Free pattern: Sandy Dunes Binky

In each month’s charity spotlight, I’ll be introducing a charity that accepts crochet or knitting projects for donation along with a free pattern, so read on for details about this month’s charity, The Binky Patrol.

This post contains affiliate links. Yarn for the sample was generously provided by Lion Brand.

May’s Featured Charity: The Binky Patrol

The Binky Patrol is a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization that has been distributed handmade blankets, known as binkies, to children facing health challenges or living with trauma throughout the United States since 1996. You can contribute locally through one of 160 Binky Patrol chapters or mail your donations to the national headquarters.

You can find more information about Binky Patrol on their website, including information about hosting your own “Bink-a-Thon,” how to send in donations, and free patterns.

Sandy Dunes Binky, free crochet pattern by Underground Crafter | This beginner-friendly motif blanket is perfect for donation to the Binky Patrol or as a stashbuster.Tips for Making Great Binkies

Binkies can be sewn, quilted, knitted, crocheted, or made with fleece and should be at at least 3′ (1 m) square. Many Binkies are given to children in hosptials, so they are only accepted from smoke-free homes.

Choose an easy care yarn that can be washed and dried in the machine. Be sure to weave in your ends securely. Don’t use fringe, which can pose a choking hazard for infants and toddlers. Since most blankets are distributed to children in shelters or hospitals, choose easy care yarns that can be machine washed and dried. Never include religious messages and don’t forget to add a Binky Patrol label, which you can pick up from your local chapter or request by mail from the national headquarters.

Here are two other Underground Crafter free crochet patterns that would make great binkies:

Diagonal Rainbows Baby Blanket, free #crochet pattern by @ucrafterCheckerboard in Primary Colors Blanket, free #crochet pattern in 6 sizes by Underground CrafterDon’t forget to share a picture on Ravelry or with my Facebook page if you make one!

Add to RavelryIf you want an easy print format, you can buy an ad-free PDF version on Craftsy.

Click to buy the ad-free PDF version of this @ucrafter pattern on Craftsy

Sandy Dunes Binky

Crochet Pattern by Underground Crafter

Sandy Dunes Binky, free crochet pattern by Underground Crafter | This beginner-friendly motif blanket is perfect for donation to the Binky Patrol or as a stashbuster.

02-easy 50US terms 504-medium 50This beginner-friendly motif blanket is perfect for donation to the Binky Patrol or as a stashbuster.


Finished Size

  • Adjustable. Photographed sample measures 30” (76 cm) wide x 36” (91.5 cm) long.


  • Lion Brand Heartland (5 oz/142 g/251 yds/230 m/100% acrylic) – 2 skeins ea in 109 Olympic (CA), 124 Big Bend (CB), and 098 Acadia (CC), or approximately 500 yds (457 m) in any ea of 3 colors in any medium weight yarn.

Shop for Lion Brand Heartland at your favorite retailer!

LeisureArts | Craftsy | Jo-Ann | Amazon

  • US Size I-9 (5.5 mm) crochet hook, or any size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Yarn needle.


  • Completed Square = 3” (7.5 cm) in pattern. Exact gauge is not critical for this pattern.

Abbreviations Used in This Pattern

  • CA – Color A
  • CB – Color B
  • CC – Color C
  • ch – chain
  • dc – double crochet
  • ea – each
  • hdc – half double crochet
  • rep – repeat
  • Rnd(s) – Round(s)
  • sc – single crochet
  • sk – skip
  • sl st – slip stitch
  • sp – space
  • st(s) – stitch(es)
  • * Rep instructions after asterisk as indicated.

Pattern Note

  • For a scrappy version, you’ll need approximately 6.25 yd (6 m) in ea of 2 colors for ea square.

Pattern Instructions

Motif – Make 20 ea

  • Motif A: CA center, CB border.
  • Motif B: CA center, CC border.
  • Motif C: CB center, CA border.
  • Motif D: CB center, CC border.
  • Motif E: CC center, CB border.
  • Motif F: CC center, CA border.

Save on Crochet and Knitting Supplies at CreateForLess!

Motif Center

  • Ch 4, sk 3 sts, join with sl st to first ch to form ring.
  • Rnd 1: Ch 4 (counts as dc + ch-1 sp), *dc, ch 1 in ring; rep from * 5 more times, dc in ring, sc to top of ch 3 to join (counts as ch-1 sp). (16 sts)
  • Rnd 2: Ch 3 (counts as dc), dc in same ch-1 sp, ch 1, *2 dc in ch-1 sp, ch 1; rep from * 5 more times, 2 dc in ch-1 sp, sc to top of ch 3 to join. (24 sts)
  • Rnd 3: Ch 1, sc in same ch-1 sp, *sc in next 2 sts, 2 sc in ch-1 sp; rep from * 6 more times, sc in next 2 sts, sc in first ch-1 sp, fasten off and join new color with sl st to first sc. (32 sts)

Motif Border

  • Rnd 4: Ch 1, sc in same st and next st, hdc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, ch 2, 2 dc in next st, *hdc in next 2 sts, sc in next 2 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st,ch 3, 2 dc in next st; rep from * around to last 2 sts, hdc in next 2 sts, join with sl st to first sc, fasten off with 12” (30.5 cm) yarn tail for joining. (52 sts)


  • Following placement diagram, join squares together to form rows and then join rows together.

