangled and re-rolled dozens of yarn balls for me, and even attempted to knit a few stitches a while back on a sweater I worked on. He actually did a good job, too. That brings me to another totally off-topic little fun fact: My spouse is who inspired me to crochet/knit, kind of. The idea came to me one night, and it so happened his grandmother was a very big crocheter, and it wasn’t a day or two after I mentioned to him that I was going to take up knitting that he had me an entire tub full of supplies. He watched his grandmother crochet for years as they watched TV together, and even played Mario on the Nintendo!

So, thanks to him and his incredibly inspiring grandmother (who has since passed away, and the beautifully precious family has allowed me to use her supplies. Something I’m forever grateful for), I have been able to take up this absolutely stunning craft. Seriously, there’s nothing like the feeling of needing nothing more than either a hook and some yarn or a pair of needles and some yarn and knowing you can literally create anything from those two supplies.

Okay! I truly did bounce from one topic to a million others. I hope you all can forgive my scatter-brain for now. I’m feeling crazy and scatter-brained and frantic as ever now that the Holidays are approaching and so many life changes are occurring at such a fast pace in my life! I am sure this shows through my posts, so please bear with me. I promise to try and get myself together before I go posting again.

In the meantime, I am still trying to think up some Christmas gift ideas (last minute!) for other loved ones of mine who I either wouldn’t have time to crochet/knit something for, or who simply wouldn’t really love one of my projects, so any ideas? What are some of the gifts you’re giving this year? I’m hoping to find several great gifts really soon so that I don’t go all panic-last-minute-shopping even worse than I am right now. Seriously, I have one gift ready. ONE. So, I’d love to hear some of ya’ll’s ideas. Anybody else crocheting or knitting gifts this year, too?

P.S. If you aren’t a crocheter yourself, but would like to purchase a similar blanket, you can find them on my shop Laughing Flamingos.

13 Insanely Adorable Crochet Toys/Amigurumi

Amigurumi Crochet Collage
1. Giraffe
giraffe

Crochet-Patterns-Free has a nice list of giraffe amigurumi and giraffe themed items with free patterns! The little guy above by I Love Buttons By Emma is my favorite, but with so many free giraffe patterns available, you have a plethora of those to choose from. I think the little giraffes would be precious baby gifts.

P.S. The Crochet Stripey giraffe pattern by I Love Buttons By Emma appears to be UK pattern, so keep this in mind if you are a US crocheter.

2. Octopus found on Joann

This is the best free octopus pattern I’ve yet to be able to find online, in my opinion. octopusAnd he’s one pretty awesome octopus. Bonus: He actually looks quite easy to do, too.

3. Laura’s Loop: Bobble Sheep Pillow Free Pattern found on The Purl Bee
bobble_sheep-600-2

Free Crochet Pillow Pal Pattern by Red Heart
unicorn

If you know a child who’s been hoping for one of those pillow pets (that are $20, thank you very much), then you might just be able to impress them with your own, hand-made version. And there’s a unicorn one! As long as they don’t mind the non-light-up effect of a hand-made version, that is. My niece is a fan of pillow pets, and would be ecstatic to have one of these made for her, so I was totally beside myself to find a FREE pattern for one. And they look very much like the as seen on TV Pillow Pets, too! And let’s face it, that unicorn is bad a**! Excuse my stars/language.

…4. Oh, and this adorable
owl by Daisy Cottage Designs is too cute to pass up.
Free owl crochet pattern

I’m pretty certain that every niece of mine from my 5 year old niece to my 9 year old niece, they’re all going to be happy to cuddle this cutie.

5. As for the babies in your life (and mine,) the
Teddy Rattle by Is It A Toy looks so chic!teddy-rattle-stone

6. The very creative (and uber kind-hearted woman for sharing such a perfect design), ChiWei from One Dog Woof created this fantastically perfect Bubbles & Goldfish Teether:
fish_bubbles_teether-7

Told you it was purrfect, didn’t I? Hell, if there wasn’t a small baby in my life to make this for, I’d just make it for my own self. . . I can use it for *something* I’m sure! Too cute to pass up. I think I’ll even try for one or two for my many pregnant friends who happen to all be pregnant right now.

7. <a href=" https://www.lionbrand.com/patterns/90155AD.html” target=”_blank”>Crochet caterpillar baby toy by lion brand:
caterpillar

8. For all the Grumpy Cat fans: A Grumpy Cat Pattern
by: Crochet is for Lovers
I know, you’ve just fallen in love, right?

grumpyCat_front_smallNote: The pattern can be downloaded from her Ravelry page (simply click the link above to get there.)

