Crochet with Kate: Animal Taggy Blankets!
How adorable are these little taggy blankets? Crochet them for the babies in your life and make a couple of extra for gifts!
There’s something very special about that a toy that gets carried everywhere by a toddler and these little animal taggy blankets fit that bill perfectly.
The blanket part is soft and light enough to be gripped by the very smallest of hands and the head adds the character needed to make this taggy blanket become a firm favourite. There are lots of different textures to each toy and there’s even a little ribbon tag added – because, as we all know, the label is the favourite bit!
It’s also fully washable – and heaven forbid it should ever get lost – another one can very quickly be hooked up before bedtime should the need arise!
You will need:
For each blanket you will need two balls of your chosen shade 4ply yarn, and one cream – Kate used:
- Bergere de France Coton Fifty in shades Coquille (42649), Ficelle (23906) and Nougat (22518)
- A 3mm hook and tapestry needle for sewing in ends.
The blanket square is worked in double crochet using one strand of 4ply yarn and a 3mm hook for gentle drape, and the head is made from two strands of 4ply yarn and a 4mm hook.
Begin with the blanket:
Using one strand of the 4 ply and a 3mm hook loosely work a chain of 60.
Double crochet into the 2nd ch from the hook and work in dc to the end of the row, ch 1 and turn.
Work a further 9 rows in dc, remembering to ch 1 at the end of each row and turn.
Row 11 is your first bobble row.
Work as follows: joining your cream in at the beginning of the row dc 11, make a bobble with the cream, dc 11, make a bobble and so on until the end of the row.
As your bobbles are worked in a different colour, join your bobble colour in at the beginning of the bobble row by laying it along the top of the row and holding it in place as you crochet.
Dc 11 in your main colour, bring the cream yarn up and work 5 tr in to the next st, leaving the last loop of each tr on the hook. You will then have 6 loops on your hook. On the 5th tr pull the yarn through all of the loops to close up your bobble.
Change back to your main colour and work another 11 dc.
Pull your cream yarn up and make another bobble as before on the 12th st.
Continue all the way along the row repeating the bobble pattern.
After each bobble row work a further 11 rows of plain dc and each 12th row will be your bobble pattern row.
Work 5 bobble rows in total.
Work 10 further rows of plain dc, with your final row being a RS row.
At the end of the row do not finish off but continue to work all the way around the edge of the blanket in dc. Work 2 dc in to each corner stitch. When you are back at the start of your final row finish off.
Work one further round of dc in the cream, again remembering to work 2 dc into each corner stitch. Cut yarn and finish off.
Dc in to the 2nd ch from the hook and work in dc to the end of the row, ch 1 and turn.
Work a further row of dc in the same colour.
At the beginning of the third row (RS ) join in the cream and work a further 2 rows of dc remembering to ch 1 and turn at the end of each row.
Continue working 2 rows of each colour. To save you lots of ends later, rather than cutting your yarn when you change colour, just carefully loop it up the side of your blanket.
In total I worked 18 stripes in the beige and 17 stripes in the cream.
At the end of your last beige row ( RS ) do not finish off but continue to work all the way around the edge of the blanket in DC. Work 2 DC in to each corner stitch. When you are back at the start of your final row, finish off.
Work one further round of DC in the cream, again remembering to work 2 DC into each corner stitch. Cut yarn and finish off.
Making the head
To make the head you will be using 2 strands of the 4ply yarn and a 4mm hook. Begin by making a Magic Ring. Work 8 DC into the ring and pull to tighten.
Round 2: ch1 ( this counts as a st here and throughout ), then work 1 dc in to the same st as the previous sl st ( below ch1 ), *2 dc in next st* repeat from * to * until end, sl st in ch 1 to join. 16 st.
Round 3: ch 1, 2 dc in to the next st, * 1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st* Repeat from *to* until end, sl st in ch 1 to join. 24 st.
