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Shandeh 05-09-2008 11:45 PM

Knitting an Oddball Baby Blanket
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We've been so blessed to have so many knitters involved in the Oddball Baby Blankets and Oddball Preemie Blankets for charity. The children's hospitals really appreciate our handknit blankets. :)

Since there are several of us now, there are lots of people working on a blanket for the first time. So, I've decided to post guidelines here for starting and working on an Oddball Baby Blanket, just to make our job a little easier. Now, new Oddball Knitters can come here when they have questions. :thumbsup:

By the way, if you would like to join our knitting project, just send a private message to me (Shandeh), and provide your name and mailing address. I will forward your information to the leader for your region, and get you started on a blanket! :hug:

If you are the first knitter on an Oddball Baby Blanket, here is what you need to do.

Before you start, purchase some SOFT 100% acrylic yarn.
(Here are some recommended yarns for our project.)

If your blanket is a Preemie Blanket, your yarn should be dk/sportweight, and will be cast on with size 5 or 6 circular needles. Cast on between 80 and 100 stitches.

If your blanket is a Regular Baby Blanket, yarn should be worsted weight, and will be cast on with size 7, 8 or 9 circular needles. Cast on between 90 and 110 stitches.

With either blanket, you will need to knit every stitch for the first 3 to 6 rows to make a nice garter stitch border. Then, you can use any design you want, making sure to have 3 knit stitches at the beginning and end of each row. Your knitting in the first section should measure about 4 1/2 inches when you are finished.

The best designs for our blankets are the ones that are reversible, since our blankets will be used by children and babies. Cables, cross-over, or twisted stitches do NOT work well. Ribbing or slip-stitch patterns are also a bad choice, because they tend to draw the blanket inward. The best designs for our baby blankets use simple knit and purl stitch combinations, which make the blanket lay nicely.
(Here are some recommended stitch designs for our blankets.)

When you finish knitting your section, do 1 row of all knit stitches on the wrong side, so the next knitter will be able to add their own yarn, and the color change will look nice.
(New colors should always be started on the right side.)

Leave the knitting needles attached, and place the blanket in a ziplock bag with the appropriate Oddball Memo folded up inside the bag with the blanket. (See the attached documents with this post. There is an Oddball Baby Blanket Memo and an Oddball Preemie Blanket Memo.)

You can also include a simple greeting card, and sign your name and list the state you live in, leaving room for the rest of the knitters to do the same.

If you include a card, choose one that is generic and happy. We should not say "Get Well" in the card, because sometimes these children do not get well. :pout: Also, avoid any religious statements, because the children and families at the hospital have many different beliefs. I usually choose a colorful card that is blank inside, and write, "We Care About You" on the inside.

If you have scrapbooking skills, you can MAKE a greeting card!

If you choose to include any gifts for the next knitter, please avoid any food products. Our packages occasionally get lost in the mail. (One time a blanket was lost for 6 months before turning up again!)

When mailing the package, please get DELIVERY CONFIRMATION, so we can track the package online. We don't want to lose our precious knitting! :pray:

Thank you! :muah:

Shandeh 05-10-2008 12:14 AM

Knitting on a Blanket That Has Already Been Started
If you are one of the knitters that knits the body of the baby blanket, here are your guidelines:

(Here are some recommended yarns for our blankets)

When you receive the blanket, read the memo that should be enclosed with the blanket. It should tell you how many stitches have been cast on the blanket.

Now, take a look at what the knitter before you did. Count the stitches on the needle, and make sure it's the same as what the memo says.

If the number of stitches is not correct, just do a simple increase or decrease in the center of the next row to make it right. (If you don't know how to do an increase or decrease, just ask us here in the forum.)

BUT, before you stitch anything, make sure that the knitter before you ended on a WRONG SIDE ROW. This way, you'll be adding your yarn on a right side row, and the color change will look nice. :)

If the knitter before you ended on a right side row, just unravel that row of stitches, and put the stitches back on a smaller needle, then start knitting with the correct size needles, adding your new yarn on the right side.

Now comes the fun part. The stitch design! :woohoo:
(Here are some recommended stitches for our blanket.)

Knit the design of your choice for 4 inches, remembering to knit the first 3 and last 3 stitches of every row. (If you are a beginning knitter, please feel free to knit every stitch on every row. This garter stitch section makes a nice contrast to the more complicated designs.)

When your 4 inches is complete, do 1 row of all knit stitches on the WRONG SIDE of the blanket. This will make it easy for the next knitter to add their new yarn, and create a pretty color change.

Now, sign the greeting card, and list the state you live in, and put the blanket, memo, and greeting card back in the ziplock bag.

Contact your region leader to let them know you have finished your section, and they will check with the next knitter to see if they are ready to work on it next.

When the next knitter is ready, package everything together securely, and send it off. Be sure to get DELIVERY CONFIRMATION when sending the package, so we can track it online. We don't want to lose our precious knitting! :pray:

You're done! :cheering:

Shandeh 05-10-2008 12:22 AM

Finishing an Oddball Baby Blanket

If you are the LAST knitter on an Oddball Baby Blanket, you will knit your section as described in the post above (read here). After you complete 4 inches of knitting, you will need to finish the blanket by knitting every stitch for 3 to 6 rows. This will create a nice garter stitch border at the end of the blanket.

Then, you will VERY LOOSELY bind off the stitches.
(It helps to use a very large needle when binding off.)

If you know how to crochet, you can add a pretty crochet border around the blanket. If you don't know how to crochet, just contact your region leader, and they will find someone to do the border.

When the blanket is finished, contact your region leader, so they can make arrangements to deliver the blanket to charity.