9. Any small child is probably going to appreciate a pony like one of these fellas by Knit One Awesome: unicorn pony

10. …Or a floppy, precious bunny like the one by:
One Skein Bunny Rabbit by Deb Richey
amy the great
The one photographed is by © AmyTheGR8. Pattern can be found here
I liked AmyTheGr8’s version the most, but there are loads of finished bunnies you can find inspiration from, if you’d like to tweak yours to be more original, too.

11. …Or this fabulous little elephant! Even I want one of these cuties.
tumblr_inline_n4cv5ouwvY1qfosqa
Thanks to <a href=" https://www.allaboutami.com/post/83519406448/elephant" target="_blank">All About Ami for providing a useful photo tutorial here to go along with the original pattern here.

If you speak English, you’ll have to do some translating (Google or Bing Translate), but it shouldn’t be impossible as a few folks have already accomplished these!

12. And let’s just be honest here, who *wouldn’t* jump up at down for one of these adorable koalas from Craft Passion?
koala

You can get the crochet pattern for Mr. Koala here at Woman’s Day, and to see an awesome photo of putting him together, check out Craft Passion’s post.

13. If you’re crocheting for your cat (Christmas gift for kitty?) or a kid, I’m pretty sure both would love a few adorable, brightly-colored mice by Tuba Ching Ching! I know as a kid, I would have really loved a little mouse or two like these! And I’m sure they’d have been far more snuggly to cuddle up to than those ol’ plastic ones I used to play with.

If it’s for kitty, simply stuff with cat-nip (kitty will thank you! I promise) and if it’s for a child, simply use stuffing (kid will thank you…. I think. Can’t make many promises, though.)
Easy-Peasy-Catnip-Mouse-Toy

7 Adorable Free Crochet Patterns to Make Before Christmas

1. Scoodies
Tutorial: How to Crochet A Hooded Neckwarmer (or “Scoodie”) by I’mAfricanCrab
https://youtu.be/xd_GVBvy85k

I’mAfricanCrab shows you how to crochet her stylish “Scoodie,” which is a scarf/hoodie that’s so cute and functional you’ll want to join her in crocheting it right away. Her video tutorial is so easy to follow and understand that a beginner will be able to follow along and complete the scoodie with ease.

2. Boot cuffs!
All (okay, most) boot-wearing gals will really love a pair of adorable boot cuffs, and they can be knitted or crocheted in a jiffy. Best thing about them:

Source: Seven-Alive
Source: Seven-Alive
They’re small items, so they work really fast.
Quick Crochet Boot Cuffs by Seven-Alive

Bow Boot Cuffs by Loops of Lavender (these are my faves because the bow!)

Source: Loops of Lavendar
Source: Loops of Lavendar

(Crafting On a Dime) DIY Crochet Boot Cuff by Vanessa at See Vanessa Craft

Source: See Vanessa Craft
Source: See Vanessa Craft

These are absolutely darling! I’ve had them on my to-do list since I started crocheting last year! I can’t wait to get around to making these babies.

Crochet Boot Cuffs Free Pattern
by Penelope Rae
Source: Penelope Rae
Source: Penelope Rae

Since boot cuffs or boot “toppers” as some call them are so small, it’s pretty easy and quick to crochet a pair. There are several different free patterns available online for crocheted boot cuffs, so if you aren’t particularly fond of these here, you’ll likely be able to find another style you like somewhere online.

3. Scarves!
These are pretty much a given. Scarves are a pretty basic accessory and make a common gift. But… Hand crochet (or knit!) a scarf with your own hands & it’s suddenly extra spectacular. There are so many gorgeous scarf patterns available that I’d never be able to list them all (I feel a scarf post coming on), but I will list a few favorites of my own.
Crochet Ribbed Cowl
by The Purl Bee
(okay, it’s not a scarf, but same thing, right?)

I love this cowl’s awesome, unique texture and how cozy it looks.

Rib Cowl

Another totally snuggle worthy cowl is the Chunky Ribbed Cowl by Little Monkeys Crochet

Source: Little Monkeys Crochet
Source: Little Monkeys Crochet


Mosaic Infinity
by Lanas Hilos
Source: Arteen Hilo
Source: Arteen Hilo

Chevron Lace Wrap by <a href="https://www.mooglyblog.com/" target="_blSource: Mooglyank”>Moogly

This gorgeous Chevron Lace Wrap is lightweight and oh, so perfectly lacy looking. I can just imagine every single outfit in my wardrobe combined with the beauty of this — lovely overload.

