Did you catch part 1 about the Easy Peasy baby blanket and soft toys? Check it out. We’ll wait.
If you’re ready to start knitting, skip on down to the pictures. If you’re here because you love my writing and ideas, keep reading.
I first learned to knit in 5th grade. I went to a Catholic school where they began allowing students to choose their “electives” as they prepared for junior high school. About five girls in my class, all relatively quiet young ladies, signed up for this course taught by the Religion and Music teacher. We learned the basics then made square dish cloths. Well, some of us managed squares. Others weren’t so lucky.
I have picked up knitting here and there over the years, and I have now made two nice afghans. This little tutorial (chock full of photos for you) will walk you through my second one, the gift I made for my sister-in-law who was expecting.
Two notes: 1. I chose bamboo needles, 12 gauge, because they would look the most authentic were I to knit “in camp.”* 2. I chose the colors (dark brown and pale pink) because they were the colors my SIL chose for her bridesmaids’ dresses when she married my brother 7 years ago.
This really is a super easy project. I kinda made it up, as a matter of fact. I’ll show you three basic things: casting on, knitting, and purling. There’s not much to it, and I did it as cheaply as possible.
You’re going to see a ton of photos; don’t let that scare you into thinking there’s a lot of skill you need to develop. I personally learn better with this kind of thing when I see how it is done rather than read about it. The photos are to help you SEE what I did and maybe mimic as you create your own lovely piece.
Also, I only make the basics and they must be in rectangular form. Don’t ask me for anything fancy because I’ll just tell you there are books at your library that can help you. And YouTube videos. I can make scarves, blankets, wash cloths, and fingerless gloves (yep, just a rectangle you stitch together).
Easy Peasy Knitted Blanket
1 pair of needles
2 skeins of yarn (I chose two colors: dark brown and light pink)
1 good idea
I wanted to alternate colors and slowly decrease the blocks of color until I used the entirety of each ball of yarn**. I decided I would cast on 60 stitches with the brown, knit then purl the knit then purl until I had 30 rows. I switched to the pink and k then p then k then p until I had 25 rows. I switched back to brown and did 20, then back to pink for 15, then 7 brown, then 5 pink. That left me with about 14″ of brown yarn and maybe 5′ of pink.
There are specific ways one writes up a knitting pattern. I’m a beginner assuming I’m writing for beginners so I’m not going to bother with technical jargon. I can’t read a true knitting pattern, so I’m not going to learn just to try to teach you. Again, there’s books at your library and videos on YouTube.
Again, check out YouTube. Here’s how I did it:
For this pattern, I chose to alternate each row knit then purl. I cast on my 60 stitches then switched the needle with the stitches into my left hand. I picked up my empty needle and began to knit. Even though I knit-then-purl 30 rows of the brown, the photos are of the pink yarn. Bear with me.
Remember, I am following my mental pattern of knit one row, purl one row. At the end of each row, I switch the needles to the other hands and proceed down the row using whatever stitch I did not use on the last row. I knitted Row 1 so will purl Row 2. The main difference is that the dominant needle slides into the stitch in FRONT of the submissive*** needle and the yarn gets looped from the FRONT of your work.
Forgive that. I mean to say this is where I’ll tell you how to switch to a new ball of yarn; in this case, I’m changing colors. The pattern is brown K then P for 30 rows, pink K then P for 25 rows, brown K then P for 20 rows, et cetera, until I’m out of yarn. For these photos, I was switching from pink to brown when the row called for the purl stitch.
That was as basic of a knitting tutorial as I could possibly give you. I hope the 4 million photos I’ve presented were helpful each step of the way.
*The BHE has been engaging in reenactments of life during the American Revolution since he was a child. Now Angel Baby and I are also living historians. As it would have been common to see a camp follower knitting by the firepit, I need needles that look as close to what would be used in the 18th century as possible.
**If this is a real pattern, somewhere out there, and somebody else already wrote this up and published it or whatever, I did not steal it from them. I really did make this up in my head. If it matches someone else’s work, then I think the two of us should pat ourselves on the back for being awesome.
***Again, I am not using technical jargon. And because I can sometimes have the mind of a 14-year-old boy, I’m totally giggling over my word choice. “Dom” and “sub” seem to be working for me today. No apologies.