You can make this baby blanket (or adult lap blanket) as simple or complex as you desire, and 36″ square or larger. Just make a square any way you want, then another, then another. Knit it in strips to cut down on the sewing to put it all together.
This picture is of a blanket that was not knit in strips. It shows how the blanket would look if each square were knit and sewn together individually. See how much sewing is avoided if you knit the blanket in long strips?
Materials: approximately 6 – 4oz. (113 grams) skeins of knitting worsted. This is a great project for using up odds and ends of wool. Or for a super-soft blanket check out cotton chenille yarn – yum!
One pair US 8 (5mm) knitting needles (or one circular needle)
Gauge: approximately 4 1/2 stitches per inch.
You will knit this blanket in strips. This makes it a manageable project to take on the road with you, if you like.
Take out your favorite book of knitting patterns, I like Barbara G. Walker’s “A Treasury of Knitting Patterns”.
To make this blanket as easily as possible, choose patterns that all are created with the same number of stitches. To create a blanket 36″ square, six strips that are each 6 inches wide will be about right. If your gauge is 4 1/2 stitches per inch, then each strip will have approximately 27 stitches. There are many patterns in Walker’s Treasury that call for a multiple of 4 plus 3 stitches, but you can improvise if you’re a few stitches too narrow simply by casting on and knitting extra stitches at the beginning and end of each row.
Babies learn to roll over, push themselves up, and crawl when they are placed on the floor on a blanket. You can truly have fun with making a blanket for them. They are captivated by color, texture and, of course, putting things in their mouths, so don’t add something like buttons that could be pulled off and swallowed.
But do have fun with bobbles, cables, tassels, and even a pocket**. Make a pocket by increasing one stitch in every stitch and then double knitting a square, cast off every other stitch when you’re done. If you’ve ever wanted to own a Fisherman’s Knit sweater, you can test some patterns by making a Fisherman’s Knit blanket. You can knit a whole strip in one pattern: seed stitch, cables, zigzags, bobbles, diamonds…the cable section of the Walker book is my favorite. Give your little one lots to look at and touch.
Or you can knit each strip in squares or uneven-sized sections. Knitting a patchwork of colors is fun. Knitting your strips in sections means you can change the pattern or color whenever you get tired and want something different, or you can just knit every row (garter stitch) if you get tired of patterns. You can always go back and add a tassel to a plain part if it looks lonely and bare.
Experiment with knitting color patterns or go back and embroider a color design later.
Sew the strips together with a simple overcast stitch, or add some crochet around all the edges. If you knit the first and last 3 rows of every strip plain, that will make a small garter stitch border at the top and bottom of your blanket. You can add a garter stitch edge to the sides by casting on 4 stitches and knitting back and forth in garter stitch, knitting the last stitch of one side of it together with a stitch along the side of the blanket. The garter stitch border will help keep the edges of the blanket from curling.
** How to Knit a Double Knit Pocket
The easiest way to double knit a pocket is to knit using garter stitch. Let’s say you are knitting squares that are 20 sts wide for your blanket. To knit a square as a pocket, cast on 20 sts and in the first row, knit into the front and back of each st. Now you have 40 sts.
Row 2: *K 1 st, slip 1 st*, repeat across the row.
Be sure to hold the yarn in front when you slip the stitches. This keeps the yarn from passing over to the other side, which would prevent your pocket from opening
Row 3: Knit as for Row 2. You will be knitting the sts you slipped on the last row, and slipping the sts that you knit.
Continue until you’ve knit a square pocket.
Bind off: Knit 1 st., slip next st onto a dp needle. Knit 1 st., bind off 1st k st. Continue until half of sts are bound off and other half is on the dp needle. Then bind off sts on the dp needle.
Add this pocket to your blanket as if it was a normal square.