The XOXO Throw

Hello friends! I’m here today with a free crochet blanket pattern for you! If you are a beginner who grasps the basics and are ready to learn a new stitch, then this blanket is for you! The texture on this blanket is ah-mazing, truly! Whether you’re making it in a baby blanket size, or as a full throw for a housewarming gift, or maybe you just need something just for you, this blanket is beautifully textured, cozy warm, and oh so pretty.

The story behind this blanket is actually kind of funny. When Lion Brand Yarn released their new Color Made Easy line of yarn, a category 5 bulky yarn, I knew I needed to get my hands on some. I swear I stood in front of the display at my local Michael’s for WAY too long playing with different color combinations. And you guys, it was soooo amazing to work with. It’s super soft, and super snuggly, and there are so many color options and combinations to choose from! Each skein is a generous 247 yds / 226 m, so there’s a lot of bang for your buck. You need to check it out! And if you are like me and stocked up when Michael’s had it all on sale, then even better!

Finally having decided my colors, I bought 2 skeins of each, and then I was off to start making a new throw for myself. I knew that this yarn would really show off stitch definition, and I wanted something with texture, so I hit the books — my crochet stitch books that is — and got started. It was going well, until I realized that for the size I ended up making, I needed 2 more skeins of a fifth color.

After getting almost all the way done with the blanket, finishing up the 9th of 10 skeins, I really didn’t care for the color sequence. The transition between the Huckleberry and Pomegranate colors wasn’t right to me, so….I frogged. the. whole. thing. Because of course, the pomegranate would have been better suited to start the blanket instead of the Avocado colorway.

You guys, IT HURT to frog back that much work, but if a job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right, and if you haven’t figured this out about me yet, I’m too Type A to half-ass it. So I was back to square one, but I was also determined.

Admittedly, I was considerably slower the second time around, having lost a bit of heart after all that frogging, but I stuck with it, slow but steady. Then one day, as I was finishing up the first skein of Avocado, my oldest son started playing with the balls of yarn mixing up the color sequence I had plotted out. And you know what? He was on to something! So, once again, I changed the color sequence on this blanket. Thankfully though, the decision didn’t require any frogging this time. So it was onward and upward!

When I finished the blanket, I was ecstatic, and decided to share a picture to one of the crochet Facebook groups I’m in (yup, that’s a thing). People LOVED the texture and I was fielding a lot of questions as to the type of stitch I used. So I went back to my book to look up the proper name (I’m terrible at remembering the names assigned to various stitch combinations), and as I was looking again at it, I realized that I did the stitch WRONG….for the WHOLE BLANKET…BOTH times. I mean, come on! I can’t even, with this blanket.

Truth be told, at this point, I wasn’t tearing it out again, and honestly, I loved it too much as it was to do it anyway! I looked for a name for this stitch, asking others with a better memory for stitch names than I have, and no one knew of a stitch. Not that I think I created a stitch or anything, but I knew that I would need to call it SOMETHING if I planned to write a pattern for it. I already had an idea in mind, but I’m notoriously bad at naming patterns, so I asked my oldest son what he would call it. He suggested the Hugs & Kisses Blanket, since the stitch pattern resembled Xs and Os. Since The Hugs and Kisses Blanket was taken as a name, I opted to go with the shortened XOXO Throw instead, short, sweet and to the point. If the blanket was to be the XOXO Throw, then the stitch used had to be called The Kiss Stitch, obviously. 🙂

This pattern is pretty easy and straight-forward, and I think anyone skilled in the basic stitches of crochet can make this blanket. All it takes is single crochet, double crochet, and chains! The only tricky stitch I used is the foundation single crochet, which I personally much prefer over chaining and working stitches into them for that first row. If you would like to learn how to make the Foundation Single Crochet, you can find a full photo tutorial over on my Granite Stitch Kitchen Cloth post, or watch the video by Moogly Blog to see it in action.

So let’s learn The Kiss Stitch, shall we?

The Kiss Stitch (KS) is a type of crossed doubles worked over a row of single crochet.  It uses a multiple of 3 +2 stitches to work in rows. The Kiss Stitch is comprised of 3 individual stitches worked in succession to achieve a single Kiss Stitch.  You will start each KS row with a chain-3, which will count as the first double crochet of your KS row, and end with a double crochet in the first single crochet of the previous row.  This creates a lovely textured pattern that resembles X’s and O’s, thus the name of this blanket.

I’ve created a full step-by-step photo tutorial for you, but in case you need to see it done, I uploaded a video to my Instagram page as well. Also, if you purchase the paid version of this pattern, both photo tutorials (foundation single crochet AND the Kiss Stitch) will be included, as well as a helpful stitch chart for reference – available in the paid pattern only!

You’ve now completed your first KS row! Yay! Now, the next row is just an easy row of single crochet! The only thing to note for this row is that the Chain-1 at the beginning does NOT count as a stitch, so you’ll put your first single crochet into the stitch at the base of that chain-1, then into each double crochet and chain space for the rest of the row, ending with your last single crochet in the top of the Chain-3 from your previous row.

That’s really all there is to it! For my adult size throw, I did a total of 120 rows. Using 5 colors, this worked out to be 24 rows per color, roughly 12.5″-13″ wide for each stripe. I have found that some of the colors will vary slightly in thickness, and thus may require more or less rows to complete each 12.5 – 13” block height, for example, Birch was actually 26 rows / 13 pattern repeats as compared to the others at only 24 rows / 12 repeats. But I was able to work all of my colors using a little less than 2 skeins of each color.

Speaking of colors, let’s talk about changing colors when working striped rows. The easiest way I’ve found to make color changes at the end of a row is to finish the last stitch of the first color by pulling through the last loop of that last stitch with the new color. I have found that using this method works a bit more seamlessly and really makes my edges look nicer. Moogly blog has a wonderful video tutorial on this method.