Sandy Dunes Binky, free crochet pattern by Underground Crafter | This beginner-friendly motif blanket is perfect for donation to the Binky Patrol or as a stashbuster.

  • With right side facing, begin with hook and yarn tail in last ch of ch-3 sp. Line up sts and join with sl st through back loops of ea layer, sk last 2 ch of ch-3 sp. Use CC to join rows together in same fashion. You can find a photo tutorial for making a slip stitch join here.


  • With yarn needle, weave in yarn tails securely.
© 2016 by Marie Segares (Underground Crafter). This pattern is for personal use only. You may use the pattern to make unlimited items for yourself, for charity, or to give as gifts. You may sell items you personally make by hand from this pattern. Do not violate Marie’s copyright by distributing this pattern or the photos in any form, including but not limited to scanning, photocopying, emailing, or posting on a website or internet discussion group. If you want to share the pattern, point your friends to this link: Thanks for supporting indie designers!

Don’t forget to share a picture on Ravelry or with my Facebook page if you make one!

Add to RavelryIf you want an easy print format, you can buy an ad-free PDF version on Craftsy.

Click to buy the ad-free PDF version of this @ucrafter pattern on Craftsy

2012 Year in Review: Charity projects and crafting for a cause

This year, I donated more projects and patterns to charity (and causes) than I have for quite a long time.

I started off 2012 by making 6″ granny squares.  I sent off 40 to Binky Patrol in May as part of the Crochetlist charity challenge.

26 6″ granny squares.

In June, I hosted the charity challenge for Crochetlist on behalf of Bideawee‘s Manhattan Adoption Center.  I created a pattern e-book, 30 Purrfect Stitches for Pet Blankets, and I donate all of the profits from its sale to animal welfare organizations.  So far, I’ve raised over $180 for Bideawee and the Humane Society of New York!

I also collected about 70 pet blankets for Bideawee.

In August, my very first knitting pattern was published in support of the 2013 Knotty Knitters for Autism calendar.  You can read my interview with Marsha Cunningham, the organizer, here.  (And calendars are still available for sale here.)

In the fall, I made two hats and also donated a scarf to the Hats 4 the Homeless drive hosted by Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

The Studio’s November window was all about crafting for charity.

This year, I made a strong effort to destash.  In addition to using up yarn for new charity projects, this also meant rummaging through my bins for existing projects and yarn to donate.  In September, I donated a bunch of yarn to the Roosevelt Yarnies and Knitters and Crocheters Care.

And in December, I mailed off 6 hats, 5 scarves, and 2 cowls I crocheted in years gone by to the Oyate Teca Project, a charity I found through the Friends of Pine Ridge Reservation.  I also included this wool scarf I made in 2012.

I sent out a very big bear I crocheted in 2008 to a drive for the children of Newtown, CT that I read about on FreshStitches.

I’m not sure why I crocheted an enormous bear (other than because I wanted to try out the pattern at the time), but I’m hopeful that he’s found a better home than squished into a plastic bin in my apartment.

I also packed up 60 (!) granny squares to send to Afghan Squares for Pine Ridge.  These included the charity squares I made as part of the second Year of Projects and a bunch of squares I found hiding in a yarn bin during the summer.  I will mail these out by the end of the week.

I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep up this much charity crafting next year (especially since a many of my donations were actually crocheted years ago), but I’m glad I was able to help out this much in 2012.

I also started a Pinterest board of charities that accept handmade donations, in case you are looking for places to donate.

Do you have a favorite crochet or knit charity or charity project?

FO Friday: Grannies in the mail!

This post contains affiliate links.

On Tuesday, I mailed a total of 40 six inch crochet blocks to the Binky Patrol in Arizona as part of the Crochetlist April charity challenge.  I shared the first nine blocks two weeks ago, the next 17 last week, and three bullion stitch blocks on Sunday, so today I have 11 to show off.

These three squares were rescued from my stash, where I had forgotten all about them after placing them in plastic page protectors as classroom samples.  I adjusted the squares to meet the size requirements.  All three designs are from 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix and Match by Jan Eaton.

 Begonia (Ravelry project page)

Coffee & Cream (Ravelry project page)

Willow (Ravelry project page)

I also made four variations of the Savannah square from The Granny Square Book by Margaret Hubert.

