Thursday, January 15, 2009

Easy Breasy Shell Baby Afghan



I figured I would share a really simple pattern that has beautiful affects. You can do so many different things with this pattern. So please have fun and get creative! If you decide to make an afghan from my patterns please feel free to comment with a photo of your creation if you can!

Materials Used In The Example
About 18 oz. Red Heart Soft Baby (sport weight) in Color 7951 Angel Print
U.S. size E hook

Width = 26 1/2 inches (before edging is added)
Length = Your Choice. Instructions are given for repeating the pattern rows to achieve length desired. 36 inches is an average length but your blanket can be shorter or longer, as desired.

Gauge With Sport Weight Yarn and Size E Hook: 1 shell = 1 inch, at widest point, 1 cluster = 1 inch, at widest point; 4 rows = 1 3/4 inches (Gauge is not crucial to this project ... the sizes of baby blankets vary. Relax and enjoy the crocheting without overly worrying about getting an exact qauge.)

Starting Chain: Chain 138.

Row 1: Single crochet in 2nd chain from hook, single crochet in each chain across. (137 sc)


Abbreviations: ch = chain, dc = double crochet, ea = each, sc = single crochet

In this pattern, a shell = 5 double crochet all made in one same stitch.

Note: In this pattern, you will turn at the end of each row.

Row 2: ch 1, sc in ea of first 2 sc, skip 2 sc, 5 dc in next sc (one shell made), * skip 2 sc, sc in ea of next 3 sc, skip 2 sc, 5 dc (for shell) in next sc **, repeat the directions between * and ** 15 more times, then skip 2 sc, sc in last 2 sc.

To make a cluster: Keep the last loop of each double crochet on the hook, then, yarn over hook and pull that loop through all the loops left on the hook, chain 1 to close the cluster. This row uses clusters made of 2 double crochet and clusters made of 5 double crochet.


Row 3: ch 3 (counts as first dc), work a cluster of 2 dc over next sc and the first dc of the shell, ch 3, sc in ea of next 3 dc of shell, * ch 3, work a cluster of 5 dc over the last dc of shell, the next 3 sc and the first dc of the next shell, ch 3, sc in ea of next 3 dc of shell, ** repeat the directions between * and ** across until 3 stitches remain, then ch 3, work one cluster of 2 dc across next 2 stitches, dc in last dc.


To make a cluster: Keep the last loop of each double crochet on the hook (in other words, do the usual steps in making a double crochet but do not do the last step; instead leave that loop on the hook). For a 5-dc cluster (as in the photo above), do 5 double crochet in this manner, leaving the last loop of each double crochet on the hook (as shown in the photo) then, yarn over hook and pull that loop (all at once) through all the loops left on the hook, next: chain 1 to close the cluster.

Note: The chain-1 to close the cluster does not count for any chains that you are instructed to make after the cluster. In this pattern, a chain-3 often follows the cluster, so you will do a chain to close the cluster then make 3 more chains to form the chain-3.

If you need further help with learning how to crochet a cluster, you may find it helpful to take a look at the How To Crochet A 2-dc Cluster (see link in Step 3). This spells out the full step-by-step instructions for making the cluster's double crochet stitches (with the last step of each not completed to leave that loop on the hook). The double crochet stitches would be made in the same manner for a 5-dc cluster.


Row 4: ch 3 (counts as first dc), work 2 dc in top of first 2-dc cluster, skip ch-3, sc in ea of next 3 sc, skip ch-3, * 5 dc in top of next cluster (shell made), skip ch-3, sc in ea of next 3 sc, ** repeat the directions between * and ** across the row, until 2 stitches remain, 2 dc in top of last 2-dc cluster, dc in last dc.


Row 5: ch 1, sc in ea of first 2 dc, ch 3, work one cluster of 5 dc across the next 5 stitches, * ch 3, sc in ea of next 3 dc of shell, ch 3, work one cluster of 5 dc across next 5 stitches, ** repeat the directions between * and ** across the row, then ch 3, sc in ea of last 2 dc.

Row 6: ch 1, sc in ea of next 2 stitches, skip ch-3, work 5 dc in top of next cluster (shell made), skip ch-3, * sc in ea of next 3 sc, skip ch-3, work 5 dc in top of next cluster (shell made) **, repeat the directions between * and ** across the row until 2 sc remain, then skip ch-3, sc in last 2 sc.

Repeat Rows: Repeat rows 3 - 6 as many times as needed, until you are within about 2 inches away from reaching the desired length, then continue with the directions for the last four rows. A suggestion would be to repeat rows 3 - 6 about 16 times, then see if the blanket is close to the length you want it to be.

Last Four Rows -
4th-To-Last and 3rd-To-Last Rows: Repeat rows 3 and 4 one time.

Next To Last Row: ch 1, sc in first two sc, ch 2, work one cluster of 5 dc over next 5 stitches, ch 2, * sc in ea of next 3 dc of shell, ch 2, work one cluster of 5 dc over next 5 stitches, ch 2 **, repeat the directions between * and ** across the row, until two sc remain, then sc in ea of the last 2 sc.

Last Row: ch 1, sc in ea of first 2 sc, * 2 sc in ch-2 space, sc in top of cluster, 2 sc in ch-2 space, sc in ea of next 3 sc **, repeat the directions between * and ** across the row, ending the row with 2 sc in the next-to-last ch-2 space, sc in top of next cluster, 2 sc in last ch-2 space, sc in ea of last 2 sc.
End off. Weave in ends.

Add an edging of your choice.

3 comments:

  1. Pretty blanket! I made one with that stitch for my son but but it had bolder colors in it. I still have it 25 years later!

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  2. This afghan is just wonderful! I will be sure to share you blog with my aunt...she will just love the tutorial :)

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