A Homemade Holiday: Woven, Crocheted, Gingham Baby Blanket
Boy, do I have a project for you today! Who wants to make a woven, crocheted, gingham baby blanket? I hope you do! A couple of years ago, I discovered that it was possible to make a plaid, crocheted blanket. I wasn’t able to make one right away but last winter I finished making one for my mom, and I had so much fun doing it! I realized that the concept could work in any pattern, and it made me anxious to try my hand a a gingham blanket. When I found out we were having another baby, I knew I wanted to do a gingham blanket. The only question was what color I’d make it. Well, I got a jump start on the blanket at the beginning of the month so that I could share with you today how to make a woven, crocheted, gingham baby blanket for a homemade holiday!
Important Update: (10-6-21) Before you begin this pattern, I want to issue a warning/disclaimer about this blanket! Because it is woven, each woven string can be pulled on the blanket, creating a large loop. The pattern did not originally include instructions to sew across the width of the blanket, but has been updated to include this. We didn’t have any issues with the loop thing until our little guy was about 2, and then he started pulling on the strings for fun. I’ve made similar blankets for an older nephew and one for my mom, both much larger and the owners were plenty old enough to know better, and they never had any issues.
The beauty of these woven blankets is that you can make them in any size you want, and you can create any pattern that you want. The weaving gives the blanket a nice texture and also makes for a really warm blanket. The blanket I made measures approximately 36″ x 32″, but feel free to adjust the length of your rows and the number of rows to create something larger. This blanket really didn’t take very long to make. I can’t say how many hours I put into it, but I was able to get it pretty much completed within a week. I did the bulk of the work over two days, but I took my time with it and didn’t rush the finishing touches. I wanted to get this post up early enough so that you could have plenty of time to make one of these blankets before Christmas, and if you’d opt to go larger, you should still have enough time to squeeze one of these beauties in! (Feel free to use different colors from what I used.)
- 2 skeins of yarn in grey, 5 oz., medium weight
- 2 skeins of yarn in white, 5 oz., medium weight
- Size J Hook
- Stitch markers (optional)
- Sewing Machine or needle and thread (for sewing across chains to prevent loops from forming)
To get started with this project, you are going to need to make a mesh, crocheted base of equal sized, alternating stripes. Chain 133. Turn and double crochet into the 4th stitch from the hook. Chain one, skip stitch, and 1 double crochet into next stitch. Repeat until you reach the end of the row.
Chain 3, turn, and repeat. Make 5 rows of double crochet of the first color.
Switch colors and make 5 more rows in the same manner. Make a total of 15 stripes, each 5 rows thick. (For a longer blanket, continue to add stripes of 5 rows until you reach your desired length.
When you have finished with the mesh base, you’ll have stripes of white, grey, white, grey… The next step is to weave in chains of yarn through the mesh. To start, I create my chain right onto the end of one mesh row. Chain 123 (or long enough to have your chain reach fully from one end to the other without having to stretch it… this will depend on how tight or loosely you crochet). Tie off.
Alternatively, you can figure out the number of chains you will need to make of each color, create the chains, then weave them in and tie them onto the ends of the blanket so that you can get all of the chains created at once. Personally, I preferred the first method.
Weave the chain under, over, under, over, repeating until you reach the other end of the blanket. You will be weaving perpendicular to the stripes of the mesh. Using my crochet hook, I loaded 3 stripes of mesh onto my hook, then pulled the chain through, repeating until I reached the end of the blanket. When I got to the end of the row, I would hook around the end of the row and chain off.
Do this for 5 chains, alternating by starting weaving under or over for each row. Make sure you are not missing any of the spaces in the mesh as you go. If you do, you’ll end up having to take it out and re-weave it. Take your time. (I actually found that 5 rows of weaving in one color gave me a slight rectangle. I could have potentially did 4 rows of one color, alternating, instead of 5. Even so, the 5 still looks good and is still gingham!)
Two ends of the blanket will end up having a lot of “fringe” and the other sides will just have a few strands where the colors meet up. Make sure everything is tied of securely so that you do not end up having rows of weaving come undone on you!
Since this blanket is for a baby and I didn’t want the fringe to tie around tiny fingers, I decided I needed to find a way to finish of the edges that didn’t involve trying to weave in all of those tails of yarn. To finish the blanket, I ended up doing a double crochet around the spaces between stitches/rows, all of the way around the outside of the blanket, holding the tails of yarn down and crocheting over/around them. I put three stitches of double crochet at each corner of the blanket, and joined my final stitch to the first. Knot, and weave in. Go around the perimeter of the blanket and trim off any loose ends that still are sticking out.
Update (10-6-21) After seeing a lot of traffic to this post in the last two days, I realized I needed to add an important update to this post. When our little guy turned about 2, he started tugging on the woven chains, and it would create big loops that he could put his arms, legs, and even his head into. It takes some concerted effort to do that, and it’s unlikely that a baby would actually be able to do that, but as a safety measure, I am updating this post to say that when the weaving is done, you must sew across the blanket several times in order to better secure the woven chains. You want to sew across the woven strings, not in the same direction as them. Three or four times at different place should be sufficient. You want to be sure that they won’t be able to create any large loops. that could be a strangulation or circulation hazard.
As I said above, this was not an issue until our little guy was old enough to consciously do this, but it could potentially be an issue for littler ones. For an older child who wouldn’t be tempted to pull on it, it wouldn’t be an issue at all. It takes snagging or intentional pulling for loops to be made from the chains. IF that would happen to this blanket, you can fix the loop/snag by pulling on opposite ends of the blanket to pull it back in.
Remember that you can always choose different colors for this project. To make the blanket wider, chain an additional 10 stitches for every row of color you want to add to the width. To make the blanket longer, add 5 rows of dc at a time. Feel free to add additional fringe to the blanket like I did on the plaid blanket I made for my mom last winter, to weave in all of the ends, or to find other ways of finishing off the edges of this blanket. And that’s it! Your blanket is ready to be a gift!
I found these crocheted, woven blankets to be surprisingly easy to make. Once you get the hang of it, it’s very simple. The mesh goes quickly and the weaving goes pretty quickly. It’s the counting of the chains for weaving that can get to be difficult…remembering how many stitches you’ve chained… When you work on that part, I suggest doing it somewhere private and quiet. I found it was easier to count out loud or under my breath than to do it in my head or when there were distractions around.
Will you be tackling this project this holiday season or sometime in the future? And don’t forget to follow along to see what other projects we’ll be tackling between now and Christmas! There’s an extra post coming on Saturday, and I’m *hoping* to have another one up early next week, if all goes well.