Home » Afghans, Crocheted, My Patterns » No Beginning Chain Quick Shell and Lace Blanket

No Beginning Chain Quick Shell and Lace Blanket

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

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 pattern keeps 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 Small32.543.3321.08650
Extra Large55.4473.9261.351891.52

Yarn – Sizing given for Bulky weight 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

Special stitch:
Shell – work the following in the ch sp indicated: 2 dc, ch 1, 2 dc


There is also a chart available.

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

For these widths, start with this number of chain and tr spaces:

32.5″ = 34
38.25″ = 40
44″ = 46
49.75″ = 52
55.5″ = 58

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. Make a number of tr/ch spaces that is a multiple of 3 plus 1.

Do not turn.

Row 2: Ch 4. Without turning the work (tr stitches will be on top, chains on the bottom), make 2 dc in first tr/ch space (over tr just made). Working across the tr/ch spaces, (dc in the next sp, ch 1) twice ** shell in the next sp, (dc in the next sp, ch 1) twice. Repeat from ** across to the last tr/ch sp. (2 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the last sp.

Row 3: Ch 4 and turn. 2 dc in ch-1 sp, (dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) twice ** shell in next ch-1 sp (which is the ch-1 sp of a shell), (dc in next ch-1 sp, ch 1) twice. Repeat from ** across to ch-4 turning chain. (2 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in ch-4 sp.

Repeat row 3 until afghan is desired length. 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.

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

Afghans, Crocheted, My Patterns

71 Comments to “No Beginning Chain Quick Shell and Lace Blanket”

  1. Very cool!

  2. cute…thank you

  3. Hi,
    I love your patterns. Especially these no beginning chains. I like the way it makes the bottom look.
    Is there any way to subscribe to your blog and have it delivered to my email?

    • My web guy (husband) is working on this. We will be doing it through a forum format. I’ll let you know when it’s up and running.

  4. Hi,
    I love so many of your knit and crochet patterns. Our stitching group knits and crochets tiny sweaters, hats, booties and small blankets for the local NICU hospitals memory boxes. I was wondering if you have a tried and true way of gauging how many stitches are required for certain size blankets either knit or crochet. We have to knit or crochet blankets in sizes 12×12, 18×18 or 24×24. We mostly use baby yarn but at times also use a soft worsted weight or sport weight. I pick one of your patterns but it takes me forever to try to get the correct size width. The length isn’t a problem.

    • The most tried and true method is to knit or crochet a swatch using one repeat of the pattern, then use the measurements of that swatch to determine the number of repeats will be the width you need. Some patterns have bigger repeats and may be difficult to fit into very specific widths.

    • The most tried and true method is to knit or crochet a swatch using one repeat of the pattern, then use the measurements of that swatch to determine the number of repeats will be the width you need. Some patterns have bigger repeats and may be difficult to fit into very specific widths.

  5. Do you have a newsletter? If so, how can I get on the mailing list. Thank you so much.


    • We are in the process of setting up a system that will allow readers to sign up for notifications and newsletters and participate in a forum. I’ll let you know when we have it up and running.

  6. I’d really like to be able to subscribe to your site, please let me know when this is possible. I have been knitting for over 47 years and crocheting for the past 10, you still have managed to teach me something different. Thank you for the no beginning chain patterns. Such a time saver.

    • I don’t have a subscription system yet, but we are working on it. I will definitely let you know when it is up and running.

      • love this new technique of crocheting. Been knitting and crocheting since I was 5 and am now a great great grandmother.

  7. Thanks so much for your quick response, Love the pattern for Shell and Post Stitch Ripple afghan, went and purchased yarn. Thanks again Cheryl

  8. Nice thank you mina

  9. This is the most interesting pattern i’ve seen in 54 years of crocheting. I love it!!!

  10. do you have a video for this? I seem to not be able to follow your pattern – I don’t understand what you mean by twice – I am new to reading patterns. Could you please specify how many total dcs in each tr space for Row 2.

