The Beginner Knitter Skills Builder – Step 1: I Wanna Knit a Blanket

Yesterday I introduced you to the super-soft Feels Like Butta by Lion Brand Yarn. When I got my hands on this yarn for the first time, I absolutely had to search out patterns for infants, because this yarn was made for baby knits. I found some lovely ones for free on the Lion Brand website. The hardest part was narrowing down my choice to just one. I failed. So, for the rest of this week, I’ll be making FOUR projects with Feels Like Butta. When I teach Learn to Knit classes, newbie knitters are always wondering what kind of projects they can do beyond the basic beginner’s scarf. This week’s projects have all been chosen with beginner-level knitters in mind.

I Wanna Knit a Baby Blanket knits up super soft with Feels Like Butta yarn.

The I Wanna Knit a Blanket baby project is a great super easy knit. I chose this project first then realized there was going to be lots of yarn left over from the five balls it requires. I hate to waste yarn, and that got me to thinking, what else could a beginner knitter make with the rest? On a search through the Lion Brand patterns I discovered a lot of options, but I chose these four patterns for the learning opportunities they offered. All these knits will be made with just five balls of Feels Like Butta yarn! Here are the skills developed for each project:

  • I Wanna Knit a Blanket
  • Yarn Over (YO) (instructions in pattern)
  • Knit two together decrease (K2tog)
  • Changing colors
  • Sewing in ends

  • PomPom Baby Hat
  • Rib Stitch
  • Changing colors
  • Knit two together decrease (K2tog)
  • Sewing seams
  • Pompom making

  • Booties
  • Make one (M1)
  • Changing colors
  • Carrying yarn
  • Knit two together decrease (K2tog)
  • Sewing seams

  • Cuddly Caterpillar
  • Knitting in the round
  • Make one (M1)
  • Knit two together decrease (K2tog)
  • I cord (instructions in pattern “Antennae”)

By the end of this week, you can learn to make all of these.

The patterns are listed from easiest to hardest but are all beginner friendly. My hope is that new knitters can go from #1 to #4 building on their skills as they go. Or find a project that matches their skill level and dive into it. You’ll see that some techniques are written in the Lion Brand pattern. For those techniques that are not, I will add tutorials in my posts. Let’s get started with I Wanna Knit a Blanket.

Click to download the I Wanna Knit a Baby Blanket pattern free from Lion Brand.

 

This very easy pattern is knit from corner to corner using increases, yarn overs, and decreases, knit two together. You’ll need the following supplies:

  1. Feels Like Butta Yarn
  1. US 5 [3.75mm] circular knitting needle, 32” or 36”
  2. yarn needle

Although the blanket is knit on a circular needle, it’s actually knit flat not in the round. Using a circular to knit flat just allows for easier knitting as the blanket gets larger. You can choose to use very long straight needles if that’s all you have on hand.

Yarn Over (YO) Increases

You’ll be using yarn overs to increase the width of your blanket and create the lovely decorative lace at the border of the blanket There are written instructions in the pattern for the yarn over stitch, and here is a video tutorial as well.

 

Knit Two Together (K2tog) Decreases

Knit Two Together is as simple as it sounds, so often it doesn’t get explained in patterns. I remember in the beginning struggling to figure out the things that the pattern assumed I knew, so I’m going to add this simple instruction for your benefit. When a pattern says Knit Two Together (abbreviated as K2TOG or K2tog) you will be making two stitches into one. Put the tip of your right-hand needle into the next two stitches on the left-hand needle, and knit these two stitches together. Here’s a video to help if you are a visual learner.

 

Now you are ready to start! This blanket is knit from corner to corner like this:

I Want to Knit a Blanket is knit on the bias working from corner to corner like the graphic above.

For the first half you’ll be doing yarn over increases, and the second half you will do knit two together decreases. The yarn over increases are easy but watch out for the decreases on the second half of the blanket. Because we want to keep that nice yarn over lace at the border of the blanket, but still decrease there will be two K2tog stitches. Why? The YO still increases a stitch each row. If we only did one decrease stitch the stitch count on the row would remain even: +1 (YO) and -1 (K2tog) = 0. But we need the blanket to decrease by one stitch per row on the second half to create the square shape we want, so we need a total decrease of one stitch on each row like this: -1 (K2tog) and +1 (YO) and -1 (K2tog) = -1. Knitting is a lot of math, but don’t be afraid the pattern has done all the hard work for you. If you follow the instructions as written, you will easily get ‘er done.

Color Changing

The next technique that may be new to a beginner knitter is changing colors. Again, this is a skill that most knitters don’t even think about, but if you’re new to the craft you may never have done this before. In this pattern sometimes they will tell you to cut the color of yarn you are working with, and sometimes they will say not to cut it.  If they say to cut it make sure you cut the strand about 4 inches long, so you can sew it in at the end. With the new color make a tail of about 3-4 inches then simply start knitting with it. The edge stitch will be a little loose, so once you’ve knit a few stitches in you can do a single tie of the old color strand with the new color, but don’t tie a full knot. When you sew these ends in knotting them may make your edge a little uneven. You don’t have to worry that your blanket will unravel, because the 4-inch lengths that are leftover will be sewn in to secure them.

Almost done…just a few ends to weave in!

Weaving in Ends

It’s very hard to describe in words how to sew (weave) in ends, so I think a video tutorial works best. I hope this is helpful.

Blanket is finished! Hat, Booties, and Caterpillar to go!

Look! You’ve got a beautiful new baby blanket! I loved this pattern and this yarn so much that I’m planning on buying a lot more Feel Like Butta, holding 3 or 4 strands together, using a much larger knitting needle, and knitting myself a big blankie.

Tomorrow you can move on to a new project that builds on your skills. With the PomPom Baby Hat (seen in the photo above) we’ll look at 1×1 Rib (K1, P1), sewing seams, and Pompom making. On Thursday you’ll continue to develop new skills with Booties. You can learn the Make One (M1) technique and how to carry yarn up along edges for your color changes to make a pair of adorable little baby booties. Finally, you can take the leap into circular knitting and I cords with the Cuddly Caterpillar. See you tomorrow for instructions on how to make the sweet PomPom Baby Hat!!

This is part 2 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 1: Feels Like Butta yarn knits up soft beyond belief!

Go to part 3: The Beginner Knitter Skills Builder – Step 2: Pompom Baby Hat

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