Tuesday, March 20, 2012

HOH in Crochet: Easy Baby Afghan (Tutorial)


After making a little hat and scarf that called for this technique, I made a little blanket like this a few years ago for some friends of mine who were adopting their second baby boy. I used a cornflower blue yarn, an aqua and a cream. It looked gorgeous and the texture was so ropey and fun. I imagine any baby would love to stick his or her fingers through it.


I thought of this blanket again when I started this Head-Over-Heels in Crochet series because it is a great beginner project or a mindless project for someone with more experience and the results are fantastic! As I keep repeating, I love anything that meets two critical criteria: great-looking and quick to work up! This Easy Baby Afghan certainly does.


This little afghan would be a great gift to welcome a new baby. It would look so darling folded over a crib or rocking chair. It is soft and almost spongey so I was thinking it would also make a great playmat or sleeping mat in the bottom of a crib. And it isn't quickly outgrown.


Tess thinks it's perfect for curling up with. It has a bit of heft for keeping little toes warm during nap or couch time.


I love it in these springtime colors: gold, pink and white. They were inspired by this darling sweater made by Rae in pink and gold. Rae is right--pink and yellow are beautiful together! I have been thinking about coral, pink, yellow and grey together too...


But about this baby afghan... Not sure if we're keeping it or gifting it. We'll have to see. If you would like to make one to gift or to keep (you could certainly enlarge it for an adult sized lap blanket too!) click to view the tutorial. It's all single crochet!




EASY CROCHET BABY AFGHAN


This Easy Baby Afghan is crocheted using three strands of bulky yarn together, so it goes very quickly. It is also the most forgiving of patterns--because it's a blanket and not a fitted garment the size doesn't really matter, so the gauge isn't critical. If you want to substitute different yarns be sure to pick yarns that are extra soft and also consider care instructions if you are making this for a baby. You could even combine yarns of different gauges for a slightly different look!

See my notes at the end for a few tips on weaving in ends and changing skeins. 

The finished Easy Baby Afghan measures 34"x30" using the following materials.

MATERIALS: 
GAUGE:  6 single crochet and 6 rows in a 4"x4" area using three strands together with yarn and hook specified. (Note: If you aren't able to achieve this gauge using the yarns and hook specified it's ok--just work number of chains required to make the foundation chain 34")

ABBREVIATIONS:

TO MAKE:

Using three strands of yarn together, form a slip knot on your hook.

Chain 51. (Chain should measure about 34")


Row 1: Working in the second chain from your hook...


...work one single crochet.



Work 1 sc in the next ch and every ch thereafter until the end of the row. (50 sc)

 

Row 2: Chain 1, turn.


Work 1 sc in the first sc stitch...



...and every sc stitch until the end of the row. (50 sc)

Repeat Row 2 until the afghan measures 30". Fasten off.
 

You will have a bit less than a half of skein of each of your yarns left over. I like the proportions of a 34"x30" afghan but you could certainly keep working additional rows until you use up all the yarn.


Enjoy your finished Easy Baby Afghan!

NOTES:

WEAVING IN: I think it looks best to weave in the ends one strand at time, rather than using all three together.



CHANGING SKEINS: You will come to the end of each of your skeins at different times. To add another skein in a project like this I think the best method is knotting. It's a bit unconventional but it works really well and there are less strands to weave in--hooray for that. See this great tutorial from Jane Richmond for the "magic knot" technique, which I first saw here.

MISSED STRANDS: If, like I did, you try to crochet this afghan while doing something else, such as watching tv, it's possible you will occassionally miss one of your strands when you single crochet. The best fix is to pull out your work back to the oopsie and re-work it. If however it is two rows behind and you can't bear it, here's a little fix:

Work your row to the stitch above the missed loop (see the gold strand hanging below)...


...and now pull up that loop to the sc stitch you will work into next...


...and work your sc as if that missed loop were part of it.


I wouldn't say this fix makes the mistake completely invisible, but it does eliminate a loop hanging down. Works for me!



63 comments:

Lissa B said...

Very cute... and looks more fancy than just to be single crochet!

Brindy said...

So gorgeous. Next time I decide to put my sewing machine away for a couple days I will be working on this tutorial. Great work.

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

Another cute project for me to add to my to-do list. And it looks like something I can handle! I'm working on a very easy poncho right now.

Emily said...

Love the texture from the three strands at a time. :)

Cheryl said...

