Crochet Pattern: Shell Stitch Blanket

By Rachel Choi – 108 Comments
The shell stitch blanket is simple yet elegant. It is crocheted with rows and rows of shell stitches. Each shell stitch is staggered so that it creates a beautiful pattern. This is intended to be a generic blanket pattern, so that you can create any blanket size that you desire. Simply follow the initial instructions to determine the proper number of foundation chains needed for your desired blanket size. crochet blanket
Skill Level: beginner crochet skill level

Finished Size: Whatever you want it to be!

Medium Weight Yarn
Crochet hook
crochet yarn size 4

Need help understanding the abbreviations? Check out the crochet abbreviation chart.

Crochet Pattern: Blanket
Row 1: make a chain as wide as you want your blanket.
(Note: the number of chains should be a multiple of 6, since each shell uses 6 chains.)
Row 2: ch 2, sc in second ch from hook, (skip 2, 5 dc in next ch, skip 2, sc in next ch) across, changing color in last sc made
Row 3: ch 2, turn, 2 dc in next sc, skip 2, sc in next dc (skip 2, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2, sc in next dc) across, skip 2, 3 dc in last sc, changing color in last dc made
Row 4: ch 1, turn, sc in next dc, (skip 2, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2, sc in next dc) across, changing color in last sc made

Repeat row 3 and 4 until blanket is the length you desire.

To create border, double crochet around your finished blanket. You can change colors as desired. For the finishing shell border just follow the shell pattern, (skip 2, 5 dc in next ch, skip 2, sc in next ch) around.

Crochet Tips:

  • For beginners, it is really easy to miss count your stitches. Even I miss count all the time. So just be careful!
  • Each shell (set of 5 double crochets) you make should be positioned between two shells on the previous row.
  • Each single crochet after the shell (set of 5 double crochets) should be positioned on top of a shell on the previous row.

Need Help? No worries just leave a comment!

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  1. Mandy says:

    I see there isn’t a row to finish the blanket in terms of making it straighten out in the end.
    I got this from another pattern:

    sc in the three top stitches in the shell and hdc in the lower 3 stitches. This should even things out for ya!

    I also was taught a fun way to weave in your ends without having to use a needle a hundred times. (You actually crochet them into the stitch.) If there are no youtube videos on this subject, I’d be willing to make one!

  2. Mary says:

    When you are changing color do you cut the yarn and tie together?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Mary, yes you can cut the yarn and tie together if you wish. Here’s a post about what to do with all those loose ends: Finish Off and Weave in Ends in Crochet

    • Kami says:

      Mary, you can cut and tie your strands to change color, however, it is difficult to make the color go where you want it to. Instead, cut the finished color a couple inches from your last stitch, and give yourself a couple inches of yarn with the new color and make a loop with the new color through the old color, which should look just like it would if you hadn’t changed colors. I’m not sure that I explained this very well, but I hope it helps.

    • Mary says:

      I am not doing something right I guess. When you finish a row and begin the next is the edge supposed to look like a scallop or straight edged? I am having a hard time with rows three and four and how to end it and turn. Not looking right. I am not changing colors just using a varigated yarn.

      • Kathy Bair says:

        Mary, I just crochet about 4 inches into the next row and then put the finished row end into a large needle and run it through the last row.I pull it tight enough to pull the edge straight enough for the border to keep it straight. Does that make sense? I also do that with the row I’m working, because my OCD won’t let those ends dangle! LOL!

  3. Yvette says:

    I find it VERY difficult to cut & paste this into Microsoft Pub. because it has been made in tables & they are so hard & time consuming to get to a print stage. Is there a way you can put a “print” link on your pattern sites?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Yvette, all the pages on Crochet Spot are coded to be printer friendly so you can use the print function in your internet browser and it’ll print out neatly. You don’t need to copy and paste the text into a document. To print a page, you can go to your menu bar and click on “file”, then “print”. The steps may be a little different depending on what browser you use.

  4. Abby says:

    Hi Rachel! thanx for this great pattern and clear instructions on the shell pattern-i got it on my first shot! i’m going to use this to make a baby blanket for my friend who’s expecting her first. i’m using bernat baby coordinates-its a light weight yarn and recommends a size G/6mm hook. do you think the shell pattern will be noticeable or would a different size hook make the shell more defined?

    for the finishing i plan on doing a dc or tc around the edge then weaving a ribbon through the openings. would the scalloped edging be over-kill?

    i really love your site-esp the pics. Thanx so much!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Abby, the G hook should work just fine. When I crochet I notice that the smaller the hook the more defined the stitch pattern will be. Although sometimes it doesn’t make that much of a difference when you use a smaller hook. In your case, I wouldn’t use a hook smaller than a G though, because you don’t want your blanket to be too stiff.

