Crocheting a baby blanket is probably one of my favorite yarn projects to take on. They’re just the right balance between a large scale project and a something I can actually finish. I recently got the pleasure of creating a baby blanket for my new niece and I nicknamed it The Penelope Baby Blanket. This granny square baby blanket is the perfect mix of classic and retro and an amazing statement piece for a modern nursery.
I don’t mean to brag, but I think I nailed the perfect gender-neutral color combination with this blanket as well! I’ll be sharing the colors I used and the exact layout and combos if you want to duplicate this one.
Before you Begin…
You’re going to need a 5.00mm crochet hook. Check out this Hook Set (it’s my fave)!
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What is a Granny Square?
If you’re new to the crochet game, you might be wondering what a granny square actually is. A granny square is a square piece of textile fabric made from crocheting yarn, thread or other fiber. It is generally characterized by working in rounds, beginning in the center and working outwards.
Traditional granny squares are often made with a repeating sequence of 3 double crochet stitches (aka clusters) separated by 1 chain stitch. More elaborate square designs can feature a variety of stitches, shapes and motifs which are then finished with a border to square off the design.
Granny squares date back to the late 1800’s and have grown in popularity since. They are usually made to be seamed together into larger projects like blankets, sweaters, bags, and more. Not only do they make trendy apparel but they are perfect for cool, retro home decor.
About the Blanket
Now that you know a little about granny squares, let’s talk a bit about the square that I used for the Penelope Baby Blanket. This blanket features what I call Sunflower Square. The design uses mainly double crochet stitches and double crochet clusters. They are worked in rounds to create a very sunflower-esque shape that is surrounded by a more traditional granny square cluster border.
Each granny square uses 4 colors and each square has a unique color combination! Since this was a baby blanket that would be studied a lot by both mom and baby, I wanted to add as much visual interest to it as possible. Every square is unique and each one is thoughtfully placed to balance the color mix perfectly.
The Penelope Baby Blanket uses 48 squares with an additional color for the border. But don’t let all those ends scare you off. I’ve got a great tutorial video that shows you how to really secure them as you work, so you’ll only have 2 ends to actually weave in per square!
Love it?! Pin it for Later!
About the Yarn
This baby blanket pattern uses worsted weight yarn. I like acrylic yarn for baby blankets because of its durability and softness. Plus it’s machine-washable, which is always a plus. While you can definitely substitute another yarn fiber, just be mindful of how your blanket will be used.
Since I was trying to match nursery colors, I mix and matched my yarn brands a bit to get the right shades. I opted for Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek (Mustard, Sage, Clay and Olive)for most of my square colors . For the white edging and border, I used I Love This Yarn (Antique White) from Hobby Lobby. I also snuck in a Brava Worsted (Brindle) to get just the right shade of brown.
If you’re not that into my color or brand choices, try some of these other worsted weight yarns! They’re my go-to’s when I’m not trying to find ultra specific colors.
- Basic Stitch from Lion Brand Yarn
- Wool-Ease from Lion Brand Yarn
- Heartland from Lion Brand Yarn
- Brava Worsted from WeCrochet
Joining the Squares
Before we dive into the crochet pattern, let’s talk about granny square joins. There are so many different joining techniques out there! For this blanket, I used a joining method called Tight Continuous Join-As-You-Go. I chose this join for the following reasons:
- You can crochet the square together instead of sewing with a tapestry needle.
- You can join all your squares without ever breaking your yarn (unless you run out, of course).
- The tight join gives extra secure seams and no holes like a traditional join-as-you-go technique.
I learned this method from Mallory over at Nautikrall Crochet. She did such a marvelous job with her tutorial that I’m going to link you directly to her video! Make sure you leave her a like and some kind words.
Now, I will say this a lot of people don’t really care for continuous join methods. They can be a little puzzling to figure out at first. So if that’s you, that’s ok! You can totally use a traditional seaming technique for this blanket instead of a CJAYG. In fact, you can check out my tutorial video for some granny square joining ideas.
About the PDF Pattern
Now, I don’t usually take a whole section to talk about the PDF version of my free patterns, but I added some of “bonus” content on this one, so I thought give some details. You can find the free written square & border pattern, color combos, and video links for the join below. But there’s a few extras in the paid pattern. The PDF includes the following:
- Written pattern for the Sunflower Square & link to full video tutorial
- Written instructions for the join used & link to the tutorial
- Written instructions for the border
- Video links for alternative joins
- 2 Exclusive Color Planning Worksheets
You Might Also Like…
Let me help you decorate your nursery! Add some nesting baskets (perfect for diapers and creams), a coordinating wall art piece, and the most adorable baby bows to your make-list for baby’s room.
If you enjoyed this granny square baby blanket pattern, you might just like these other free crochet patterns as well. Click the photo to check them out!
Let’s Get Started…
1785 yds of worsted weight yarn in 6 colors (see yardage chart)
Size H (5.0mm) crochet hook
Blocking board (optional)
Ch – Chain
Ch-sp – Chain Space
Dc – Double Crochet
Dc Cluster – Double Crochet Cluster
Hdc – Half Double Crochet
Tr – Treble Crochet
Sl St – Slip Stitch
Gauge for this pattern is determined by the finished size of the first 4 rounds of a square.
