Throw blankets can also be referred to as lap blankets, and are generally used in the living areas of the home, as opposed to the bedroom. These blankets are smaller than those used on beds, and can be interior decor accents, used to protect furniture from daily wear and tear, and also for warmth. Knitting throw blankets can take a while, as they are much larger than sweaters, scarves and other garments. However, blanket projects can be excellent for beginners, as they offer ample opportunity to practice the craft of knitting.
Check your gauge. Knit a gauge swatch with your chosen yarn and needles. For the greatest degree of accuracy, knit a swatch at least 4 inches by 4 inches. Use the measuring tape to determine the number of stitches per inch in your swatch.
Determine the size of your blanket and calculate your initial cast on. Many throw blankets are around 48 by 60 inches. To determine your initial cast on, multiply the number of stitches per inch in your gauge by the desired width of your blanket. For instance, if your gauge is 3 stitches per inch, and your blanket is to be 48 inches wide, you will need to cast on 144 stitches. A circular knitting needle with a long cable is necessary for knitting the blanket in one piece. The long cable will hold the work and allow you to rest the blanket in progress in your lap.
Cast on and knit. Loosely cast on your required number of stitches. In the case of our example, begin knitting in a wide rib pattern. As the stitches are divisible by 12, knit six stitches and purl six stitches. Repeat on each row, purling the purl stitches and knitting the knit stitches as they appear. Continue knitting until you have reached the desired length for your blanket.
Bind off loosely, using any technique you are comfortable with. Cut the yarn, leaving a 10-inch tail. Using your tapestry needle, weave in the ends of the yarn. Because you will have used many balls of yarn for the blanket, you may have a large number of ends to weave in.
Block the blanket. While certain types of yarns, such as acrylic and other man-made fibres do not generally need blocking, anything with cotton or animal fibres, including blends, will need to be blocked to open up the ribbing. Because the throw blanket is so large, you will need to block it either on towels laid on the floor or on your bed. Lay the towels on a flat surface and place the blanket flat on them. Use either a spray bottle or an iron on the steam setting to dampen the throw. Gently shape the throw, taking care to open up the ribbing slightly until it meets your originally planned for dimensions. Let the blanket dry completely before moving.