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Topic: Beginning the Big Bad Baby Blanket  (Read 9681 times)
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KrisCreates
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« on: August 11, 2007 04:47:04 PM »

Woo!  Alliteration!

Well, I want to start my knitting career by attempting the "Big Bad Baby Blanket" but I'm brand new and I bought a different yarn than the pattern calls for so I need to ask a few questions...

The pattern calls for wool that is 50g and says you knit with 2 strands held together.  Well I want to avoid knitting with two strands, so I bought a chunky wool that is 100g.  The label says that 15 stitches and 22 rows will give me a 4x4 inch (or 10x10 centimeter) swatch of fabric.  The pattern says that 18 stitches should give me 4 inches.

I knit a swatch in garter stitch on size 9 needles.  I cast on 18 stitches and knit 22 rows.  It's more than 4 inches wide (closer to 5"), but it's only 3 inches long.  So what's up with the length?  Why is it shorter than the label says it should be?  Is that going to matter?

Also, the pattern calls for 8 skeins of yarn knitting with a double strand, seeing as my yarn is chunkier and yeilds the same width, does that mean that I'm not going to use as many skeins of yarn?  (I bought extra anyway)

« Last Edit: August 11, 2007 06:05:18 PM by KrisCreates » THIS ROCKS   Logged

spaghetti
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007 12:54:21 PM »

Okiedokie,

I don't have the pattern in front of me, but I've looked at it before and I checked out a couple of pics that people have posted online.  So take this with a grain of salt -- I'll edit it if I can get ahold of the pattern within the next couple of days.

When a label gives gauge information, it's usually for a stockinette swatch (knit one row, purl one row).  Stockinette is "taller" than garter so it would make sense that your swatch isn't as long as the label says that it should be.  You'll also want to check the BBBB pattern to see what stitch is used for their swatch.

Because it's a blanket, gauge doesn't matter the same way that it does if you were knitting a sweater or other garment.  You may want to consider going down to a size 8 needle, if you want the dimensions of the blanket to be closer to the one in the original pattern -- or maybe even a size 7.  But again, that's assuming that the pattern swatch was done in garter stitch.

I can't say for sure that your substitution will require more or less yarn.  It's probably a good thing that you bought extra Smiley  Good luck with your first knitted project!
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KrisCreates
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« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2007 06:45:47 PM »

Thanks!  The pattern is done in seed and stockinette stitch so that makes sense to me now.  I didn't realize that garter and stockinette would produce different lengths.

I'm just going to go along with what the pattern says but instead of casting on 126 stitches I'm going to do 120 stitches (wooo, big difference)
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2007 01:36:41 AM »

I'm going to hijack your thread here because I had a few questions about this pattern myself.  How do you knit with two strands of yarn?  Does that mean you work with two skeins at the same time? 

If you use the Koigu called for and don't want to knit with two strands of yarn, do you have to double the cast on stitches? 126 -> 252?

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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2007 08:52:21 AM »

Hi Leigh,

Knitting with 2 strands does mean that you knit with 2 skeins at once.  It can get a little tangly (and it's a pain to unknit or unravel if you make a mistake) but it's a cool way to add interest to a project (if you use two different types or colors of yarn).  It's also used to make a thicker yarn, like in this project.  It's pretty straightforward, you just have to make sure not to "split" your stitches (making 1 stitch into 2 by sticking your needle through only one strand of the doubled-up yarn). 

If you use the Koigu single-stranded, you would make a gauge swatch (using whatever stitch the pattern calls for) and then check your gauge against the pattern's gauge.  Then you calculate the number of stitches to cast on as follows: your gauge (in sts/in) divided by pattern's gauge (in sts/in) times original number of cast-on stitches.  It would probably pretty close to two times the original, but there are a lot of things that affect gauge.  (Including needle size -- if you use only 1 strand, you'll use smaller needles than the pattern calls for.)  You'll also want to look at the pattern to check for things like 10-stitch repeats, etc.  That way, you can round your number up to something that fits with the pattern.  (I don't think that it applies in this case, but I can't remember.)

And just a quick word about the Koigu -- it's beautiful, but it is expensive and requires handwashing.  As someone mentioned (on another thread that I saw ages ago), do you really want to give a mom a gift that requires as much care as her baby?  (Go for it if you want -- like I said, it is a beautiful yarn -- it would just be a shame if it got felted after being thrown into the washing machine with everything else.)  Best of luck!
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2007 12:56:36 PM »

Thanks so much for your help!  You answered all my questions.

I'm trying to get a good deal on Koigu on ebay.  I'm making the blanket myself for my 1 year old.  I hear you on the care of the koigu but I really want to make my little gal a beautiful blanket so I think I'm going to do the koigu-provided I can get a good deal on it.  Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2007 03:51:44 PM »



And just a quick word about the Koigu -- it's beautiful, but it is expensive and requires handwashing.  As someone mentioned (on another thread that I saw ages ago), do you really want to give a mom a gift that requires as much care as her baby? 

Yeah, that yarn didn't even cross my mind as an option for my blanket.  When my son was a baby he was a chronic spitter-upper (he would spit up a bare minimum of twice an hour ALL day long) so easy wash and dry instructions were important to me for all my baby items.  I'm years away from having another baby, but I plan on keeping this blanket in my "big box of future baby treasures" to wait until my husband is ready for another. (A girl can dream and prepare can't she?)

