CROCHET: Pattern for the Reversible Shell Afghan and an awesome pair of linkies!

I was so hot, I just had to take a break, so here you go . . . Please note, I am not referring to FIFA again for four years (well, except for the women’s matches, of course! None of my teams made it to the finals . . .  😦

Note: awesome linkies are at the bottom of this post, but first, here is the pattern for the


Supplies: 20 x (50 gm skeins), 10 each of two colours (one can be variegated, if you like; I haven’t tried this with two variegates, but if you are super adventurous, do make sure the colours create a strong contrast.  4-ply Sayelle knitting Worsted is what’s suggested in my pattern. That will make an afghan approximately 50″ x 60″ (4 feet by 5 feet). Use a Number 5 crochet hook.

Since I was using yarn I already had, I simply used a hook the right size for that yarn. If your yarn and hook are larger, then the afghan will be larger (and you may need more yarn)

The first two rows need you to pay close attention; after that, you’re sailing!

Row 1:  (Shell stitch row) With either colour, chain 203 loosely.

Work 1 dc in the 5th chain from the hook (turning chain), 3 dc in the next chain, 1 dc in the next chain (1 shell completed)

* Skip 2 chains, work 1 dc in next ch, 3 dc in next chain, 1 dc in next chain.

Repeat from * across to within one chain from the end, do not work in last chain. There will be 40 shells in the row. Crop loop from hook (leave the loop long enough so it doesn’t pull out).

Row 2:  (chain loop row). Do not turn.

With your second colour, make a loop on the hook.

Starting at the beginning of the last  row, chain with a sc in the 4th chain of the turning chain (the chain before the first dc of the first shell stitch row)

Working in front of the last row,  * ch 5, skip next shell, work 1 sc in the 1st chain of the 2 skipped chains in the foundation chain (between shells). Repeat from * across.

End with chain 6, 1 sc in end chain (the free chain at the end of the last shell row)

There are 40 chain loops in a row.

Row 3:  (Shell stitch row) Ch 2, turn.

Work a slip-stitch in first dc of last shell-stitch row.

(NB: make sure the new colour thread doesn’t twist around the first colour, or you will spoil the look of the edge)

Ch 2,  * inserting hook through the dc and under the chain loop, work a shell (5 dc in same st) in centre of the next shell, repeat from * across row, drop loop from hook, do not turn.

Row 4:  (chain-loop row)  Pick up dropped first colour loop at end of the shell st row before last ch 6, working in front of last shell-st row, skip shell, work 1 sc in space before next shell (same colour shell as cahin-loop being made); repeat from * across, end with chain 6, skip lst shell, 1 sc under chain-loop at end of row.

Row 5:  With first colour, work same as for row 3. Do not turn.

Row 6:  Pick up dropped 2nd colour loop at end of the shell-st row before last and work same as for row 4.

Repeat rows 3, 4, 5 and 6 for pattern and work until afghan measures approx. 60 inches from start.

Fringe: Cut 10 inch lengths of both colours. Using 2 lengths of each colour, attach fringe between shells, catching chain loops also.

Notes:  A baby afghan is made the same way, but use baby wool.183 chains and is usually 32″ by 40″  For a baby afghan, cot or pram blanket, I like the look of white on one side and a baby colours variegate on the other. (see photos below).

Be careful with the first 2 rows – and after that it’s a piece of cake!

For me, a dc (double crochet) is made with a loop on the hook, then wrap the yarn around once, insert hook through next chain and grab yarn, pulling yarn through to make a loop (on the hook you will have a loop, a wrap and the original loop); pull yarn through the loop you just made and the wrap (leaving two loops on the hook), then through those last two loops. I know that dc is different in some countries, so I hope this helps. If it’s not clear, let me know, please.

If you have any trouble with this pattern (especially if you are new to crochet), please let me know and I’ll do what I can to help.

Here are the photos again, to save you having to go back and forth with the earlier post:

20130417-195852.jpg 20130413-102953.jpg

Note: these photos show the work upside-down to what it looks like when you are working on it. In the picture below, the working edge is at the bottom. The shells have the wide edge up and their base is worked through the chains of the previous row (same colour) as well as through the top of the opposite colour shell. Don’t worry; all becomes clear as soon as you have the first four – six rows done. Honest!

