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How to Crochet the Sweet Baby Afghan!

by Tamara Kelly, www.mooglyblog.com

Even the simplest stitch patterns pop with the use of self-striping yarns! And Lion Brand's Ice Cream® and the granny stripe stitch make the perfect pair. This stitch is the basis for the Sweet Baby Afghan, and this is how you make it!

sweet-baby-SM

The Sweet Baby Afghan in Lion Brand Ice Cream® is a free crochet pattern found right here in the Lion Brand pattern finder. Print out the pattern, and gather your supplies - we'll need a US-H, 5.00 mm crochet hook and 3 balls of Lion Brand Ice Cream® in your favorite colorway. The original pattern calls for Strawberry, but I used Blueberry for this tutorial.

This pattern starts with a chain of 115 - you can use stitch markers to help you keep count as you go. The pattern uses a stitch multiple of 3 +1, so for this tutorial I'm making a tiny swatch starting with just 16 chains. For a full-size baby blanket, you'll just be repeating the stitches between the ends of each row more times. To begin Row 1, make a double crochet in the 4th chain from the hook. The 3 chains you skipped will count as the first double crochet of this row. So here, we have 2 "double crochets."

sweet-baby-1

Then, begin the repeat that will take you across most of the rest of the row - skip the next 2 chains, then work 3 double crochets in the chain after that. Then skip 2, then 3 double crochets in the next. Repeat on across until there are just 3 chains left.

sweet-baby-2

To finish the first row, skip the next 2 chains, and then work 2 double crochets in the last chain. For the baby blanket, you should see a set of 2 double crochets on each end of the row, with 36 groups of 3 double crochets in between. (On my swatch, it's just 3 groups of 3 between the ends.) Turn to go back for the next row...

sweet-baby-3

Time for Row 2! To begin this row, you chain 3, which again counts as the first double crochet of the row. From here on out, we're going to be working groups of 3 double crochets in between the other double crochet groups. So we skip over all the double crochet stitches, and work 3 double crochets in between each group of the row below. Then, finish up with one double crochet in the top of the chain 3 at the end of the row - this mirrors the chain 3 we started Row 2 with. And we turn to go back for the next row...

Row 3 begins with a chain 3 (counts as a double crochet), followed be a double crochet in the top of the first stitch - so it's like 2 double crochets in the first stitch. Then, we go back to the plan from before - work a 3 double crochet group between each double crochet group of the row before.

Finish up Row 3 with 2 double crochets in the last stitch - the top of the chain 3. So again, we have a mirror of the beginning of the row - a set of 2 double crochets on each end.

And that's the basis for the rest of the blanket! Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until the blanket is about 33 inches long, or however long you want it to be!

Once you've got the length where you want it, then it's time to make the Border rounds. To make the first round of the border, just chain 1 and single crochet all the way around your blanket. When working across the top of the blanket, just single crochet in each stitch, and work 2 single crochets in the side of each row. When it comes to turning corners: work 3 single crochets in the "corner" stitches (aka, the first and last stitch of the last row, and the first and last stitch of the foundation row).

Once you've gotten all the way around the blanket, just join, then chain 1 and go all the way around again twice more - working one single crochet in each stitch, with 3 single crochets in each corner. Simple as can be!

Need to see it in action? Here are tutorial videos where I demo this pattern, step by step!

I hope this inspires you to make your own Sweet Baby Afghan! The Lion Brand Ice Cream® really makes this stitch pattern shine, and the finished blanket is wonderfully soft and easy care - and fun to crochet too! Thanks for watching and reading!

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