Spring has officially sprung, and you know what that means – it’s baby blanket season! Baby blankets are my chance to try out fresh stitches with new yarns, and that’s exactly what I did with the Gumball Afghan. Vibrant pastels meet a delightful stitch pattern in this faux cable crochet baby blanket.
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GET THE GUMBALL AFGHAN
- FREE PATTERN: Keep scrolling to the bottom of this blog post to VIEW the free version of the Gumball Afghan.
- PRINTABLE PDF: Find an ad-free, PDF version of the Gumball Afghan for sale on TLYarnCrafts.com and Ravelry.
- GET THE YARN: Get WeCrochet’s Heatherly Worsted to make your own Gumball Afghan.
Discover the Faux Chain Cable Stitch
I love nothing more than flipping through vintage crochet pattern books and stitch dictionaries for inspiration. I was thumbing through my library and found a stitch called Jacob’s Ladder. It was very popular for baby items in the 70’s and 80’s. It involves making a series of chain spaces that you weave together to add a textured column to your crochet stitches.
After some fiddling around, I found a variation called the faux chain cable stitch and incorporated it into my latest design. The fun little chain loops are threaded through one another, giving you the illusion of cables without all the hassles. This fun technique is the basis of the faux cable crochet baby blanket that I’m lovingly calling the Gumball Afghan.
Wool Acrylic Blend Yarn for Baby Blankets
With a blend of acrylic and merino wool, WeCrochet’s new Heatherly yarn was designed for the most precious handmade projects, especially super soft baby blankets. The color palette of 20 shades includes plenty of pastels, like the ones I used, as well as more muted neutrals. The cheerful colors are blended with white for a calming heathered look.
I’m a process crocheter, meaning I like the atmosphere of crocheting – pretty hooks, a cozy pattern, and touchable soft yarn. Heatherly fit right in with my crafting aesthetic, making it the perfect choice for my faux cable crochet baby blanket.
The Gumball Afghan is squishy and soft, perfect to wrap your new favorite person in. And the best part is – it’s machine washable and dryable! Easy care, great colors, and touchable soft?! Sign me up! Click to explore Heatherly in Worsted and Sport weights.
If you’re ready to make the Gumball Afghan, keep scrolling for the free version of the pattern. Or, find an ad-free printable version of the Gumball Afghan pattern on TLYarnCrafts.com and Ravelry. Don’t forget to get Heatherly yarn from WeCrochet for your sample!
Gumball Afghan Details
- WeCrochet Heatherly Worsted, 2 skeins in the color Snowflake (MC), and 1 skein each in the colors Agave (A), Lemonade (B), Ice Pop (C), Sweetheart (D), Lilac (E), and Atmosphere (F).
- 6mm crochet hook (this one is my favorite!)
- Tapestry needle
- 4 locking stitch markers (like these)
35″ wide x 40″ long
11 dc x 10 rows = 4″, unblocked
3rd Lp = 3rd loop of half double crochet (how to)
Cc = change color
Ch = chain
Dc = double crochet
Fdc = foundation double crochet (how to)
Hdc = half double crochet
Lp = loop
Rep = repeat
RS = right side
Sc = single crochet
Sl St = slip stitch
St(s) = stitch(es)
WS = wrong side
PATTERN NOTE: To make your blanket wider / narrower, adjust the starting foundation double crochet by multiples of 4.
Gumball Afghan Pattern
New to Faux Chain Loop Cables? I got you! Check out this video tutorial:
ROW 1 (RS): With MC, fdc 100, turn. Alternately, ch 101, dc in 2nd ch from hook and each ch down the line, turn.
ROW 2 (WS): Ch 1, dc in each st across row, cc to A, turn.
ROW 3: Ch 1, sc 2, (ch 12, sc 4) across row to last 2 sts, ch 12, sc 2, turn.
ROW 4: Ch 1, sc in each sc across row (skip ch-lps and push them to RS of work), turn.
ROWS 5-6: Ch 1, dc across row.
ROWS 7-14: Rep Rows 3-6 two times.
Pass the ch-lps as follows
- Pass the loop from Row 7 through the loop from Row 3.
- Pass the loop from Row 11 through the loop from Row 7.
- Repeat these steps for each column of rows.
ROW 15: Ch 1, sc 2 (place ch-lp on hook, sc next st,* sc 3) across row, ending last rep at *, sc in last st, cc to MC, turn.
ROW 16: Ch 1, sc across row, turn.
ROW 17: Ch 1, dc across row, turn.
ROW 18: Ch 1, sc across row, turn, cc to next accent color.
Repeat Rows 3-18 four times, progressing through accent colors B, C, D, and E. Then repeat Rows 3-15 with F.
NEXT ROW: With MC, ch 1, dc across row, turn.
FINAL ROW: Ch 1, dc across row. Do not turn.
ROUND 1: Ch 1, rotate to work along row ends. Hdc evenly along edge to corner (I placed 13 hdc along accent color edge, and 3 hdc along MC edge), 3hdc in corner, mark 2nd hdc, rotate to work along bottom edge.
Hdc in each st along bottom edge to corner, 3hdc in corner, mark 2nd hdc, rotate to work along side edge.
Hdc evenly along edge to corner, 3hdc in corner, mark 2nd hdc, rotate to work along top edge.
Hdc in each st along top edge to corner, 3hdc in corner, mark 2nd hdc, sl st in first hdc of round to join. Fasten off.
ROUND 2: With A, join with standing hdc in 3rd lp of st after join, (hdc in 3rd lp of each st to next marked st, 3hdc in 3rd lp of marked st, move marker to 2nd st) around, hdc in 3rd lp of each st to end of round, join with sl st in first hdc of round to join. Fasten off.
ROUNDS 3-7: Rep Round 2, progressing through accent colors B-F.
ROUND 8: Join MC with sl st in 3rd lp of st after join, sl st loosely in 3rd lp of each st around blanket, join with sl st in first sl st of round. Fasten off.
Weave in all remaining ends.
Steam block lightly to finished dimensions. I like to pin my blanket face down, being sure to unroll all edges. Steam block at least once, but I find steam blocking twice (allowing the blanket to dry thoroughly in between) works best.
If you’re new to blocking your mostly-acrylic crochet projects, watch this video to help finish your Gumball Afghan:
Prefer your patterns ad-free? Find a $5 printable version of this pattern HERE.
And that’s it, friends! I loved designing the Gumball Afghan, and I really hope you liked making one (or several!). Special thanks to my friends at WeCrochet for sponsoring and inspiring this project. Find many other projects we’ve designed together on the WeCrochet website.
Please take a moment to upload your projects to Ravelry and don’t forget to PIN this pattern to Pinterest so you can share it with friends. I’d love to see your projects on social media – share them on Instagram using the hashtag #TLYCMakers, then head over to the TLYC Makers Facebook group and share it there too!
Looking for even more spring-ready crochet projects? Check these out!