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Old 10-30-2006, 12:41 AM   #1
snpdiva
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Second Project--Baby blanket
Hi, I'm brand new and learning how to knit. Just for background information, for my first project I am working on a scarf, I cast on 25 stitches to start with. I did the first 15 rows or so, then unravelled it and started again because of mistakes and uneveness about five times. This time around it looks really nice and even, with no holes or obvious errors, so I kept going. I've done garter stitch for about 40 rows--counting the ridges on one side only, so does that mean I've actually done 80 rows? Anyway, then I switched to stockinette stitch just to practice my purling and did about 6 rows of that, again counting only the ridges on the purl side of the work. Now I'm going to go back to garter stitch for a while so it will lie flat. Basically, I'm just randomly deciding when to alter garter and stockinette for practice and so the finished scarf will have some visual interest as opposed to being all garter stitch.

The MAIN reason I wanted to learn how to knit was so I could make my soon-to-be-arriving niece/nephew a handmade baby blanket. I am looking for a SIMPLE pattern that calls only for garter/stockinette stitches, without increases or decreases, because I don't know how to do that yet. It would also be good if I didn't have to do anything like "yarn overs", which I also don't really understand. I think I could probably handle changing yarn colors to make some strips or something. I understand the felted and Russian joins pretty well, or least I see how it is supposed to work, though I haven't practiced them.

I've been looking all over the Web and even on this site, the projects labelled "beginner" are full of stuff that I don't really understand or seem very complicated. Like I said, I'm pretty much limited to cast on, garter stitch, stockinette stitch, and bind off, though I'm open to changing yarn colors for some variety. Does anyone have any patterns or suggestions of where to find this kind of SUPER EASY (think child-level) baby blanket pattern?

Thanks! So far this site has been my only tool in learning to knit and I feel very encouraged about my scarf. My mom thinks I'm the bomb for learning how to do this. She is so impressed with the little 7 by 14 inch rectangle I've made in the last couple of weeks.

SNPdiva
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Old 10-30-2006, 03:15 AM   #2
Jan in CA
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Well, I was going to suggest the Simple Knitted Baby Blanket because it really is the easiest blanket I've seen. Yarn overs are very simple and we can help you with it if you need it.
Here's a bunch of patterns and one easy one.

Easy Baby Blanket - pdf

A whole bunch of baby blankets

Oh and yes.. each ridge is two rows. The best thing you can do is not rip out your knitting. Just keep going. Your tension and stitches will become better as you practice.
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Old 10-30-2006, 08:44 AM   #3
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Don't be afraid of increases or decreases or yo's--they're very simple and open a world of knitting possibilities.
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Old 10-30-2006, 05:45 PM   #4
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To Jan in CA
Thanks for the suggestion. I really like the look of the "Simple Knitted Baby Blanket", but I'm confused about a couple of things.

First of all, the pattern calls for circular needles. If I knit on circular needles, won't I end up with a tube rather than a flat piece of work? In addition, I thought part of the idea of circular needles was that you don't have to switch between knit and purl stitches, you just knit all rows and end up with stockinette stitch. Finally, what does "yarn is held double" throughout mean?

I really appreciate all your help! Thanks again!

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Old 10-30-2006, 08:50 PM   #5
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Re: To Jan in CA
Originally Posted by snpdiva
First of all, the pattern calls for circular needles. If I knit on circular needles, won't I end up with a tube rather than a flat piece of work?
You don't have to join when using circular needles. I use them for flat things like dishcloths all the time. It would be hard to knit a blanket on straight needles because of the weight and size. Cramming that many stitches on a straight needle would hard to do. By using circs the weight is spread over the cord and sits in your lap easier.
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In addition, I thought part of the idea of circular needles was that you don't have to switch between knit and purl stitches, you just knit all rows and end up with stockinette stitch.
That only works if you are knitting in the round. If you are doing flat knitting you will still need to purl on the other side. HOWEVER, with the Simple Knitted Baby Blanket it's all done in garter so there is no purling.
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Finally, what does "yarn is held double" throughout mean?
That means using a double strand of yarn to make it thicker and warmer. You can do it w/o using double just as well, it will just be lighter. Baby yarns tend to be very light which is why they suggest doubling. If you use a different yarn you might not need to.

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Old 10-30-2006, 09:41 PM   #6
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It's slowly becoming clear(er, anyway)
Jan,
I can't thank you enough for your help. Okay; so I will basically use the circular needle as if it were one really long straight needle--work off of the left onto the right, then turn the work around and go the other way? Have I got that right?

If I want to use a light baby yarn, in order to do double do I just get two skeins and pull from them both (working them together as if they were one) at the same time, or is there a better way to make a doubled strand? On the other hand, maybe I should just get a thicker/fuzzier yarn so I don't have to worry about that.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:49 PM   #7
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Jan, it's slowly becoming a bit more clear....
Jan, I can't thank you enough for your help! I realized that some confusion was generated by my referring to the wrong pattern name. I'm actually wanting to do the one called "Easiest Baby Blanket" from the longer list you sent me; it was one I had actually looked at the other night. THAT one does call for circular needles, as well as alternation between knit and purl stitches.

Anyway, that being said, I think I'm getting more of an idea how to work it. What you are saying is that I will basically be using the circular needles as if it were one really long straight needle. I'll work off of the left onto the right, then turn the work around and knit my way back for garter stitch, or purl my way back for stockinette stitch. Is that right?

In addition, I think what I will do is get a yarn that is a bit thicker/fuzzier, so that I won't have to worry about doubling the strand. For future reference, though, when doing a double strand, would I just get two skeins of the same yarn and pull from them both/work them together at the same time? Or is there a better way of doing that?

Again, I'm really encouraged by your help and support. I'm looking forward to getting started.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:54 PM   #8
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It sounds like you've got all your bases covered and are ready to knit!
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Old 10-30-2006, 11:35 PM   #9
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Well you should be able to do both blankets now! Good for you! It sounds like you have it figured out, but ask away if you need help!
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Old 10-31-2006, 09:04 AM   #10
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I usually buy 2 and pull from both, but sometimes when it's a small projectI will get one and make 2 balls and pull from them.

Making balls is easy you can just start winding it around you finger and just make it a straight ball (then when you are knitting just have it in something so it doesn't go rolling all over the place). Or you can make a center pull ball.

Amy has a wonderful video here. It's down near the bottom. I always wind my yarn because I have gotten too many bad skeins and don't want to be in the middle of a long row and run into problems.

I hth!
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