baby

Jericho Knit Baby Blanket

My four year old niece and 6-month nephew will staying with me and the fella for a week or so starting Friday. I have been stocking up on ideas to make me the best stay at home aunt ever. I have enough to last through day 2. After that: television. Aunts can get away with that. I'd designed this blanket to use up some yarn I've had laying around since 2009, and decided to name it after the impending invasion. Seven days running around a city and then shouting loud enough to knock down city walls? That sounds about right.

This photo was taken on a peaceful morning. So much for those.
This photo was taken on a peaceful morning. So much for those.

This blanket uses the same start in the center and work your way out construction as my lotus and stripe seven baby blankets. I love this construction because you it's very forgiving if you're off gauge or are unsure about the amount of yarn you have. You just start knitting and bind off when you start running low or are sick of working on it.

Just enough to keep it interesting.
Just enough to keep it interesting.

This blanket knit up SUPER fast. Size 11's, chunky yarn, and almost all knit stitches. I think it took me all of a week from start to finish.

Those lines of "walls" remind me just a bit of the noise emanating from a temperamental 4 year old.
Those lines of "walls" remind me just a bit of the noise emanating from a temperamental 4 year old.

I'm experimenting with new software, so I actually put this into a PDF. Lucky you!

Download Jericho Baby Blanket Knitting Pattern

Baby Season

baby-boy-closeup1.jpg

I'm waiting for science to prove that children, like tomatoes and trashy television, come in seasons. Friends, family and coworkers are bringing home bundles of joy left and right, and here is another welcome quilt.  Despite doing more quilting in the last few months than in the prior year, this officially puts the baby gift stockpile at one quilt. It's possible my friends like each other too much. I tend to be more attracted to color and texture, rather than than cute prints. If anyone asks, it's because I'm too classy for the cutesy prints, and not at all because my brain shorts out when I look at a pile of combating colors, shapes, and sizes.

But Ed Emberley's "Happy Drawings" collection is too ridiculously little boy to pass on. Alligators, elephants and dragons. Random, sure, but so are boys. The patterns cover a range of sizes and tones, so putting together a design that would let each fabric sing was a bit of a challenge.

The end result is below. I'm pretty pumped. I think it's nephew-worthy.

Boy baby quilt

You will notice that this quilt is hopelessly nameless. A girl only has so much creativity, people. "Sapphires and Rubies" depleted my already parched well. So the good people over at FaveQuilts.com are having a little fun with it, and asking their readers to come up with name in their next newsletter. Have a clever suggestion to add? Leave it in the comments below.  

Edit 7/23: We have a name! Thanks everyone for voting.

Off to the Zoo Baby Quilt

Finished size: 32"x54"

Supplies

  • 1 yard sashing fabric
  • Fat Quarters or scrap fabrics. At minimum, you need five fat quarters, but you can use as many fabrics as you would like.
  • Backing fabric (I pieced my back from scraps)
  • 3/8 yard binding fabric
  • Batting and other quilting notions

Cut

From the fat quarters or scrap fabric, cut the following:

  • 12 - 6.5" squares
  • 12 - 2.5"x6.5"
  • 24 - 3.5"x6.5"
  • 12 - 2.5"x3.5"
  • 12 - 2.5" squares

From the sashing fabric, cut the following:

  • 67 - 1.5"x6.5"
  • 12 - 1.5"x2.5"
  • 8 - 1.5"x49" (if you are using 40" width fabric, you will need to piece these)

Piece Blocks

Sew 12 of each block type. You should have one left over when you layout the quilt top.

Block A

  • Sew the 1.5"x6.5" sashing to the top of the 6.5" squares
  • Press seam toward darker fabric

Block B

For blocks B and C, you can change the orientation of the rectangles in order to accommodate the pattern direction and to add more variety.

block B

  •  Sew the 1.5"x6.5" sashing to the side of the 3.5"x6.5" rectangle
  • Press seam toward darker fabric
  • Sew the 2.5"x6.5" rectangle to the other side of the sashing
  • Sew the 1.5"x6.5" sashing to the side of the block

Block C

Block C

  •  Sew the 1.5"x6.5" sashing to the side of the 3.5"x6.5" rectangle
  • Press seam toward darker fabric
  • Sew the 1.5"x2.5" sashing to the bottom of the 2.5"x3.5" rectangle
  • Press seam to the darker fabric
  • Sew the 2.5" square to the other side of the sashing on the 2.5"x3.5"
  • Press seam toward darker fabric
  • Sew this piece to the other side of the sashing on the 3.5"x6.5" piece
  • Press seam toward darker fabric
  • Sew the 1.5"x6.5" sashing to the side of the block

Piecing Top

Overview of boy's quilt

Randomly layout the finished blocks into 5 rows by 7 columns.

