Nova Crochet Preemie Baby Blanket Pattern

Welcome your family’s new star with the Nova Crochet Preemie Baby Blanket pattern. Designed with dense, textured stitches, this crochet baby blanket is incredibly soft and interesting for new precious fingers to touch and explore.

This image shows the finished sample of the Nova Crochet Preemie Blanket pattern draped over a white chair. Sitting on the blanket is a puffin stuffed animal.

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Designed specifically with premature babies in mind, this crochet preemie baby blanket is “tiny” but mighty.

Sized at 18 inches by 24 inches, this crochet newborn blanket is a fantastic size for premature babies. It is smaller than the typical baby blanket (hence “tiny”) but it easy to customize the size into a larger baby blanket if you prefer to.

The best part of this crochet preemie blanket pattern is the texture. New fingers can explore the dense but interesting textures in the Nova Blanket without worries of little fingers slipping through any gaps.

This Crochet Preemie Baby Blanket Pattern was designed specifically for the 2024 Preemie Crochet Challenge

Every year when Helen of Sunflower Cottage Crochet asks for designers to participate in her Preemie Crochet Challenge, I do not hesitate to join.

This event means a lot to me because my best friends daughter, my “niece”, was a Preemie and I will always remember all of the emotions and concerns that my best friend went through when she was born. She is a happy and healthy 11 year old now and I couldn’t be more proud of her or my best friend for all they have accomplished together. I am so lucky to be considered her Aunt.

She is why I always participate in this challenge. While I likely would participate anyway because it’s for a good cause and for charity, both of which I feel strongly about, my niece really solidifies my participation each year.

While she may be too big for one now, this crochet preemie baby blanket was designed in her honor and I couldn’t be happier to release the pattern with this event.

If you haven’t already, check out all of the other designs that are featured in the 2024 Preemie Crochet Challenge hosted by Helen of Sunflower Cottage Crochet.

This image is a close up of the preemie crochet baby blanket pattern. The image is taken from the top down, laying flat on a white background to show the detail in the stitches. A white furls streamline crochet hook is on the blanket.

The best yarn for the Nova Crochet Preemie Baby Blanket Pattern

If you’ll be donating a blanket made from this crochet preemie baby blanket pattern to your local NICU, you’ll want to ensure that the yarn you use will be accepted by the organization.

Additionally, you’ll want to look for a yarn that can be washed and dried easily. We don’t want to donate blankets that require a lot of special care to new mothers who already have a lot to do and think about.

Luckily my choice of yarn, Lion Brand’s Feels Like Butta, fits both requirements and is so unbelievably soft that it’s a dream to work with.

Over the years designing patterns specifically for preemie babies, I’ve done a lot of research on the best yarns to use. Years ago, I found this guideline of how to donate crocheted items for both NICU and cancer patients from Knots of Love.

Under the Handmade Beanie and Blanket Maker Guidelines, there’s a link to a PDF of their tested and approved yarns.

I would check with your local NICU before purchasing yarn but, when in doubt, you can’t go wrong with any of the yarns on that list.

If you prefer a premium, ad-free PDF version of this pattern, you can grab one on in my Etsy shop by clicking the button below!

This image is a close up of the crochet preemie blanket pattern to show the detailed stitches and textures.

Where to get the Nova Crochet Preemie Blanket Pattern

The Nova Blanket is a free crochet preemie blanket pattern in this blog post. Scroll down to view the free version.

However, if you’d like a more robust pattern with photo tutorials, the steps for the photo tutorial written out in full sentences and a printer friendly version of the PDF, I recommend you purchase the PDF pattern.

With the PDF pattern, you will receive photo tutorials for the special stitches as well as a detailed photo tutorial for Rows 1 through 4 which will set you up to work this crochet baby blanket pattern with confidence. The photos include details with arrows and dots to help identify all the stitches and their placement.

