The Cuddly Cloud baby blanket is a free crochet pattern designed for preemie babies. If you’d like to donate the blanket, choose a soft DK weight yarn that meets the requirements of your local neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) or preferred charity. The blanket uses a combination of stitch patterns to create visual interest while still being soft and classic in style. I’m offering this pattern for free on the blog because I’d love to encourage and support you in making handmade baby blankets to give as gifts.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my full disclosure policy for details.
Adjust the width and length of the blanket to get the size of your choice. The pattern uses a size for a preemie or security size blanket. If you like, check with your preferred charity for the dimensions appropriate for a NICU incubator blanket.
About the Inspiration for the Crochet Preemie Baby Blanket Pattern
I was inspired to design this pattern for the first annual Preemie Crochet Challenge hosted by Sunflower Cottage Crochet. I love making items for charitable donations as well as baby items so this challenge was something I definitely wanted to join. The second annual challenge in August 2021 so consider joining in and donating
As I thought about the design, I wanted something comforting and beautiful that the new mom would love. I also thought some great texture would be lovely without having holes that might catch tiny fingers. A solid shell stitch seemed perfect to add that beauty without holes. To add more texture and interest I also though some sedge stitch panels would be perfect.
Although the 2020 Preemie Crochet Challenge has ended. You can still find all of the patterns that were part of it over at Sunflower Cottage Crochet. Over on the post, you’ll find patterns for other kinds of preemie projects as well such as newborn hats, bonding squares, a preemie cardigan, octopus, and booties.
About the Yarn
When I was picking the yarn for this project, I did some research on good yarns for preemie baby blankets. One website that has lots of information is Knots of Love which has a mission to provide donated hats to those going through chemo treatments as well as tiny blankets for preemie babies. Knots of Love has a set of maker guidelines including an extensive yarn list. Bernat Softee Baby is on the list as a highly recommended yarn for NICU blankets. The yarn has a lovely sheen and comes in a wide range of solid colors. It’s also easy to find, comes in generous skeins, and is very soft.
The Cuddly Cloud blanket is a free crochet pattern for a preemie baby blanket in U.S. crochet terminology. It is included for free on the blog below.
Click the Photo Below to Pin this Pattern to Your Favorite Crochet Board
Crochet Preemie Blanket
What You’ll Need
Yarn: DK Weight (#3 Light) approximately 350 yards.
Shown: Bernat Softee Baby (100% Acrylic), 362 yds [331m]/5oz[140g] #166030-02000 White, 1 skein.
Hook Size: Size G/6 (4.0 mm) or size needed to obtain gauge.
Sizing and Gauge
Finished Measurements: Approximately 14” x 18”.
Gauge: 16 sts x 8 rows in dc = 4” x 4” (10cm x 10cm).
Standard Stitch Abbreviations (U.S. Crochet Terminology):
dc: double crochet
herr-hdc: herringbone half double crochet (see special stitch instructions below)
pm: place marker
sc: single crochet
sl st: slip stitch
Special Stitch Instructions:
herr-hdc: yarn over, insert hook in next st, yarn over and pull up a loop through st and first loop on hook (2 loops remain on hook), yarn over and pull through both loops on hook
- Crochet base chain loosely so that the edge does not curl.
- Optional – place stitch markers on the edge stitches and move them up to keep edges even.
- Pattern is written using U.S. crochet terminology.
- Beginning chains of rows do not count as stitches – video tutorial at https://craftingeachday.com/beginning-chains/. This includes the two chs that are skipped at the beginning of row 1 – these two chs do not count at sts.
Crochet Preemie Blanket Pattern
Multiple: If you’d like to adjust the width, use a multiple of 6 stitches for base chain.
Base Chain: Ch 66 (or adjust base chain to desired width using multiple).
Row 1: 3 dc in third ch from hook (if desired, pm in first dc to mark edge), sk 2 ch, sc in next ch, *sk 2 ch, 4 dc in next ch, sk 2 ch, sc in next ch*; rep from * to * until end of row, turn.
Row 2: Ch 2 (beginning chs do not count as sts in this row and all subsequent rows), 3 dc in first sc (if desired, pm in first dc to mark edge), sk 2 dc, *sc in sp between 2nd and 3rd dc of next group, sk 2 dc, 4 dc in next sc, skip 2 dc*; rep from * to * until last st, sc in last st, turn.
Note: If using markers on edges, move the markers up as you go along to mark the first st in each row.
Rows 3 – 8: Repeat row 2.
Row 9: Ch 2, work 2 herr-hdc in first st, then herr-hdc in each st across, turn.
Note: At the end of each row of herr-hdc, you should have 55 herr-hdc. Counting these sts from time to time can be a good way to check that you have the right st count.
Row 10: Ch 2, herr-hdc in each st across, turn.
Row 11: Ch 1, [sc, hdc, dc] in first st, sk 2 st, *[sc, hdc, dc] in next st, sk 2 st*; rep from * to * until last st, sc in last st, turn.
Rows 12: Ch 1, [sc, hdc, dc] in first sc, *sk 2 st, [sc, hdc, dc] in next sc*; rep from * to * until last 3 st, end with sc in last sc, turn.
Rows 13 – 20: Rep row 12.
Row 21: Ch 2, herr-hdc in each st across, turn.
Row 22: Rep row 21.
Row 23: Ch 2, 3 dc in first st, sk 2 st, sc in next st, sk 2 st, 4 dc in next st, sk 2 st, *sc in next st, sk 1 st, 4 dc in next st, sk 2 st*; rep from * to * until last st, sc in last st, turn.
Row 24 – 30: Rep row 2.
Rows 31 – 32: Rep rows 9 and 10.
Rows 33 – 42: Rep rows 11 – 20.
Rows 43 – 44: Rep row 21.
Rows 45 – 52: Rep rows 23 – 30.
Rnd 1: Ch 1 (does not count as a stitch), work 3 sc into last sc of Row 52 of BLANKET, pm in the middle sc of the three to mark the corner, continue working sc stitches around the BLANKET in the following manner: work 52 sc evenly spaced along both top and bottom edges, 64 sc evenly spaced along both sides, and 3 sc in each corner placing a marker in the middle sc of each corner to mark the corner, at end of round join with sl st to first sc of Rnd 1, turn.
Note: If the blanket border is not laying flat, adjust the number of sc along each edge and side by increasing or decreasing the number of sc as needed so that the border lays flat.
Rnd 2: Ch 2 (does not count as a stitch), herr-hdc in same stitch, continue working herr-hdc sts around BLANKET in the following manner: work 3 herr-hdc in each marked corner stitch from Rnd 1 and work 1 herr-hdc in each sc from Rnd 1. At end of Rnd 2, either join with a sl st to first herr-hdc and fasten off or if you would like an invisible looking join, use the invisible join method to finish Rnd 2 instead. Tutorial for invisible join at https://craftingeachday.com/crochet-invisible-join-tutorial-crochet-in-the-round/.
Finishing: Fasten off. Weave in any remaining yarn ends. Block if desired.