As part of Tanis’ Colorful KAL, I knit this blanket from the free Chevron Baby Blanket pattern published on Purl Bee. I used US 11s and double-stranded Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran Weight yarn in this order: Seabreeze, Peacock, Deep Sea, Mallard, Spearmint, Lemongrass, and Buttercup.Pin It
As with all of the Brooklyn Tweed patterns I’ve knit, this is beautiful but oh-so-time-consuming! I saw it on display at Knit Purl and couldn’t resist – although the pattern was designed for Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter yarn, I knit it in Shibui Merino Alpaca, and it’s wonderful in this yarn. Very soft, springy, the finished throw is really heavy, but in a nice, substantial way. I’m not sure about wearing it around your shoulders like the photos in the pattern, though!
The yarn color is Ivory – I can’t recall how many skeins I bought, they’re 131 yards per skein but it seems like I bought at least 11, maybe as many as 13? I knit the medium throw on the recommended US 8s and 9s, but because it looked like I was going to run out of yarn, I only did 7 repeats (instead of 8) of Rows 5-36. Otherwise, I knit according to the pattern.
The pattern instructs you to block it, but since I used a different yarn, I decided not to – blocking might open up the pattern a little bit, but I think that will happen naturally anyway, as the weight of the throw pulls it open. This is definitely an heirloom project – particularly given how long it took (I’d say it took 4 days per repeat, plus another 2 days for the beginning and ending ribbing, which means an entire month, and that’s assuming you worked on it several hours every day!) I’m thinking of giving it as a wedding present for my younger sister.Pin It
Man, I just can’t resist this felt, even though it’s ridiculously expensive …I keep ordering it off of Purl Soho’s website and looking for things to sew it into!
I first ordered the felted wool bundle (ten blocks, each approx. 12” x 15”) in color Royal Plum, and followed Purl Bee’s pattern for a Quillow – essentially, a throw that’s 3 blocks long by 3 blocks wide, and the tenth block sewn on the back so that the entire thing can be folded up and tucked into form a pillow. Great quick project, but not sure if it’s worth the price of the felt…
I next ordered two sets of the mini felted wool bundles in colors Pumpkin and one of the shades of blue (can’t remember which) – I had an idea of what I wanted to make, but couldn’t find a good pattern and wasn’t confident enough to put together one on my own, so I ended up just sewing the blocks together to form a blanket. However, the blanket was so small that I thought it wouldn’t be very useful – I first thought I’d sew the sides together and form a pillow, but I couldn’t find a pillow insert that was the right size, and wasn’t sure that I could find anywhere in my house for a pillow in these colors to go.
I then decided to fold the blanket in half – trim off the two ends and the top to give it better dimensions and to get enough scraps to make handles – and then sew the three sides together to make a bag. I sewed the scraps together and had more than enough length for handles. Ta da – a market bag! I’d like to try it again with some small style modifications and different colors…Pin It
At the Sock Summit this summer, I found Hazel Knits – a wonderful indie yarn company with amazing colors. I bought three skeins of Artisan Sock that went nicely together, in colors Cornelian (center of blanket), Nemo (middle of blanket), and Beachglass (border). How to put these three together? I chose the Abby’s Blanket pattern, but because it’s designed for a much larger gauge yarn, I knit double-stranded and went down to US 6 needles.
First- I should have used a larger needle size. Midway through I changed to US 8s, and this made the blanket drape and lie nicer. Because this yarn is superwash merino and a little bit of nylon (a good combo for knitting socks), when I knit double-stranded on the US 6s, the result was a little too springy and tightly knit. I should have knit the entire thing on US 8s (or even bigger).
Second – even though each skein is 400 yards (so, 200 yards double-stranded), the blanket came out really small – I mean, I think it’s beautiful, but I’m not sure it’s really useful as a blanket, and because of its square shape, there’s really no way to use it as a scarf or shawl. In hindsight, I should have used the three colors single-stranded to knit a shawl . . . great yarn and great colors, though, I’d definitely look for another project to use Hazel Knits yarn!Pin It
Anzula is one of my favorite yarns – I just love how it feels and how it knits up. I picked up eight (!) skeins at the Sock Summit in July, and decided to use the Nesting Squares Baby Blanket pattern in More Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. I knit on US 6 needles (one size up from the recommendation on the yarn label) and used Anzula Cricket (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon) in colors Periwinkle (1 skein), Boysenberry (1 skein) and Charcoal (2 skeins). Each skein is approx. 250 yards.
I like how the blanket feels, but am not happy with the finished product overall. First, it feels a little too thin to be a blanket, which makes it drape nicely, but I’ve decided that when I knit another blanket with the remaining four skeins, I’m going to double-strand (and go up to US 10s or 11s). Second, because it’s stockinette stitch, it looks best on one side, and it seems like blankets should be double-sided, so I’m going to use garter stitch on the next blanket. Finally, I’m not crazy about this pattern because the center won’t lie flat and the edges didn’t come out as squared as I had hoped, so I’m going to try something different the next time around.