You're done! :hug:

Shandeh 05-10-2008 12:48 AM

Recommended Yarns for Oddball Baby Blankets
The children's hospital requires that all blankets be knit with SOFT, 100% acrylic yarn. (A small amount of nylon or polyester is okay.)

Recommended Yarns for Oddball Baby Blankets

Worsted Weight yarns for Regular Baby Blankets
Bernat Satin - 100% acrylic
Bernat Super Value - 100% acrylic
Bernat Waverly Baby - 100% acrylic
Caron Simply Soft - 100% acrylic
Deborah Norville Everyday Soft Worsted - 100% acrylic
Herrschner’s Whisper Soft Worsted - 100% acrylic
I Love This Yarn - 100% acrylic
Lion Pound of Love - 100% acrylic
Lion Vanna's Choice - 100% acrylic (tweed shades add a small amount of rayon)
Lion Vanna's Choice Baby - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Baby Blankie - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Baby Love - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Gumdrop - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Kids - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Soft Baby Steps - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Soft Yarn - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Soft Touch - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Smoothie - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Sweet Baby - 100% acrylic
Red Heart With Love - 100% acrylic
Bernat Giggles - 90% acrylic, 10% Nylon
Cascade Cherub Aran - 45% acrylic, 55% nylon

DK/Sportweight yarns for Preemie Baby Blankets
Bernat Softee Baby - 100% acrylic
Caron Simply Soft Baby - 100% acrylic
I Love This Yarn - sportweight - 100% acrylic
Lion Microspun - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Baby TLC - 100% acrylic
Red Heart Soft Baby - 100% acrylic
TLC Baby - 100% acrylic
Bernat Baby Jacquards - 90% acrylic, 10% nylon
Sirdar's Snuggly Tiny Tots - 90% acrylic, 10% polyester
Bernat Baby Coordinates - 75% acrylic, 22% rayon, 3% nylon
Patons Beehive Baby Sport - 70% acrylic - 30% nylon
Red Heart Soft Baby Twinkles - 64% acrylic, 36% nylon
Lion Baby Soft - 60% acrylic, 40% polyamid
Baby Bee Sweet Delight - 60% acrylic, 40% polyamide
Cascade Cherub DK - 45% acrylic, 55% nylon

Shandeh 05-10-2008 12:49 AM

Recommended Stitch Designs for Oddball Baby Blankets
Here are some good stitch designs to use for the Oddball Baby Blankets:

Basketweave - works with 99 stitches
Basketweave II - works with 96 stitches
Box Stitch - works with 100 stitches
Checks and Ridges - works with 100 stitches
Chevron - works with 103 stitches
Close Checks - works with 96 stitches
Diagonals - works with 100 stitches
Diamond Pattern - works with 97 stitches
Double Basketweave - works with 101 stitches
Embossed Diamonds - works with 99 stitches
Garter Stitch Steps - works with 102 stitches
King Charles Brocade - works with 102 stitches
Large Diamonds - works with 96 stitches
Little Pyramids - works with 101 stitches
Moss Panels - works with 101 stitches
Moss Stitch Parallelograms - works with 96 stitches
Pique Triangles - works with 101 stitches
Plain Diamonds - works with 96 stitches
Purled Ladder - works with 100 stitches
Rice Stitch - works with 100 stitches
Single Chevron - works with 102 stitches
Spaced Checks - works with 98 stitches
Triangle Ribs - works with 102 stitches
Triangles - works with 96 stitches
Windmill - works with 102 stitches
Woven Stitch - works with 100 stitches

Shandeh 05-10-2008 01:02 AM

Important Note!!
Since our baby blankets are being made for children and babies in the hospital, we MUST AVOID tobacco smoke or animals with these blankets. Some of the babies have serious health conditions, and animal hair or the chemicals from cigarettes could harm them. (The preemie babies are especially sensitive.)

Also, some of our knitters are allergic to smoke and animals (myself included). So, if you are a smoker, please wash your hands before working on the blanket, and do your knitting in a smoke-free environment. If you have pets, please make sure the blankets are kept secure from them.

Thank you so much! :muah:

If you would like to add any additional information to this thread, please send me a private message, and I will update the information.

Shandeh 05-23-2008 07:22 PM

Basic Questions Answered for New Knitters
Occasionally, I receive questions from new knitters about how to work on our project. I'm glad to answer questions from new knitters, because I know that our Oddball Baby Blankets are the PERFECT project for them to learn with. :thumbsup:

Here are some questions I recently received from a new knitter. I've removed her name, because one day she will be an experienced knitter!! :)


Originally Posted by Beginning Knitter
I have never added a new yarn to a project. I was wondering what the best way is to do this?

With our blankets, there is no need to do a fancy join when changing colors. Just tie your yarn to the strand that is hanging there from the previous knitter, and start knitting with the new color. When you finish your knitting, you can go back and untie the yarns, then weave in the ends to make it look nice. (Note: It's best to start your knitting on the RIGHT SIDE of the fabric when you start your section.)


Originally Posted by Beginning Knitter
I also noticed when I was looking at the journal, that the last knitter did not sign the journal (or greeting card). I didn't know if I should skip a page when I write my information or not.

If you know the first name of the knitter, just write it on the page. Then, you can move on to the next section, and write yours as well.


Originally Posted by Beginning Knitter
I am confused about which side is the right/wrong side... I don't want to start on the wrong side.

Good question! It's always hard for new knitters to figure that out. The "right side" is the PRETTY side. Just look at both sides of the blanket, and you'll figure it out. The "wrong side" has a less attractive row across where the color changes have been done. Also, if there is a stockinette section, you'll see the purl "bumps" on the wrong side of the fabric. I'll post some photos for reference. Keep watching! :wink:

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