Square size = 4.5” Square (unblocked)
36” x 48”
- This pattern is written in one size for a baby blanket measuring approximately 36” x 48”. This blanket can be made in other sizes by completing and joining more or fewer squares.
- This blanket was designed with a continuous join, allowing you to join squares to your blanket as you finish them or all at once at the end. If you prefer not to use a continuous join, you will need to complete Round 5 of each square before using a traditional joining method.
- Yarn Used: Yarn Bee Soft & Sleek (Mustard, Sage, Clay & Olive), I Love This Yarn (Antique White), Brava Worsted (Brindle)
Dc Cluster: [Yarn over, insert your hook into the stitch, and pull up a loop. Yarn over and pull through two loops on your hook.] Repeat this process, twice for 2-dc clusters OR 4 times for 4-dc clusters all in the same st or sp. 2-dc clusters will end with 3 loops on the hook. 4-dc clusters will end with 5 loops on the hook. When you have completed the appropriate number of loops for your cluster, yarn over and pull through all loops on your hook.
Treble Crochet: Yarn over twice, then insert hook into stitch. Yarn over and pull up a loop. [Yarn over and pull through two loops on hook] three times.
|Color||Yardage Used||Abbreviation in Pattern|
|Color A (Mustard)||245||CA|
|Color B (Sage)||220||CB|
|Color C (Tan)||225||CC|
|Color D (Cognac)||230||CD|
|Color E (Olive)||275||CE|
|Color F (White)||590||CF|
If you would like to use the exact color combinations and layout that I used, I’ve decided to include a free printable sheet to make it easier to work on.
Using 5.0mm (H) hook.
With first color, ch 4 and sl st in first ch to create a ring. Alternatively, you can use a magic circle here.
Round 1: Dc 16 into ring. Sl st to top of first dc to join. Cut yarn leaving tail to weave in end. (16)
Round 2: Starting 2 stitches from last join, attach next yarn color. Ch 2 and dc in same stitch as ch 2 (counts as first 2-dc cluster). *Ch 1, 2-dc cluster in next stitch.* Repeat from * to * in each st around. Ch 1 and sl st in ch-sp after first cluster to join. Cut yarn leaving tail to weave in end. (16 clusters, 16 ch)
Round 3: Starting in a ch-sp, attach next yarn color. Ch 2 and 3 dc cluster in same sp as ch 2 (counts as first 4-dc cluster). *Ch 2, sk dc cluster, 4-dc cluster in ch-sp.*. Repeat from * to * around. Ch 2 and sl st in top of starting ch to join. Cut yarn leaving tail to weave in end. (16 clusters, 16 ch-sps)
Round 4: Starting in a ch-sp, attach next yarn color. (Ch 3 (counts as first tr), tr 2, ch 2, tr 3) in same ch-sp. *Ch 1, dc 3 in next ch-sp, ch 1, hdc 3 in next ch-sp, ch 1, dc 3 in next ch-sp, ch 1. [Tr 3, ch 2, tr 3] in next ch-sp.* Repeat from * to * twice. Ch 1, dc 3 in next ch-sp, ch 1, hdc 3 in next ch-sp, ch 1, dc 3 in next ch-sp, ch 1, sl st to top of starting ch to join. Cut yarn leaving tail to weave in end.
If you are using a continuous join, stop here. If you are using a traditional seaming method, complete Round 5.
Round 5: In a ch-2 corner sp, attach CF (border/edge color). (Ch 2, dc 2, ch 2, dc 3) in ch-2 sp. *Ch 1, dc 3 in each ch-sp until you reach ch-2 corner sp. (Dc 3, ch 2, dc 3) in ch-2 corner space.* Repeat from * to * twice more. Ch 1, dc 3 in each ch-sp across last edge. Sl st to top of starting ch to join. Cut yarn leaving tail to weave in end.
Make a total of 48 squares. You may block your squares before joining if preferred.
There are several methods of joining granny squares. Because this is a baby blanket, I chose a tight join that would hold up well to heavy use and multiple machine washes. I used a tight continuous join as you go method for this blanket. This technique is written in the PDF version of this pattern.
With this in mind, you can join your blanket however you choose! I will link to a comprehensive tutorial demonstrating the join I used. I will also link to some videos outlining a series of more traditional joining techniques. Please note that the exact color combinations and square layout that I used is listed below the yardage section of the pattern as a free download for you.
This blanket is finished with a simple scalloped border. The border is worked in the same color as the joining or Round 5 color.
Step 1: After finishing last stitch of continuous join, leave yarn attached. You will begin working in the top right corner space. If using a traditional join, attach yarn to the ch-sp just before the top right hand corner space. Ch 1 and sc in that space.
Step 2: Dc 9 in the corner space.
Step 3: *Sc in next ch-sp. [Dc 7 in next ch-sp, sc in following ch-sp] twice. Dc 7 in seam space between squares.* Repeat from * to * across the blanket edge to next corner.
Step 4: Dc 9 in the corner space.
Repeat Steps 3 and 4 until you have reached your starting stitch. Sl st to join and fasten off.
This project was a lot of fun for me! It was my go-to during tv time for a few weeks and then it all came together so quickly with that continuous join. I think you’ll love working on this one too! Be sure to tag me in your finished makes…I love to see what you all create from my patterns. You can tag me @craftingforweeks on Facebook or on Instagram. And use the hashtag #penelopebabyblanket for a chance to be featured!
Until next time, Happy Crafting!