This is a free pattern from Purl Bee, designed with a retro look after the 1970s-era crocheted baby blankets. It’s amazing how color and design trends just keep recycling! I actually loved knitting this one because it didn’t take too long, and the yarn feels wonderfully soft and squishy, both while you’re knitting with it and in the final product (which is knit largely garter stitch with the yarn double-stranded).
I used the recommended yarn – Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton (150 yds per skein and machine washable!) in colors Toffee, Drift, Tulip, Lemonade, Lemongrass, Caribbean, and Azul. Knit on US 11s, with just enough variation in the pattern to keep the garter stitch from putting me to sleep. Now if only I had the patience to knit the same pattern several more times, I’d love to try out different color combinations!
I decided not to use the last skein of yarn I bought for the blanket because I wasn’t crazy about what it added to the color combination. So instead, I used Blue Sky Alpacas’ free One Cable Mitts pattern to make some use of this skein (color Jasper). Knit on US 9 dpns – if was I was to do it over, I’d knit on US 8s, they don’t fit as tightly as I would like.
I really enjoyed this knitting project:
Pattern – Abby’s Blanket by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn – Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage (superwash merino wook), 3 skeins of Afternoon and 1 skein of Coral (200 yds per skein)
Needles – US 8s (dpns and 32″ circulars)
Apparently, my skeins of Afternoon weren’t from the same dye lot, as you can see from the gradation of color midway through the blanket; actually, you can’t see this at all when you’re just looking at the blanket (I’m not sure why it shows up on camera). I ran out of Afternoon about 4 rows before I was finished, but it didn’t seem to make any difference, so I just started a little early with the Coral border.
What I like about this pattern is the almost infinite variety of ways you could knit it, just depending on the colors you used; for instance, you could stripe it by changing colors every certain number of rows, or use one color for the center of the blanket, then a second for the main portion, and a third for the border. I’m guessing that this superwash merino will make the blanket very user-friendly, but next time, I’d be interested in trying it with a softer yarn – maybe something with cashmere. It would also be beautiful and user-friendly in 100% cotton.
One of the best things about this knitting project was that the lace kept it interesting – there’s nothing more boring than straight rows of garter or stockinette stitching, which is usually what you’re stuck with when knitting a blanket – but the lace doesn’t make the blanket too delicate or make it feel like it would be useable and durable.
A quick and easy project, completed in just an hour or so . . . I saw this minky fabric at Hollyhill Quilt Shoppe and it was too cute to pass up, even though I had no idea what I’d make with it. At first I was leaning toward a bathrobe or something one of my girls could wear, but they all voted for a blanket, and that enabled me to use up nearly every bit of the 2 yards I had bought. I ordered pink bubblegum flannel from www.fabric.com and was going to use a chocolate brown blanket binding, but in the end, I thought it looked better to just wrap over the flannel backing and use it folded over the front as the binding. I started to use the sewing machine to bar tack at 8” intervals (to keep the fabrics from shifting out of shape too much) but the fabric was too thick, so I used brown embroidery thread and quickly hand-tied the hold-fasts.
Very warm, snuggly blanket – my plan is to make a stuffed owl out of flannel, and use the leftover minky as a big fuzzy spot on the owl’s tummy. The set will make an excellent addition to my gift closet, to be pulled out the next time I need a birthday present for a little girl (unless one of my little girls claims it first!)Pin It
This fabric was a wonderful excuse to make something – I’ve never worked with double cotton gauze before, wasn’t sure what to expect but it’s so soft! I used the project guide on Purl Bee and made two of these in one afternoon. They’re the perfect size for throwing on your lap on chilly spring evenings; while the blanket is very soft and fluffy, it also feels extremely light (probably because of the fabric used and because it’s only approx. 60″ x 45″).
The fabric is from Naomi Ito’s Nani Iro line, found here and here. I ordered 1 3/4 yards of the front and the back, and then purchased throw-sized (60″ x 60″) batting in Quilter’s Dream Wool. For one of the duvets, I used Fuwari-Pink Flowers on Cream for the front and Sasaa-Pink for the back. For the second duvet, I used Colorful Poncho for the front and Saasaa-Grey for the back.
This project is a perfect introduction to making blankets, without the added difficulty of binding that quilting necessitates; you simply sew right sides together (with the batting on the outside) and turn the “sandwich” right side out, then you can quilt it either by sewing bar tacks with the sewing machine, or by hand-tying it. Either way, it’s done in an afternoon – instant gratification!
I love how this project came out, but I have to admit it’s one of those where I was saying to myself, what were you thinking?! I saw the pattern on Purl Bee, and I love this particular yarn – Anzula Hand-Dyed For Better or Worsted (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon). However, when used alone, I thought it might not come out as soft and squishy as I’d like for a blanket, so I double-stranded it with Shibui Silk Cloud (60% kid mohair, 40% silk). I used 5 skeins of the Anzula in color Denim, and 3 skeins of the Shibui in color Storm – in the end, the cost was a whopping $220!
