In my little craft room, there is a pretty basket, holding 6 skeins of Bernat Baby Blanket yarn in Baby Yellow – which has been screaming for attention. (It looks and feels like butter.) This is Bernat’s super bulky, super soft chenille yarn for making baby blankets. Once you have this yarn in your hands, you won’t want to put it down…..REALLY!
One of my friends is expecting a baby boy soon, so I’ve decided to create a special blanket for this little one, using my super-soft, yellow yarn. After taking a look at the free patterns for the Baby Blanket yarn on the Bernat website, I just wanted something different. I mean, I really liked the patterns there, but felt like making a different blanket with my yarn. So, I’ve decided to design my own blanket, using the other resources available on the Bernat webpage.
I found just what I needed in the “Resources” tab. Bernat has a Stitch Gallery! (Just look for “Resources” along the top of the webpage, and let your mouse hover there, then move your mouse down and click “Stitch Gallery”.) The stitch gallery shows several amazing designs you can create with your knitting needles and yarn. There are simple knit-purl combinations, ribbing, slip-stitch, fancy texture, eyelet, lace, and cables. Very pretty choices!
Before choosing a stitch to use, I needed to get to know my yarn. So, I picked up the skein and read the label. It calls for size 11 needles, and should work to a gauge of 8 stitches for every 4 inches (10 cm). That’s 2 stitches per inch. Like the label says, it’s SUPER BULKY!
Next, I pulled out a few yards, so I could see how it knitted up. Using a size 11 circular, I cast on about 10 stitches and knit a few rows, then switched to stockinette for a few rows. After pulling it off the knitting needle, I looked to see how it turned out. I wasn’t crazy about the garter stitch section, but the stockinette looked and felt divine! The fabric felt wonderful in my hands, but I forced myself to lay it down on a table and check my gauge. Spot on….8 stitches for every 4 inches.
I realized, after working with the yarn, that the yarn would be easiest to work with a SIMPLE design, since it takes some work to use it. Big yarn on big needles can wear you out, especially if you’re trying to knit a complicated stitch with it. So, I chose the “Simple Basketweave” for my blanket. I think it will work well with the Baby Blanket yarn, and the interesting texture should delight the baby as well!
So, now I just needed to decide how many stitches to cast on for my blanket. Most baby blankets are 36 inches wide, so that was my goal. Since the yarn works at 2 stitches per inch, I needed to cast on about 72 stitches. (36 x 2 = 72) Before casting on though, I needed to look at the specifications of the “Simple Basketweave” pattern. The first line says “multiple of 8 stitches”. So, I divided 72 by 8, and wonder of wonders, it worked out perfect! (72 divided by 8 = 9!) This blanket is meant to be, I guess, since the plan is lining up properly.
Time to get started on my blanket now!