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With summer just around the corner, my mind is on the sunny days, beach vibes and cotton yarns. I crochet all year around and cotton yarn is the perfect choice for summer crochet projects. Stripes on the Beach Blanket is that perfect summer project. Light-weight, beach-perfect blues and made of cotton blend yarn, this summer throw is beginner-friendly and oh so versatile!
As much as winter blankets are all about warm, cozy and squish, summer blankets are all about easy to carry, water-friendly and headache free. This fun summer blanket is great to use as a beach mat, as a blanket to cover from the sun or a wrap to put around your shoulders while chilling by the fire at night.
As soon as it gets warm outside, my thoughts are on the beach. I love going to the beach, spending time on the warm sand, catching some sun and listening to the soothing sound of the waves. I love the sounds and the sights of the ocean. All those beautiful blues, whites and beiges, the waves, the foam and the sand.
Whenever I can, I love using those beachy colors in my designs and Stripes on the Beach is no exception. I got an idea for this blanket when I first came across Caron Cotton Cakes in Nested Blues. The combination of colors in that yarn made me super excited as soon as I saw it. It was perfect! It’s like they took a California beach and made yarn out of it.
I knew that I wanted to make a blanket with this color-changing yarn because I knew that the blanket will be the best way to show how these gorgeous hues flow into each other.
I wanted this beach blanket to be a totally relaxing experience. I knew that the yarn would do a wonderful job of creating the eye-catching color change, so all this blanket needed is a nice clean stitch to show this yarn off. One of my favorite classic crochet stitches in Half Double Crochet (HDC) and I decided not to complicate things and make the whole blanket using this one single stitch.
By using only one stitch in the whole blanket, I made it so that you can relax and crochet this cotton throw without giving it much thought, no complicated counting and constantly referring to pattern, just repeat row after row after row.
Sometimes the best things are simple and straightforward and I wanted this blanket to be just that. The HDC stitch creates nice definition to crochet fabric, letting it have a nice drape while at the same time not having too big of holes.
The yarns I used in this summer afghan are some of my all-time favorites. I combined two different yarns that compliment each other wonderfully for that pretty beachy look.
The main yarn in this light blanket is from my most favorite yarn company, Caron and it’s Caron Cotton Cakes. This yarn is an amazing cotton-synthetic blend that is great to work with – it doesn’t split, it’s soft enough to use on the hook, it’s durable enough to wash in a washing machine, it’s light, has a great drape and comes in some gorgeous color combinations.
I work with this yarn a lot and use it for many of my summer blankets and throws, as well as shawls and summer bags. The yarn I used in this project is in color Nested Blues, it comes in Worsted Weight and can be used with a 5.5mm or 6mm hook (like this great hook from Clover).
To add some more blues to the blanket, I added another one of my favorite cotton yarns, Lily Sugar n Cream Denim in Stonewash color. The shade of blue on this yarn attracted my attention a while ago and I looked around for the yarn that could go with it.
When I found Caron Cotton Cakes in Nested Blues, I thought that it will work so perfectly with Lily Sugar n Cream in Stonewash and when I put them together, they looked like they were made for each other. Since Lily Sugar n Crème is also a Worsted weight cotton yarn, I had no problem using these two yarns in the same project with the same hook all throughout.
Since I was working with the worsted weight yarn in this summer blankie, I used a 5mm hook. The yarn label for worsted weight yarn usually calls for 5.5mm, but I used a slightly smaller size hook to give the crochet fabric more sturdiness and smaller holes.
My favorite hook of all time is BQueen Collection hook and according to their website they are “made with an aluminum hybrid hook tip, which is a combination of inline and tapered for more efficient crocheting”. I whole-heartedly agree, these hooks a joy to work with and the turned wooden handle fits perfectly in your hand.
Even though I love BQueen hooks, any 6mm or 5.5mm hook that you love would do the job. Some other 6mm hooks I like are Clover Soft Touch hook and Clover Amour Crochet Hook. Both are great on your wrist and come from the brand loved and recommended by many makers.
The idea I had behind this blanket is that I wanted it to be multi-functional. I wanted to be a beach mat, a blanket, a wrap and even a beach towel if needed. Since it’s made of cotton yarn, it’s durable, can handle the constant use and be washed in a machine.
I wanted you to be able to easily carry this cotton afghan to the beach (it’s light and folds small), to lay it down on the sand to use as a beach mat (the HDC stitch leaves smaller holes so the sand would stay under the blanket), then, when you are out of the water you could shake it out and use it as a towel (cotton is good with water) and if you stayed at the beach till late, you could wrap yourself with this blanket to keep warm (use it as a wrap).
I designed this blanket to be easy to make, easy to use and easy to care for. It’s created using all the same stitch throughout so it has a consistent texture of the fabric, it has smaller holes so it’s great with the sand, but it has enough drape that it’s pleasant against your skin.
All in all, this beachy blanket was designed to be easy-breezy and fun to take along.
The pattern for Stripes on the Beach cotton blanket has step by steps instructions with the gauge, yarn and hook needed, all the stitch counts row by row and of course, lots of colorful photos.
The blanket is designed to be 34”x64”, it’s pretty long on purpose, so when you lay on it on the beach your head or your toes don’t touch the sand.
The pattern links you to a set of helpful videos for the stitches used in the blanket in case if you need a refresher.
Want to make your own?
You can get a step by step pattern with color photos here:
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