How To Guide to Designing Your Own Crochet Striped Blanket

Winter is here! It's been mild so far, but I see some snow in the forecast and low temperatures. That means weekends will consist of cozy PJ's, fluffy slippers, hot chocolate with extra cocoa, faux crackling fire on the TV, and a good book or some yarn - all being enjoyed under a soft, snuggly blanket!

The blanket puts the peanut butter icing on top of this warm, delicious double chocolate cake (if cozy days were a cake). I live for throws, afghans, and blankets. Needless to say, I have several. Believe it or not, not all of them are crocheted.. but my favorite ones? Yeah, those are crocheted.

I'm going to show you how to make your own striped blanket, custom to your liking! There's lots of things to think about here - colors, size, yarn, texture, and stripe pattern - all your choice! Make your own and get creative as you'd like!

Below, you will see the striped blanket I made for my son. He is particular about where things go, so his bedroom blankets stay in the bedroom. I made him a snuggly blanket for sofa cuddles that is perfect for his size!

So let's start with size - what size will you want to make your blanket? You can make it completely custom, but I have compiled popular sizes to guide you in the right direction!

It will be important to work up a gauge swatch (if you are going to be using the stripe generator that I will discuss a few paragraphs down) in order to get the number of rows you need to make to correspond to the size blanket you want. It's important because depending what stitch and hook size you use, the blanket size will vary. For instance, if you are using a basic single crochet and make 100 rows, it will be a lot smaller than doing 100 rows with double crochet. Also, if I use smaller hook like an H hook versus a K hook, the blanket would be smaller as well.

To make a gauge swatch, make a 4" x 4" square with the stitch and hook you plan on using. Once you have made that, you can count how many rows and use a simple formula to find how many rows your desired size the blanket will be.

Height of desired blanket (inches) / 4 inches x number of rows in gauge swatch = Number of rows needed for desired blanket size
(Orders of operations do not apply here. Take the height you want your blanket to be, divide by four, then multiply by the number of rows your gauge swatch came out to.)

As far as the width goes, when you start to make your blanket, you will simply want to chain until you get to the desired width. If you are using a particular stitch pattern, make sure you check the pattern for sizing (it may need to be worked in multiples of 2, 3, etc.)

Choosing colors - this is my favorite part! Color possibilities are endless, and this is also a good way to use up your extra yarn to make a colorful blanket. Pick as many or little colors as you'd like. If you are having trouble coming up with a color scheme, you can search Pinterest for color palate inspirations and go from there! Or simply go to the store, start grabbing colors you love and see how they look next to each other.

There are several different types of yarn that produce different textures. For example, Bernat blanket yarn has a rich, velvetly, and squishy feel when used, while a regular worsted weighted yarn like Lion Brand Yarn Vanna's Choice will give a light and soft feel. Shop around! If you go to different craft stores, they may offer different brands. And remember, hook size matters! If you're not sure what hook size to use, check the label of the yarn of choice to see what hook size is recommended.
I shopped at my local Joann's and searched for the colors I liked once I figured out what type of yarn I wanted to use. The type of yarn part goes hand in hand with the color. You may find the colors you love, but not the feel you are looking for and vice versa. My son's blanket is made with Red Heart baby yarn. I know I wanted the soft feel of baby yarn, so that's where I started. I was quite pleased with the colors they had available, usually baby yarn is mostly pastel. (I would have loved to put black in this, because that is my son's favorite color but that was not available in any type baby yarn).
Here are some types of yarn to think about:

Bernat blanket yarn
Chunky/Bulky yarn (any brand)
Worsted Weight yarn (any brand; a majority of the yarn you will find is worsted weight)
Baby yarn (any brand)

Tip: I advise using any type of acrylic yarn for a blanket, because it makes it easily washable. Using animal fiber such as wool is much harder to wash and if not done properly may shrink or damage the blanket.

Texture will play a big part on your blanket! Do you want a tight stitch like a single crochet for extra warmth? Or do you want something breathable like a double crochet? The rule of thumb is, the smaller/tighter the stitch (single crochet&half double crochet), the warmer and thicker it will be. The bigger the stitch (double crochet & trebles), the more flowy and breathable it will be. Play around with hook size as well! Using a large hook with a tight stitch will give you a good medium as well as using a smaller hook with a larger stitch. Check out my blog post here that may give you an idea of what stitch you would like to use. When in doubt, use a simple stitch such as a half double crochet or a double crochet! It will create a basic stitch that looks lovely in a striped blanket.

For my blanket, a basic double crochet stitch was done with a G hook. I created a perfect balance by using a double crochet, which I knew to be a larger and more breathable stitch with a smaller hook to make it a bit tighter and cozier.

Now that we have our materials and an idea of what size we want to make our blanket, this stripes generator will help us create a fun pattern of stripes! This site is very simple and it will give you a generated stripe pattern when you plug in what colors you will be using, how many rows your blanket will be, and what you would like the stripe widths to be. Play around with it! I allowed multiple stripe widths (1, 2, 3, and 4) to create a fun, random pattern! This is also a fantastic way to play around with color combinations.
Note: Once you generate the stripe pattern and you are not satisfied with what it came up with, simply refresh the page to generate another! If you are on the fence about what is generated, go ahead and screen shot the page or even print out the pattern because once you hit refresh again you can't go back. 

Now that you know what options are out there, go out and have fun! I would really love to see what you guys come up with, especially since the possibilities really are endless here!