Support thread - new blankets

(850 Posts)
tribpot Tue 08-May-12 21:23:55

I'm starting to pull together some ideas for our new blankets, very sadly knit for MNers who have both lost a beloved baby recently sad

You will have instructions from Pistey about wool colours and some suggested shops to buy from - personally I buy mine from McA Direct and have found their service excellent, but there are lots of alternatives out there. Warning: Hobbycraft do not generally stock the required yarns.

The question of how many stitches to cast on comes down to the question of gauge; how tight or loose your knitting is with the yarn in question. Best way is to knit a sample (or a plain square); just measuring how wide it is once you've cast on won't be a very reliable measure because it stretches out once you start knitting. Equally, if it's already more than 6" wide you're on a hiding to nothing. For most people, on 4mm needles, 33-ish stitches and about 45-ish rows should give you a 6" x 6" square but don't do a whole one if you're not sure or a slow knitter, as it's mega-frustrating to have to pull it all back down again.

What follows is mostly links to patterns that we've done or revised in earlier blankets, or ideas for things you might want to try. I know there are some specific pattern requests for these two blankets and I'm looking those out. Warning: many of these are links to patterns on Ravelry, which is like the Facebook of knitting. Registering is free and 100% worth it, although it may mean you start sending your salary direct to your yarn shop of choice at the start of each month as you discover more and more amazing things to knit.

If you want to start with something more adventurous than garter stitch (knit every row) or stockinette (knit one row, purl the next, and so on) why not try the Chinese waves pattern? (Non-Ravelry link). Or maybe stars - this is a bit more difficult - (Non-Ravelry link).

Birds have been specifically requested so we're starting with this lovely Owl pattern - this involves cables and ends up looking a bit like this.

Note, though - before having a go at these patterns you need to know what your gauge is, so you can modify the pattern (so in the case of the owl, cast on fewer stitches / chop out a few rows in terms of length for example) or change needles to get it close to the 6" size.

If you want to follow our adventures in trying to get a particularly devilish heart pattern right, please see the support thread in which Team Heart did battle with hearts, trees and elephants.

More to follow ...

KnottyLocks Tue 08-May-12 21:28:13

Checking in smile

Thanks for doing this for us, Trib. You little [star]

thanks

mummyinspain Tue 08-May-12 21:31:50

Marking my place.

would feather design be ok? Or I had the thought about applique or similar. I'm a newbe so I don't know what is allowed.

KnottyLocks Tue 08-May-12 21:33:40

You make whatever you feel you would like to and feel would be appropriate. We have no strict guidelines to patterns.

KnottyLocks Tue 08-May-12 21:34:04

Feather design sounds lovely smile

tribpot Tue 08-May-12 21:37:43

Cheers Knotty - happy to help.

Moss stitch has been mentioned on another thread - this is a lovely, textured way of knitting that is v simple (if a bit slow) and comes in two varieties.

Seed stitch (this is actually what I think in the UK we call moss stitch) where you basically knit 1, purl 1 across the row and then on the next row, purl 1, knit 1, etc. You need to cast on an even number of stitches to make this one work.

Moss stitch which is a variation on seed and needs an odd number of stitches to work.

I also like rice stitch and Turkish stitch although Turkish is very stretchy.

mummyinspain Tue 08-May-12 21:38:44

thanks Notty.

Right off to see if I still have my pattern books / samples!

Don't think I can cable anymore.

KnottyLocks Tue 08-May-12 21:38:57

Not too stretchy, please smile

Anything goes mummyinaspin, if my not-so-square squares made it into a blanket anything will grin

And I agree about Ravelry runnign away with your money. I will try the stars after my chinese waves Trib thanks

KnottyLocks Tue 08-May-12 21:40:06

Oi! Quick reminder we are aiming for 6" squares here grin

PurplePidjin Tue 08-May-12 21:41:32

thanks Trib!

Couple of little things:

John Lewis stock the wool. It's not the cheapest, but if you like to look feel before you buy, it's the easiest!

You will get at least two squares from a ball, and we need plain squares as much as fancy. So please feel free to knit a garter/stocking/moss one to see how it goes before embarking on a complicated design, they will both be appreciated and used

Please sew all ends in. We know it's an annoying job, try doing 100 squares with a minimum of two ends per square in the car on the way to the handover naughty Pidjie

Weigh your first square, then weigh the leftover wool. This will tell you if there's enough for another square.

Knotty and I can and will rescue anything. Please send your efforts, we are grateful. Leading on to...

Love is more important than skill. This is a hug for a family, not a showpiece for the V&A.

thanks

WhoremoaneeGrainger Tue 08-May-12 21:43:19

I want to try the stars, but dont know if i'm brave enough!!!

KnottyLocks Tue 08-May-12 21:45:27

Ah gowonnnnnnnnnnnnnnn, Grainger! grin

Checking in, I need some inspiration. Stars looks lovely but sounds kind of tangly to do.

They were mostly square as in they had 4 sides and 4 corners Knotty! At least this time I should get the right wool!

McKayz Germany Tue 08-May-12 21:47:34

I think I might stick with garter stitch. Baby is due in 6 weeks and I want to make sure I can get them done.

Those stars look brilliant but I honestly have no idea how to do them!

tribpot Tue 08-May-12 21:50:01

So Knotty maybe Turkish inside a border of garter, if one felt so inclined?

For knitting in two colours, this is one I designed for elephants (the pattern is not mine, hopefully all my footnotes correctly attribute ownership!). This is a rather nifty Escher bird patter (also in two colours) which I might chart up like the elephants at the weekend.

Diagonal owl.

Hummingbird - looks better on the Ravelry link.

Raven - the link shows the pattern knit in two colours and also in one colour with two stitches, i.e. purling on the right side to make the pattern.

Again, none of these patterns are guaranteed to be 6" square, if you're not sure, start with something easier and work up.

PurplePidjin Tue 08-May-12 21:53:26

Don't worry, folks, I can't even knit! Happy to provide crochet support where necessary smile

tribpot Tue 08-May-12 21:54:33

I sense we have our first challenge here - who is game for Team Star? C'mon ladies, be bold! I will do some pics like I did for the heart square (btw I have to make these all public on my Flickr feed, leading to some interesting questions from friends or colleagues as to why I thought the world needed something like this). Should you wish to see the Team Heart photoset they are all here including the evidence that I couldn't even follow my own pattern.

Marking spot here. I prefer crochet, I'm not a confident knitter.

Evening all. So, stars are the new hearts are they? grin

Lovely to catch up with everyone again though I do wish it could be in happier circumstances.

I have some lovely blues and purples left from Mrs K's blanket which will make a couple of nice, snuggly plain squares even if the stars defeat me

tribpot Tue 08-May-12 22:04:13

WhoKnows - lots of fab crochet squares in previous blankets, not to mention the award for cutest bird ever.

tribpot Tue 08-May-12 22:05:45

Barbara - there's also the tree now we actually have a pattern that makes sense (unlike my first effort).

SurprisinglyCurvaceousPirate Tue 08-May-12 22:10:20

Have just started doing the stars and it's looking lovely - very straightforward to do but v effective smile.

tribpot Tue 08-May-12 22:16:21

Bloody hell Pirate - no flies on you, m'girl! Well done, you are in Team Star grin

For those looking for ideas on Ravelry, there's no need only to look through the gazillion and one patterns for squares (mostly dishcloths and such, some lovely ones are there) - I adapted this little roses sock pattern to make this square.

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