20130413-102913.jpg 20130413-102856.jpg 20130413-102830.jpg 20130403-122428.jpg 20130403-122404.jpg

In the top piece in the above photo, the work is seen with the beginning on the right side and the working edge on the left.

 20130403-122326.jpg 20130402-154904.jpg

Now for that awesome link:

This pattern belongs to Robin Sanchez, of the Once Upon a Pink Moon blog, which I’m sure you will enjoy browsing. I know you need another project as much as I do. I think these would be stunning in tones of teal, aqua and sea-foam, don’t you, Boomdee?  🙂

If you make this and blog about it, please be sure to  give Robin the credit and link back to her blog. She does some great work!  Narfie7, stop reading here!

Robin also shares a link to another blog with a recipe for vegan date bars . . . and art journaling, among other topics . . .

I think this Flower Power valance would be lovely over sheer white curtains, too, or on the side windows of a motor home or van . . . hmmm, my era is showing again . . .


19 thoughts on “CROCHET: Pattern for the Reversible Shell Afghan and an awesome pair of linkies!

  1. My mother in law just passed away a week ago. They have a very large family and she made it a point to crochet every, I mean EVERY new baby the 2 sided baby afghan. I crochet but have never tackled her pattern. I cannot find the pattern for the 2 color reversible baby afghan. I have tried to pull it up but to no avail. could you please post it for me? Or let me know where I can find it?

    • I did not mention that she had one started but was not able to continue because of health reasons. So I have been beckoned to finish it. I only hope that I can do it justice!

      • Hi again, Kathy. I’m glad you are going to finish the blanket. You may find this pattern somewhat habit-forming . . . I’ve posted the link to it on my blog in response to your first comment. It’s much easier than you might think, but do take care on the first two rows when you are starting from scratch.

        All the best to you. ~ Linne

    • Kathy, I’m so sorry to be so late in responding. I haven’t been on wordpress for a while.

      I’m sorry to hear of your mother in law’s passing. She sounds a lot like a couple of my Aunties. I’m so glad you want to take up her ‘torch’, as it were. I have posted the pattern on the blog. Hang on a minute and I’ll find it for you.

      Here it is!

      If you have any trouble, do leave me a note or private message me on facebook and I’ll do my best to help.

      I love to see people carrying on family traditions. You are awesome!!

  2. Help. I am a pretty good crocheter but I’m having problems on the first 2 rows. Actually. The first. I don’t know what you mean by turning chain after the first double on the fifth chain. Can you send a video or help explain.

    • Thanks, Tanya. I don’t have time tonight and tomorrow we are going to Vernon, but I may be able to look this up after supper tomorrow. I don’t have a video, but will probably be able to help explain. I’m so pleased you are trying this pattern. It was given to me by a good friend some years ago and I really like it. Anyway, I’ll contact you tomorrow or else the following day. ~ Linne

    • Tanya, sorry for making you wait again. I’m going to paste a copy of the instructions for the first row here, then explain:

      Work 1 dc in the 5th chain from the hook (turning chain), 3 dc in the next chain, 1 dc in the next chain (1 shell completed)

      * Skip 2 chains, work 1 dc in next ch, 3 dc in next chain, 1 dc in next chain.
      Repeat from * across to within one chain from the end, do not work in last chain.
      There will be 40 shells in the row.
      Drop loop from hook (leave the loop long enough so it doesn’t pull out).

      OK, the first four chains of the long foundation form the end chain or turning chain once you have worked the dc into the 5th chain. As soon as you do the dc, you will have the equivalent of two dcs (one formed by the four stitches, the other by the dc you just made). The shell is formed by the 1dc, 3dc, 1dc repeat; the ‘turning chain’ is at the end of the row and forms a firm edge. After making the first shell, you will skip 2 chains, then work another shell, and so on to the last chain. Do NOT work into the last chain!
      I just noticed that in the post, I said “Crop loop from hook, etc.” I meant “DROP loop”

      It is important that you NOT turn the work; leave the yarn loop hanging and go back to the beginning. This is where you will join your second, contrasting, colour with a sc in the top of the ‘turning chain’. The second row is loops behind the shells. and the third row is another row of shells. Row One is in Colour A, Rows Two and Three are in Colour B. From here on, you will do two rows of each colour.

