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. Harold says:

    THANK YOU Rachel!!!!!!!!!!!! AFter the project that I am working on now, this is going to be my next one!! Thank you again!! I enjoy your patterns and they are very easy!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep it up!!!!

  2. Rachel says:

    You’re welcome Harold!!! I hope your blanket turns out great!

  3. Christine says:

    how many ounces of yarn are needed to make a blanket the size of the one pictured above

  4. Rachel says:

    Hi Christine!

    14oz of each color would be a good start. But as a rule of thumb always get more yarn then you need 🙂

  5. Juli says:

    I’m making this for my son. It’s a great pattern and is going very quickly.

  6. […] hook case is made with a series of shell stitches. It uses the same shell stitch pattern as the shell stitch blanket pattern. To make this case, we start by creating a simple rectangle shape that is as wide and tall as you […]

  7. Arlene says:

    I’m going to try this blanket next. But what size crochet hook do I use? Beautiful work you do. Thanks,

  8. Rachel says:

    Hi Arlene!
    I would suggest a size I hook (5.5 mm). But it also depends on how tight or loose you want your blanket to be.
    I hope that helps 🙂

  9. Lois says:

    multiples of six…does this mean I can start with a chain of 162 and this would be ok to start my chain?? I know I am new to this craft hehe

  10. Judy says:

    I want to try this out but am a very beginner at this, how many chains did you use and what color yarn is the blanket

  11. Rachel says:

    hey Judy!
    the beginning chain is as long as you want it to be as long as it is a multiple of 6. So it’s any number multiplied by 6. For example, 30* 6 = 180 so 180 can be the length of the chain if you want it than long. It’s all up to you 🙂
    I don’t know the exact name of the colors used but the ones in the pic are white, blueish green, burgundy and a peachy color.

  12. Toni says:

    Hi Rachel,
    Love your afghan! I want to use your pattern for my future “great’ grandbaby but not sure of the size and amount of yarn needed. How big is your afghan pictured? I’d probably want a nice size blanket, guessing maybe 40″ wide x 60” long or do you think that’s too big? If I make it the size stated, how much yarn would I need? Thanks so much for your help!!

  13. Rachel says:

    Hi Toni,

    The blanket in the picture is pretty small, if I remember correctly it was approximately a 20″ square (good for a small preemie).

    You can make the blanket as big or small as you want!!! The size you are thinking about is a very good size for a child. The amount of yarn you use will be based on how you crochet. I would suggest creating a small gauge using the pattern to determine how much yarn you need.

  14. Rosa says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for posting this great pattern! I’d like to make this blanket for a double bed. Any idea how much yarn I would need? (I’ve never made an afghan of that size before).


  15. Kathy says:

    Saw your blanket…oh my…its GORGEOUS!! I am definitely going to try to make this! Wish me luck!! I’m a newbie, so I can only hope it’ll look as good as yours. 🙂 Thanks for posting your blanket/work/and instructions! Its always great to share! 🙂

  16. Kathy says:

    Oh, I have a question if you have time to answer. I was originally trying to make a dishcloth, and it has both cluster and shell. Are they both the same?? Thx in advance! 🙂

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Kathy, a cluster is sort of like an upside down shell. A shell is where you crochet multiple stitches in one stitch. A cluster is multiple stitches crocheted across a series of stitches but are all joined together at the top, hence an upside down shell.

  17. Kathy says:

    Thank you very much Rachel for replying! I appreciate that! I was so surprised, you are the first to actually reply! lol Thanks again! 🙂

  18. […] a blanket pattern? No worries, here is one of mine that you can use: Crochet Pattern: Shell Stitch Blanket. This is a beginner level pattern so anyone can make a blanket to […]

  19. jami says:

    On the first row , what should your last sitch be? Should it be a shell or a single crochett?

  20. jami says:

    Ok so does it matter what sitch you end each row with? What would be a good number of chains for a baby blanket.

    • Rachel says:

      Each row ends with a different stitch. Take a look at the pattern, you will see that the last stitch is stated at the end of each row’s instructions.

