How to Knit a Blanket

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012
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How to Knit a Blanket

I used to think that a blanket was a lot of knitting. But it’s not necessarily that much more knitting than a scarf, and the finishing is easy, unlike a sweater.

A blanket is not a bad knitting project for any level of knitter. You can choose to knit an elaborate king size blanket, or a simple garter stitch rectangle for a doll. It’s also a good project for kids learning to knit who want to make something, but who don’t want to make a washcloth or a scarf.

I think a knitted blanket was my very first project, even if I didn’t plan it that way; I was six years old, and my knitting tension went from very very loose on the first few rows, to very very tight on the last. It was a garter stitch triangle of many colours that became a doll’s blanket.

There are a lot of lovely knitting patterns for blankets out there. Here are 3 free patterns for blankets that are very sweet: Super Easy Baby Blanket from Purl Bee, Tree of Life Knitted Afghan from Lion Brand yarns (you need to register on the website), and the Chevron Baby Blanket from Espace Tricot.

Super Easy Blanket

treeoflife

espacetricotblanket



But you don’t need a pattern to start a blanket. All you need is a stitch pattern and a simple recipe.

Recipe 1: a simple garter stitch blanket

Step 1: Calculate your knitting gauge in stitches per inch. If the finished size of your blanket isn’t crucial, use the gauge suggested on the yarn’s label.

Step 2: Decide on the width of blanket you want to knit.

Step 3: Multiple your gauge by width. Cast on this many stitches.

Step 4: Knit every row until the blanket is the desired length.

Example: Doll Blanket, 10 inches wide, with a gauge of 4 stitches per inch. 4 sts per inch x 10 inches wide = Cast on 40 sts.

Sample dimensions (These are only intended as a rough guide. If you’re planning on making anything larger than a baby blanket, I recommend reading a few patterns first for more guidance.)

Type of blanket Width (inches) Length (inches)
Very small doll blanket 10 12
Barbie-type doll blanket 14 18
Doll blanket 24 24
Baby blanket 30 40
Swaddling Blanket 36 36
Nursery blanket 45 55
Small lap blanket or wrap 24 48
Medium lap blanket 30 50
Large lap blanket 50 60
Twin size blanket 68 86

 

Recipe 2: a more challenging blanket

Garter stitch is easy, but can get boring to knit. It’s also compressed vertically, which means you have to knit more rows than other with other stitch patterns. Here are some other non-curling, simple, knitting stitch patterns that would work well in a blanket:

 

You will have to take the pattern repeat into account when calculating your cast on.

Step 1: width in inches x stitches per inch = approx cast on

Step 2: approx cast on ÷ pattern multiple = approx number of pattern repeats that fit (if result is a whole number, skip to step 4)

Step 3: round off number of pattern reps to nearest whole number

Step 4: (rounded number of pattern reps x pattern mult) + plus sts = cast on

 

Eg, for a 25 inch blanket at 4 sts per inch in Dewdrop Stitch, which has a multiple of 6 sts plus 1:

Step 1: 25 x 4 = 100 sts (approx cast on)

Step 2: 100 ÷ 6 = 16.66…

Step 3: round up 16.66… to 17

Step 4: (17 x 6) + 1 = (102) + 1 = Cast on 103 stitches.

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