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Blanket people - help needed!

(10 Posts)
Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire Mon 31-Dec-12 11:29:07

My teenage daughter's best friend is going to be bedridden for months and my daughter is trying hard to keep her feeling loved and supported - she is too ill to have visitors very often. I suggested maybe she and her friends could get together and make a blanket like the ones that Mumsnet makes and I was wondering if Mumsnetters could give me some advice about how to go about it. I am happy to buy about six pairs of needles and some wool and teach them how to knit but would like some advice on size of needles, type of wool etc and tips on making up, anything else people have learned along the way that would be useful. I was thinking if they backed it, other friends who might not want to learn to knit could use fabric pens to write messages on the backing, but not sure what fabric to use to make sure it stays soft and snuggly.
Any advice would be most welcome. They are all 15/16 by the way so should pick up the knitting reasonably quickly one hopes.

TheWoollybacksWife Mon 31-Dec-12 12:43:57

What a lovely idea.

I usually crochet my squares but the knitted ones are made using 4mm needles and the blankets use DK wool. Perhaps to keep costs down you could use Stylecraft Special DK which is very good and snugly but is far cheaper than the Debbie Bliss wool used for the MN blankets. This website offers a mixed shades pack here but an Internet search or eBay may bring up similar for less money.

The wonderful ladies who make up the blankets crochet them together and edge them, but they can be sewn together if you prefer. Fleece backing would be soft and snuggly and could be written on or even embroidered.

Squares are usually 6 inches square and the number of stitches and rows needed will depend on the tension of the individual knitter but I have a vague feeling that 33 stitches and 44 rows gives me about the right size.

I have just switched to bamboo needles and have a couple of pairs of steel 4mm needles knocking about. They may be a bit crooked thanks to being sat on over the years but you are welcome to them. PM me if you want me to send them to you.

Themumsnotroastingonanopenfire Mon 31-Dec-12 13:21:13

Thank you so much TWW. That pack looks great value, I've done a quick search on ebay and can't see that wool any cheaper. Is it approximately one ball per square?

Pancakeflipper Mon 31-Dec-12 13:29:25

I get about 3 squares out of 1 ball - as long as I am not doing anything too fancy ( not that I can actually do anything too fancy).

I do about 30 stitches knitting for a 6 inch square.

lots of luck.

It gets addictive knitting squares.

TheWoollybacksWife Mon 31-Dec-12 13:43:44

They are 100g balls so you would get about 5 or 6 squares out of one ball, so that pack of 17 balls will give you 80 to 100 squares - easily enough for a 4' by 5' blanket plus edging.

As Pancakeflipper says fancy squares take more yarn, but I assume with beginners you will most likely be using garter stitch or stocking stitch. Stocking stitch on its own will curl at the edges so I would advise working a garter stitch border (a couple of rows at the top and bottom of the square and 2 or 3 stitches at each end of the row).

For your more competent pupils there are loads of patterns on Ravelry. Search for face cloths. Some may need resizing but there are plenty of 6" squares, although as it is your own project it does not matter how big you want your squares - as long as they are all the same size.

MrsPennyapple Mon 31-Dec-12 13:58:32

This book gives instructions and patterns for squares which will all work out to 6" square if worked on 4mm needles, with DK yarn. They vary in complexity, some are very easy, and some more advanced.

This book is the same but for crochet squares, using a 4mm hook and DK yarn.

I take most of my blanket squares from these two books, there are some beautiful ones.

tribpot Mon 31-Dec-12 15:34:05

Make sure you get them nice short needles - much easier to learn on.

They won't all knit to the same gauge so you'll need them to work out how many stitches for each of them will make a 6" square - we estimate around 33 but it can be anything from 26-ish to 45. Likewise the number of rows.

BarbaraWoodlouse Mon 31-Dec-12 15:52:43

What a lovely idea.

I just knew someone would have already suggested the Stylecraft DK - definitely the way to go IM). My DD (currently on the sofa with chicken pox) is snuggled under a blanket crocheted in that as I type. It's lovely and soft and great value. That Mason's pack is great value too!

DutchOmainthestable Mon 31-Dec-12 20:02:42

Brilliant idea. I would suggest the Stylecraft Double Knitting too, but I don't think you need 17 100 gr balls, that would give you about 102 squares. But at £25.50 it is a great deal and I am VERY tempted myself.
Ravelry has patterns for 6" squares (
Another way you could make squares is by casting on 1 stitch and increasing 1 stitch every row until the side is 6". Then decrease until you have 1 stitch left and cast off.

Very best of luck and if you want to pm me and send some wool I am a very fast knitter.

MOSagain Tue 01-Jan-13 17:10:13

lovely idea, good luck. I've only recently learnt to knit and once I got going I was ok. Hopefully they will all master it quickly enough x

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