Sew the blocks in each column together so you have five columns of seven blocks.

Press the seams.

Sew sashing fabric to the side of each column, and sew the columns together.

Sew sashing to the final side.

Press all seams and sew sashing across the bottom.

Press seams.

Finishing

Back, bind and quilt your baby quilt.

I pieced the back, using the fabric provided in the packet of fat quarters which was intended as a draft dodger. I totally planned to have beige on either side of the green - I didn't just make a horrible measuring mistake that I had to cover up. I would never make such an rookie mistake.

Back of the fat quarter quilt

Sapphires and Rubies Baby Quilt Pattern

Just a few days officially into summer, and I'm reminded of all the reasons this is my least favorite season. Sure, winter is dark and cold, but it's a game of endurance and mental distraction. There is absolutely nothing enjoyable about the outdoors in winter, so hunker down, put on a sweater, and keep yourself busy. It is the seasonal equivalent of a graduation ceremony - no one wants to be there, but here we are and there's no point in whining. Summer, on the hand, puts forth a plethora of delights.  The sun stays up later than I do, there are things to grow, bodies of water to jump in, sports to play, carnivals to entertain. All of these things sound so wonderful. But then Summer layers heat on humidity on bug bites on sunburns and then screams right in your face, "ARE YOU HAVING FUN YET!?". No, Summer, I am not, and you're kind of an idiot. Summer is that guy that thinks a concert isn't hopping unless people are suffering permanent hearing loss.

Baby quilt pattern

So, while everyone else is outside pretending like feeding chiggers is SO MUCH FUN, I finished a quilt, holing myself up in where my air conditioner was barely keeping up. I'm really hoping that is due to the giant pot of wort (for beer), the washing machine, dishwasher and baking pan of brownies (if they're Paleo, it's okay to eat a fourth of the pan!*), and not the AC giving up hope.

It's for the sister of the owner of this quilt, who should be arriving any day. I suppose this pattern could have worked just fine as a two-color quilt, but I liked the idea of toying with a contrast color, just to make things more interesting. And, since baby makes four, I settled on this.

*this is not true, but I won't judge.

Sapphires and Rubies Baby Quilt

Finished size: 37" x 54" to fit a crib

Supplies

  • 1 yard main color (blue)
  • .25 yard contrast color (pink)
  • 1 yard background color (beige) - 1 yard gives you no room for error, so you might consider buying a little extra.
  • 1.75 yards backing fabric
  • 3/8 yards for binding - if you are using the main color for the binding, you need 1.25 yards total of the main color
  • Batting and typical quilting notions

Cut

From the main fabric, cut:

  • 28 - 5" squares
  • 14 - 5  3/4" squares

From the secondary fabric, cut:

  • 4 - 5" squares
  • 2 - 5  3/4" squares

From the background fabric, cut:

  • 32 - 5" squares
  • 64 - 3 1/8" squares

Piece Blocks

With the 5 3/4" squares and the 3 1/8" squares, create 64 flying geese following this 4-at-a-time tutorial. Quilting chalk will make it much easier to get .25" seams.

Sew your well pressed flying geese to the top and bottom of 5" square in the corresponding colors.

Press seams toward the center. You will have 32 total 'gems' - 28 in your main color and 4 in the contrast color.

Sew a 5" background square to each gem, and press seams.

Piecing Top

Each piece has a background side where the background square was sewn and a gem-side where the point of a flying geese block is. The gems are sewn into four rows of 8, alternating having the gem on the left and the gem on the right.

quilt top

Starting each row with the gem on the left, sew:

  • Two rows of all main color gems.
  • One row that is 2 main, 3 contrast, 3 main.
  • One row that is 3 main, 1 contrast, 4 main.

Press all seams well.

Sew the rows together in the same order they are listed.

Press all seams well.

Finishing

Back, bind and quilt your new baby quilt.

Scrap Baby Quilt

Posts have been light, as I've been busy being non-crafty. It's my final semester of grad school (I'd do a victory lap if I wasn't so tired). After finishing some important tests for school, I rewarded myself by ordering the wedding ring shawl. For the non-knitters among you, this thing is epic. A knitted marathon. The overview of the instructions is 18 pages, and it uses about 3,500 yards of gossamer weight yarn (a sweater uses about 1,000 yards).  I'm expecting it to take a year to complete. When finished, the 72" square shawl is supposed to be so delicate that the whole thing can slide, tip to tip, through a wedding band.I think I have a thing for conquering obscenely difficult things.

