The moment I saw Elise’s beautiful knitted blankets I knew I wanted to make something similar. Then, going through my yarn stash before the big move, I knew I had to downsize. As I was sorting, I noticed I had a lot of neutral-colored half-finished skeins left over form other projects. A lot of black, white, tan, brown, and some grey. And then it hit me – why not use up those left-overs to knit a blanket? I loved the idea! It had all the elements I love most – a simple pattern, because knitting for me is more of a meditative craft, it uses up left-overs, which is always a huge plus in my book, and it goes perfectly with the design I had envisioned for our future living room in Leverkusen.
I actually started knitting this at 1 a.m. in the morning one night I couldn’t fall asleep. I was tossing and turning, and then decided to just start with the pile of yarn on my floor. I knitted until about 3 in the morning. I continued to knit throughout my last 2 weeks in Estonia and I finished on the car ride to Leverkusen. It’s the first thing I made for our new home.
It’s been almost a month now and we’re both in love with the blanket. It’s just the right size, super cozy and warm (I had a lot of wool fibers in that stash). It’s the perfect stash-buster project.
Here are the instructions in case you got an itch to try it yourself:
- A lot of yarn – I used the ones left-over from different projects so they varied in size, gauge and fiber content. I have no idea about how much yarn I used up, but I would guess you need at least 15-20 skeins (50g each). The finished thing weighs about 1kg.
- 7mm circle needles (that would be a size 11 in the US system)
- a crochet hook to hide the ends when you’re done
To make the yarn an even gauge all the way through, I almost always knitted with multiple strands of yarn at the same time. So I would simply gather as many ends of the same color as was needed to get the equivalent of a yarn that was meant to be knit with 7mm needles. Oftentimes it was 2 or 3 strands, but there were a couple of really thin yarns, and then I went with 4 strands. If you have one yarn as an example, you can easily feel the correct thickness in your hands. By the 3rd stripe you won’t even think about it anymore.
First, I took my first color and cast on 120 stitches. Then I knit back and forth in knit stitch until I finished one of the skeins I was knitting with. This was my plan all the way through. Each stripe was as long as it’s smallest skein, but not more than 10 rows. I used circular needles because straight ones would never fit this amount of stitches, and I actually love using circular needles more than straight ones. You just have to turn the piece after each row, just like with straight needles.
I knit the whole thing simply in knit stitch, and alternated between the colors pretty randomly. I took the color I fancied next. I did however take into account how much of each color I had. I had the most black, so I made more black stripes than the other colors, meaning they were also closer together to each other than some of the other colors. Similarly, I had only a little of grey, so I had to knit a lot between grey stripes.
Since I didn’t know how big of a blanket I would get with the yarn I had, I simply kept on knitting until I had only black and brown color, which meant I couldn’t alternate the color anymore, so I finished the blanket.
The finished measurements are about 130x130cm, but it stretches to a little bit more.
Once it was done, I hid the yarn ends with a crochet hook, and made 4 tassels from the yarn ends to embellish the corners. My knit tip here: hold on to all the small bits of yarn that might be left over while knitting. You might need them later. I think the tassels are a nice touch to add to the blanket.
This just might be my favorite knitting project ever made. Right after the cardigan I knitted for my Mom many years back. Plus, it was so therapeutic. This is just the type of project to make when you want to knit something, but don’t want to worry about following the pattern sheet all the time. It got me in the mood to knit something else. I might go for a sweater next just because I lack them. Funny thing is, I have all my needles in Leverkusen, and all my yarn in Estonia.
If you have any questions about this project, let me know in the comments.