Sim­ple tri-colour baby blan­ket to knit

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CRAFT -

This sim­ple baby blan­ket from Michelle Stewart at The Woven on­line knit­ting and wool shop is a rel­a­tively quick, sim­ple knit, per­fect for a com­plete begin­ner or an ex­pe­ri­enced knit­ter look­ing to cre­ate a stylish gift for a pre­cious new baby.

Michelle says: “This baby blan­ket is smaller than the tra­di­tional big baby blan­kets. It fits per­fectly over a new bubs folded in half, and then length­ways into their bassinet. It’s per­fect for bug­gies and capsules too. My mum made me one this size, and ini­tially I thought it rather odd, but it made com­plete sense once my son was born. I dis­tinctly re­mem­ber watch­ing other new bubs leav­ing the birthing unit kind of swamped un­der big knit­ted blan­kets, and feel­ing rather smug with Mum’s clever de­sign.”

To achieve this fan­tas­tic re­sult, Michelle has se­lected a fine twist-on-twist New Zealand merino for amazing stitch def­i­ni­tion and pure knit­ting joy: Merino Dou­ble Knit (DK) wool in three har­mo­nious gen­der-neu­tral tones – eggshell, shell and mush­room.

IN­STRUC­TIONS

1 Cast on 90 stitches. (Michelle rec­om­mends us­ing the long tail cast-on to pro­vide good struc­ture, but any cast-on method will work as long as you keep it loose to stop the blan­ket edge be­ing pulled in. Have a look on YouTube for a demon­stra­tion of the long tail cast-on.)

2 You’ll be knit­ting flat; the first row is the right side. Knit ev­ery row – this is known as garter stitch.

3 Slip the first stitch of ev­ery row purl-wise to give a tidy edg­ing. You do this by pass­ing the first stitch off the left nee­dle, onto the right nee­dle, with­out knit­ting or purl­ing it. You move it ‘purl wise’ which means the yarn is at the front (or clos­est to you) as it would be if you were purl­ing, and the right nee­dle takes the stitch in the same move­ment you would purl. Once passed, you move the yarn to the back ready to knit, which cre­ates a nice tidy twisted edge. If you are un­sure, just go ahead and knit the first stitch, it will still look fine.

4 Keep knit­ting with each colour un­til a ball of wool is fin­ished. Use each colour in your pref­er­ence of or­der. The colour se­quence in the blan­ket pic­tured was mush­room, eggshell, shell, eggshell, mush­room, shell. Al­ways change colour on the right side for tidy tran­si­tions. 5 To start your next colour, leave a tail of 10cm from the start of your new ball. Then go ahead and just be­gin knit­ting from the new ball; seems sim­ple but it works. The tail (and the end of the pre­vi­ous ball) can be woven into the back of the blan­ket when you’re fin­ished to se­cure them. If you feel un­sure, you can al­ways knot the two ends to­gether for ex­tra se­cu­rity.

6 To­ward the end of the fi­nal ball of wool, en­sure you have enough yarn left to cast off – you’ll need 4 x the width of your blan­ket. When you’re at that point, cast off your 90 stitches, again mak­ing sure you keep the cast-off loose to stop the edge of the blan­ket pulling in.

7 Fin­ish by us­ing a wool nee­dle to weave in all wool ends tidily on the wrong side. You’ve done it! What a won­der­ful way to keep a new baby warm.

ABOUT THE WOVEN: Michelle Stewart cre­ated The Woven to share her love of knit­ting with ev­ery­one who’s ever thought they wanted to knit. Through the in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar Knit Club Wanaka, which Michelle also started, she has in­spired a resur­gence of knit­ting in the town­ship. This is now flow­ing on to peo­ple around New Zealand and the world through her on­line store, www. the­wo­ven.co.nz.

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