Crochet for Beginners: Blankets
A blanket is a good starting point for a crochet newbie. While afghans with many color changes and varied stitches may discourage those new to the craft, you can crochet a blanket using only one or two stitches. A crocheted blanket using just one stitch tends to be heavy and inflexible. The two-stitch method produces the blanket faster and the finished product drapes well and has a softer texture.
Hook Size and Yarn Selection
Crochet hooks are usually marked with letters and their diameter in millimeters to indicate size. A large crochet hook, such as a G, H or I is appropriate for a blanket project. The bigger the hook, the easier it will be to manipulate it to make the stitches. You can use whatever color of yarn you choose. You can mix and match colors to give this tightly woven blanket an old-fashioned look. Acrylic yarn is an inexpensive option for a large project, while cotton or bamboo makes a lightweight blanket for warmer weather. While wool is warm, use only washable wool for a blanket project.
Begin the blanket by making a chain stitch. A chain stitch is simply tying a loop into the yarn, running the crochet hook through the loop and pulling another loop through. When the chain has reached the desired length for the blanket, you'll need to turn your work and start back the other way for your first true row. For your first blanket, consider creating the blanket in single crochet. For single crochet, you place your crochet hook under and through the two stitch loops of the second chain from the crochet hook. Catch the yarn, and draw it through them to make another chain. Continue inserting your crochet hook through the next loops and making a chain all the way back across. When you have looped and made a chain on the very last stitch, make one more chain and turn. Continue making rows the same way until the blanket is the length you want.
You can make a crocheted blanket a lot faster with double crochet. A double-crochet stitch is made by wrapping the yarn over the top of the crochet hook one time before you insert it under the loops of previous row. Insert the crochet hook and draw the yarn through the fourth stitch from your hook.You should have three loops on your crochet hook. Pull the yarn through two of the loops so that you now have two loops on the crochet hook. Put the yarn over the crochet hook and pull it through the other two loops. For a double-crochet blanket, start with a chain just as with the single-crochet blanket and work double stitches across the row -- just remember to chain three at the end of each row. If the finished product feels unstable, single crochet all the way around the blanket with the same or a contrasting color.
A double-stitch blanket combines single and double crochet for a piece with more texture. Start with a chain and three rows of single crochet, then alternate with three rows of double crochet. Switch back and forth to the single crochet every three rows to create a tone-on-tone stripe pattern. You could also switch yarn colors, assigning one for each stitch, for colorful stripes. You just need to tie a different color on at the end of each row and work in the tails when your blanket is complete.
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