Crocheting COVID
Crochet can be a deterrent against stress

A photograph of a small crocheted virus with a black frowny face.

It’s no secret that most of us are pretty stressed out this term. A global pandemic tends to throw a wrench in things. I certainly didn’t think I would finish my senior year while sitting on my couch…but things just don’t work out the way we expect sometimes. I needed a way to keep my anxiety in check during the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that went into place two weeks ago. So, I crocheted the coronavirus.

Before people start yelling at me for being insensitive, let me offer a bit of background. I’ve had a phobia of germs since I was a kid. The mere idea of being sick would send me into a panic attack. The scary thing about germs is that you can’t see them—they’re an invisible enemy. So as a form of exposure therapy, I made a crochet version of the virus, and you know what? It helped. I published the pattern on my blog, and my views doubled overnight.
Illustration of a mean looking virus. Gray molecule body with red spikes coming from out of it.
illustrations by Kacie Cooper

This silly crochet design brought people together. In the comments of the post, I heard from all sorts of people: nurses who made it to ride along in the ambulance, a person who took pictures of it on the subway, parents who made it for their kids, couples who were playing catch with it. Fellow germaphobes were getting some comfort from the creation process. It was making people smile in a stressful time.

I present the Coronavirus Crochet pattern to you here. If you don’t crochet, what better time than quarantine to pick up a new hobby?
Illustration of a red ball of yarn looped into a crocheting needle.
 

Crochet Coronavirus

  • Worsted-weight yarn in two colors: base (grey) and the spiky bits (red)
  • two 12mm plastic safety eyes
  • G (4.00 MM) crochet hook
  • Yarn needle
  • Small bit of polyfill stuffing
  • Small bit of black yarn to embroider face


Pattern Notes

  • U.S. crochet terms are used throughout.
  • This pattern is worked amigurumi-style, in a spiral. Do not join, but use a stitch marker to mark the first stitch of every round.
  • 2-double-crochet cluster: *Yarn over, insert hook into stitch, yarn over pull up a loop. Yarn over, pull through 2 loops.* Repeat from * to * one more time, which should leave you with 3 loops on your hook. Yarn over, pull through all 3 loops. 

A photograph of a small grey crocheted virus with red spiked protruding from it, and it has a black frowny face.
photographs by Claire Golden

Base (grey yarn to form the ball)

Round 1: Make a magic ring, ch 1, 6 sc in ring

Round 2: in back loops only, 2 sc in each sc around

Round 3: in both loops, (sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc) around

Round 4: in back loops only, (sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around

Round 5: in both loops, (sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around

Round 6: in back loops only, (sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc) around: 36 sc

Round 7: in both loops, sc 36

Round 8: in both loops, sc 10, in back loops, sc 26

Round 9-12: Repeat Rounds 7 and 8 two more times.

Round 13: in both loops, (sc in next 4 sc, sc2tog) around

Round 14: in back loops, (sc in next 3 sc, sc2tog) around

Round 15: in both loops, (sc in next 2 sc, sc2tog) around

Work on face: attach safety eyes and embroider eyebrows and mouth.

Round 16: in back loops, (sc in next sc, sc2tog) around

Stuff the grey ball with polyfill.

Round 17: in both loops, sc2tog around.

Fasten off. Through back loops, sew the small circle together. That leaves you with 6 loops to work into.

 

A photograph of a hand holding up the crocheted virus, showing us the back side of the project, red spikes.

Corona (red yarn to form the spiky bits)

Special Stitch: I’m going to call this “Corona Stem.” Ch 4, make a 2-double-crochet cluster in 2nd ch from hook. Sl st in same ch, sl st in next 2 ch.

Start in the leftover loops of Round 17. *Make a Corona Stem, then sl st into the next 2 free loops.* Repeat this twice more.

For the rest of the spare loops, you’re going to *make a Corona Stem, then sl st into the next 3 stitches*, all the way around and around. When you get to the middle section, which leaves a non-adorned part for the face, you’ll be working back and forth in rows. Then when you get back to the top, just start working around and around again.

When you get to the very top, with the 6 loops left over from Round 1, *Make a Corona Stem, then sl st into the next 2 free loops.* Repeat this twice more.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

Side by side photograph of the finished virus as well as a hand holding up the crocheted virus, showing us the back side of the project, red spikes.

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