This is one of my favorite gifts to give as a new baby gift or at a baby shower. But this blanket is not limited to baby gifts! Fleece comes in an amazing number of patterns these days. You could make one of these blankets for anyone!
If you know how to crochet it's very easy to make and works up quickly. I am by no means a crochet expert. I taught myself out of book a few years ago. I still have trouble reading patterns so I hope these instructions make sense! If you make one of these blankets I'd love to see it! (Send me a picture at nolongerconforming*at*gmail.com)
If you don't know how to crochet and would like to learn there are some great instructional videos on YouTube. Just borrow or buy a crochet hook and some yarn and sit by your computer for an hour or two learning a few basic stitches. If you can chain, single, and double crochet you can make this blanket!!
- Find some fleece that you would like to make into a blanket. I like to get enough to make the blanket square but you can make it any size or shape you would like. I make my blankets with only one piece of fleece, but you could use two pieces sandwiched together (similar to making the fleece blankets that you tie).
- Buy yarn that compliments your fleece. When I make a baby blanket it ends up being about 58 inches square and one skein is more than enough.
- Prepare the fleece. There are several ways you can do this. You can blanket stitch around the entire piece of fleece. You can use a serger to serge around the piece and then crochet in the serger stitching. Or you can go through and make holes around the edge of the fleece. This is the method I use. I use a ruler/tape measure of some kind and washable marker to make marks 1/4 inch apart about 1/4 inch in from the edge around the entire blanket. If you have a small (1/16) hole punch you could use that to make the holes. I use a seam ripper and just poke it through the fleece at every mark. With this method as you are crocheting you'll occasionally come to a hole that has closed up (or that you skipped) and you'll have to punch it again. I don't know why this happens, but it does, so just keep the seam ripper handy so you don't have to wander off to go find it and realize you have dishes to wash or something! :)
- Now comes the fun part!! Once all the holes are ready. Single crochet into each hole all the way around the fleece rounding the corners by putting 3 single stitches in each corner. There is no need to count and when it comes to the second round you'll be fudging the numbers a little to get it to come out even. Chain three when you get to the end to get up to the next row.
- The second row will be: double crochet, double crochet, chain one (repeat). Your chain will count as the first double, then double crochet again into the single crochet below it. When you chain, skip a stitch on the single crochet row so you get a little space between the two doubles. (Is this making sense?) For corners: 2dc, ch3, 2dc. These spaces make a great place to weave in a ribbon for an extra special touch. Chain one to get up to the next row after you've gone around.
- The third row is the hardest. This row makes a cute, little bumped edging. Single crochet in the first double below then in the "hole" or space you created in the second row make one single crochet, chain two, and another single crochet. Repeat. So it will be *sc, sc, ch2, sc, sc* repeat around the outside edge. For the corners: sc, ch2, sc, sc, ch 2, sc. When you get all the way around finish it off. If you have to add a few stitches or skip a few to make it come out even it won't matter. Just play around with it a bit until it looks right.
Fold up your blanket, tie a ribbon around it, and give it as a gift. Who wouldn't want a cuddly, made with love, blanket?!
[Click any of the picture above to enlarge if you need to see better. If you have questions feel free to leave a comment or email me.]