Search The Purl Bee
Sign up for our newsletter!

Idea Center
Follow The Purl Bee
« The Best of the Purl Bee Easter Projects | Main | Molly's Sketchbook: Flannel Lap Duvets »
Sunday
Mar042012

Laura's Loop: Flannel Receiving Blankets


I'm starting to think that there is something in the water. Friends, left and right, are turning up pregnant. Thrilled with the good news, I've become a receivin'-blanket-makin' machine. No sooner am I done with one, then I am on to the next. With each blanket I find myself guessing baby names, picturing my friends in the role of 'Mom' and imagining the nervous excitement of the dads-to-be.

I am so happy sitting with this super soft flannel draped in my lap, hypnotized by the rhythm of crochet and the feeling of merino wool as it winds through my fingers. The soft touch of these remarkable materials soothes me in the same way I know it will the new babes!

While it is a pleasure to make these Receiving Blankets, it is an even greater joy to think of them in use. The foggy, warm stripes of Ecrulet's Flannel and the crisp, rich colors of Koigu's merino combine in such pretty harmony, that I can’t wait to see my friends’ littles bundles all wrapped up inside! 

Congrats to all those expecting! --Laura

PS: Check out Molly's Lap Duvets for more ideas on how to use Ecrulet’s magnificent Flannel Stripes!

The Materials

To make one 41-inch by 41-inch blanket:

Cut and Wind

Cut the fabric into a 42-inch by 42-inch square.

Wind the yarn into a ball. Place it to the side for now.

Pin and Sew

Fold and press each edge of the fabric 1/4-inch toward the wrong side. Fold and press each edge 1/4-inch toward the wrong side once more. Pin the folds in place and machine sew down with an edgestitch.

Crochet the Edge

Orient the fabric so the front is facing you and the stripes are vertical.

Begin approximately 1 inch from a corner. Insert hook just below the hemmed edge, into the middle of a stripe. Pull a loop through. Grab the yarn from the back and pull it through the loop you just made.

Insert hook back through the same hole, and make a single crochet along the edge of the fabric.

*Chain one.

Insert hook into the next stripe, and make a single crochet.

Insert hook back through the same hole, and make a single crochet

Insert hook through the same hole, for a third time. Make a single crochet.

Repeat from * until you reach the corner.

Turn the Corner

After you've made a cluster of single crochets right before  the corner, chain 3 (rather than 1). For the next stitch (the first of the new side), insert the hook into the last hold you made, as pictured above.

Now that you have turned the corner, you no longer has stripes to guide your placement. You can mark the fabric every 1/4 to 5/8-inch using a Chaco Marker if you would like a guide or you can just eye-ball it.

Continue around the 2nd, 3rd and 4th edge of the blanket, turn the 4th corner and work up to the stripe where you first began.

Connect at the End

Chain one.

Insert hook into the first stripe, where you began, and make a single crochet.

Cut yarn and pull through. Using a tapestry needle, weave in your ends.

You have done it! 

Now you can do it again to make a pair!!!

Reader Comments (74)

They look beautiful ! But, how does the merino react to washing ? Baby receiving blankets see a lot of it... I wonder if a cotton would be more practical ?
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCecile
Hi Cecile,
The Koigu merino is machine washable. It wears beautifully!
March 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Do you typically pre-wash the flannel before crocheting the edge to prevent puckering?
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLIz
This is perfect! I wanted to do this before my daughter was born but never got around to it. Thanks for reminding me, and including instructions! I love the look of that merino but I'm trying to use up some of my flannel stash before buying more. What is the approximate distance between the stripes (at the point where you pierce the fabric)? Thanks!