Oh my goodness that little pixie Tess is a beautiful child! She looks like she could grace the pages of a upscale childs magazine :-)

Jemm said...

It's lovely and I think I could actually do it. I want a grownup-sized version :)

Biz said...

Okay...okay....you have got me!
I really need to go back and start your series on learning to crochet. This blanket is DARLING and well actually everything you make is darling.
I still love the chenille blanket I made my hubby.
So with my husband's co-worker's wife expecting in September this might just be something I can make in a timely manner!
Thanks for the inspiration!

Biz

Prissy said...

I love your blog! It's colorful, your tutorials are so easy to follow and I just absolutely love the projects you have. I started out falling in love with the chevron baby blanket for my grandson...and needless to say, it was the hit of the shower. I've since made just about everything else you've shown and I cannot wait to start on this project while watching March Madness this weekend. Thank you so much and keep those cute, creative ideas coming!

Jaime said...

I am a crochet beginner, and this project looks awesome. I am headed to the store right now to pick up supplies. THANKS!

Denise L said...

I really love this afghan and the color combo...will definitely make one. Thanks so much for sharing it. Little Tess is too cute!

my pocketbook said...

your blog is absolute eye candy! love it! but i'm confused about the size of the crochet hook. i have a chart with a 'q' size hook being the largest. but it is only 15.75/16 mm.....i bought the 'q' size...it is huge....but i can't find anything larger. granted i bought it at wally world....do you have a crochet hook size chart that you go by? will my 'q' size hook give me the same look? thank you! and keep the goodness coming!

Delia said...

I love how using three skeins at a time really gives a simple sc a different look. I am definitely going to have to try this one!

Delia said...

I love how using three skeins at a time really gives a simple sc a different look. I am definitely going to have to try this one!

Anneliese said...

@my pocketbook: the look will depend on the gauge yarn you are using too. If it is a yarn similar to the one I used, a smaller hook will result in a tighter looking pattern. I have a link in the materials section for the larger hook on the Lion Brand web site if you are interested.

Bari Jo said...

Love this! I love the HUGE crochet hook - looks like it could be a gift that works up really fast! I enjoy making baby afghans because, like you said, you don't have to fit them to any body - I am still so new at crochet - that thought intimidates me! But blankets I can do! Thank you for this fun tutorial!!!

AddieElizabeth said...

This was a fun jumping off point! I was in need of a quick mindless project as a break between two bigger more complicated ones, and this certainly fit the bill. I used three worsted-weight yarns (4) and a Q hook since my gauge is usually large, and it worked out perfectly. I love the texture of this, and while it certainly isn't a soft drapey kind of blanket I can certainly see it coming in handy as a play mat. Thanks for this one, Annelise!

AddieElizabeth said...

*Anneliese
Sorry, my "e" key sticks :P

Anonymous said...

I crocheted something similar...I used Bernat Baby Blanket Yarn--heavy chennil...it worked up in one evening and is so soft. I love your site...and plan on coming back often!

Rae said...

Ooh, lovely lovely!! You know I love those colors!!

And what a cutiepie. :)

dana said...

oh this is so yummy. i LOVE it Anneliese. What a fun series you're doing. And that bed??? I think we've talked about it before. But seriously cute.

liset said...

Fabulous colour choice!! LOVE the combination!

Khris said...

I can't seem to find the tutorial for the baby blanket. Can you point me in the right direction please.
Hugs Khris

Anonymous said...

This would also make a lovely lap blanket for someone, or can be used for people in a wheelchair. I see all the extra yarn being used for this. Lovely pattern

Anonymous said...

I love this blanket. It is easy and the tutorials you gave are amazing.

Wendy said...

I had not thought of one of these lil three strand woobies in years. I was in a fix for a Baby gift and came across this! Thanks for the reminder! I used to add fringe on the corners if the woobie ....blankie

Anonymous said...

I've been making this blanket and it seems the more rows I complete the length across seems shorter. Am I doing something wrong or will it work it's way out by the end?

Anneliese said...

@Anonymous: Sounds like you are missing some stitches at the ends of your rows--it's easy to do! Check out this tutorial for a basic washcloth for some tips and photos of what hte last stitching looks like. Your edges should be straight on both sides. I hope it helps! http://www.aestheticnest.com/2011/05/crochet-ribbed-washcloths.html

Lianne said...

I am making this blanket right now! I love it!