Ready?! Let’s get started! Grab your G / 4mm crochet hook, your first skein of Color Made Easy by Lion Brand, and let’s go!

Pin this pattern for later!

The XOXO Throw

by La Belle Vie by Kristen | Hooks, Books, and Wanderlust

***An inexpensive, clear, concise, printable version of this pattern is available for purchase in my Etsy and Ravelry stores, complete with full color photo tutorials for both the Foundation Double Crochet, the Kiss Stitch, and a helpful stitch chart. Purchasing the printable version helps fund the upkeep of this website. Thank you for your support!

Materials List

  • 2 skeins each of 5 colors of Color Made Easy by Lion Brand, Category 5 Bulky shown in
    • Color A: Pomegranate
    • Color B: Avocado
    • Color C: Birch
    • Color D: Millennial
    • Color E: Huckleberry,
    • or approximately 2100 yds / 1921 m of a comparable yarn
  • Crochet hook in size K / 6.5 mm
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Stitches & Abbreviations (US Terms)

  • Chain (ch)
  • Chain Space (ch sp)
  • Skip (sk)
  • Foundation Single Crochet (FSC)
  • Single Crochet (sc)
  • Double Crochet (dc)
  • Kiss Stitch (KS)

Finished Measurements


Approximately 44” wide x 63” long
Approximately 12.5 – 13” tall per color

Gauge

4” square = 4 kiss stitches x 8 rows
Pattern Repeat: 1.25” tall x 4 sc wide

Notes

  • This pattern is written in US Standard terms.
  • This pattern can be altered for size or tension by using any beginning multiple of 3 + 2 foundation single crochet stitches (or if using a starting chain, a multiple of 3+2+1).
  • Chain-1s at beginning of single crochet rows do not count as a stitch.
  • Chain-3s at beginning of kiss stitch rows DO count as a double crochet.
  • Since this is a fixed rectangular size, the stitch count per row will not vary.  You will maintain the same number of stitches throughout the pattern (as written, 140 sc and 46 KS, 2 dc).
  • This blanket is worked with blocks of 5 colors, but you are welcome to change the number to any amount you want.  Just take your total row count and divide by the number of colors to determine how many rows of each color you will work.  The finished row count as written is 120, and each of my blocks were approximately 12.5”-13” tall.  For a quick video on how to change colors, Moogly has a great trip/trick you can see here.
  • I have found that some of the colors will vary slightly in thickness, and thus may require more or less rows to complete each 12.5 – 13” block height, for example, Birch was actually 26 rows / 13 pattern repeats as compared to the others at only 24 rows / 12 repeats.
  • If you purchase the paid version of this pattern, both photo tutorials (foundation single crochet AND the Kiss Stitch) will be included, as well as a helpful stitch chart for reference – available in the paid pattern only!

Pattern

With Color A

R1: 140 FSC. (Alternatively, if you would prefer to work a foundation chain instead, you’ll need a multiple of 3+2+1 to account for the turning chain)

R2 (Kiss Stitch Row): Ch 3 (counts as dc), *sk 2 (not counting the stitch at the base of the ch-3), dc next, ch 1, dc into first of the two skipped sts, leaving the second skipped stitch unworked.  Repeat from * until only one stitch from previous row remains, dc into last stitch. Turn. (140 sts or 46 KS, 2 dc)

R3 (Single Crochet Row): Ch 1, (does NOT count as a sc), sc into first st, *sc next, sc into ch sp, sc next.  Repeat from * 45 more times, sc into top of ch-3. Turn. (140 sc)

R4 (Kiss Stitch Row): Ch 3 (counts as dc), *sk 2 (not counting the stitch at the base of the ch-3), dc next, ch 1, dc into first of the two skipped sts, leaving the second skipped stitch unworked.  Repeat from * until only one stitch from previous row remains, dc into last stitch. Turn. (46 KS, 2 dc)

R5-24: Repeat alternating R3 and R4.

Switch to Color B
The easiest way I’ve found to make color changes at the end of a row is to finish the last stitch of the first color by pulling through the last loop of that last stitch with the new color.  Tamara at Moogly has a wonderful video for this that you can find here.

R25-48: Repeat alternating R3 and R4.

Switch to Color C

R49-72: Repeat alternating R3 and R4.

Switch to Color D

R73-96: Repeat alternating R3 and R4.

Switch to Color E

R97-120: Repeat alternating R3 and R4.

Tie off, weave in ends!

Congratulations! Now you’re ready to snuggle under this little slice of coziness, or send it on its way to its forever home. Try to resist that texture! It’s delicious, isn’t it?

I hope you enjoyed this pattern! Be sure to tag me on social so I can see what colors YOU chose. Use #XOXOThrow and / or #labellevieforme on Instagram and Facebook! If you have any questions or problems, reach out to me at labelleviebykristen@gmail.com.

Happy yarning!

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The opinions and recommendations given in this post are entirely my own. I wouldn’t suggest anything to you that I have not tried and done myself. I earn nothing from my recommendations, I’m simply passing on a little information.



©2019 La Belle Vie by Kristen | Hooks, Books, and Wanderlust
All rights reserved.  This design, pattern, and images are the property of Kristen Caldwell via La Belle Vie by Kristen and HooksBooksAndWanderlust.com. This pattern is for personal use.  Items made using this pattern can be sold with credit given to La Belle Vie by Kristen and Hooks Books and Wanderlust.  In accordance with U.S. copyright laws, you may not alter, sell, or distribute this pattern in whole or in part, in any way without express written permission from Kristen Caldwell.

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