Baby Blanket for Beginners (knitted part)

A classmate of mine is having a baby! She’s a total rockstar for being able to manage medical school and being pregnant but that’s a whole other story. We’re taking a class right now in Maine that doesn’t have an exam, which is awesome! But… no exam=no need for notes=no need for my computer=what the heck am I going to do to keep entertained for the 4-8 hours a day we spend in our windowless lecture hall. So I decided to knit/sew her a baby blanket. However, since I haven’t knit/sewn since I was in like 4th grade I wanted to start out with a relatively simple project, but one that was more interesting than stripes or similarly mundane patterns. I didn’t come up with any of this on my own so I’ll include appropriate links, don’t worry. Also, I learned a few things along the way:

Don’t skimp on yarn. Since this was my first project I didn’t know any better/was trying to keep costs down so I bought Red Heart yarn. BIG mistake. Not only is it not soft and baby-liscious, but it’s stretchy so the pattern I chose came out a bit wonky. The yarn was great, however, for using up the rest of the balls in this kitty toy project. Moral of the story: use nice yarn. It might be more expensive but it will definitely be worth it in the end.

Make sure your colors to together. This might seem obvious but apparently I didn’t think it through. I wanted to do the typical baby colors: blue, pink, green, and yellow. So I went to the store and bought the lightest/most baby-esque colors I could find. It wasn’t until I went to cast on the green that I had a “WTF” moment and realized that the green was hideous and not a baby color at all. So just make sure you at least hold them together in the store.

Give yourself enough time. I had been tinkering with the idea of knitting her this blanket for a long time but medical school got in the way so I didn’t decide definitively until 3 weeks ago. For a blanket as huge as this one, that’s not really a whole lot of time.

Don’t improvise/alter the design unless you absolutely are sure it will turn out well. The design I chose called for a knit-purl alternating pattern. For some reason, purling takes me forever and I decided it was more effort that it was worth. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it definitely didn’t give the piece a clear front vs. back that would have made one side look awesome and the other less so. Now both sides just look a bit “meh.”

Anyways, here’s the how-to information for knitting the blanket. Check back later for a post on how to back/bind the blanket (that will be posted sometime next week once I actually back/bind the project.)
Update: find the link to the backing/binding bit here!

Here’s where I got the pattern. I agree with the author and would definitely encourage you to use circular needles because this project gets huge. Also, figure out a pattern of colors before you start. I had a pattern but then kept having the wrong color with me so I had to improvise.
If you used nicer yarn (see my mistake list above) you’re going to want to block the blanket. Here’s a great set of instructions. 
Once it’s blocked, you’re ready for part 2!

Stay tuned for the second part of this project! Let me know if you have questions or need help finding more tutorials.

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