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Plaid is making a comeback and is perfect for staying warm all winter! My favorite plaid item is a pair of red and black flannel slippers with a fuzzy shearling lining. I designed this pillow and blanket set to replicate their warmth and coziness! This instructable will guide you through crocheting a pillow (one side plaid, one side 'shearling') and a plaid blanket (48" by 48"). I chose red and black, but you can choose any two colors. If you have basic crochet skills (chaining, single crochet, double crochet), you will be able to do this project.

This Instructable is organized in several parts:

Making the Pillow:

Front side (plaid side), Steps 2-7

Back side (fuzzy side), Steps 8-12

Pillow Assembly, Steps 13-14

Making the Afghan, Steps 15-19

Step 1: Materials for the Pillow

K-6.5 mm crochet hook

N-9.0 mm crochet hook

scissors

yarn needle (optional, useful for weaving in ends)

stitch markers (optional, useful for pillow assembly)

red worsted-weight yarn*

black worsted-weight yarn*

cream super bulky yarn*

pillow form, 16" x 16" **

*in my images, I'm using Red Heart Super Saver Cherry Red and Black and Bernat Blanket Antique White

**as I'll mention later, in order to avoid worrying about gauge, I would recommend waiting to buy the pillow form until you're almost done the project. See my notes in Step 13: 'Getting Started on the Pillow Assembly'

Step 2: Getting Started on the Pillow (Plaid Side)

  • Turn your black skein into three yarn balls- two about the same size (approx. 2 oz each), and one larger. Do the same with the red skein. For a tutorial on making a yarn ball, search Instructables for 'yarn ball.'
  • This project is worked on the double, which means always holding two strands of yarn together.
  • You have six balls of yarn, and they will be working in pairs: black/black (two small black yarn balls), red/red (two small red yarn balls), and red/black (large red and large black yarn balls). You want the pairs to stay together when changing colors. If you try to swap out one strand of yarn, the whole project quickly turns into a tangled mess.
  • Starting with the two small black skeins and the larger 9 mm hook, hold the two strands together and make a slip knot, then chain 37.

Step 3: Pillow (Plaid Side): Row 1

Row 1:

  • Switch to the smaller 6.5 mm hook. Double crochet (dc) in the third chain from the hook. Double crochet in the next 3 chains (4 dc total).
  • Get ready to add the next color, which is the black/red combo. Use the large red and large black ball for this.
  • With the double strands of black, dc in the next chain, before the last yarn over (yo), drop both strands of black yarn and place the red/black yarn over the hook. Complete the dc by drawing the red/black yarn through the two black loops on the hook. You have now changed colors.
  • With the red/black yarn, dc in the next 5 chains, holding the black/black yarn along the chain and working over top of it. Change back to the black/black yarn in the 5th dc.
  • Repeat this pattern along the remaining chains- 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc - 35 dc total

NOTE: Working with 4 balls of yarn at once can be tricky! To avoid tangles, physically separate your pairs of yarn balls. Keep the black/black balls towards the front and the red/black balls towards the back. As you work and change colors, drop the black yarn to the front of the project and drop the red/black yarn to the back of the project.

Step 4: Pillow (Plaid Side): Row 2 and 3

Row 2:

  • At the end of row 1, ch 2 and turn. The ch 2 does not count as the first dc.
  • Bring the red/black yarn around the back and place it on top of the first row of dc.
  • Dc in the first dc and in the the next 4 dc, changing to red/back in the 5th dc.
  • Continue row 2 following the same pattern as row 1: 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc - 35 dc total

Row 3:

  • Repeat row 2. At the end of row 3, switch to red/black yarn in the last dc. Cut the black/black yarn, leaving a 3-4" tail.

Step 5: Pillow (Plaid Side): Row 4-6

Row 4:

  • Begin row 4 using the red/black yarn as previous rows: Ch 2, turn, dc in the first 5 dc. Carry the cut black/black yarn to weave it in. In the 5th dc, change to the red/red yarn (these are your two small red yarn balls).
  • Complete row 4 using the following pattern: 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc - 35 dc total

Row 5 and 6:

  • Continue the same pattern as row 4
  • At the end of row 6, change to black/black and fasten off the red/red

Step 6: Pillow (Plaid Side): Row 7-21

Row 7-9: 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc - 35 dc total

Row 10-12: 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc - 35 dc total

Row 13-15: 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc - 35 dc total

Row 16-18: 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc, 5 red/black dc - 35 dc total

Row 19-21: 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc, 5 red/black dc, 5 black/black dc - 35 dc total

At the end of row 21, cut the red/black yarn and weave it in. Do not cut the black/black yarn.

Step 7: Pillow (Plaid Side): Edging

At the end of row 21, you will be using two strands of black yarn. Ch 1 and put 3 sc into the back of the sc just made. This forms the corner. Continue down the side of the project, working in the ends of the rows to evenly space 35 sc along the side. As a guide for creating even spacing, put 5 sc into each block of black/black or red/black rows.

Continue around putting 35 sc one each side and making a corner with 3 sc. After the fourth side, join with a slip stitch to the first corner sc and fasten off.

Step 8: Getting Started on the Pillow (Fuzzy Side)

This side is more straightforward and uses a neat stitch often called the 'loop stitch.' I chose this stitch and yarn to imitate the fuzzy shearling lining often found in plaid hats and shirts. Once you get the hang of the loop stitch, you can decide to make your loops shorter or longer, however you prefer.

You will use the Super Bulky yarn and larger 9.0 mm crochet hook for this side. To begin, chain 29.

Step 9: Pillow (Fuzzy Side): Row 1

Row 1:

  • sc in the second chain from the hook and in each chain across. 28 sc

Note: Compare the length of your what you just made to the length of the plaid side. If yours is too short or too long, take out row 1 and add or subtract chains, then repeat row 1. The gauge is not critical in this project as long as both sides of your pillow end up the same size.

Step 10: Pillow (Fuzzy Side): Row 2

Row 2:

  • ch1 and turn
  • Loop stitch in each single crochet across- 28 loop stitches.
  • To make the loop stitch: Insert your hook in the stitch and draw up a loop. Pull the working yarn towards you to create a loop at the front of the work (use the thumb of the hand holding the crochet hook). Holding the loop in place against the work or with your thumb, insert the hook into the stitch again and draw up a loop. Yarn over and draw through all three loops on the hook.

Step 11: Pillow (Fuzzy Side): Row 3-28

Rows 3-28:

  • Repeat Row 1 (sc in each stitch across) and Row 2 (loop stitch in each sc across).
  • Each row will have 28 stitches.
  • Do not fasten off.

Note: If you added or removed chains at the beginning, you will want to increase or decrease the number of repetitions of rows 1 and 2. The goal is for the project to be square. Lay it on top of the plaid side to see if they roughly match up.

Step 12: Pillow (Fuzzy Side): Edging

At the end of row 28 (a loop stitch row), ch 1 and turn. You will be working the edge all the way around with the smooth side facing you.

Side 1:

Place 3 sc in the first stitch. Across the next 26 stitches, you want to place 35 sc. The addition of the stitches is necessary to match the number of stitches on the plaid side. You can add the stitches as you please, or follow this pattern for the number of sc to place in each stitch across: 1, (2-1-1) 7 times, then (2-1-2-1). Place 3 sc in the last stitch.

Side 2:

You need to evenly space 35 sc along this side. To aid in doing this, I recommend using stitch markers to break the side into 5 roughly equal sections. Then, put 7 sc in each section.

Side 3: Repeat Side 1.

Side 4: Repeat Side 2. After the fourth side, join with a slip stitch to the first corner sc and fasten off.

152 sc total (35 sc per side, plus 4 corners each with 3 sc)

Step 13: Getting Started on the Pillow Assembly

It is important that the two sides of your pillow be the same size. The easiest way to do this is by crocheting the plaid side of the pillow first. Then, you can adjust the size of the fuzzy size by adding or removing chains (see Step 9).

The final step in pillow assembly will be inserting the pillow form. I recommend waiting to buy your pillow form until you've almost completed assembly. Then, take your project with you to the store and try out pillow forms to see which one you like best. Don't worry, craft store employees don't think you're crazy when you bring a partially completed project shopping with you.

Step 14: Pillow Assembly

  • Lay the two pillow sides on top of each other, matching the tops and bottoms. The edge will be worked on the outside of the pillow, so be sure the fuzzy side is facing out.
  • Place the fuzzy side towards you and make a slip knot on your hook with two strands of black yarn. Beginning at the bottom right corner, insert your hook through the 5th sc from the corner on the fuzzy side AND through the corresponding sc on the plaid side. Make a sc.
  • sc in each stitch to the corner. In the corner (center of the 3 sc group), make 2 sc.
  • Continue to work around the perimeter, completing all 4 corners of the pillow, and stop when you have made a few stitches onto the bottom edge.
  • Now it's time to add the pillow! Tear off the tags (so your pillow doesn't crinkle), and bunch up the pillow to insert it into the opening. Adjust the pillow inside the cover, making sure the corners match up.
  • Now sc across the final edge- I used the stitch markers to 'close' the pillow and make it easier to crochet it shut (see the photos).
  • Join with a slip st to the first sc, fasten off, and weave in the last end.

DONE!

