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Confession time: I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas! Can you believe it? However, my husband absolutely loves decorating for Christmas, listening to Christmas music, hot cocoa, trimming a live tree and watching the fireplace on cold nights. For the first few years of our marriage, I tolerated it while teasing him that Thanksgiving was really the better holiday. Up until last year, I really believed it!
Then in the summer of 2016, our family moved from North Carolina to Florida. Since we don’t live in a cookie cutter house, in a quiet cul-de-sac in a sidewalked and manicured subdivision, our kids were really having a hard time adjusting to our new home. One tough day in early November, my son said that he hated Florida, and wanted to move back home to Sneads Ferry to see his friends. It’s tough to explain why that’s not possible to a preschooler!
When I told my husband, I wasn’t sure he could come up with a good solution. But, just like he always does, he completely surprised me. Without a word to me, he told me to load the kids up in the stroller for him, and they would all take a walk- over to the live Christmas tree lot two blocks from our house. (I got the privilege of cooling off for a minute and driving the car over.)
A few hours later, as we sat on the floor around our Fraser Fir tree, I could tell the kids would settle in just fine. It was simply decorated, that night, just a plastic tree stand and a couple strings of white fairy lights, but as he looked up to the tree in the dim light, I could see the magic of the season reflected in his eyes.
This simple, sweet little pillow is this year’s project to brighten our home for the holidays. I haven’t completely caved and let them pull it out to the couch yet, but judging from the amount of times I’ve had to retrieve it from the couch, the kids are already SO excited for the Christmas season!
The soft, chunky yarn works up deliciously fast, and even a beginner could finish this fun and festive project! I’ve written it as a convenient envelope style pillow sham, that fits an 18″ throw pillow- but you could easily make it to fit over one of the pillows already on your couch.
M/9mm and L/8mm Crochet Hooks (or sizes needed to meet gauge)
I/5.5 Crochet Hook (for applique)
Bernat Softee Chunky Yarn (108 yds (6) Chunky weight yarn) 1 skein white, 2 skeins red
Red Heart with Love (315 yds (4) Worsted weight yarn) 1 skein black.
Caron One Pound (Around 75 yds (4) Worsted weight yarn) in Golden Yellow.
Yarn Needle for finishing
18” square pillow form.
Optional: 2 Large (about 1”) buttons for closure.
This would have worked just as well using a chunky black yarn instead of a worsted weight held tripled. They’re just harder to find on a store shelf, so I improvised with some yarn from my stash.
Dc – Double Crochet
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Gauge / Finished Size
4 Dc and 3 rows per 2”. Finished pillow case measures 17” square.
With M hook and Red yarn, Ch 35. Switch to L hook.
Row 1: Dc in 3rd ch and each ch across. 
Row 2-4: Ch 2, turn. Dc across. 
Switch to larger hook and Ch 35 onto your current piece. Switch back to smaller hook.
Row 5: Dc in 3rd ch and each ch across. Continue to Dc across previous row. 
Row 6-12: Ch 2, turn. Dc across. 
Join black yarn (held triple).
Row 13-16: Ch 1, Hdc across. 
Join Red yarn.
Row 17-24: Ch 2, Dc across. 
Join White yarn.
Row 25-27: Ch 2, Dc across. 
Break yarn and weave in ends.
With I hook and yellow yarn, ch 30. Sl to join.
Round 1: Ch 2, *Dc 9. 3Dc in next ch. Dc 4, 3dc in next ch.* Repeat once, and sl to join. You should have a roughly rectangular shape.
Round 2: Ch 1, Sc 10. 3Sc in next st. Sc 6, 3Sc in next st. Sc 11, 3Sc in next st. Sc 6, 3Sc in next st. Sc 1, sl to join.
Break yarn, leaving a very long tail for attaching to the pillow case.
Fold the pillow case in half, and center the applique over the black “belt.” I placed mine on the side with the extra envelope flap, so the pocket wouldn’t be visible from the front.
Use the yarn tail to sew the applique in place. Weave in and snip off the excess.
Fold the pillow case inside out into a square. The buckle should be facing inwards, and the extra flap should be folded into the square.
Using your yarn needle and some scrap red yarn (about 3 times as long as the length you’re sewing), sew the side of the pillow case together. I used a mattress stitch, but the seam will be on the inside anyway, so no stressing over it! I found that starting at the bottom and sewing through 3 thicknesses (the flap, and the front and the back) worked easiest. Stop before you get to the white so your red thread doesn’t show through!
Take another small length of yarn (about a foot will do) and sew the second half of the flap down to the other side of your square.
Now, take a long piece of white yarn to sew the top portion shut.
If you wish, attach the buttons to the outside of your envelope flap to help keep it snugged shut. Just push them through the fabric, no need for special buttonholes with such a chunky stitch!
Turn inside out, and stuff with your pillow form.
Enjoy your new Christmasy pillow with a warm mug of peppermint hot cocoa or spiced cider!
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