Tag Archives: yarn

round 6: knitting a baby blanket (with pattern!)

As I scroll back through the old blog, I’m a little surprised to see that I’ve made several baby blankets that haven’t been documented! After I found out I was pregnant with baby L, I quickly knitted a baby blanket for him using the same yarn and pattern as this one because it was a favorite.

This fabric has bright, cheerful colors and consistently inconsistent blemishes throughout to create a nice visual texture.

I thought I would do something similar when I found out I was pregnant with baby A, but in the interim, I had knitted another baby blanket for my cousin’s baby. I liked it so much, I bought an extra skein, not knowing how I’d use it. So, when I was pregnant with baby A, and that was such a wild and hectic year, I just used the skein I had on hand for a future baby blanket. I didn’t know for sure when I bought it I would be using it for this purpose! I really like this yarn. I like the color and consistency. One of these large skeins can make an entire baby blanket, which is nice because I never seem to buy enough yarn for my projects–a more serious problem now that I don’t have a Michael’s nearby.

The nice thing about knitting a baby blanket for your own baby is that you get to knit, your hands stay busy, it feels productive, and with each stitch, you get to meditate on loving thoughts toward your baby, which is one of my favorite past times!

I started this blanket in spring 2019. I was unable to complete it before A’s birth. I was then unable to complete it for his first birthday. However, a few weeks after his first birthday, with about a week left before Christmas, with my grades submitted, and a serious need for some down time, I began to finish the blanket. I worked on it every night and stayed up late on Christmas Eve to finish it. That night, I had to tear out the last rows three times: once because I forgot how to knit, then purl, then reverse it, and once because I began the ribbing too soon, and once because I forgot how to cast off. I was rusty, but thanks to a few videos online, I was able to finish it, wrap it, and hop into bed by 12:30am.

The finished product, folded up and ready to go.

This project also inspired me to make more blankets for my babies. The next projects will be twin sized blankets for when they graduate from their crib-sized bed, which hopefully won’t be anytime soon.

Here’s the pattern:

The Materials:
-6 skeins of “Rainbow Jellys” by Caron Chunky Cakes
-Knitting needles, US 10.5

The Pattern:
-Cast on 65 stitches.
-Knit purl, knit purl, purl knit, purl knit until the row is finished.
-Then reverse it: purl knit, purl knit, knit purl, knit purl until the row is complete.
-Continue this pattern until you’ve got a few inches of a ribbed border. With this yarn, I like to make the border the length of one color, since the colors make stripes throughout the blanket.
-Then, knit the rest of the blanket until the last few inches or so.
-Finally, repeat the pattern from the beginning (knit purl, knit purl, purl knit, purl knit; then reverse it on the next row) to create a ribbed border for the last swatch of color again at the end.

knitting scarves and headbands in basket weave

This year I made a few headbands and scarves to give away as Christmas gifts. I’ve done this before, but this year there’s a marked improvement in the quality if my stitching. I’m using better yarn (wool and wool blends) and experimenting with different stitches. This year, I learned the basket weave stitch, which is featured here.

For the basket weave, you cast on the number of stitches that you want. (It has to be a number that is divisible by four.) Then you knit four, purl four, knit four until you’ve reached the end of the row. You turn it over, and you repeat: knit four, purl four until you’ve reached the end of the row. In each new row, you’re actually knitting and purling the opposite of what you stitched in the previous row. Repeat this knit/purl pattern for four rows, and then reverse it. Purl four, then knit four until the end of your row. Continue switching it every four rows until you’ve reached the end to create the basket weave texture.

The end result should look something like this:

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basket weave

For my first attempt, I made a scarf that had about seven inches of basket weave on both ends and regular knit stitch for the rest of the scarf. I didn’t love the way it turned out. In addition to the ends, I think continuing the basket weave stitch along the sides of the scarf would’ve created more continuity throughout the piece. So, I’ll continue to experiment with that.

Here’s a picture of the first attempt that paired basket weave paired with a regular knit stitch:

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scarf and headband with Patons Classic Wool (worsted) in Dark Grey Mix

What I think really turned out well was the scarf done entirely in basket weave. For it, I used Patons Classic Wool worsted in Jade Heather and US 7 (bamboo) knitting needles. I made a headband first, and then used the remainder of the skein on the scarf (which could’ve been longer).

Here’s a picture of the scarf and headband that I liked the best:

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scarf and headband in Patons Classic Wool (worsted) in Jade Heather

For the headband, I cast on 16 stitches, and then proceeded with the basket weave until it fit snugly around my head. Then, I cast off and stitched up the ends of the headband with the loose ends of the yarn and tied it off with a simple knot.

For the scarf, I cast on 32 stitches (and this width was absolutely perfect). I then proceeded with the basket weave until casting off at the end of my skein.

I’ll definitely continue with the basket weave. Once you get the hang of it, you can do it pretty mindlessly (while watching tv, road tripping, etc.), and the end result creates a lot of nice texture and depth.