How to Design Crochet Ripple Blankets

Crochet ripple blankets are a crochet classic. This tutorial will teach you the basics of how to design crochet ripple blankets. You may be surprised at how easy they can be!

One of my favorite blankets as a kid was a crocheted ripple blanket, and I still have and love it to this day (it’s not baby-blanket sized, but full sized). Once you’ve learned the principles taught in this tutorial, you can branch out into designing your own crocheted ripple blankets. Or perhaps you’d like to try your hand at the free rainbow ripple crochet blanket, if you’re not quite ready to try your own yet!

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Design Ripple Blanket pin image


You can use any yarn you’d like to practice making your ripples. The rainbow ripple blanket was made with Brava Worsted, and in my YouTube tutorials I often use Caron Simply Soft.

YouTube Video Tutorial

How to Design a Crochet Ripple Blanket

The main thing to keep in mind when designing a ripple blanket is that you need to have the same number of decreases as increases. If you think of the ripple as a series of hills and valleys, each of the hills will have increases, and each of the valleys will have decreases. As long as the number of increases and decreases is the same, you’ll end up with a wave pattern!

There are a few things that can seem tricky or confusing when designing ripple blankets. One of those is how to do the edges, and the other is calculating how long your starting chain should be. We’ll address both of those issues here!

Ripple Blanket Edges

When you’re making a ripple blanket, you’ll start and stop each row on a hill or start and stop each row on a valley. I typically choose to start and stop each row on a hill.

Now, remember that I said you have to have the same number of increases as decreases? I want to add something to that – you should use an even number of increases and decreases per hill and valley. Each hill will have two, or four, or more increases, and each valley will have two or four (or more) decreases. The edges of your blanket will have half that number.

Since I usually start and end a row on a hill, that means I will start and end with increases – half as many as I would have for a normal hill. So if my normal hill has two increases, then each edge of my blanket will have one increase. If my normal hill has four increases, then each edge of my blanket will have two increases!

Calculating a Pattern Repeat and Starting Chain

In order to figure out how long your starting chain needs to be, first we need to figure out how many stitches we need for each pattern repeat. For a ripple blanket, a pattern repeat includes the hill, the valley, and the straight sides between the top and bottom. Lets work through an example.

In this example, I’m doing two decreases (a dc3tog would take away two stitches) at the bottom of each valley and two increases (three dc in the same stitch adds two extra stitches) at the top of each hill. To calculate how many stitches are in my pattern repeat, I add together one stitch for the increase (because all three of those stitches are worked in the same stitch), 5 stitches for the slope coming down my hill, three stitches for my decrease (since I use three stitches to dc3tog), and then 5 more stitches for my uphill slope. So 1+5+3+5 equals 14.

If I’m making a blanket, I’ll make a chain in multiples of that pattern repeat stitch count, depending on how wide I want my blanket to be. So maybe I’ll multiple 14 times 10 for 140 stitches, or maybe smaller, or maybe bigger. You can always work a small sample to see how wide your repeat is and then figure out how many repeats you want to do.

There is one last thing to figure out your stitch count! That is to add on extra stitches for your turning chain. So if I were working in double crochet, I would add three extra chain stitches to my total to count for the turning chain. That’s it! Now you know how to calculate the number of starting stitches you need. Now let’s talk about making variations of ripple blankets, the fun stuff!

Crochet Ripple Blanket Variations

There are plenty of ways to vary a ripple blanket. If we take the above example for a starting point, we can try increasing the number of increases and decreases per hill. This will make a sharper point on the ripple.

Notice how it increases the stitch count by two stitches per pattern repeat, to account for the two extra stitches used in the decreases.

We can also increase the number of stitches between each peak and valley. If we double the number of stitches, it will make a larger, wider ripple.

Another easy variation is to spread out the number of increases and decreases. So I may still do two increases and two decreases per pattern repeat, but I could spread them over two stitches instead of working both increases in the same stitch. This would make the blanket wavier rather than pointy.

You could even take out all the straight stitches between the peaks and valleys and work only increases and decreases! (so long as you make sure you have the same number of increases and decreases per pattern repeat).

Other ways to change things up… you could change which stitch you’re using. You could do straight crochet without increasing and decreasing every other row. Experiment with your options, try new things, and discover what you like!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and found it helpful. I’d love to see the blankets you design!