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=770334960929&l=a42e3f0aac

I did green, white and yellow :)

pldrake said...

Can I get just the pattern to print?

Anneliese said...

@Lianne: thanks for sharing your photos! It wouldn't let me leave a comment there but your blanket looks beautiful!

@pldrake: I'm sorry I don't have another version of this pattern. It's possible to cut a paste a portion of this web post into a program such as Word and then delete the photos and print the text. I hope that helps!

Bethel of Bethania said...

G'day Anneliese
I found you through Hooked On Crochet newsletter today... I do love your blog n your crochet work Plus your ideas of crochet being quick n gorgeous when finished... Your little Tess is adorable isn't she... really melted my heart...
Love your colour scheme... I also think that your idea of using 3 strands of yarn is a wonderful way of using yarn you might not like or have been gifted as it's amazing how colours you least expect still go together in this sortta technique... Thank You so much for sharing... <3 B

Anonymous said...

Your photography on everything is STUNNING. Even the really simple items--and the lines on all of them are simple--are framed so well, colors so crispy. It's EXTREMELY Martha Stewart, that same look.

Jerri Lien said...

I'll tell you that the pix of the Easy Baby Afghan with the tutorial got me off to my crocheting start for the season! I love how easy this is, how darling it is, and that I'm already about a third of the way through with this little afghan that I'll be giving to a friend that's expecting a baby soon. Thank you! I love the color combo, too. Never would have thought of it.

Kay said...

Just finished this pattern! It is a lovely and clever way to make a simple stitch stand out.

My blanket ended up being about a 21inch by 21inch square. Smaller than the pattern indicated, but I assume this is a fault on my part. Next time I will measure my first chain and adjust as necessary for my stitch size.

Deidre Hagerman said...

I love this!! I am actually a beginner and I love this so I decided I just needed to do it! I am prob 1/4 done. My son wanted a camo blanket for his birthday so I have tan green and brown. I wasnt sure how it would look BUT its perfect!! =)

Anneliese said...

@Deidre: Nice work! Your color combination sounds perfect for a boy!

Katie McLeod said...

If I only use 2 color will the blanket be less heavy and more flowey? I saw in a earlier post someone said it was kind of heavy and could be used as a play mat.

savvysavta said...

I have been crocheting this very same pattern for 33 years. When I use three skeins I use a size S crochet hook; when using two skeins the size Q hook is best. I always use 4-ply yarn and have made small lap robes, crib,twin,full, Queen and King size afghans. Every recipient loves them. One lady told me her daughter loved the blanket I made when she was born so much that she took it to college. I also make a reversible blanket using the same single crochet stitche but working each row twice before turning. You work with one color then go back to beginning of row and work with the second color. Very easy and always looks pretty. Thanks for your tutorial. It's an easy beginner project.

Megan said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just finished making a My Neighbor Totoro inspired blanket with this pattern in gray, white, and green. As soon as I figure out how to put the pics on here I will. Anyways thanks!

Konchitca said...

So nice! Your idea inspired me, and I made one (mine is knitted)! http://spleteno.blogspot.com/2013/01/prekrivac-za-bozic.html

Thank you, and I wish all the best to you and your beautiful family!

Rebecca Alcorn said...

I just found out that I'm 6 weeks along and decided that I wanted to make a blanket. I also figured that since this was only my second attempt at ever crocheting something (with a space of about 12 years in between attempts) I'd go with this. The three strands of yarn make it a bit more complicated for me, but it's turning out beautifully! Green, white, and gray for a little gender neutrality. Thanks for posting.

Kimber said...

This is beautiful! I love how the texture comes out. It inspres me to want to give it a try!

Anonymous said...

I find my afghan is turning out really holey, but used everything you did!

Anonymous said...

Could you please tell me how much of a difference to the pattern it will make using a 16mm hook? That was the biggest size I was able to find. I'm hoping to make this for my newborn grandson as a playmat for his tummy time in the not too distant future. Thank you

Anneliese said...

@Anonymous re 16mm hook: While I can't predict the exact difference your hook will make in the result (it's a matter of gauge--I wrote an entire post on that topic here if you are interested: http://www.aestheticnest.com/2013/03/how-to-crochet-11-understanding-gauge.html )I can tell you that unless your tension is very loose your blanket will turn out smaller than the one I describe and the holes created by the pattern may be smaller. But this is just fine! Especially for a playmat. The blanket will be a bit stiffer if the stitches are tighter. You can make it larger by adding stitches to the chain and adding rows so it is the dimension you'd like. I hope that helps.

