Countdown to Christmas

Coziest projects for the holidays

Lion Brand hosts an annual promotion known as Countdown to Christmas—this is my third year to participate (see 2020 Bubbly Bathrobe & 2021 Confectionary Cowl)—and both of my submission ideas were accepted. The Faux Fleece Cardi is crocheted and the Flannel & Fleece Lapghan is knit.

These designs have jumped into my favorite makes collection. They are supreme coziness…

…which is exactly what I need and think about when it comes to the holiday season.


Generally, I get inspired by trends and the fiber itself. Then, I try to add my own flair for that one of a kind vibe. When creating these submissions, I explored ideas I’ve been hoarding, as well as, researched what’s trendy for the season. I try to keep in mind what I know I can accomplish by deadline and what Lion Brand and my audience would enjoy. After settling on ideas that tick those boxes, I searched through Lion Brand’s yarn selection to find what would fit the vibe I want. I’d like to think that these designs were a match made in Heaven.

The Flannel & Fleece Lapghan was a take on popular store-bought cozy fabric blankets I saw on Pinterest. I had also seen this plaid-like knit stitching followed by that “I can make that” moment. I thought I could somehow work it in the round to make it two-sided at the same time. In the making process, I found the double knitting technique which made it that much more of a pleasure to work—LIKE MAGIC. I’d say it’s helpful to have some knitting experience, but this is surprisingly easier to make than you’d think. Not to mention, the results are everything I dreamed they would be. The second I bound off, my sample earned its permanent residence on my recliner for every day use.

The Faux Fleece Cardi was inspired by an alpaca amigurumi I made for my grandson’s baby shower. I dreamt of having sleeves with the texture. Previously, I had submitted this as a pullover; however, other designs were chosen. I’m actually glad that this was accepted as a cardigan. I love it even more, but I’m also interested in making an entire collection revolving around the textured stitch.

The Collaboration with Lionbrand Yarn

Being able to participate in promos like this adds extra fun to release day because I get to celebrate the work with other bloggers along with the fiber community.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many of you, and it truly warms my heart. Please check out these other festive designs from some of my fave people:

Kits listed clockwise
  • Verso Cowl, made with Heartland yarn, designed by Janine Mudge
  • Faux Cable Ruana, made with Wool-ease yarn in Oatmeal colorway, designed by Brianna Iaropoli
  • Sleigh Tracks Stocking, made with Color Theory yarn in Moonbeam colorway, designed by Vincent Williams
  • Aspen Stocking, made with 24/7 cotton yarn in white and red colorways, designed by Vincent Williams
  • Astronomer Throw, made with Hue & Me yarn in Peacoat and Mustard colorways, designed by Chenoa Wilcox
  • The Tobyn Hat & Scarf, made with re-spun bonus bundles in parchment and cider colorways, designed by Meghan Ballmer
  • And more at

design details

Designing is such a rewarding feeling. Don’t get me wrong; there are moments in the process where I second guess myself and shed literal tears. Yet, when it’s finished, I’m ready to do it all over again – is this what having a baby is like? . . . like you forget the pain. Because my designs do feel like legitimate children.

Turn yourself into a human alpaca with this crochet pattern. The Faux Fleece Cardi is a fashionable statement piece with its mega-textured sleeves. It is constructed top down, raglan-style, so you can try it on and easily customize length.

Faux Fleece Cardi, 2022

I anticipate lots of interest on how the sleeve texture is done on the Faux Fleece Cardi. Bet you would never guess that it is done using chains. I do feel like I must forewarn you that the epic sleeves are yarn eaters and take a little extra time to build as you essentially work two rows to make one real row. I tried to keep the body simple for ease of making and to let the sleeves be the star of the show. Also, I intentionally designed it to be an opened cardigan so it would play as more of an accessory to an outfit.

The Flannel & Fleece Lapghan can act as both cozy decor and useful comfort. Construction is done using the double knitting technique to work both the flannel & the fleece sides at the same time which means minimal seaming to get two blankets in one.

Flannel & Fleece Lapghan, 2022

As already mentioned, the Flannel & Fleece Lapghan is constructed using the double knitting technique which means you’ll be slipping one side’s stitches while working the other side’s stitches. You will want to use circular needles as you will be sliding to work opposite ends.

The repeat is easy to learn which I find to be the beauty of making blankets. Actually, I intended for this to be more of a throw blanket size; however, the skeins do come with little yardage. I suggest to order double and do double the stitches to get a proper size blanket. I will not discount this lapghan size as it’s perfect to tote places like the movies, a picnic/bonfire/concert, or to work and not risk getting it caught in the wheels of a rolling chair.

As far as the colorwork goes, the horizontal stripes are easy to customize within pattern. For the vertical stripes, I chose to surface crochet because that’s less time consuming for me and gives extra depth. If knitting is all you know and you only have a tapestry needle, I provide what stitches to duplicate stitch over in pattern. Either way, you would achieve the same plaid look.

You know I am extra and had to glam the Faux Fleece Cardi up, but it looks just as good with a plain tee and jeans, especially in all the Lion Brand Jeans yarn colorways.


This is my favorite part – when I get to see real makers put their spin on my designs. I only had a chance to have my Faux Fleece Cardi tested and when grading from 30 to 62 inch bust sizes, it’s the best way for me to really see that the fit works. Don’t worry. The Flannel & Fleece Lapghan is just as good, and I look forward to seeing your color variations.

Testers listed clockwise
  • Abby @skeinsandstitchesco made the M size and used 2900 yards
  • Sara @craftychemchick made the M size and used 2910 meters of Sirdar Jewelspun
  • Zach @zachtstout made the L size and used 3000 yards of Lion Brand Jeans in the Top Stitch colorway
  • Aishwarya @curlycrochet95 made the S size and used 2706 yards of Heartbeats Denimz yarn
  • Nicole @handmadebyyarnmama made the cropped M size and used 3572 yards of Lion Brand Feels like Butta
  • Ana @anaecotton made the XL size and used 3806 yards of Lion Brand Feels like Butta in 12 colors – Pink, Pale Grey, Ice, Dusty Blue, Periwinkle, Lilac, Mint, Seagreen, Seafoam, Sage, Dusty Pink, Lemon

Purchase the Faux Fleece Cardi or Flannel & Fleece Lapghan patterns at my Ravelry Store.

If you want to see more about my Faux Fleece Cardi, check out my YouTube vlog.

If you want to see more about my Flannel & Fleece Lapghan, check out my YouTube vlog.

Thanks for supporting my designing venture!


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