Gentle ZigZag Baby Blanket: Shell Instructions

My new creation came from the desire to make a precious gift for a friend having her first baby this summer who doesn’t know what flavour baby she is having, who I think would prefer a more traditional style but not a frilly one – nothing like setting yourself a good challenge!

So the blanket had to be:

  • suitable for both boys and girls
  • light enough for winter but big enough to wrap around in winter
  • trendy with a traditional style
  • above all NOT frilly!

 What do you think?…

I think I’ve ended up covering all the bases and am very pleased with the finished blanket. It measures 90cm by 90cm so folds into a lovely triangle swaddle or over in half to be a pram cover or just as it is to be a wrap. I decided to push the boat out and bought some expensive 4ply soft baby yarn – I can highly recommend doing this, it is well worth the money. I made the blanket in cream as we don’t know whether it is a boy or a girl but I’m sure it will work just as well in colour.

The main body of the blanket is worked as 3 panels, the centre one being twice as big as the two outer, which are then joined by a simple fretwork panel.

Quite a few people have asked me to explain the zigzag shell stitch pattern so here it goes.

It of course depends on the size of work you want to make but for example, a panel that measures 10 inches wide is as follows:

Foundation chain: Ch66
Foundation row: 1dc in 2nd ch from hook, 1dc in each st to end. (65st)
Row 1: 3ch, 1tr in next dc, (miss 2dc, 5tr in next dc, 2ch, miss 3dc, 1tr in each of next 5dc). Repeat () ending with 1tr in each of the last 2dc. (RS)
Row 2: 3ch, 1tr in next tr, (miss 2ch, 5tr in next tr, 2ch, miss 4tr, 1tr in each of next 5tr). Repeat () ending with 1tr in each of the last 2tr.

Repeat Row 2 until the work is the size you want.

These instructions are in UK crochet terms but are easily translated to US, just work a sc where it says dc and a dc where it says tr.

If you would like the pattern for the blanket which obviously includes the full shell panel sizes, the fretwork joining, the blanket edging and also my 8 page tutorial then follow these links:

US version

UK version

It is available in both UK and US terms so you don’t have to translate as you go!

I hope you like the pattern, my next plan is to design a hat and cardigan set to match so it is a real gift to treasure. I’ll let you know when I’ve done them so I can find out what you make of them.

At the moment I’m working on some different size kimono style shrugs for babies to teenagers and also some cute owl designs so watch this space….


  1. July 3, 2012 / 12:31 pm

    this is beautiful, i have saved the pattern for when i need to whip something up for a baby.

    • July 3, 2012 / 4:36 pm

      That’s so lovely to hear! Thank you.

    • October 25, 2012 / 6:17 pm

      I’m surprised you haven’t had more comments about this GORGEOUS blanket. I’ve pinned it to my page about 3 times already. Every time I see it I’m like — this is lovely. It is, just in case you din’t know, making it’s way around the pin boards. Love the lack of frills.

    • October 27, 2012 / 3:56 pm

      Thanks so much for your lovely comment – it’s so good to know people are enjoying the lack of frills!! Have also just clicked onto the pin boards and entered an entire world I knew little about…it’s great fun! Thanks again.

  2. December 6, 2012 / 10:42 pm

    I absolutely am in love with this pattern. I’d like to make it for my nephew, who at 2 has just moved from his crib to a big boy bed…so it should be a bit larger. Is the base chain a multiple of 10+6?

  3. December 7, 2012 / 11:14 am

    Thanks so much Sandra – what a great idea for a big boys bed too! You are completely right with your numbers, just make it as long as you need. I made a larger version too by using the 66 start chain but making lots more panels and joining them with zigzag chains, that looked pretty too. Would love to see a picture of yours when you are finished!

  4. March 12, 2014 / 8:12 pm

    I Love the pattern but I can’t follow crochet patterns. Really wish it was available to knit. I’m just learning to crochet from patterns so maybe one day I’ll get there.

  5. April 4, 2014 / 4:00 am

    I don’t even know if you’ll see this or not, but didn’t know where else to ask: I just purchased this pattern from you, and LOVE it. I’ve got a newborn blog right now and am attempting to have a little made-to-order shop in it. I assumed that since I bought the pattern that I can sell items I make using it, but just wanted to clarify and make sure. Is that alright?

    • April 4, 2014 / 11:06 am

      Thanks so much for your message and kind words. You are more than welcome to sell anything you make from my patterns. I wish you the best of luck with it all!

  6. December 25, 2014 / 10:21 am

    Your style is very unique compared to other folks I’ve read stuff from. Thanks for posting when you’ve got the opportunity, Guess I will just bookmark this page.

  7. Diane
    February 28, 2015 / 5:38 am

    Hi. I am beginner/interm I guess, lol crocheter, looking to make a christening blanket for my great nephew/godson and found this. I have already out budgeted myself and purchased 1 skein (100g/1000yds) 1 ply fingering scrumptious lace wool/silk yarn. Will this be enough and work nicely for this blanket? Can’t afford to buy more. Also, you mention you provide tutorial. How detailed are they please and are they with pictures? US Version Also, do you think placing white ribbon inside the edging is possible?
    Thank you kindly

    PS This is gorgeous, seems elegant and unique but NOT frilly, lol which is what I’m trying to accomplish

  8. May 21, 2015 / 9:46 pm

    Pretty! This has been an incredibly wonderful post. Thanks for providing these details.

  9. May 25, 2015 / 11:00 pm

    This design is spectacular! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained.
    Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog
    (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job. I really enjoyed what you
    had to say, and more than that, how you presented it.
    Too cool!

    • May 28, 2015 / 7:45 am

      Thanks so much Aleta! You should definitely start a blog of your own!

  10. May 26, 2015 / 11:29 pm

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    I’m having some minor security problems with my latest website and I would like to find something more safeguarded.
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    • May 28, 2015 / 7:44 am

      Hi Bettyann,
      Thanks for your message – I use for my site and have their plugin to try and filter out and keep it safe. What system are you using at the moment?

  11. June 1, 2015 / 5:11 am

    This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me.
    Many thanks!

  12. June 4, 2015 / 2:20 am

    Hey very interesting blog!

  13. kitty jean
    July 19, 2015 / 1:29 pm

    Hi, I do not usually comments on these sites as so many people have already said so many nice things, but, on this one I just had to. Bravo!!! Wonderful!!! A simply elegant design that even a newer crocheter can master and turn out something simply awesome! Thank you for a wonderful pattern and a nice set of instructions!

  14. luciana heald
    May 31, 2016 / 1:46 pm

    Very pretty work. I really this pattern. Btw do you have tutorial on youtube?