As I'm pleased with the latest blanket I've just completed, I wanted to share my design with you. So here it is. Maybe someone out there will enjoy making or receiving it.
General Notes: This is a reversible blanket in white with pink and green decoration. To achieve two equally pretty sides, we use moss stitch for the plain (white) sections and horizontal bands of double knitting for the decorated strips. They are going to look like this.
At the end of these instructions, I have provided a chart from which you may work; but as double knitting doesn’t lend itself to perfectly clear charting, you should still go by the written instructions at first.
This is a good charity project, as it is sweet yet goes quickly. If you want to donate it to a neonatal intensive care unit, the blanket, for preemies, should measure roughly 23 inches square. You can finish the project long before you become bored with it!
Do make a swatch first, which you can begin at about Row 10. A swatch will let you see if you like the pattern. Moreover, AFTER you’ve knitted 20 rows of the full-sized blanket is NOT the time to discover that I’ve made a mistake in these instructions or that double knitting isn’t for you or that your pastel pink yarn is too pale.
Skill Level: Experienced Intermediate (about 4 on a scale of 1-6)
Yarn: Sport weight (3-ply) in white, green, bright pink. You will need a brighter pink than you think, for contrast. If you do use pastel pink, be sure the white yarn is snowy white, not creamy or off-white. Acrylic recommended for babies.
Needles: One US size 5 circular (3.75 mm), about 30” long, one a couple sizes larger for casting off. You can knit it with larger yarn and thicker needles if you want to, but it may not look quite as cute.
Stitches: Multiple of 6 + 3 + selvedge (8, in this case, 4 sts on either side)
Cast on using long-tail method and the #5 needle
Selvedge: At beginning of each row, K4. At end of each row, K3, bring yarn to front and S1 purlwise. These 8 sts never vary in any respect throughout the whole process, no matter what. The following directions do not usually mention the selvedge, but assume you will add it to the beginning and end of each row.
Rows 1-17: P1, K1
Row 18: (K1, P1) into each st.
Now, in preparation for double knitting, you have double the original number of stitches except at the selvedges. The K stitches will form the side of the work facing you; the P stitches will form the side away from you; thus each side of the double-knitted strip will be in stockinette stitch.
You will be doing yourself a great favor if at this point you spread out your work along the needle and check for any mistakes in this row, which show up quite readily.
Remarks on Double Knitting
First, it’s not nearly as hard as I’m probably making it look!! In fact, as you know if you’ve done it, it’s no harder (once you understand it) than regular knitting; it just takes more time and more yarn.
This section will use many slipped stitches. All slipped stitches are slipped purlwise (except in Row 24).
The secret of double knitting is: when slipping a series of stitches, keep your working yarn woven between them; that is, position your yarn behind each K st. you slip and in front of each P st you slip. By weaving your strand in and out this way, you are keeping it between the two sides of the double knitting, thus hiding it where it isn’t being worked.
In Rows 19-22, you are working two colors per row. This means each row must be knitted twice, once with each color, without turning the work in between. Each row of this section therefore has two sets of instructions, marked “A” and “B”. By time you’ve completed both passes, A and B, you will have worked each st in the row exactly once.
Selvedge is worked only when using white yarn. Colored yarn is not to extend to either selvedge.
Row 19: Green and White
(A) With Green, K1, P1, S2, K1, P1, *S6, K1, P1, S2, K1, P1*
Work in the tail of green yarn as you go by weaving it (together with the working strand) behind each K st and in front of each P st.
Stop before the last 4 stitches (the selvedge) and slip them.
DO NOT TURN. Just scrunch sts back toward the other (right) end of the needle.
(B) With White, work each st except green ones: *S2 (green), K1, P1, S2 (green), (K1, P1) 3x *, S2, K1, P1, S2.
When you come to where the “live” strand of green yarn is hanging (immediately after the selvedge) hide it by crossing it over the st nearest the selvedge and continue.
Row 20: Pink and White
(A) With Pink, work the 2-st gap between each set of green stitches.
S2, K1, P1, *S10, K1, P1* S2
Weave in the pink tail as you go along.
DO NOT TURN.
(B) With White, work each st except pink ones: *K1, P1, S2 pinks, (K1, P1) 10x* ending with K1, P1.
When you come to the green yarn, cross it the other way over st nearest the selvedge, then purl that stitch, and continue. (Green strand will be hidden once you work the stitch over which you have crossed it.)
Row 21: Pink and White
We put pink sts in center of each 6-stitch stretch.
(A) With Pink, S8, *K1, P1, S10*, K1, P1, S8 to weave in pink tail
Cut yarn, leaving a 2-inch tail for now, until blanket is completed.
DO NOT TURN.
(B) With White, work every st except the pink ones you just put in (as distinct from the pink sts from Row 20, which you DO work). (K1, P1) 4x, *S2, (K1, P1) 5x, * ending with (K1, P1) 4x.
When you come to the green yarn, cross it the other way over st nearest the selvedge, P that stitch, and continue.
This is the only slightly tricky row.
If you are using pastel pink, just about now is when you see why I advised against it. That’s okay; I used it myself and liked it. You just have to be about 10 times more cautious than if you had used a better contrast.
Row 22: Green and White
(A) With Green, *S6, K1, P1, S2, K1, P1*, S6 to weave in green tail
Cut green yarn, leaving at least a 2 in. tail, to be trimmed off entirely once blanket is completed.
DO NOT TURN.
(B) With White, work every stitch except green ones. *(K1, P1) 3x, S2, K1, P1, S2, (K1, P1)3x*
Row 23: Finish off pattern. With white, work all sts, *K1, P1* to end
Row 24: Reduce sts back to original number. (SSP2 tog, SSK2 tog) to end, slipping all these sts knitwise. (This is the only row containing sts slipped knitwise.)
Row 25: Repeat from Row 1 until desired length is reached.
Finishing: Cast off loosely using larger needle (US 7). K2, *pass 1st st over 2nd st, K1* to end, cut yarn leaving a 2-inch tail. Draw tail through last loop and weave it in.
Trim all tails.
Your edges should be neat enough to look good as is but if you like, you can crochet a little edge all around.
Variations: You could lengthen the distance between the double knitted stripes, thus using fewer of them and saving time and yarn. Or you could add more stripes or even do the whole blanket in double knitting.
You could use any reversible stitch instead of moss stitch, but it shouldn’t compete for attention with the decorative bands.
You could use different colors, either in alternate bands or throughout. You could put blue instead of pink in some or all bands, or any other color. Pastel yellow, like pastel pink, won’t show up very well against a white background, but who says the background must be white? You should limit each row to two colors, though, or the knitting becomes very thick.
You could knit this in the round, using only one decorative band, perhaps double width, all around the edge.
General Hint: All changes of yarn, as when you run out of white, should preferably take place while you are working the double knitting. That way, the tails can be hidden by drawing them between the two sides of the work, using a crochet hook. If you are planning to crochet a border, though, the white can end at any row, but at the edge.
By the time you’ve completed your test swatch you will probably know the pattern pretty much by heart and not need a chart. But here it is anyway in case you’re a chart knitter.
Click to enlarge.