The Ultimate Billow Blanket

When our latest yarn Billow first arrived to the office, I was in the same boat as all of my crafty coworkers: completely head-over-heels, need to have it in my life, in love with this yarn. Unfortunately, this caused me great anxiety as I am very much a one-at-a-time project kind of gal – but Billow was just so tempting! Considering I was going to break my “one project” rule for Billow (I have an in progress cowl on the needles), I methodically rummaged through my books and patterns looking for the perfect project.

       my ultimate billow blanket, nestled nicely on top of my couch

Torn between a flurry of cowls, cardigans, and blankets, I unexpectedly decided on the idea to simply make a large granny square blanket. Lately, I’ve been honing in my crochet skills and figured that repetition would be the best approach to train my fingers to crochet. And since my finishing skills are rather lacking (ahem, or lacking the motivation to finish), I knew that making one single continuous granny square would be the way to go for me. By eliminating the need to sew lots and lots of small granny squares together, I knew that this was the project for me, my crochet hook, and Billow!

After I decided on my project, it was on to color planning. And oh my, this part might have been even more difficult that the pattern search! I simply adore the color palette for Billow. The colors are a bit more toned down, but the tightly curated shades really work so well together. I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to do: a natural with one pop of color, a gradient of cream to brown, or maybe experiment with combining the soft mauves and pinks with punches of mossy green and warm yellows. After playing around with many color combinations, I settled on Natural, Lichen, Gosling, Clarity, and Ash.

      my billow blanket, made with: natural, lichen, gosling, clarity, and ash

For my blanket, I used a size K (6.5mm) crochet hook and I just did a simple granny square that I kept working around and around. I made the center in Natural for several rounds to balance out the striping I would be working in later on. Then, I worked two full rounds of each of the five colors until my blanket reached what I considered to be “giant” sized!

I used 4 balls of each color except for Ash (the dark blue), which I used 5 of. I ended up running out of yarn about 24” from the end of my last round, but it could have been made only doing one round of the last color as a finer border – which you would then only need 4 balls of each color.

My blanket turned out to be 70×70” total, and it is big enough to cover my bed. I couldn’t be happier! I really am so thrilled with how it turned out. Plus, Billow is so super soft – I know it’s going to keep me so very cozy. And I can say with confidence that I can pretty much crochet double chains with my eyes closed forever now!

And for anyone else looking to try their hands at crochet, I would recommend the book Crochet 101 by Deborah Burger. Not only does it cover the basics, but it also devotes an entire section the the classic granny square.

Do you have any big (or giant!) plans for Billow?


  1. Gabi / May 3, 2013

    I’m very intrigued by Billow. I’m waiting for it to “somehow” go on sale. When it does, I will order some to make a t-shirt style sweater.

  2. Jessica / April 25, 2013

    I love this afghan! I’m new to crocheting but feel very comfortable with granny squares. This may be my first attempt at a blanket.

  3. Miriam / April 25, 2013

    Like Denise, the amount of variance between the thick and thin sections of this yarn was more than I expected it to be, but it is SO soft and is working out well on the shrug I’m working on.

  4. Kathleen / April 23, 2013

    Where is the pattern?

  5. Jan B. / April 12, 2013

    I’m wondering how you plan to hand wash this..

    Started to jump right on and order the yarn to make a duplicate of your granny afghan – I LOVE IT – but not sure about giving it for a gift due to hand washing….

    • Jenny K / April 15, 2013

      Hi there! To wash the blanket, I’ll probably soak it in the bathtub and then lay it out to dry over two drying racks with a fan to help it dry. And if you have a washing machine (depending on the cycles/settings available), you can probably wash it in the wool cycle or soak it in the tub and then just put it into a spin cycle to help wring out as much water as possible. Hope that helps a bit!

      • Kathleen / April 19, 2013

        You can take the afghan (s) to dry cleaner as they have bigger washing machines.

  6. Fran / April 3, 2013

    I have made 5 of the big granny afghans, but would do another smaller one to try Billow. Yours is lovely. I am a crocheter and knitter. I love this site.

  7. Netagene / April 2, 2013

    I haven’t tried that yarn yet, but want to make a comment about making certain stitches with your eyes closed. I’ve been crocheting off and on about 60 years. I became legally blind 9 years ago. I was almost totally blind for 2 or 3 months. I learned that I CAN crochet pretty much in the dark, using worsted weight yarn and an I, J, or K hook! And I made most of an afghan while riding Amtrak through the tunnels in the Rockies! Don’t despair. Even if you go legally blind, I bet you’ll figure out a way to keep hookin’! I did!

  8. kimb0 / April 1, 2013

    I also love Billow!!! As soon as I saw it, I knew it needed to be a crochet afghan. My niece is going away to college in the fall, so what better reminder of home than a crocheted afghan from her auntie in a washable cotton? I’m making a Greenway in the colors Natural, Tea Rose, Sagebrush, Comfrey, Cadet, Lichen, and Cornmeal.

  9. Denise hall / March 31, 2013

    The very pronounced thick-thin is very hard to get a nice lace pattern on my sweater. It’s a trellis pattern, didn’t think it would be a problem. Back to the drawing board.