Home » Afghans, Crocheted, My Patterns » No Beginning Chain Asymmetric Shell

No Beginning Chain Asymmetric Shell

23 December 2012
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The first row of an afghan with homespun or bouclé or other knobby style yarn can be frustrating. This afghan does not require finding chain stitches, even for the first row. The lacy shells keep the afghan light even with a heavier yarn.

This pattern was designed to be easy for homespun or bouclé style yarns, but it can be made with just about any yarn. Make it in a solid color or with as many color changes as you like.

The example is made in Lion Brand Homespun.

This blanket can be made any size. Five widths are given in the directions.

SizeWidth (Inches)Length (Inches)Ounces of yarnYards of yarn
Extra Small34.7246.2924.6758.55
Extra Large52.6470.1956.551743.64

Yarn – Sizing given for Bulky yarn but other weights can be used
Size K (6.5mm) crochet hook

ch = chain
ch sp = chain space
dc = double crochet
tr = triple crochet

Instead of a beginning chain, the blanket is begun with a first row of chain and tr spaces.

There is also a tutorial video available.

For these widths, start with this number of chain and tr spaces:
34.75″ = 31
39.25″ = 35
43.75″ = 39
48.25″ = 43
52.75″ = 47

Row 1: Ch 3, tr in first ch, (ch 3, tr in last ch sp) until you have made desired number of tr/ch spaces, making an odd number of them.

Do not turn.

Row 2: Ch 3. Without turning the work, make a dc over tr just made. Working across the tr stitches, (4 dc, ch 2, 1 dc) over next tr, ** skip 1 tr, (4 dc, ch 2, 1 dc) over next tr . Repeat from ** across to the last tr stitch. Work (1 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) over last tr.

Row 3: Ch 3 and turn. Dc in ch-1 sp. In each ch-2 sp across the row, make 4 dc, ch 2, 1 dc. (Dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-3 space at end of row.

Repeat row 3 until afghan is desired length. Complete with this last row:

Last Row: Ch 3 and turn. Dc in ch-1 sp, ch 2, sc in ch-2 of shell, ** ch 3, dc in sp between shells, ch 3, sc in ch-2 of next shell. Repeat from ** across all the shells. Ch 2, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-3 space at end of row. Finish off and weave in end.

The blanket can be made in a solid color or can be made with any number of color changes. The best way to make a color change is to finish all but the very last pull through of the two loops of the last stitch of a row. Cut yarn with a few inches of tail and join with new color next to stitch. Pull new color through last two loops. Weave in ends.

Edits: Added a finishing row on 10/27/2013.

Restrictions on the use of this pattern are available at http://stitcheryprojects.com/using-my-patterns/.

Afghans, Crocheted, My Patterns

87 Comments to “No Beginning Chain Asymmetric Shell”

  1. This. Is. SO awesome. I’m so happy I found a pattern without a beginning chain. I haven’t made a large blanket in a while, and I was getting frustrated with the other patterns I’ve tried today. It really is tough to find all the chains when using yarns like Homespun! Thanks for posting this. 🙂
    p.s. I found it through Ravelry.

  2. Have never seen this before but plan to give it a try. Always looking for new patterns. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Is there a visual instruction for this pattern? My motto…show me, and I can follow . Thanks much.

  4. This sounds great. I am wondering, starting with row 2, when you say, work “over” the next TR, I am not sure what that means. Are you going into the space created by the chain 3 and treble in row 1? Maybe it is where the treble is joined to the chain?

    • You are working into the space, but I’m making the distinction that the stitches will be around the treble stitch rather than the chains. As you work the second row across, hold the beginning tr/ch loops so that the trebles are on top.

  5. I have been doing a pattern similar to this for years. However, instead of doing 4dc,ch 2, 1 dc, I just do 2 dc, ch 2, 1 sc. Either way, both of them make a beautiful shell pattern.

