The shell and cluster crochet stitch combination has been in use since at least the early 1900s. I worked out a starting chain and the directions for using this shell/cluster variation for crocheting a baby blanket. I used a soft pastel multicolor yarn when I crocheted the example.
On the pages that follow are photos that I created showing closeup looks at the patterning of the repeat part of the rows. I labeled the stitches in the photos to help make it easier to learn how to crochet the shell and cluster combination.
Materials Used In The Example
About 18 oz. Red Heart Soft Baby (sport weight) in Color 7951 Angel Print
U.S. size E hook
Width = 26 1/2 inches (before edging is added)
Length = Your Choice. Instructions are given for repeating the pattern rows to achieve length desired. 36 inches is an average length but your blanket can be shorter or longer, as desired.
Gauge With Sport Weight Yarn and Size E Hook: 1 shell = 1 inch, at widest point, 1 cluster = 1 inch, at widest point; 4 rows = 1 3/4 inches (Gauge is not crucial to this project ... the sizes of baby blankets vary. Relax and enjoy the crocheting without overly worrying about getting an exact qauge.)
Starting Chain: Chain 138.
Row 1: Single crochet in 2nd chain from hook, single crochet in each chain across. (137 sc)
Continue to Step 2 for a photo showing the stitches used in the pattern repeat of Row 2, along with the row directions. Steps 3, 4 and 5 also contain "closer look" photos for rows 3 and 4.