Bavarian Crochet Blanket and a Bit of Love

I have a bunch of yarn that is different weights and colors, so I wanted to create a scrap blanket. I also wanted it to have a lot of texture so that the differences in the yarns would not be so pronounced. I decided to use the Bavarian stitch or Wool Eater (also sometimes called the Catherine Wheel, but it really is slightly different). It’s basically the biggest Granny Square I’ve ever made and it looks so intentional I think I can’t really call it a “scrap” blanket anymore. I’m finally finished with this little lovely and it’s time for the unveiling!

I’ve been asked a lot about how I designed this, I didn’t.  It’s a simple, repetitive stitch made completely from partial skeins of yarn. I used these instructions to learn the stitch and I just changed color with each completed round (which is really around twice!) to create the rainbow. I used yarn on hand so the next time I make one it will look different, just as yours will look different too. (My finished product was approximately 44 inches square and weighs 34 ounces. The skeins I mainly used (Caron Simply Soft) are 6 oz skeins. So, I needed just over 5.5 skeins to make this blanket. I’d buy 6 to be on the safe side. I used up partial skeins, that’s how I got so many colors in it. I’m working on a red, white and blue one now.)

BUT, here’s my secret . . . assume you are going to give it to someone you love.

The entire time I was working on this, I pictures my girls wrapped up, pleased as punch that it was their turn to use this blanket for movie night. And I picture my boy,  sunk into his bean bag, drenched in this kaleidoscope playing a game or reading a book. It forces me to put more thought into what I am doing, even when I’m using up my scraps. We are more successful when we have others in mind. We are kinder, gentler, nurturing, forgiving, patient, and loving.

My hands could be used for many things and through the years they have aged and will continue to do so. But the work that ruins these boney mitts, will be marked by my love for others.

145 comment on “Bavarian Crochet Blanket and a Bit of Love”

  1. Gina Rush,

    Thank you, Madme! That’s kind of what I have been doing, but it sure does take some practice to perfect that technique. I find my finger getting a bit tender! *LOL*

  2. Gina Rush,

    MADME – I ran across your photographs of the blanket you did in the Bavarian stitch and just fell in love with it! My question to you is how on earth do you keep your stitches tight when you’re creating the clusters? I’ve tried different hook sizes, different tensions, and just cannot seem to keep all of the stitches the same size, always ending up with the first stitch becoming extremely stretched out. I’ve been crocheting for YEARS and have always battled this problem, but more so on this particular pattern!

    1. Comment author madme,

      Ah!! A good question indeed!!! When I am having this problem, I will use my right index finger and ‘choke’ the stitch up close to the hook, not letting it slide around on the shaft. I hope that makes sense.

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  5. Maureen,

    It is such a lovely blanket. Have just got some variegated wool to use in between my stash of plIn wool. Approximately how many balls or metres of wool does one need for a single bed throw?my wool is 8 ply acrylic. What size is a J hook? 5mm? Right now it is wishful thinking ..I am a grandma ! But will let you know how I go. Many thanks for sharing. God bless

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you Maureen, I would guess that for a single bed, you would need to triple the amount of yarn used for this throw. It is quite hefty now, and very warm so I can imagine it being a very cozy addition to a bed.

      A J hook is equivalent to a 6mm hook, most patterns that I’ve seen call for a tighter fabric but I’m quite happy with the drape of this slightly more open stitch.

  6. Gabriela,

    It is very beautiful! I just love it!
    Please, do you have a schetch of the pattern? It is easier for me to make it, for my daughters, after a pattern.

    Thank you!

    1. Comment author madme,

      In terms of weight. 5.5 skeins of yarn in terms of weight of yarn. Yes, there are actually several more colors in the blanket, but they were partial skeins. I just put that info in there so folks would be able to judge if they had enough yarn to complete the project with their partial and complete skeins.

    1. Comment author madme,

      It is just a repeated pattern. There is a bottom row and a top row to complete each set of wheels. And you just repeat bottom, top, bottom, top, until you are done.