Step 15: Materials for the Afghan

K-6.5 mm crochet hook

N-9.0 mm crochet hook

scissors

yarn needle (optional, useful for weaving in ends)

7 skeins of red worsted-weight yarn*

8 skeins of black worsted-weight yarn*

*in my images, I'm using Red Heart Super Saver Cherry Red and Black (7 oz.)

Step 16: Getting Started on the Afghan

  • Gauge- 5 dc and 3 rows = 2 inches, Completed project = 48" by 48"
  • The gauge is not critical, but will affect the amount of yarn necessary to complete the project.
  • The afghan is done exactly the same way as the plaid side of the pillow, just with a longer beginning chain.
  • I recommend starting with 6 skeins of yarn- 3 red and 3 black. Two red skeins will be used for the red/red sections, two black skeins will be used for the black/black sections, and one red and one black will be used for the red/black sections. Trying to 'share' skeins of yarn or create smaller balls from the whole skein isn't worth the hassle since you'll be using lots of yarn for this project anyway.
  • To start, hold two strands of black yarn together and use the larger 9.0 mm hook to chain 117.

Step 17: Afghan: Row 1-3

Note: Refer back to the tutorial for making the plaid side of the pillow (Steps 3-6) for detailed images and instructions on color changing.

Row 1:

  • Use the smaller 6.5 mm (K) hook here and throughout.
  • dc in the third chain from the hook and in the next 4 dc (5 dc total). The beginning chain 2 does not count as a stitch.
  • Change to the red/black yarn in the 5th dc (use two new skeins of red and black yarn). Carrying the two stands of black yarn along the chain, dc in the next 5 chains
  • Alternate between 5 red/black dc 5 black/black dc across
  • At the end of row 1: 12 groups of 5 black/black dc and 11 groups of 5 red/black dc (115 dc)

Row 2:

  • At the end of row 1, ch 2 and turn. The ch 2 does not count as the first dc. Bring the red/black yarn around the back and place it on top of the first row of dc.
  • Dc in the first dc and in the the next 4 dc, changing to red/back in the 5th dc. Continue row 2 following the same pattern as row 1.

Row 3:

  • Repeat row 2.
  • At the end of row 3, switch to red/black yarn in the last dc. Cut the black/black yarn, leaving a 3-4" tail.

Step 18: Afghan: Row 4-69

Reminder: To keep your yarn pairs from tangling, separate your pairs of skeins. Keep the red/black skeins to the back of the project and the red/red and black/black skeins to the front (or left). When changing colors, always drop the red/black yarn to the back and the red/red/ or black/black yarn to the front. If you do this, and turn your project clockwise to start a new row, it won't tangle. If you feel like your project is growing in width as you work: just before changing colors, give the new color a slight tug to tighten the stitches, then yo with the new color.

Row 4:

  • Begin row 4 using the red/black yarn as previous rows: Ch 2, turn, dc in the first 5 dc. Carry the cut black/black yarn to weave it in.
  • In the 5th dc, change to red/red yarn (use two new skeins of red yarn).
  • Complete row 4 using the following pattern: (5 red/black dc, 5 red/red dc) to the end of row, then 5 red/black

Row 5 and 6:

  • Continue the same pattern as row 4
  • At the end of row 6, change to black/black and fasten off the red/red

Row 7-69:

  • for Rows 7-66, Alternate the pattern of (rows 1-3 and rows 4-6) 10 times.
  • for Rows 67-69, Repeat rows 1-3 one last time.
  • Fasten off the red/black yarn and black/black yarn. Weave in ends.

Step 19: Afghan: Border

Round 1: sc around

  • With two strands of black yarn, join with a sc in the 5th stitch from the corner on the last row. Sc in each dc to the corner.
  • Create a corner by making 3 sc in the side of the last dc.
  • Working along the edge, place 5 sc in each block of color (one block is three rows)- 115 sc along the edge.
  • Continue around, making 4 corners by putting 3 sc in the same stitch.
  • Join with a sl st to the first sc. 472 sc total (this is not important)

Round 2: reverse sc around

  • Ch 1 and sc in the same st as the join.
  • Work around the project clockwise making a reverse sc in each sc all the way around. To make a reverse sc:
    • in the sc st to the RIGHT of the st you just made, insert the hook from front to back
    • pull up a loop
    • yo, draw through two loops on hook
  • Continue around each corner, placing one reverse sc in each sc. It's not necessary to add extra stitches at the corners.
  • When you've reached the first st, join with a sl st to the first sc. Fasten off and weave in the end.
  • Note: it takes time to get used to the reverse sc, but it creates a nice bulky border

DONE!

<p>What an interesting idea to produce a plaid! I'm going to have to try that with knitting. I like the loopy side too. Those loops would make a nice rug for the rug contest.... :)</p>
<p>Thanks! I bet it will work with knitting too. I really recommend using 6 different balls of yarn though- I originally tried swapping out strands and it got very messy! </p>

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