Rainbow Blocks blanket: the beginning

Last week, the Purl Bee posted an amazing project on its blog:  this blanket, made from 108 crocheted squares.  I don’t crochet (and am not anxious to pick up another hobby right now!) so I set to figuring out how to knit this beautiful blanket.

First step:  Order the yarn.  Purl Soho made it easy by selling all of the yarns needed in one set.  41 different colors of Koigu yarn!  Of course, you end up with a lot more yarn than you need, since each skein could make approximately four blocks, but I have other plans for the remainders . . . Here’s what the bag looked like when it arrived in the mail (gulp!):

bag of Koigu yarn 1

Second step:  Swatch and experiment.  After trying several different needle sizes, I settled on US 3s.  I swatched different stitch patterns – garter, stockinette, seed – and decided that I liked both the look and the cushy feel of garter best.  And, garter stitch should make the blanket reversible, so it looks the same (or almost) on both sides.

Third step:  Design the block.  I first tried simply knitting garter stitch rows, weaving in the outer border color (white) with intarsia stitching.  I wasn’t as happy with the look, though, so next I tried knitting a block in the colored Koigu, then using a circular needle to pick up stitches on all four sides and knit the white outer border.  Again, I wasn’t happy with the final product.  Then I tried knitting in the round on dons, starting at the center of the colored block and working my way out to the white border.  Success!  Here’s the pattern I settled on:

C/O 8 sts – distribute onto 3 dpns (eventually I moved to 4 dpns, just to maintain the square shape of the block, but it was too difficult for me to use 4 dpns with so few stitches)
1st round – KFB into each stitch (16 sts)
2nd round – Purl
3rd round – KFB, K1 – repeat all the way around (24 sts)
4th round – Purl
5th round – KFB, K2 – repeat all the way around  (32 sts)
6th round – Purl
7th round –  KFB, K3 – repeat all the way around (40 sts)
8th round – Purl
9th round – KFB, K4 – repeat all the way around (48 sts)
10th round – Purl
11th round – KFB, K5 – repeat all the way around (56 sts)
12th round – Purl
13th round – KFB, K6 – repeat all the way around (64 sts)
14th round – Purl
15th round – KFB, K7 – repeat all the way around (72 sts)
16th round – Purl
17th round – KFB, K8 – repeat all the way around (80 sts)
18th round – Purl

At this point, cut the colored yarn and join in the white yarn:
19th round – KFB, K9 – repeat all the way around (88 sts)
20th round – Purl
21st round – KFB, K10 – repeat all the way around (96 sts)
22nd round – Purl
23rd round – KFB, K11 – repeat all the way around (104 sts)
24th round – Purl
25th round – KFB, K12 – repeat all the way around (112 sts)

Cast off in purl sts, weave in the ends, and block (my blocks came out at 5″ square)

I’m going to knit all the blocks before starting to stitch them together – my goal is one block a day (which means 108 days just to get the knitting done!)  I’ll keep you updated on my progress 🙂  Here’s the first finished one, still on the blocking board:

first color block


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6 comments on “Rainbow Blocks blanket: the beginning

  1. When I saw that blanket on the purl bee, I gasped. It is soo beautiful! I can’t wait to see the knitted version.

  2. I love this idea! I saw that blanket on The Purl Bee and fell in love. But alas, no crochet. I might have to fiddle around with your pattern. Thanks!

  3. Would it be possible to knit this with two needles? It is sooo beautiful!

    • onblueberryhill

      July 1, 2014 at 1:17 pm Reply

      Yes, I think so – you would just knit back and forth, for a few rows with white, and then for the next rows, you’d need to knit several stitches with white, then change to color, then start a second ball of white yarn and knit the last several stitches. You’d be working off of three balls of yarn at once (two white – one for each side – and one color), but it would be doable. Then, toward the end, you’d cut the color and one of the white, and just finish off the final rows with only the white. I hope that makes sense!

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