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My Labor of Love: Crocodile Flower Afghan

by | Crochet, Home, Musings, My Favorites

My dad's crocodile flower afghan |

Well, my friends, I haven’t posted for a long time, but here I am. For those of you who have followed this blog and the occasional personal news, you may have known that my dad had cancer. He went to Heaven in August and I’ve been trying to find the will to get back to crochet and creating and blogging. When I first heard that the cancer had spread, all of a sudden, I knew I needed to create something that was going to be my labor of love. There wasn’t a whole lot I could do, so I did what I knew best, I crocheted. I decided to make an afghan for him during his stay in the hospital, and I didn’t want it to be any old afghan. I wanted it to be hard, to be beautiful, to be spectacular. It needed to be something I could throw myself into.

I remembered a pattern I had seen from sometime ago and decided I wanted to make an afghan that was nothing but these gorgeous crocodile flowers. Would you believe it, I’ve never crocheted the crocodile stitch before? But I was going to push myself to learn, and to learn it FAST. I figured I’d only have a few weeks to complete the blanket before traveling overseas to see my parents. Little did I know, I left home in under a week, changed my afghan plans slightly, and finished the whole blanket in 10 days.

My dad spent some really wonderful moments with us before he passed, and I’m glad he had something tangible from me for when I couldn’t be there in person.

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

I don’t have a pattern for this blanket; I was just rushing to get it done, and a part of me feels that this should be the only blanket of its kind in the world, just like my dad. So this is just a sharing of how I pieced it together.

The Crocodile Flower afghan square can be found on Ravelry as a paid pattern from Joyce Lewis. The directions are definitely a bit difficult to follow and it’s not meant for the beginner crocheter. I relied heavily on Dedri’s step by step pictorial to work my way through my flowers. You still need to buy the pattern, but her pictures are worth a thousand words! And yes, Dedri’s version of the flower was what I fell in love with so long ago.

A crocodile flower afghan square in blue ombre. |

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

I didn’t complete the entire afghan square, leaving off the last 2 rounds for quickness. I also used a larger hook so that my squares, even with 2 rounds missing, ended up being between 14 and 15 inches wide.

The first square took me 5 hours to complete. The second took about 4. In the time that I had (crocheting furiously every night before my flight), I made 5 squares, averaging around 3.5 to 4 hours for each one.

The white/cream part of the blanket was a plain c2c stitch, I think about 15 squares on each side, to approximate the same size square as the flowers. Then, I worked single crochet evenly around the edge, followed by a round of double crochet to imitate the look of the saw-tooth round on the flower squares.

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

Once the squares were done, how was I to join them? Oh, the choices! I thought about using the same stitch from my chevron blanket, but decided to use Tamara’s Mattress Stitch instead.

Crocodile flower in purple. |

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

I guess I could have stopped there, but the big white squares seemed so plain, and somehow I was bothered by the whole thing being square (strange, I know), so I added Kara’s Cluster Burst Edging on two ends. Then, FINALLY, I stitched a round of single crochet all the way around, followed by a round of double crochet to clean up the edges.

Cluster burst edging for my dad's afghan. |

And that’s it. You know, easy peasy. (Not really).

For yarn, I chose to use a combination of Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice and Michael’s Loops & Threads Impeccables. The color choices of both lines are incredibly vibrant, so it’s really up to you how you want to play the color game. The cream was Loops & Threads Impeccable Big! in Aran, and the rest was whatever caught my eye. I may have bought more than I really needed…

I used an I or J hook (I honestly can’t remember), and just had my little travel-acceptable crochet kit with me – a few hooks, my embroidery needle and a pair of nail clippers to cut the yarn.

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

One of my favorite color combos. |

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

My favorite crocodile flower color combo. |

The crocodile flower afghan I made for my father. |

The blanket is at home with me now. It still amazes me that I put something together this big in so short a time. I mean, really, my last quilt took FOREVER and there’s probably still ends I haven’t woven in yet, but this one is completely complete. My dad loved it, and I’m glad I can have this piece to remember those last few weeks together, chatting and crocheting and enjoying our time as a family.