    To Clarify: On row 2, on the first triple crochet space, do I put in 2dc without a chain in-between, and then in the next tc space, do I put in **2dc, ch1, 2dc to make a shell (total of 4dc in that space with a ch1 in between)? and then on the next tc space, 1dc, ch1, 1dc (total of 2 dc with a ch1 in between)**, (alternating between a shell and 1dc, ch1, 1dc) repeat ** until the last space: 2dc, ch1, 1dc

    Row 3: please let me know how many dcs total are in each ch1 space

    Thank you so much – I love this pattern and would really like to make this.

    • I don’t have a video of this one yet. I have a backlog of video requests and haven’t been feeling well for a while.

      Working across row 2 –
      Loop one has two dc in it,
      loop two has one dc in it,
      loop three has one dc in it,
      loop four has a shell in it, so four dcs,
      loop five has one dc in it,
      loop six has one dc in it,
      loop seven has a shell in it, so four dcs…

      For the next row, after the first 2 dc in the ch 1 space (which is the chain between the 2dc and 1 dc), you will make a shell in the ch-1 of each shell and will make one dc in the ch-1 spaces that followed each of the single dc of the prior row. On the preceding row, there was not a ch-1 after the shell but there was one before the shell, so when you are working back across that turned row, the ch-1s will be between the two single dc and after each shell.

  11. Thank you so very much for your efforts to help those of us who are not so proficient in our crochet efforts. I am just learning at the tender age of 78 and it takes supreme effort most times but you make the effort easier. I am starting the “No Beginning Chain Quick Shell and Lace Blanket” today in a variegated mohair/silk blend, pastel colors. Hope for the best. Thanks again.

    • Thank you for your comment. I am 60 and a beginning crochet artist. My mother, her mother,and her mother were so talented. But I have struggled with crochet. Finally, I am getting it with videos. Quite fun!

  12. can you do the graph on this one next?

  13. I just love your site I am getting up in years and am looking for the easier patterns. I used to do all kinds but now I just find that the easier ones aren’t so stressful to do. Thank you for having this site, I really appreciate it.

  14. Do you have a border pattern for this afghan? I want to make it in a so,I’d color with a contrasting border.


  15. Love all your patterns but I have a hard time with the “no beginning chain” part of this. Is it possible to do this with beginning chain and triple crochet as row 1? I’d really like to make this as a Christmas gift. Thank you.

    • Begin with a chain that is a multiple of 9 plus 5 chains.

      Use this as your row 1, then skip to row 3 and repeat row 3 for the blanket.

      Row 1: Make 2 dc in the 5th ch from hook, skip 2 ch, dc in the next ch, ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc in next ch, ch 1, ** skip 3 ch, shell in the next ch, skip 2 ch, dc in the next ch, ch 1, skip 1 ch, dc in next ch, ch 1. Repeat from ** across to the last 4 ch. Skip 3 ch, (2 dc, ch 1, 1 dc) in the last ch.

  16. I love these No beginning chain patterns! I just finished one I used as a cowl for my daughter! It turned out great (after trial n error an your tourital! Thanks! Keep on posting!

  17. Thank you so much for some beautifully written patterns. They were so easy to access and they printed off wonderfully. I appreciate you sharing.


  18. Will have to try this no beginning chain pattern!

  19. I love your innovative patterns. Hope you are feeling better!

  20. This looks like a lovely afghan to make. Could you please tell me and show me how to do a triple crochet. I am all set on the other stitches mentioned to complete this project. Thanks for the help.

  21. I followed the chain just fine. I think it is a good way to start any pattern. I tried it, but I had a problem following the pattern on row 3. It just didn’t look right.

    • The basic gist of this blanket is that in the dc “lace” columns, the dcs will naturally alternate in relation to the ch spaces. On the row you are making, the dcs are before the ch spaces, but in the prior row, because the work was turned, the ch spaces are before the dcs.

