Blankets are one of the first projects beginning crocheters choose. Once you learn a few simple crochet stitches, you can easily crochet a blanket. The single crochet and double crochet stitches are the two most basic stitches, which can later be expanded into more advanced ones. The basics to remember -- you yarn over to do the double crochet stitch, and do not yarn over for the single crochet stitch. With this in mind, you'll have a clearer distinction between the stitches.
Decide on size and colours. For example, the size of a small baby blanket is about 36 inches wide by 40 inches long. Choose pastel colours for the blanket such as pinks, blues or yellows, using the darker colour for edging.
Determine the number of chains for the base by looking at your yarn label. For example, a four-ply (medium) yarn may indicate a 4-by-4-inch swatch is 17 stitches with a size 8 (or 5mm) crochet hook. A blanket that's 36 inches wide is equal to nine 4-by-4 inch swatches. If one 4-by-4 inch swatch is 17 stitches, then nine swatches would be 153 chains. Add two stitches for turning at the end to make your first double crochet stitch, for a total of 155 chains for your base.
After chaining 155, double crochet in each chain across. Count your stitches. You should have 153 double crochets. Continue making 153 double crochets in each row until your piece measures about 40 inches long.
On your last row, as you approach your last double crochet and have the last two loops of colour A on your hook, grab the colour B yarn and pull through the new yarn, changing colours.
With colour B, you'll be single crocheting around the entire blanket to finish off the edges. After you've done about four single crochets, break off the colour A yarn, leaving about a 6-inch tail. Continue single crocheting around the blanket until you come back to your starting point.
Break off the yarn. Leave a tail that's about 6 inches long. With a yarn needle, weave the tail into the single crochet edging. Also thread the yarn needle with the tail of colour A and weave it into the single-crochet edging.
Before beginning, check the gauge as indicated on yarn label. Do a quick 4-by-4-inch swatch sample to ensure the gauge is correct.
Always check each row to make sure you have 153 double crochets. If you have either too few or too many, then find where you got off track, undoing crocheting and re-crocheting. Otherwise, your blanket will be lopsided. Buy more than enough yarn. You can always return any unneeded skeins if the labels haven't been torn.