I love you and miss you Daddy!


  1. Trish Stevens

    This is an absolutely stunning blanket, no wonder your dad loved it. And such a moving story. My dad died a couple of years ago, and I still miss him. I only started crocheting early this year, and I have often wished I had started soon enough to have made him a blanket. Thank you so much for sharing it.

  2. Diana Perez

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m truly sorry for your loss, but I’m glad that you have something beautiful and tangible to remember your father by, to associate with fond memories of him.

  3. Janice Kelly

    Just gorgeous! May God provide you and your family with comfort and strength, and the peace, which only He can provide.

  4. Theresa Gill

    Just beautiful, the sentiment, the story, and the afghan!

  5. Robin Paone

    Just. So. Gorgeous! Sorry for your loss. I lost my Daddy 25 years ago and still tear up the first time I hear White Christmas every year. . . .lost my Mom 6 years ago. She taught me how to knit, and I tried to teach her how to crochet. I’m sure your Daddy is watching over you and your family and bragging on that lovely blanket!

  6. Randi - Dukes and Duchesses

    I’m so sorry about your Dad and so thankful that you have that beautiful blanket to hang onto in the days ahead. Praying for peace for you and your family.

  7. Nancy Burt

    I can’t tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I too lost my father almost 60 years ago and have felt the pain, but love in my life. He has always been a guide to me. Then in 2012 I lost my brother-in-law who was my second father after my dad died. I hospiced him as well as worked on “Bobbie’s Blanket” for him. No simple feat….but then, we only want to pour our heart and soul into that last piece of work for them. After all your dad poured his heart and soul into you. Don’t worry little one…he is watching over you.

  8. Nancy Burt

    Oh yes…..your labor of love is absolutely beautiful!

  9. Sedie

    So sorry for your loss. . . what a beautiful tribute to your dad. Wishing you peace and love as you go through this very sad time. <3

  10. Megan

    Good morning!

    Thank you so much for your inspiration today. I believe your “labor of love” is a tribute to both you and your dad. What a wonderful way to spend a cold winter day cuddled up with the warmth of this fabulous blanket. If I’m right, there could be no better comfort. You and your dad are both amazingly brave and your love will last a lifetime.

    I wish you peace,

  11. Stacey

    I am so sorry for your loss. May this gorgeous blanket and the memories of your father that it contains be a comfort to you for years to come.

  12. Connie Schnuelle

    I am sorry for your loss. This afghan is beautiful!

  13. Ari Desarro

    I do not ever remember seeing such a more beautiful example of a child’s love for a parent in a tangible form. I can say that I do understand your sadness as I lost my incredible mother in 2014. I have purchased the pattern upon your suggestion and hope to some day be able to conquer it. Blessings and prayers to you! Thank you for sharing your work of affection with us!!

  14. Sarah

    Bless you for sharing. I did the same thing for my father who has also passed away from cancer. I remember working feverishly, feeling compelled to just get it finished as quickly as possible so that he could see and use it before he died. I have never felt the same sense of urgency with any other project. Your blanket is beautiful and is a living testament of your love for your father. Maybe it will serve as a comfort/inspiration for others facing the loss of a loved one. Bless you-your story was a blessing to me today.

  15. G. Fearon

    A beautiful blanket to go with a beautiful last moment.

  16. Rachel

    What a stunning blanket! A beautiful gift for your dad. I’m so sorry for your loss. He must have felt so loved when he received such an amazing gift from you. Lots of prayers and love for you and your family.

  17. Lori Benton

    What a beautiful piece of love you created for your dad! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  18. Diana

    I am sure your father loved it-The beauty of the afghan speaks loud and clear of your love for him.

  19. Ludmila66

    Я очень сочувствую вам в вашем горе . Вы оставили очень красивую память о вашем папе.Примите мои соболезнования

  20. ChiWei

    Thanks Rachel!