But, this weekend I was on Spring Break, so it seemed like a good time for something fast and easy that would clean some scraps. I made a baby quilt top for one of the many babies being gestated among my friends and family.

The idea behind this quilt is that it can become a game to play with the wee one when on the floor. There are two blocks of each fabric, so you can point out one fabric or color and have the kiddo jump to the matching block. I think this could be a fun way to teach colors and shapes.

Baby scrap quilt.

Matching Game Quilt

Finished size

46" square

Supplies

  • 18 pairs of 6.5" squares of scrap fabric
  • .5 yard Color A for sashing
  • 5/8ths Color B for sashing (the +)
  • 50" x 50" Batting
  • 1 1/3rd yards backing fabric
  • 1/3rd yard for binding
  • Yarn for tieing
  • Thread and other common quilting notions

Cutting

From Color A, cut eight 2" strips the width of the fabric. Cut these down to eighty-four 2"x3.5" pieces (A1).

From Color B, cut ten 2" strips the width of the fabric. Cut these down to:

  • Thirty-five 5"x2" pieces (B1)
  • Fourteen 3.5"x2" pieces (B2)
  • Eighty-four 2" squares (B3)

Baby quilt top

Piecing

Sew all seams at .25" inches.

Sashing

Create forty-two vertical bars by sewing a 2" square of Color B to either side of a 2"x3.5" piece of Color A (or B3-A1-B3). Press seams.

Create seven rows of sashing by sewing B2, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B1, A1, B2. Press seams.

baby quitl

Rows

Sew the vertical bars to each of the 6.5" squares and press seams.

Lay the blocks in a six by six grid how you'd like the final quilt to look, being careful not to have matching blocks near each other.

Sew the blocks together to form the rows, and add a final vertical bar to the end. Press seams.

Alternating a row of sashing then a row of blocks, then sew the rows together until all have been sewn. Press the top of the quilt well.

Finishing

Back and bind.

Scrap quilt top finished

Stripe Seven Knit Blanket Pattern

Stripe Seven Knit Blanket Pattern

Friends. Please go have babies. My backlog of baby gifts is getting concerning. I'm two blankets away from crossing the line from 'being prepared' to 'stockpiling'.

The destash purge continues, and I knocked out six skeins of some of the oldest yarn in my stash. I might have had to buy 3 more to do this project, but I'm netting out ahead. I actually knit this using Rowan RYX Luxury Cotton yarn, but I'm suggesting Cascade 220 as an alternative for a couple reasons. It's cheaper, easier to find, and I think it'll hold up better. The Rowan is very nice and drapey (it has silk in it), but let's be real - even the most speshul snowflake baby doesn't need a silk blanket.I just really wanted to use up this yarn.

I am considering doing another version of this blanket doing each stripe a different color. Being seven stripes, it's begging to be made into a rainbow.

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Size

40"x40"

Gauge

18 sts x 20 rows = 4 inches in stockinette

Materials

  • Main color - 300 grams (3 skeins) Cascasde 220 wool or similar worsted weight yarn (100 grams, 220 yards) 
  • Contrast color - 200 grams (2 skeins) Cascade 220 wool
  • Size 8 (5 mm) 32” circular needles
  • Size 8 (5mm) 60" circular needles
  • Stitch markers
  • Darning needle

Abbreviations

  • K – Knit
  • P – Purl
  • YO - Yarn over
  • K2tog - Knit 2 together

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Notes

Throughout pattern, slip markers as you come to them.

Switch to longer circulars when needed.

This blanket is knit using the magic loop method.

Where indicated on the knit rounds, you'll move the markers one stitch to the left. This is to keep the corners in the same place.

Repeat the patterns four times per round

Directions

With main color, cast on 16 sts using the disappearing loop method. Pull the cable through so you have 8 sts on each needle. This is the most finicky part of the blanket, so if you find a different cast on easier, substitute. 

Setup: Knit 4, PM

Main Pattern

Main color: Repeat increase and even round 6 times.

  • Increase round: K1, yo, knit to marker, yo, slip marker
  • Even round: Knit around

Stripes: Attach contrast color.

  • K1, yo, knit to marker, yo, slip marker
  • Purl
  • K1, yo, knit to marker, yo, slip marker
  • K2, *yo, k2tog* 
  • K1, yo, knit to marker, yo, slip marker
  • Purl (On the final repeat, bind off purl-wise)

Attach main color and repeat from the start of main pattern 6 more times, being sure to bind off on the final round.

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