Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Lilacs in February Baby Blanket

Lilacs in February Baby Blanket

This is a very easy pattern, suitable for an advanced beginner.  The hardest parts of it are evenly single crocheting along the sides for the first round of the border, and the reverse HDC round that finishes it.

WW yarn 16 oz  (I used a Caron pounder in lilac, and only had about 5 yards of yarn left so you may need more.)
K hook
Yarn needle for weaving in ends

Special stitch:
Cluster (worked over two stitches) – yarn over hook, insert hook in first stitch, pull up loop,  yarn over hook again, insert hook in next stitch, pull up loop, yarn over hook and pull through all 5 loops on hook-1 cluster stitch made

Ch - -chain
Sc – single crochet
Dc – double crochet
Ss – slip stitch
Hdc – half double crochet

Pattern works on any even number of stitches, so you can make a blanket of any size.  You could also make a scarf or a rectangular shawl from this pattern.

My blanket is 36 inches square

Chain 85.
Row 1:  Sc into second chain from hook and into each chain to the end (84 sc)
Alternatively, you could foundation single crochet 84 stitches.
Row 2:  Ch 2, turn, DC into next stitch, * cluster over next 2 stitches, ch 1 *, repeat from * to * until you have two stitches left, DC into the last two stitches  (84 stitches)
Row 3:  ch 1, turn,  sc into each double crochet, into the top of each cluster and into every chain stitch  across (84 sc)

Repeat rows 2 and 3 for a total of 73 rows.  End with row 3.

Do not finish off.  Work border as follows.

Round 1:  Ch 1, and do a round of sc around the entire afghan, placing 84 sc down each side and across top and bottom, and 3 sc into each corner.  Join with a ss to beginning sc.
Don’t get too hung up on getting the stitch count exactly right.  As long as you have an even number of stitches the pattern will work out. And if despite your best efforts, you happen to miscount and end up with an extra stitch, you can still make it work out.

Round 2:  (work loosely)  SS to corner stitch, ch 2, dc into same stitch, ch 1 and work 2 more dc’s into the same stitch, * cluster stitch worked over next two stitches, ch 1 *, repeat from * to * until you get to the next corner, into next corner stitch work 8 2 DC, ch 1, 2 DC *, all into the same corner stitch, and then continue with cluster stitch, ch 1 down the next side.  Repeat around until you get to the beginning ch 2.  Join with ss. 
Note:  If you ended up miscounting and end up with an extra stitch, just skip a stitch in the middle of a cluster stitch.  It will barely show in the finished blanket, and it’s a lot easier than ripping out what you’ve already accomplished.

Round 2 makes a series of eyelets that you could weave a ribbon through if you were so inclined.

Round 3:  Reverse HDC row

If you’ve never done this before it might take a bit of trying to get it, but once you do, you’ll be happy you did.  This stitch makes an edge that looks a little like a twisted rope.  I use it a lot for afghans, because I think it really makes the project.  If you don’t want to bother, there’s nothing wrong with another row of SC to finish. 
And I suppose if you are a glutton for punishment, you could do reverse sc. That just means you sc in every stitch, but you work backwards.  It’s a lot harder on your hands and takes a lot longer than the reverse HDC, but it also looks really nice.

As you might expect from the name, reverse HDC is worked in the opposite direction that you would usually work in, from left to right, rather than from right to left.  (I’m right handed, I’m not sure what direction a left handed crocheter would ordinarily work in)

And finally, here’s how to work the stitch, remember to work in the “wrong” direction:

To start: ch 2,  HDC into the first ch 1 space, (which should be before a cluster), ch 1, HDC into next ch 1 space.  Continue across, working a HDC into each ch 1 space, with a ch 1 between each HDC.  When you get to the corner, work a HDC into each DC, skipping the ch 1 in between the two sets of DEC’s. (4 HDC’s going around each corner)  Continue around until you get to where you started.  Join to the beginning ch 2.  I usually pull the yarn through a stitch, rather than slip stitching.  Whatever looks best to you is fine.

