Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.

March 14, 2019

DIY Crochet Granny Square Lovey and Purchased Stuffed Animal Combo

A crochet lovey attached to a purchased stuffed animal is perfect for my 2 to 4 year old Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  I include a stuffed animal and a lovey in every box, so combining them is fun and makes for a special, cute WOW item that can bring comfort to a child in crisis.


I have seen dozens of patterns online for loveys that included a crochet animal head.  Because of physical limitations, crocheting those causes much pain, but I was drawn to them just the same.  My solution was to design a lovey I could attach to the adorable stuffed animals I had in my shoebox stockpile.  I began by using the case of these that I purchased with birthday money.  The tags on them say for all
ages making them perfect for the 2 to 4 year old age category of OCC shoeboxes.

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As I have shared in the past, I would rather design a new pattern than follow a published one; and I get easily bored making dozens of one pattern.  So I am sure I will be designing more of these in the near future -- I already have a few in mind.  So if you like simple, quick to make quality crafts, try this one and watch Simply Shoeboxes for more in the near future.



Tho this is a very simple pattern, it can be easily changed up by using an ombre yarn or more than one color of yarn.  Makes for a great scrap yarn project.



Crochet Granny Square Lovey for Purchased Stuffed Animal Instructions

Design and instructions copyright Simply Shoeboxes.  Please enjoy this design for your personal use and for gift giving.  ~ Cheryl

Supplies:

  • Yarn, medium weight 4 (I used Simply Soft), 2.4 oz.
  • J Crochet Hook (I crochet loosely, my daughter uses a K)
  • yarn needle
  • Hair Elastic -- the kind used for pony tails (Dollar Tree sells packs of 30; if you use the thinner kind I suggest using two)
  • Purchased (or crocheted) stuffed animal with a neck that the hair elastic fits around -- it also has to be able to stretch over the body or head; mine are 6" high stuffies

Gauge (Shouldn't really matter as long as your work does not pull up the rubber band and lays flat; but I will share what mine is.):

Shells as described in directions:  3 Shells = 3" wide; 3 rows of Shells = 2" high

Final lovey is 13" square.



Directions:

To work shell:  3 double crochet in same space.
To work Corner Shell:  3 double crochet, chain 2, 3 double crochet in same space

Attach yarn to hair elastic with slip stitch, chain one.



Work 24 single crochet (SC) around hair elastic.  Join with slip stitch in top of first SC.



Round 1:  Chain (Ch) 2 {counts as first Double Crochet (DC)}; DC in same stitch; [Ch 1, skip next stitch, work 2 DC in next stitch] around; Ch 1, skip next st, join with slip stitch (sl st) in top of beginning Ch 2; do not turn.  12 sets of 2 DC


Round 2:  sl st in top of next dc, sl st in first ch 1 space,  ch 2 (counts as first DC),  [2 DC, ch 2, 3 DC] in same space; work one shell (see above) in each of next two ch 1 spaces; [work corner shell (see above) in next ch 1 space, work one shell in each of next two ch 1 spaces] around; join with sl st in top of beginning ch 2; do not turn.  Four corner shells and eight shells.


Rounds 3 thru 9:  sl st in top of next 2 DC, sl st in ch 2 corner space,  ch 2 (counts as first DC),  [2 DC, ch 2, 3 DC] in same space; work one shell (see above) between each shell in the row below; [work corner shell (see above) in next ch 2 space, work one shell between each shell in the row below] around; join with sl st in top of beginning ch 2; do not turn.  Finish off after last row (see added safety measure below).  Note: Because each round is the same, you may stop at the end of any round to make a shorter lovey or continue with more rounds if you want it longer.  Mine is a total of 13".  I think longer would be lovely, but it also takes more room in the shoebox which would mean I would have to leave out other items I like to include in my OCC shoeboxes.



Added safety measure  

To be sure a young child doesn't twist the hair elastic around their wrist or fingers, I add a piece of yarn in the following manner when finished:
Make loop and insert both ends;
pull tightly close to stitches.

  1. With yarn needle and a 20" piece of yarn, draw the yarn thru the single crochet row around the rubber band leaving even "tails" of yarn at both ends. 
  2. Place lovey on stuffed animal.
  3. Tighten the yarn around the hair elastic by pulling the tails being careful to not pull too tight but sure to be at least as small as the band.
  4. Tie a knot as illustrated and work in the ends.
  5. If you do not choose to do the optional step below, it is possible to clip this yarn in the future to remove and wash the lovey and then add a new yarn when replacing.  Using a contrasting color will make it easier to find.
  6. Optional:  pull up the hair elastic between two of the stitches and cut (careful not to cut any yarn), pull out of lovey.  If choosing to do this you may want to use two pieces of yarn in step one above for added strength.
  7. Alternative safety measure:  sew the lovey to the stuffed animal all the way around the neck by catching the elastic band or yarn if band has been removed as noted above.
A friend recommended just using two bands together as that would make it harder for a little one to wrap it around their fingers.

  $1 Craft Supplies at Dollar Tree!



We offer several more crochet patterns designed especially for kids as well as sewn, upcycled and no-sew tutorials on our Crafting for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes craft index page.  You can also learn how to donate extra handcrafted items as fillers to OCC, because who doesn't love an excuse to craft more?

Learn more about packing Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for kids in crisis.


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Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.
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