  7. Mary,

    Please can you tell me – do you have the right side of the blanket facing when edging in yellow in single crochet. Does the bar of the stitch mean the same as the post of the stitch when doing the shells? It’s a lovely blanket which I just need to finish off. I hope you can help.

    1. Comment author madme,

      Indeed the right side is facing front. The bar is not the same as the post. If you did a post stitch, you would see some of the yellow through the green below, using the bar just behind both top loops (it’s a single strand), makes the row of yellow links sit perfectly on top of the green. Let me know if you have more questions.

  8. Shelley,

    Hi there! I’m not sure if my last comment posted. I was just curious if the bar of the stitch meant both loops or between the stitches. Think you for responding so quickly. I really enjoy all your posts. I absolutely love your new afghan that you recently posted. Fabulous colors! Looking forward to seeing more!

  9. Shelley,

    Thank you so much for responding so quickly. Just so I’m clear, are you talking about going through both loops? Is that what you mean by in the bar of the stitch?

    1. Comment author madme,

      If you look behind the stitch, under the back loop, you will see a ‘bar’ going almost horizontally, THAT is where you make your stitch. You are not using either of the loops on the top of the stitch for this effect.

  10. Shelley,

    Yes I did get your response, and thank you very much. Can you tell me exactly how you did the scallop around the entire afghan. I love it. I know you mentioned that you did a single crochet in the back loops of the scallop. Greatly appreciate the info.

    1. Comment author madme,

      The scallop is actually just one last row of the stitch, it’s the top of the completed circle, then the single crochet around in yellow is done in the bar of the stitch, not the back loop. This causes it to curl up a bit and make the cup shape in the scallop.

  11. Connie Jorgensen,

    do you share the Bavarian pattern? This afghan is BEAUTIFUL !!! Would love to make one. Appreciate your getting back to me. Thank you. Connie Jorgensen

  12. Shelley Bolen,

    Your afghan/blanket is absolutely stunning. Is your pattern exactly like the video? Is your whole afghan made up with Caron Yarn? Also, did you put a scalloped border around the entire afghan? I am looking forward to making this for my wonderful and giving sister. Can’t wait to start. Thank you again for your beautiful pics!

    1. Comment author madme,

      I used a mix of all kinds of yarn. Truly a scrap blanket. There is a good deal of Caron in there but also Red Heart Soft, Bernat Baby, Bernat Satin and a few that did not have labels!

      I did not follow the pattern exactly. I skipped the center stitch because it slowed me down and changed the number of stitches to work with the weight of yarn and size of hook I used. I’ve been told I have “the spirit of complication” because of my refusal to follow instructions precisely but when I find a easier or faster way to get the same effect, then I just go for it.

      And yes, I did a scallop all the way around and just to punch up the curves visually, I made a final row of sc’s around in the back bar of the scallop stitches.

  13. BJ Alston,

    Your work is absolutely beautiful. I am going to dig in my leftover yarn today and get to work as soon as I can learn how to make this stitch. I am very impressed with the thought, skill and colors. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Pam Peterson,

    I have a question. Are there different styles or techniques for the bavarian crochet.? I was following a utube tutorial with a man teaching it….can’t think of his name right now.. He said to do double back post crotchets. I just got a book and they’re saying back post trebles. Is there a correct way, or is it preference.
    I’m wanting to make the. Afghan on the cover of. ” Learn to do Bavarian Crochet”

    1. Comment author madme,

      This is a good question. Really it boils down to style. The shorter your stitches are, the more compact the “wheels” will be. There is no wrong or right way to make this stitch, as with many folk arts, stylized differences appear from different regions and time periods.

  15. Sally,

    Awesome video tutorial! Love this pattern and can’t wait to make use of all my “left-over” yarns! Just BEAUTIFUL!!!! Thank you soooo much!!!

