Tuesday, 8 February 2011

How to Crochet Sea Pennies


Today I'm going to share a short tutorial with you on how to crochet Sea Pennies!

I'm using Rico Creative Cotton and a Number 4 hook for mine, but you can use any wool and hook to get different sized Pennies (which is a nice idea for a chunky winter scarf methinks!).
The Pennies are really quite easy and created here using 12 Double Crochet stitches (US) and I'm sure some of you have already worked out how to do this, but anyway - here goes!

Let's get started.

Make a loop with the yarn as shown above in the picture.  We are going to be creating a Magic Circle so that there is no hole in the centre of our Pennies.  
Leave a tail end of yarn about 4-6 inches long.

From the ball of yarn side, wind and secure the yarn as normal around your fingers, then take hold of the loop between your thumb and middle finger.

Take your hook and push it through the centre of the loop, pulling back a loop from which you will crochet 3 chain stitches.

So - recap - hook through the centre of the loop, pull through a loop then chain 3.

Then, into the centre of the loop, DC 10.

*Make sure you keep hold of the tail end of yarn with the loop bit of yarn when crocheting your stitches, don't leave it flapping about in the breeze or you won't be able to tighten the ring at the end to make the hole disappear.  Look carefully at the photograph below to see that the tail end of yarn is together with the loop part within the stitch.  (I do hope this makes sense).

Pull the tail very slowly to close the hole, then slip stitch to join the circle together.  You should have 12 stitches around your penny now.  Below is a guide for joining your first row of pennies together, and then how to continue with the rows you create beyond this.

So, first row of pennies:  Make your nexrt penny.  When you get to your 6th DC in the loop, you will need to join this stitch to the 6th stitch of the first penny (just count 6 around).  To join as you go you will need to complete your 6th stitch on your current penny and insert your hook underneath the 6th stitch of the first penny.
Pull the yarn through the stitch (2 loops on hook)
Pull the second loop through the 1st loop to secure, like a slip stitch.
Continue with the rest of your DC into the loop as described for the first sea penny.

You will carry on in this way until you have a first row of Pennies from which to start building your work.  The photographic instructions that follow are for Row 2 and beyond, where you have to join several sides of each Penny to the other existing Pennies.

You should at this point have 10 stitches on your ring (1 ch of 3 and 9 DC).  

(For the sake of simplicity here, I'm going to pretend that I'm crocheting my second row of Pennies for you, and the dark teal and light blue pennies in the picture which I'm joining to are the first two Pennies on my first row. Just ignore the others in the picture for now - I promise it will make life easier for you :) 

To join your newest Penny to the first row, you need to take the first two joined Pennies on the previous row (the light blue Penny and dark Teal Penny), count around 3 stitches on the light blue Penny from where it joins the dark teal).

Push your hook down under the stitch.

Pull the yarn up through the stitch - bit fiddly but do-able (2 loops on hook) and then pull the second loop through the first loop on your hook (as a slip stitch) to secure:

Next, do ONE DC into the middle of the Penny loop:

You are now ready to join the new Penny to the dark teal Penny of the first row.  Again, count three stitches around from where it originally joined to it's pale blue neighbour on the right and push your hook down through the stitch:

Pull the yarn up and through (2 loops on hook) and pull the second loop through the first loop on your hook (as a Slip Stitch) to secure.

Then do 1 DC into the centre (12 stitches total) of the new Penny.
Take the tail end of yarn and now gently pull it until the hole closes up tight like shown here:

It's easier to close the hole before finishing off.  Once you have done this, search out the 3rd stitch of the chain you first made and slip stitch into this to join the circle.  Finish off in your usual way with a knot and then sew in the ends.

If you are making a triangle shape like I am for a shawl, you will need to repeat these instructions exactly to put a penny on the corner here:

When you need to start joining 3 sides of your new Penny to 3 existing Pennies like so... will do it more or less the same again, except for the very last part - there will not be a DC to do after your final Join As You Go stitch, as you will have already completed this:

First Join As You Go stitch onto bright blue Penny, followed by a DC into centre (11 stitches)
Second Join As You Go stitch onto light blue Penny, followed by a DC into centre (12 stitches)
Third Join As You Go stitch onto turquoise Penny, followed by tightening the centre of the circle up, and SS to finish in 3rd Chain of first Chain. 

It's absolutely fine to do it like this and won't make any difference to your Pennies.  After your last Join stitch, pull the circle closed and then join the circle together with a Slip Stitch as described above.


So - are you with me so far?  Does it make sense?  I do hope so, I've read through it all several times and fingers crossed I've got it right, but as usual do get in touch if you are struggling please!

Enjoy making your Pennies, and please share links to any crochet work you create using them won't you, I'd love to see what you have made.

Sending Crochet Love out to you today!
Julia x


  1. Your shawl is looking really beautiful and very effective xox Thanks for sharing your tutorial, I daren't start another project quite yet but if I do make a sea pennies shawl I'll be sure to let you know xox

  2. Hi Julia! This is going to be sooooo adorable! Thank you for showing how you make it! I think I could make this also with my thin yarn because pennies are small!
    Have a lovely time! xxx Teje

  3. Thank you for a most comprehensive post about the delights of Sea Pennies. However, this pupil must be a dud as I. STILL. DON'T. UNDERSTAND. Sorry. But they are beautiful pennies and I do indeed love the seafoam colours and wait in anticipation for the finished article to appear on your blog. And we want it modelled by its creator please. Ax

  4. these are very pretty, thanks for showing the how-to! I think I may try them, I have an idea that's been floating in my head & I haven't found the right pattern to use, this hopefully will be it!

  5. Lovely sea pennies! You're so creative and so clever! xx

  6. Lovely! Thanks for the tutorial!

  7. Really, really pretty! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi Julia

    Thanks for sharing this tutorial. It looks like a really interesting technique - I'll need to give it a go

    Fiona x

  9. beautiful - thank you - I hoped you would reveal how to do the sea pennies, guess what I will be doing next :)

  10. Wow very clever and such a clear tutorial. I have not crocheted for many years but I could follow that! Mind you I'm not sure I have time to start yet another craft beside my card making,jewellery,and and ...!! and oh nearly forgot.... going to work!LOL.
    Thanks for a lovely post.
    Jane x

  11. I only found your site a few days ago, courtesy of Lucy at Attic24. Your Sea Pennies are just stunning, I love the random effect. Keep the posts coming, I can't wait to see it finished!

  12. Hi Julia,

    I just wanted to let you know that I found your blog through a friend's blog "Places Where Grace is." She told us about the heart bunting. I'm a fairly new crocheter, but I have about ten hearts made. I LOVE YOUR WORK! I cannot wait to try to make the sea pennies. I just love it. I'm so glad to meet you! Cindy Bee

  13. You make it look so easy. I can crochet granny squares with no idea of the technical names so do not for the life of me have a scooby what patterns mean.
    YET I am determined to learn!!!
    Ahh Rico chose lovely colours.

  14. Thank you so much for this tutorial! I love it, and it's so simple when you get stuck into it. I adapted it slightly to make a cushion cover:
    Thanks again,

  15. I accidentally saw a photograph of your Pennies and I LOVE IT! Thank you for sharing the tutorial, I want to make them once myself.

  16. Love this! Is it on Ravelry?

  17. Hi Julia, I just found your blog through Pinterest. I can make the sea pennies fine but, I'm having a hard time getting the first row started. I can't read patterns but I can follow your picture tutorial. Could you please show me how to get started. Thank you, Olga

  18. I just love this idea since a can't stand seaming. This is lovely. Do you have it on Ravelry?

  19. This is sooooo pretty!!! Thanks for the great tutorial.

  20. Great idea and tutorial! i love it, thanks for sharing.

  21. Hi Julia,
    I am new to crocheting and have been dying to try this! I am able to make the first penny, but wasn't sure how to start the next one. Is it connected to the first or do I need to make a separate (2nd) one and then join as described in the directions?

