This Heirloom Baby Blanket is a delicately crocheted afghan, perfect for a cherished gift or christening. The intricate shell stitches make it a timeless beauty.
“Soft Shells Heirloom Baby Blanket” free crochet pattern by Kim Guzman © Jun. 2023. All rights reserved.
Technique: Regular crochet.
Skill Level: Intermediate.
Crochet Pattern At A Glance
Soft Shells Heirloom Baby BlanketDesigner: Kim Guzman © 2022-23. All rights reserved.
When est. crochet time is over 24 hours, each 24 hours will automatically adjust to a day.
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- Stylecraft “Special DK”, size 3 weight, 100% acrylic, 322 yds/295m per 3.5 oz/100g per skein: 5 skeins, approx. 1610 yards used, color Saffron
- Suggested Crochet Hook Size G-7 (4.5mm) or hook needed to meet gauge
- Yarn Needle for weaving ends
- Work the first row to set up a foundation.
- Work rows 2-3 to establish the 2-row repeat.
- Continue working the 2-row repeat until 105 rows have been completed from the beginning.
- Establish the border with a round of single crochet.
- Work 5 more rounds to complete the border.
This is a free crochet pattern and the written instructions are below. If you prefer a printable download, a PDF is also available for purchase.
My Crochet Pattern Notes
This baby blanket is worked in rows with a 6-round border. The border requires a specific number of stitches so you’ll need to become familiar with placing stitches along the sides evenly to a specified number.
Making Stitches On Sides of Blanket
When a specific number of stitches is required for a stitch pattern, you will need to stitch evenly down each side. Perhaps you’ve made a blanket before and, when you placed the stitches along the sides, the blanket became wavy. This is a result of too many stitches and it can be fixed by adding fewer stitches. Sometimes, though, you need to do a little extra work to get that first round. Not only do you need to crochet down the side, but you need a certain number in order to create a more detailed border.
For this blanket, the number of stitches is clearly specified. The number doesn’t match with the number of stitches completed for the rows, unfortunately. So, it requires a little more work for the first round.
The specific stitches will enable you to make the lace stitch pattern in the rest of the rounds. It’s not always necessary to be so specific when working with a basic stitch pattern. But, I think an heirloom baby blanket requires that little bit extra.
Step By Step
Fold your blanket until you have 6 equal sections along the sides. Mark each section with a stitch marker or piece of contrasting yarn. Divide the number of stitches you need by 6 and then place that number in each section. If there are extra stitches, distribute them evenly in each section.
It’s not easy to simply work 161 stitches along the side. If you split the section into 6 sections, though, it’s easier to get the stitches in there.
If you need more than 6 sections, you can try 8 sections or more, if necessary. The important thing is to establish your sections so you have less of a daunting task.
Repeat for each side. Now, you can easily continue with the subsequent rounds.
Making A Full Size Afghan
You can follow the stitch multiple provided and make a full size afghan from this pattern. But, I’ve found a little trick.
If you find an afghan pattern made in size 3 yarn, I’ve found that simply using a size 4 yarn and a suitable hook will provide a standard afghan size. Your mileage may vary, of course. But, it’s definitely a good starting point.
Pin It For Later
38″ x 38″.
Stylecraft “Special DK”, size 3 weight, 100% acrylic, 322 yds/295m per 3.5 oz/100g per skein: 5 skeins, approx. 1610 yards used, color Saffron.
“Special Double Knit” is classified as a DK weight (size 3) yarn and is currently available in 100 shades.
Available at LoveCrafts (aff link). If you’re in the US, look up at the top right to switch to US Dollars. I’ve purchased from them for years and love the selection.
Popular Free Crochet Patterns
Suggested Crochet Hook Size G-7 (4.5mm) or hook needed to meet gauge.
Yarn Needle for weaving ends.
This baby blanket pattern is written in US crochet terminology.
ch=chain; dc=double crochet; lp(s)=loop(s); RS=right side; rep=repeat; sc=single crochet; sk=skip; sl=slip; sp(s)=space(s); st(s)=stitch(es); yo=yarn over.