4. Washcloth Scrubbies

Source: My Sweet Somethings
Source: My Sweet Somethings


Reusable Crochet Cotton Facial Scrubbies
by My Sweet Somethings

5. Jewelry

Source: Craftaholics Anonymous
Source: Craftaholics Anonymous

Easy Crochet Bracelet Tutorial by Craftaholics Anonymous

Finger Knit Bracelet
found on DIY Cozy Home
Okay, this one isn’t crochet, but it’s too perfect to not add to this fantastically purr-fect gift list, right? It’s finger-knitted, so I figure if you can crochet, you can definitely pick up finger knitting with ease.
Source: DIY Cozy Home
Source: DIY Cozy Home

The very first yarn craft I ever engaged in was finger knitting, in fact! You guys didn’t know that did you? It’s what got me hooked on yarn crafts and caused me to immediately begin exploring the world of knitting and crochet! Finger knitting is also an amazingly cool method for kids. Like crocheting and knitting with out needles and hooks, finger-knitting is also incredibly therapeutic, so I’d recommend trying it just for that very reason alone, even if knitting something wasn’t of big interest to you. I’d almost guarantee you’ll fall in love, though.

6. Cupcakes…
Seriously. You can crochet cupcakes. And these are actually cute.

Source: Bitter Sweet Blog
Source: Bitter Sweet Blog

Bake me A Cake pattern by Bittersweet Blog

8. Cupcakes are all the rage right now. It’s like these delicious yet cute little desserts have their very own trend going. I have seen cupcakes on everything from T-shirts in the little girls department to cupcake charms dangling from necklaces and bracelets… And now probably even our Christmas trees! Just chain a little loop on the top of these little crocheted cupcakes and you have yourself a Christmas tree ornament.

Source: Lulu Loves
Source: Lulu Loves

If you know someone who loves the cupcake trend (probably a tween girl, if I had my guess), then this might be something to consider as stocking stuffers for them, or to add a little something as a gift topper? Who knows, but apparently, they’re a big hit.

7. And to top off your gifts, or as a hair accessory, go ahead and crochet a few of these uber adorable chunky bobble crochet bows by Lulu Loves.

Seriously, I almost stopped what I was doing just to crochet one myself, but had enough discipline tonight to wait until work was finished… Mark my word, though, I will have crocheted a few (hundred, maybe!) of these cuties before Christmas. My niece is going to give me one more reason to thank Lulu Loves for such awesome tutorials!

10 Perfectly Beginner-Friendly Blankets to Knit for Christmas (Free Patterns)

As promised, here is 10 beginner friendly, gorgeous blankets to knit (or simply get inspiration from) for Christmas gifting! We’ve already covered the crochet version, and in that post, I promised a knitters version to come soon & I’ve managed to compile a list of those for you all. I hope this comes as a useful ‘series’ of inspirational gift-giving posts to some of you.

I’ve chosen to focus on beginner friendly patterns to feature here since this will allow beginners to check out some patterns that will fit their skill levels, too. Had I focused on more advanced patterns, I feel like I’d have limited the amount of folks that could participate in knitting the many different patterns out there available. This way, both beginners and advanced knitters can get in on the fun.

Another thing I’d wanted to accomplish with this and the crochet version of this post was to spark some confidence or inspiration in those of you who might not have been feeling confident enough in their skills to take on a gift project. Or for those of you who have been too afraid to take up the daunting task of trying your hand at something as big as a blanket. For that reason, I’ve tried to include as many quick and fast working projects as possible.

So, now that you feel motivated (and you do feel motivated, right? Right?), I hope you’ll try knitting up a blanket or two, or five!

P.S. To see my crocheters version of this post, go here.

1. Fuzzy Fluff Blanket Project from Craft Warehouse
*Update: It appears the owner of the website has removed this pattern & link. My apologies.

Source: Craft Warehouse
Source: Craft Warehouse

This fluffy, stylish blanket is knitted with specific yarn, to create the pom “pon” effect. However, you can whip up an equally beautiful blanket using the yarn of your own choice and following the pattern. The only difference is, well, for one, it’ll be much easier and for two, you won’t have to work with tiny “pom pons” on your yarn, which the pattern calls for. This is an easy to knit blanket otherwise.