Cut yarn and weave in ends.

Essentially reverse HDC is just a  series of  * HDC, ch 1 * worked backwards.  Each new HDC twists around the last set of stitches, creating a twisted looking border.  Rather than “standing up” the HDCs are “laying down” along the edge of the blanket.  I find that it sometimes takes a little finagling to make the corners look nice.  In this case I did a HDC into each of the 4 DC’s in the corners, and skipped the ch 1 in the middle of the DC’s.  This picture will give you an idea of what the reverse HDC edge looks like.

Note:  Pattern is untested, except by myself. Please let me know if something is unclear, or you find a mistake.
You may sell one or two items made from this pattern, but you may not sell the pattern or publish it anywhere else. Please link to the pattern if you post a picture elsewhere.


  1. Oh, I like this one. Fast and easy baby shower gift. Thanks for the tute!

  2. I really love how this turned out... the border is really neat. I will bookmark this and add it to my must-do list.

  3. Gardener, I love this design and am pleased to have found your site. You have great patterns & projects! I've downloaded your Ashleigh Scarf & several designs, but when i printed it out, noticed that your name or website was not on your pdf file. Please make sure to get your website on those-- they are so good, you deserve the credit!!

  4. Oops, thanks for letting me know Karen. I'll redo those pdf files when I have a free hour.

  5. Lovely! A very unusual color for a baby but certainly a pretty one!

  6. Looking forward to trying this one. Love the fact you used Caron#1, my favorite for charity projects. Like the stitch used and the reverse HDC for the border, one I haven't tried yet. Also love the printable pdf format. Great job. Looking forward to trying this one soon. Thanks! Jill

  7. Just started this pattern, love it already!

  8. Lovely blanket, the shape is very even and I found it's just the right size for a new baby gift

  9. Do you have account on raveley?
    This is a great place to post pattern and find other good ones.
    You should check it out if you have not already.

    Here is the link for the website: https://www.ravelry.com/

  10. I do have a Ravelry account and all my patterns are available there.

  11. I just had a look at the pattern and cant wait to start. Where do you find the time? I am a critical care nurse as well and I am so tired when I get home.

  12. I totally understand about being tired at the end of your work day. I feel the same way.
    I don't usually set out to design things, but sometimes that is the result of my crafting. I crochet to relax, and although I mostly follow patterns, every once in a while I just follow my own inclinations. If it turns out well, and it's not too hard to write down, I turn it into a written pattern.

  13. This is a great pattern! Love the border!!

  14. So far your pattern is quick and easy! I am making it in Red Heart Aran, having done 12 rows in an hour I can see how this is pretty much a TV time project with time for commercials! I am following your pattern as written, using an L 8.00mm Boye hook. That seems to be a size enough to show off the pattern, with the Red Heart yarn. Very rhythmic, easy to get into. hank you for sharing! I found the link on Crochet Pattern Central.

  15. This is stunning but not for a baby blanket with all those holes for fingers and toes to get caught in. Absolutely will make this for my teens and am grateful for you freely sharing your creative pattern! Thank you!

  16. If I wanted to use twp colors of yarn at a time, what size yarn and hook should I use? Also If I wanted to make this blanket a little longer than it is wide, what multiple should I follow for the rows?
    I'm kind of a beginner to all of this. Thanks in advance for your help!

    1. To make the blanket larger just add an even number of chains to the starting chain. Your starting chain needs to be an odd number, for example: 121. Since you skip the first chain, that would give you 120 single crochets in row one. If you end up with a spare chain, it's relatively easy to unpick the extra chain(s).

      I assume you want to hold two yarns together to make this afghan. I wouldn't recommend this if you are a beginner. If I wanted to do this, I'd probably use sport weight yarn, and do a bit of experimenting to see what size hook works best. I used a larger hook than what is usually recommended for WW yarn to get a nice drapery fabric. A K hook might still work, especially if you crochet tighter than I do.