Isn’t it wonderful when a baby comes into your life? Well, when one is on the way, you need to get busy and make that baby a blanket to wrap up with love!
This seed stitch blanket is a winner and it’s a pattern I found on the wrapper of the Bernat Baby yarn I was purchasing. I’m including the free pattern here and some tips I have about knitting it. In the end you will have a baby blanket measuring about 35 inches square.
- 2 balls of yarn (approx. 258 yards each) I usedBernat Baby Blanket Yarn – color Peachy
- Size 11 circular knitting needle at least 30” long. I used Boye 29-Inch Aluminum Circular Knitting Needles, Size 11
8 ½ stitches and 13 rows = 4 inches in the Seed Stitch Pattern
*Gauge has to do with the thickness of the yarn you choose and whether it will work for the pattern you want to knit. So, start by checking the gauge intended on the pattern you choose. On this blanket pattern, the gauge is that 81/2 stitches will equal 4” knitted horizontally and it will take 13 rows to also make 4” of blanket knitted vertically. You need to select a yarn that will match the pattern gauge IF you want the project to turn out as the designer intended.
Since I chose the yarn first and decide to make the pattern printed on the back of the wrapper, I was all set!
One, I will explain what each of these symbols means at the end of this article so I don’t make the instructions too busy.
Two, there are so many rows of instructions with this pattern that I found if I make myself a cheat sheet and mark each row I knit, I can take a break and make dinner or get a beverage and not lose my place. I actually started the project and had to rip it out and start again because I kept forgetting which row I was on.
Three, if you have never knitted with circular knitting needles, this is going to be a treat for you. This was my first time and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Just use them as though they were two, but be careful not to drop any stitches off the ends. Every time I left my work I stuck the needles into the ball of yarn and put the entire project into a plastic bag to make sure I didn’t lose any stitches.
Cast on 2 sts.
1st row: Inc 1 st in first st. K1. 3 sts.
2nd row: (RS). K1. (yo. K1) twice. 5 sts.
3rd row: K1. P3. K1.
4th row: K1. yo. K1. P1. K1. yo. K1. 7 sts.
5th row: (K1. P1) 3 times. K1.
6th row: K1. yo. (P1. K1) twice. P1. yo. K1. 9sts.
7th row: K1. P2. *K1. P1. Rep from * to last 2 sts. P1. K1.
8th row: K1. yo. *K1. P1. Rep from * to last 2 sts. K1. yo. K1. 11 sts.
9th row: *K1. P1. Rep from * to last st. K1.
10th row: K1. Yo. *P1. K1. Rep from * to last 2 sts. P1. yo. K1. 13 sts.
Rep 7th to 10th rows until work measured along straight side edge measures approx. 35” ending with a 10th row.
This will take your baby afghan from a tiny corner to half way through the afghan. It will be a triangle shape with the entire diagonal width on your circular knitting needle. Now we need to start decreasing stitches to come to the opposite point of the afghan.
The pattern called each of the following rows simply “Next row”. I numbered them so I could stay on track. I’m going to number them for you. Of course this isn’t the 11th row, it’s probably row 111, but who’s counting???
11th row: K1. P2. *K1. P1. Rep from * to last 2 sts. P1. K1.
**12th row: (RS). K1. yo. P3tog. *P1. K1. Rep from * to last 5 sts. P1. P3tog. yo. K1.
13th row: *K1. P1. Rep from * to last st. K1.
14th row: K1. yo. P3tog. *K1. P1. Rep from * to last 5 sts. K1. P3tog. yo. K1.
15th row: K1. P2. *K1. P1. Rep from * to last 2 sts. P1. K1. **
Rep from ** to ** until 9 sts. rem.
As you continue on, the afghan will shrink down to 9 stitches and you are almost done! I will number these rows as well, but we all know the numbers are there just to keep us on track.
16th row: (RS). K1. yo. P3tog. P1. P3tog. yo. K1. 7sts.
17th row: (K1. P1) 3 times. K1.
18th row: K1. P2tog. P1. P2tog. K1. 5sts.
19th row: K1. P3. K1.
20th row: K1. P3tog. K1. 3sts.
21st row: K1. P1. K1.
22nd row: P3tog. Fasten off.
Yay! You did it! Now wasn’t that fun? I can’t wait to make another one. But before you send it off in the mail, you need to block your afghan. This means straighten all the stitches out so your piece doesn’t look jabberwocky!
First, block the afghan by hand by holding it at each side and gently stretch it horizontally, vertically and diagonally a couple times to get the stitches to even out.
Then, place a towel or a couple towels to make a large enough base on a guest bed perhaps. Place the afghan on the towels and pin it in the shape you want, going through the bedding to hold it in place. (Only do this if your bedding can handle a few pin pricks!) Then, lightly spray the afghan with water and leave it to dry. It may take a couple hours or better yet, leave it overnight to be sure it is completely dry.
OK, now you can pack it up and send it off in the mail! Congratulations!
Glossary of Terms:
Cast on - This is how you get the loops onto the first needle to get started.
*To cast on, make a slip knot on one of the needles and this will be considered your first stitch. Place this needle in your left hand and hold the other needle in your right hand. Insert the point of the right needle into the slip knot, from front to back and under the left needle. While holding left needle, slide your fingers over to the right to brace the right needle while you grab the yarn from the ball and wrap it around the point of the right needle. Return your fingers to the right needle while continuing to hold the yarn. Draw the yarn through the stitch on the left needle using the point of the right needle until the right needle is resting on top of the left needle. Now we have to get this new stitch onto the left needle as stitch number two. To do this, slide the point of the left needle into the back of the new stitch and then remove the right needle. Hooray! You now have two stitches! Now, insert the right needle into the second stitch. Start between the two stitches and go in from front to back. Repeat what you did before, wrapping the yarn and pulling it through then putting it on the left needle for stitch number three. Continue in this fashion until you have the number of stitches on the left needle that you want.
Sts – Stitches
Inc – Increase
*To increase a stitch, you knit the stitch like you normally would. Insert the right needle into the stitch on the left needle from the front to the back. Wrap the yarn around the needle and pull it through to knit. Stop there before you drop the stitch from the left needle. Now, stretch the stitch on the left needle a bit and knit again into the back of the same stitch and slip the stitch off. Now you’ve added a stitch!
(RS) – Right side
yo – yarn over
*This is another way to increase a stitch. Knit up to the point where the “yo” or yarn over is instructed. Then take the loose yarn, bring it from the back to the front between the needles and up and over the right needle. In other words, bring the yarn over the needle. Then simply knit the next stitch as you would. This adds a loop on the right needle for the next row.
K1. – This means knit one stitch.
P1. – This means pearl one stitch.
P3tog. – This means pearl three stitches together.
*To do this, push the right needle through three stitches on the left needle and pearl as if you were doing one stitch and pull them all off at once, reducing the number of stitches for the next row.
Rep – Repeat
Fasten off – This is how you end a knitted item.
* When only one stitch remains, cut the yarn from the skein about 6” away from the needle. Pull the end through the last stitch to secure it. Then, either using a yarn needle or your fingers, weave the end into several stitches along the bottom edge of the project to keep it in place.