• Kat Zimmermann

Call the Mandalorian: Crochet Blanket Pattern


A fern green baby blanket is draped over a black wooden dining chair. The blanket is made of motif rectangles framed by bobbles and the negative space in the motif makes the shape of baby yoda.

The Call the Midwife blanket (originally published in the 1980s by Patons) is a pattern I came to love when I first saw it wrapped around the infant on Call the Midwife. I've made the blanket and given it away a few times and will probably do so a few more yet.


In searching for inspiration, I thought of the way the pattern creates its motif using negative space and wondered if I could do the same but with a different shape. Something nerdy, maybe. As it so happens, Obi Wan Kenobi had just started streaming and Star Wars sounded like a fun place to look for inspiration. I decided to go with Grogu (baby Yoda) because the shape is pretty recognizable in silhouette.


Once I decided on the motif, it was time to experiment! Read on below about the design process if you want more on how I developed the design. Alternatively, you can also


Click here to jump to the pattern!



Q: What do I need to make this blanket?

A: To make the blanket as written, you will need:

  • Yarn - I used 4 skeins of Impeccable in fern. Any worsted/aran/weight 4 yarn should be fine for the provided gauge. Adjust hook size if you pick a yarn in a different weight. Total yardage will be sewhere around 900-1200 yds for a baby blanket (I used about 936 yd)

  • Size H (5 mm) crochet hook OR size needed to meet the gauge

  • Tapestry needle

  • Snips

  • Stitch markers (optional)



A fern green baby blanket is draped over a black metal fence. The blanket is made of motif rectangles framed by bobbles and the negative space in the motif makes the shape of baby yoda.

Q: How difficult is this pattern?

A: I usually try to keep my baby blanket patterns at the beginner level - this one is not. I have provided many notes and photos below to make the pattern easier to follow, but the shaping can be tricky as can working the popcorn bucket stitches into some unusual spots. I would call this an intermediate pattern, probably around a 4 or 5 out of 10 on the difficulty scale. Skills needed: sc, dc, tr, hdc, slst, ch, popcorn bucket (see below).



Q: Can I use this pattern to make something other than a baby blanket?

A: Yes! Each motif is 22 stitches wide plus the popcorn buckets on either side (each Pb uses 2 stitches). To set up a pattern of a different size, use a multiple of 24 stitches + 2 for the last popcorn bucket border. Remember to add 3 to your starting chain!



Q: Is this pattern free?

A: Yes! Mostly because I didn't feel like typing it up into more formal pattern - please enjoy the fruits of my intense labor followed by intense ambivalence 🙃.



 

The Design Process

This is the first time I have made dedicated use of negative space as well as the first time I tried to create a curves inside a flat piece of fabric. The challenge was a bit more than I had anticipated.


If you've been crocheting for a while or worked on amigurumi before, you may be familiar with the idea of lining stitching up by height to make a diagonal line (e.g. tr, dc, hdc, sc, slst). This is the concept I used when beginning to work on swatches for the ears.



Five fern green motif swatches pinned to blue foam blocking boards. Each has slightly different versions of the baby yoda negative space motif in their center with different bordering stitches used around the edges.

I won't lie to you: I went through a LOT of iterations both on paper diagrams and stitched to life before finally arriving at the final pattern. In counting the diagrams and swatches that remain, I think it was about 20 design adjustments, not including the 2 times I started the final blanket with the wrong number of chains because my math was off.


I think the most difficult part of this pattern was making the number of stitches and their heights work out to make a squarish finished motif. You'll notice the effects of this pretty clearly in the final version: There's one row done in trebles where all the other rows are doubles because otherwise there would be a line through Grogu's torso. There aren't 22 stitches when shaping the head and ears because otherwise the shaping didn't look right. The row which re-establishes the background fabric has random double stitches to get the count back up.


Ultimately, this was fun to work on and experiment with. I set out to do something with negative space that hadn't been done before and I feel like I ultimately succeeded.



 

The Popcorn Bucket Stitch

This stitch came into being after I had developed the foundation of the rest of the motif. I needed a border that would pop and separate the individual motifs and also work with the stitch count of 22. This meant I had to use a stitch or stitch pattern that was a multiple of 2 stitches AND would look finished after the second stitch.


Unsurprisingly, this was a futile hunt and a wasted afternoon. The only stitch that worked for this was the crossed cluster stitch and I wanted more of a pop or a bubble to really bring some texture and playfulness to the pattern. A popcorn stitch was just the ticket, however, every popcorn stitch pattern is worked into one stitch and followed by either a chain or single/double crochet. This wouldn't create the border I needed.


Enter an afternoon of playing with varieties of popcorn stitch and making a rather interesting swatch sample until I found the right one which I have dubbed the popcorn bucket as it makes a bucket looking shape.


To make this stitch:

Work 3 dc in each of next 2 sts, drop the loop from your hook and insert from RS into 1st st of group, grab the dropped loop and pull through. This makes 1 popcorn bucket and has used up two of the stitches or chains below.


The four steps to making a popcorn bucket stitch. Step 1 chain 2 to end the previous row, pull to the side to more clearly show where you need to work the stitches. Step 2 work 3 double crochets into the bucket from the previous row and then 3 more double crochets into the space immediately next to the stitch. Step 3 drop the loop, insert your hook from the right side of the blanket into the first stitch and grab the loop again. Step 4 pull the loop through to finish the stitch.


The treble popcorn bucket is made in the exact same way but using treble crochets instead of double crochets.


