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This free hooded baby afghan pattern will give your favorite child the chance to feel like a cozy little panda. Make one for the new baby to grow into and another for an older sibling to enjoy right away!
This post contains affiliate links.
Fun, form or function? When giving gifts to my friends who are expecting, I'm always torn between giving something totally indulgent (hello, mini "baby" record player), something beyond adorable (hello, miniature UGG boots) and something super practical (hello, diapers).
Since I've been in the position of an expecting mama before, I know the inexplicable joy getting some of those items you registered that are just straight up necessary for life with a new baby.
I also know how touched I've felt by each of the thoughtful, handcrafted DIY gifts that my friends and family have poured their creativity and time into for my kids.
I started to wonder if you could give a baby gift that brings the parents piece of mind everyday AND a handmade gift that is pure, indulgent cuteness?
So, I designed this panda hooded baby afghan pattern to pair alongside a VTech VM341-216 Bear 2 Camera Full Color Video Monitor to check all the gift-giving boxes with one sweet bear-themed gift!
The VTech Bear Video Monitor comes with two clear, high-quality cameras, which makes it a perfect gift for a family that wants to keep their eyes on two different spaces.
In our case, this means we can have a camera in both of our daughters' rooms and only need to carry (read: not lose) one monitor. Because let's be honest, simplification is the best gift you can give parents!
And if that simplification can involve a present that is sleek, minimalist and doesn't compete with their pre-kid decor, you will be the MVP of gift giving! Look how clean and modern (and not primary colored!) these cameras are. 🙂
After seeing how much both of my daughters enjoyed this hooded baby afghan, I really think it would be wonderful to gift a set of these to a new baby and their big brother or sister. Since the VTech Bear Video Monitor comes with two cameras, why not make two blankets too, right!?
This crochet panda hooded baby afghan is a great size for a toddler or preschooler to cozy up in. Because the yarn used is chunky, it works up fairly quickly, but it's also a bit heavy and bulky for a newborn baby. (For reference, my kids are 18 months and 4-years-old and you can see the blanket "fits" both of them well.)
I am curious what this pattern would be like worked in a worsted weight yarn with a smaller hook. I suspect the scale might be great for a younger baby.
Please do not publish or share this pattern as your own. You may make items to sell with this pattern. In exchange, please link back to this post. Do NOT use my photos as your own sales photos. You can read my policies here. Now let’s make something awesome!
"Panda Bear Hug" Hooded Baby Afghan -- Free Pattern
Purchase the printable, ad-free pdf of this pattern here.
Add this pattern to your Ravelry favorites here.
31x42” (not including hood)
So you can spend more time making pandas and less time shopping, this pattern contains affiliate links at no extra cost to you.
• (5) Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in “Fisherman” approx. 500 yards (MC)
• (1 Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in “Black” approx. 212 yards (SC)
• Tapestry needle
• Size N [9.0 mm] crochet hook
• Size K [6.5.0 mm] crochet hook
• 4 dc “Vs” = 4”
• 4 row worked in blanket pattern = 4”
Abbreviations (US Terms):
sc – single crochet
fdc – foundation double crochet
sl st – slip stich
dc – double crochet
MC – main color
SC – secondary color
tr – treble crochet
Approx. – approximately
ch – chain
tch – turning chain
- The heft and size of this hooded afghan make it the perfect size for a toddler or preschooler. It would likely be a bit too large for a newborn.
- This pattern is intended to use all the yardage of two skeins of Wool Ease Thick & Quick in “Black.” Since each skein’s exact yardage can vary a little, it’s smart to work the black facial features for the panda first so that you can ensure you don’t use too much black yarn on the afghan and run out of yarn for the face.
Using SC and smaller hook, ch 7.
Row 1: Dc in third ch from hook, 1 dc in each of next two ch, 1 tr in next two ch. Fasten off, leaving a long enough tail to sew eye patch onto hood.
Repeat for second eye patch.
Using SC and smaller hook, ch 4, sl st into first ch to form a ring.
Row 1: Ch 3, 9 tr in ring. Fasten off leaving long enough tail to sew ear onto hood. Scoot all stitches toward one half of the ring.
Repeat for second ear.
Using SC and smaller hook, ch 6.
Row 1: Sc in second ch from hook, working one st per ch, dc, tr, dc, sc over next 4 ch. Fasten off leaving long enough tail to sew nose onto hood.
Notes: Reference chart below for visual guidance.
Row 1: Using MC and larger hook, fdc 87. (Alternatively, ch 90 and beginning in the 3rd ch from hook, dc in each ch across to create 87 dc.)
Row 2: Ch 3, dc2tog over 1st and 2nd dc from hook, *ch 1, dc2tog by inserting hook in next 2 dc; repeat from * to last dc, ch 1, dc in last dc; turn.
Row 3: Ch 3, dc2tog over 1st and 2nd ch sp, *ch 1, dc2tog by inserting hook in same ch sp as last st, then in the next ch sp; repeat from * working 2nd leg of last dc2tog under tch of previous row, ch 1, 1 dc in 3rd ch of same tch; turn.
Row 3-21 (or until 5 skeins of “Fisherman” are used): Repeat row 3.
Switch to SC and work remainder of blanket.
Row 22-30 (or until remainder of SC is used): Repeat row 3.
Notes: Using larger hook and mc, join yarn in 26th st at top of blanket. (To attach yarn for hood, create a slip knot around hook. Insert hook in 26th st from the edge, yo and pull yarn through slip knot.) Work row 1 over tail of slip knot to avoid weaving it in.
Row 1: Sc in same stitch yarn was attached in, sc in each of next 34 sts; turn. (35)
Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each sc; turn. (35)
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in each of next 12 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 12 sc; turn. (37)
Row 4-8: Repeat row 2. (37)
Row 9: Ch 1, sc in each of next 13 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 13 sc; turn. (39)
Row 10-14: Repeat row 2. (37)
Row 15 (Begin hood top): Ch 1, sc in each of next 14 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 9 sc, 2 sc in next sc, sc in each of next 14 sc; turn. (41)
Row 16-18: Repeat row 2. (41)
Row 19-27: Ch 1, sc in each of next 15 sc; turn. (15)
Fasten off and weave in end.
With tapestry needle and SC, attach yarn at lower left corner of hood top. Sew the hood top to Row 14 of hood using the mattress stitch and working only in the outside loops. (See the video tutorial in this post for help.)
With tapestry needle and SC tails of facial features, sew the ears, eye patches and nose onto the hood as pictured. Alternatively, you can use black sewing thread if you find it easier to work with.
Wrap up your favorite child in a big “bear” hug!
For even more fun, free crochet patterns to make for the kiddos in your life, check these out: