Customizable Baby Blanket Pattern

Striped Baby Blanket
Striped Baby Blanket, folded in quarters.

There are a lot of baby blanket patterns out there. Most of them are knit on the diagonal. I don’t typically do that kind of pattern, but after my last project (see my Wedding Chuppah post for more detail) I wanted something quick and simple for the baby blanket I knit for my coworker.

I also took this opportunity to decide I wanted to design something myself (even if it was basic) and so I set out with some blue cotton yarn I had bought last winter at a sample sale. I love working with cotton, especially for baby clothes/accessories, and it just so happened my coworker had a baby boy.

This baby blanket can be knit with any size yarn and the appropriate gauge needle. Since I have the Knit Picks interchangeable knitting needle set, I knit most of the blanket on 30 inch cables and switched to the 60 inch cables to do the border. Since only the border is knit in the round, you can knit your whole project on larger length cables, or squish the entire blanket onto the shorter cables to do the border if you choose.

The following instructions explain how to replicate my original blanket.

Supplies:
6 Skeins Filatura Lanarota Cool Cotton (50 grams/130 yards each)
1 Skein Knit Picks Shine Sport (50 grams/110 yards each)
Size 6 US circular knitting needles at least 30 inches in length

Instructions:
With Main Color (MC) cast on 5 stitches on the circular needles. Do not connect for knitting in the round.

Row 1: k5
Before starting row 2, place marker on right side to track, moving marker up rows as appropriate to keep track of which rows should be increased. Aka when marker is on the right side, knit pattern row 2, if marker is on the left side, knit pattern row 3.
Row 2: K1, yo, knit to last stitch, yo, k1.
Row 3: k1, k1tbl, knit until 2 stitches remain, k1tbl, k1
Repeat rows 2 and 3 until sides measure 32 inches. (I used 3 skeins of the main color)

Pro tip: As you are getting towards the end of ball 3, keep in mind that it takes at least 4 times the length of a row in yarn to knit a row, if you do not have enough yarn to wrap around your row 4x then do not start a row.

Stripe:
Knit 8 rows with Second Color (SC), do not knit any increases (yarn overs) in these rows. Leave enough yarn to tuck in the ends.

Tip: If you do not want to have a strip, this can be done with your main color, but increase the quantity of your main color yarn to 7 skeins.

Decreasing:
Switch back to main color and knit as followed:

Row 1: SSK, knit until 2 stitches remain, K2Tog
Row 2: Knit
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until 5 stitches remain, moving marker up as appropriate to keep track of which rows should be decreased. Aka when marker is on the right side, knit pattern row 1, if marker is on the left side, knit pattern row 2.

Note: It is important when starting a row with SSK to keep the SSK stitches as tight as possible, do not leave slack yarn after finishing this stitch. All other tension can be kept consistent.

When 5 stitches remain, cast off, tuck in ends and block.

Picking up stiches for the border
When picking up stiches for the border, slide needle through the "bumps" formed by the increases and decreases. As seen above my thumb in this image.

Border:
Now it’s time to work the border. This is when I switched from my 30 inch cables to the 60 inch cables. If you only have 30 inch cables, it will be a tight squeeze but you should be able to pick up all of the stitches.

The increases and decreases left a border of stitches which can easily be picked up. See example to right. In the photo you can see several stitches already on the needle and the needle lined up with the stitch it’s about to pick up just over my thumbnail.

Lay the blanket on the table and start picking up stitches to the right of a corner. When you get to the corners, pick up 5 stitches from each corner to be worked as part of the border.

Once all the stitches are on the needles, with SC work one side as knit, when you get to the corner, yarn over before you knit the 5 corner stitches. Then knit those 5 stitches, yarn over and continue to the next corner and repeat. This pattern would look something like this.

Row 1: with SC * Knit to corner, YO, k5, YO knit to corner, Repeat from * until end of row.
Row 2: Purl
Row 3: Repeat row 1
Row 4: Repeat row 2
Cast off

I wanted a 4 row border because I like the simplicity of having the border half the width of the stripe, if you’d like to have a larger border feel free to repeat rows 1 and 2 as many times as you’d like (yarn allowing), just end on a purl row before casting off.

It is particularly important when you cast off this blanket that you keep the cast off stitches nice and loose or the stitches will confine the stretchiness of the blanket.

Pro Tip: If you have a hard time with tight cast off, use a needle 2-3 sizes larger as the working needle for your cast off stitches. In this case it would be a US 9.

Corner Detail: Striped baby blanket
Finished corner detail

Tuck in your ends and you’re done. As I said, the great thing about this blanket is you can do this in whatever size yarn you’d like, in whatever colors you want and make it as large or as small as you’d like. Given that I used a small yarn, this took me about 2 weeks of part time knitting, which for me means train rides and lunch breaks. Had I used a larger yarn it would have gone a lot faster, but I probably would have gone a lot larger as well.

Finished, hand knitted, striped baby blanket
Finished striped baby blanket

Interested in knitting this project? Stash it or Cast it on at Ravelry or tell me how it went in the comments here. Happy Knitting!

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