Woven Tartan Crochet

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I have been wanting to attempt to use a woven crochet technique to make my husband’s family name Tartan for a while now. So I figured what better time to celebrate his Irish Heritage than with a blanket!

That would have been awesome right? Well I guess the ‘luck’ wasn’t with him today because I didn’t make him a blanket. I did however make a sampler of the blanket that I am going to make him someday soon!

crowley tartan

This is the tartan pattern I was attempting to crochet

If you have ever made a woven plaid blanket, you know that you need to do a little planning. Attempting to do a Family Name Tartan is even trickier because there is very little room for error.

I went to Stitch Fiddle (yaaaaaay!) and planned out the pattern for the order and row size of the colors and figured I should be good to go. Well for once, I stopped myself from jumping straight into it and decided to make a small sample instead. I wanted to double check the pattern and my yarn colors. I’m calling it a sample in the very loosest terms possible – it’s probably the same size as a newborn baby blanket. I have some sort of compulsion to make everything BIG. Honestly – from cooking to crocheting to everything else I do it’s always way too much! I could feed then cover an army with one blanket!! 😀

Back to my giant sized sample –  I need to adjust my row height on one color and use

Tartan Woven5

This is what I ended up with – close but not quite right.

different color for the red stripes – the one I was using is way too bright red. I also think that I need to use a lighter weight yarn and smaller hook size. I like the big pattern with the big stitches, but I really want to make something nice, something heirloom quality.

How to Make a Woven Plaid Crochet Blanket

This is a super easy pattern. It’s one of those crochet projects that is really generic. You make it your own by the colors and the way you arrange your rows. Even someone that just learned double crochet stitch two days ago can make this blanket.

The pattern develops in a two step process. Which is why I’m glad I made the sample – otherwise that would have been a lot of wasted time and energy!

Planning a Plaid Pattern

Before you begin you really should take a few minutes to plan how you want your plaid to look. You can just freestyle it if you want though.

Tartan Woven4_750

For my sample I used:

  • Soft Navy = 5 rows
  • Hunter Green = 8 rows
  • Soft Navy = 5 rows
  • Red = 2 rows
  • White = 1 row
  • Red = 2 rows

If I were making a full size blanket I would have repeated that for as many rows as I wanted the length and height to be. You can use as many colors as you want – keep in mind though that you want to end up with a plaid design. You can make your rows as wide as you want in a single color, or as narrow as you want for other colors.

If your not sure what you want your plaid to look like, or you want to try to make a Clan Tartan you can find tons of info or inspiration with a quick Google search.

Step 1 – crochet a filet mesh

Tartan Mesh

This is way easier than it sounds. After you have determined the colors you want to use and how many rows of each color you can start to make your filet mesh that you will be weaving into for Step 2.

How long should you make your starting chain? Add up the number of rows that your pattern is going to need to develop. Then multiply it by 2. That is your starting chain – plus 4 for your turning chain.

Example – for my plaid tartan pattern sample the number of rows added up to 23 rows. I did another set of Soft Navy and Hunter Green so that adds an additional 18 rows. That equals 41 rows – multiply this times 2 because you need to count the chain spaces you’ll be making for the filet. I ended up needing a foundation chain of 82 plus ch 4 for my turning chain.

That sounds way too complicated. 😦 The most important thing is that you make an EVEN number of chains. Just keep in mind that the number of spaces in your mesh is going to determine how many rows you will need to do for your blanket.

Tartan Mesh Closeup

Filet Mesh Close up

For row 2 – skip one chain and double crochet into the next, chain 1, skip one chain, double crochet into the next chain, chain 1, skip one chain – and repeat until the end of the row. Chain 4 and turn your work.

Row 3 – end of project – repeat row 2 changing colors as necessary based on your plaid pattern at the end of the row.

Step 2 – Make Chains and Weaving

You’re halfway done! Now make chains of the color for EVERY row that you have in your mesh. Make the chains long enough so that they will fit from the top to the bottom of your mesh. I made mine a few chains longer with the thought that it will be easier to make them shorter if I need to pull out some stitches after I was done weaving.

Tartan Chains

Chains for Weaving

Starting at the bottom right side of your mesh – this should be where your starting slipknot is – weave the chains vertically through the spaces in your mesh.

Follow the same color order that you used in your rows.

Be consistent with the weaving of your vertical rows – If you started the row with under, then over, under, over etc. continue using that same weave for every vertical row.

Video Link and Info for Crochet Woven Tartan Blanket

For all of you visual learners and if my written instructions didn’t make sense – or if you didn’t feel like reading them (that’s fine, I probably wouldn’t read them either) here is a link to an instructional video for this technique.

This is a short video that consists of slides that show everything I was trying to explain above.  😀

I hope everyone had a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day! My house is going to smell like corned beef and cabbage for a week!

Thanks for reading!

~ Tami



34 responses to “Woven Tartan Crochet

  1. Gosh, it seems like every time I come to your blog, I learn of a new crochet technique. Not that it’s a bad thing or anything ;). This loons so awesome. I’ve been promising my husband I’d make him a blanket for a while now, perhaps this is what I’ll be aiming for! In any event, I really want to test it out.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Just a few days ago a coworker told me she’d crocheted a plaid afghan years ago. I hadn’t heard of it, but when she pulled up pictures on her phone I was fascinated… and now you post this. Guess a plaid afghan is going on my project list.
    I’ll have to track down the tartan plaids for one of the names in my family tree, maybe Blue or McKay…then decide which plaid I like best.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “I have some sort of compulsion to make everything BIG.” – loved this insight! How many of us don’t stop to think, oh, I could try this on a small scale first. Yet there is also something so admirable about having the courage to go big. 🙂 What an amazing project, Tami!

    My daughter is a huge knitter, but a bit of a shy crocheter. I’m going to share this pattern with her, I’ll bet she’ll love it. – she is drawn to things with intricate planning.

    We have O’Neill ancestors (my mom’s maiden name was O’Neill) – a little Googling yields me this Tartan for O’Neill. Perfect! https://www.tartanregister.gov.uk/tartanDetails?ref=4824

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Many years ago, I taught students to crochet as part of one of the activities they could choose during a summer program. They were so proud of their chains. I ended up with a bunch of chains that I didn’t know what to do with. I made a mesh bag and then wove all those chains through it. It displayed all their hard work. Reading your post has re-inspired me to do something with all those chains my students are making for me now. A classroom-woven blanket would be totally awesome! They could all help (they always want to help) and the more advanced crocheters could make cute embellishments.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. So glad it was JUST a sample this time. I’m assuming you’re reading all my comments back to back from oldest post to newest but I’m sure you’re not, lol. That’s what happens when I go a week without reading 😂.

    This is really amazing. I love how you keep finding all these projects, make at least a sample and then tell us how you’re doing it all. You’re seriously making me tired! Keep going, I’m loving it and FYI, I read every single word.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This ‘sample’ is actually huge – I swear I must have been from Texas in a previous life! I’m glad I tried out the color arrangement first because it needs some tweaking. I think I’m going to put some fringe on the sample, stick a dowel through it and hang it on the wall. I still need to do a whole blanket. 😀 oh and I read every word too, did not think for one second that you weren’t! 😛


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    • The hardest part is weaving in all of the ends that the chains leave behind. So when I make blankets using this technique there will be fringe all around. 😀


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