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Aunt Norni's Simple Crochet Shell Mini Blanket ~ Designed for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes

Simple Crochet Shell mini-afghan pattern designed for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.

My mother-in-law, dubbed "Aunt Norni" by her eldest nephew when he couldn't pronounce her name, was an avid crocheter.  She made hundreds of baby afghans for women in crisis pregnancies.  One year she purchased dozens of little baby dolls and crocheted little blankets for them for Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.  She patiently taught my daughter Elizabeth, then six, how to crochet.

She loved trying new patterns. She would make almost each afghan from a different pattern.  The last several years of her life her mind wouldn't always keep
up with this desire and some days she found she just couldn't understand the instructions.  On those days she fell back on an old favorite--what she called her "afghan for dummies."  It was simple to make and included a "border" in the basic design so one didn't have to be added later.  She had the pattern memorized and could easily make these on her off days.
"Baby Little One" testing out Aunt Norni's blankets--a perfect fit.

I have tried to redesign this afghan from my memory into a mini blanket for shoebox gifts.   I love to include a little, mini blanket in the 2 to 4 years old shoeboxes.  I can picture a child cuddling a blanket for comfort--they usually just hang onto the edge of it, holding it near their face, often with their thumb in their mouth. These mini blankets are plenty big enough to accomplish that and provide comfort.

Aunt Norni's Simple Shell Mini Blanket 12" x 15"

Chain (ch) 49  TIP:  Use a hook one size larger for the chain--helps keep it from pulling too tight and is easier to work in.

Shells make an automatic border as the blanket is crocheted.

ROW 1:

3 Double Crochet (DC) in 5th ch from hook    TIP:  DC in back loop of chain.

Skip 2 ch, work 3 DC (shell) in next stitch (st).  Repeat across chain to last two chains. (15 shells)

Skip 1 ch, work 1 DC in last ch.

ROWS 2 thru 5:

Ch 3, turn (counts as a dc).

Skip 1 stitch in row below, work a shell in top of each shell (in center dc st) across row.

DC in in top of ch 3 in row below.

ROWS 6 thru 16:

Work across:  Ch 3 turn, Shells in top of first 3 shells, DC in top of each stitch in each shell across (27 dc) to last 3 shells, work shells in top of last 3 shells, DC in last stitch.

ROWS 17 thru 22:

Same as rows 2 thru 5.

Finish off.

I would love to know if you use this design.
Aunt Norni loved variegated yarn--but I love how this plain pink shows the design.
This blanket can easily be enlarged by adding chains in sets of three (one shell).  To make the border larger, if increasing, add five rows of shells at top and bottom for each three shells added to the side.  It can easily be made into a baby afghan/lap robe size or larger.

You can find more mini blankets at this page:  Simply Shoe Boxes Mini Blanket Tutorial of the Month Club.

Find all of our free crochet patterns thru this link:  Crochet Patterns for Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Gifts.

Design and instructions copyright Simply Shoe Boxes.  Please enjoy using this design for your personal use and for gift giving.


Zebra Mommy said...

I love this pattern. I have been in the process of making small blankets for operation Christmas child. My kids call them safety blankets and say a little prayer every week to have God recharge their blankets to keep away bad dreams.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Oh how precious! Thanks for sharing your family's sweet tradition.

Anonymous said...

I will definitely try this afghan. Also, love the story behind this beautiful pattern.
Thank you for sharing it!

Disclosure: Links on Simply Shoeboxes may be affiliate partners or referrals.