The last book pattern I used was based on the Wheat Ears motif from Donna Kooler’s Encyclopedia of Crochet.

I think this is my favorite from this batch. I would like to make the full square, which would probably be closer to 12 inches.

The rest of my projects were based on patterns I found online.

Wagon Wheel Granny by Crochet Daze (Ravelry project page)

Sunny Spread by Ellen Gormley (Ravelry project page)

Kingfield Square by Julie Bolduc, whose Basic Granny Square pattern is what ignited my love of grannies back in the day! (Ravelry project page)

This has been a fun project and I’ve used up a lot of stash acrylic yarn.  I tried to use a range of colors so the squares could be used in projects for boys or girls.

What’s your all time favorite granny square pattern resource?  I’m thinking about future granny projects already so I’d love to hear about your favorite websites, books, or designers!

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.

Year of Projects: Crochet Master Class – Bullion stitch blocks finale

This post is part of my Year of ProjectsCrochet Master Class series. You can read the other posts in this series here.

I missed my YOP post last week (only the second time I’ve done that), and that was a real bummer.  But today I’m back with some more bullion stitch blocks!  These will be going to the Binky Patrol in Arizona by way of the Crochetlist April charity challenge.

This one was really fun.  I used the Granny’s Gone Bull-istic pattern by Donna Kay Lacey.  As you can probably tell, it’s a variation on the standard granny square patterns using bullions instead of double crochets.  She is a really inventive designer, and if you are at all interested in the bullion stitch, you should check out her tutorial, which is available as a free Ravelry download.  I think my bullions have become much more even as a result.

And, I decided this exploration of the bullion chapter wouldn’t be complete until I made a few squares by the featured crochet master, Bonnie Pierce.

This is her Amazing Grace pattern.

And this is her Katie’s Bliss pattern.

I had a lot of fun with these and I’m definitely going to be playing around more with the bullion stitch.  I can see why the freeform folks love it so much.

I’m up to 38 (!) six inch squares to donate, so I’m rushing off to make two more.  I figure since I’m this close to 40, I should just make two more before I mail out the box tomorrow.

FO Friday: Granny mania

This post contains affiliate links.

Since last week, I’ve finished another 17 (!) six inch squares for Crochetlist‘s April charity challenge.  These will eventually become blankets for Arizona children through the Binky Patrol.  I can definitely see how people get excited by granny a day projects.  Once you get on a roll, it is pretty hard to stop!

I made three blocks from Beyond the Square Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman.

Motif 105 (Ravelry project page)

Motif 114 (Ravelry project page)

Motif 115 (Ravelry project page)

I personally have trouble naming patterns, so I totally understand why Eckman went with numbers.  But it does make the names less than memorable :).

I also rescued two more squares from 200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans by Jan Eaton.  These were started back in 2007 for class samples.  They’ve been sitting in plastic sleeves and needed to be put to better use.

Begonia (Ravelry project page)

Willow (Ravelry project page)

I also made two squares from 99 Granny Squares to Crochet.

8 by Carole Prior (Ravelry project page)

90 by Mary Jane Protus (Ravelry project page)

True story: When I first ordered this booklet used on Amazon, it arrived missing about 6 pages in the middle.  I was fuming!  But Amazon promptly refunded it and I was able to find another used copy for the same price a few days later.

I also picked up Contest Favorites Afghan Squares and chose two squares.

10 by Mary C. Abadir (Ravelry project page)

13 by Martha Sadler (Ravelry project page)

I even returned to two other books I used to make my first batch of grannies.

Paula’s Pendant by Margaret Hubert from The Granny Square Book (Ravelry project page)

Pick a Posie by Ellen Gormley from Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook (Ravelry project page)

At this point, I was determined to make blocks from as many sources as possible.

Squared Circle by Melody Griffiths from 201 Crochet Motifs, Blocks, Projects and Ideas (Ravelry project page)

April Square by Julie Bolduc from JPF Crochet Club (Ravelry project page)

And these last four were transformations of swatches or patterns from my brain.

Alternating Stripes

Double Treble Granny


Grit Stitch

I had to make some modifications to almost every pattern to get the squares to be six inches.  You can find the details on my project pages.

I was originally planning to mail these out on Saturday, but I found some awesome bullion stitch patterns online last night, so I thought I’d make a few of those to share in my year of projects post on Sunday.  Now that I’m extending my deadline until Monday, there is time to make even more grannies!

I had a lot of fun making these and going through all of my granny books looking for the “perfect” grannies.  (You can read reviews of most of my granny books here.)  And, so far I used up about 2-1/2 skeins of stash yarn.  Every little bit helps!

For more Finished Objects, visit Tami’s Amis.