In my last post, I discussed choosing yarn and finished size when cutting down a full-size afghan pattern to a smaller baby knitting pattern. The next thing to do in cutting down the pattern is to figure out how many stitches will be in each row.

First, I need the gauges for both old and new yarns. In the case of the Spumoni Crib Afghan, the original pattern (Cromwell Court Afghan) used bulky yarn and the new pattern will use worsted yarn.

The gauge on the (original) bulky yarn package said 9 st = 4 in.

The gauge on the (new) worsted yarn package said 16 st = 4 in.

The original pattern was 114 st wide.

So if all I was doing was reworking the original pattern in a different yarn, but not changing the finished size, the new number of stitches would be calculated as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

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Like most knitters, when I work a baby knitting pattern I like to use a lighter weight yarn. The popular choices are #2 (traditional “baby” weight), #3 (sport) or #4 (worsted). Since I’m all about getting things done fairly quickly, I went with #4 for my Spumoni Crib Afghan. I chose Vanna’s Choice Baby Yarn because I liked using it for her Saw Tooth Edge Afghan I reviewed earlier, and I like the colors she offers.

Next I considered the finished size. Vanna’s Saw Tooth Edge Afghan measures 27 x 32 inches. The recommendations from Allison Isaacs in How to Make a Baby Blanket Part 1 are that baby blankets should measure 24 x 36 inches. The super-easy baby knitting pattern from How to Make a Baby Blanket Part 2 is 32 inches wide. After reviewing these three options, I decided to go with the larger dimension (32 inches wide). I figured this would be more of a crib or nap blanket and would maybe continue to be used while the child was in preschool. To keep a nice proportion, I figured the length should be about 48 inches (1.5 times the width).

Here’s a picture of the blanket half done. You can see the stitch markers on the needles. In case you are wondering, Spumoni is a flavor of ice cream. It has layers of chocolate, pistachio, and some variety of pink, such as strawberry or cherry. I picked the colors of yarn after looking at websites for crib linens. Then I noticed how similar the combination looks to the ice cream. Hence the name.

Next: Figuring Out Number of Stitches

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Spumoni Baby Afghan

After making the Cromwell Court Afghan, I decided to try to cut it down to make a baby knitting pattern. I wanted it to be a bit bigger than a regular baby blanket so it could be used on a crib or toddler bed, or become a preschool nap blanket. As far as easy knitting patterns go, I would rate this as an Easy+ (on the difficult end of easy) because of the increases and decreases in every fourth row, plus frequent (optional) color changes.

The final Spumoni Crib Afghan measures about 34” wide by 45” long. Here is the basic pattern, minus the color changes. To download a pdf file of the entire Spumoni Crib Afghan pattern for free, click here.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Most of the knitting I do is making gifts for others. And most of those gifts are scarves or afghans because they fit with my philosophy of working easy knitting patterns that I can take with me, that don’t require my total focus, and that I’m likely to actually finish. I also tend to buy nice but inexpensive yarn, in keeping with my frugal living philosophy. My usual place to buy yarn is at my local Michaels store. I am signed up for their weekly emails and I try to plan my purchases to make best use of their sales and coupons. (Sign up here.) But not everyone has access to a local store, and sometimes the store doesn’t carry or has run out of a color I want. So I decided to look at the online options. As I quickly discovered, buying just one or two skeins of yarn online is not a good idea because of the shipping costs. By the time you add shipping, the cost of your one skein could easily be doubled or tripled, especially for an inexpensive yarn. That having been said, buying yarn can be a good deal if you need a lot of it. For example, I took a look around to see where the best deal was to buy yarn for the Cromwell Court afghan I reviewed in my last blog entry (Easy Knitting Pattern Review–Cromwell Court Afghan). That pattern takes eight skeins of Lion Brand Wool-ease Thick & Quick yarn which normally retails for $6.99 to $7.99 per skein. I discovered that has the lowest price on shipping of any of the yarn websites I’ve looked at

Read the rest of this entry »

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Most of the easy knitting patterns I either present or review on this site are for smaller quick-to-finish items such as scarves and baby blankets. (I try to practice UFO avoidance, as in “un-finished objects.”) But the topic of today’s entry is a grown-up-size afghan that measures about 46 x 54 in. This easy knitting pattern, called “Cromwell Court,” is available for free on the Lion Brand Yarn website here. (Note: You will have to register with the Lion Brand website to download the pattern.)