Maggies ann said...

If I'm using Bernat baby blanket 86 yds, and did 2 strands, I have 4 rolls, would that still make a large enough blanket? I'm new to this and am not good at comparing yarns! Thank you!!

Anneliese said...

@Maggies ann: I'm not familiar with the gauge of the yarn you are using, but I would stick with using three strands. Please see my post here, which explains gauge: http://www.aestheticnest.com/2013/03/how-to-crochet-11-understanding-gauge.html If the yarn you are trying to use is a similar gauge (in this case anything in a worsted weight should use) then you just need to look at the yardage on the yarn label I used and compare to the one you would like to use to be sure you have enough. Hope that helps!

Anonymous said...

This blanket is so cute! I think I'm going to make it for my cousin!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE THIS PATTERN!!!, It is so simple yet looks like you spent hours on it...I made a blanket for a friend of mine with hot pink, bright blue and bright yellow, it turned out awesome!! Thanks for sharing this with us!!
Now it is one of my fav. patterns to use!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for sharing your pattern! I'm using it as inspiration for a baby blanket for my little one due in November. Can you tell me how you went about the border in your project? I might have missed it somewhere, but I love it as a simple finish to pull everything together. Thanks!

Anneliese said...

@Anonymous: I didn't add any border to this project--just started with the chain and finished the last row and tied off. That's it. I think it looks great as-is but would be curious to see if you come up with a border. You'll have to let me know!

momof3girls said...

I love easy projects! I can't wait to try this one. Thanks so much for the wonderful tutorial.

Heather Woyak said...

Just wanted to thank you for this tutorial!! I made this baby afghan for boy #3 (due next month) over the weekend and LOVE it!!

http://houseofwoyaks.blogspot.com/2013/10/weekly-rewind-september-23-29.html

Anonymous said...

I am beginning crocheter and started this afghan, but by 2nd row its starting to look like rope! Now i cant seem to locate chain to sc ! Help!

Anneliese said...

@Anonymous: I hope I can help. It does get tough to spot that top "v" into which to work your sc which you are using three strands together. While working into the chain it isn't really critical where you stick your hook as long as you are consistent--go unter one loop or two... If you are new to crochet check out my "how to crochet" series including this post on the sc: http://www.aestheticnest.com/2012/03/how-to-crochet-4-single-crochet.html I hope that helps you!

ragan j said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ragan j said...

This is my first crochet project and it is PERFECT! I'm in love. It is so easy and quick: Instant reward is my kind of thing.
I am, however, using an 11.5mm hook and only 8ply wool as it is what I could get my hands on. I'm using similar colours to yours except my gold is more pale but it is beautiful so far.

Just wanted to say thank you for this fantastic tutorial!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this! I whipped up a scarf today using this method and was finished in a few hours - which is about the limit of my attention span these days. :) I am going to start on an afghan tomorrow. Thanks for sharing such a fun, forgiving pattern.

-Cara

Mimmi said...

Love it,
I tried with pink, purple and burgundy.
Did any of you make edgings? If so, what did you do?

Luci said...

I am using a size Q hook and double stands, not triple. I cant believe how quick it takes shape. I as a novice crocheter. I am in the starts of a granny stripe blanket - a bit daunting when i look at how far I am and how far I have to go. So this new blanket will be a nice break and a great gift when finished.

Ginger said...

I need to make 3 baby gifts quickly and this will do the trick! Personal and sweet, but will make up quickly, too. Thank you so much for this idea!!

Luci said...

I have completed 4 our these blankets. If you are looking for a cheaper option, I have used Red Heart Super Saver w great results. Once the finished blanket is washed, the finished product is nice and soft. Using all of one skein (3 total for the whole blanket) the finished size is about 34'x28" perfect size for carseat or cuddling. I am in love wit the blankets and color combos - Endless !!

Geri Surley said...

I made one of these for a friend in pink, grey, and white, but I may have to make one for myself! I was very surprised at how soft and comfy it was. I finished it off with a crab stitch (rev sch). I used three stands (two pink and 1 white as I didn't have enough grey to do the entire border), and I love how it gave the blanket a finishing look while adding a little more color. It was a very easy pattern and came together really quickly too. Thanks for sharing the magic knot tutorial too. I think that is going to be my new go-to!

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