When I first decided to write a series of articles on ‘How-To Design Crochet Projects’, I knew a crochet blanket would be the first thing I wanted to design with you! There’s not a lot of information I found on the web about How to Design a Crochet Blanket and I wanted to give all the information I knew and walk you through the process!
Most people start with smaller projects when they first learn to crochet. Not me. I jumped in with both feet and crocheted a small blanket using a simple single crochet. Did I have a pattern or even know anything about designing? Nope! I simply made enough chains that spanned the width of my lap and got to work!
The edges of that blanket were so uneven, but I was so proud of it. And after nearly 15 years, I still sleep with it! My blanket has been through over 700 washes. It has visited 10 states. And it has comforted all my children and grandchildren when they were sick. It is one of my most valued possessions.
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If you’ve been crocheting for any length of time, I’m almost certain you’ve made a blanket. As you probably already know, a crochet blanket is basically a big rectangle or square. When we think of it like that, designing one becomes less intimidating!
Before we begin designing a crochet blanket, I would encourage you to read my ‘BASICS OF DESIGNING CROCHET’ article. In the article, I discuss the development process of a design and some REALLY helpful information to guide you through each step. We’ll be using the information found in that article to navigate our way through Part One of How to Design a Crochet Blanket.
Let’s set ourselves up to begin our design!!
Gather your designing supplies and tools because we’re about to walk step by step through How to Design a Crochet Blanket!
Let’s identify the problem that makes us want to design a crochet blanket! This problem could be something you’ve encountered or maybe a problem your customer has. Trust me, the problem doesn’t need to be overly complicated or anything major!
The problem for this project is that I’m asking you to walk through this design process with me to learn How to Design a Crochet Blanket.
That’s my problem! I’m wanting to teach you and walk with you through this process in real time, so I need to design a new blanket pattern!
What’s your why? Is this your 1st blanket design? If so, let me know in the comments below!
Grab that notepad and pencil and let’s start brainstorming some ideas based on our problem or inspiration. In this part of the process, you’re going to write down every idea that comes to mind on how to solve that problem or what you want that solution to look like!
Here’s a few of my brainstorming ideas:
As you can see from my notes, this blanket is going to be for my grandson. I’ll probably end up making one for my granddaughter, his sister, as well! I want this blanket to be something he can tote with him. He loves to take his blankets with him in the car when they go on adventures. The design will have to be an airy but durable design. Airy because they live in Arizona and durable because he’s almost two!
Of course, the blanket I design has to be inspired by a bird because I want to stay on brand, and I love birds! I’m thinking a snuggler type blanket. I don’t want a lovey because it’s too small. He likes to cover up in the car seat. I can’t have it too big because the thought of him dragging it on the ground behind him makes my ‘neat freak’ get goose bumps! I’m thinking something kind of narrow and long…but not too long would be perfect.
What about you? Did you get all your brainstorming notes out of your head and onto paper?
Comes the fun part! It’s time to do some research! This is where your homework comes in! Yep! Homework.
This week, take the time to figure out what yarn you want to use for your blanket design. I think your yarn choice will be one of the most important decisions in this design process. There are many aspects to consider when choosing the perfect yarn. Here are just a few:
- Who is this design geared for? A baby? An adult? Maybe the elderly? I ask this because fiber content is a very important characteristic to consider when designing a blanket. The skin of a baby and the elderly are more sensitive than adults. Many times, when makers purchase a pattern, they want to use the exact same yarn you used in your pattern. If you’re design is a baby blanket, use yarn that would be perfect for baby’s skin.
- How will the blanket be used? Is this a decorative design piece? Will it be used as an everyday blanket that will need to be washed often? Is this design for a specific season? Take all these questions into consideration when deciding on yarn. Season, durability, and use are huge factors when determining which yarn content you’ll use for your design.
- Choose your colors wisely. If you’re designing this blanket for yourself and don’t have any plans to write and sell a pattern, then choose whatever color your heart desires. However, if you want to write up and sell this pattern, then colors are more important than you think!
Once you have your yarn choice, I would suggest finding what stitch or stitch pattern you want to work with before busting out your hook! If you’re not sure of what stitch/stitch patterns to work with, download my FREE ‘ULTIMATE GUIDE OF CROCHET RESOURCES’. I share all my favorite stitch dictionaries and how to use them when designing. I also share a ‘best kept secret’ stitch dictionary all designers need on their bookshelf!
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Once you have your stitch pattern figured out, you can grab your hook and start making a few small swatches. These swatches don’t need to be very big. Your goal is to figure out if everything “works”. Does the hook size you chose make the stitches pop? Or do your stitches look kind of washed out? How do your stitches look? Are they too tight or too loose? Do you need to go up a hook size or maybe a smaller hook would be better?
Take your time and have fun playing around with different hook sizes. Lay all your small swatches side by side and see which one you like best. Just make sure to mark each swatch with what hook you used! You may end up making a few swatches and figuring out that you don’t like the stitch pattern you chose. This is the perfect time to switch things up and hammer everything out before working up your project!
Decide on what size blanket you want to make? You may have already figured this out when you were brainstorming your ideas. If you haven’t, that’s okay. Here’s the average sizes of a crochet blanket:
There are no hard fast rules when it comes to sizes of crochet blankets. If you want to make a blanket design that measures 38 inches by 40 inches, then go for it! Just make sure your sizes make sense. Especially if designing to sell patterns! You probably wouldn’t sell many patterns for a 14 inch by 60 inch snuggler…or, maybe you would!
Once you have your yarn, hook size, and stitch pattern all figured out, I have another assignment for you: MAKE A GAUGE SWATCH! Yep, you heard me! For Pt. 2 of ‘How to Design a Crochet Blanket’, you’re going to need a gauge swatch!
Next week, we’ll be working out all the math for your design. If math isn’t your thing, I got you! Trust me, I’m going to walk you step by step through figuring it all out. However, it all starts with a gauge swatch! Want to figure out everything you need to know about gauge and how to create a swatch? Read my ‘WHY GAUGE IS IMPORTANT FOR DESGINERS’ article.
Have any questions? Drop them in the comments below! 👇🏼 I’d love to see your progress as you begin your design! Use #sweetbirdcrochet and tag me @sweetbirdcrochet on social media!