      For the edging I think either one would look great! Maybe you can try a few rows or both to see which one you like better 🙂

  5. hotchocolate says:

    I just finished making a sample swatch of this and its absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for teaching me this lovely stitch! To get a straight border, I worked slip stitches in the middle 3 dc’s of every cluster and (sc,hdc,sc) in the edge dc,sc,edge dc of the clusters along the row. Unless u actually try it, I doubt you’ll understand what I just said… Sorry for my poor teaching skills

  6. Kathy Hollier says:

    I’ve tried three times to send a reply. Hopefully, this one will go through. I’ve crocheted for years but only worked on simple things as I don’t understand some of the directions still, for example:
    Why do you turn the work? I know some of the patterns need it to show ridges, but not all.

    When you turn the work, do you take the needle out and put it in what is now the back side of the work? or leave it like it was when you were working in the front side of the work?


    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Kathy,

      You turn after each row so that you can work the next row without having to cut the yarn. You turn after each row and work across the row you just made. If you didn’t turn the work, then you would have to cut the yarn and move it to the beginning of the row again. Working in the round (like a circle) is a different story, you can either turn or not turn depending on the look you want.

      When you turn, you leave the crochet hook where it is, no need to take it out. You simply turn the work with the hook in it.

  7. roxan says:

    For those of you who made this blanket, his many skeins of yarn did you use? Wanting to know, thanks ladies!

    • Katie says:

      I just finished making this with 30 sets (90 rows) with 23 shells in each row, so it was roughly the width of a double bed, and about as long. I used 2 Red Heart Super Saver skeins that had 364 yds(333m) of each colour, which left me with a big left over. I was using an 8 mm hook (US size L?). Hope that helps!

  8. Judy h says:

    I just started this blanket and I’m stuck after doing row 4 at end i still have 2 stitches left do I put in extra single crotchets. Please help!!!!! Thanks

  9. Jennifer G says:

    I would like to make a afghan for my nephew, he is 5 what do you recommened my chain count being for starting?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Jennifer!
      It really depends on how wide you want your blanket to be. I would recommend just crocheting a chain until it is the width of your desired blanket. See the notes on Row 1 for more details.

  10. Alma says:

    Hi, I have a problem. I continue to have a remainder of stitches on second row. Now I am using a count of 96 -does the * row 2- chain 2 mean I now have 98 and when I do the next step ( sc in second ch from hook) I should once again have 96? Thank you for your help.

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Alma, if you are doing chain 96. You still have to do the chain 2 that is at the beginning of the row. So it will be 96+2 = 98 chains. The “sc in second ch from hook” uses the 2 extra chains, so you’ll have 96 chains when you are working the repeat. The repeat uses 6 chains each time you work it. Let me know if you need more help with it!

  11. Peggy says:

    How do you hide the cut ends when you change colors?

  12. Laura says:

    Thanks so much for such a clear, easy to understand pattern. Just done a little sampler to see how it worked up and to choose my hook size and it looks great. Looking forward to starting a big rainbow blanket for the living room 🙂 really appreciate your help x

  13. Diane says:

    Having difficulty with Shell stitch blanket. I realize this is a counting pattern but, ripped out and started over since my blanket is not laying flat … Instead shells are rippled? Used a larger hook
    to begin so that pattern did not turn and then used size G hook. Obviously I’m doing something wrong but can’t see my error. Have crocheted over 50 years. I enjoy she’ll stitch but, project disappointing ….

  14. gloria says:

    I am a beginner at crochet. I finished my blanket and want to add a single crochet to the sides. I used two rows of pink and two rows of white alternating. How many single crochets should I put in each color along the side edge??

  15. Dawn Leatherberry says:

    I want to make this Afghan for my son and his wife in a queen size. I need help figuring out how many to chain please help.

  16. Jean says:

    Have you ever made a shell pattern with more than 5 double crochets in the shell? I have one that calls for 9 double crochets in each shell using an 8mm hook. I am having trouble with about everything in it , any suggestions?

    • Rachel Choi says:

      Hi Jean! Yes, shells can have more than 5 double crochets. 5 is about the average number that a lot of folks use. I would suggest asking the designer of the pattern for help if you can, as he/she will know how to help you. If it’s a pattern here on Crochet Spot, let me know the exact name of the pattern and I can take a closer look at it with you.

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