Saturday, March 3, 2007

KBB Blanket

My extended family hasn't had a new baby for a few years now. But we are going to have a new little one come August. My cousin's son (ok, his wife) is expecting their first baby. At this point the baby's sex is unknown. They are hoping for healthy, of course, but would like a girl. However, since both he and his brother are boys...I thought I'd hedge my bets and make a boy and a girl set ahead of time. That way I'm prepared. (don't's been known to happen).

The boy set was picked first for two reasons: boys run in that family, and I had this pattern in mind the first time I'd made a Columns Dishcloth. I just love that pattern-starting first with the dishcloth, moving onto the hanging towel, and now onto a baby blanket. Simple repeat and clean lines-this is a good pattern to work on while watching movies or sporting events, and its not going to be too bumpy for a baby to sleep on. Just because this is in blue, doesn't mean it's only a boy's pattern. While working on it I got to thinking that it would work up well in white or any color of your preference.

I do think that the next time I make this, I'll extend both the top and the bottom borders by an additional 2-4 rows of knit. After laying it down to measure and photographing it, they seem a bit too skinny for my eye next to the sides. Sometimes you have to see it all finished to decide how you want to tweak it.

A few notes on this blanket. The length of your circular needles are your preference. I prefer to use needles that are long enough for me to spread out my projects without knocking stitches off. I learned that the hard way. I like to be able to lay what I'm working down flat to look it over and to measure it. Longer needles make it easier for me.

I bind off in purl to match my cable cast on row. I quite often use two needle sizes to keep the top and bottom borders from buckling. Rather than change the number of stitches of the borders, dropping your needle size down helps them to lay flatter.

The brand or fiber you wish to make this in, is again a preference. By no means would you have to stick to Big Box Acrylic if you are partial to another brand or type. Lion Wool-Ease, Plymouth Encore, Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran; any label gauge of a light worsted to an aran would be good on these sized needles. I have given you my specifics so you can get an idea of what to use to substitute on your end if you want results similar to mine.

The fun part of afghans and baby blankets is that they don't have to fit. The one important part to watch out for would be your own gauge. If yours is knitting up larger than mine (fewer stitches or rows to the inch/cm) or you want to make it longer in length, then you must adjust the amount of yarn you will need to purchase in your dye lot. Dye lots matter. A lot! Trust me on that one. Again, I am the Queen Graduate from the School of Hard Knocks. I have learned the hard way-far too often. Learn well from my mistakes.

KBB Blanket
© Cathy Waldie, Jan 21, 2007

(US) 8 (5.0mm) and (US) 10 (6.0 mm) 40” circular needles (or preferred length)
6 skeins/18 ozs. Worsted weight yarn, (Sample knitted in Caron Simply Soft) [label 100% Acrylic 4 ply, 165 yards/3oz skein, 18 sts/24 rows = 4”/10 cm on (US) 8 (5.0mm) needles]
Gauge in pattern on larger needles: 16 sts, 22 rows = 4”/ 10 cm
Finished size (slightly stretched to lay pattern flat): 36 1/4" x 38 1/4" (92 x 97 cm)

With smaller needles, cast on 134 stitches and knit 6 rows for bottom border, slipping the first stitch of each row for the blanket.

Switch to larger needles and begin pattern.
Row 1: Knit across
Row 2: Sl 1, K4, P4, (K1tbl, P4) 24 times, K5

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you are ½ “short of desired length, ending with Row 2. (I went a tad bit longer, to 95 pattern repeats.)

Change back to smaller needles and knit 7 rows.
Bind off in Purl.

Next I'm going to begin a new project tonight. I'll lay out a few clues to see if you can guess which I'm going to make. I'll start with these colors.

If I add this picture

or this picture

or yet this picture

would that make it any easier to figure out?

Oh, I should mention that I've never finished one of these before. Started one a couple of years ago, but didn't like the hand the fibers were giving me and I never went back to fix or restart the project.