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Baby Blankets *help!*

Knitters Inc.

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Mar 10, 2007, 4:51am Top

and a fair welcome to all of you. I have been knitting various projects for years but have never tackled on something as complex and monotonous as a baby blanket. It's also made using circular knitting needles, which is a first for me as well.
It's for my little sister's first child... a baby boy who is expected to arrive next month.
Any advice? I keep screwing up and trying to fix it only to screw up another thing. I only have about a month left, so I'm starting to be a little frustrated. Anything you could offer will be well appreciated. :)

Mar 10, 2007, 8:12am Top

Can you give us more information on the pattern? The overall design? Stitches used? Type of yarn?

(I've only made one baby blanket so far. It was a handsome, simple design from Stitch N Bitch. I didn't finish it in time for the baby shower, but I was happy with the results.)

Mar 10, 2007, 11:43am Top

If you haven't started this, here's how I solved this problem:

Get a whole bunch of cotton yarn--Sugar and Cream is cheap and good--in one color or buy a bunch of it so you can make stripes.

You'll probably need about 12 balls. If you buy in stripes, buy even even numbers of each color, because you'll knit with two strands of yarn.

Use size 11 circs. Make a seed stitch border of 6-8 stitches and stockinette the inside.

This makes a thick, squishy, supersoft warm blankie that's easily washed.

Don't think of it as monotonous work; it's a great project for working on in front of the TV or watching movies.

I recommend a really l-o-n-g Masterpiece Theatre series. Like "I Claudius."

Edited: Mar 10, 2007, 3:00pm Top

Have you thought about knitting a blanket in squares or strips? I've found that blankets are much less daunting done a little at a time. Plus the project will be more portable as you work on it. I saw a really cute example of a blanket done in strips on a blog recently, or there is the Log Cabin Moderne blanket in Mason-Dixon Knitting (pics at Mason-Dixon Knitting.com.

*edited because part of the post got eaten, sorry.

Mar 10, 2007, 5:25pm Top

I find it helps to put stitch markers at regular intervals...every 25 sts or whatever.

Mar 11, 2007, 6:11pm Top

I second the suggestion that you find something else to distract you while you knit what is, in some ways, a giant swatch.

The last (first, and only, so far) baby blanket I knit had a seed-stitch border, and a basket-weave pattern of 4 knits to 4 purls, shifting every four rows. It was just interesting enough to keep my fingers going, but not so complex that I had to pay a lot of attention to it (plus lace can get caught on infant fingers). I used one of those soft, antibacterial, washable faux cotton yarns. Easy to knit, easy to care for - babies are messy!

Remember, too, that it doesn't have to be enormous - 2' x 3' is probably fine - it can be used as a carseat or stroller blanket if it's that small.

Alas, the blanket I knit was so well loved it went with the baby on a trip to Germany, and it (the blanket, not the baby) got lost and never came back.

Mar 12, 2007, 5:30pm Top

THANK YOU ALL for such kind advice!!! It warms my heart that I am not the only one who has had some problems with this issue. Because she is my only sister and this is her first child, I feel this extra pressure to make it perfect, an heirloom, something that she and her little one will cherish. Alas, I have only been knitting for about 4 years now and never something so big. Thus my frustration.

Anyways, thanks for all your suggestions, I will definitely keep them in mind. Yes, I've already begun and I apologize for being so vague in my descriptions of my project, MaggieO. I too have picked the big bad baby blanket with seed stitch from Debbie Stoller's delightful book "Stitch 'N Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook", on page 187. The color I have picked and the yarn is Lion brand yarn's "Baby Soft" in Pastel Blue. I wanted to have a different white/baby blue color for the edge detail, but it wasn't too specific where that would start or end, so it might end up being all one color, unless I can figure out how it add it after it is (finally) done.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to add a border? Thank you again for all your suggestions and advice! I have been watching all kinds of old movies while my fingers knit away and it has become very soothing to me in a way.
Happy knitting! :)

Mar 12, 2007, 10:00pm Top

Hi again, PandorasRequiem -
I'm glad to hear you're making some progress on the blanket! I thought the knitting seemed endless when I was making the blanket, too. I'm not sure why, since I've made larger things. Possibly it was just the anticipation of having a handmade gift to present to the new babe - I wanted it to be done faster!

As far as adding a different color border, you could switch to your white/blue yarn when the main blanket is finished, adding as many rows as you want. Then you can go back and "pick up" stitches at the other end and add some white/blue there as well. It took me a while to figure out how to add stitches to a finished edge, but it's a very useful technique. You could probably find instructions in a basic knitting book if you haven't done it before. You could also add the white/blue along the sides of the blanket using the same process. You could add rows of garter stitch, or anything else you think would work. For something like a ruffle or decorative border, I'd recommend Nicky Epstein's book Knitting on the Edge. (I admire this book very much, but I can't imagine ever conjuring the energy to knit most of these wondrous edges!) Or, if you crochet, you might find it easier to crochet a nice border around the blanket, such as a scalloped edge or something like that.

Good luck, have fun, and best wishes to your sister and her new little one!

Mar 13, 2007, 8:13pm Top

I'm sure the baby will love your blanket no matter how it turns out.

My kid is 11, and my mother-in-law knitted him a blanket he dragged everywhere. He used to pull out the loops and twist them. Then the yarn broke and I had to pick up dropped stitches and tie knots in it to keep it from unravelling.

It's pretty horrid looking, but he still keeps it in his bed and covers his cat up with it. When he's sick, he still wants it with him.

His grandma knitted him a nicer, bigger blanket before she died, but he keeps that put away "for some other time" because he'd rather have his "original dude."

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