I did a post a moon or two ago about my own baby blanket, that at over 40 years old, is still in my possession (Lovey is held together with years of love, dirt and willpower these days). It was knit in the feather and fan pattern and was my obsession as a kid. I now knit the baby blankets I gift (and sell) in the same pattern, and each time I post a picture, my Facebook followers go all nutty and lust for the pattern and the deets. So, I figured it was high time to reblog, and share this winning beauty (literally – I have fair ribbons to prove it) with the masses. Huzzah!
Feather and fan is actually a super easy pattern that only requires counting (up to 6!) every 4th row. Combined with these totally amazing yarn bobbins I stumbled across from Premier Yarns, these blankets are absolutely drool worthy. The bobbins come loaded with 3 skeins worth of anti-pill acrylic yarn – which is totally perfect for baby blankets, as I am told that babies tend to leak and/or spew various liquids and things, and need to be washed often. These require no special laundering and are just as cozy as they are gorge.
I use US 8 circular needles, 24″ long. I use circulars as often as possible as your project is literally contained within itself. This pattern works in multiples of 18 (Whoa. Math.) but I find a cast on of 154 stitches works perfectly into a tiny human sized blanket (8 pattern repeats with 10 for a border). The pattern below is for my blanket, but you can obviously tweak for a smaller boarder, etc. I also slip the first stitch of each row to the new needle (which counts as your first stitch), which in the end automatically creates a nice clean edge.
Cast on 154 stitches and knit each row until you have a border approximately an inch wide
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K5, purl entire row, K5
Row 3: k5, * k2 tog 3 times, (k1, yo) 6 times, k2 tog 3 times * repeat from * to * until last 5 stitches, K5
Row 4: Knit
Repeat these 4 rows until you have the desired width for your color band (or just go to town if you’re going the single color route) and knit the last inch to bind off your border. The Premier bobbins work nicely into 7 row bands, and give you 5 blocks of that gorgeous variegated hombre. 2 bobbins work into a single blanket with plenty left over for a crocheted border and a matching cowl or something similar of the middle block color.
My blankets knit into approx 30X40”, but since you have the magical key of the 18 stitch pattern repeat, you can make it as large or small as you want.
I am quite pleased with how well this blanket turned out. Despite a slow start and some panicked text messages to my friend Steph in Japan (who kindly talked me off the crafty ledge), it ended up being an easy, fun and fast pattern. You can find the pattern on Ravelry here, but I definitely recommend skipping the chart and investing in a stitch counter that won’t self destruct as soon as it comes out of the package.
Cast on 161 stitches, and slipping the first stitch of each row (for the entire blanket) knit 8 rows
Row 1: (K5 – border) P1, K4, P5 repeated until the end with another K5 for the border at the end
Row 2: (K5 – border) K1, P4, K5 repeated until the end…..K5 border
Rows 3,5,7,11,13,15: (K5) P1, K4 (K5 border at end)
Rows 4,6,8,12,14,16: (K6) P4, K1 (K5 border at end)
Row 9: (K5) P6, K4 …(K5)
Row 10: (K6) P4, K6 …(K5)
Basically, when you are knitting the right side, your first stitch after the border will be a purl, and the wrong side is a knit the ensure the variations in weave. And don’t panic that the pattern looks terrible until you hit row 11 or 12 – the little cross hatches will finally start to pull it all together. Work to the desired length, then knit 8 rows and bind off. Hooray! This is the last of the baby blankets as gifts for a bit (thank you all for finding a new hobby for the moment), but begins my state fair entry making. I plan to double this pattern and make a couch sized blanket as an entry this year….because clearly I am insane.
I finally finished that awesome checkerboard baby blanket! And just in time to blog about it on the fabulous Robin’s Crafting Mommy of Two blog. You get to see the finished piece, snag a free pattern, and learn a little more about me! (I used to throw clay – the cool kid way!)
Click the image for a direct link to the blog post. Hooray!
It seems everyone I know is expecting these days (if you don’t think you are, you better check again) and I have been a baby blanket making fool. Coincidentally, I have also been a guest blogging fool! Keep an eye on Alaska Knit Nat‘s blog for a tutorial on the famous Lovey blanket (feather and fan), and the fabulous Robin of Crafting Mommy of Two has asked me to tell you about the latest checkerboard blanket.
I make the blankets for folks I know will appreciate them (not everyone “gets” 40-50 hours of one’s time as a gift) and it is the absolute best feeling when the recipient gets really excited. It is the definition of ‘warm and fuzzy.’