Yana Knits

Learn to Knit

Pink Baby Blanket

To read the full story of how this baby blanket was born, please click here.

This blanket is very easy to knit – you simply need to know the 2 basic types of stitches – knitting and purling. There is some crocheting involved for the trim, but this step is optional. The trim makes the blanket look a bit more festive and keeps the edges from rolling up. The blanket consists of 2 types of blocks that can be easily rearranged and changed to suit your needs – you may choose to have fewer or more blocks with diagonal seed stitch and you can play around with the position and length of grooves inside the stockinette stitch blocks. I will provide a sample pattern for a block with strands, and you can reuse it or make up your own. Feel free to create!

Yarn and Needles
I have used very pale purple and pink colors for this blanket (it was for a baby girl), but you’re free to combine any 2 colors that look good together. You will need:

I found that you will end up using only a quarter of a matching color skein. We won’t let the rest of the yarn go to waste – the leftover 3/4 of the skein is perfect for making a tiny baby sweater or baby booties, and you may even have enough left for a little hat.

Patterns

There are 3 basic patterns used in creating this blanket: 2 types of blocks and bands between them.

The bands are very straight forward – purling the rows on the right side and knitting the rows in the wrong side (the basic Stockinette stitch) (right and wrong is actually pretty arbitrary in this case – the finished blanket looks good on both sides, but let’s assume that the side with purled rows in our bands is the right side).

Blocks with diagonal seed stitch: make sure your blocks have the number of stitches divisible by 6. The pattern is as follows:

Repeat these 6 rows until you have 40 rows

Stockinette stitch blocks with grooves: as the name suggests, we use the same Stockinette stitch for these blocks as for the bands but we now knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side. To make the strands, simply purl those stitches on the right side and knit them on the wrong side. They will appear as little groves on the right side which we will fill in with the other color yarn later.

Gauge
10 stitches X 15 rows = 1 inch X 1 inch
Please note, your gauge may vary depending on the thickness of the yarn you use and your knitting tension. Make sure to calculate it before you start. However, if you you’re not going for the exact final size of the blanket, you can simply follow my instructions.

Process

Decide how many blocks wide and long you want your blanket to be. Mine was 6 X 6 (almost a perfect square). Each block in my blanket was 30 stitches wide and 40 rows tall. Each band was 7 stitches wide and 8 rows tall.
Here is how I calculated the number of stitches needed:
6 blocks wide = 6 X 30 stitches = 180 stitches
7 bands (5 in between the blocks and 2 on either side) = 7 X 7 = 49 stitches.
2 extra stitches, one on each side.
Total number of stitches is 231.

Cast on 231 stitches.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 3 more times ending with a knit row. You now have 9 rows.

After that you will need to make a decision of what your overall blanket pattern will look like. Mine had blocks with diagonal seed stitch all around the border of the blanket, but you can modify. Once you selected the pattern, follow these instructions, but use your chosen block patterns:

Continue with this pattern for 40 rows, then make 8 rows of the band, then make a section of blocks again. Continue to knit sections of bands and blocks until the blanket is as long as you wish (6 blocks long to make a square). Finish with a band: make 8 rows and bind off all stitches.

Trim

Grooves

To fill in the grooves use a crochet hook and contrasting color yarn (pink). Beginning at the lower edge of each groove, crochet chain stitch into every purl stitch, pulling the yarn through the stitch from the back of the blanket to the front. After you make chain into the last purl stitch of the groove, break yarn and pull it through to the back side. Weave all loose ends.

Straightening the blanket

You may notice that the blanket wants to curl up on the sides. You can straighten it by making it wet and laying on a carpet or a thick towel to dry. To wet the blanket, I generally get a big towel wet, lay the blanket on the towel and roll the towel with the blanket inside like a jelly roll. Press on it a little and let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then take the blanket out, lay it on a dry towel and either cover it with the wet towel to give it extra moisture (if the blanket doesn’t want to cooperate) or leave it uncovered and let it air dry. If you’re using a wet towel on top, take it off after a few hours and let the blanket air dry.