I've been wanting to make a new blanket for George for rather a while now. He's much too big for the little pram blankets I made over a year ago, and he needs something that will keep him cosy in his cot bed. As with the large blanket I made for Albie, it would need to be made of acrylic yarn to keep costs down and to be fully machine washable. I toyed with the idea of using Drops Paris cotton aran, but I'd need a fair amount of that particular yarn, so I opted for my favourite acrylic- Stylecraft Special DK. I bought a beautiful selection of boy colours from Deramores (where else?), and the whole lot came in around a tenner. BARGAIN. You can see the yarn in its unsullied state in this post. I loves it. I have used three new colours of this yarn: petrol blue, old gold and spice (orange). And added my favourite Sherbert (pale turquoise) and silver (pale grey). Here's how the colour sequence works in my swatch...
Anyway, I decided to make the blanket in a vintage-style stitch. So here it is: a recipe for horizontal box stitch. I love its texture and how very very simple it is. And so I desperately wanted to share this FREE pattern with you; it's taken from one of my patterns in 500 Crochet Blocks, and I've added details on how to make it blanket sized at the end...
You will need:
4mm hook/US size G
Abbreviations (UK crochet terminology):
tr= Treble crochet
dc= double crochet
tch= turning chain
Horizontal Box Stitch Pattern:
To begin, ch multiples of 20 +3 tch.
3tr into fourth ch from hook
sk3, 1dc into next
3tr into next st
then continue in pattern: (sk3, 1dc into next, 3ch, 3tr into next st across), 1dc into last ch. Turn.
Ch3, 3tr into first dc
1dc into 3rd ch of 3-ch
3tr into side post of 3-ch
Continue pattern thusly: (1dc into third of 3-ch, 3ch, 3tr into 3-ch) across, 1dc into last st. Turn.
Row 2 sets the pattern, so just keep on repeating that until the blanket has grown to the length you'd like.
To straighten off the top edge, work your final row as follows:
3ch, 3tr into dc, (1dc into top of 3-ch, 4tr into next dc) across, 1dc into top of final 3-ch.
Then you can think long and hard about your edging! Personally, mine will be left without an edging, as is my wont lately.
So here's how to size up your swatch to make it blanket-sized. My swatch is worked with a 20+3 foundation chain and I worked 10 rows. It worked out at about 10cm x12cm, so you'd roughly need to work 9 rows for a 10cm x 10cm tension square. Are you still with me? I figure a cot-size or lap blanket on being 90cm x 120cm, which would work out with a foundation chain of 180 (+3 for your turning chain). Hang in there, you can do it. I want huge blocks of colour (less ends to sew in, ha ha!). I have five colours, so I need 24cm of each colour to make it 120cm long. That means 20 rows of each colour. TA-DAH!
I haven't actually crocheted the blanket yet. But I wanted to share my design process with you all and how I go about planning my blankets and large projects. I absolutely LOVE planning projects! selecting yarn, hooking up swatches, writing patterns. It's just my bag, baby.
Thanks for sticking with me all the way through! Please feel free to pin and share, and for my box stitch patterns and ideas, click on the link to buy 500 Crochet Blocks.
This blog entry is my submission to the Deramores Blog Awards 2014. Deramores is the UK’s number one online retailer of knitting and crochet supplies.