I’ve finally sorted out what’s going on with this baby blanket. It’s been a troublesome project so far – gauge issues, crochet borders, reverse stockinette in cotton — but things are finally falling into place.

My initial concept was pretty simple – knit nine blocks from my afghan pattern book and piece them to make a blanket. The first thing I realized is that there is a big difference between working with cotton and working with wool – normally all I knit in cotton is dishcloths, and really – it doesn’t matter how a dishcloth looks. It took me a while to sort out the “making knitting look good in cotton” thing.

Square attempt one:
Baby Blanket 006

Doesn’t look too bad — the reverse stockinette is decent, and the candle tree is pretty. The stockinette side is pretty uneven though. And this is after I figured out how to make it look okay. The killer is that single crochet edging. On a sixysome stitch pattern, I was supposed to finish it with “46 sc, evenly spaced along each edge”. In wool, it would have worked. In cotton — well, the word ruffled comes to mind. As do the words gathered, pleated, wonky, wrinkled and “what a pain”.

But it was done, and that was enough.

Square attempt number two:
Baby Blanket 008

Looks great! I love the basketweave, it’s fun to knit, it looks great in the cotton. Except that it’s two inches larger then the candle tree square. 14×14, instead of 12×12. Now, granted this is before I do the annoying 46 sc edging — but the candle tree square measure about 12×12 before the edging, and it got all pleated…. how pleated would this get?

Too pleated.

At this point, I sort of gave up. I putzed around swatching things, realized that even on the same needles the green and white yarns were consistently giving me different gauges, and generally kvetched to all and sundry about this “awful baby blanket project” until I made myself sick.

Then I read baby blanket patterns until I started dreaming about them, trying to find something that would work in a non-stretchy unforgiving (but oh so soft and machine washable) cotton, in two colors that worked up in different gauges.

And I came up with something — not a pattern I found, but an inspiration of sorts. Up my needle size, hold the yarns together – knit basketweave.

Baby Blanket 003

Fun to knit – no worries about the gauge difference – makes a nice cushiony fabric that looks cute. I just need to figure out a good edging for it (I’m thinking some sort of picked up thing around – like a sweater facing garter stitch thingie). It’s pretty, fun to knit, doesn’t require an all new bundle of yarn, is still oh so soft and machine washable and is now – get this – reversible!


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