I’ve had a few questions about how I made my Mexican Blanket and which stitches it uses so I thought it would be good to share the basics with you in a little photo tutorial. Here’s a reminder of where I’m up to so far with it. Thought that’s not quite an accurate summary, as I have actually darned in all those ends now and added a few Granny rows down the long sides, but you get the general idea!
So here goes! (and please remember all my patterns use US terminology, for the UK equivalents scroll down to the bottom of the free patterns page).
I used a 4.5 mm hook and double knit (light worsted weight) yarn for this blanket.
Firstly make your required number of squares by following the first 2 rounds of this Granny Square Pattern – (pictures 1-12). Make sure you leave a 12″ (30cm) tail on the last round of all but one of the squares. These will be used to join the pieces, and because it’s already attached it means a few less ends to darn in afterwards (hooray!).
I’m making a little cushion here, so I’m using five squares in alternating colors.
Join the squares together using the yarn tail attached to each one. With wrong sides facing, insert your hook through the front loop only of the front square and the back loop only of the back square. Yarn over and pull through all three loops on hook to form a Slip stitch, continue in the same way in each of the remaining 8 front and back loop pairs. (9 Slst made)
Fasten off and weave in the yarn ends so it’s all nice and neat, ready for the next stage. Set the Granny Square Strip aside for now and begin on the Shell Stripes. Here’s the basic maths straight out of my sketchbook:
You can make your patchwork piece any width you like. To make yours bigger (or smaller) just make 9 ch for each square you have and add on an extra 2 ch. The last 3 ch acts as a turning chain and are also counted as a dc. You’ll notice there are 4 dc in the first and last shells only and three in the ones in between.
I began by chaining 47 in this example, but however many you make follow this pattern and the maths will still work:
(Make all your stitches in Row 1 in the ‘bump’ at the back of the chain)
Row 1: 3 dc in fourth ch from hook, [skip next 2 ch, 3 dc in next ch] to last 4 sts, skip 2 ch, 4 dc in next ch. Fasten off and cut yarn.
You do end up with an extra stitch at the end of each row when you come to join it to the Granny Square strip but that wont notice once you come to put the border on and the extra stitches at either end mean you can space the sc in the next row evenly. It also gives you a nice extra stitch to crochet around when you begin to make the border later on.
Row 2: Starting at far right of row, join colour 2 by inserting your hook through the space between the first 2 dc, make a slip knot and put on hook, ch 3, [skip 3 dc, sc in next shell space] to last 4 sts, skip 3 dc, sc in space between last 2 dc. Fasten off, cut yarn.
Row 3: Starting at far right of row, join colour 2 by inserting your hook into the first chain space, make a slip knot and put on hook, 3 ch (counts as first dc) 2 dc in same 2 ch space, [3 dc in next 2 ch space to end]. Fasten off, cut colour 3.
Repeat Rows 2 – 3 as many times as you wish, mixing the colours up as much as you like and ending with a Row 3.
When you have as many rows as you want, line up the joined squares and the stripes with wrong sides facing and crochet the edges of the stripes and squares together with slip stitch in the same way that you joined the squares to each other. Darn in the ends at the back of the work.
Finishing Row 1: Join your chosen colour to the space between the topmost 2 dc on the far right and make 3 sc in this space then 3 sc in the same space on each row.
When you get to the Granny Squares section, sc in the back loop only of all 9 stitches on the edge. Cut the yarn when you get to the end of this row.
Try not to get mauled if you happen to have to share your crochet obsession with a cat!
Time to take a break while Minnie has a nap on my handiwork, again! I took my eye off the ball for a few seconds and I’m way too indulgent to move her. Well it’s the perfect size for a cat nap and I could do with a cup of tea anyway! It will also give me a moment to finish writing this up without too many typos as she’s nearly as fond of lolling about on the computer keyboard as she is of lying on crochet.
If you look closely you can see that once I finished the row of single crochet down the side I put in a row of 3 dc shells down the long side of the crochet piece.
Finishing Row 2: Begin at the far right again. Make 3 ch and 2 dc in the second sc in from the edge, [skip 2 st, 3 dc in next st] to end, skipping the very last st. Repeat the whole process on the opposite side and that should really have neatened things up a bit.
I hope that all made sense. It’s very straight forward really, as you can see, though Minnie has done her best to complicate matters!
I’m off to crochet the back now and when I get a chance to snatch the rest of my crochet away I’ll darn in those stray ends and make it into the cushion cover I originally intended it to be. I think Minnie’s going to love it even more once it has a squashy feather pillow inside it!
I’ll be back to share when I’m done. I hope you can join me. xxx
Update: Minnie’s gone to do her evening prowl of the neighborhood so I get to show you the finished panel now.