2. Quickie Blanket by Big Box Detox

This blanket is not only simple and stunning, but it’s so easy to make! Nobody will ever know you whi

Source: Big Box Detox
Source: Big Box Detox
pped this blanket up with little to no mental work. The color block look is modern, stylish and fun! Plus, this knitted beauty is so age-versatile you can knit a colorful one for a child to snuggle with for the rest of their lives, or an adult who’ll appreciate it forever.

3. Super Easy Baby Blanket (Pattern Tweaked by Time for Dinner)

Source: Time for Dinner
Source: Time for Dinner

A simple baby blanket, originally found on the Purl Bee, which uses the garter stitch has been tweaked into unique perfection by Time for Dinner. She simply used knit 1 stitch, then purl the next and repeated that all throughout to create this awesome color block blanket! I love the results, and I think you will too.

4. Knitted Stripe Baby Blanket by Tiffany from Sweet Peonies

Source: Tiffany from Sweet Peonies
Source: Tiffany from Sweet Peonies

Stripes are a classic, and this pattern uses a combo of 3 different colors, although you can totally change it up or just use one. Or you could even knit each row in a new color if you really wanted! Virtually every human will love to receive a blanket with such simple beauty.

5. Quick Knit Blanket by Red Heart

Source: Red Heart
Source: Red Heart

This quick knit blanket has a lovely, feminine, lacy appearance, making it a beautiful gift. The skill level is do-able for most knitters, even many beginners. You will need a pair of circular needles (US size 13), though.

6. Chevron Baby Blanket by Espace Tricot

Source: Espace Tricot
Source: Espace Tricot

Let me just take a second to express my love and adoration for Espace Tricot. Ahh. Total knitters bliss, that blogger! The patterns are gorgeous. Stunning. To. Die. For! And so many of the beauties are offered for free, which definitely earns &** a huge shout out from me.

This chevron blanket features bold colors that are just irresistible. In fact, this pattern is already saved in my Ravelry queue for when I have time to knit it later. The pattern is also available in PDF format. Just follow the link provided and scroll down the page until you see the blanket. *There’s no link directed for the blanket pattern specifically, so you will have to scroll down the page to find it. The page is simply one full of Espace Tricot’s gorgeous, amazing free patterns, so if you’re like me, you’ll probably be clicking on every one on the list before you even make it to the blanket!

7. Arrowhead Lace Throw by Red Heart

Source: Red Heart
Source: Red Heart

This lightweight, lacy throw features an intricate-looking stitch design, although it’s actually rated as an easy pattern to follow.

The Arrowhead Lace Throw is beautiful enough — and really complicated looking, although it’s not so don’t even fret! — that it’s sure to earn you some respect as a knitter when you give one as a gift (or just show it off and keep it yourself!)

8. 6 Hour Afghan by Lion Brand

Source: Lion Brand
Source: Lion Brand

This super fast afghan is knitted with 4 strands of yarn held together. With 4 strands, expect a thick, chunky blanket. This is a beginner level project and the result looks so cozy it’ll be hard to pass up. Oh, and that fringe! Fringe is always in. Note: If you want to save $ you’ll spend on your knitting projects (and I understand because this craft can be extremely expensive, despite what many non-yarn-crafters think, so if you’re looking to cut costs, simple ditch the last 3 strands and simply use one. Or 2, if budget allows. Remember to use a smaller needle size if you use less yarn strands, though!)

9. F343 Coffee Beenz Textured Throw by Plymouth Yarn Design Studio

Source: Plymouth Yarns
Source: Plymouth Yarns

If knitting is your thing, but you’re ready to incorporate a little bit of texture into your handiwork, then perhaps this Textured Throw will be exactly the challenge you’ve been needing. This throw is knitted using 2 strands of yarn held together as you go. Remember, you can adjust how many yarn strands you use, if needed. Just use a smaller set of needles than a pattern calls for when you do this.

With a simple design though, this throw pattern will allow you to tweak to add multiple colors, if you like.

10. Weekend TV Lapghan by Lion brand

Source: Lion Brand
Source: Lion Brand

Can’t you just imagine how nice this would look on any couch?
This loose, light-weight throw is a fast piece of work and yet another gem that looks like it required serious work on your part, but it’s surprisingly simple to work.

This pattern requires a crochet hook (size P-15 or 10mm), but don’t worry. You don’t have to have extensive crochet skills in order to create this lovely blanket. The crochet hook is just for making the fringe border.

What do ya’ll think? Are any of these lovely enough to inspire you to try knitting a blanket (if you haven’t ever done so already) to give as a gift this year? If so, I’d love to know which you choose to knit!

If not a blanket, do any of you plan to crochet or knit any gifts for Christmas this year?

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