Many of those who submitted reviews on the Lion Brand website felt this pattern should be rated Easy+, even though the stated skill level is intermediate. You do need to know how to increase and decrease. In case you haven’t learned that yet, the pattern’s webpage has links to directions within the Abbreviations/References table near the bottom of the page. These directions are very nice, with both drawn diagrams and video to show you how to do it.

This pattern makes up fairly quickly (for an afghan) Read the rest of this entry »

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My favorite baby knitting pattern is from Vanna White’s book entitled Vanna’s Choice Heartfelt Gifts to Knit and Crochet. She calls it Saw Tooth Edge Afghan (page 22). It’s definitelStriped Baby Afghany an easy knitting pattern because it’s almost all knitting. The hardest part of the body is remembering to change colors every two rows. The only thing you need to know besides the knit stitch is how to knit-two-together for the little Prairie Point-like triangles all around the edge. These Prairie Points take a long time to make, but they are what takes this quilt from boring to super-special.

Vanna’s original design calls for a boyish color scheme of Read the rest of this entry »

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Here’s a demo on how to work a very easy knitting pattern. This video from YouTube is not the best quality, and it runs almost ten minutes, but she really shows you how to knit a baby blanket, step-by-step. (And loses her glasses somewhere in the middle!) Maybe most importantly, she tells you how much yarn to buy. All you need to know is casting on, knit, purl, and binding off. Really simple!

Although she doesn’t say it in the video, her response to comments on YouTube say that she uses #4 worsted-weight acrylic yarn. She recommends Red Heart Acrylic, which is an inexpensive brand. To make her pattern, you’ll need three 5-oz skeins (or 15 oz total). The blanket is 127 stitches wide and as long as you can make it with the 15 oz of yarn.

She has worked the body of the blanket in stockinette stitch. Once you have her basic info, you can design your own blanket easily enough, using your own favorite stitch patterns. For example, you could use basketweave or seed stitch. For me, starting with someone else’s basic idea and then adding my own twist is the fun part.

In my next entry, I’ll show you my favorite baby knitting pattern.

To view the video, click on “Read the rest of this entry.”

Duration : 0:9:57

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This Allison Isaacs video gives general information about types of yarn and stitches you might use for a simple baby blanket.  It shows some nice examples. However, it does not give you an actual baby knitting pattern. The video in my next blog entry actually demonstrates a pattern and lists how much yarn you will need.

As this video states, a baby blanket is usually about 2 feet by 3 feet. The best type of yarn is machine washable (since babies have been known to spit up and do other generally unclean things!). Allison points out that you should avoid yarns with fibers that shed, such as mohair, angora, and alpaca. (I never use anything that expensive anyhow!) Between the washability issue and the shedding issue, I would say you should pretty much stick to acrylic.

Expert: Allison Isaacs Contact: Bio: Allison Isaacs learned to knit and needlepoint at an early age. Filmmaker: Sam Lee Duration : 0:1:50

To view the video, click on “Read the rest of this entry.”

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I always have at least two easy knitting patterns going at the same time. My original reason for this was because I wanted to do the Wavy scarf knitting pattern I described in an early post. But this scarf requires a row counter and a row diagram. I didn’t want to be bothered with carrying this stuff around with me. Plus you never know if you’ll have a convenient place to set this stuff.

So instead of even trying to work on Wavy when I’m out and about, I just started a new project. The alternate project is Read the rest of this entry »

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“Wavy” is one of my favorite easy knitting patterns created by someone else. I have made it twice, both times in Caron’s Simply Soft yarn. (Six sets of 44 rows takes about 8 oz of Simply Soft. I used #8 needles.) To me, this yarn seems reminiscent of cotton embroidery floss. I love the little bit of sheen it has, along with the softness and drape. The only problem I have with this pattern is keeping track of what row I’m on. (The pattern has 44 rows that can be repeated 6 or 7 times to make the full scarf.) Which leads me to the real topic of this article: how to not lose your place when you’re easily distracted (or, in other words, when your brain is starting to turn to mush).

There is no shortage of ideas for counting rows out there. Forty years ago, my mom used the kind of row counter that slides Read the rest of this entry »

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KNITTING IN MEETINGS - because falling asleep – IS JUST RUDE
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…because falling asleep


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