Several lovely (recruited) family members and I are going to make my daughter a blanket for college this fall. Don’t worry – it doesn’t have to be done by August! She would love something with a softer feel but I don’t want it to be impossible for her to care for. Lots of color choices would be good too. Thoughts, ideas, suggestions in both pattern and yarn greatly appreciated. ps. all the knitters are fairly experienced.
Cascade Aran superwash! I’ve used it a ton of times for blankets. Lots of colors, soft, and sqeezy.
One of my favorite topics ever! And one to which I have given way more thought than I ought to.
Your daughter wants softness of course: does she want/need actual warmth as well? The blankets I made for my daughters when they left for college were made with easy care in mind: I used Plymouth Encore (75% acrylic, 25% wool, can be machine-dried as well as washed) for two of them. They still look very good 15 and 10 years later, respectively. But they aren’t terribly warm. For daughter #3, who wanted the full warmth of 100%wool, I used KnitPicks Swish Worsted. That yarn is soft but not limp, and superwash too. It will get fuzzy with age if you machine-dry it, however. But that blanket is still in constant use 6 years post-graduation. Two of the blankets were log-cabin and used many different colors.
As for pattern, I guess you are looking for a kind of sampler blanket, made piecemeal and assembled later? In that case, I would keep it simple just to make sure that all blocks end up being of similar size. Stitch patterns such as seed stitch or plain old garter will yield fewer variations in the dimensions of each block. Basketweave would work well too. Cable patterns would probably lead to more variation in the width of the blocks which will make assembly more tricky.
I like to pick just a few stitch patterns (4 or 5) from a stitch dictionary, then maybe each knitter could be assigned one color or two, and knit a complete set of blocks in each of his/her assigned color. Picking one particular yarn line will help insure that the colors are in harmony. And finally, knitting a border, no matter how thin, is crucial to making the whole blanket look perfect.
Thanks so much! I haven’t ever posted before and am so thankful for the advice!!
Wow – I feel so welcome as a new poster! Thanks so much! This is great advice, particularly the info about the longevity of the blankets. If there are any patterns you simply love let me know. I feel much more courageous after getting these two responses.
I’ve used Tahki Cotton Classic for blankets. Not everyone loves knitting with cotton, but I don’t mind it. Also washable which I think helps in college!
There are so many afghan blocks on ravelry, plus the mdk mitered square or mitered crosses are always good options.
Do you machine dry the cotton or flat dry?
I have done both. I’ve made baby blankets that definitely go in the washer and dryer. My SIL won’t dry my niece’s learn to knit Afghan, but she could. That yarn also comes in tons of colors and can often be found on sale.
Thanks so much! Hopefully one day I will be able to pay forward with some advice. I really appreciate this. It has been a rough week and this was really helpful.
Glad to help. In this crowd, you will surely be able to pay it forward, there are conversations on lots of topics! Hope the week gets better.
I will say what came to mind first, colors that hide dirt. Don’t go white or cream. Second, texture. Being able to feel the different stitch patterns can be calming in a time of stress.
This blanket provides lots of stitch options, is easy to put together and you can customize the size by the number of squares. Colors are dealers choice. Plus each family member can pick a pattern and give a few blocks in one color. Then a border color to pull it all together!
This is an exciting time for her and a wonderful, thoughtful gift to commemorate it!
That’s a great pattern, exactly what I was thinking of. You’d have to upsize it, maybe by adding one or two blocks for each stitch pattern. Another tip I want to emphasize is to block each piece to the same precise dimensions, because no two knitters will knit to the exact same gauge.
Two more patterns that might interest you, from our fearless Lounge hostesses Kay and Ann: the Mitered Cross blanket and the Fussy Cuts blanket.
A little bit of love and comfort in every stitch! What a wonderful gift and comfort from home this will be for your daughter.
I’ve made two blankets for my baby girl (now in grad school).
One was Vivid by TinCan Knits in cotton [https://www.ravelry.com/projects/dbukko/vivid].
The other was the MDK Log Cabin (https://www.ravelry.com/projects/dbukko/ninepatch-blanket) with Berroco Ultra Alpaca. That one is my daughter’s favorite. The yarn is light but warm. If I were to make Vivid again I would use that yarn.
I’m sure she will love whatever you decide to make!
Check out Plymouth Superwash Worsted. Tons of color choices and machine washable! Regarding pattern, I echo the others who suggested Mitered Crosses or a mitered square pattern. Many ways to customize the color layout. Have fun!
I just finished a baby blanket using Malabrigo Rios as the main color and Hedgehog Merino DK and Black Trillium for the center colors of the Pop Blanket by Tin Can Knits. Machine washable and very soft. The pattern is easily adjusted for yarn weight and was fun to knit.
I think it is amazing you made two. The love is the key and as my daughter is used to the warmer south, the warmth would be great also I hadn’t thought of Ultra Alpaca: I love that yarn! Thanks so much!!
I made the Pop Blanket by Tin Can Knits for my niece last year. This would be a great blanket to knit with your recruited family members.
I’ve listed the project on my Ravelry. You can get an idea of the yarn there. I’m listed as caredunham
I used Vintage Chunky by Berocco and loved it. Soft and quick to work up.
Wow — just looked at your 9 patch blanket on Ravelry. What a cool use of the yarn. I would not have come up with the design you did. I love it. Great work!!!