  16. Virgie Thrasher,

    I just love this pattern and am going to this pattern out very soon, Have a great grandbaby on the way also. I have so much yarn that was given to me from a friend that had passed. What better way to put yarn to use. Many colors to pick from.

  17. Kathryn,

    I love this so much that my grandson and daughter are buying me the Carons yarn to make what I want. LOL I’m retired and not enough income to barely live by so they are taking care of the yarn if I provide the fingers. And like you I know it will be monopolized by the grandchildren as they love to “burrow” in my blankets. I am working on a red chenille blanket now that the youngest has already claimed as his own. But yours will have to be a family blanket! Keep hooking and bringing joy into all our lives.

  18. Lisa,

    Love this! I’m making one following the video directions but I just don’t like the way it looks. I’m wondering what size crochet hook you used? Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Comment author madme,

      I do not Nadia, they are so time consuming that I have to charge a ridiculous price and I’ve never sold one in the past once I stick a price on it.

  19. Laurie,

    STUNNING, BEAUTIFUL, though you have many compliments on this gorgeous blanket, it is the prettiest one I have seen in this stitch, and so I had to say it again!

  20. Annie Cheviron,

    This is truly, truly Beautiful! I know you have been told this many times, but I just saw it for the first time and I am overcome with the gorgeous colors and the artistic way you handled color. I am so happy to have come across this object of such beauty. Thank you for sharing with all of us! Annie

  21. RUTH RYAN,

    I happened upon your site today and was looking at all your nice work. when came across your bavarian crocheted blanket IT IS JUST BEAUTIFUL. i TRIED THIS LAST SUMMER AND LIKED PATTERN. TOOK ALITTLE TO FIGURE IT OUT BUT THEN HAVE BEEN BUSY WITH NEW BABY CROCHETING FOR NEW BABY GIRL GRANDCHILD BORN IN PAST JULY AND ANEW GREAT GRANDCHILD A GIRL THAT WILL BE BORN IN MAY OF THIS YEAR. would like to give a try again . how did you decide colors? yours are so pretty its like a rainbow how did you get it to look like that? it is lovely. when I get a chance to do I hope mine will come out like yours. Have you wrote up your pattern as you did yours? I understand from other peoples notes you did yours different from pattern. thank you again rar

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you so much Ruth. I just played around arranging the yarns I had into a scheme on the floor until it looked ‘right.’ I have not yet written out the pattern but it is still in my plans to do so. Thank you for stopping by and good luck on your baby blanket!

  22. Deb,

    I happened upon your site by accident and am truly glad I did. Your blanket is gorgeous, but more importantly, the thought you put into it is priceless. I have made many, many afghans, both baby, lap and full size and have always thought about the person who would be using it. I thought I was alone in this. Thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Comment author madme,

      There’s a link to a video that shows how to do the stitch. I colors I just added from my stash as I was making it. Have fun with it, I love mine.

  23. Allie,

    I bought a brightly coloured crocheted blanket at a market about 11 years ago and tonight I saw the same pattern of crochet on your page and I have -never- seen it anywhere else – and I’ve been crocheting since I was 5. I have “Pinned” your page and I will be coming back to see more. Thankyou for posting the pics of your wonderful handiwork.
    Grace and Peace from Australia!

  24. judy miller,

    This is so beautiful. I quit crocheting because of arthritis in my hands, but if I had the instructions I would make this and just take lots of aspirin.

    1. Comment author madme,

      I understand! My mom quit crocheting and took up knitting because of her arthritis and I have to limit my crochet and typing because of my blossoming arthritis. It really stinks. Thank you for the compliment and thank you for stopping by.