    • I do different shell patterns too. The one you do with 2dc ch 2 1 sc is the backwards half shell pattern that I do. Mine is 1sc ch2 and 3 dc. Isn’t that funny that there are so many different ways to make a shell? I will try both of these.

  6. I would need a video to illustrate this technique. I do not understand it.

  7. I love this! Just started to crochet (I’m 63 yrs old) and found this pattern simple & very easy to do. Loved not having to make a chain of 84 stitches. I must admit I crocheted 4 rows before I really figured out how it should look so ripped it all out & started again – the right way! I call this my I-5 blanket because I was able to crochet while hubby was driving up I-5 from southern California to Canada. I used super bulky Bernat Baby Blanket in Pitter Patter colours (white, pink, blue, yellow varigated)

  8. I am going to use this pattern to make infinity scarves.

    • This pattern will make lovely Infinity scarves. Thank you.

      • Hi Jean, I would love very much to make the infinity scarf, would you send me the pattern or instructions of how to make it?
        Thanks so much! I’ve made a few scarves and cowls but always looking for new patterns!

  9. I just completed my fourth no beginning chain egg blanket and I really love working without making a chain to start. I have even helped some other people get started making them. My sister has already finished two. We love it. Thanks for sharing..

  10. Thank you… totally cool. I’m a newbie. Having fun with this stitch. I see above, a mention of “egg blanket”. I’ll have to check that out, too.

  11. I’m also a beginner and this is awesome, thank you so much for the pattern.. it’s the easiest pattern so far for me…

  12. I am using red heart baby clouds to make an afghan for my niece’s new baby and I really appreciate the no beginning chain with this type of yarn. Thanks for sharing this great pattern.

  13. I’m a novice, and was getting so tired of making the ripple. thanks so much for your excellant directions and video. That really made a difference in understanding the pattern.

  14. This has been the easiest pattern to follow. Thanks for putting it online.

  15. I’ve made several scarfs with this pattern and I love the no beginning chain because my old eyes have a terrible time counting the chains. I wish I could figure out how to finish off without having the end look cockeyed. Thanks for sharing.

    • While making a scarf with this pattern, I worked with the ending and added a final row to finish it off better. I added it to the pattern.

  16. I used to make this a lot, but it was called Crazy Shell when I first started; however, over the years and several moves I lost the pattern, so glad to find it again. Thanks for the update.

  17. I was looking for an easy pattern for a blanket and this sounds just right. And I love that you have a video.

  18. I don’t like making afghans, as I have arthritis and can’t crochet for very long at a time. Afghans just take so long that I get frustrated so I make small items that I can finish quickly. I used this pattern to make a scarf. It is so pretty. I made 7 beginning tr-ch, or whatever you would call them, so the scarf is about 6 inches wide. Thank you so much for sharing this pattern.

  19. Thank you so much for creating this great way to start an afghan! I have poor vision and thought I’d never be able to work with textured yarn and now this. Fantastic! Also just watched your tutorial and it’s excellent. Clears up any confusion I had and I’m ready to go start that blanket 🙂

  20. I used this to make a scarf and it is so pretty. But how to finish the end of it? Your directions just say to fasten off. I would like for the end to sort of match the beginning. Thanks.

    • I just added a finishing row yesterday and you may not have seen it yet.

      Complete with this last row:

      Last Row: Ch 3 and turn. Dc in ch-1 sp, ch 2, sc in ch-2 of shell, ** ch 3, dc in sp between shells, ch 3, sc in ch-2 of next shell. Repeat from ** across all the shells. Ch 2, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch-3 space at end of row. Finish off and weave in end.

