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.
You're not limited to square blankets alone. Babies are small enough that circles and other shapes work just fine for covering up and keeping warm while letting you express your creativity in a way that goes beyond color and texture.
Beginners might want to keep it simple and go with something in a pentagon or hex shape, while more advanced crocheters can try irregular shapes and the outlines of cute animals, like teddy bears or bunnies.
Animals make a great theme for a baby's room, and you can't do better than to put the cutest of them on the blanket you're making with your own hands. Monkeys, bears, and ducks are perennial favorites for children's rooms, but there's nothing that says you can't go wild here.
Do you like duck-billed platypuses? Beavers? The occasional capybara? You're the creator of this piece, and there's nothing that gets a conversation started faster than a baby's blanket with adorable pterodactyls all over it.
One of the nice things about crochet as a medium of expression is just how three-dimensional it can be. Literally, as in you can easily add depth with borders of knotted balls that break up fields of solid color and give the baby something to feel as they run tiny fingers over the top.
Practice doing these balls in straight lines at first, then enjoy trying new things as you ball up stars, crescent moons, and anything else you'd like to see as a raised detail.
Yarn is the traditional material for crochet pieces, but you're not limited here. You can use whatever material comes to hand, including scraps of old T-shirts and denim from worn-out pairs of jeans. Punch some holes in their edges and crochet yarn links between them, if you like.
The result is a cross between a fully crocheted blankie and a quilt, but with a unique look all its own.
If you've already done your first blanket, have you thought about matching booties? Using the same materials, you can work your pattern into hats, mittens, and countless other items that have the same color scheme, design elements, and overall themes as the blanket you tuck into the stroller for a walk.
The result looks really professional, as if you've been shopping high and low for the perfect matched sets, but it's all from your own creativity and hard work.
Working silhouettes and other pictorial elements into your pieces is a beginner to mid-level skill for crochet, and it's a fantastic way to step up what you're doing while creating something that looks great.
Experiment with landscapes, geometric patterns, and animals you like until you've got the hang of it, then try combining imagery as you please until you have something that works for you. As baby grows older, you will have the skills to do some custom work with animals and scenes you know they'll like.
Strawberries, watermelons, tomatoes with smiling faces, pineapples wearing hats. Is there anything a fruit theme can't deliver? Using the same techniques you've mastered for regular pictorial elements, try working in some fun fruit motifs, especially for produce that comes with a splash of color.
Bright red berries are a good place to go here, along with green apples, yellow bananas, and maybe a sliced kiwi with lovely black seeds, if you feel up to that.
By this point, it's actually weird for a kid not to have a favorite book, movie, video game character, or other fandom to attach to. Many of the characters developed for children have dramatic, easily recognized features, like Harry Potter's glasses or Mickey Mouse's ears, which means that even an imperfect (and non-copyright-protected) version of the character should still be recognizable at a glance.
If you started adding depth to your crochet with little balls, the next level is amigurumi. This feels like a huge leap in technique, but really it's similar enough that if you can crochet, you can amigurumi.
Starting in the middle of your blanket, work your way upward until you have what amounts to a stuffed animal that's part of the blanket. This can be a great way to combine a warm blanket with a soft friend for your favorite baby.
As elaborate as many crochet patterns get, and it hardly gets more complex than amigurumi, there's still room for something simple and traditional. Bands of color in horizontal lines can be a playground of creativity. Make one blanket in subdued earth tones of umber and sienna, make the next a riot of pastels, then hit bold primary colors before trying your first rainbow.
There really is no end to the ways you can combine simple colors into complex arrangements over and over and over again.