Inside – The beginning of the FREE crochet blanket pattern — the Desertscape Blanket. We’ll start with a mesmerizing crochet stitch to create the Golden Barrel Cactus stitch pattern.

The Desertscape Blanket kicks off with a bold crochet pattern using the double post double crochet stitch. The Golden Barrel Stitch Pattern is easy to stitch up, and makes this fluffy, billowy stitch pattern.

Inspiration for the Golden Barrel Cactus Pattern

If you’ve traveled any part of the American desert, you’ve seen the Barrel Cactus. Maybe not the “Golden” but you’ve seen its relatives. They’re these short and squat cacti that look like plump squishy pillows. Although you wouldn’t love to with a real barrel cactus, this crochet pattern mimics its spines.

First Comes the Crochet Stitch

Ever since the Evergreen Cheer Wall Hanging Design, using the Double Post Half Double Crochet Stitch kept circling in my imagination. So, I gave it a try with Part 1 of the Desertscape Blanket, but with the Double Crochet. The result is better than my imagination!

The Double Post stitches placed every third stitch creates a beautiful cascade of ribbing. As the ribs spiral up and down, it reminded me of all those snuggle worthy cacti – the Barrel Cactus.

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 die for, and the colors on the screen are reliable in person.

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 offered on the High Desert Yarn Blog. We’ll explore textured stitches and Intarsia crochet charts that feature 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.

Before you dive into the Golden Barrel Cactus Pattern, I highly recommend reading 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)


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


  • CH 1 and CH 2 at the end of a row DOES NOT count as a stitch.
  • This pattern is worked in turning rows.
  • Every DP DC is worked in the DC 2 rows down.
  • You may substitute the foundation chain + Row 1 with a Foundation DC.

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

14 STS x 15 Rows = 4″ x 4″ square

  • Create gauge using the Single Crochet Stitch
  • Gauge is measured BEFORE blocking

Finished Size – The height of this section will meet approximately 5″.

Special Stitches

Double Post Double Crochet (DP DC)

  • This stitch is similar to working a DC 2tog, but around the post of a stitch 2 rows down.
  • YO, insert hook around the post (front to back), YO and pull up one (1) loop. (3 loops on the hook.) YO, insert hook around the same post, YO and pull up one (1) loop. (5 loops on the hook). YO, and pull through 4 loops. YO, and pull through the remaining 2 loops.
  • Click here for the Golden Barrel Video Tutorial

Watch the full video tutorial for the Golden Barrel Cactus Section

Stitch Abbreviations

American (US) terms used throughout.

CH(S) – chain(s)
SC – single crochet
DC – double crochet
DP – double post
ST(S) – stitch(es)
SK – skip
YO – yarn over
2tog – two stitches together

Written Instructions

CH 202

Row 1: DC in the 3rd CH from the hook. DC in each CH across. CH 1. Turn. (200 STS)

Row 2: SC in each ST across. CH 2. Turn (200 STS)

Row 3: DC in 1st ST. [DP DC in the next ST. DC in next 2 STS.] Repeat […] until 1 ST remains. DC in last ST. CH 1. Turn. (66 DP DC, 132 DC)

Row 4: SC in each ST across. CH 2. Turn (200 STS)

Row 5: DC in 1st ST. [DC in next ST. DP DC in next ST. DC in next ST.] Repeat […] until 1 ST remains. DC in last ST. CH 1. Turn. (66 DP DC, 132 DC)

Row 6: SC in each ST across. CH 2. Turn (200 STS)

Row 7: DC in 1st ST. [DC in next 2 STS. DP DC in next ST.] Repeat […] until 1 ST remains. DC in last ST. CH 1. Turn. (66 DP DC, 132 DC)

Row 8: SC in each ST across. CH 2. Turn (200 STS)

Rows 9 – 14: Repeat Rows 3 – 8

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 17, 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

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.