      For a baby blanket, I can’t tell you how many stitches to makes, because this pattern does not use a guage and it varies for each person since different people crocheted tight/looser than others. Use the instructions in the pattern to make it the size you want it to be. A good baby blanket size is around 35 1/2” (90 cm) wide, 42” (106.5 cm) long (the same size used in the Crochet Pattern: Lovable Heart Blanket)

  21. Brenda says:

    On row 2 of this pattern you tell us to chain 2 and turn. but how are you going to turn on a chain stitch?

  22. jami says:

    When doing the border how many stitch do you do in each corner?

  23. Bonny says:

    Can you use just one color instead of multiple colors?

  24. Heidi says:

    Thank you for posting this pattern. I made a shell stitch blanket years ago and couldn’t remember how to do it. Your instructions are very clear and helpful.

  25. Linda says:

    Thank you for the pattern, Rachel! Not an expert at crocheting but wanted something quick and easy to make my mom in a nursing home. Am making it to cover her legs when she is in her wheelchair. Thanks again for the awesome instructions!

  26. Melisa says:

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  27. Lisa says:

    Love it! Just a quick question. On row 2 what do you end with, SC or DC that is part of the shell? before chaining 2 for row 3.


  28. Lisa says:

    I am a beginner and seem to be having a problem. I made 162 Chains and by adding the extra 2 CH to start row 2 off with. This leaves me with 2 extra chains when I complete the last SC at the end of row 2.

    • Rachel says:

      Lisa, each shell uses 6 chains since the repeat is: (skip 2, 5 dc in next ch, skip 2, sc in next ch)
      skip 2 = 2 chains
      5 dc in next ch = 1 chain
      skip 2 = 2 chains
      sc in next ch = 1 chain

      2+1+2+1 = 6 chains total for each shell repeated.

      So the 162 chains is great! 162/6 = 27 shells on the row.

      The additional ch 2 at the beginning is needed since the row begins and ends with a single crochet. 162+2=164 total chains. The ch 2 is used at the beginning of the row where it says “sc in second ch from hook”. By crocheting in the second ch from hook, you are skipping one stitch then single crocheting in the next, using up the 2 extra chains you crocheted. After your first single crochet you are left with 162 chains to work your 27 shells.

      If you have extra stitches leftover, you either miss counted while you were crocheting the chain or miss counted while crocheting the shells. Be very careful, because it can be very tricky when working with such a long chain. You can try placing stitch markers along your chain every 6, 12, or 24 chains so you can see where the shells are suppose to end. Learn more about markers here: All About Stitch Markers in Crochet

  29. BJ says:

    What is the best way to change colors? I am making this as a baby gift.

  30. Barbara says:

    After I finish my last pattern row I was thinking about doing the next row with a series of sc (on the peaks) and dc (on the valleys) to make the stitches height even. I would then start my border with the dc. what do you think of this idea? Otherwise how do you get all the sides to be the same?

  31. Barbara says:

    do you still do the dc border on the waves and then add the shell border?

  32. Jasmin says:

    That’s what I did, but skipped some stitches like the “peaks” and made the dc’s in the “valleys”.

  33. Barbara says:

    I think i need to block the afghan, How do you recommend I do this?
    Loved the pattern!!

  34. Melissa says:

    Hi, I know this is an old post, but I just saw it and I’m making this for my friends daughter. I’m starting on the 3rd row now and it does not lay flat, the shells either puff out to the back or front. Is this normal or maybe I did something wrong?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Melissa, the blanket should lay flat. It sounds like your stitches may be bunched up a bit. Try to make sure that you are skipping the required amount of stitches before and after each shell.

  35. Christina says:

    I recently started crocheting the shell stitch, and i want a new blanket or lapghan. I think I’ll try this pattern. It looks beautiful,Rachel. Can’t wait to make one. The shell stitch is elegant and easy ; I love it! Thank you very much also I love your website! As I comment on some many of your blog posts.

    Thanks again, ChristinaM

  36. Christina says:

    Also, Did you use Red Heart for this blanket?

  37. Christina says:

    Can this be manly at all? If i add some Red Heart Camo yarn? Please, get back to me soon.

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Christina, shell stitches aren’t really manly in my opinion. But you can try it by just making a small swatch if you’d like to see how it’d look.