To add insult to injury, it felt like it took a really long time to knit – 1000 yards of Anzula overall, knit on US 10s (24” or 32” circular, to handle all of the stitches). I was able to get through only about half a skein a night, so it was at least a ten-day project. The blanket I ended up with is absolutely beautiful, but not even that big – the perfect size for a baby blanket, but I’m thinking it’s way too nice for a baby! Not exactly machine wash friendly, either. I think it’s going to be a lap blanket – and one that’s off-limits to the cats.
So, I love the yarn, the pattern, and the end result, but I’m not sure I can recommend this project given the time and money commitment that it represents.
Here’s the free pattern (in case you can’t find it on Purl Bee):
C/O 179 sts
Row 1: K3, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to end
Row 2: K1, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to last 2 sts, sl wyif, K1
Repeats rows 1 and 2 – end w/ row 2
Bind off in K3, P1 rib: K2, slip first stitch over, k1, slip first stitch over, *p1, slip first stitch over, k1, slip first stitch over, k1, slip first stitch over, k1, slip first stitch over – repeat from * to endPin It
New patterns from Quince & Co – the November Blanket, September Pillow, and October Pillow. Each is a different weight yarn, all 100% American wool. The November Blanket is made from 12 skeins of Puffin on US 13 needles (the color is nasturtium, but for fall I’ve renamed it pumpkin). The October Pillow is 4 skeins of Lark on US 7 needles (color apricot, but to me it looks more like butternut squash), sewn together around an 18” pillow form. The September Pillow is 2 skeins of Osprey on US 8 needles (color peacock, renamed Indian summer sky for this project), sewn around a 14” pillow form.
Getting all three of these projects done was pretty time-consuming – it took several weeks (of course, I couldn’t resist working on other projects simultaneously, which probably slowed me down a little . . .) I really like the simple stitch details, they “pop” in these lofty wool yarns, and I think the colors go nicely together. Looks good on my leather chair — the blanket is probably itchier than you’d want to cuddle up under in bed (it’s got that poofy wool feel) but as a large lap blanket across a chair or couch, it’s functional and beautiful.
This is a very unique blanket, made from a yarn unlike any I’ve ever seen . . . it’s called Knit Collage Pixie Dust, and I used color Pomegranate Blossom. The idea came from the Purl Bee blog, and the pattern is simple – C/O 27 sts, first row is K1 P1 to the end, second row is P1 K1 to the end – repeat until it’s long enough for you! I used only 5 skeins – it was long enough for me by then (39”), given that the width was only 23”. If I was to knit it again, I would cast on more stitches — probably 37 or 39 – so that it wasn’t so long and skinny.
The yarn is wool and mohair, and this color is made of silk, too. Although the yarn suggests US 19 needles, I used US 36 – the result was a very loose, drapey blanket that is soft and unlike anything I’ve ever knitted before!Pin It
I recently purchased Susan B. Anderson’s Itty Bitty Hats book and it gave me an excuse to purchase eight different colors of Manos del Uruguay Cotton Stria yarn. I love this yarn! It is soft and nice-smelling, and it’s got a squiggly texture, kind of like rick rack. It knits up so soft and beautifully that it is perfect for any baby item. I chose colors aqua, red, coral, grape, lilac, tangerine, bubblegum, and pistachio.
I had so much yarn to use up that I tried three different styles of baby hats – the same basic pattern, changing colors every five rows, but with different stitch patterns (stockinette interspersed with garter, purl, and/or seed stitch), all on US 7 needles. I experimented with different tops for the hats, as well. They are all 0-3 month sizes, perfect for baby gifts.
I tired of doing hats after the third one and had a lot of yarn left over so I knit a simple baby blanket, in the same order of color as one of the hats – just cast one 100 stitches, knit in garter stitch until I ran out of one color, then switched to another, and cast off when I felt it was long enough. I would love to get this hat and blanket set as a baby gift, it’s so soft and brightly colored!
This upside down daisy hat is also out of Itty Bitty Hats, knit with some of my stash yarn – very cute, although more work than I thought because the flower petals are knit separately and sewn on.Pin It
I needed a baby gift to go with this lamb – a perfect excuse to knit bulky yarn like Spud & Chloe Outer. Soft, squishy, snuggly . . . and knits up quickly! I think the color (soapstone) is really peaceful and calming, and the diagonal weave pattern gives it just enough interest (and keeps it from getting boring when you’re knitting it). I knit it on US 15 needles, with six skeins of yarn and the Mac & Me Outer Baby Blanket pattern.
It’s hard to come up with the ideal knitted baby gift, especially if you don’t know the gender. I worry about giving any clothing item because of fit, style, color, etc. Stuffed animals seem like a good solution, but most kids have a roomful already, and I always picture my little animals, so lovingly and carefully sewn together, being ripped limb from limb . . . okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but considering how long each one takes to make, can you blame me?!Pin It