SKILL LEVEL

Intermediate. Crocheters looking to follow this pattern should know how to:

  • Read a crochet pattern – There is NOT a video tutorial for this crochet preemie blanket pattern.
  • Work the basic stitches – Chain, slip stitch, single crochet and half double crochet.
  • Single Crochet 3 Together (sc3tog) or be willing to learn.
  • Place a stitch “in the previous stitch” or be willing to learn.
  • Work into the 3rd Loop Only (3LO) of a half double crochet or be willing to learn.
  • Work into chain 1’s when they count as stitches.
  • Place a border on a blanket.

This is NOT a beginner pattern. Absolute beginners will find this pattern outside of their skill level but advanced beginners could be able to work through it, especially with the PDF pattern that includes a ton of photos to help you through.

If you are unfamiliar with any of these techniques or aren’t familiar with reading patterns, I highly recommend the PDF as it will walk you through everything step by step.

MATERIALS

Medium (4) weight yarn of your choice. You will need approximately: 9.5 ounces/ 270 grams / 589 yards

Yarn Used

I used just under 3 skeins of Lion Brand Feels like Butta in colorway Teal.

TOOLS & NOTIONS

5 mm (H-8) hook
Scissors
Tapestry needle
Stitch markers (see “Using a Stitch Marker” note).

GAUGE

15 sc x 17 rows = Approximately 4 inches x 4 inches.

Note: I am a tight crocheter, so my tension is usually tighter than others. Learn more about gauge and what this means here. As long as you’re in the approximate range of gauge, you should be fine.

FINISHED SIZE

Approximately 18 inches by 24 inches.

How to Change Size of Baby Blanket

This baby blanket was designed to be a preemie blanket, so it’s smaller than other crochet baby blanket patterns. You absolutely can change the size if you prefer.

To change the width of the blanket, add or remove chains to the starting chains. Add chains if you’d like the blanket to be wider and remove chains if you want it to be less wide. Adding or removing 4 chains from your stitch count will add or remove approximately 1 inch in width. Make sure your starting chains are an even number for the stitch count to work properly.

To change the length, repeat the indicated rows until your blanket is approximately as long as you’d like it to be. Make sure to end on the same row as indicated in the pattern for the border to work properly.

Any changes you make to the pattern will change your stitch count and the amount of yarn used. Keep this in mind.

Size Before Border

Prior to working the border, the blanket will be approximately 15.5 inches wide and 21.5 inches long.

This means that the border adds approximately 2.5 inches to both the width and length of the blanket. Keep this in mind if you change the size. 

You can learn more about how to change the size of blankets and/or determining starting chains for specific sizes on my Crochet Blanket Sizes post.

ABBREVIATIONS (US Terms)

  • Ch – Chain 
  • Sl St – Slip Stitch
  • Sc – Single Crochet
  • Sc3tog – Single Crochet 3 Together *
  • Hdc – Half Double Crochet
  • 3LO – Third Loop Only (of hdc)
  • St(s) – Stitch(es)
  • […] – Repeats are listed inside brackets. 
  • (…) – Instructions within parenthesis indicate to work all stitches in the same indicated stitch or space.
  • (…) – Stitch counts are listed at the end of row in ( ) and bold italics.
  • RS – Right Side
  • WS – Wrong Side

Trinity Stitch – Tutorial Link

This pattern uses the Trinity Stitch which uses sc3tog and chain 1’s to create pretty clusters. I have an in depth, step by step photo tutorial for this stitch that shows you how to work the stitch and how and why it works.

I highly recommend reviewing my Trinity Stitch Photo Tutorial if you are unfamiliar with the Trinity Stitch, sc3tog, starting in the previous stitch or working into chain 1’s when they count as a stitch.