    Thanks so much!

  22. What a lovely crochet pattern :) i'm currently working on a similar design, only with tiny squares/diamonds instead of circles. i love the patchy effect and the way something big grows out of each tiny little piece. Your colour scheme is lovely too - very serene. I just discovered you from another blog (Here's looking at me kid) and I'm going to enjoy looking around at your other projects x

  23. I'm going to use this idea with a light weight yard or thread to make placemats for my table.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.

  25. I just started working on this, but I have no clue what to do with the string that you use to tighten the penny... it's just hanging there! I don't want to cut it because I'll will unravel. Please let me know! (


  26. I am new to crocheting and I don't know how to start the next penny to the first one. Can you give me some direction...I really want to make this as a blanket, I have a new niece/nephew on the way and would love to give this as a gift

  27. I understood your instructions for making the sea pennies. Thanks. I was wondering is you could post a picture of what it looks like when you join the first two pennies. For some reason I am getting a little hole in the first penny. I am not sure what I am doing wrong.thanks

  28. Please, Please, Please put this on UTube, so we can see you do it. I really want to make this for my future grandchild :)
    Thanks, Cindi

  29. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE put this on UTube so we can see you doing this. I realy want to make this for my future my grandchild :) Also how would you modify it to make the shape round?
    Thanks, Cindi

  30. I'm in the same place other people are. I can make the first sea penny but do not know how to continue. Please post something so we can continue. Thank you!

  31. These are adorable--thanks so much for sharing them! One quick question--with a chain 3 and 10 DC, that only makes 11 stitches on the ring, not 12...where does the last one come in? Thanks again!

  32. Hi Julia,
    These Sea Pennies are beautiful! Thanks very much!! :) :)
    Lee Ann
    My blog: Crochet...Gotta Love It!

    Crochet...Gotta Love It!

    My website: Crochet...Gotta Love It!
    Crochet...Gotta Love It!

  33. I am new as well at crocheting. Have you been able to answer the question as to whether or not the first penny is disconnected and then attached to the second one? I am slightly confused. Thanks for any help!

  34. Wonderful ideas!Thanks
    Please visit my page:
    Best regards, Rita

  35. Your website is beautiful with nice ideas!
    please visit my page:

    Thank you for visiting my page, Rita

  36. I have searched everywhere trying to figure out what to do with the string you use to close up the circles, but I can't figure it out :) I'm new to crocheting so any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!
    Great tutorial! Understood it and found it very simple!

  37. Gorgeous! I'm thinking of doing this in white and off white . .wait, would that make them "snow pennies" then . .???

  38. Hi Julia, just found your blog and am so inspired ! Thank you......
    I am following you now !!
    love and hugs
    chris richards

  39. To News For Brenda: You weave in all the tails including the ones used to close up the circles.

  40. So glad I came upon the link to your blog on Facebook today! Love the tutorial, too...I will be trying this technique. Thanks.

  41. Hi Julia! This is such a gorgeous project. The colors you used are amazing. I would like to feature it on Let me know if you might be interseted.
    Thanks! ~Bridget

  42. Beautiful pattern. But like a lot of ppl, I'm not getting this join as u go thing. How would it look if I sew them piece by piece instead?

  43. Do you generally take into account optimizing your blog articles for search algorithms?

  44. Hi I am hopeless at instructions, have you done a tutorial on youtube? I am way more visual and learn from watching much easier, I have not picked up a crochet hook since a kid, I used to be really good but have forgotten all I was taught which was over 40 years ago.

  45. I would probably need someone to show me for some reason I do better that way



Thank you for coming by my blog today, I hope you have enjoyed your visit. If you would like to leave me a comment then I would be delighted to hear from you (but quietly reading and leaving is just fine too).

Julia xxx