  25. Clare,

    This is absolutely beautiful! I have watched the video, but was wondering if you have written down the pattern with your modifications yet? If so, is it available for purchase? I absolutely love everything about your blanket and want to replicate it exactly. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Comment author madme,

      I am working on the pattern for it. I know that so many wonderful crocheters have asked for it and I am hoping to get it into my Craftsy shop before Thanksgiving!! Thank you for visiting and stay tuned…

  26. Andrea,

    Thank you! I ended up doing a single crochet stitch into the top two stitches on the shell, the “V”, I guess. I couldn’t figure out how to get that nice stitch in the very crevice of the shell like yours, but I think this will do just fine. I have plenty of other blankets in this pattern to experiment on! I also noticed that it looked like you did 10 stitches in each of the outer shells, like on the corners, instead of just the normal 6 stitches like the bulk of the pattern to give it more of a rounded appearance. I think I will have to try that next time, too, I really like the way it looks (and hadn’t realized it until I already had my final border stitched in!). I’ll try to remember to post pics to your FB page to share 🙂

    1. Comment author madme,

      Yes, I modified the pattern quite a bit, and I’m currently getting it all down on paper. I really like the way this lays, and hangs, so I wanted to share the modification. And I’d love to see your pics.

  27. Andrea,

    This blanket is beautiful! It inspired me to crochet one myself, for a niece who is expecting a baby in the fall, and will be making it for a set of twins for someone in my office who is also expecting! I love the little finishing stitch at the edge that you did- did you use as slip stitch, or a single crochet around the edge? I tried slip stitch, and it seems too tight and constricting with the looseness of the triple crochet shells. Thank you!

    1. Comment author madme,

      Andrea, I’m glad you were inspired by a visit, it’s wonderful to hear back from folks that are working on projects of their own. The finishing stitch around the edge is a single crochet, worked into the strand of yarn that sits behind the top stitch of the shell. It’s like working a back loop stitch, but I went one more stitch behind the back loop. I wish I knew the anatomy of the stitch so I knew what to call it. I hope this was helpful.

  28. kat,

    This is really beautiful and I haven’t looked at anything crocheted since I was a kid – I looked at the video and it makes this look really easy…. The colors are just awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  29. Laura,

    This has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen in a long time!!! I really wish I had better yarn stores around here so I could start on this NOW. I’m just about finished with baby blanket #1 and have been trying to decide what to do for #2.

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you so much Laura. Feel free to visit me on Facebook and share pics of your own projects there. It’s a fun community page for everyone to share their work, recipe, and projects of all sorts.

  30. Carisa,

    Hi! I noticed my blanket doesn’t look quite the same as yours and started looking at yours closely. It looks like you modified the pattern to be 12 Tc in the corner and 8 in the valleys ( rather than 10 and 6) is that correct? Mine was too loose with a J and now it’s too dense on a G, what hook did you use? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Comment author madme,

      Hello Carisa, I’m gonna tell you something, I never even noticed that I didn’t follow the pattern correctly!!! My result was nice so I just kept going with it… Too funny, you are the first person to notice! I didn’t even notice. Yes, I just watched the video again, and not only did I do a completely different count, I skipped doing the stitch in the ‘center stitch’ of each valley. Wow, it’s a Christmas miracle that my blanket came out. And that explains why there is a a small gap in the center of each of my valleys. We’ll just call it my own version of an “open Bavarian stitch” and say I did it on purpose.

  31. MrsB,

    Its Very gorgeous!

    May ask the type of yarn you used I lived the colors and woud love to order it for a project I am workin on. Do you know the company or the yarns color name?

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you! I really did use a bunch of different kinds but here are the ones I know for certain made it into this blanket: Caron Simply Soft, Red Heart Soft, Baby Coordinates (I think that’s by Bernat), and some Vanna’s Choice.