  21. Thanks for the great pattern.

  22. Beautiful pattern. My search for a simple and sexy pattern is complete. Thank you a million times. 🙂

  23. It is a beautiful pattern.thanks

  24. Love your patterns… My favorite website! Everyone is prettier then the next. Recommend it to all my crocheting friends! 🙂

  25. Hi, there Pattern lady, love this pattern, and wish to thank you for the easy way to print the work, believe me I have been through the mill with some of the free patterns, and it has been a trying time to get it printed, so thanks a lot love your sight, so easy. Naoma

  26. Would u please show on a video how to change to a different color yarn with this pattern please I’m confused with what it says how to do it thank you I love this pattern

  27. there is a square “mile-a-minute” very similar to this. Have no idea the name are you familiar with it?do you have a copy of the pattern/ it always comes out a square, simplest to make

  28. Many years ago I crocheted a baby afghan that started with a shell in the corner. Then up the side with another shell attached to the previous. The next column comes down the side. You can make as many columns as desired. If I remember correctly, it was all done on the front without turning. Do you have any idea what the directions might be as I have lost them? Thanks.

    • Was it a “mile-a-minute” style blanket? I think those are all done on the front. They have strips that are then sewn together.

  29. I’ve never done a mile-a-minute but this was all done on the front. The next strip is attached while being made. I think it came from a baby blanket book at least 30 years ago.

  30. I love your patterns. They are well written and easy to follow. I used this one to make a lapghan/shawl for someone in a nursing home.I adjusted the measurements to get finished size of 30×60. That way it can be worn over the shoulders or on the lap in a wheelchair. thank you

  31. I love the pattern,I bet it would make a nice jacket.After I’ve finished the blanket,will have a go in making the jacket,will keep you posted.

  32. Do you have a tutorial on your last row? I love this pattern by the way! 🙂

    • I don’t because that was actually an idea I had later when I did the scarf version of the pattern. Did you have questions about it?

  33. estos proyectos son maravillosos Mama me puede ayudar mandado las instrucciones de la a mi gmail las instrucciones de lace border blanket (to crochet) muchas gracias Dios la bendiga

  34. does anyone have a crochet pattern named autumn petals i have looked every where

  35. Thank you!! I bought a huge skein of pretty boucle yarn to make scarves for Christmas gifts. I about threw it into the yard out of frustration because I couldn’t find the chains. This is an awesome pattern.

  36. Thank you for sharing your blanket pattern.

  37. Hi I just finish a blanket for my sister- in- law. She is a breast cancer survivor. Now I am going to use this pattern. Excited!

  38. This worked up wonderfully. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Thanks for an awesome instructional video! Even though I can read a pattern, it’s so much easier to see the demo to make sure I’m doing it correctly (the first time). I will definitely be forwarding your blog on to friends!

  40. I just wanted to say how much I LOVE this pattern. As you say, it can be done with any size yarn and hooks. I have made 5 large afghans with it in the past few months and I use this pattern to make baby blankets for missions. I use knitting worsted yarn and have made about 20 so far. The organization I make them for are delighted with them. I have even made some using all different shades of small amounts of yarn and they still look lovely. Thanks so much for sharing this pattern!!

  41. I’ve been looking (and looking) for a light airy pattern for a spring lapghan for my mom. I have a Bernat cotton ombré that I hope will work. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing the tutorial along with this pattern!

  42. Mary Jane Decker

    Can you tell me how to get video for this pattern. Thank you

    • I haven’t made a video for this one, but I will add it to my list. I haven’t had enough time to make videos for several months, but hope to get several done this summer when school is out.

  43. I have been looking for a long time for a easy pattern to make a blanket. Thank you so much. This will be not only easy but quick to finish. If will make a perfect gift for my sister.

  44. Ollyvia Postacchini

    Thank you so much for the pattern. My sister in law is expecting and I would love to make a baby blanket for her. But she lives in a tropical country. If I substitute the yarn from bulky to cotton/wool baby weight, can I still follow your chart? Say 758,55 yards for XS? If I need to add, how should I work it out? TIA.

    • It’s hard to convert yardage from one weight to another other than to try to make an educated guess. The lighter weight will make a smaller blanket, so you will need to make more repeats across to get the width you really want. The yardage will be closer to what it would take for that number of beginning chains. So to get an XS blanket, you may need to use the beginning chains of a M, and the yardage would be closer to that as well.

