I designed this checkerboard baby afghan square to coordinate with a matching striped heart baby afghan square. You can use these two designs together, or you can use either one as a stand-alone pattern. Check out the heart sampler baby blanket and the coral hearts baby blanket to see examples of how to use these squares in completed baby blankets.
I've created two different versions of a checkerboard chart; these are essentially the same design, with the only difference being the color placement. Use either of these charts along with the instructions below.
The pink and purple checkerboard sample square was worked using chart #2.
For each baby afghan square, you’ll need three different colors of lightweight yarn. The yarn I used to make the sample is rated as a 3 on the yarn weight system used by the Craft Yarn Council. This is also known as "double knitting" weight or "light worsted" weight.
My sample square was worked in acrylic Bernat Softee Baby yarns in the following colors:
- Soft Lilac (Color A -- Corresponds to lightest color on the op art checkerboard chart)
- Pink (Color B -- corresponds to medium color on the chart)
- Prettiest Pink (Color C -- corresponds to darkest color on the chart)
I / 9 / 5.50 mm crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge.
For Weaving in Ends: Tapestry needle
4 stitches and 4 rows = 1 inch.
Gauge isn't too critical for success with this project; an afghan square is going to be usable no matter what size it turns out. However, it is still a good idea to check your gauge; if your gauge is drastically different, you may want to switch crochet hooks.
See this tapestry crochet tutorial for information about this technique. If you don't already know how to change colors, you'll probably also want to visit this tutorial for how to change colors in single crochet stitch. Keep in mind that your color changes will always take place starting with the last step of the stitch you work BEFORE you want the new color to appear.
While working the charted checkerboard design, you will have one active color and two inactive colors. Crochet overtop of both inactive colors; hold them horizontally, so that they are parallel to the last row you worked. When you form your next stitch, the inactive colors will be hiding inside of the stitch. (It's OK if they peek through a little bit.)
I created a tutorial illustrating a similar concept -- how to crochet over yarn ends. This is the same idea, with the only difference being that in this case you're working with long pieces rather than ends.
This creates a dense, warm fabric.
Afghan Square Instructions:
Using color A, ch 26. sc in 2nd ch from hook.
Begin working the op art checkerboard chart. To keep a consistent look throughout the project, you may wish to work overtop of both unworked colors starting at the very beginning of row 1. Work in sc, turning your work at the end of every row; use a turning chain of 1 stitch.
Starting with row 2, work through both loops of the stitches in the previous row.
When you've completed the chart, do not end off; change colors to color A.
Edging for the Baby Afghan Square:
Round 1: Using color A, work evenly spaced sl sts all the way around the square. At the end of the round, change colors to color B.
Round 2: Work through back loops only of the sl sts in the previous rounds. Work 1 sl st in each sl st, all the way around the square.
Cut the yarn, leaving a tail of yarn at least 6 inches long for weaving in. Then, remove your hook, and insert it from back to front through the next sl st. Grab the active loop and pull it through the stitch so that it will be on the back of the work. Then end off.
Weave in the ends carefully using a tapestry needle. Your work will be visible on the back of the square, so be as neat as you can.
Matching Pink and Purple Baby Afghan Square With Heart Design
I've created a companion design for this pattern; it's a coordinating square with striped heart design. Click here to see the pink and purple striped heart colorway. You can also take a look at many other colorways as well.