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Margaret Oomen's Little Urchin Crochet Covered Sea Stones 

For quite some time now we have been mesmerized and inspired by the work of the unsurpassable artist Margaret Oomen - we are particularly drawn to her crocheted stones.  Her creations and her talent leave us absolutely speechless, as does her wonderfully kind personality.  Resurrection Fern is her blog about her life as a mother of four, rural physician and textile designer.  She also has an Etsy Shop where you can purchase her gorgeous crocheted stones (if you're quick enough since they go so quickly!) as well as beautiful still-life photographs of her crocheted stones. Today marks a very special day for us because Margaret generously agreed to create an exclusive Crocheted Stone pattern for Purl Bee readers (pictured above). Below is one of our favorite shots of Margaret's work from her Etsy Shop.

The Materials

The Pattern

In this tutorial I will show you how to crochet a cover for a smooth sea or river stone inspired by the lovely sea urchin. The instructions are for a stone about 5 cm in diameter but can easily be adapted to any size. If you can crochet a chain, make a single and double crochet stitch then you are ready to make a covered stone. --Margaret

Step 1: Make a chain 10 stitches long.  Join chain to form a circle.


Step 2: Chain 1, single crochet (sc) from the center of the circle 12 times.  Join with a slip-stitch (sl).


Step 3:  Chain 2, 2 double crochet (dc) in each sc, slip-stitch to make a circle.


Step 4: Chain 2, *work 3 dc into next stitch, chain 3, skip 2 stitches; repeat from * 7 more times. Always slip-stitch to join the circle. 


Step 5:  Chain 2, dc in next opening, *chain 3, dc 2 times in next opening, dc in next 2 stitches;  Repeat from until the round is completed.


Step 6: Chain 5, * dc 2 times in next opening, dc in next 3 stitches, chain 3; repeat from * until the round is complete.


Step 7: Chain 5, * dc 2 times in next opening, dc into next 4 stitches, chain 3; repeat from * until the round is complete.


Time to measure your work thus far against your stone. They should be almost exactly the same diameter. If it is smaller just add another round or two following the pattern you see developing. Now for the fun!!



Step 8: Chain 2, *make 1 dc in the opening between every stitch; repeat from * until you have completed a round.

If you have done this correctly this round will curl inwards a little appearing like a low basket. Time to slip your stone inside the basket. The remainder of the pattern is worked with the stone inside. This is my favorite part of covering smooth stones.


Step 9: Chain 2, *dc in every second stitch pulling tightly to make the cover very snug on the stone; repeat from * to end of round. Join this last circle and then cut the fiber leaving a 10 cm long tail and pull the thread through the last stitch.


Thread the tail on your needle and sew in invisibly through the last row. (Note, the beautiful pincushion in the photograph above is from Cozy Memories Etsy Shop.) Time to admire your little urchin stone and think about which stone you will cover next.

It is next to impossible to only make one. They look so lovely in a small group along with a few natural treasures. A small flatter stone or piece of sea glass could be covered in this way and turned into a lovely summer necklace.

Reader Comments (59)

