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Belize Baby Blanket

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"Maggie Belize" Knitting Patterns

The Belize Baby Blanket

 

The challenge:  design a knitted baby blanket for a tropical climate!

 

To knit a baby blanket for my newborn niece, I had to find a yarn that was easy-care washable and dryable, of course, but also lightweight enough for the climate in Corozal, Belize, which is usually warm and always humid.  Believe it or not, cotton fiber doesn't work all that well for babies in the tropics; when cotton knits get wet, it takes the fabric a long time to dry.

 

Luckily, I found this Moda Dea Lazy Daisy yarn. It's a light, fluffy worsted-weight yarn (80% acrylic and 20% nylon) with popcorn-like bobbles on the main thread every 4-1/2 inches.

 

This yarn drives some people crazy to knit with, and it does take some getting used to; but it's perfect for my Belize Baby Blanket! The bobbles keep the blanket up & off the baby's skin, and the inevitably loose knitting allows great air circulation.

Once I had the yarn, of course I couldn't find a pattern I liked to work with it! So I designed my own, which follows.

It's super simple: I used a seed stitch for the blanket borders and stockinette for the body of the blanket. When knitting it up, I noticed that more bobbles ended up on the purled side of the blanket, so I reversed the stockinette every 7th and 8th rows for visual interest and to give the blanket stability.

Since I had to start knitting before we knew the baby's sex, I chose the Lazy Daisy color called "Fluff", which is predominantly white with threads of pink, blue, pale green and yellow, which works for either. I used 7 full skeins and about 10% of the 8th skein to make this fairly large blanket.

Although the recommended needle size for this yarn is US 10, I scaled down to a US 8 to get a slightly sturdier fabric, counting on the bobbles to keep it open and breathable.

If you choose to knit up my Belize Baby Blanket, I'd love to hear your comments, suggestions or critiques ... and I'm happy to answer any questions you might have. And if you'd like to share a photo of your finished item, that'd be great!   me directly via email.

"Belize Baby Blanket" Knitting Pattern

MATERIALS

  • 8 skeins Moda Dea Lazy Daisy acrylic-nylon yarn (approx. 600 yds total). Project is worked in Fluff (color #8149).
     
  • Straight or circular knitting needles (your preference), US size 8.
     
  • Darning needle to weave in ends.

PATTERN STITCHES

If using circular needles, knit flat, side-to-side. Blanket is knit side-to-side from the bottom border to the top.

Seed Stitch: Right side rows P1 K1, wrong side rows K1 P1.

Stockinette: Knit RS rows, purl WS rows

Reverse Stockinette: Purl RS row, knit WS row.

GAUGE

Knitting loosely, my gauge worked out to 3-1/2 stitches per inch on the size 8 needles, and my finished blanket measured approximately 40 inches wide by 54 inches long.

Please note, though, that I wrote this pattern specifically for the Lazy Daisy yarn to accommodate its quirky bobbles. If you choose a different, bobble-less yarn, it will give very different results; I recommend you knit a gauge swatch in your own yarn, and adjust the number of cast-on stitches accordingly ... choose an even number so that your seed stitch will work easily.

KNITTING

Using your favorite cast-on method, CO 136 stitches.

Create 5-row Seed Stitch border at bottom edge of blanket:

  • Row 1: *P1 K1*, repeat from * to * across the row.
  • Row 2: *K1 P1*, repeat from * to * across the row.
  • Rows 3 and 4: Repeat rows 1 and 2.
  • Row 5: Repeat row 1.

Now begin the body of the blanket in stockinette stitch, starting with a WRONG SIDE row. Each row will begin and end with a 5-stitch seed stitch border.

  • Row 6: (WS) [K1 P1] twice, K1. Purl to within last 5 stitches of row. [K1 P1] twice, K1.
  • Row 7: (RS) [P1 K1] twice, P1. Knit to within last 5 stitches of row. [P1 K1] twice, P1.
  • Rows 8 - 11: Repeat rows 6 and 7 twice.

Now for the reverse stockinette accent rows!

  • Row 12: (WS) [K1 P1] twice, K1. Knit to within last 5 stitches of row. [K1 P1] twice, K1.
  • Row 13: (RS) [P1 K1] twice, P1. Purl to within last 5 stitches of row. [P1 K1] twice, P1.

Repeat rows 6 through 13 until your blanket is within 3 or 4 inches of the finished length you want.

Finally, repeat rows 1 through 5 to create the top seed stitch border of the blanket.

FINISHING

 

Using the darning needle, weave in all ends.

 

Although the yarn label instructions ask you to hand wash and dry flat, I ran my finished Belize Baby Blanket through my washing machine on cold and even dried it briefly in the dryer. It dried in seconds, and came out beautifully!

 


This is a "Maggie Belize" Knitting Pattern 2008, designed by Margaret Briggs. You are welcome to download and print this pattern for your personal use, or to link to this pattern from your website or blog. You may not re-publish this pattern without my specific written permission, or sell the design.


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