Crossed Cluster Baby Blanket
As I've said before - I like making baby blankets. They're quick, use repetitive stitch patterns, and are just perfect for occupying my hands while my brain does something else. This week's pattern is done in crochet and uses a Crossed Cluster stitch. This stitch adds some nice texture and looks great from both sides of the blanket - plus it's an easy stitch to add to your repertoire!
Q: What do I need to make this project?
A: To make this blanket, you will need:
Yarn - I like a weight 4, see notes below on yarn choice. For the example shown, I used Caron One Pound in Midnight Blue for the blanket and Red Heart Super Saver in White for the border.
About 900-1100 yards is needed total to make the baby blanket size. I used one full skein's worth of the Caron One Pound and about 1/3 a skein of the Red Heart Super Saver.
Size H (5mm) crochet hook - use hook size needed to meet the gauge OR whatever size is appropriate for the yarn you've chosen (see notes below on adjusting size).
Q: How long does it take to make?
A: I made a baby blanket and it took me 14.5 hours total to finish. I would estimate time for a baby blanket to be between 12 and 20 hours, depending on how quickly you crochet. Longer for a larger blanket (see note below on adjusting size).
Q: How difficult is this pattern?
A: This is a great pattern for crochet beginners, especially if you're learning how to read patterns. Once you get into the swing of things, the pattern is very easy to pick up and work on with little brain power (i.e. while watching TV or sitting in another Zoom meeting). Skills needed: sc, dc, CC (see abbreviations and notes), working into sides of sts to make a border.
Q: How big a blanket will the pattern make?
A: As written, this pattern is sized as a largish baby blanket. With the gauge given, it measures 42 inches x 32 inches including the border. A good size for a stroller blanket. If you want to make a larger or smaller blanket, see the note below on adjusting size.
Tips, Notes, & Learnings
(Yarn & Hook) For this example shown, I used Caron One Pound in Midnight Blue for the blanket and Red Heart Super Saver in White for the border because I happened to have it in my stash and wanted to do Penn State colors. Any yarn will work in this pattern as long as the hook size is scaled accordingly. To make a blanket, I would definitely recommend sticking with a weight 4 or 5 - maybe a 3 if you want something a little lighter. A 6 (super bulky) would work if you kept the stitches very loose on the clusters.
If you use a different weight yarn, definitely make a quick swatch with the hook you plan to use, just to make sure you like the look and the clusters are popping enough to be visible. Better to take 20-30 minutes on a swatch before you start than decide 2 hours in that the gauge isn't looking quite right.
(How to Cross your Clusters) In the spirit of UDL (Universal Design for Learning), I've decided to try my hand at including videos for patterns. This way, you can choose whatever form of learning works best for you! Check out the video for this pattern below, noting that the sample in the video only uses 16 stitches - you'll chain 125 stitches to make the baby blanket shown in this post (assuming the gauge is the same).
(Adjusting the Size) The crossed cluster stitch works great for blankets or scarves and it's super easy to get the size you want by (1) making a quick gauge swatch and (2) doing just a little bit of math. See my post on How to Measure and Adjust Gauge for a quick set of instructions. Scale up to make a bedspread or scale down for a quick scarf. Remember that proportions also work to find the right number of stitches!
Whatever size you make, this pattern needs to start with a multiple of 8 + 4, then add 1 for the base chain. For example, using the gauge in the pattern below, if I wanted a blanket of width 60 inches instead of 42 inches, a proportion tells me I should start with 179 sts instead of 125 sts. Working backwards, take away the 1 on the base chain, then take away the 4 to get 174 sts. This is not a multiple of 8. Dividing 174 / 8 = 21.75, so I'll round up to 22 for my multiple of 8.
22 * 8 = 176, now I'll add the 4 = 180, and then one more stitch for the base chain = 181. So to start my larger blanket, I would chain 181 (assuming my gauge matches the pattern below).
(Border Options) The border I use in the pattern below and in the example photos is my go-to - a round of sc, round of dc, then round of sc - done!
Use any border that floats your boat and makes you happy. An easy swap is reverse sc AKA crab stitch, used in the Year of the Ox Lovey and Lisa Bunny Lovey. If you want something a little fancier, a shell stitch border would like nice as well (sc around, then make shells around - sk 2 sts, 5 dc in next st, sk 2 sts - corners are either skipped or 7 dc into the corners to make them shells).
Crossed Cluster Blanket Pattern
Abbreviations (US Terms)
ch - chain
sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
yo - yarn over
st - stitch
sk - skip
CC - crossed cluster stitch (made over 2 sts): sk 1 st, *[yo and insert hook into st and pull up a loop] twice (5 loops on hook), yo and draw through all 5 loops. Repeat from *, working into the skipped st.
Slst - slip stitch
In pattern - 10 sts & 11 rows = 4 inches
To be specific:
8 dc + 2 CC = 4 inches
6 rows of dc + 5 rows of sc = 4 inches
Ch 125 sts.
Foundation: Starting from the 2nd ch from hook, sc into each st across. Ch 2, turn.
R1: 1 dc, *CC over next 2 sts, 1 dc in each of next 6 sts.** Repeat from * to ** until 3 sts remain. CC over next 2 sts, 1 dc into last st, ch 1, turn.
R2: sc in each st across, ch 2, turn.
R3: 5 dc, *CC over next 2 sts, 1 dc in each of next 6 sts.** Repeat from * to ** until 7 sts remain. CC over next 2 sts, 1 dc in each of last 5 sts, ch 1, turn.
R4: sc in each st across, ch 2, turn.
Repeat R1 - R4 until the blanket is nearly the desired size. Repeat R1-R2 once more to finish the main blanket. Bind off and weave in end (or leave the end and "weave in" as you begin the border. If the border will be the same color, do not bind off, do not turn.
To add the border, join the yarn at one corner of the blanket.
R1: Ch 1, sc in each st around, working 3 sc in each corner to turn. Slst into first sc to close the round, ch 2, do not turn.
R2: dc in each st around, working 3 dc in each corner to turn. Slst into first dc to close the round, ch 1, do not turn.
R3: sc in each st around, working 3 sc in each corner to turn. Slst into first sc to close the round. Bind off and weave in ends.
That's all, friends!
I hope you enjoy this week's pattern and share photos of your creations here in the comments and on Instagram and Ravelry!
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