Inside – Crochet a Saguaro Forest using Intarsia Crochet for the second part of the Desertscape Blanket Crochet Pattern.

Part 2 of the Desertscape Blanket Crochet Pattern features the Saguaro Cactus. These plants stretch up high towards the sun, and provide homes for many animals in the Sonoran Desert. This week we’ll focus on crocheting our own Sonoran Desert landscape with the Saguaro Forest crochet pattern.

The desertscape blanket crochet pattern is a free crochet pattern on the High Desert Yarn Blog.

When you hear the word “desert”, what do you think of?

Dreadful heat?
Those weird cacti with the awkward arms?

My mind goes to Wile E. Coyote chasing that Road Runner, and getting smashed by an anvil.

However, after living in the desert, I realized there is so much more to The Desert than a pop fiction cartoon. But one plant prevalent in the cartoon, and real life, is the Saguaro Cactus.

The Saguaro Cactus is an American Southwest icon. It’s home to gilded flickers, and gila woodpeckers. When these birds vacate their cavities, the elf owls, screech owls, purple martins, finches, and sparrows move in. The Saguaro’s fruit and flowers become yummy snacks for lizards, bats, and mammals passing by on their desert adventures. The Saguaro is a tower of provision and safety in an incredibly harsh environment.

Honestly, I could ramble on all day about the beauty and majesty of the Saguaro standing as a sentinel over its dusted hilltops. But, the point is that this Desertscape Blanket wouldn’t be complete without the Saguaro.

How to Crochet the Saguaro Forest

The Saguaro Forest (Part 2) uses a colorwork technique called Intarsia Crochet. Intarsia Crochet alternates colors by following a chart (or written instructions). But, the difference of Intarsia from other crochet colorwork is the use of bobbins.

Bobbins break down a large skein of yarn into smaller skeins. These bobbins allow you to use the yarn more economically by not needing more large skeins than actual yardage to complete the project. We’ll use bobbins instead of full skeins for the colowork sections of the Desertscape Blanket.

If you’re brand new to using bobbins, I recommend watching this video tutorial. I explain how to create bobbins, how to read a colorwork chart, and how to use the bobbins in the pattern. Last, as I stitched up the Desertscape Blanket, I found that using a toilet paper roll was my favorite way to make a bobbin for this project. You can watch this Reel on Instagram for a short tutorial.

Ready to stitch up the Desertscape Blanket? Scroll down for the free pattern, or purchase the Desertscape Blanket eBook in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store.

Yarn + Substitutes

Paintbox Yarns are my all time favorite budget yarn. The Desertscape Blanket uses the Simply Aran in Champagne White and Pine. Their acrylic yarns are soft, plush, and never split while I crochet. Plus, a big reason I keep coming back to Paintbox Yarns is the color palette. It’s to dye for, and the colors on the screen are reliable in person.

This is the acrylic yarn used in the Desertscape Blanket Crochet Pattern.

Shop Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran here.

If you want to use yarn from your LYS (local yarn store), or your stash, then I recommend staying with a mostly acrylic yarn. You’ll get the same results as I did while you work on your blanket.

Desertscape Blanket CAL Info

The Desertscape Blanket is a new, free crochet pattern on the High Desert Yarn Blog. We’ll explore textured stitches and Intarsia crochet charts that feature all things majestic in the desert. A new section will be released each Monday starting on April 10, 2023.

If you’d like email reminders when each section is released, you can sign up here.

The CAL is taking place in the HDY Handmade Community on Facebook. We’ll share our WIP pictures, and support each other during the crochet process. I’ll be available in the Facebook Group and through email to answer any questions.

Join the HDY Handmade Community here.

If this is the first you’re hearing of the Desertscape Blanket CAL – Welcome!! I’m thrilled to have you join us. Everyone in the HDY Handmade Community on Facebook is working through the project at their own pace.

If you need to start with Part 1, then click here for the Golden Barrel Cactus pattern.

If you need to start at the very beginning, you can read through the Desertscape Blanket CAL Information page. It gives you all the details about the whole blanket pattern, and help you deep dive into meeting the right gauge.

Click here to read through all of the Desertscape Blanket information.

Pattern Instructions


Thank you for choosing this free pattern as part of your crochet journey! It’s an honor for you to be here, browsing the High Desert Yarn Blog. This pattern is 100% free for you to crochet from, but please, do not screenshot, or copy+paste this pattern. However, work directly from this webpage. The ad revenue from this website allows me to offer free crochet patterns. If you do not like the scrolling, or ads, then you may purchase the ad-free PDF in my Etsy Shop or Ravelry Store. Thank you for your cooperation. Happy creating! -Joanna (Owner + Creative)

The desertscape blanket crochet pattern is a free crochet pattern on the High Desert Yarn Blog.