  32. Jenn S,

    Could you help me. I am lost at row 5. According to the crochet geek (she shows rows 1-4 then skips to 11).. I am so lost. I have a square. The corners have ‘shells’ that are 10 TC. In the center of each row is a ‘shell’ with 6 TC. How do I do that 5 row with 2 different sizes of shells? What do I fill in the “V” gap with and how do I increase the corners. Her pattern says repeat row 3 but row three does not have a middle shell in it?? Thanks

    1. Comment author madme,

      Hello Jenn, I do understand how tricky learning a new pattern can me, I’m gonna grab my blanket and see if I can answer your questions…Ok, let me see if I can answer this without completely confusing you further:
      1- Valleys (‘V’ gaps) – Row 3, shows you what to do in the valleys, and on the corners via clusters (not shells), to make the ‘bottom’ half of each completed ‘wheel’. Don’t forget that each wheel takes 2 rows to complete, a bottom row of clusters and a top row of shells. So your ‘valley’ rows will always repeat what you did in row 3 with clusters. The smaller clusters (with FEWER stitches, 4 TrC Cluster) are your corners, the larger clusters (8 TrC Cluster) are the sides of your square. So, as the blanket gets larger, you will only have those small clusters on the corners and all the other will be large clusters. All of your odd numbered rows (5,7,9,11, etc) will be created the same way you made row 3 . Upon completion of each odd row, you will have an almost flat sided square.

      2- Each even row (2,4,6,8, etc) creates the top part of each wheel with a traditional shell. And in this case, you corner shells will have MORE stitches than the side shells. There are 12 TrC worked into each 4 TrC cluster for the corners, and only 8 TrC worked into your 8 TrC Clusters (this cluster was your ‘valley’ cluster).

      3- For row 5, you have valleys and corners again, working 8 TrC clusters in each valley, and 4 TrC clusters in each corner. Just as you did in row 3.

      I hope this helps, if it doesn’t, I recommend watching the video a few more times, I had to watch it several time to understand the pattern. Let me know how it goes for you.

  33. Jenn Starns,

    So So beautiful! I keep coming back to this page. I learned how to crochet from Theresa over at crochet geek, she is awesome. I’m really tempted to try this stitch. The colors you picked are so lovely. Right now I have a ton of left over red-heart yarn, mostly in bright colors, but I really like the softer hues of your blanket. Very inspiring. I might blog about this stitch soon and link back to your site so others can be inspired too! So PRETTY.

  34. Lucy,

    Thought it is really wonderful work….but…need a tutorial to lear this stitchs…if possibel with images of them being worked…because I don’t know even how to start. Is it possible?

    I will love to make them to my grandchildren…wheen they come…shall be ready.
    Thanks and loved what you said about letting this amazing work as memories….lovely way to think about making them for someone else…

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you Lucy. I am not ready to do a tutorial yet, but I do hope to someday. In the time being, you can follow the link in the post to watch a video of blanket being made. This is the actual video I learned the stitch from myself. Thanks for coming by Lucy, I really appreciate it.

  35. Annette (aka "Petunia Pill"),

    Me again…nevermind the question…I think I figured out that part…ha…that question is just the tip of the iceberg! Oh man, I hate puzzling through new patterns…but it’s so rewarding when one finally “gets it”! And I WILL get it…I’m crazy about your blanket and I want one too! I’m out to the 6TC, 10 TC repeat row…I think I’ll be ok. Have a great day!

    1. Comment author madme,

      Just stick with the video link and don’t be afraid to frog a whole row if you have to. This was my first time using the Bavarian stitch and I learned it from the video. If this non-pattern following nonconformist can figure it out, I’m positive you can too! I’d love to see pics of you work, you can post them on if you feel like sharing. Thanks for stopping by Annette.

  36. Annette (aka "Petunia Pill"),

    I happened upon this via Pinterest. Wow. What a beauty! I bet it’s been verrrry popular. There is something about rainbows that just appeals to everyone (me included). So I’ve already been over to check out the video how to – and I have a question. I hope you don’t mind. After you finish the round that is the 5 TC clusters, how do you transition to the 10 TCs worked into the valleys of the clusters? Is there a CH3 or something? I’ve looked at the video numerous times, but she doesn’t say…and her written pattern doesn’t tell you either. I’m at the very first round – so maybe this is an issue here that will work itself out later as the pattern grows…but I don’t know how to get from the clusters to the 10 TC repeats around. Help? Please? And I apologize if it’s a stupid question. (I hate stupid) LOL Annette

  37. karen,

    This is one of the most beautiful crocheted blankets I have ever seen! Simply gorgeous! You should be very proud of yourself! Thanks for sharing! I feel inspired! 🙂

  38. Claire Scales Dunn,

    Cross your fingers for me!! I’m going to check out the web site you shared and see if I can learn this! I crocheted and macramed some as a child, but haven’t as an adult. HOPEFULLY, it will “come to me” as I watch it. I do better one-on-one, but we’ll see. I really have a strong desire to accomplish this amazing piece of fiber art!!

  39. Cindy Kureth,

    Your Bavarian afghan is absolutely stunning! I have tried looking up a pattern for the Bavarian stitch, but the only thing I found was the Catherine’s Wheel. I would love to get started on this pattern. I love to crochet and am trying to make a lot of afghans and scarves and shawls for a craft show. I am unemployed and my son and I are homeless and I need some extra income to help us stay afloat. How much is your pattern and can I order it online? Thank you, Cindy

    1. Comment author madme,

      Hello, I’m so sorry to hear about your situation and I wish there was more I could do than send you a pattern. I learned this stitch online, and thought she calls in Catherine’s Wheel, she actually demonstrates a Bavarian or Wool Eater stitch. The Catherine’s Wheel is a slightly different stitch. Here’s the link . Please stay in touch if you can, I’d love to know how you and your son are fairing on the streets and hopefully see you in a home asap. How old is your son? Where do you live?

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you so much, in my past life I was a photographer so I’m enjoying being able to play with my camera for the sake of a pretty blog. Thank you for stopping by and commenting, I do hope you visit again.

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you so much, and I’m so glad you dropped by. I really enjoy your FB posts and website, I plan on listing your site among my online resources for newbies!

    1. Comment author madme,

      I learned it online at the Crochet Nerd’s utube channel. Go check it out! Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment. I hope to see you around here again.

  40. Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife,

    WOW! I love it! I’m a crocheter too! But, this is amazing! I’ve done a few granny square blankets, but this is gorgeous! I think I might need to go watch that you tube video! Keep up the good work! And, thanks for linking up today! So glad you did… you’ve encouraged me to get the yarn back out!

    1. Comment author madme,

      Thank you for stopping by as well! If you start hooking again, feel free to stop by the FB page and post pics of your work, I love sharing everyone’s projects, we all learn and benefit from it.

    1. Comment author madme,

      Oh thank you for opening your blog up to the rest of us too! I’m toying with the idea of having a link up myself, but I’m a bit intimidated, I’m not sure how to do it yet or if I’m too small to have anyone enter. One day for sure.

  41. Lori Ferguson,

    So beautiful. I love that you were thinking of your children as you created it. So wise.

    This Christmas our daughter made us blankets from fleece – two pieces of fleece tied at the edges into knots – and she said that for every knot she made, she prayed for us. She said that when we wrap ourselves in the blanket, we should know that we are wrapped in her prayers.

    1. Comment author madme,

      That is so sweet! What a great idea, I could pray for the person after each row was done. That makes the time so much more valuable. Thank you Lori for sharing this with me and the Mad Readers here. Blessings.

    1. Comment author madme,

      Hello! I visit your FB page regularly and I just “liked” it too. I appreciate busy mom’s taking time share with other moms!. I’m afraid that this little Lovely is not up for auction but that does get the ideas swirling around in my noggin . Thanks for stopping by.

  42. Carrie,

    I can’t get over how this blanket looks like an optical illusion – like it is moving when you look at the whole thing.
    Have you worked on it any more? I can’t wait to see what it will look like completed.

    1. Comment author madme,

      It 99% done.I have to weave in the ends, but the stitching is done. It judges me every night when I go to bed. Just sitting there, with dangling strings.

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