Round 4: ch 1, 1 dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *1 dc in next 2 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * to * until end, sl st in ch 1 to join. 32 st.
Round 5: ch 1, 1 dc in next 2 st, 2 dc in next st, * 1 dc in next 3 st, 2 dc in next st* repeat from * to * until end, sl st in ch 1 to join. 40 st.
Rounds 6 to 13: ch 1, 1 dc in next st and in each st all the way round, sl st in ch 1 to join. 40 st.
Round 14: CH 1, 1 DC in next 2 STs, DC 2 tog, * 1 DC in next 3 STs, DC 2 tog* repeat from * to * until end, SL ST in CH 1 to join. 32 ST.
Round 15: ch 1, 1 dc in next st, dc 2 tog, *1 dc in next 2 st, dc 2 tog* repeat from * to * until end, sl st in ch 1 to join. 24 st.
Round 16: ch 1, dc 2 tog, *1 dc in next st, dc 2 tog* repeat from * to * until end, sl st in ch 1 to join. 16 st.
Round 17 to 18: ch 1, 1 dc in next st and in each st around, sl st in ch 1 to join. 16 st. Finish off leaving a long tail of yarn.
Using 2 x strands of yarn and a 4mm hook ch 5.
Work 2 dc in to the second st from the hook, work 1 dc in to the next 2 st and 2 dc in to the last stitch.
Now, continuing on round, and working in to the same chains, work 2 dc in to the 1st ch, 1 dc in to the next 2 ch and 2 dc in to the last ch. 12 ST. You should now an oval shape.
Round 2: Do not ch at the beginning or sl st at the end of each round.
Work 1 dc in to the next st and in each st all the way round. 12 st.
Continue to work 1 dc in to each st all the way around until the ears are the size that you want them to be. I worked a total of approx. 4 rounds for the mouse and approx. 18 rounds for the rabbit.
When the ears are the right size, finish off and use the tail of yarn to sew the ends of the ears together so they lie flat.
The next step is to add the ears, eyes and nose to the head. I found this easier to do before the head is stuffed. Using some black yarn for the eyes and white yarn for the nose, carefully sew the features in the positions you want them.
Once you are happy with this you are ready to start the stuffing!
Begin by stuffing the top half of the head. I stuffed mine quite firmly but if a softer feel is wanted just add a smaller amount of stuffing. Before the stuffing is finished the blanket square needs to be inserted in to the head.
I found the easiest way to do this was to run a gathering thread across one of the corners and then to pull the thread to create soft gathers. Using the same thread, stitch up from the centre of the gathers to the top corner.
Now carefully pass your needle and thread right up through the centre of the head and the stuffing and gently pull the blanket up in to the head so that it is securely in place.
Hold the blanket in place by stitching the end of the yarn around the original magic ring.
Once the blanket is stitched into position finish stuffing the head and using the long tail of yarn work a gathering thread about the bottom of the head. Carefully pull the yarn to close the head up and work a further round of stitches to secure the head firmly to the blanket.
Finish off around the back of the head and sew in the end of the yarn!
And now for the finishing touches! For the mouse I worked a bobble border and for the rabbit I added a ruffly edge.
For the bobbly border:
Starting at the top left side of the blanket and working with 1 strand of the cream and a 3mm hook, sl st 5, make a bobble by working 5 tr in to the same stitch and leaving the last loop of each tr on the hook. On the fifth tr pull the yarn through all 6 loops, work another 5 sl st, make a bobble and so on all the way around the edge. Finish off and sew in the end of the yarn.
For the ruffly edge:
Starting at the top left side of the blanket and working with 1 strand of the cream and a 3mm hook work 3 TR in to each stitch all the way around the edge. Finish off and sew in the end of the yarn.
For each border I then made a separate short strip of the same border and carefully stitched this around the neck. My final touch was to add two little ribbons, one sewn tightly to the ear and another sewn behind the border in the bottom right hand corner.
And there we are! Animal taggy blankets that will delight babies and toddlers everywhere!