Thursday, December 7, 2017

Easy, Modern Tassel Throw Knitting Pattern - Company's Coming

I'm so excited to introduce my new throw blanket knitting pattern - Company's Coming!

This modern throw blanket design features four chunky tassels on the corners.  The blanket is quick and easy to knit with simple stockinette stitch, big knitting needles and super bulky yarn. This is a great knitting pattern for beginning knitters or any knitter who would like a very easy, relaxing project.

The pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes: small, medium and large throw blanket sizes, as well as queen and king size bed runners!

Company's Coming throw & bed runner blanket pattern is available on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

Company's Coming - easy throw blanket knitting pattern with tassels!
When I have friends or family coming for an overnight visit or holiday dinner it always inspires me to tackle projects around the house so that everything looks a little bit more 'put together' when the guests arrive.  Sometimes it's just simple projects like hanging pictures that have been sitting in the corner for months...or organizing a bookshelf.  Other times, if I start early enough, I take on bigger projects such as painting a bathroom...like I did this fall...a long overdue project!  Some paint and new towels did wonders for an otherwise dated bathroom!

Whether it's a small or large home improvement project, it always feels great to have things around our old house looking a little bit more up to date when company's coming!

Company's Coming - modern throw blanket knitting pattern with tassels.
My favorite part of this blanket design is the tassels!  When I was making these tassels I felt a bit nostalgic....with memories of my 1970's childhood home.  I remember my mom having a chunky tassel tied to her little sewing scissors so they would not get lost...and a tassel tied to a old-fashioned style key for a cabinet.

It's fun to make these chunky tassels! Detailed instructions in the pattern.
These tassels are fun to make and I've included detailed step-by-step instructions in the pattern....along with lots of photo illustrations!  Here's a couple examples of the many photos included in the pattern...

Making a tassel is very easy...there are lots of tutorial photos in the knitting pattern.
A large, sharp pair of scissors is needed to cut the yarn with clean ends.  You'll also need a tapestry needle for attaching the tassel to the corners of the blanket.

Attaching a tassel to the corner of the blanket. More photos in the pattern!
I made four tassels...one for each corner of my blanket.  If you would like to add more tassels to your blanket...plan on at least 15 yards of yarn for each additional 6" tassel.

Here's some more details about the Company's Coming blanket pattern....

FIVE BLANKET SIZES:

Small Throw: 35.25" wide x 40" long
Medium Throw: 38" wide x 50" long
Large Throw: 43.5" wide x 54" long
Queen Bed Runner: 24.25" wide x 80" long
King Bed Runner: 24.25" wide x 96" long

The dimensions do not include length of 6" long tassels.  

It's very easy to make any of the blanket sizes longer...or shorter.  The pattern includes estimates of how much additional yardage is needed to make each blanket size longer.

Any of these blanket sizes will add texture and interest to your home design....so everything looks lovely when company's coming.

SUPER BULKY YARN:

Small Throw: 540 - 565 yards
Medium Throw: 700 - 725 yards
Large Throw: 900 - 940 yards
Queen Bed Runner: 740 - 770 yards
King Bed Runner: 900 - 940 yards

Yardage for 4 tassels included in materials list above.  If more tassels are desired, add at least 15 yards per additional tassel.

If you would like to use a different color yarn for your tassels (how cute would that be!?!) you will need about 60 yards of yarn for 4 tassels.  

Company's Coming - chunky blanket knitting pattern.
YARN OPTIONS:

I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color 'Dallas Grey' for my blanket.  This is one of my favorite shades in the Hometown USA collection! (I used it for my Over the Rooftops blanket design and my Westport Blanket.)  I really enjoy knitting with this yarn...it's so soft and cozy!  The yarn has a subtle sheen that gives it an appealing modern vibe.  

One note...Hometown USA is a 'machine washable' yarn.  However, I always feel that many items look better and last longer if they are hand washed and dried flat.  That's especially true with this design since it has chunky tassels that would not do well in the washing machine. I would not put this blanket in the washing machine!  Hand washing recommended!

