Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Crochet How To: Free Easy Child Afghan 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 which they’ve dubbed the Sideways Shell Baby Afghan (aka: Newbie Shell Afghan) specifically 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 the second to the last thing I 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 remember 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 [amazon_link id=”B007KTF4KK” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Caron Simply Soft Print Yarn C97003 – the color is Embroidery[/amazon_link] and have dubbed it, “Melting Crayons.”  It’s currently on sale on Amazon for $3.27 and I used 5 skeins to complete this project so my total cost was $16.35. 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 heavy 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 love 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.

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

    • Connie Ott

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

  2. Connie Ott

    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.

  3. 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!

  4. jenn

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

  5. 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 :)

    • Connie Ott

      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.

  6. Maryann D.

    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.

  7. Whitney

    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!!

    • Whitney

      Ok I did notice that I was looking at the wrong pattern.. BUT it is still not turning out… do I need to hunt down the specific yarn that you used????

    • Connie

      What’s not turning out Whitney? The pattern will work with any yarn but depending on how the variegated is dyed, it will look different. The yarn I used was purchased on Amazon. It’s currently on sale for about $3.50 – the links are at the bottom of the post. If you want to send me a picture of your work I’ll see if I can help.


    • Whitney

      Ok I might just do that… Let me get a bit more of it worked so you will be able to see more… can you email me your email address…

    • Connie

      Whitney – it’s likely you need to go up or down a hook size. The yarn I used makes up into a half double crochet and then switches colors. If your yarn color changes are longer, the pattern will look different. I don’t have that yarn here in my box of many colored variegated yarns of which I have many, many different brands and colors. Some might say I have a problem 😉

    • laura rogers

      where do i get the instructions for this, cant seem to find them,

    • Connie

      The links are in the post :)

  8. Denise

    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.

    • Connie

      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!

  9. Denise

    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

  10. 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.

    • Connie

      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!

  11. Sherri

    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 :(

    • Connie


      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.

  12. Jenny @ My Little Me

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

    • Connie

      Thanks! It took me about 3 days to finish it and I love it!

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