PATTERN NOTES

  • Chain 1 at the beginning of the row to turn never counts as a stitch. Always place your first stitch in the first stitch.
  • Chain 1’s in the row instructions (after the sc3tog) COUNT as a stitch. The stitch count will include these and you will work into them as a “normal” stitch.
  • You can use any weight of yarn and yarn of any fiber you prefer. Your usage will be different than listed if you use a different weight and/or fiber.
  • This pattern requires an odd amount of stitches (requires an even amount of chains).
  • Slip stitches to close rounds in the border do NOT count as stitches. Ignore the slip stitches and make sure to work into the first stitch of the row (sc or hdc), not the slip stitch. Check out my Does the Slip Stitch Count Photo Tutorial for visuals.

Using a Stitch Marker – Note

You may find it helpful to mark the side of the last single crochet in Row 4 (and all repeats of Row 4). This will help to clearly show where to place your stitches when working the border. Because we work into the 3rd loop only across the row, where to place your stitch in the border can be a little deceiving.

The last single crochet of the row pulls up on the 3rd loop from the hdc. This loop is NOT the side of a stitch, though, and in the border it can seem like one.

We want to make sure we use the side of the single crochet. You can be sure that you’re placing your stitches correctly if you place a stitch marker in the side of this last single crochet.

Alternatively, you can simply place the first single crochet into the top of the half double crochet instead. 

Special Stitch – Single Crochet 3 Together (sc3tog)

Sc3tog’s create the lovely, dense texture of this crochet preemie blanket pattern.

To work a SC3TOG, you will: Insert hook into first indicated stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. 2 loops on hook. Insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. 3 loops on hook. Insert hook into the next stitch, yarn over and pull up a loop. 4 loops on hook.

Finally, yarn over and pull through all 4 loops. 1 loop remains on hook. Your SC3TOG is complete!

Special Stitch – 3rd Loop Only (3LO)

We use the 3LO (third loop only) of half double crochet stitches to create a pretty, chain-like texture.

When we turn our work after working a row (or round) of half double crochet stitches, we will see the back of the half double crochet. Unlike other stitches, half double crochets have a 3rd loop. The 3rd loop is directly below the front loop of the stitch and sits diagonally.

When instructed to place a stitch into the “3LO”,  we will insert our hook ONLY into this loop, not into the top of the stitch.

After completing a row working entirely in the 3rd Loop Only (Row 4 or Border Round 2, for example), we will have a pretty chainline texture showing on the Right Side.

Special Technique – Starting in Previous Stitch

In this pattern, you will see instructions to begin sc3tog’s “starting in the previous stitch”. This means to use the same stitch where your previous stitch ended to begin your next sc3tog.

The previous stitch will always be the last stitch you just worked into. If our previous stitch was a single crochet, we will start our sc3tog in the SAME stitch the single crochet was placed into. If our previous stitch was a sc3tog, we will start our next sc3tog in the last stitch used by the previous sc3tog.

My Trinity Stitch Tutorial goes over how to do this. Be sure to check out the tutorial if you need visuals!

This image shows the finished sample of the Nova Crochet Preemie Blanket pattern draped over a wooden blanket ladder. Next to the blanket ladder is a side table with a plant and a stuffed puffin on it.

Nova – Free Crochet Preemie Blanket Pattern

Ch 70

Row 1 (RS) – 1 sc in 2nd ch from hook. Sc3tog starting in previous ch. [Ch 1, sc3tog starting in previous ch]. Repeat inside brackets across the row to the end. 1 sc in last ch (same ch as last leg of sc3tog). (69)

Row 2 (WS) – Ch 1 (does not count as a stitch here or throughout), turn. 1 sc first st. Sc3tog starting in previous stitch. [Ch 1, sc3tog starting in previous st]. Repeat inside brackets across the row to the end. 1 sc last st (same st as last leg of sc3tog).(69)

Row 3 (RS) – Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in each st across (including ch 1’s). (69)

Row 4 (WS) – Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in 3LO of each st across. (69)

Rows 5 through 10 (6 total rows)
Repeat Row 2

Rows 11 through 78 –
Repeat Rows 3 through 10 in order. For example, Row 11 will be a repeat of Row 3 and Row 12 will be a repeat of Row 7. Review the Row Repeat Table below to keep track of your row repeats.

