A baby blanket is an ideal project for a beginning knitter. Using just a basic stitch or two, you can create a lovely gift for a special infant. Although the patterns are simple, the blanket can be made in a wide variety of colours and fibres. Plan on making several, because once you see how easy it is to knit a baby blanket, you'll want to knit many more. Using a simple pattern, but varying needle size, type of yarn and colour, your options are endless.
Decide on the colour and texture you want for your blanket. Beginners might want to use only one colour yarn. Determine if you want to use a wool yarn or a softer, baby yarn that is easier to launder.
Choose your yarn carefully. Be certain that you have enough to complete the project. Typically you will need approximately 900 metres of each yarn used. Always check the lot number of the yarn and be sure that all skeins are from the same lot. This will ensure that the colour of the yarn is uniform throughout. You might want to purchase a pound of yard or a very large skein that will allow you to complete the entire blanket with just one skein.
Decide on your needle size. A super simple baby blanket can be knit using either small needles, such as size 7, or larger ones, such as size 15 needles. If using small needles, then knit using just one strand of yarn throughout. If using larger needles, hold two or three strands of yarn together for the project. Larger needles will knit up more quickly, but they will use more yarn. Use circular needles to avoid putting strain on your wrists, just be sure to turn them, just like regular knitting needles, after each row to avoid any twisting of your stitches.
Begin to knit by casting on the correct number of stitches. If using size 7, 8, 9 or 10 needles, cast on between 134 and 180 stitches, depending on the desired width of your finished blanket. If using size 11, 12 or 13, cast on between 70 to 80 stitches, and if using larger than size 13 needles, cast on between 60 and 70 stitches. The larger the needles, the fewer stitches necessary.
Using the garter stitch, which is simply knitting each row, make the blanket long enough to suit you. You might have a predetermined size in mind, or you can just finish the yarn you are using. Bind off your stitches loosely and you have completed a beautiful baby blanket.
To make another version of a simple baby blanket, just make sixteen squares, about 30 by 30 cm (12 by 12 inches), using the garter stitch. Depending on the size needles and the number of strands of yarn, this could mean casting on anywhere from 12 to 40 stitches across, then knitting each row. This makes it quite easy to use many different colours. Once the squares are complete, simply stitch them together in a pattern that you like. Try adding stripes by changing colours at the start of a row. For another blanket, cast on the same number of stitches as above. Then knit the first two rows in garter stitch. Then begin to knit one row and purl the next row, in the stockinet stitch, until the blanket is long enough. End by knitting the last two rows, using garter stitch again.