This blanket would also work well with Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick.  If you prefer a more "woolly" feel and look for your yarn...this is a great choice.

BLOCKING RECOMMENDED:

I highly recommend blocking your finished knitting.  It takes a little bit of extra time but it's always worth it!  Click here to see my blog post about blocking a blanket.

Weaving in the ends on my 'Company's Coming' blanket.
I loved knitting my Company's Coming blanket!  I started working on it a couple weeks before Thanksgiving...when I wanted an easy, relaxing project to work on as we made plans to host Thanksgiving dinner for our extended family.  

Company's Coming throw blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry.  The pattern is also available on Craftsy, LoveKnitting and Etsy.

Company's Coming - knitting pattern available on Ravelry.
Thanks so much for your interest in my knitting patterns!  I am so thankful for the opportunity to share my love of knitting through my knitting designs and this blog.  Thanks for reading!  

Happy holidays!  Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Company's Coming Throw Knitting Pattern



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

New Free Blanket Knitting Pattern - Meadow Lane

I'm so happy to introduce this new free blanket knitting pattern - Meadow Lane.

The pattern is available to download for free on Ravelry, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

This pattern is very easy but once in a while knitters need a little extra help getting on track.  Here's a free PDF tutorial for the Meadow Lane Blanket to address the most common questions.

Meadow Lane - free blanket knitting pattern
The Meadow Lane blanket is very easy to knit with Aran, worsted, or DK weight yarn.  The pattern may also be used with other similar weight yarns.  Just pick the needle size that works best for your yarn and knitting tension. (See more info below.)

If you prefer super bulky weight yarn...check out my popular free chunky blanket knitting pattern....The Boulevard Blanket.

The Boulevard Blanket - free pattern for super bulky weight yarn.
The Meadow Lane blanket is the lighter weight version of the two blankets.

At first glance you might think this blanket is simple garter stitch.  Look again!  An easy K4, P4 repeat pattern creates a subtle vertical stripe effect.

Meadow Lane - easy K4, P4 repeat pattern
This pattern includes instructions for six sizes!

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SIX SIZES:
approximate dimensions after blocking...

Baby Blanket: 29.75" wide x 32" long
Small (Crib/Lap) Blanket: 32" wide x 42" long
Medium Throw: 36.5" wide x 43" long
Large Throw: 41" wide x 48" long
XL Afghan: 45.5" wide x 50" long
XXL Afghan: 50" wide x 56" long

It's very easy to make any of the blankets longer...just work additional rows until the blanket is the desired length or you run out of yarn. Be sure to purchase more yarn than noted below if you want to make your blanket longer.

ARAN OR WORSTED WEIGHT YARN:
Amount of yarn needed for each blanket size...

Baby: 575 - 600 yards
Small: 850 - 875 yards
Medium: 1020 - 1050 yards
Large: 1300 - 1350 yards
XL Afghan: 1500 - 1550 yards
XXL Afghan: 1850 - 1900 yards

The pattern includes estimates for approximately how much additional yarn is needed to add about 2" to the length of each blanket size.

This pattern will work well with worsted, Aran, DK, or other similar weight yarn.  Pick the needle size that gives the best appearance for your yarn and knitting tension.

I used Lion Brand New Basic 175 yarn in the colorway 'Thyme'.  I really enjoyed knitting with this yarn!  'New Basic 175' yarn is 25% wool and 76% acrylic.  It has a "wooly" feel...without being "scratchy".  The finished blanket has lovely drape and texture with New Basic 175.

Did I mention that I love the color selection in this new line of yarn?  It's currently available in 24 beautiful colors!

I used Lion Brand New Basic 175 yarn in the color 'Thyme'.
GAUGE:
I used US size 9 knitting needles and my gauge was about 14 stitches = 4".

Exact gauge is not essential for this pattern.

It's more important to pick the needles that work best for your yarn and your knitting tension.

TEST KNITTING:
To test the pattern and decide which needle size is best for your yarn....cast on 20 or 28 stitches with the needle size suggested for your yarn.  Work in the stitch pattern as noted in the pattern....