  • Yarn – Worsted Weight/category 4
    • I used Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran in Champagne White and Pine.
    • Substitutes : Any other worsted/category 4 yarn will work
  • Crochet Hook – H/8 (5.00mm) or correct hook to meet gauge
  • Scissors 
  • Tapestry Needle


  • This pattern is worked in turning rows.
  • Each stitch is worked in SC.
  • Start the colorwork chart on an ODD row of the blanket. Example, Row 1 of the Saguaro Forest Chart will be Row 15 of the whole blanket.
  • Rows are written as 50 stitch repeats. Repeat the written instructions (or colorwork chart) 3 times to complete 1 row of the blanket.
    • Use a stitch marker at the beginning of each repeat to keep track of your stitches.
  • CH 1 and turn at the end of each row. The CH 1 DOES NOT count as a stitch.
  • Stitch count is 200 STS per row.

Gauge + Finished Size

Gauge for the whole Desertscape Blanket is based off of the Intarsia Crochet sections. It’s important that you work up the practice swatch on the Information Page BEFORE starting the Desertscape Blanket. If you need help meeting gauge, please send an email to Joanna at

The height of this section will meet approximately 5″.

Stitch Abbreviations

American (US) terms used throughout.

CH(S) – chain(s)
SC – single crochet
ST(S) – stitch(es)
MC – main color
CC – contrasting color

Written Instructions

Remember to repeat each row 3 times.

← Row 1 [RS]: *CC* 50

→ Row 2 [WS]: *CC* 50

← Row 3 [RS]: *CC* 11, *MC* 2, *CC* 4, *MC* 9, *CC* 24

→ Row 4 [WS]: *CC* 18, *MC* 15, *CC* 4, *MC* 5, *CC* 8

← Row 5 [RS]: *CC* 5, *MC* 8, *CC* 4, *MC* 18, *CC* 15

→ Row 6 [WS]: *CC* 12, *MC* 21, *CC* 6, *MC* 8, *CC* 3

← Row 7 [RS]: *CC* 1, *MC* 9, *CC* 7, *MC* 23, *CC* 3, *MC* 4, *CC* 3

→ Row 8 [WS]: *MC* 7, *CC* 3, *MC* 21, *CC* 6, *MC* 1, *CC* 3, *MC* 9

← Row 9 [RS]: *MC* 9, *CC* 2, *MC* 2, *CC* 7, *MC* 19, *CC* 4, *MC* 7

→ Row 10 [WS]: *MC* 5, *CC* 7, *MC* 17, *CC* 3, *MC* 1, *CC* 4, *MC* 2, *CC* 2, *MC* 9

← Row 11 [RS]: *MC* 9, *CC* 2, *MC* 2, *CC* 4, *MC* 2, *CC* 2, *MC* 16, *CC* 2, *MC* 1, *CC* 6, *MC* 4

→ Row 12 [WS]: *MC* 4, *CC* 2, *MC* 1, *CC* 3, *MC* 1, *CC* 2, *MC* 16, *CC* 2, *MC* 2, *CC* 4, *MC* 3, *CC* 1, *MC* 9

← Row 13 [RS]: *MC* 13, *CC* 4, *MC* 2, *CC* 1, *MC* 17, *CC* 1, *MC* 2, *CC* 3, *MC* 1, *CC* 1, *MC* 5

→ Row 14 [WS]: *MC* 7, *CC* 3, *MC* 23, *CC* 4, *MC* 13

← Row 15 [RS]: *MC* 13, *CC* 4, *MC* 23, *CC* 3, *MC* 7

→ Row 16 [WS]: *MC* 8, *CC* 1, *MC* 25, *CC* 2, *MC* 14

← Row 17 [RS]: *MC* 14, *CC* 2, *MC* 34

→ Row 18 [WS]: *MC* 50

← Row 19 [RS]: *MC* 50

→ Row 20 [WS]: *MC* 50

The Saguaro Forest colorwork chart for the Desertscape Blanket Crochet Pattern.

Copyright Policy

You are free to use this crochet pattern to make and sell the final product, but do not republish or distribute this pattern in any way. DO NOT claim it as your own in part or in whole. Please give credit to High Desert Yarn, as the designer, in your listings, on your blog, or social media platforms. All images are property of High Desert Yarn. Do not use any of these images as your own.

Ready for the next section?

It’ll be released on April 24, 2023! So, what can you do in the meantime?

  • Signup for email reminders to never miss a new section – click here
  • Share your progress to the HDY Handmade Community Group – click here

High Desert Yarn is made possible by YOUR support. Thank you for reading this blog post, and helping build High Desert Yarn. Happy Creating, Joanna

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