Thank you, thank you, thank you...I've been wanting to do this for ages, since I first saw them!
July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLise
Oh my goodness! Thank you so much for this pattern and tutorial! I have loved Margaret's covered stones for so long. I am determined to teach myself how to crochet just to be able to make one (or more!) of these.
July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJenna C.
Yay! I've wanted to know how to make these for so long after seeing them on her blog! Thank you so much!!!
July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
thank-you Margaret! I often lurk around your blog just admiring all the beautiful things!
July 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNycole
I love Margie's work and blog. So generous of her to share a tutorial on the crocheted covered stones. I'll have to make a few for sure. But perhaps first finish the long list of unfnished projects in my crochet basket... ;) Thanks Margaret!
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMitsy/ArtMind
I own one of Margie's stones and absolutely treasure it. Infact, it's sitting beside me on my desk as I type! And I'm with Jenna C - I am going to learn how to crochet purely to make these! Thanks so very much for the wonderful tutorial.
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commentertwirling betty
I have been an admirer of Margaret's covered stones for some time now. To see them here and to know that now I can make my own has me feeling like I am sitting on a cloud and that life is good. Thanks for the tutorial. Carolina
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterThe Muse of The Day
I'm so excited about this! I have quite a few of Margies stones that I treasure. Thank you so much for sharing a pattern with us.
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTami
This looks like a great idea! What fun and a nice addition to my summer decor.
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterElaine
These are lovely and so organic in every sense of the word. Thank you for sharing!
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTicky and Mimi
I have a two little cups of sea stones waiting by my kitchen sink for a project just like this! Thank you.
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnette
l adore this post... margaret inspires everybody and also the stones!!!!!!! her sensibility with nature and her words and art makes her blog one of my favorite ! me encanta!
and now l am discovering purlbee and l feel happy!! QUE LINDO TODO!!!!!!!! LOTS OF TUTORIALS!!!!!!!!! gracias!!!besos!
July 19, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterale
Artistic people amaze me, you are amazing...incredible. I must learn hot to crochet first! wow!!! Thanks for sharing not only your art, but the instructions to pretend to be like you! You are awesome!! :) Have a great artistic day!
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPamie G.
I have made several of these, and when stones were not available, I have covered slices of a maple tree limb that was trimmed from our yard. These have turned out great and have a nice flat top, on which to perch a bird or two! Thank you Margaret!
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoseanna
thank you so much for sharing!!! i've always admired these stones and yes, they are very hard to buy on etsy because they are always sold out!!
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermon
Oh no--another crochet obsession!! (;0)
Thank you so much for sharing a pattern.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMegan
i ADORE these crocheted stone covers. they are so magical.
July 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkatrina
Thank you for this pattern! I have made several covered stones this summer using a few patterns of Margaret's that appeared in a magazine a while ago. Love her work!

Question: Should step 3 read "...double crochet in each single crochet 'twice'...? This is the only way I can make the rest of the steps work and it appears from the pictures that this is indeed how step 3 was done.

Please excuse my comment if I am wrong... could just be me not being as experienced as some in the art of crochet!

Just have to say again that I love Margaret's work and thank you for the pattern! Love this site and love Margaret's blog!
July 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Myers
I have admired these from a far for some time now - fantastic news on the collaboration!
July 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercari-jane hakes
I have to say that I was thinking the exact same thing as Kelly above, about it being 2 dc in each sc.
July 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdulcet
Kelly and Dulcet are both correct and I thought that was what was written it is two double crochet (dk) in each single crochet (sc) of the round. I guess it might have been clearer if I had said dc twice in each sc. I neither follow or write patterns usually so I welcome any suggestions. Thanks so much. I have already seen some beautiful covered stones added to the flickr group.
July 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermargie oomen
These covers are absolutely response to katina..question 3 does say
"2 double crochet in each single crochet" ...goodluck
July 27, 2010 | Unregistered Commentermarissa
Hi Marissa. Just to be clearer, step three did not originally say "2 double crochet in each single crochet" when originally posted. It has now been amended and I have to say that the pattern works out beautifully! I have a basket full of stones to prove that!