  21. ChiWei

    It might be cliche, but it’s amazing what one can do and with such sense of purpose when driven by love! I have also never felt this same sense of urgency in my other projects. Thank you for your kind words!

  22. ChiWei

    So sorry for your loss as well. I hope you get a chance to make the flower – I feel like my crochet skills definitely jumped by working my way through it.

  23. ChiWei

    Thank you Megan!

  24. ChiWei

    Thank you Nancy! Ack, you’re making me cry…

  25. ChiWei

    Thanks for your friendship Randi!

  26. ChiWei

    Thank you! I think the tears will never really go away.

  27. ChiWei

    I’m sorry we have this grief in common. Best of luck in your crochet journey and thank you for your kind words!

  28. Karen

    What a lovely tribute to your Dad! I’m sorry for your loss; hope the afghan brings you comforting memories.

  29. Bailey

    I’m sorry for your loss. I too lost my father to cancer and it is a tough journey. This is a beautiful tribute to your Dad.

  30. Alli

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My husband lost his mom 2 weeks ago. You do such beautiful work and I know that memories were made and that afghan will be even more special. It’s beautiful!

  31. Susan

    ChiWei, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss. Your quilt is an absolutely beautiful testament to the love you have for your father. I know he treasured it.

  32. Melissa

    Your blanket is absolutely stunning. I lost my Dad when I was 20, 32 years later I still miss that amazing man. I know that your Dad felt every drop of love that you put into his blanket. What a precious treasure. Praying peace and comfort for you and your family.

  33. CC

    My sincerest condolences on your loss. What a gorgeous and vibrant tribute of a blanket. I’m sure your father appreciated having such a beautiful and tangible gift of your love with him in the hospital to comfort him and keep him warm. Best wishes to you and your family.

  34. Laura

    Such a gorgeous labour of love. Beautiful blanket. I am sure that it was like having a warm and cheerful hug from you during the times when you couldn’t be there in person. Condolences to you and your family.

  35. ChiWei

    Thank you!

  36. ChiWei

    Thank you Karen!

  37. ChiWei

    Thank you so much Alli. My condolences to your family as well; I hope you can also cherish the memories with a smile.

  38. ChiWei

    Thank you Susan.

  39. ChiWei

    Thank you Melissa.

  40. ChiWei

    Thank you so much for your kind words!

  41. ChiWei

    Thank you Laura for your kind words!

  42. Amy Anderson

    That afghan is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Thank you for sharing your story ChiWei – and I’m sorry for your loss. I’ll be thinking about you and praying for you! xo

  43. Jeanine

    Sorry for your loss of your Dad. He must have been happy to have you for a daughter, you create beautiful things, and you are so thoughtful.

  44. Juicy

    So sorry for your loss. Lovely sentiment and afghan. I, sadly, feel your grief all too well. I lost my father in June, and only 9 days after my daughter was born. It was also cancer, and it all happened in 8 days. It’s beautiful that you were able to finish this for him, and now it’s something special for you to hold onto to remember him.

  45. Auntiepatch

    What a beautiful blanket! But, you know, if it was ugly and wonky he would still have loved it. Because our Dads are like that. I, too, miss my Dad. It will get easier with time. Remember, and cherish, the good times with him.

  46. Pam Shields

    First of all, Please accept my sincerest sympathy on the loss of your Dad. You were blessed to have been able to be with him..


    welcome home…

  47. Debra

    What a beautiful tribute to your father. I lost my father three years ago to Parkinsons and I still miss him every day. My condolences on your loss.

  48. susanne

    such a beautiful afghan!!!!!! i know your dad enjoyed it!!!!

  49. Fran Stockham

    This is a beautiful tribute to your dad! Sometimes it is very hard to put into words, ones feelings. I believe that this is when our creative side steps in to express our deepest feelings of love, sadness and happiness.
    Your “Crocodile Flower Afghan” attests to this.

