Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Puffy Basketweave Baby Blanket

4 skeins Red Heart TLC Lustre 5oz skeins [Solids: 5 oz (141 g) - Approx. 253 yd (231 m)] or any worsted weight yarn.
(US) 8 (5.0mm) and (US) 10 (6.0mm) needles, circulars, 32-40” length to accommodate the stitches. Blanket will be knitted flat, and not joined in the round.
Finished size: ~36” square.
15-20 hours to knit.

Using (US) 8 (5.0mm) needles, cast on 132 stitches. Knit 6 rows, slipping the first stitch as if to knit.

Change needles to size (US) 10 (6.0mm) and begin pattern, remembering to slip the first stitch as if to knit on each row.

1: K4, (K4, P4) 15 times, K8.
2: K4, (P4, K4) 16 times
3: K4, (K4, P4) 15 times, K8.
4: K4, (P4, K4) 16 times
5: Knit
6: K4, P124, K4
7: Knit
8: K4, P124, K4
9: K4, (P4, K4) 16 times
10: K4 (K4, P4) 15 times, K8
11: K4, (P4, K4) 16 times
12: K4, (K4, P4) 15 times, K8
13: Knit
14: K4, P124, K4
15: Knit
16: K4, P124, K4

Repeat rows 1-16 (11) more times for a total of 12 pattern repeats. Then rows 1-4 once more.

Change back to size (US) 8 (5.0mm) needles and knit 7 rows. Bind off in purl. Weave in ends.

© Cathy Waldie, 2004, revised

I would not block this blanket for the charm of it is in the puffiness the pattern creates. When using acrylic yarn, if you spritz it with a mist of water, pop it into the dryer for 10 minutes, it will even out most of your stitches that may have been pulled either too tight or left too loose. Acrylic is forgiving like that.

Now, most of the blankets that I've knitted over the past several years are for charity groups that request acrylic yarn. It's cheaper for them to provide, it's easier for new mother's to toss into the washing machine when you KNOW that little bundle of joy is going to throw up on it, and if you were paying for your own yarn, that donation dollar is going to go farther with acrylic. And, not all acrylics are created equal. Long gone are the days of of the 'non-forgiving, will stretch out and not return to the original shape' kind of yarn that I learned to knit with back in elementary school.

The yarn that I've used to knit up this blanket is no longer being produced from Red Heart. The closest I've found that would be similar is be Caron's Simply Soft. By no means would I end my choices there. NMRCS has provided me with the TLC Lustre and I'm still using what I have on hand for their blankets. If I were making a blanket as a special gift, I might use Lion Brand's Wool-Ease, Plymouth's Encore, or Paton's Decor. Each of those is a blend of acrylic and wool and is very machine washable.

If you wanted to spend a bit more and knew the parents didn't mind the special care needed, Debbie Bliss' Cashmerino Aran would be a lovely choice. Just make sure you pay attention to the amount of the yarn you are purchasing and buy enough from the get-go. I have provided the label information from the yarn that I used so anyone could compare their choices to what I needed to complete this blanket. (Also, if you wanted to make a longer, rectangle shaped blanket, be sure to allow for the additional yarage you would need to lengthen the blanket.)

Another idea, come to think about it, would be to use two strands of a DK weight or a sport weight yarn to approximate the same size I found with the worsted weight. I have used Baby Soft and Wendy Peter Pan double stranded in many patterns as a substitute for worsted and really like the softness it produces. Your choices are endless. And that is where the fun begins!


Susan said...

Hi, Cathy! The blanket is beautiful! If I wanted to make it wider or narrower, what is the count for that? How many stitches plus what? I hope you understand what I am asking :) Thanks! Susan

Cathy said...

for each increase in size, add 8 stitches to your cast on amount. Then, to add length...add 16 rows , or more (in groups of 16) to your desired length.

Lexie said...

Hi! I think this blanket is so cute! Why do you have to slip the first stitch when knitting this pattern? It is just for aesthetics? Can I just knit it without the slipped stitch? Thanks for your help! I am looking forward to knitting this blanket.


Cathy said...

Slipping the first stitch gives it a nice smooth edge.

cryspm said...

Hi, Cathy!

This blanket looks BEAUTIFUL and I can't wait to start it for my 19-month old son.

Quick question, and it's a "dumb knitter" type of question. I have a Plymouth Yarn, Jeannee, that I'm using for this project. It's a worsted weight and calls for US 8 needles. Will it still look nice to start with size 8 and then move up to size 10, as your directions indicate, or should I adjust sizes (say start with 6 and move up to 8)?

As you can tell, I'm relatively new to knitting. I don't seem to have trouble with any of the stitches, but figuring out yarn weight with needle sizes confuses me. We have a great yarn shop here in our area who would also be able to help out, but I thought since it's your pattern, you will know best! :-)

I appreciate any help you have time to offer.

God bless you!

Cathy said...

Never a dumb question!

I'm not familiar with that yarn, and I appologize that I don't have time to look it up , I'm still in Michigan and am running out the door for more appointments with my parents needs right now.

However, you can do one of two things, check the label and see what they suggest size-wise. If it's a '4' / worsted weight you should be able to go wtih the posted size. However, the 2nd thing you can do, and it's the 'knitter's best way' would be to knit up a small swatch - say a 6 " square and see how the fabric it makes, 'lays'. and how you like it. You can 'play' with different sized needles to see how the fabric you are creating looks and feels.

That's the fun of knitting-you are creating something new. A pattern is a guideline and the gauge I gave you is what I got when I used that yarn with those needles. See? Hope this makes sense, I'm sorry I dont' have more time to type more. The Doc is waiting for us.

happy knitting,

Anonymous said...

I've started knitting this blanket and so far, it doesn't look "puffy"! How long does it take before it starts looking puffy?? I'm knitting on size 11 needles using 2 strands of sport yarn. THANKS!

knitcindy said...

This is a beautiful blanket! I'm trying to knit it with 2 strands of thin baby yarn and size 11 needles. But it's not very "puffy" looking yet. Any ideas/tips?? Thanks so much.

Sbrooke said...

Hi Cathy,

The first knit row, I keep ending up with 12 knit at the end, not 8.

I included the slip stitch to knit in the first 4 knit, then I knit 4 more and purl 4. Continued to stitch 120, which was a purl, so there are 12 left to knit, is that right?

Thank you,


Sbrooke said...