I'm using Bernat Harmony in silk green and I really like how my blanket is coming along. I'm about 3/4 finished and its nice and soft and I don't think I've messed anything up yet!   Cheesy
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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2007 04:28:38 PM »

I'll check that yarn out - so far, I'm not getting any good deals on Koigu.  If anyone else knows some cheaper yarn like Koigu, please tell!
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« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2007 11:16:54 AM »

I FINISHED IT!  I FINISHED IT!!!   Grin  Cheesy

It took me about a week and a half but I'm done!  I really enjoyed knitting it and I'm already planning on doing another sometime in the future.

I made a few mistakes and had to unravel 4 or 5 rows at one point, but I think all in all it turned out quite well.  I think it looks good!

check it out here:  http://kris-13.deviantart.com/art/Knit-blanket-63159651

Thanks for answering my initial questions!  I love these forums, they're so helpful and fun!
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spaghetti
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2007 01:29:00 PM »

KrisCreates,

Your blanket looks GREAT!  I've actually wanted to knit that pattern for a while but I've never had the patience.  (I'm a slow knitter -- it would probably take me months to do what you did in a week-and-a-half.)  I'm totally impressed, even more so because it's a first project.  Congrats!
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cdngreenie
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2007 12:10:29 AM »

if you're impatient... you could always do what I'm doing with it...

knit a same-size blanket with much larger yarn and needles.  I've got 84 stitches instead of the pattern suggested 130-something, and it's about the same dimensions... thus far.

the only challenge I've had so far is making sure the math works out, and you'd think that'd be easy... it IS simple math, after all... but noooo... someone can't do simple addition!  Roll Eyes Cheesy
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cdngreenie
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2007 08:40:47 PM »

hey,

so I'm having the weirdest of problems with this blanket.  My seed st border is coming out great, and each half of the pattern is fine, but where the patterns are joining (switching from K to P), I have the loosest stitches ever.  And I don't know why.  I'm actually consciously pulling it tight before and after the stitch switchover to compensate for this and nothing's changing, it's super loose.  I know it'll sort itself out (or, I'm HOPING it will) but if anyone has suggestions, please let me know!  This has never happened to me before.
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2007 04:28:52 PM »

I also found those stitches were quite loose while i was knitting (Despite sometimes the yarn being nearly too tight to knit, I'm a tight knitter...)  but when I got the blanket finished you couldn't notice it at all.
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« Reply #13 on: September 17, 2007 02:06:38 PM »

but where the patterns are joining (switching from K to P), I have the loosest stitches ever.  And I don't know why.  I'm actually consciously pulling it tight before and after the stitch switchover to compensate for this and nothing's changing, it's super loose. 

It'll sort itself out in the end, trust me. I have the same problem while I'm knitting, but as you get further along (I'm at about 8" now), look at the first pattern rows (after the border) and you'll notice they look fine. Once it's done you'll not be able to tell at all, I promise.  Smiley
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cdngreenie
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2007 08:10:55 AM »

hey thanks you two.

It's definitely still loose, but I can see what you mean about the whole thing straightening itself out.

... slowly but surely.  if only the baby wasn't due this week, and I had more time to knit!  thankfully showers don't usually happen until a little while afterwards!   Cheesy
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dalilah
« Reply #15 on: November 07, 2007 12:57:55 PM »

I've knit this one before and I own two of these blankets that were knit for my girls by my sister.

A few things to add to the whole BBBB discussion from my end...

Guage really doesn't matter as much. My sis knit the first one for my daughter and it was a little more rectangular rather than square. No biggie. Daughter still loves it.

Also, if you have the option, go with a nice cotton yarn. It washes well (after so much spit-up, I was glad it wasn't wool!). I'd love to have an heirloom wool blanket in hand-dyed veggie colors, but really ...it's a baby blanket, so it meant more to me that I could wash it in the delicate cycle in the washer and toss it in the dryer for a bit and it was clean. Held up great too, btw. A tribute to my sister's super-knitting-girl skills!

Just thought I'd add. Hope it helps.
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« Reply #16 on: November 07, 2007 06:19:50 PM »

Also, if you have the option, go with a nice cotton yarn. It washes well (after so much spit-up, I was glad it wasn't wool!). I'd love to have an heirloom wool blanket in hand-dyed veggie colors, but really ...it's a baby blanket, so it meant more to me that I could wash it in the delicate cycle in the washer and toss it in the dryer for a bit and it was clean.

QFT. I made one using LionBrand Cotton Ease (part cotton, part acrylic) and it washed beautifully. A friend of mine made one in wool and she never uses it because she'd be unable to wash it. I'm of the "If I can't use it, I don't want it" frame of mind, especially when it comes to babies!  Cheesy
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« Reply #17 on: November 10, 2007 12:35:19 PM »

it's been done for a while now... even washed and blocked... but I haven't posted a picture until now... so here you go:


those knit stitches at the edge, moving into purl (ONLY in that direction, I don't get it) are still a little big, but it's not something I'm THAT annoyed with... I'm just going to have to improve on it...
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2008 09:39:43 AM »

Your blankets are all beautiful.  I am starting on one right now in a nice soft yellow.  My DH caught me snuggling with it instead of knitting it last night LOL.  I'll post a pic when it is finished.
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« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2008 09:18:19 AM »

Just a little something to add about the question of knitting with two strands (which I don't think was mentioned, but I could have missed it.
To avoid using two balls at the same time, I ball them up together, so it's on ball with two strands. Mind you, this is a lot more manageable if you've got a ball winder.

(p.s. the knit picks one isn't that great, as the center thing that holds the ball while you're winding it keeps popping out.)
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