Amy
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy P
These blankets look so practical, beautiful and simple to do. I think I'll give them a try as they'll be great for those "sex yet to be determined" newborns. Takes the worry out of using pink or blue.
TFS.
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPenny Hanuszak
So beautiful!!! Thanks for this great idea.
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterb
LOVELY!! And that hook just slips into the fabric easy-peasy??
March 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKarin
Hi Amy! So glad you like the project. The puncture points are about 1/4 to 5/8-inches from one another. Happy crocheting. -Laura
March 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Liz, thanks for asking! Great question. I typically pre-wash my fabric, but I have known other who do not. -Laura
March 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Karin-

The hook does go through pretty easily, that's why Laura used a fairly small hook.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
March 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
These are a really elegant alternative to the typical receiving blankets, and I love the neutral colors. I will definitely have to make a few of these!
March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBrittany
That's it. I'm learning how to crochet.
March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLarissa R
That is absolutely lovely! I have a wonderful vintage lap blanket made fRom the cutest red mushroom fabric and the edge is done like this with a little picot between each cluster! I think I need to make one of these!
Where can I find the crochet hook? The smallest size I could find was US size B - 2.25mm. Please help since this project is charming and unites my new found love of sewing with knitting/crochet into one project. Thanks!
March 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSouri
I love this website, and was lucky enough to visit your store a few weeks ago! Thanks for all the great project ideas, I can't wait to start this one! Question, I'm pretty new to sewing, so please excuse my ignorance....when I sew the seam of the blanket, should my stitches be as close to the inside of the fold as possible? Or is right down the middle ok? Im still mastering control over the fabric when I sew lol. Souri, I have a US size 2 hook at home that is 2.2 mm as well, and I just tried to poke it through the flannel and it went through just fine, so your B will probably be just fine for this project :)
March 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJessica
Hi Jessica-

You should sew it as close to the fold as you can. Thanks for the kind words and good question.

Molly
March 9, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Those blankets are splendid. What kind of stitch did you use on the hemming of the blanket?
March 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
Hi Michelle-

Laura just used a regular medium length sewing machine straight stitch to hem the blankets before crocheting their edges.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
March 12, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I know you've probably been asked this, but have you thought about making these blankets to sell. I have zero talent for making these myself, but would love to have some made for my little one. Would you be willing to make some to sell?
Tristin
March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTristin Walter
Hi Tristin-

We don't make any finished products to sell but if you call our New York City story they might be able to get in in touch with someone who can. Their number is 212-420-8796.

Thanks for the question!

Molly
March 13, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
These are adorable! Just another reason I need to get a sewing machine...
March 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnna
What does a crochet size hook A convert to in metric sizing? Thank you!
March 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristina
Hi Christina, great question. A US size A crochet hook is usually around 1.75mm to 2.00mm. A US size B is 2.25mm, often times, anything smaller than a B is only measured in mm, rather than given a letter size. For this project I recommend using as small a hook as you can so to minimize the punture holes in the flannel. Hope this helps! -Laura
March 22, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Could I use Perle Cotton #5 in place of the fingering weight yarn?
April 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHBell
Hi HBell-

Perle cotton would work fine, you might want to use a smaller crochet hook, but it's just a matter of preference.

Thank you for your question!

Molly
April 12, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
These are absolutely beautiful.
April 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRos
Love these!! I make receiving blankets for Project Linus and these are just perfect. Different and definitely more special than just a plain blanket. Thanks!
May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Grow
These are lovely. My aunt made me similar ones in a very light white Birdseye pique for my twins with the colored crochet trim. I LOVED them and they were perfect for summer.
May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLili
Incredible tutorial!
May 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdiana
Your photographs are so clear. Perfect tutorial.
June 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterbridgett
If you are unsure about spacing of the holes, or if you don't have a stripe to use as a guide, you can "poke" holes using your swing machine -- just set the stitch to the length that you want the holes to be apart, and "sew" without thread...it pokes perfect holes equally spaced.
June 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
Fabulous instructions!! Have not had a chance to crochet in many years...will the help of your directions, definitely going to give it a try again!!
June 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLorie B.
Your idea brings back some old memories. My grandmother used to do that edging on the short end of facecloths and then add several more rows of decoration. I remember doing that as a kid - many years ago.
It's also another way to strengthen the hem that those little ones love to pull on.
I still have my kid's favorite blankys. they are keepsakes.
June 3, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoan murray
Hi. I love this project! Such beautiful results. I am excited to try to make one but I want to practice with what I have on hand before I order my "good stuff" to make the real deal. What number weight is the yarn used for the crocheting (I'm sorry if this is not the technical term but just referring to the number on the back). Thanks so much for sharing this! I'm expecting a baby in early September and can't wait to make one for him.
June 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAndie Marie
Hi Andie-

