When you're making a chevron blanket, you're making "peaks" and valleys."
In most chevron patterns, you work a set number of stitches up one side of the peak, work 3 stitches to make the top of the peak, then work the same set number of stitches down the other side. To make the valley, you skip 2 stitches, then repeat the process all over again. At either end of your blanket, you are starting and ending at what would be a valley. You need to make up for this by skipping a stitch on either end. Think of it this way (I'm using the stitch count from the pattern below in my example):
- Row 1, starting in 3rd chain from hook, work 9 dc (this is the first side of your peak).
- [3 dc] in next stitch to make the peak.
- Work 9 dc (this is the other side leading down from the peak into the valley).
- The next step is to skip 2 stitches, then continue working 9 dc, [3 dc] in next stitch, 9 dc. But when you really think about those 2 skipped stitches, one of those stitches is the last stitch of one peak, the second skipped stitch is the first stitch of the next peak! This is why you need to skip one stitch at either end of each row. You're accounting for that 1 stitch that would be the valley if you were continuing on instead of ending the row.
You will always work the first row of any pattern you choose as stated in the pattern. After finishing row 1, you will then start skipping a stitch at either end of your blanket. It will work as follows (obviously using the stitch counts called for in the pattern you're using):
- Row 2 and all remaining rows: Work 1 dc in first stitch. Skip one stitch, work 1 dc in next 8 stitches [3 dc] in next stitch, work 9 dc, skip 2, *work 9 dc, [3 dc] in next stitch, work 9 dc, skip 2* all the way to the final peak.
- You will work 9 dc up the first side of the peak, [3 dc] in the same stitch, then work 8 dc down the final side, skip the second to last stitch, and work a dc in the final stitch of the row.