Free Crochet Pattern: Christmas Pickle Ornament!

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 3.26.34 AMIn the spirit of Christmas Eve, I’m posting my crochet pattern for my Christmas Pickles! I really wanted to do a YouTube video for these, but I just don’t have time to do it before Christmas. Like, I could shoot it and everything, but the editing process takes forever! If you guys still want a video after the holidays, I’ll add one!

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 3.29.11 AM

There are a few different versions of the significance of the Christmas Pickle. Feel free to Wiki it. It appears people think the tradition came from Germany, but it really might be a mid-Western thing. The first child who finds the pickle in the tree on Christmas morning gets an extra present. OR, the first person to unpack the pickle while decorating the tree gets an extra present. OR, while we were in Seattle, someone told one more possibility, which I don’t remember. Pretty much: make up whatever you want, and create your own traditions!

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 3.29.03 AMI’m not a super-fast crocheter (I don’t like to feel like I’m in a rush … I like to enjoy the process!) and I can finish a pickle in 30-45 minutes.  I like using this sparkly green worsted weight yarn, but you can use whatever green yarn you like. The pickle is basically just a log with a curve in it. We create this curve by putting shorter stitches in one section of the pickle. The bumps are created by randomly swapping out a single crochet with a triple crochet. It’s really easy!

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 3.29.23 AMI think they look funny with eyes, but that is also entirely up to you. Let’s get started!

What You’ll Need (contains affiliate links):


ch(s): chain(s)
inv dec: invisible decrease, but you could also use sc2tog
sc: single crochet
sl st: slip stitch
st(s): stitch(es)
rnd(s): round(s)
tr: triple crochet
( ): work everything in the parenthesis into the next stitch
[ ]: work everything in the brackets the number of times indicated

Finished Size:

Should be about 4.5 inches in length.

Skill Level:

I would say advanced beginner. You should know how to work in the round and how to work a slip stitch, single crochet, and triple crochet. You will need to have a fair amount of control while working the slip stitch sections of this pattern.


  • I prefer the right side of your work to show on the outside of the pickle. The bumps in the pickle are made by occasionally replacing an sc stitch with a tr stitch and popping it in towards you. If you want the wrong side of your work to show on the outside of the pickle, that’s fine. Then your tr’s will appear on the back of your work, which will be the outside of the pickle. I won’t write in all the tr’s, so just remember to work some in every now and again to give your pickle some texture.


Make magic ring, or ch 3 and sl st to 1st ch to form ring.

Rnd 1: Ch 1, 6 sc into ring. (6) Don’t join rnds.

Rnd 2: (2 sc) 6 times. (12)

Rnd 3: [(2 sc), 1 sc] 6 times. (18)

Start using a stitch marker here to mark the begining of your rounds.

Rnds 4-8: Sc evenly around (remember to occasionally work a tr instead of an sc). (18)

Here’s where we’ll start shaping the pickle using sl sts. Since we’re working in a spiral but want our slip stitches to stay within one region of the pickle, we have to keep altering the sl st pattern a bit to fight the spiral. You CAN work a tr instead of a sl st in this section, but you have to be careful that the sl sts around the trs don’t get pulled too tightly, or it will be really hard to work in them in the next rnd. Make sure to work all your sl sts pretty loosely so you can get your hook into them in the next rnd.

Rnd 9: Sl st 6 times, then 12 sc evenly. (18)

Rnd 10: 1 sc, 6 sl st, 11 sc. (18)

Rnds 11-12: 2 sc, 6 sl st, 10 sc. (18)

Rnds 13-14: 3 sc, 6 sl st, 9 sc. (18)

Rnds 15-16: 4 sc, 6 sl st, 8 sc. (18)

Rnds 17-18: 5 sc, 6 sl st, 7 sc. (18)

Rnds 19 – 23: sc evenly around. (18)

With normal safety eyes, I would go ahead and place them and install them now, but if you’re gluing your eyes on, you can just do that at the very end.

Also start stuffing the pickle, and stuff  some more after Rnd 24 if you feel you need to.

Rnd 24: [inv dec, 1 sc] 6 times. (12)

Rnd 25: inv dec 6 times. (6)

Sl st to next st to join. Break off, weave through remaining 6 sts, pull to close. Tie off and weave in end.




A note about selling items from my patterns: My new approach is that you are welcome to sell items you make from my patterns. I would really appreciate a design credit in your online listings or on your hang tags at selling events. I put a lot of love and work into my designs! However, you may not sell or distribute the actual pattern.

16 Comments on “Free Crochet Pattern: Christmas Pickle Ornament!”

  • Rachel


    What a fun pattern!!! I’ve always heard that whoever finds the pickle on the tree will have good luck in the New Year.

    Hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year 🙂

  • Melinda W.


    Thank you n MerryChrstmas n Happy New Year

  • LaFleur


    Hello Twinkie Chan,
    I not Knowed hat This is a Tradition and hat germans to Marke This.
    I asked my Dad but he never listend of this before. But it sounds pretty interesting and funny.
    I am from germany and a Blogger, too.
    I hope you understand my bad english, not written and talked for a couple of years XD
    Have merry Christmas
    Nice Greets LaFleur

    I found yesterday your blog out and was falling in love with your crochet style, so i orderd your first book <3 can't wait till it will Cole.

  • karen brathwaite


    Looks like a real pickle. And I will pass the pattern to others during the holiday season.
    Happy Holidays, Ms. Twinkie.

  • Aurora N.


    Merry Christmas Twinkie! You are always so generous with awesome patterns and your creativity. Thank you so much. I hope you get to relax and enjoy the “silly season”.

    • TwinkieChan


      I don’t know when I’ll be able to relax, but I hope it’s soon!!! 😛

  • Sam


    I’ve heard another Christmas pickle tradition – you hide it somewhere on the Christmas tree, and whoever finds it first gets to open the first present. I have a Christmas pickle ornament, but it’s not nearly as cute as these are! I think I’ll have to crochet one for next year!

  • Janice Clark


    Need to put a pickle on a afghan. Crocheted

  • CraftsbyNicB


    Not in my region of Germany either
    Maybe it got imported and lost in translation over the decades
    It’s so cute though.
    And who doesn’t like an extra present, or a lucky year

  • Barbara


    The pickle on the Christmas tree did not originate in German but seems to have become a thing done by German immigrants in the US.

    Made this pattern but it’s really quite big for a pickle (could be the yarn & hook size for me).

  • Nancy L


    It is a German thing. We had a German exchange student in the 1980s and he was the one who told us about it. Of course there are a lot of Germans in MN.

  • lulu


    thank you for taking the steps to explain how & why certain things are done and the outcome because of them. I have been crocheting approx a year and a half and follow patterns that just tells what to do and not why. your explanations are very helpful!

    • TwinkieChan


      Hi! Thank you so much for the thoughtful feedback. I really appreciate it! Happy crocheting!

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