Row 1: *K4, P4; repeat from *, end K4
Row 2:  same as Row 1 (be sure to start the row with K4)

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until work measures about 2" or more.  It can take at least 2" of knitting for the subtle vertical line effect to show up.  If your stitches are too loose the pattern may not show up as desired so try switching to one needle size smaller.  If you think your knitting is too tight...try one needle size larger.

Meadow Lane blanket knitting pattern - it's easy to knit!
I loved knitting the Meadow Lane blanket!  I took this project on an October trip to a family wedding and it was easy to pick this project up and knit a few rows when there was a break between the wedding festivities.

You can download the Meadow Lane blanket knitting pattern for free on Ravelry, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

Thanksgiving is just about a week away.  I'm looking forward to spending lots of time with my family over the holiday week.  Hope you have a nice holiday if you are celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S.!

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Meadow Lane - easy blanket knitting pattern - FREE!

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Celebrating Four Years Designing Knitting Patterns! My top 10 best-selling knitting patterns are...

Four years ago this week I published my first knitting pattern!

Each year in early November I reflect back on all I have learned and accomplished since I started with just one little Christmas ornament pattern.  I am so appreciative of the interest in my knitting designs and all the purchases of my patterns. Thank you so much!

My first knitting pattern that I published in November 2013 was a mini sweater ornament.  This design perfectly represents how I feel...both now and when I first started...having pursued this creative endeavor that I absolutely love!

Mini Sweater Ornament - My first knitting pattern!
Designing knitting patterns has brought so much joy to me....I love every step of the process...coming up with a new idea, selecting the yarn and color, knitting the project, finishing the last steps of the project, photographing the finished design (lots of photos and lots of editing!), writing the instructions, learning how to navigate several websites where I publish my patterns, helping knitters when they need assistance, seeing photos of customers' finished projects on Ravelry and Instagram (that always makes my day!)...and always looking forward to the next project.

TOP 10!

Before I get back to work on my next knitting design...I thought it would be fun to take a look at the  "Top 10" knitting patterns in my collection of 43 knitting patterns I have published in the last four years.

This top 10 list is based on customer purchases on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

This list does not include my "always free" knitting patterns.

This is the first time I have compiled the number of sales by pattern design across each of the four websites.  It's fun to see which patterns are my customer's favorites!

#1 Best Selling Knitting Pattern: Third Street Blanket

Third Street Blanket - My Best Selling Knitting Pattern!
Running away with first place is my Third Street Blanket!  The Third Street Blanket has been my top selling pattern every month since I published the design in September 2016.

This blanket is easy to knit with super bulky yarn.  I updated the pattern this year to include instructions for six sizes...there's directions for every size from a little baby blanket up to an XXL afghan.

Read more about the Third Street Blanket on my blog post.

Third Street Blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, LoveKnitting and Etsy.

#2 : Over the Rooftops blanket knitting pattern

Over the Rooftops - Chunky Blanket Knitting Pattern
I published my Over the Rooftops blanket knitting pattern in January 2017.  I was completely bowled over by the enthusiastic response to this design!

This chunky blanket is fun to knit and it is so cozy!  I used Lion Brand Hometown USA super bulky yarn for this design.  Read more about the pattern here on my blog.

#3: Westport Blanket

Westport Blanket Knitting Pattern - Easy to knit!
The Westport Blanket is knit with super bulky yarn so it's quick to knit.  I love the chunky texture of this blanket.

The pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.  Read more about the pattern here on my blog.

#4: Summer Sidewalk blanket

Summer Sidewalk - Blanket Knitting Pattern
Summer Sidewalk is the most recently published pattern in my 'Top 10' list!  I published this pattern in March 2017. 

This blanket is very easy to knit with DK, worsted...or similar...weight yarn.  This is a great pattern for a confident beginning knitter!  

The pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.  Read more about the pattern here on my blog.

#5: Stones in the Road blanket

Stones in the Road - Blanket Knitting Pattern
Stones in the Road blanket is fun to knit with super bulky yarn.  The design includes a seed stitch border and matching seed stitch "stripes" for the center design.  Read more about the Stones in the Road pattern on my blog.

