How to crochet a blanket?

If you’re new to crochet, making a blanket might seem overwhelming, but with some basic skills and a little effort, ANYONE can create a beautiful blanket. 

In this post, we will walk you through the steps of making a crochet blanket. We will cover everything from choosing the right materials to finishing your project. By the end, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to create your own custom-made blanket! I also give you a lot of tips to help you finish a first blanket project successfully in a reasonable time 🙂 

Why Crochet a Blanket? Why Not Just Buy One?

A crochet blanket allows you to express your creativity and individuality. By choosing the right colors and designs of your crochet blanket, you can create a perfect match for your interior which will be hard to find or too expensive to buy. As crocheting is a very relaxing and meditative activity, you will unwind after a long day.

It’s a two-bird, one stone deal: relax AND make something beautiful.

How to Crochet a Blanket – “Preflight Checklist” for beginners.

Below is a list of steps that you need to follow when making a blanket:

  1. Select a Pattern. For beginners, I recommend starting with a simple pattern with a basic stitch, such as a single crochet or double crochet. Check the list of the recommended easiest free blanket patterns.
  2. Choose the Right Yarn and Hook. You want to choose a soft yarn, such as a medium weight acrylic yarn. It’s cheaper than wool or cotton, easy to take care of and is used in a variety of projects.
  3. Start your Project! Follow the crochet pattern instructions either in written form or a diagram. Count the number of stitches in each row to prevent mistakes.
  4. Finish off your Blanket. In the finishing process you may have to join blocks (only when making a blanket from parts like squares), consider adding a border (optional), weaving in yarn ends at the end to block your blanket
  5. Take Care of your Blanket. Follow the yarn instructions on the label before washing your blanket. Avoid pulling, snagging or storing in direct sunlight as it may cause fading.  

How to crochet a blanket infographicTo remember this list and visit this post again, pin the infographic: How to Crochet a Blanket.

Now, let’s discuss each of the steps in more detail. Tips especially useful for beginners are highlighted in green. 

Ad. 1: Selecting a Pattern

While selecting a pattern, consider the skill level, size and the designed use.

Planned use of your blanket. Are you making it for yourself or as a gift? What will be the function of this afghan – do you want to cuddle in it or cover yourself in bad weather, or are you thinking of an elegant bedspread for your visitors to admire? 

The more difficult the pattern will be, the more you will desire to save your blanket from daily use. For example, frequent use can make the yarn fuzzy.

Size of your blanket. The function of your blanket will determine its proper size. If it’s a bedspread, it’s good to take a measuring tape and measure your bed. If you want to make a decorative accent throw, the blanket will be narrower and a bit shorter than a bedspread. 

Tip: If you are a beginner, don’t start with a bedspread or a big project. 

You will need a lot of yarn and time to finish it. Also, any mistakes in stitches will be harder to find and fix. Start instead with something smaller like a throw or a baby blanket. 

Skill level. Are you a newbie, intermediate or crochet pro? If you never made a blanket before, consider an easy, repeatable pattern and a smaller-sized project.  If you nevertheless want to make something more challenging, use a center-design square pattern. 

 Tip: To start to crochet your first blanket, look for a pattern with simple stitches.

What you should look for are simple crochet, half double and double crochet stitches. Consider a granny square blanket, which is one of the easiest and popular patterns among both newbies and crochet pros. 

Granny blanket is one of the most popular easy patterns for beginner crocheters.
A granny blanket is one of the most popular and easy patterns for beginner crocheters.

Tip: The more repeatable the pattern the better. 

Tip: Look for a pattern made from one piece. Avoid blanket patterns made from squares or blocks. Although it may seem to be a good idea to start with small, repeatable squares, joining them together can be challenging for even advanced crocheters.

Ad . 2 Choosing the Right Yarn and Hook for your Crochet Blanket Project

Crochet supplies photo
A stitch marker looks like colorful mini safety pin and is used to mark rows and chains.

Before you start crocheting, you’ll need to gather some materials. The most important items are the yarn and the crochet hook. When choosing the yarn, consider the weight, texture, and color.

In addition to yarn and a crochet hook, you’ll also need a pair of scissors and a tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

You may never heard of stitch markers before. A stitch marker looks like small, plastic safety pin and is used to mark rows, chain, right or wrong size of your work, so they can be very useful when things get complicated, but surely they are not necessary to start your first project. 

Tip: A worsted weight yarn (e.g. popular Lion Brand yarn) is a medium-weight yarn which is a good choice for beginners. It’s easy to work with and comes in a wide range of colors. It’s relatively cheap, you may often find it even at a Dollar Store/ Dollarama/or Dollar Tree outlets.

