This project is a great blanket for a beginning crocheter. It's warm and comfy and looks absolutely, horribly complicated, but is actually done with a very repetitive pattern and basic stitches. To complete this project, you will need an understanding of the following stitches: Chain (hereinafter "ch") (this is very basic and is usually the start of any flat crochet project), single crochet (hereinafter "sc"), half double crochet (hereinafter "hdc"), double crochet (hereinafter "dc"), and triple crochet (hereinafter "tc"). These are American crochet terms (as I have been told that other countries refer to these as different stitches). Please find an appropriate conversion chart if these terms do not make sense or you question what they refer to. For beginners, Youtube has some excellent tutorials that will teach you what you need to know to make this blanket.
I found this yarn at a store in NY called Smiley's Yarn at $2 a skein, which was an absolute STEAL. It's called Bernat Softee Chunky and it's about $4 per skein at Michaels. I can't lie here, I likely used 8 skeins of each color, which can be pricey, but you can adjust the price by substituting for a worsted weight yarn (I really wanted a thick, warm blanket) or by adjusting the size of the final product (subtract in multiples of 12 from your chain stitch count to make this blanket smaller).
8 skeins each, Bernat Softee Chunky in:
Crochet Hook, size K
Ch 256, turn
Starting in the second chain from the hook (IMPORTANT NOTE: the remaining chain on your hook will count as the first sc), *sc, sc, hdc, hdc, dc, dc, tc, tc, dc, dc, hdc, hdc*
Repeat * through * until the end of the row. Sc, sc in the last two stitches. Tie off and tie on your second color. Ch 4, turn.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Your ch 4 will act as your first tc. Therefore, the new pattern will be *tc, tc, dc, dc, hdc, hdc, sc, sc, hdc, hdc, dc, dc*.
Repeat * through * until the end of the row. Tc, tc in the last two stitches. Tie off and tie on your third color. Ch 2, turn.
At this point, you're just alternating colors and repeating steps 2 through 5. You will do this until you feel your blanket is as tall as you'd like it to be.
Laziness note: In order to avoid tucking in every row of crochet ends, I, instead, cut 6" strips of yarn in each color and tied them into a tassel on the edge that blended well with the yarn ends. Make sure to tie the yarn ends into the tassel in order to keep any portion of the blanket from later unraveling. Take your 6" strips of yarn (one in each color) and fold them in half. Tuck one half into the last stitch on the end of the blanket so that half of the yarn strips are hanging off the front and half are hanging off the back. Pull them together and tie them in a knot at the blanket's edge, leaving a yarn strip tassel off the side. Repeat for every blanket row.
Less lazy route: If you don't like the look of tassels, you can tuck the ends in, as per normal crochet. You can add a border to the blanket or leave it as-is. Totally up to you.
Last step: Sleep tight and warm and comfy with your giant Peaceful Waves blanket!