  22. Hello,
    Each pattern shown was worth copying; they are all so versatile. Finally, I decided to go with the pattern using
    Homespun yarn because I have it in my “stash”. Thank you
    very much for such a lovely display of free patterns.

  23. though am from africa, but i love this pattern.

  24. Dear mama,
    My question is ..’after row 3, am i to be turning the project until the end of desired lenght? Thank you.

  25. Thank you for the “no beginning chain” patterns. I am a beginning crocheter and self taught and I HATE beginning chains! I am going to try one of these for my sister for Christmas. Thanks again!

  26. I cannot seem to get this to lay flat it ripples on me.I have done as the pattern reads.. the picture you put up lays flat. my piece i am trying to make is far from being flat. I have read the blogs that others leave and i followed what you typed out and i am correct in my stitches. If I put more rows on this pattern it does not seem to lay flat I am up on row 15 and still has ripples. could you email me with any thoughts on this love the way it looks in the picture.

    • I would love to see a picture. If you could send a picture of it to mama at thetucker dot com I’ll see if I can figure out what is going on.

  27. I simply love this blanket. I have made 2 of them, with three colors alternating. It is so simple to start and the pattern is so easy once you get started.

  28. I wonder if you know of a video to show a no beginning chain. I simply do not understand how I chain three and then work in them, then chain another three and work in them. I’ve been crocheting for years, but can’t seem to understand this. Ughh #feelingstupid

  29. Hey there! How many rows did you do to finish the extra large size? This is a beautiful pattern.

  30. I just discovered chainless foundation. Do you have scarf patterns or can I use this to make scarves? How can I join your site? Thank you.

  31. I am all done with this beautiful blanket, but am looking for the video that was on here when I started one month ago! I am a visual learner and need it for the border! help please 🙂

    • I haven’t removed any of the videos. I haven’t done a video for this specific blanket yet, but plan on having it in the next few weeks. Was it one of the videos for one of the other No Beginning Chain blankets?

  32. I am still learning new things of the pattern keep bringing of the pattern of Crochet.

  33. Why don’t you send these (free) patterns in a form so we can print them without wasting paper on all the comments that come with them? PLEASE

    • There is a printer icon at the top of the pattern. Use that to print. It produces a clean printable version without the comments.

  34. LOVE your NBC technique, and so appreciate your generosity in sharing these beautiful patterns (not to mention all the personal assistance you offer on your website).
    Thank you very much.

  35. Thank you so much for sharing your lovely patterns! I recently began crocheting baby blankets for my local pregnancy center, and became bored with the few patterns I have. I love the variety as well as the beauty of these patterns.

  36. I would like to make this for a queen size bed for my daughter for Christmas could you tell me the number of chains I would need to start with I am a fairly new crocheter and would like to know if I could make this pattern or if its a little harder for someone who makes hats and scarfs .

  37. I’ve “tried” working with Homespun and have never finished a project. I either rip it out or just cut the yarn and throw away what’s unfinished.

    This looks like the perfect project for ALL the Homespun yarn I’ve purchased.


  38. Hi when you have got things going i would like to subscibe to your webpage please

  39. I would like to make this large enough for a king sized bed. How would I go about doing that? Thanks!

  40. This is such a great idea. I hate the first row of a project and this technique solves that problem. Thanks for sharing!

  41. Jacqueline Wilkinson

    Beautiful I will definitely try this

  42. thank you for CHART. I use NBC FOR everything collars, capes ,etc.

  43. Could you tell me is this pattern in American crochet stitches? Thank you

  44. I love this pattern. It is so simple to follow but the finished product looks like it was a very complicated pattern. Am creating a prayer shawl using donated Sensations Rainbow Orange Boucle, K-hook, and it looks absolutely beautiful. It will be presented to an Assisted Living resident, unknown to me….. Started with 22 chain and tr spaces, and finished length will be about 6 feet.

  45. I can’t wait to try this! I have been crocheting all my life and I still do not like working the beginning chain. Please let me know when you get a site up and running.

Leave a Reply