Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What to Knit Holiday 2013 1 - Blankets

Dishcloths Make Great Blanket Squares
 Up Up and Away cloth as knit/photographed
 by neothecat on Ravelry

If you're afraid you won't finish a blanket in time for the holidays but you really want to try, you're in luck!  Dishcloths make great blanket squares. If you finish enough to sew together for a blanket, huzzah!  If not, wrap those handmade, 100% cotton cloths around some fancy soap and give the cloths themselves as a gift.  Pick one or two cloths with a theme your recipient will love, and make several of them.  Then make some plain squares (much faster to knit!) for the rest of the blanket.  The pattern squares make a fun accent!  Check Ravelry.com (you'll have to join) and Knitting on the Net for hundreds of dishcloths and blanket squares to get you started.

Baby Blanket in a Snap
Bunny Hop Moon and Stars
Crystal Palace Yarns offers the Bunny Hop Moon and Stars blanket.  It's a simple knit, and can be made in any solid color.  Pick a color in coordination with the rest of the baby's bedding, or any color that you love.  This particular pattern doesn't have open work for tiny fingers and toes to get tangled in!  It's a quick knit in knit and purl only.  Most of the major yarn manufacturers offer dozens to hundreds of free patterns featuring their yarns, so if you're in need of ideas, visit the website of your favorite yarn company, and browse through their patterns. 
Afghans and Lap Robes

Lacy Waves Afghan
Most of us saw handmade afghans and lap robes growing up, over the back of the couch, on Grandma's favorite chair, or across the end of the bed in the guest room.  They saw a lot of action, too.  Drafty nights, bouts of the flu, and games of "tent" with the cousins at holidays were just a few of the things making these blankets a family essential.  If you're looking to add one to your family, consider some of the classic designs.  The Lacy Waves Afghan comes from Bernat Yarn Studios.  It's a lovely variation on the classic striped feather and fan lace afghan.  It's a quick and simple knit in big yarn with big needles. 

You don't have to match the yarn type, brand, or fiber in these blankets.  Make what works for you.  If you need it to be washable, try superwash wool or acrylic.  If you want it to be hypo-allergenic, baby alpaca, cotton, and most synthetics will work.  Just match the yarn weight and needle size and you'll be fine.  Slight variations in gauge aren't so important here, as fit isn't a concern.

More of a Challenge

Argyle Cable Knit Afghan
Ready to show off your best needlework?  Then try Spinrite's Argyle Cable Knit Afghan.  Intarsia, cables, duplicate stitch and finishing skills are all on display on this beautiful blanket.  Varying the colors will make it perfect for any man, woman, or children on your list.  Make it as vibrant or subtle as you like. 

The Over the Rainbow Blanket from Drops Design will also present a challenge, and though it looks harder than it is, it will definitely impress.  It's made with color-pooling variegated yarns like Classic Elite's Liberty Wool, Universal Poems, or the various Noro offerings.  Check with the staff at your Local Yarn Shop to confirm if your yarn choice will work for the rainbow effect.

What are you making this year?

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