When regular Simply Crochet designer Kate Alinari got in touch with us to show us her 'Stay Strong' square that she'd made during the Corona virus lockdown, we knew it would make a great pattern and we're delighted that she's sharing it with us as a free pattern. Before we start, we thought we'd ask Kate a few questions about herself and her positive design.


Tell us a little about yourself?

I'm an enthusiastic crochet designer and teacher based in Italy. I believe that crocheting and handmade crafts are fun, creative, rewarding and generally help to make people happier. I learnt to crochet when I was 6 year old from my grandmother. Now I design patterns for happy crocheters and travel all around Italy to teach crochet. Since 2012 I've been working as a freelance designer, and collaborate with yarn companies and magazines. I've been featured by Italian and UK magazines, such as Simply Crochet and Love Crochet. On 2017 my first Italian book was published, “I Balocchi del Tipo Strano”, which translates as 'crochet games for little ones' in English.


The coronavirus has been particularly devastating in Italy, how has this affected yourself and your local craft community?

I hope everybody reading this is safe and well. We're staying home right now to help our amazing essential workers do their work - we're so proud of them. I can't stop thinking how lucky I am to have a home to stay in and a wonderful life companion to spend my time with (in fact I have two, including my cheerful dog). In these challenging moments crocheting is a fantastic form of therapy. I'm trying to stay positive and send positive vibes to my community via Instagram, making live videos to teach people how to crochet a quick and easy project. I started with what I called yoga potholders, because they are so relaxing (no counting, no stress) and after receiving so much positive feedback I decided to carry on teaching crochet online. We all must stay strong and continue crafting together!

Why did you want to make and share the Stay Strong square?

Concentrating is not easy in this period, so working on a square pattern, I found myself crocheting a square with STAY STRONG written on it. It's bigger than a granny square, but I felt compelled to make it, not only for myself but also for other people dealing with this surreal situation. While I was making this square I was constantly referring to my chart that says STAY STRONG on it, and found it made me feel more calm. I thought it could be helpful for crocheters all around the world make a STAY STRONG square, to help them feel a little better and not alone.


How can our readers support you during this time? (ravelry/blog links etc)

You can find me online on Ravelry, Facebook, Instagram or read my adventures on my blog (mostly in Italian) www.madebykate.me
I'm planning to translate and publish some patterns on Ravelry and share helpful tips on Instagram to make the Stay Strong Square in English. I'm looking forward to see your STAY STRONG SQUARE, please do share them on Instagram and tag me (@katealinari) so I can see them. Stay safe and healthy, we are going to get through this together (crocheting, of course)!


You will need

  • Bravo by Schachenmeyr (100% Acrylic, 50g/133m) or any DK yarn in 6 colours:
  • Yarn A purple 8303
  • Yarn B light blue 8259
  • Yarn C black 8226
  • Yarn D light green 8194
  • Yarn E yellow 8210
  • Yarn F orange 8192
  • A 4mm (US J/10) hook
  • Tapestry needle


You can find a full list of all abbreviations we use in our abbreviations and conversions guide. This pattern is written in UK terminology but you can easily convert it to US terms using this handy chart.

Simply Crochet UK-to-US conversion chart


Tension is not critical for this project.


The square is worked using corner to corner construction in blocks of (ch3, 3tr). See the chart below for square design. On the chart, each squares represent one block. Start reading the Chart in the bottom right corner where row 1 is and continue reading diagonally. Read odd rows right to left and even rows left to right. Instructions contain only first 3 rows, continue working with c2c technique and change colour in the yrh of the ss at the beginning of the new block.

If you're new to this technique, check out our How to do Corner to Corner crochet guide.

Free Stay Strong crochet square pattern

With Yarn A, ch6.

Row 1 (RS) Tr in fourth ch from the hook, tr in next 2 ch, turn. [1 block]

Row 2 (WS) Ch6, tr in fourth ch from the hook, tr in next 2 ch, ss into ch-3 sp, turn. [2 blocks]

Row 3 Ch6, tr in fourth ch from hook, tr in next 2 ch, *ss into ch-3 sp on next block, (ch3, 3 tr) in ch-3 sp; rep from * to end, turn. [3 blocks]

Row 4-30 Repeat Row 3 and change colour as shown in the Chart; increase 1 block each row.

Row 31 Ss in next 3 sts from previous block, ss into ch-3 sp, *ss into ch-3 on next block, (ch3, 3tr) in ch-3 sp; rep from * omitting last ch-3 sp, turn. [29 blocks]

Row 32-59 Repeat Row 31 and change colour as shown in the Chart; decrease 1 block each row.

Fasten off.


Weave in all the ends on WS and block.



Matt SpiersDigital Assistant, Gathered

Matt Spiers is a crochet artist and designer who has been overseeing Gathered's crochet articles for over 2 years. He previously worked as Digital Assistant for Simply Crochet magazine and is our in house video editing pro. What started as a hobby a decade ago led to Matt developing a passion (and then a career) with crochet. As well as still regularly writing and designing for Simply Crochet magazine, Matt is a crochet artist in his own right, having displayed and created crochet installations at festivals and fibre events across the UK. You can keep up to date with Matt at @onemancrochet on Instagram.

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