Importantly, these buckets are always followed by a chain 2 space. The chain 2 space gives the pattern room to create a flat fabric AND creates the second stitch which will be needed on the second row. The key here is that when you work into the popcorn buckets from above, the chain 2 space counts as a stitch as does the actual popcorn bucket itself.


This is crucial when establishing the vertical popcorn bucket lines as well as working the second row. Always remember that the buckets use two stitches and make two stitches.



 

Call the Mandalorian Crochet Pattern

The pattern provided here is for a large baby/stroller blanket or small lap blanket. Because this pattern can be tricky, a description of what each row does is indented below the instructions.


Gauge:

In pattern, each block measures 9.5 inches across and 7.5 inches tall (approximately)

6 Pbs = 4 inches across

Use whatever size hook is needed to meet the gauge or adjust the blanket size.



A fern green baby blanket is draped over a black wooden dining chair. The blanket is made of motif rectangles framed by bobbles and the negative space in the motif makes the shape of baby yoda.

Abbreviations and special stitches:

ch - chain

sc - single crochet

hdc - half-double crochet

dc - double crochet

tr - treble crochet

slst - slip stitch

st - stitch

sp - space

RS - right side

Pb - popcorn bucket - 3 dc in each of next 2 sts, drop the loop from your hook and insert from RS into 1st st of group, grab the dropped loop and pull through.


TrPb - treble popcorn bucket - 3 tr in each of next 2 sts, drop the loop from your hook and insert from RS into 1st st of group, grab the dropped loop and pull through.


Important note: Every Pb and TrPb will use the next TWO stitches. They will often fit half in a ch space and half in a stitch, particularly where they are stacked vertically.



Pattern:

Ch 101.

R1: Working into 4th ch from hook, (Pb, ch 2) across, Pb in last 2 ch sts, ch 3, turn. (49 Pbs)

👉🏻Border row, nothing but popcorn buckets across. Remember that each bucket uses two stitches.


R2: [Pb , ch 2, dc 22] across, Pb in last 2 sts, ch 3, turn.

👉🏻Here the buckets establish the vertical borders for the motifs. To make the buckets on this row and ALL subsequent rows for the vertical borders, you will work the Pb into the ch 2 sp and the Pb from the previous row. They should stack vertically.

👉🏻For each motif, you will dc into the ch sp AND directly into the top of the bucket, maintaining the two stitches per bucket rule.

A closeup image of working row 2. The text reads work 1 double crochet into chain 2 space. Work 1 double crochet into popcorn bucket. Arrows point to the chain 2 space and popcorn bucket from the previous row.

R3: Repeat R2.

👉🏻Build another background row. Dc into the dcs from the previous row.


R4: [Pb , ch 2, dc 22] across, Pb in last 2 sts, ch 4, turn.

👉🏻Build another background row, ch 4 at the end to prepare for the tall row.


R5: [TrPb, ch 2, tr 9, ch 4, tr 9] across, TrPb in last 2 sts, ch 3, turn.

👉🏻The trebles and ch space create the body as a rectangular space.


R6: [Pb, ch 2, dc 7, hdc, sc, slst 4 across the chs from row below, sc, hdc, dc 7] across, Pb in last 2 sts, ch 3, turn.

👉🏻This is a setup row which starts to create the bottom slope of the ears. Work the slsts into each of the chains to avoid building up on the body.


A closeup of row 7. The chain 10 loop attaches to the last chain of the chain 4 which was made in row 5, leaving the center two chains unworked on row 7.


R7: [Pb, ch 2, dc 6, sc, slst 3, ch 10, sk 2 sts, slst 3, sc, dc 6] across, Pb in last 2 sts, ch 3, turn.

👉🏻Dcs create more background, the sc and slsts are the lower slope of the ears. Ch 10 makes a big loop which will be the head. On either side of the ch10 head space, slst into the slsts from the previous row - the two sts in the center remain unworked for R7.








R8: [Pb, ch 2, dc 3, slst, ch 2, starting with 4th ch in ch 10 loop - dc, hdc, sc 2, hdc, sc, ch 2, slst into 3rd dc on row below, dc 3] across, Pb in last 2 sts, ch 3, turn.

👉🏻Here the ch 2 creates the top of the ears while the sts into the loop chs shape the head to be more round and build background space into the motif.

Closeup of one motif after row 8. The ears are pulled tight and the head looks a bit squished.

R9: [Pb, ch 2, dc 1, 2 dc in next st, dc 2, 3 dc in ch 2 sp, dc 6, 3 dc in ch 2 sp, dc 2, 2 dc in next st, dc 1] across, Pb in last 2 sts, ch 3, turn.

👉🏻The final tricky row, this re-establishes the background of the motif with the correct number of sts.


R10: Repeat R2.

👉🏻Build another background row. Dc into the dcs from the previous row.


R11: Repeat R2.

👉🏻Build another background row. Dc into the dcs from the previous row.


R12: (Pb, ch 2) across, Pb in last 2 sts, ch 3, turn.

👉🏻Same as the first row but working into dcs instead of chs. Remember that each bucket uses two dcs.


Repeat R2 - R12 4 times to create 5 panels vertically. Bind off and weave in ends.



 

A cake covered in white frosting which has been pressed with a small spatula to look like petals. Maraschino cherries dot around the outside with a cluster of 3 in the center.

Do you think you'll make this pattern? Like the post and let me know in the comments!


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