  38. Ann says:

    What size hook would you advise for this?

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Ann, an I (5.5mm) would be good, but you can use any hook that gives you the tension you like. Since this blanket is adjustable, you can crochet as tight or loose as you desire.

  39. Rosa says:

    I’d like to know which hook size did you use for this blanket? The reason I ask is because you
    didn’t put it in with you instructions. Thank You

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Rosa, since this pattern is adjustable you can use any hook size that you like! Feel free to you the hook that is suggested on your yarn package or any hook that gives you the tension you like.

  40. CarolynF. says:

    Thank you Rachel! Bravo, you’re my new hero. I have been looking for this pattern for years to make just a simple 5 DC shell afghan and you wouldn’t believe how hard it’s been to find. Everybody has something more complicated with rows of DC thrown in, or lacy. I have an old (20+ years) shell afghan like this that I love and wanted to recreate. You’ve now enabled me to give that dream a try! Thanks again!

  41. Kasie says:

    When you finish one thing of yarn how do you tie the next one in?

  42. Pam says:

    I am looking for a v-stitch double crochet pattern that after like 10 rows has 5 rows of treble stitch shell. I hope that makes sense. I made one a long time ago and lost the pattern and I can’t seem to find something similar in my searches. Have you by chance seen or have one. AND I love this shell stitch pattern. Planning on making one for my mother in law for Christmas next year!

  43. shantea says:

    Hi I was wondering on this pattern.. Is every row supose to end with two single chrochet? Thanks

  44. […] blanket and it is about 31 inches wide. For another blanket pattern using a similar stitch, click here. Oh, and by the way, feel free to try this stitch on a scarf if you want! […]

  45. Vicki says:

    If I wanted to make an afghan/throw how many stiches would you sugggest. Thanks!

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Vicki, it would be different for each person since everyone has a different tension they crochet with. Since a gauge is not required for this pattern, you can just start by making a chain as wide as you want your blanket.

  46. kit says:

    Why is row 2 chain 2, why not just add it to the amount of stitches at beginning? That confused me at begnning? And you are not turning when you chain the 2? thanks

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Kit, you can add it to the beginning chain. Just remember that the beginning chain must be a multiple of 6. Then you would add 2 more at the beginning of row 2. It doesn’t say turn since you are making a sc in the second ch from your hook. You can think of it as turning if you’d like.

  47. kit says:

    Thanks so much for a speedy reply and a very nice pattern. I just added two more to the beginning chain after I did my mutiple of six. Thank you again .

  48. Barbara Quintrell says:

    I am going to make this 60 x 85 as a cover for a twin bed – could you give me a “guess-timate” on how much yarn I’ll need – I’ll use the Red Heart 7 oz skeins. Thank you!

    Barbara Quintrell

    • Rachel says:

      Hi Barbara, I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’ll need 10 of the skeins you mentioned. I can be really off so if you’d like a better estimate I would recommend doing a certain number of rows and see how much you use, then multiply that to get the entire length of your blanket.

  49. Lynn says:

    I found this stitch in a ‘how to’ book years ago. I think it was a pattern for a purse, but I thought it was too pretty for that and used it to make a baby afghan. Well, I’ve been making them for family babies for more than 25 years now and they get ohhhhhs and ahhhhs like you wouldn’t believe!
    I’ve used any number of baby-weight yarns over the years, with a size G/6 hook, and they all work up beautifully. I like to make them somewhat of a crib size (roughly 30″ x 40″) so they can be used beyond the ‘babe in arms’ size.

  50. kit says:

    Finishing up on the blanket…cane out very nice……I did three rows of lite beige and then one row of dark brown. great combination. Problem, I have sooo many ends to weave in….should i go along the side or just weave in anywhere? I dont think i left enough to go way one and then the other. How about go thru one in the back and then pull thru a knot and repeat this till my end is finished. thank you very much for your reply.

    • Rachel says:

      You can weave them in anywhere you can hide them. It doesn’t have to be straight along the edge or anything like that. There’s no true right or wrong way to do it, so as long as your ends are hidden it’s good. Enjoy your blanket!

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