Hand-crocheted baby blankets may look intricate, but in truth they can be quite simple. The key is using a simple, familiar stitch -- say, the single crochet -- throughout the blanket pattern. Once you've simplified the blanket pattern to this point, you only have to deal with minimal stitch counting or pattern checking. A simple, 3-foot-square baby blanket will crochet up in very little time, and can be fancied up with optional shell edging.
Chain the yarn, using the crochet hook, until the chain measures 3 feet long.
Single crochet in each chain for the first row.
Chain one, turn, and single crochet in each single crochet for the second and every subsequent row, until the blanket measures 3 feet long.
Chain three to begin the optional shell-stitch edging.
Single crochet three times in every third stitch, working along the blanket edge until you reach a corner. Single crochet seven times in the corner. Repeat around the entire blanket edge. Cut the yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail. Pull the yarn through the last loop to secure.
Thread the yarn end in the tapestry needle and weave the end through the completed blanket. Do the same for the starting end of the yarn. This secures the first and final stitches, and hides the yarn tails. Clip and discard any remaining tail yarn, close against the completed blanket.