Make your own Blazer pride homecoming blanket
Posted on Oct 02, 2012 in Features
So, Homecoming is this week, but it’s also the beginning of October. It will get colder, and you will need something to keep you warm.
Consider this to be a continuation upon my Green and Gold UAB themed scarf from last year. (Look it up on Inside UAB’s website!) Right now would be the perfect time to start working on a Blazer themed knitted patch work blanket. Once finished, the beautiful blanket can be used in your dorm room, spread across your lap at football games, or even worn around your back like a cape if you so wish.
I chose to use the same yarn from the scarf, Lionbrand Wool-Ease because it is cost effective and always a good idea to use up your stash. Wool Ease is more acrylic than wool, and yes a completely woolen blanket will be warmer, but also way more itchier. Wool-Ease is soft to the touch and will not rub you the wrong way. The 20 percent wool content will keep a bit of heat, but any fiber purists out there can use a worsted weight wool if they so wish.
This can be done as a “community” type project with fellow knitters, or done by yourself knitting as many squares as you can in one day. To make this blanket uniquely yours, I’ve provided a template that you plan your design around. My template consists of 11 squares by 11 squares, making a blanket that will measure 77” by 77” when finished. That’s a little over six feet all around, which should efficiently cover most people. But if you need more inches in your blanket, fear not. Simply add more squares around! You can also subtract squares if you’d rather knit a lap or baby blanket.
6-8 skeins of Lionbrand Wool-Ease in #180 Forest Green Heather
6-8 skeins of Lionbrand Wool-Ease in #171 Gold
US size 9 needles
Blunt Tapestry Needle for sewing
Size I/9 crochet hook for optional crochet border
Gauge: 8 sts and 18 rows = 2” (4 sts and 9 rows = 1”)
Before you start the actual knitting process, I strongly suggest you decide what you want your blanket to look like. You can use my template by either photo-copying it from the newspaper or printing it off from the website. Use color pencils to determine your color placement, whether that particular square will be striped or knit up in a whole different stitch, cabled if you wish, or knit with a design on it. Once you are happy with your template and know how many squares to knit in each design determined, you may begin knitting your prep work.
A word on stitches:
I’ve knit a demo square that measures 7” by 7” because it is quick to knit and small enough to carry in a bag so you can knit on the go. I’ve chosen to use garter stitch because it lies flat. You can use stockinette, but it would best if you blocked your square before sewing with it. Keep in mind that some stitch patterns will measure slightly differently than others, even if you use the same about of stitches and rows. For example, ribbing is slightly bigger than stockinette. If you plan on using multiple stitch patterns, you might want to do a very small swatch of each pattern for a side by side comparison. A 2”x2” swatch should be fine. This will make symmetrical sewing a lot easier.
Ok, let’s assume you’ve followed directions by using the template to make your design, you’ve swatched out any unique stitches you’ll be using and have adjusted your needle size or gauge accordingly. Now you are ready to begin making the blanket. Here are the directions to a simple 7”x7” square.
Cast on 30 stitches (or how ever many stitches you’ve found that will measure 7” wide) using the long tail style cast on in color of your choice. Now, the rest is up to you. You can knit a solid garter stitch square, add some stripes, add an intasia design if you are so inclined. Just make sure it will fit within 54 rows (or, again how ever many rows you’ve found that will measure 7” tall). Bind off and weave in any ends.
(A basic 7”x7” square knit in garter stitch will be 30 stitches cast on and 54 rows knit.)
If your square looks wonky, just block it into shape using an iron or by pinning it to a towel in place and lightly misting it with water. Allow the square to conform to its new shape before working with it again. Once all your squares are knit and blocked, you may begin sewing them together. Mattress stitch is the ideal sewing method for a project like this, since it creates a strong and nearly invisible seam. A crochet edging is optional, but if you are also a crochet enthusiast, hook away for a beautiful border to complete your blanket. If you can’t crochet, don’t sweat it.
Finish your blanket by gently washing and blocking the finished piece. Once you’re all done, please enjoy your new, snuggle worthy creation. Also note this, knitters: this blanket does not have to be UAB themed. Knit it up in any colors you like! This is a good project to use up a lot of yarns in your stash, too. As always, have fun with it!
Senior Staff Writer