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Preemie Crochet Challenge 2021

Last year around this time, I got to know the lovely Helen Wilkinson in a Facebookgroup called Sunflower Cottage Crochet. I was following the group for a while, when I first heard about the Preemie Crochet Challenge.

It was a group of crochet designers, dedicating their time, creativity and skills to develop patterns for preemies, from blankets, hats to bonding squares. I felt honoured to be given the opportunity to write my first preemie pattern and gave away over 350 copies during my featured time in the pattern roundup.

This year, I started writing a bonding square pattern, until I discovered another designer had a similar idea. I guess great minds think alike, and we decided to both come up with another design to present to the world. Luckily, I made a freehand preemie hat during my vacation week and I was able to reconstruct the pattern and write it down.

This became the precious Preemie Beanie Marleen, that will be my entry to the Preemie Crochet Challenge 2021, hosted by Sunflower Cottage Crochet.

The aim of this challenge is, to raise awareness for preemies and the possibility to create and donate preemie items to local hospitals, charities or friends/family that might need it. Every download is a pledge to donate at least one item made from the pattern. I received 954 pledges in the form of downloads between 1-8 August. Thank you all so much!

the Preemie Beanie Marleen and the Preemie Bonding Hug Squares together

My Preemie Beanie Marleen hat pattern was available for free between 1-8 August on Ravelry, with the code that was shared in the Preemie Beanie Crochet Challenge site. It is now available in my Etsy shop, too, for those who do not want to use Ravelry.

Please visit the Sunflower Cottage Crochet blog with all the round-up info here:

You can find todays, pattern here too.

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Preemie bonding square ‘ hug square’

Last year I got to know the lovely Helen Wilkinson from Sunflower Cottage Crochet. I was just starting to write some patterns and she was so kind to help me with some technical aspects of pattern writing and blogging. This was topped with a feature of my preemie hat pattern set during her Preemie Month round up.

This year, I will participate again in this lovely roundup, because as a former maternity ward nurse,preemies are so close to my heart.

Photo by Burst on

What also is close to the preemie parents hearts, are bonding squares. These small cloths are worn on the skin of the parent and then placed next to the little one, so that they can smell mom or dad close to them. Usually they are made in pairs, so they can be changed out.

I will give you an example of a nice textured square, that can be made with small bits of cotton and a crochet hook. I would recommend using washable cotton, because of hygienic reasons. Always consult your preeemies nurses or doctors before placing something in their cocoon/bed/incubator off course. Local regulations can apply.

Two white bonding squares with a small flower

Get the ad free pattern for a small fee at ravelry

buy now

Photo by Castorly Stock on

The pattern

  • Materials:
  • Some scrapyarn, cotton preferably, and matching hook
  • In this example I used stylecraft special dk white acrylic, since that was what I had on hand
    Matching hook, I used a 4.5 mm hook
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle for weaving in ends
  • Tape measure, finished square to be approximately 15 cm or 6 inch
close up of the bonding square

Preemie Bonding Squares are like portable hugs..

Marjolein de Koning, 2021
Pattern DutchCrochetbyMdK 
Preemie Bonding Square, Hug Square

Chain2 counts as 1st stitch in pattern

1. Chain 25, hdc in 2nd loop from the hook until end

2. Chain 2, turn and hdc in back loop only in next 22 stitches, hdc in both loops in top of turning chains previous row

3. Repeat r 2 until desired length is same as width of yiur square. In my case 15 rows

4. Chain 1 and sc in side of all rows, in corner (sc, ch1,sc) in same stitch, 24 sc in bottom row, corner (sc, ch1, sc)in same stitch, sc in side of rows, corner (sc, ch1, sc) in same stitch, 24 sc in top row, end with chain 1 and ss in 1st stitch.

Now make another square so you can swap them every 12 hours.

Optional 🌸 
I added a flower from some scrapyarn, stylecraft special dk, color Fiesta, hook 2.5 mm

How to make the flower:
Magic ring, ch3 , 2 dc, ss in ring, *3dc, ss in ring*, repeat in between * 3 more times.
Close with ss in top of ch3.
Close magic ring and weave in ends securely.

Leave a tail for sewing,fasten off . Sew the flower with small stitches on the square, making sure to secure it well.

You could make different color flowers for Mom or dad, day or night.
always check if they are still securely fastened before use.
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Monday Morning Mug Rug

Monday Morning Crochet Mug Rug

I don’t know how you start your workday , but I always take my Mug of black coffee to my desk.

So to catch any spills, because well.. I do spill.. i made this simple and quick mug rug.

It’s basically a square made from HDC in 3d loop only. But if you like I can give you my ^recipe^ so you can make it too.

Monday Morning Mug Rug
  • Materials:
  • Some scrapyarn, I uses a variagated acrylic , DK or #3 Weight
  • Matching hook, I used a 4 mm hook
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle for weaving in ends
  • Your favorite mug for sizing

May your coffee be stronger than your Monday Morning

The Pattern

In this pattern ch2 counts as 1st stitch

1. start with a slipknot and chain 25 +3 ( this was the right size for my mug)

turn and make a hdc in 3d chain from the hook and hdc in all chains until end of the row, ch 2 and turn

2. hdc in 3d loop only in next stitch and all stitches across until end, ch2 and turn

3. repeat this row until desired height

4. ch 1 and sc evenly around, I ended up with 25 stitches on all sides

cut yarn and fasten off

To make it bigger or smaller, just make more or less chains in the beginning, and make more or less rows.

Be creative and use all your scraps. These can be a fun project for stocking stuffers or housewarming gifts..

have fun and show your work #dutchcrochetbymdk #mondaymorningmugrug #dutchcrochetbymdkpattern or tag me on social @dutchcrochetbymdk