Knitting from a pattern is one of the easiest ways to complete a knitted baby blanket. To knit a baby blanket with a knitting pattern, all that is required besides the pattern are knitting needles and yarn. There are literally thousands of patterns, each offering different colours and textures depending upon the type and weight of the yarn used. You bring the creativity to the project by choosing the colours and the pattern guarantees that, when followed precisely, a beautiful knitted baby blanket will be the end result.
Choose a baby blanket knitting pattern. Patterns are usually marked with levels for beginners, intermediate or advanced knitters, or by easy, intermediate and hard. Choose a baby blanket pattern that fits your level of experience with knitting. Many free patterns are available online, or you may want to purchase a pattern book. Since pattern books sometimes offer patterns for both knitters and crocheters, be sure to choose a knitting pattern, which is usually marked by knitting needles.
Read the knitting pattern directions thoroughly. Knitting patterns not only provide the type and pattern of stitches that make up the design of the blanket, they tell you what type and how much yarn you will need, which size needles to use and other pattern-specific information you will need. One advantage to buying a pattern book is that the author usually provides a key to pattern abbreviations and their meaning, and knitting instructions for common stitches.
Select your yarn. Purchase the yarn in the desired colour(s) in the amount stated in the pattern. Patterns typically show a picture of the baby blanket in a certain colour and brand of yarn. You can follow the pattern exactly, using the same colour and same weight and brand of yarn, or you may deviate from the pattern slightly. If you choose to deviate a little, you only have to make sure the yarn you use is the same weight (i.e. worsted, bulky, etc.). The pattern instructions will tell you which weight to use, the colours and brand, though, are up to you.
Choose your knitting needles. Knitting needles can either be metal or wood, straight or circular and come in several sizes suited to different projects. It does not matter which brand you buy or if you use wood or metal knitting needles. It is important, however, to use the suggested needle size and type (straight, circular, etc.) given in the pattern.
Sometimes the knitting needles suggested will be too large or too small, depending upon your style of knitting. You can check this by measuring the "gauge," which is done by knitting a small swatch following the pattern and measuring it according to the gauge chart given for the pattern. If your swatch is larger or smaller than the ideal one given in the pattern, you would use smaller or larger needles to obtain the correct gauge. Unlike when knitting garments, however, exact needle size is not paramount when knitting blankets.
Follow the pattern and begin to knit the baby blanket. Each pattern tells how many stitches to start with (called casting on or CO), and is made up of abbreviations for the stitches contained in the pattern, how many of each stitch, and the rows that make up the pattern. The easiest pattern consists of casting on a certain amount of stitches and continuing with one stitch, usually the garter stitch (knit each row). Other patterns will have several different stitches and varying rows. All patterns are made up of repeating stitches and rows that form the pattern. To be successful, become familiar with the stitch abbreviations, how to knit them, and then follow the pattern exactly.
- If you are a beginner, choose a simple pattern with one or two types of stitches and rows.
- When just starting out, stick with the weights of yarn, needle type and size suggested in the pattern.
- Yarn manufacturers offer free patterns on their websites, which are also loaded with information about the yarns and knitting tips.