Knitting your own blanket can become a great past time plus it can make a great gift for your baby or other newborn babies when you attend various baby showers. Knitting your own blanket is not difficult, all you need are needles and yarn of your favorite colors.
Really the only challenge besides learning is choosing the correct color patterns for your blanket. This can become especially tricky if you don’t know the gender of the baby! Therefore, it is highly advisable to choose neutral and pastel colors that will fit both girls and boys alike, plus neutral-colored blankets will complement most nursery themes.
Different Types of Yarns Available
Nowadays, you can find a wide variety of different yarns including yarns made from natural and synthetic materials. Every type of yarn has its own properties. For example, the wool yarn is often used for knitting warm sweaters or baby swaddle blankets.
Apart from being warm, it is very easy to knit. However, some people and especially children might form wool allergies. On the other hand, cotton yarn is a very affordable yarn, but it is very inelastic in its properties. Also, knitting cotton yarn can be difficult for beginners.
Depending on when the baby is due, you can easily decide on the yarn. If the baby is due in the Summer, then you will be better off knitting a baby blanket from cotton yarn as it will help keep the baby at an optimal temperature.
However, if you are about to have a late autumn or winter baby, then a wool blanket is something you will definitely appreciate when the cold wind hits your baby. Furthermore, most DIY shops sell acrylic yarn as well, which has become very popular lately thanks to its bright colors and affordable price.
Method One of Knitting a Simple Baby Blanket
1. Choose Yarn:
Choose two colored yarns, preferable pastel-colored especially if you are not sure of the baby’s gender. Most individuals go for soft colors such as yellow, light green and orange. For an average-sized baby blanket, you are going to need about 8 skeins of yarn. So, that will be four skeins of each colored yarn.
Moreover, since you will be knitting a blanket for a baby, only look to buy soft yarns that are made from natural fabrics such as wool or cotton. New baby’s skin is extremely sensitive during the first six months, so these materials will not cause skin rashes on your baby’s skin. As a major plus, they do not get electrified, so no static electricity can build up.
Furthermore, a baby blanket made from natural fabrics will keep the baby warm during the winter and cool during the summer. Lastly, most blankets knitted from natural fabrics are easy to clean and will not shrink when washed in the washing machine (source).
However, you will need to select specially designed yarn if you want the baby blanket to be machine washable. Such yarns are often marked as a wool-acrylic blend and come in skeins of about 1500 meters.
2. Buy Needles:
To knit a baby blanket you are going to have to buy two different needles that have a long cable between them. This will ensure you have enough space for comfortable knitting. Moreover, most professional knitters recommend buying circular needles because they allow plenty of space between the stitches. Plus, knitting with alternative straight needles can be much harder and could strain your wrists especially if you are not used to knitting.
3. Making a Slipknot:
To make a good slipknot, take one strand from each skein of selected yarn making sure that the ends are of the same length. Then loop the two strands around your middle and index finger meanwhile pulling the first loop through the second, for a stronger slipknot do this twice. This will become your first cast on the first line of stitches. You will have to do this for every line of stitches.
To knit a medium-sized blanket you will need to cast at least 135 stitches. However, if you are following a detailed baby blanket knitting pattern then try to knit exactly as per the instructions that should clearly mention the number of stitches needed.
4. Knitting the Remaining Part of the Blanket:
Most baby blankets are stitched using the garter stitching method. This method is considered to be the easiest method to learn for beginners. With a garter stitch, you would need to turn the needles each time in a way that will result in the yarn to be on the right side. Then you would need to insert the needle in your right hand into the cast of the stitches on the first line, loop the yarn and pull through the cast. Repeat this till you complete the row.
5. Finishing of the Baby Blanket:
To correctly finish off the blanket, you will need to knit the two stitches that are the closest to the last row. You then need to lift the stitch onto the needle held in the right hand and smoothly pass it over to the second stitch. Do this at least twice.
How to Knit a Baby Blanket with Two Different Colors?
If you wish to incorporate several different colors onto the blanket, then you would need to swap your yarns every 10 or 15 rows. In order to smoothly switch the colors, you would need to tie the end of the yarn before beginning a new cast of stitches with the new color.
No matter what colors you choose, remember to always follow the instructions so as to not spoil the pattern of the baby blanket. The end of a row is where most knitters recommend switching the color. However, you could do that anywhere throughout the body if you think switching the color will complement the overall design of the blanket.
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How to Wash Baby Blanket?
Knitting your first blanket can be a bit challenging at first, however, as you continue with the process you will find yourself getting into it and actually enjoying making something with your hands. You will want to take great care of the blanket and this will require you to hand wash it with gentle detergents that are specifically designed for babies.
These detergents are different from other ones because they do not contain harsh chemicals such as sulfates and phosphates. Instead, they are made with active biological enzymes that work best in mild temperatures of about 80-90 degrees.
Some mothers who have babies with sensitive skin avoid using fabric softeners because they can irritate the skin. To combat this, simply add a cup of white vinegar. White vinegar works great to soften all sorts of fabrics, plus it is known to disinfect and kill mold as well as common germs.
If you happen to stain your newly knitted baby blanket, do not panic, instead, try to get rid of the stain using chemical-free products such as lemon or baking soda.
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Knitting a baby blanket for your new baby can become a very rewarding experience, plus the baby blanket can be passed down for generations to come. It can become a very special keepsake as your child grows.
Moreover, by choosing to knit your own baby blanket, you can entirely decide your own pattern and design as well as the type of yarn. Furthermore, you could even knit your baby’s astrological sign in the corner of the blanket or stitch out his/her name in the middle using a different colored yarn.
Alternatively, you could even knit a small animal print or something like a moon or sun. However, this would require some additional effort on your part but it will definitely be worth it. You could also use specially designed stickers that you simply iron onto the fabric and leave a design behind. However, these tend to scratch the skin so it is much better to avoid them.
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