Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Crochet How To: Free Half Shell Afghan Pattern

Crochet How To: Free Half Shell Afghan Pattern

I made my version of this popular and free Project Linus blanket pattern that they’ve dubbed the Sideways Shell Baby Afghan (aka Newbie Shell Afghan) specially designed for new crocheters. It was designed by  Donna Laing in 2000, but I made an identical one for my second baby in 1988. It was the second-to-the-last thing I had made before I took my 20-year hiatus from crocheting, and I made it in pink, blue and white variegated yarn because we didn’t know the sex of our baby until he was born. I still have that blanket, and it’s packed away in his keepsake box, but I remembered the pattern well and loved it.

While I’m more of an intermediate crocheter  I love this pattern because the half shell is a fun stitch and the pattern is very forgiving. Mistakes are easily hidden and not noticeable and it works up quickly. This is my mindless pattern – I usually have two projects going at all times – one that needs constant concentration and precise stitches and one I can do while I’m watching TV or chatting with the hubby.

Crochet How To: Free Afghan Pattern made with Caron Simply Soft Yarn Embroidery - a combination of teal, purple, gold, red, and green.

Crochet How To: Free Afghan Pattern made with Caron Simply Soft Yarn Embroidery – a combination of teal, purple, gold, red, and green.

Crochet How To: Yarn Choices

I made my blanket with my favorite Caron Simply Soft Print Yarn C97003 – the color is Embroidery and have dubbed it, “Melting Crayons.”  It was on sale on Amazon for $3.27 and I used 5 skeins to complete this project so my total cost was $16.35 (this yarn is no longer available on Amazon but I’ve put some yarn suggestions below that will work as well). My blanket is larger than a baby blanket and meant for a child who’s hospitalized so it’s long enough to cover them, but not so large and thick that they can’t take it with them throughout the hospital.

I’ve purchased 15 skeins so far of this yarn and have loved every item I’ve made with it!  Amazon is displaying a really poor photo of it so I nearly passed it by, but I searched the Caron site and saw what it really looked like and fell in love. I’ve just purchased the other color listed with it (it hasn’t arrived yet), but I suspect I’ll enjoy it as well.

The blanket feels so luxurious to the touch – warm and snugly  but not thick. I love the way it lays in my hand. I nearly put a teal border on it or some solid flowers, but I thought leaving it without flowers or other colors could make it a unisex blanket, even with the slight ruffle around the outside.

The yarn works up so beautifully – in this half shell pattern it looks like confetti. In the hats I made with the same yarn (find them here:  Crafts: Crafting for a Cause) the yarn flows very differently, but it’s still beautiful.

Crochet How To: Free Easy Child Afghan Pattern

Crochet How To: Free Easy Child Afghan Pattern

I love that sometime in the future some child will receive this blanket, and a scary experience may get a little bit better because of this bright afghan that I infused with love.

I suggest the following yarns for this project:

Simply Soft Print Yarn, Baby Brights (C97003)

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Oceana (C9700P)

Caron Simply Soft Prints Yarn, Passion

Caron Simply Soft Paints Yarn, ROSE GARDEN

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Harlequin (C9700P)

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Spring Brook (C9700P)

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Sticks & Stones (C9700P)

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Sunset (C9700P)

Author: Connie Ott

A mom and wife, Connie blogs about entertainment, travel, living green, products, technology, DIY home remodeling and decor, and more. She's a vegetarian and animal lover and lives in the Pacific Northwest near Seattle, WA. Find out more about Connie and all the bloggers here at Baby to Boomer Lifestyle on our About Us page.

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  1. Cannot find the pattern for this Afghan,I have waited for 3weeks,and still no answer…

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  2. Hi there
    Can you please mail me a copy of this beautiful pattern, I am having a problem
    downloading it.

    thank you kindly.


    Post a Reply
    • Sorry, no. You’ll need to visit the website that provides it.

  3. Wow it’s beautiful! I love the colors you picked. I need to learn how to crochet.

    Post a Reply
    • Ah, thanks Kim! Crocheting is so easy and it’d be a fun activity for you and your daughter!

  4. Unfortunately, yes. The way their site is designed I can’t give you the direct link. The one you’re looking for is in the right column, very near the end.

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  5. Hi Connie! You read my mind with this post! I learned how to crochet a few years ago , but I’ve never actually completed a project before. When I got pregnant again I said I wanted to attempt to make a blanket for the new baby. I needed a new crocheter pattern and this looks like it would be perfect! I’m in your SITS niche tribe and it is so nice to meet you!

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  6. the links take me to the linus site, do I have to search for the pattern by name?

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  7. This blanket is beautiful! I would love to learn to knit or crochet but I need someone to show me in person. I tried once by reading things online & watching videos…it didn’t end well :)

    Post a Reply
    • I tried in person and felt rushed to keep up. I love YouTube videos because I can start and stop them as I need too to crochet at my pace.

  8. This blanket in the photo is so pretty. I love all the colors and I do miss when I was younger and used to crochet blankets similar to this. I do think it is relaxing and I am looking forward to one day starting again. I loved giving them for baby gifts.

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  9. Hi I just picked up some yarn and started this blanket.. I have been crocheting for almost 15 years now but for some odd reason I can’t get it to look like confetti… I printed off the Project Linus Pattern and bought Red Heart With Love yarn color Fruit Punch… any advice on what I may be doing wrong would be appreciated!!

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  10. I adore this blanket. I have made many times. It is my go to pattern. I have made many more complicated patterns but always return to this my old standby. The yarn is simply gorgeous. I like to make it pure white and then a varigated edge it looks stunning. Wonderful blog glad I found you via pinterest.

    Post a Reply
    • Ah, thank you for the kind comment about my blog! And white? You live dangerously! White wouldn’t last a week in my house :) I love this pattern too and love the way it makes variegated yarn look like confetti. I’ve purchased about 30 skeins of this yarn so far. At just over $3 it’s a steal!

  11. I adore this pattern I have made it more times than I can count.. It’s my go to pattern. I have made many fancier more complicated patterns but this is still my favorite

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  12. Connie, I adore this yarn. Thanks to all of your posts, I finally figured out how to crochet (been knitting forever). Intrigued with this pattern, but have been doing some granny squares now.

    Post a Reply
    • I love crocheting. It’s very relaxing, especially this pattern! I can’t help but love that yarn too. At $3.50 a skein it’s a steal. I can’t wait to see what you make!

  13. That is a beautiful blanket! I love the colors. I wish I knew how to crochet and/or knit. It would take one – on – one teaching with me for me to learn though. And I am a very slow learner :(

    Post a Reply
    • Sherri,

      I learned with a “I Taught Myself to Crochet” book but now there are plenty of videos available on YouTube. It’s a great way to keep busy while watching TV.

  14. That is so cool. I would love to make one for the new baby!

    Post a Reply
    • Thanks! It took me about 3 days to finish it and I love it!

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