Crocheting a baby blanket is a time-honored custom welcoming a new life into the family. Not only are they easily customizable, but a handmade blanket also adds a deeply personal touch to a new baby's collection of gifts. Incorporate meaningful colors into a classic pattern, or enlist the help of family and friends to create a collective work of crochet art for baby. Whether you're making a gift for someone special or just tackling a new crochet challenge, there are endless possibilities for your baby blanket project.
A single stitch blanket is a good project for beginners because it doesn't require mastery of complicated techniques. The single stitch is the foundation for all other stitches in crochet, and it makes a tight, dense fabric that's reliable enough for everyday use. Once you've nailed this move, work it into a multicolored chevron pattern. Use the single stitch exclusively, or use it in combination with other stitches to show off your improved skills.
The blanket stitch is a simple technique that only requires you to know the single crochet and double crochet stitches. The combination creates a thick, dense fabric that works up quickly. In crochet talk, that means you can speed through rows of stitchwork, bringing your project to fruition that must faster. Work on your blanket stitch baby blanket while you binge your favorite shows or relax in the evenings. This is a great option if you forgot to get started until mama's eighth month!
The granny square is a humble beginning for many first-time crocheters. Though they come in various patterns, the classic granny square uses double crochet stitches worked in a flower-like circle and measures 4 to 6 inches square. Crochet single-color granny squares in multiple shades and join them into an ombré blanket. You can also get the family involved by asking several crochet artists to contribute a granny square to baby's blanket.
Faux fur isn't just for grown-ups. A baby blanket made from the super-soft synthetic fibers makes a snuggly addition to baby's stroller or nursery. It's also an ideal project for novice crocheters since you'll only want to do a single stitch to create this throw — the fibers make it tough to keep track of complicated stitches. Choose your luxuriously furry yarn in a bold hue, or stick with neutral tones for a more chic appearance.
Learning new stitches is a fun way to create textures for baby to explore. Shell stitches are popular for their pretty, fanned out shape, while the bobble stitch makes a bubble-like texture that young toddlers can grasp. If you're making a keepsake for a newborn, find a pattern for crocheted roses or daisies. Connect rows of flowers to create a delicate security blanket, or attach them to an afghan for a pop of color.
Most baby blanket patterns are either square or rectanglular, but you can find some impressive circular designs. These projects are crocheted from the center, extending outward in a display of color and textures. There are plenty of patterns for pentagonal or octagonal-shaped blankets, too, or use contrasting shades in a star form. Add stunning details with intermediate stitches, such as the Jacob's ladder technique. With a bulky yarn, your circular creation can double as a playtime floor mat.
A fully-crocheted baby blanket is a work of art, but it isn't always a practical endeavor. You can still add touches of crochet with a handmade border on an existing cover. Use a blanket stitch, not to be confused with the crochet stitch of the same name, to sew a border around the edge of a fleece or cotton blanket. Use this as a base from which to start crocheting a scalloped or ribbed border. For a bit more whimsy, add some colorful tassels.
Baby blankets come in several sizes, depending on their use and baby's age. The smallest size is a "lovey," and is usually a square or circle. Measuring around 10 by 10 inches, a lovey is perfect for newborns to grab onto and develop their motor skills. Consider gifting a lovey with a knit doll at its center. A security blanket also comes in a square shape but in a larger size — 14 to 17 inches. Security blankets make excellent keepsakes, so they're the perfect project for more elaborate patterns.
"Preemie" blankets are better for premature or small babies, ranging in sizes from 15 inches to 24 inches square. These blankets will comfortably wrap a newborn baby, but if you need coverage for an entire bassinet, you should opt for a stroller blanket. Rectangular shaped and approximately 30 by 36 inches, a crochet blanket this size is large enough to keep baby safe from the elements while out and about. Choose a stylish fringe for fun and colors that complement junior's stroller.
A receiving blanket is a multitasker that makes a perfect gift for any expectant mother. Approximately 36 to 40 inches square, these blankets cover mom and baby during breastfeedings, serve as emergency changing mats, and stand in as burping cloths as well. A slightly bigger swaddling blanket is all about the baby's comfort. At 45 to 48 inches square, a swaddle is large enough to wrap a newborn, helping them sleep. Toddler blankets are wide enough for kids to stay warm on the go, while a crib-sized blanket is customized to fit your baby's particular cradle.