Posted by: jevcat | January 20, 2011

Hooked on Giving

I love getting gifts, but I really love giving them, finding just the right thing.  When I was younger, I made many of my gifts, part from commitment to more simple, ecological, less commercial living, part from just liking various crafts.  As I got older and had less spare time, the handmade gifts became fewer, although I still worked hard to find just the perfect gift and often gave little gifts for no reason other than the pleasure of giving them.  (Having read Tolkien at an impressionable age, I have long suspected I was part hobbit, as they gave rather than received gifts on their birthdays – though not so much hobbit as not to want to get birthday presents, also.)

All of which works really well when one has disposable income, but without that, not so much.  But I can’t cure myself of wanting to give, so I find myself turning back to crafts.  People generally really appreciate the gifts, although, when life is hectic, the may well wind up getting them late.  (I am notorious for once having wrapped an almost-finished afghan to present at a baby shower and, the mother-to-be having opened it, telling her, “Okay, now give it back,” and finishing the border while the rest of the gifts were being opened.)

This fall, a friend from church – who has also been my yoga teacher, without whose tutoring in breathing exercises, I might have completely lost my mind this last year – was having her first baby.  I wanted to give her – and her baby – something tangible to hold, you might say, all the thanks and prayers and good wishes for them.  What to do?:  a baby blanket.

So I rummaged through my stash, came up with four balls of 100 percent cotton yarn – perfect for someone who values the natural things in life – that were not quite traditional baby colors but cheerful and that would work for a boy or a girl.  I used a traditional granny square as the basis, and made up the rest as I went along.  It wasn’t as large as usual, but it didn’t require money I didn’t have, and every stitch was woven with thoughts and prayers – something that makes knitting and crocheting almost magical.

The baby, a boy, arrived earlier than expected – I told his mother to tell him that was very inconsiderate of him – so he had to wait a couple of weeks to get it, but his mother’s joy in receiving it gave me joy.  I’m sharing the pattern in hopes the joy will spread even further:













27” x 27”


Lion Brand Lion Cotton (100% cotton; 5 oz./236 yds.)

760-108 Morning Glory Blue (A) 1 ball*

760-146 Fuchsia (B) 1 ball

760-098 Natural (MC) 2 balls


One size US J/10 (6 mm), or size to obtain gauge

One size US I/9 (5.5 mm)


With US J/10 (6 mm) hook, one square = 5” x 5”


Chain (ch)

Double crochet (dc)

Round (rnd)

Slip stitch (sl st)

Space (sp)


* I used every last bit of this color; you might want an extra ball for safety’s sake.


Make 13 squares starting with A and 12 starting with B, as follows:

Granny Square

With larger hook and A, chain 6 and join with sl st to form circle.

Rnd 1:  Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in circle, ch 2, * 3 dc in circle, ch 2, *repeat from * twice more, join with sl st to top of ch-3; fasten off.

Rnd 2:  Join B in any ch-2 sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1, * 3 dc in next ch-2 sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1; repeat from * twice more, sl st to top of ch-3; fasten off.

Rnd 3:  Join MC in any ch-2 sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1, * 3 dc in next ch-sp, ch 1, 3 dc in next ch-sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1, repeat from * twice more, sl st to top of ch-3; fasten off.


With larger hook and MC, sl st squares together into 5 strips, alternating colors, three strips beginning and ending with A and 2 strips beginning and ending with B.  Sl st strips together, alternating colors as shown


Rnd 1:  With larger hook, join MC in any corner sp, ch 3, 2 dc in same sp, ch 2, 3 dc in same sp, ch 1, * 3 dc in next sp, ch 1, repeat from star to corner, work 3 dc, ch 2, 3 dc in corner sp, ch 1, repeat from * around, ending with sl st in top of ch-3.  Fasten off.

Rnd 2:  With B, repeat Rnd 1.

Rnd 3:  Repeat Rnd 1.

Rnd 4:  With smaller hook and A, repeat Rnd 1.


Weave in ends.



  1. Janet–
    that is lovely!
    I am envious of your skills!

    • Jane, crocheting is easy — much easier than knitting. If we were on the same coast, I’d show you.

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