My son had this hat that he wore ALL THE TIME. It was his signature look...buffalo plaid with ear flaps. Hey, you know, whatever floats your boat, he rocked his hat and he rocked it hard. So, when I was browsing to make him a new snuggle blanket for his bed, this Fireside Afghan seemed the perfect match. My son is only 4-years old, though, so he is a little guy. I crocheted the full width of the blanket but only half the length, which kept the proportions correct for the blanket but made it a much more manageable snuggle size for my son. (Note: The original width becomes the length of the blanket and the length the width…if that makes sense.) The finished dimensions were 30” x 48” and it was perfect for him. And he was so patient. Even half the size took me a strangely long time. I think somewhere in my head I convinced myself the crocheting was somehow faster than knitting. That is entirely not true, especially when making such a dense, squishy cloth as this.
That leads me to the stitch. I learned a new one! This blanket is created with what is called the star stitch. It is a little more complicated than your basic stitch collection in crochet, but can be easily mastered with a few practice swatches. The stitch itself is lovely, making an almost waffle like texture over the blanket. Also, the wonderful thing about the 3D nature of a crochet stitch is that you carry all of your colors through your current stitches. This does two things: it completely hides your color floats and it really adds some nice thickness to the fabric of your blanket. I chose to crochet this blanket in acrylic because it was for a small child and will likely need to take numerous journeys through the wash. However, this would be a very warm blanket if it were made with wool. Oh, and perhaps the best thing of all is that there are no tails to weave in when you are finished! I know, right? Miracles do happen.
The color scheme of this blanket is modeled after a traditional buffalo plaid, mimicking the warp and weft relationships beautifully with the black, wine and red colors. However, this can be accomplished with many color combos, so you should not feel limited to this traditional palette. You simply need a light and dark of the same hue and black (or grey) to create this shadowed, pure color alternating plaid motif. You could also go with tints instead of shades and couple two tints of a color with white.
Summary: This is not quite a true beginner project, mostly because of the color changes and the length of time it takes to complete. However, I would label it great for an adventurous beginner and beyond. And the finished project is such a wonderful and thick blanket, it would look really at home in a cabin or lake house...or on your 4-year old's bed.