This yarn is marked 4 on the yarn label symbols in the US, but each country has its own yarn weight symbols

As for the hook, choose hook size that corresponds with the weight of your yarn. A recommended size of the hook you will find on the yarn label. Most medium-weight yarns work well with a size H (5mm) or I (5.5mm) hook. 

Ad. 3 How to crochet

Follow the instructions of your chosen crochet blanket pattern carefully. Count the stitches, it will help you avoid mistakes and prevent frogging. 

Frogging means unraveling the work you have already done. 

If you have a problem with concentration, a stitch counter can be beneficial. With simple projects, stitch markers aren’t necessary, but it may be useful e.g. to prevent your work from unraveling when removing the hook or while traveling.

Keep steady tension… What does this mean? Imagine calligraphy. If you are writing the same sentence, let’s say ‘My first crochet blanket’ again and again row by row and you are tired and letters become smaller or bigger and lazier. There is a big difference in how long the starting row is and the last one.

Tension during crochet must be steady
Keep steady tension during crochet, otherwise your blanket won’t be symmetrical.

Doesn’t look nice, does it? It’s the same with crochet. If your stitches aren’t equal your blanket won’t be symmetrical.    

A pattern instruction can have 3 forms. It can be in written form, a diagram (a chart) or a video tutorial. 

Written patterns are the most popular. If you find a pattern online, you will preferably want to print it or at least save it to avoid the risk that you won’t find it again… 

A chart is popular among more advanced crocheters, because it’s a quick and shorthand way of writing patterns. However, you have to learn crochet symbols to use them. But when you know it, it’s a universal language like Esperanto – you will understand any pattern no matter the language use by the author.

Often, a written pattern on a blog will have a link to a video tutorial explaining the pattern visually.  Tutorials are increasingly popular and you can find lots of them on Youtube as well.

Tip: Ideally, you want a pattern and a tutorial to this pattern. Tutorial will show you a detailed technique, how to start, make stitches, etc. It’s also good to follow a written pattern at the same time, to practice reading them.

Ad. 4 Finish off your Blanket. 

If the border wasn’t planned in your pattern, you can still choose to make one. It’s extra work, but worth the while. Edging will give an intriguing  look even to simple stitch blankets.

Now, when it is almost over, we face the most ungraceful steps. Why would I say so? While most crocheters love to crochet, be in the flow, nobody likes to weave ends. It’s like cleaning after cooking, necessary, but definitely less satisfying. 

No matter if you decide to add a border or not, you have to secure the final stitches against unraveling. There are always some yarn ends that you have to deal with – hide them inside a project using a tapestry needle and cut off the excess.  

Do I need to block a crochet blanket?

The opinions about blocking a blanket are divided.

Some crocheters don’t block blankets.  Especially, blocking acrylic ones isn’t necessary. Just wash them and dry them either in a dryer or evenly spread out. Others always block crochet projects arguing that it will give a better, more even look to your handmade project. 

Why block a crochet blanket?

Blocking a crochet blanket will allow stitches to settle evenly and give a blanket a better, professional look.  

Blocking a crochet blanket
To block a large project, equally spread it on a mat and pin it. However, you don’t need to block acrylic yarns. photo source: haakmaarraak.nl

To block a blanket, simply dampen it from a spray bottle and pin it into the desired shape to foam blocks or blocking board.

Numerous blocking methods are available. You may use a set of blocking mats and extra long pins from Amazon to do that, but it is not necessary and is a bit expensive. At the beginning, use regular pins and a towel or kids’ foam mats instead. 

Other blocking techniques include wet blocking and removing excess water by squeezing it out. You then lay it out evenly and allow it to air dry.

There is also a washer/dryer method. You wash the blanket at a low temperature and a delicate cycle.  You then tumble dry at a low temperature.

Finally there’s the steam block. You can use a bowl of hot water or a steam iron to gently steam a project. Then you spready it out to cool and dry. This method is most useful for projects that are worked in the round.

Blocking a crochet squares
Blocking station allows you to get a symmetrical square. Photo source: lookatwhatimade.net

Ad 5. Take Care of your Blanket. 

You made it! Congratulations for getting this far. You put lots of work into your project, so it’s good to take good care of it. 

To make it last longer, avoid pulling or snagging your blanket. Sometimes it will be impossible, especially with the baby blankets. 

Storing a blanket in direct sunlight may cause fading, so consider placing your blanket in a partial shade or bigger distance from the windows.

To wash your blanket,  follow the instructions How to Wash a Crochet Blanket. 

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