[updated 14 Mar. 10]
I've been taking care of my sister's baby this summer, my nephew Julian. Are babies amazing knitting inspiration or what? I made him a blanket to roll around on while he visits me.
This is my first knitted blanket, because in the past I preferred to crochet them.
A few notes: I'm trying to make the move to a world in which I pay for my yarn exclusively through pattern sales. This might be wishful thinking, but so far it's working.
This means, though, that I don't get to run out and buy yarn a lot of the time--instead, I'm forced to raid my stash. This blanket was born of necessity, in some ways--I've never been able to give yarn away, no matter how much I can't stand it--so I pulled together all of this yarn that I've been either ignoring (the Caron, Microspun, and Cosetta) or fighting with (the Filatura Zarone) for months or years.
Some of this yarn is cheap stuff I bought when I was just getting started in fiber arts. The Zarone was not cheap; I did buy it on sale, though--in Japan at Okadaya craft store in Shinjuku. The Zarone has been knitted into various items, all of which were failures, and frogged again and again. I threw it in a plastic bag and wished it to Hades.
So, I pulled everything out again, made a huge pile on the floor, thought of a few design elements to guide me, and away I went. This only took a week to knit.
Basic instructions for Julian's Blanket
Finished size: 40" x 50"
Needles: Size 10/6.00mm circs
Yarn: Whatever!! Hold strands together so you get a gauge that is roughly 2.5 sts/inch
Filatura di Crosa Zarone (single-stranded) in red and maroon
Sensation's Cosette (double-stranded) in blue
Caron Simply Soft (3x) in beige
Lion Brand Microspun (4x) in black
Cast on 120 sts
Work 6 rows in garter st (3 garter ridges each side) in the color that will be your trim (TC in pattern)
Work body in stockinette st, changing colors every few rows. I worked in a random pattern of color and stripe width.
Finish with 6 rows garter st in TC. Finish on a RIGHT SIDE row. Do NOT bind off.
Using a size 6.00mm crochet hook and TC, do a row of single crochet along one side of blanket on the RIGHT side. Using crochet instead of regular picked-up knit sts creates a finished edge on both sides of the work, wrapping a band of the TC all the way around. When you get to the end, do NOT break yarn, instead, turn work over and on the wrong side, pick up sts in the crocheted loops. Work 4 rows in garter st., bind off.
Repeat for other side.
My husband says that this looks like a Mexican donkey blanket, and that may be true, but I still think Julian looks handsome on it.