F.A.Q. or frequently asked questions: it’s time I tackle them all in one post so you can make your gingham blanket project a success.
I’m so impressed that a lot of beginners or people who have never crocheted want to make one of these blankets. It’s awesome that this is the blanket that puts you on a crochet journey that I hope will last you a lifetime! They truly turn out stunning and I’m honored that you would choose to make one.
So let’s get to answering common questions I receive about how to make a gingham check blanket.
Why is making a practice swatch important?
If I could beg and plead with you to do this step, consider it done. Please, please, please, do not start this project without practicing first. A small practice chain would be plenty for you to work out tension, hook size, technique, pattern, and learning how to switch yarn colors. If the pattern repeat says that it is 10 plus 1, make a chain in a multiple of 10, and add 1. So, chain 30 then add one, and get to practicing.
How do I crochet over yarn?
I never thought crocheting over yarn was even possible. It never crossed my mind and I’d never seen or heard of the technique. I’ve come to learn that it is called tapestry crochet. I am working over the yarn not in use, and it is running along the top of the stitches and through the work. Both sides of this blanket look exactly the same. The yarn is being hidden.
How to do this is by placing the yarn behind the stitch you are working, and as you insert the hook into the stitch, you also place the yarn being carried over the hook as well. (Video demonstration is at the end of this post, so don’t worry if you don’t understand and need a visual.)
What color do I use?
For me, this has been the trickiest part. Often I find a yarn I would like to use, but there are not two shades of the color. For your blanket to look good, you need a light, medium and dark color. Usually, I like to use white and then two shades of the same color. For instance, white, light pink and dark pink.
When I cannot find two shades of the same color in the type of yarn I’d like, then I use the technique of combining skeins together. That is what I did for the blue gingham blanket and the red gingham blanket. I bought a red and a white, but then combined two reds, two whites, and then combined a red and white making it look striped.
Sometimes I’m lucky and find yarn that is already striped for me. In the grey gingham blanket, I was able to buy a white, a grey and a grey and white stripe.
If you want to make a buffalo check blanket in black and red, then I substitute black for the white, and find two shades of red.
Why does my gingham look like a checkerboard?
It’s because you’ve alternated the colors wrong. The best way I can tell you to get the color pattern correct is that the medium color is used in every row. For the first block of color, the medium color alternates with the dark, and in the next block it alternates with the light. If you alternate the white and the dark, your blanket will look checkerboard.
How can I make my blanket bigger?
With every pattern, I include a pattern repeat. That means you can make the blanket any size you wish if you use the repeat. For example, if I say the repeat is 10 plus 1, make a chain the length you need in a multiple of 10 and then add 1. (The add 1 is simple the turning chain.) If you’d like your blanket to begin and end with the same color, however, use an odd number of 10, like 90 or 110.
I’ve never crocheted before, which blanket should I choose?
A beginner should be able to make a gingham blanket if you do a practice swatch and learn how to change color. The best blanket to start with is the purple gingham blanket using I Love This Yarn from Hobby Lobby. It is the easiest to work with and hides the yarn well. Please do a light color if it is your first blanket.
Why do you use two different hook sizes?
I have found that if I make my base chain with a smaller hook, and then change to a bigger hook to work the first row and when I am working over yarn, the base chain will stay tight and not sag. You need the bigger hook when you are carrying yarn along with you. Again, please do a practice swatch to get this worked out. If the hook size is too small when you start carrying yarn, your blanket will turn out like a doormat. Carrying yarn adds bulk to the blanket.
Why do you carry yarn anyway? Doesn’t this waste yarn?
I carry the yarn because I am changing color so often it doesn’t make sense to me to cut and weave in all those ends later. Also, I want this blanket to look like a continuous design. I did not want to join squares or strips. I also believe that I am either using the same amount of yarn or maybe only a bit more carrying yarn. I also think the blanket is more secure and ends will not come undone.
Why are yarn bowls helpful?
Since I am always working with two balls of yarn at a time, it’s nice to keep them separate and organized. This is not a must, just a suggestion. I do cut off either the dark or light yarn after I am done using it for a block of color, but never the medium color. So I will switch out the dark or light yarn in the bowls.
How do I keep the yarn from twisting?
At first, I had problems with twisting yarn and at the end of each row, I would untwist the balls of yarn. I have since learned that I can keep the yarn from twisting if I keep one strand to the back and one strand to the front. For the yarn you are keeping in the front, just before you pull through with the new color, place the yarn to the front. Please watch the video below and I will show you what I mean and how to do that. It’s very hard to explain in writing. But you need to learn this so you can fully enjoy making your gingham blanket.
I hope that helps you to understand how to make a gingham blanket! It’s one of my very favorite designs and I probably won’t stop making them! I hope they become a crochet classic for you as well and you make them for all the babies you meet.
Share a picture with me of your finished blanket to my facebook page or Instagram account. I’d love to share with all the Daisy Farm crochet friends.