      I recommend making a small sample so you can see how it works. I think a foundation chain of 30 chains should be right.

      Do let me know if you are still having trouble with this. Once you get the first two or three rows done, it’s SO easy! And it looks great, too. I really like either two solids or a solid and a variegated. You can see examples of both in the photos accompanying the post.

      Good luck and I hope you like this as much as I do. And don’t mind asking if you need more help. I’m just getting back into ‘normal’ life and simply forgot to come back and reply to you.

      Have a great day tomorrow, Tanya! ~ Linne

  3. Thankyou for all your wonderful patterns. Do you have a Video tutorial for the Reversible Shell Afphan. Thankyoi again.

    • Thanks, Carmel. No, I’ve never done any video tutorials. Maybe one day. This pattern is pretty easy, though; just take care on the first couple of rows. If you make a square, say 8″x8″, you will get the feel of it quite quickly. Good luck with it!

    • Tasha, I’m pasting the directions for Row 4 here so I can refer to it while answering you.

      Row 4: (chain-loop row) Pick up dropped first colour loop at end of the shell st row before last ch 6, working in front of last shell-st row, skip shell, work 1 sc in space before next shell (same colour shell as cahin-loop being made); repeat from * across, end with chain 6, skip lst shell, 1 sc under chain-loop at end of row.

      As this item is made using two contrasting colours, I will say they are white and red. You would have used White for Rows one; then red for rows two and three. For row four you pick up the white yarn and work across making chain loops, then back making shells.

      So, in Row four, you are making white chain loops that are anchored in the space between the white shells you created in row one. You will chain six, then make a sc in the first of the two chain stitches that join the white shells. Chain five and repeat across the row, ending with a chain six. HOpe this helps. If you are still not sure, email me at maelinne AT hotmail DOT com and I will see what I can do to make this easier for you. Best of luck! ~ Linne

  4. Love this pattern and I just spent the best part of an hour finding more delicious patterns thanks to your generous spirit 🙂 Cheers Linnie and keep your chin up and out of that heat. Pretty soon you will be lamenting how cold it is all over again 😉 Might want to keep that recipe for those delicious looking vegan date bars for the immediate future when hot drinks are much more pleasurable than they are at the moment…

    • Glad you like it, Narfie; I have quite a few ‘bits’ that I’ve done using various yarns; one day I will finish some of them . . .
      We’ve been blessed with much cooler weather (down to 7C at night for a couple of nights and about 17C in the daytime; one day I think it was down to 12C! Cool enough to close the balcony doors and the kitchen window and be able to sleep through all the sirens, traffic, etc. I do like everything open for the coolness, though. I even used a comforter for the first time in months! I love that recipe; but I’ve been cutting back on sweets and bread. Just for my health; I’m quite able to digest them and all. But my waistline will thank me, once it re-appears 😉 . . . my knees will be happier, too. I need to move more but my ‘get up and go’ has got up and went . . .
      Looking forward to hot drinks and soups . . .

      • I am with you on the “got up and went” bit and have been chained to the PC studying for most of winter. Sanctuary is out there beconning and a most terrified narf7 has to waddle up there and attempt to do “something” with that tangle of nasturtiums that have taken over. Earl does his level best to destroy them by pouncing all over them after lizards but they keep coming back. I couldn’t ever grow nasturtiums prior to these 2 plants but now…I don’t think that I will ever be without them as they keep rooting into the ground all over the place ;). My knees are with yours at the moment but I don’t have a lot of stairs. Living upstairs in an apartment (been there…done that…sixth floor…) I know how hot it can get up there as all of the building’s heat rises. We didn’t have air conditioning and our appartment was ostensibly a concrete box with a tiny bedroom and HOT! We lived in Perth Western Australia where it gets up to 45C regularly in summer so I learned to hate summer with a passion when we lived in that apartment 😦 We did have a communal pool but at 110kg, there was no WAY I was going to swim in it. Hugs from Sidmouth and glad it is starting to cool down for you now 🙂

