How to Crochet a Blanket: the perfect gift for any occasion
When I first learned how to crochet a blanket, I was in the hospital. No, I wasn’t actually in the hospital, but my father was. He had been in a horrible accident causing him to break half the bones in his body and become permanently disabled. I was 12.
The accident led to an elongated stay at the Iowa City Hospital. My mother and I, with no car, stayed there alongside him throughout his journey. Days upon days of waiting for visiting calls (once an hour for 15 minutes or so) led to nights upon nights of sleeping in waiting room chairs.
I’m not here to complain about the situation. It was long and hard, life-changing and awful, but as with everything – you eventually have to pick yourself up and move on. The accident left us with a hole in our hearts, but we have my father with us still and I am happy to be able to talk to him, spend time with him, and see him often. I grew and am stronger for having experienced it.
What I am here to say is that crocheting became an escape for me during this time of crisis in my family. Every once and a while we would get visitors at the hospital. Throughout our time there, over a month, family members would come to see how dad was doing, how we were doing, and be present with us in those moments.
I remember my best childhood friend visiting early on in our stay. We ran around the hospital, went up and down the elevators, and played on the children’s outdoor play equipment. She stayed for a day and had to leave.
After that my mother and I spent all of our time together. We played games in the waiting room, we went out to the smoking area, and we talked. There were times we stocked up on food at the cafeteria in case we ran out of money. There were times where we struggled to find a place to rest and sleep, but we made it through, nevertheless.
When my aunt came to visit, with my uncle, she decided that we needed something to do that wasn’t simply sitting around worrying and fretting. My mom stayed at the hospital while I traveled with my aunt to a nearby crafting store. She exclaimed that it was time I learned how to crochet a blanket
We purchased skein after skein of yarn, a hook for my mother and a hook for myself, and set back toward the hospital. Sitting in the waiting room chairs, my aunt and my mom taught me how to crochet a blanket using singles, doubles, triples, and chains. I didn’t have a pattern, but it didn’t matter. I set to work crocheting a pink, blue, and multi-colored purple blanket.
The crocheting kept me from counting my father’s breaths, from smelling the familiar scents of the hospital, and from becoming encompassed by the institutional walls around us. When my mother and I went outside to the smoker’s lounge, the partially completed blanket kept me warm.
Once we left the hospital, I set down the project and didn’t pick it back up again for years. The sting of the hospital stuck to the yarn of the blanket and I couldn’t handle its intensity. It wasn’t until six years later than I finally picked it back up and completed it.
Now, I know that the skill my aunt taught me – how to crochet a blanket – kept me sane during our stay at the hospital. I also know that it is a life skill that I am excited to know and utilize it often. Crocheted blankets are perhaps my favorite Christmas gift to give to family and friends.
How to Crochet a Blanket
Crocheting a blanket is easier than you may think and there are many ways to go about it. While I won’t give you the exact patterns here (you don’t even necessarily need them), you can find some great ones at Ravelry.
When learning how to crochet a blanket, I recommend starting with this three types and expanding from there.
Throw or Baby Blanket
Creating a throw or a baby blanket is the easiest blanket to create. Basically: you start by chaining yarn until you reach your desired width for the blanket. Turn your chain and single crochet in each of your chain stitches. Turn again and create another row.
Tip: The easiest way to do this blanket is to follow this structure: Single, Double, Triple, Double, Single. Repeat until you reach your desired length of blanket.
Sure, there are more in-depth, fancy ways to do this, but this is a great place to start when you are learning how to crochet a blanket for the first time.
The quilted blanket is second on the list because the concept is simple, the project isn’t too difficult, but it does become more time-consuming than the throw or baby blanket version. Basically, choose a type of granny square or decorative crochet square and start crocheting. Make as many as it takes, in whatever colors you like, to create a blanket.
Tip: Lay all of your squares on the floor to determine how many it will take to be the right size, what order you want them to sit in, and how they will look.
Once you finish crocheting these squares, use yarn to either sew them together with a yarn needle or crochet them together with looping chains.
This one looks the neatest at the end, but definitely takes some time to make. If you have the patience, this blanket becomes a gorgeous finished product and I certainly recommend it. Similar to the quilted blanket pattern, you’ll need to create granny squares. The difference with this one is that you need the colors to match to create a pattern. Pictured below is a woven pattern created with yellow and blue mini squares (granny squares where the last row is not completed).
Tip: With this one you may want to do some research online for a pattern that you would like to complete. You can also google pixelated images and use that as a guide (create squares the color of the pixels) to create a neat and new blanket. I’d love to see a Mario one!
After your pattern and layout is complete, sew them together on the back edge. You may want to create a border by crocheting around the edges of the entire blanket at the end.
The Perfect Gift for Any Occasion
Learning how to crochet a blanket can be a time-consuming task. However, the end result is always phenomenal. Once you have completed your blanket, they become a beautiful gift for any occasion, but the process can be an escape. My wife and I have both given these as gifts to multiple people (our moms included) and they are always a cherished gift. We even received one as a wedding gift and use it all the time!
For more gift ideas on a budget, check out our DIY Christmas Gift Guide for Friends and Family!