You have some leeway with the weight of the yarn but you wouldn't want it to be much thicker than a sport weight. I believe that would be no larger than a number 2 if we are thinking of the same numbering system (the little yarn icon with a number inside?). You can use anything that says it's baby weight, sock weight, sport weight, fingering, or fine. You could also use pearl cotton or embroidery thread. Please let us know if you have any other questions and good luck with the project!

Molly
June 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is my first experience with crochet. Do you have any recommendations on more thorough instruction on "a single crochet chain"? I'm a little bit confused. Thank you!
June 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMeredith
Hi Meredith-

You might want to check out our crochet basics tutorial here: http://purlbee.squarespace.com/crochet-basics/

Or, if you'd like to explore crochet even further you might want to get this booklet. It's only $6.50 and it has a lot of well explained information!

http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/213-TNNA-How-to-Crochet

Thanks for your question!

Molly
June 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have a quick question! I am excited to start this project, but am wondering if the flannel you used is soft on both sides? I can't find any flannel like that and am thinking about laying to pieces together, soft sides out. Do you think this would work ok? And is the flannel used in this project soft on both sides?
Thanks!
Hailey
June 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHailey
Hi Hailey-

This is soft on both sides but certainly softer on one side than the other. Both sides will get even softer as they get washed.

We wouldn't recommend using two layers of flannel because it would really complicate crocheting around the edge and the pieces might not stay in line with one another.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
June 14, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I did buy the Koigu KPM from Purl and although you mention that it is machine washable, I look at the wrapper and it says Hand wash. Lay flat to dry. I am wondering if I bought the right yarn?
June 23, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichele
Hi Michele... You are absolutely right, the tag does say Hand Wash. All of us here ar Purl have been machine washing out koigu knits for years and with amazing results. I do tend to lay them flat to dry, but I know many people throw them right in the dryer (on a lower heat setting of course). Again, I have never had (or heard about people having) machine washing this wool. Hope this helps. -Laura
June 24, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I've been working on one of these blankets and had a question about tension- any tips on tension so that the crochet doesn't bunch up the edge of the blanket? I'm having a tough time getting it just right with every grouping. Any tips would be greatly appreciated!
June 25, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNikki
Hi Nikki... When I am struggling with tension usually after trying to just relax my hands some, I will wrap the working yarn around my pinky or pointer finger to help smooth out my stitches. Hope this helps. -Laura
June 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I wouldn't have thought a crochet hook would have gone through the flannel!
July 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMummybrain
It looks beautiful! thank you so much :)
how very very lovely. I can do most things with my hands - I sew, knit, paint, draw, cook etc but crochet has always been my "no can do" even after endless lessons with very adept teachers lol. however, I am (once again) tempted to try your very sweet edging. thanks so much for sharing your knowledge.
maria smith
mossel bay
south africa
August 12, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermaria smith
I read through the comments and I hope I didn't miss this information, but for the 42X42 inch blanket, how much yarn do I need to buy to crochet around this blanket? Did you purchase 1 Koigu skein at 175 yards per blanket? Love this tutorial, brought back some old memories. Thank you so much for sharing.

Lori
August 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Hi Lori. Great question. I did buy one skein per blanket, but I found that with two skeins, you can edge three blankets, if you are conservative with your tails. Hope this helps. -Laura
August 13, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What do you use to puncture the holes?
August 24, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterv.thor
Hi V.Thor,
Good (and common) question. I used the tip of the crochet needle. This fabric is not woven extraordinarily tightly. With other fabrics I have found the need to pre-puncture the fabric before beginning to crochet. In this case, I typically use a crochet hook one size down to do so.
Hope this helps.
Laura
August 27, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.