Handcraft This Gorgeous Baby Blanket as a Gift for Expectant Mothers

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A baby on the way represents a great time to start a gorgeous crochet pattern, even if you don't yet know the sex of the baby. All you need is soft, white yarn and a combination zigzag shell stitch pattern to create a luxurious blanket for the newborn in your or your friend's life.

What You Need

Purchase 11 ounces of baby soft, four-ply wool. This high-quality material is not frilly, very soft and it feels gentle against baby's skin. It is also thick enough to keep the infant warm without making the baby too hot. The finished product is about 36 inches square, so the blanket folds into a triangle for swaddling covers or a pram cover when folded in half. You also need a 2- and 2.5-millimeter crochet hook.

How to Make Three Panels

The blanket is three panels, the center one larger than the other two, joined together by a fretwork lace design. Start the blanket with a foundation chain of 66 stitches for 10 inches wide. Perform double crochet stitches for the foundation row. Next, begin the rows for the zigzag shell pattern.

The first row of the zigzag shell starts with three chains. Then you work one triple crochet on top of the next double crochet from the previous row. Skip over two double crochets, and then make five triples on the next double crochet in the row. Skip three doubles, and make one triple on each of the next five doubles. Repeat the pattern and end the chain with one triple each of the last two double crochets.

Row two consists of three chains, and then one triple crochet on top of the next triple crochet from the previous row. Skip to chains, and then make five triples on top of the next triple in line. Make two more chains, and skip four triples before creating one triple on each of the next five triples below your current row. End the chain with one triple on each of the last two triples from the previous row.

This video shows the basic shell stitch from start to finish. Skipping stitches from the previous row creates the zigzag pattern. Continue the pattern from row two until you get the size you want. Then it's time to finish off the blanket.

How to Finish

Finish the entire blanket with a simple border about five or six rows thick. Complement the blanket with matching baby booties and a hat that combine to keep baby snuggly and warm.This wonderful blanket makes a great gift for anyone having a baby in your life, plus it helps you create an intricate pattern that's both thick and breathable. Check out this rainbow baby blanket for another great option!

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