      • Ollyvia Postacchini

        Thank you so much for your reply.
        Will try to work it out. Since yarns are hard to come by where I live, I need to order online. I hope I’m ordering enough yarns as shipping fee is not cheap as well 🙂

  45. I love your no-chain blankets. I just finished an asymmetric shell as a donation for Project Linus. I’ll try to take a pic and post to Ravelry. I’m very pleased at how this came out and I’m going to start today on another of your no-chain patterns–can’t decide yet which one. Thanks.

  46. I found this no chain pattern and I have enjoyed it very much. I made one blanket and now I am making the one above. Thank you for allowing us to share in your pattern. I have also watched your YouTube video to learn the beginning stitch and I have been presently pleased with the results. Thank you and these blankets go fast so they don’t take long to make.

    Thank you

  47. Do you have a border pattern for this?

  48. Katherine Bradley

    Thanks for the no Chain blanket. Going to start learning to make this. Like the idea for no chain.

  49. This is mmy first time & won’t be the last.

  50. I am learning new things of crocheting & different pattern.

  51. I’m so excited to find this pattern! I’ve been looking for a pattern that is a close duplicate of the blanket our grandmother made for my cousin. I babysat for her when she was little and remember it well, since she carried it around for so many years. The “blankli” was made from lavender variegated pastel yarn. The yarn I’ve chosen is Red Heart Gumdrop in Grape. Starting to crochet this tonight!

  52. Thank you so much for sharing your patterns I have started the Quick Shell Afghan with homespun yarn it is so much easier to work with

  53. I made this for my granddaughter and it is wonderful. I am making a different design from my grandson. I so appreciate these patterns. I have only been crocheting 2 yrs and it makes it easy to make them a girt. Thank you so much

  54. Do you have a pattern for the egg blanket? I would like to try that. Thanks

  55. I love this pattern! i’ve made it to the last row that you added, but I am a little confused where it says “dc in sp between shells”. am I supposed to go into the the hole that is in between/kind of under the shells or into a stitch? Not sure if you have a video made for the last row..

  56. I have made numerous afghans, shawls & scarves all using just 1 stitch, a double crochet. They all came out great and gift recipients loved them, but I’m bored with doing the same stitch OVER AND OVER AND OVER! In the last couple weeks I’ve made 4 scarves from the Infinity Scarf pattern (although I made 2 of them straight because everyone doesn’t want to pull something over their head). They have come out great. I thought about using that same pattern for an afghan, but decided it would be too difficult to make a single chain the width of an afghan. Anyway, am headed to the store for yarn to make this no-chain shell afghan. Love it & THANK YOU for the tutorial video as I am not good at just reading patterns.

  57. I crocheted with my Grandmother and my Mother for 50 years. Now that both have passed, it is wonderful to crochet with you, and learn your patterns. I’ve loved each pattern I’ve tried, and you make both the video and instructions easy to follow. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your beautiful talent with others. How can I find when you’ve added something new??

    • I want to eventually add an email notification, but haven’t gotten that set up yet. I am on Facebook and Twitter and post there when I post new patterns.

  58. If I wanted to add on to the side how would you suggest going about that

  59. I have made this pattern already for my aunt that has cancer. Now I’m making another one for a friend. I love this pattern. It is easy to make. Thank you for the pattern.

  60. Thank you so much for this pattern!! I have been looking for it for many years! My mom made it for my daughter (she’s 47 now) when she was born. I couldn’t find her pattern anywhere. Thanks again, Beth

  61. Thank you for the pattern and the video!! I didn’t know you could use a chain to start. The asymmetric shell stitch is so easy but looks so beautiful. I’m using Bernat Softee Baby Cotton in antique white to make an afghan and I love this pattern and it really works up surprisingly fast.

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