Stripes And Blocks Baby Blanket (part 1)

For Vanessa

I recently returned to work at the company for which I had previously been employed. And on my first day back I came to find out a little surprise about one of my coworkers! I sat at my low-walled cubicle and tucked my things down under the desk. Looking up when I saw movement to my side, I saw Vanessa approaching. And…I had to do a double-take because even before she spoke I saw what her announcement would be along with her greeting in seeing me again. She was smiling warmly and glowing, really very lovely, as her baby-bump belly reached me moments before she did.

I can never resist making a baby blanket when one of my friends is expecting, so I asked when she was due. “Six weeks,” she informed me. That didn’t give me much time! So here we go! Lightning crocheting speed!….Okay, so maybe not ‘lightning’ per se, but I’m aiming to have the blanket done while the baby is still qualifiable as an infant.

Picking the yarns was harder than I thought!

Picking the yarns was harder than I thought!

Of Patterns and Yarns

Each baby blanket I’ve ever made is different than the others. And this one was going to be no exception to that rule. I wanted something unique for this little boy that would be joining Vanessa’s family. Something warm. Something neutral enough that perhaps future younger siblings might get to use it, even if it’s a girl. After a bit of searching around online, I found this cute stripy baby blanket pattern by Bernat yarns. (Unfortunately, the site where I found the pattern seems to be down at the moment, but I’ll add a link to it when it’s back up.) Picking the colors was just as time-consuming. And I spent a good 40 minutes looking at different hues of colors and types of yarns for the blanket. My husband and cousins (Leo and Tony) were there, but their idea of helping was throwing yarn at each other and coming up with the idea to use the larger yarn skeins as boxing gloves. To be fair, Leo did help me narrow down the color selection. He is, after all, a graphic designer. But finally settling on a nice combination, I happily made my way home to crochet…with three guys in tow.

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Materials I Chose:

  • LionBrand Yarn: Heartland Terrior in acadia (off white)
  • LionBrand Yarn: Vanna’s Choice in taupe (brown)
  • Bernat yarns: Satin in fern (green)
  • Bernat yarns: Satin in Sage (aqua shade)
  • Size ‘I’ hook

And We’re Off!

As instructed, the pattern begins with a long chain of 131 stitches in your main color (for me it was the creamy color), and then returning the other way with a row of 129 double crochets. Skip the first 3 stitches of course, to count as your first dc in the turn row.

Foundation chain of 131 chs

Foundation chain of 131 chs

First row in double crochets (129 including the first chs as a stitch)

First row in double crochets (129 including the first chs as a stitch)

The next row will be a color change to your second color and important to remember to count your stitches so that you remember to insert a chain every 9 single crochets (except the ends where you’ll do 4 scs before you do a chain stitch). Keep going to with 3 more rows of single crochets, this time without the chain stitches.

First color change. Sc 4, *ch 1, skip one st, sc 9.* Rep from * to * til the end. Ch 1, skip one st, ch 4 til the end.

First color change. Sc 4, *ch 1, skip one st, sc 9.* Rep from * to * til the end. Ch 1, skip one st, ch 4 til the end.

Sc 129 across for 3 more rows.

Sc 129 across for 3 more rows.

The next row threw me for a loop at first. Add on your main color again. In this row, you need to begin with single crochets until you get to the stitch that is above the chain where you skip a stitch in the first color-change stitch. When you get to this point, you’ll do a treble stitch into the skipped-double crochet stitch 4 rows below. Be sure to have your working yarn ONLY in the front, and not any hanging from behind the blanket. (I’ll show images below on how to do this.)

The first treble crochet row. Your tr stitches will be put in the skipped dc from 4 rows down.

The first treble crochet row. Your tr stitches will be put in the skipped dc from 4 rows down.

Continue with another row of double crochets. Then add on your third color and remember to stagger the chain-stitch so that when you have the treble crochet row again above, it makes the new treble crochet stitches look like they are lined up between the ones of the previous treble crochet row.

Seen from the back of the blanket: the dc row you add next.

Seen from the back of the blanket: the dc row you add next.

Add your next color. Note, between the two tr is where you should line up the ch and skipped st. Essentially, sc 9, ch 1, skip 1 st, sc 9. And continue on until the end.

Add your next color. Note, between the two tr is where you should line up the ch and skipped st. Essentially, sc 9, ch 1, skip 1 st, sc 9. And continue on until the end.

Staggered row for the next treble crochet row. Sc 9, tr 1 in the skipped dc below, skip the next st (behind the tr), and continue with 9 sc. Keep going like this, lining up the tr with the skipped dc below, making sure that your new blocks of color are between the previous blocks of color.

Staggered row for the next treble crochet row. Sc 9, tr 1 in the skipped dc below, skip the next st (behind the tr), and continue with 9 sc. Keep going like this, lining up the tr with the skipped dc below, making sure that your new blocks of color are between the previous blocks of color.

Coffee Break!

Making this blanket is a bit slow-going for me, having to remain mindful of being careful with my achy joints. So there are a lot of coffee and tea breaks involved! My husband, Craig, is a big help when my yarn gets all tangled up. But, as you can see with the picture below, even he gets frustrated at the yarn when it only yields knots. LOL!

Breaks help so I don't go insane counting my stitches.

Breaks help so I don’t go insane counting my stitches.

This is my hubby Craig "helping" untangle yarn.

This is my hubby Craig “helping” untangle yarn.

Back to Work!

The treble crochet row isn’t hard. It just took me a moment to get out of auto-stitch and remember to keep the back side of the blanket clean of any loose yarns. Just in case you’re wondering how it’s done though, take a peek at the sequence of images below. Instructions are included in the caption below the images.

Yarn over 2 times to start your treble crochet.

Yarn over 2 times to start your treble crochet.

Insert the hook in the skipped dc below.

Insert the hook in the skipped dc below. As you can see here, instead of leaving the hook through to the back of the project, you’ll be pushing it through the dc st and immediately bring the end of the hook back through the 1-ch space. This ensures that the working yarn remains in the front of the blanket.

Pull a loop of yarn through dc, making sure your yarn is on the front of your blanket and not the back.

Pull a loop of yarn through dc, making sure your yarn is on the front of your blanket and not the back.

Starting with 4 loops on the hook. Pull yarn through the first 2 loops.

Starting with 4 loops on the hook. Pull yarn through the first 2 loops.

Now you should have3 loops on the hook. Pull yarn through 2 more loops.

Now you should have3 loops on the hook. Pull yarn through 2 more loops.

Pull yarn through the last 2 loops on the hook to finish your treble crochet stitch.

Pull yarn through the last 2 loops on the hook to finish your treble crochet stitch.

You'll skip one stitch, the one behind the treble crochet you just made.

You’ll skip one stitch, the one behind the treble crochet you just made.

Sc in the next stitch and continue from there.

Sc in the next stitch and continue from there.

The back should look like this. No loose yarn strands. :)

The back should look like this. No loose yarn strands. 🙂

And So It Goes…

I’m only a little ways through the blanket, but so far I’m rather pleased with the progress. I’ll keep you all updated on how the blanket turns out. What’s on your hook or needles right now? Be sure to leave me a comment below or show me pictures of your work in the Family Craft Studio facebook page. Happy crafting!

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