Thanks again to Margie for the pattern!
July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly Myers
Oohhhhh, I am new to crochet, I have never wanted to crochet something more than this...I love stones from the beach and is the perfect pattern...apart from the fact that I have been trying unsuccesfully for 4 nights to do this :( I worked out the 2 DC bit but am I supposed to turn after each round? Also on step 5 is there an * missing and am I really supposed to DC in the next opening at the beginning of this step? I keep trying different things but to no avail. I really want to complete this pattern as I think the stones are beautiful but I keep getting stuck. Can anybody help me?
July 29, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicola
Wow, for once I feel lucky to know how to crochet (and not knit--still). Perhaps I'll have to give these a try. They look so fun.
July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRosie Girl
OK, so I think Step 5 should read: Chain 2, dc in next stitch (not opening), *chain 3, dc 2 times in next opening, dc in next 2 stitches; Repeat from * until the round is completed. I have just done this and it looks correct but you may want to wait for confirmation.
p.s. Not intentionally being picky, it's just I am a beginner and have to follow patterns to the letter so thought I would share in case anyone else is having the same problem.
August 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicola
I'm 14 and I LOVED these!!!! i got my mum to teach my to crochet just because of these, you should have seen the look on here face when I asked!
August 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBBC
Gorgeous!! Thanks so much for posting this tutorial!
August 8, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnnemarie
I have so wanted to make one of these beautiful crocheted stones.
Thank you so much for the tutorial
August 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
*happy sigh* You have no idea how I have fought to try do this... now I just have to fight with the instructions!! Thankyou so much for sharing... what a dream! =)
August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGray
i love these stones! just awesome. do you know of any other patterns that would work with these? maybe some doilies that aren't so frilly? i'm new to this but would love to try to make some more. any ideas would be great. thanks so much!
August 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
I am a new guest to your blog, but it is already bookmarked on my computer, and like so many others, I love the crocheted rocks. I'm 56 and seem to remember that crochet went through a popular phase in the years between 1968 and 1972 and there were crocheted things that went over a hair bun in the same sort of fashion of the rock urchin pattern.

My mom crocheted all the time, it was her signature craft. I learned how to make snowflakes many years ago, and found I wasn't as rusty at it as I thought I might be. I finished 2 rocks so far.

Any chance of directions for the little mermaid rocks, I'm just smitten with them.

-from Arizona, where there is no shortage of rocks, though the nice smooth ones come from landscaped yards with river rocks. Joyce
August 21, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce bank
So lovely and so clever, what a great decorating idea!
August 25, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKnitting Storm
thanks so much for this! it helped me get started on making these. i love rocks so it is a great project and i have admired yuor work for some time now....cheers
September 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkate
I've often admired Margaret's crocheted stones. I wish I knew how to crochet because I love them so much. I linked to your tutorial today.

~ Jennifer
October 25, 2010 | Unregistered Commenter~ Junkyard Jennifer
I have been utterly unsuccessful crocheting with embroidery thread. But I have so long admired these I'm seriously tempted to give another go. Thanks so much for sharing your pattern and the wonderful tute. <Deep Breath> I'm going to give it a go. Also... going to link on Facebook.
November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKimara
i have made 5 so far! thank you for the tutorial!!!
November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjennifer
Beautiful-two of our kids live in FLA with patios that just beg for a basket of Sea Urchin rocks! Can't wait to get started. Thanks for the inspiration.
January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetty
These are adorable! I hope I can find some time this summer to learn how to crochet so that I can gather stones at the beach and then knit them little sweaters! Thanks!
January 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
Just made my first one...OMG, amazing. I am going to try to do enough for my wedding decor this summer!
January 16, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkate
These are so beautiful. I'm just amazed.
March 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauni
I just tried this and it turned out so cool! I officially have the best paper weight in town. :)
April 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZipporah
Pure art.......Sooo adicitive. I don't see just plain stones anymore I see stones covered in cobweb crochet.......wonderful it so motivates me...I'm wondering what else I can cover as well as stones. :-)
May 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Someone may have already asked this question (forgive me for only skimming through the many comments) but can anyone suggest a good place to find/buy these smooth stones? Do they sell them in craft stores? I really want to give this a try, but I am having trouble finding the stones.
August 18, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie M
Hi Stephanie-

A quick search yielded this promising source:

I would also try a gardening store and perhaps a florist.

Thanks so much for your question!

- Molly
August 21, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you for your suggestions, Molly! :) Can't wait to try this project!
August 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie M
I have long been an admirer! How exciting to be able to create one for myself. Thank you!
August 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercolleen
I love your creative thinking.
April 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenternetta
I wonder if there's an opportunity for me to translate this wonderful pattern to Swedish? Of course I link to your blog where the original pattern is, and do you have anything else to say about the pattern, I write naturally with it.

You can reach me at;

Thanks in advance
/ Saannis
August 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSaannis




January 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPacificaRia

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