Crocheting creates handmade blankets (sometimes called afghans) very quickly. Although a simple blanket can be created out of a single stitch pattern, combining different crochet stitches can create a variety of effects from supple blankets to rippling zig-zags.
Choosing Hook and Yarn
Use 8-ply yarn or thicker, otherwise the blanket will take a long time to crochet. Here are the approximate hook sizes that go with each weight of yarn, from 8-ply up:
- 8-ply: 4.5 mm to 5.5 mm hook
- 10-ply: 5.5 mm to 6.5 mm hook
- 13-ply: 6.5 mm to 9 mm hook
- 14-ply: 9 mm or larger hook
Using a smaller hook creates tighter stitches. Switching to a larger hook creates larger, loose stitches.
The finished blanket should be wide enough to cover the desired mattress size, plus a few centimetres to overlap on each side. Here are some target measurements to aim for:
- Lap throw (no bed): 120 cm x 120 cm
- Single bed: 140 cm x 210 cm
- Double: 185 cm x 210 cm
- Queen: 200 cm x 220 cm
- King: 230 cm x 220 cm
To decide how many stitches should be in each row, crochet a 10 cm x 10 cm swatch in the desired stitch pattern. Lay a ruler across the swatch and count how many stitches there are in 10 cm. Multiply that stitch count by 12 to get the total number of stitches for a lap throw, by 14 to get the number for a single blanket, by 18.5 for a double, by 20 for a queen, or by 23 to get the stitch count for a king-size.
Use either of the following patterns to crochet a blanket. If the pattern requires a multiple of stitches that does not quite match the desired blanket size, round up. For example, if 95 stitches will produce the desired blanket size but the pattern requires multiples of 10, round up to 100.
This simple pattern is great for beginners. It works up quickly into a supple fabric, but requires mastery of just two stitches: the chain stitch and treble crochet.
- Attach the yarn to the crochet hook with a slip knot. Chain the desired number of stitches, plus four.
- Treble crochet in the fourth chain from the hook. Work one treble crochet in each chain, all the way across the row.
- Make three chain stitches, then turn the work right to left to work back across the row.
- Miss the first stitch. Treble crochet in every other stitch until the end of the row.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until the blanket reaches the desired length.
This pattern is more difficult, but still requires only two stitches: the chain stitch and double crochet. For even more charm, alternate colours of yarn every four to six rows.
- Chain a multiple of 11 stitches, plus an extra 10 stitches.
- Double crochet once in the second chain from the hook, and in each of the three chains following it.
- Work three double crochets in the next chain, then one double crochet in each of the next four chains.
- Miss the next two chains, then place one double crochet in each of the next four chains. Work three double crochets in the next chain, then place one double crochet in each of the next four chains.
- Repeat step 4 until the end of the row. Chain one stitch, then turn the work from right to left to begin work on the next row.
- Miss the first stitch, then place one double crochet in each of the next four stitches, followed by three double crochets in the next stitch.
- Work one double crochet in each of the following four stitches. Miss two stitches, then place one double crochet in each of the following four stitches. Work three double crochets in the next stitch.
- In the last five stitches of that row, work a double crochet in each of the next three stitches. Miss the next stitch, and work one double crochet in the last stitch. Chain one and turn the work from right to left to begin work on the next row.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 until the blanket has reached the desired length.
Finishing the Blanket
No crochet blanket is complete until all the loose ends are woven in. Finish the blanket by snipping the working yarn about 15 cm away from the last stitch. Pull this 15-cm tail through the last stitch so it won’t unravel, then weave the loose tail and any other loose ends into the blanket with a yarn needle or a crochet hook. Carefully snip away any tails of yarn that stick out between stitches using a pair of scissors will make this easy.