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. They claim it was designed by  Donna Laing in 2000, but I made an identical one for my second baby in 1988 from a pattern I purchased at Fred Meyer. 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, it’s packed away in his keepsake box, but I remembered the pattern well and loved it.

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 Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

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

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

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 five 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.

Crochet How To: Free Half Shell Afghan Pattern

I purchased 15 skeins of this variegated yarn and have loved every item I’ve made with it!  This blanket feels so luxurious to the touch – warm and snugly, but not too thick or heavy and 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 any adornments, 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.

The Yarn I Used is Sold Out – I suggest the following yarns for this project:

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Caron Simply Soft Yarn Paints (2-pack) Sunset C9700p-0008

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Yarn, Prints, Peacock Feather

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Yarn Prints-Rainbow Bright

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Harlequin (C9700P)

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Simply Soft Paints Yarn-Country Charm

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Caron Simply Soft Ombres Yarn (3-Pack) Gold 294008-8607

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Caron Simply Baby Yarn Ombre (05003) Sailor Boy

Caron Simply Baby Yarn Ombre (05001) Oh Baby

Caron Simply Baby Yarn Ombre (05004) L’il Bouquet

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Caron Simply Baby Yarn Ombre (05005) Hidy Ho

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Sticks & Stones (C9700P)

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombres Yarn, Rosewood

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Brand New Simply Soft Paints Yarn-Charisma

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Simply Soft Print Yarn C97003 4-Ounce/315-Yard Skein of Yarn, Baby Brights

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Spring Brook (C9700P)

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombres Yarn, Saturday Blue Jeans

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombres Yarn, Cafe Latte Brown

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombres Yarn, Grape Purple

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombres Yarn, Oasis Blue

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombres Yarn, Stormy Weather

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombres Yarn, Avocado

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Ombre Yarn, Teal Zeal

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Paints Yarn, Granite

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Spinrite Simply Soft Yarn, Prints, Passion

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Simply Soft Paints Yarn C9700P 4-Ounce/208-Yard Skein of Yarn, Oceana

Crochet How To: Free Baby Blanket Afghan Beginner Pattern

Caron Simply Soft Paints Yarn, ROSE GARDEN