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Time, patience and so many happy memories will soften your sadness.

  50. Pauline Fisher

    Such a beautiful labour of love, no wonder your Daddy loved it too. ❤️

  51. Janet Carey

    So sorry for the loss of your Dad. Your love for him show trough your story. The blanket is lovely.

  52. Debbie

    Hi chi I normally don’t comment on post, but the blanket is gorgeous, and I’m sorry about your dad, I lost both my parents a long time ago. It’s takes some time for the pain to subside but it will! For some encouraging news go to there you will learn why we grow old and die, and if the dead will live again

  53. Julie

    My condolences on the loss of your Dad. Your posts reveal what a caring, loving, selfless person your are. I pray you are comforted by knowing even a stranger such as I care. Those that get to call you a friend are the fortunate ones. Thank you for sharing your talents and life stories.

  54. Lorraine Cooper

    I am so sad to hear of your father’s passing. I cannot think of anything that is so beautiful and probably full of love and tears, as the blanket you made. It is so beautiful but the fact that you were able to work through your grief and make such an object of beauty is such a tribute to you and your father. I lost my mum recently and I never saw her for twenty years but we talked on the phone every other Tuesday up to the moment just before she passed. I was heart broken that I couldn’t get to the UK from
    Australia due to my health, but all she wanted was reassurance that she had been the best mother she could be, and, I’m grateful I had the opportunity to reassure her. I made a blanket in her honour and I love to hold it and cuddle it while I watch tv and I feel as if she is here with me,
    I hope you can reach a place where all you feel is joyful to have had such a wonderful person in your life and to look forward to the time when our loved ones will be resurrected.
    Thank you for sharing and I will pray for you.

  55. Patricia B

    ChiWei, my deepest condolences. I’m sure you will always have fond memories of the time you had together and that beautiful blanket.

  56. Jessi

    Gorgeous! I bet your Dad loved this!

  57. Wil Cash

    Your work is absolutely beautiful. My heart goes out to you for the loss of your father. Your work that you’ve completed is a wonderful tribute to his life.

  58. Melissa

    absolutely gorgeous and wonderful. Thank you for sharing so much about you and the afghans story.

  59. Bev

    What a beautiful tribute to your Dad. This is definitely an heirloom to be handed down to many generations.

  60. Joanne Armstrong

    I’m so happy I have this pattern now. It’s handsome and luxurious and I can’t wait to start it. Thank you for keeping the price low and making it accessible to the masses. Your labour of love is treasure.

  61. Ann Boulton

    So sorry for your loss. Your crocheted afghan is superb, I love the pattern and the colours you have chosen are a wonderful combination. Make no wonder your Dad loved it xxx

  62. Melanie

    I’m so sorry to hear about your Dad. But I’m glad you got to give him the blanket you worked so lovingly on and see how much he appreciated and loved it! I did the same for both of my Grandfathers before they passed and now we have what we call Grandpa blankets that we curl up with. It makes me feel close to them and comforted every time I use them. 🙂 You are very talented!!

  63. Sarah Harris

    What a beautiful tribute to your dad. I so often tell people that crochet is my sanity but, as I am sure you know, it is so very much more than that.

  64. ChiWei

    Thank you!

  65. Laurel

    Your story brought me to tears. On the 15th September 2015 my cousin died from complications from MS. I had been traveling 5hrs to visit him, twice a year for many years.
    During my last visit – a month before he died – I told my husband that I was going to make Michael a blanket. I started working on it in the car on our way home and completed it the day before he died.
    Michael never got to see it but it is now on his 84yr old mother’s bed – I gave it to her a year after Michael died and yes, there were lots of tears.

    I am a home-care worker and have recently made a blanket for a client. He has bad knees and uses it daily to warm up his knees to ease the pain. Having seen the comfort it has given him; I am now making more for other clients.

    Never underestimate the healing power of a crochet blanket………

  66. Zeny

    About the crocodile sunflower what are the colors that you used. Thanks

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