All numbers after the colon at the end of an instruction are stitch counts. Use the stitch count to check your work.
Shell (sh): [Dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc] in st indicated.
Cluster (cl): Yo, insert hook in st indicated, yo, pull lp through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook, [yo, insert hook in same st, yo, pull lp through, yo, pull through 2 lps on hook] 2 times, yo, pull through 4 lps on hook.
Worked in stitch pattern, approximately 20 stitches for 12 rows measures 4×4″.
If you would like to make a wider project, make your initial chain any multiple of 6, then add 2.
Changing the width or length will require changes in the border. The border requires the first round to have 3 sc in each corner and any multiple of 6 plus 5 along each side.
Free Crochet Pattern Instructions
Row 1: Ch 176, sc in second ch from hook, *sk 2 ch, sh (see Special Stitches above) in next ch, sk 2 ch, sc in next ch, rep from * across, turn.
Row 2: Ch 3, dc in same sc, *sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, sc in next ch-1 sp, [dc, ch 1, dc] in next sc, rep from * to last sh, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, sc in next ch-1 sp, 2 dc in last sc, turn.
Row 3 (RS): Ch 1, sc in same dc, *sh in next ch-1 sp, sc in next ch-1 sp, rep from * to last ch-1 sp, sh in last ch-1 sp, sc in ch-3 sp of beg ch, turn.
Rows 4-105: Rep rows 2-3. Do not fasten off after final row. Begin working in rounds.
Round 1: With RS facing, ch 1, *work 3 sc in corner, work 161 sc evenly along side, rep from * 3 times, sl st to first sc and sl st in next sc: 656 sc.
Round 2: Ch 4 (counts as dc plus ch-1 sp), [dc, ch 1, dc] in same sc, *[ch 1, sk next sc, dc in next sc] to 3-sc corner, ch 1, sk next sc, sh (see Special Stitches above) in center of corner (corner made), rep from * 2 times more, [ch 1, sk next sc, dc in next sc] to last sc, ch 1, sk last sc, sl st to 3rd ch of beg ch-4: 336 ch-1 sps.
Round 3: Ch 1, sc in same st as joining, sc in ch-1 sp, *3 sc in next dc (corner made), [sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next dc] to ch-1 sp before center dc of corner, sc in next ch-1 sp, rep from * 2 times more, 3 sc in next dc, [sc in next ch-1 sp, sc in next dc] to last ch-1 sp, sc in last ch-1 sp, sl st to first sc: 680 sc.
Round 4: Ch 1, sc in each sc around except at all corners, work 3 sc in 2nd sc of corner, sl st to first sc and sl st in next 2 sc: 688 sc.
Round 5: Ch 1, sc in same sc, sk 1 sc, *sh in center of 3-sc corner, sk 1 sc, sc in next sc, [sk 2 sc, sh in next sc, sk 2 sc, sc in next sc] to next 3-sc corner, sk 1 sc, rep from * 2 times more, sh in center of 3-sc corner, sk 1 sc, sc in next sc, sk 2 sc, sh in next sc, [sk 2 sc, sc in next sc, sk 2, sh in next sc] to last 2 sc, sk 2 sc, sl st to last sc.
Round 6: Ch 1, cl (see Special Stitches above) in same sc, ch 1, *sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook (picot made), ch 1, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, cl in next sc, ch 1, rep from * to last 2 ch-1 sps, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 3, sl st in 3rd ch from hook, ch 1, sc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1, sl st to top of first cl, fasten off.
With yarn needle, weave in all ends securely.
TERMS: To my fellow crafters, you have my permission to use my patterns to make and sell your projects* anywhere you like. You cannot use my images to sell your projects, though. You must take photos of your own work. All patterns have been tested but mistakes can happen. If you find a mistake, please let me know. Everything at MakeItCrochet.com is protected by copyright to Kim Guzman. Other than the permissions previously given, no one other than Kim Guzman has permission to: reproduce, copy, publish or distribute this pattern, its parts or photos in any way or form, including, but not limited to, translations into foreign languages & video production.
*Not intended to be blanket permission for mass production.