RowRow to RepeatRowRow to RepeatRowRow to Repeat
113342572
124353582
132364593
142372604
152382612
162392622
172402632
182412642
193422652
204433662
212444673
222452684
232462692
242472702
252482712
262492722
273502732
284513742
292524753
302532764
312542772
322552782
332562

Border


Round 1 (RS)- Ch 1, turn. 1 hdc in first st and in each stitch across to end of row. At the end of this side, ch 2 and rotate to work down the side of the blanket. Place 1 hdc in the side of each sc and hdc. At the end of this side, ch 2 and rotate to work along the bottom of the blanket. Place 1 hdc in the bottom of each ch. At the end of this side, ch 2 and rotate to work up the side of the blanket. Place 1 hdc in the side of each sc and hdc. At the end of this side, ch 2 and sl st to first hdc made to close the round. (294 sts total, 4 ch 2 spcs)

Border Round 2 (WS) –
Ch 1, turn. [(1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc) in ch 2 spc. 1 sc in 3LO each st to next ch 2 spc]. Repeat inside brackets 4x. Sl st to first sc made to close. (302 sts, 4 ch 2 spcs)

Border Round 3 (RS) –
Ch 1, turn. [1 hdc each st across to ch 2 spc, (1 hdc, ch 2, 1 hdc) in ch 2 spc]. Repeat inside brackets 4x. 1 hdc in last st. Sl st to first hdc made to close. (310 sts, 4 ch 2 spcs)

Border Round 4 (WS) –
Ch 1, turn. 1 sc in 3LO each of the first 2 sts. (1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc) in ch 2 spc. [1 sc in 3LO each st to next ch 2 spc, (1 sc, ch 2, 1 sc) in ch 2 spc]. Repeat inside brackets 3x. 1 sc in 3LO of each remaining st to end. Sl st to first sc made to close. (318 sts, 4 ch 2 spcs)

Border Round 5 (RS) –
Ch 1, turn. [1 sc in each st to next ch 2 spc, 3 sc in ch 2 spc]. Repeat inside brackets 4x. Sl st to first sc made to close. (490 sts)

Cut yarn, weave ends. You’re done!

This image shows the finished sample of the Nova Crochet Preemie Blanket pattern draped over a white chair. Next to the blanket ladder is a side table with a plant and a stuffed puffin on it.

Did you love this crochet preemie blanket pattern? Make sure to share the love and Pin it to Pinterest!

This image is a pinterest pin you can use to pin this pattern to Pinterest.

Want to get the PDF version of this crochet baby blanket pattern? Get your copy on Etsy by clicking the button below!

One of my greatest joys is seeing your finished crochet projects from my patterns or tutorials, so when you post to Instagram, don’t forget to tag me so I can show you some love! I’m @theloopholefoxcrochet. You can also share pictures on my recent posts on Facebook or within my Facebook group!

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Shannon | Designer & Editor

Shannon helps crocheters find their next project and build their skills with in depth tutorials and crochet patterns on her blog, theloopholefox.com.

With more than a decade of crochet experience, Shannon knows that understanding why we do something matters just as much as how we do it. She teaches new techniques and crochet stitches in depth so you can crochet with confidence.

If you loved this striped crochet baby blanket pattern, why not check out some of my other crochet baby blanket patterns?

Something New Baby Blanket – Uses Crossed Double Crochet!
The Fledgling Baby Afghan – Has mirrored stripes and uses a beautiful, easy stitch!
Rising Star Baby Blanket – Looking for another modern crochet baby blanket that is easy to crochet but has an interesting finish? You’ll love this one!
Piper Baby Blanket – Want another blanket with classic, pretty cables and color blocking? Piper is a great fit for you!

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