close knit: the neighborhood yarn shop

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


I know summer seems like a silly time to be thinking about blankets. For me, though, summer is kind of the perfect time for knitting blankets. Okay, maybe not at the park on a muggy August afternoon, but how about in the evenings, enjoying your beautiful garden, watching a movie with the kids, or sipping a cocktail on the porch?

Blanket knitting tends to be repetitive and a little mindless, which I love in the summer. In my mind, the ladies from Mason-Dixon Knitting are the queens of blankets. They have designed some of my favorite blanket projects, which you can find on their blog, Mason-Dixon Knitting, and in their books, Mason-Dixon Knitting and Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines.

Many of their blankets employ the log cabin technique, a method borrowed from quilting. The thing I like about log cabining is that you don't have to seam up a bunch of pieces at the end. You pick up stitches along the side of each block as you finish and just keep going with another color.

Check out this pretty rainbow blanket, Joseph's Blankie of Many Colors.

This classy little denim number, The Courthouse Steps Denim Blanket, uses just a few colors to great effect.

I made the Moderne Baby Blanket for my little one a few years back. This style is a half log cabin technique, so the final product is asymmetrical and fabulous.

The Purl Bee recently published the Half Log Cabin Ombre Blanket in beautiful alpaca earth tones. I'm planning to make this as a wedding gift for a dear friend using Cascade Eco Alpaca.

Photo from the Purl Bee. Thanks!

The Purl Bee has published several blanket patterns that are high impact but easy to make. Check out these simple color-blocked examples of the Super Easy Baby Blanket.

Photo from the Purl Bee. Thanks!

The Cuddly Cotton Baby Blanket is a simple garter square with a lacy edging. This would be fun in Classic Elite Sprout. Organic and machine washable, perfect for a baby shower gift.

Photo from the Purl Bee. Thanks!

The Granny Stripe Blanket might just turn me into a crocheter.

Photo from the Purl Bee. Thanks!

If you feel like a little bit of seaming and finishing, the Mason-Dixon gals have a few other great options. Here's the Mitered Square Blanket from the Mason-Dixon Knitting book.

I told you about the Mitered Crosses Blanket back in March. A little mitering, a little log cabining, a little seaming, a lot of fabulous.

Photo from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Thanks!

If you really want to challenge yourself, they even have fair isle blankets, finished with steeking and edging. These guys stray a bit from the mindless summer knitting criteria, but they are pretty amazing. Baby Dotty and Liberty.

Get started this summer, spend those cool summer evenings knitting, and by the time fall rolls around, you'll be glad to have a nice big blanket project almost done.

1 comment:

  1. I am so very confused by the directions for the Moderne Baby Blanket regarding block 9. I have tried "Using D, pick up 54 sts along row ends, starting at Block 7 and ending at the marker. Joining B, pick up 54 sts along row ends to end (108 sts)." However, only using 108 stitches scrunches the blocks together making block 9 shorter in width than the rest of the blanket. Block 8 has 126 stitches across; blocks 7, 5, 3, and 1 have 126 stitches across. Why wouldn't the number of stitches across block 9 be equal to 126 stitches.

    I have cast this on with 108 and 126 stitches; the 108 just doesn't look right. Can you help me with this dilemma? I really don't want to knit further until I have a solution as it will be so discouraging to have to rip out and start this block again.

    Any help would be appreciated.