      • I figured you’d understand . . . I can’t believe you are headed for spring, and an early one, too, it sounds like. I wonder if getting a couple of sheep would be useful for you; but a compost heap is likely best for dealing with unwanted vegetation. I do envy your nasturtiums; I love them, esp the climbing varieties. They are so good in salads (which you likely aren’t eating much of these days, right?); but they can spread like crazy. Wish I were there to yank some of it out and then let it dry on a tarp before adding to the compost heap. My knees will be better as soon as I lose some weight (I’m about where you used to be at the moment) and also start moving more. When I lived on the coast, I walked a lot until I started doing office work and was putting in 16+ hour days to avoid going home to an empty apartment; later on, I lived with my son’s first girlfriend; she’s very active and dragged me off for walkies a lot! I resisted and she ignored me and it was most enjoyable. Sort of like you being towed by Mr. E, I reckon . . . I don’t like mall walking, although I’ve done some of it; and it seems like here it’s too hot / too cold so much of the time that I just don’t bother. Lazy of me, I know . . .

        We don’t have air conditioning, just a table fan that we sit on the floor in the hallway to get the air moving a bit. It helps. I can hardly imagine 45C! You are some superwoman to survive that! When I was in my 20s and living in the Okanagan or, later, hitchhiking through there, we had temps like that. Once, hitching with a friend after her car broke down on our way to visit friends of hers, we got a ride with a huge tractor-trailer. The road was so hot, it melted his re-treads off and he had to take it to a tire place for repairs. So we were stranded near Osoyoos. We took the kids *my two boys and her daughter; all between one and six)down to the lake and just waded in, jeans and all. Well soaked, we walked back to the highway, all of 300 feet away and were all completely dry when we got there, and already sweating again . . . luckily we got a ride quickly and then were up through the foothills heading east. I still think about it, though. And you lived in temps like that . . . I know what you mean about not wanting to go swimming when you aren’t svelte and Twiggy-like, but these days I’d be tempted to go sit in the water anyways . . . but maybe not . . . 😉

        I’d say I’m glad it’s warming up for you now, but I can only imagine that with the studies and the garden, you’d rather have a bit longer coolness and then get stuck into the seedlings, the nasturtiums and all the other tasks that seem so overwhelming just now . . . I still think that if most of the Virtual Villagers upped stakes and moved to Tassie, we could take it over, living fare enough apart so as not to come to blows, and close enough to be able to host work parties for anyone feeling snowed under . . . maybe in another life, eh? 🙂

      • We have seen a lovely couple of days of rain and its still nice and crispy cold in the mornings so Brunhilda (who has been on constant 24/7 duty since late April) is still pumping out the delicious warmth and we are still fully appreciating it. Stevie-boy has had a stomach wog since Monday and isn’t feeling very well so I have been walking with Jan and Mieka and Earl (as her brother Peter has an ingrown toenail…what is it with these men eh? 😉 ) early and as the sun is coming up earlier these days it is a lovely time of day to just walk and “chew the fat” so to speak. Nature is giving us all of the cues and we need to be picking them up and running with them. The only problem is that our studies appear to be relentless and are not slowing down or tailing off. We no sooner finish one gargantuan task and another one lands in our laps! Oh well, we are becoming pretty proficient at using Illustrator and InDesign and I guess that’s what we wanted to be at the begining of the course so we can’t complain about that bit ;). Hugs from cold Sidmouth where the nasturtiums haven’t quite taken over yet but where the forget-me-nots and periwinkle are trying their level best to do so, closely followed by the blackberries…time to get a goat! 😉

      • If I’d answered this promptly, I could have been smug about the temperature, but today its +2C (see my most recent post), so no smugness here . . . I’d love a Brunhilda of my own about now . . . You know, I am in such awe of all you accomplish, considering that you are full-time students and taking quite challenging courses. When I was learning these things, there were no courses; you bought the software, installed it, then jumped in and hoped you could figure out how to stay afloat. The programmes today are so much more complex, I doubt I could do that now . . . so you two deserve large medals and even larger mugs of tea/coffee/whatever . . . 🙂 I love forget-me-nots and periwinkle (yes, and blackberries), but I haven’t forgotten what a battle it is to keep them corralled . . . at least you can eat the nasturtiums yourself! But a goat is a wonderful idea. I had one once, for nearly two years, I think, and a few years after that we boarded a friend’s goats and got the milk for ourselves. I miss that . . .

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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