#6: Brookside Blanket

Brookside Blanket - Afghan Knitting Pattern
The Brookside Blanket is named for the neighborhood where I grew up in Kansas City, Missouri.  This was my fourth blanket design and it quickly became quite popular with knitters!  

In October 2017, I updated the Brookside Blanket pattern to include instructions for six blanket sizes.  Read more about this knitting pattern on my blog.

#7: Felt Applique Mitten Christmas Ornament 

Felt Applique Mitten Christmas Ornament - knitting pattern
This little mini-mitten felt applique ornament pattern was my second published knitting pattern back in November 2013!  

I updated the pattern in January 2016 to add more felt applique options including letters & numbers. I love knitting these little mittens and stitching on felt designs to make each little mitten unique.  Click to read more about this pattern here on my blog. 

#8: Where the Sidewalk Ends blanket knitting pattern

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Easy Blanket Knitting Pattern
Where the Sidewalk Ends blanket is very quick and easy to knit! I love the simple, chunky, striped texture of this design.  (For a light weight version of this design, see my 'Summer Sidewalk' blanket pattern at #4 above.)  Read more about this pattern here on my blog.

#9: Belleview Blanket

Belleview Blanket knitting pattern for super bulky yarn
The Belleview Blanket is designed for super bulky yarn.  It was my 5th blanket design.  Read more about the Belleview Blanket knitting pattern on my blog.


#10: The Parkway Pillow

The Parkway Pillow knitting pattern
I published The Parkway Pillow knitting pattern in April 2014.  It's very easy to knit with super bulky yarn.  Read more about this pattern and the name for this Kansas City inspired design on my blog.

Most Popular Free Knitting Pattern

And....my 'Top 10' list would not be complete without acknowledging my most popular free knitting pattern...The Boulevard Blanket.  

The Boulevard Blanket knitting pattern for super bulky yarn.
As of November 2017, The Boulevard Blanket knitting pattern has been downloaded a total of over 20,000 times on Ravelry, LoveKnitting and Craftsy!  I'm so happy that knitters have enjoyed using this pattern!  Click to read my blog post about The Boulevard Blanket.

Thanks so much!

Thank you so much for your interest in my knitting designs!  I have learned so much in four years...I learn new things every day!   Your interest in my designs...by purchasing my patterns, following me on Facebook & Instagram, and reading my blog...helps make me curious and excited to create new knitting designs.  I am really excited about working on new designs in the coming months and years.

It's a beautiful fall day here in Kansas City.  The trees have turned beautiful shades of yellow, orange and red...Mother Nature is really showing off!  Hope you have a great day!

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Fifty Four Ten Studio - 10 Best Selling Patterns


Monday, October 30, 2017

Prairie Fields - New Blanket Knitting Pattern

I'm excited to announce my new blanket knitting pattern - Prairie Fields.

Prairie Fields blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Etsy, LoveKnitting and Craftsy.

Prairie Fields blanket knitting pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
This blanket is designed for use with worsted weight yarn.  The pattern may also be used with DK, Aran or other similar weight yarns.  Just pick the knitting needle size that gives the best appearance for your yarn.

This blanket is fun to knit!  I loved using this stitch pattern....it's just simple knit and purl stitches.

You will need to know how to cast on stitches, knit and purl confidently, read a row by row knitting pattern in standard US knitting terms, cast off stitches and weave in ends.  Blocking of the finished blanket is highly recommended!  (More on that below!)

Prairie Fields blanket knitting pattern.
Prairie Fields is named for the beautiful farms...with crops planted in orderly rows...that surround my hometown of Kansas City. I live in a suburb of Kansas City...on the Kansas side of the State Line.  Though our neighborhood is definitely suburban....beautiful prairie fields are not too far away.

I love the texture of this stitch pattern!

This pattern includes instructions for six blanket sizes!  The blanket shown in the photos is a size small...crib or lap size blanket.

SIX BLANKET SIZES
approximate sizes after blocking...

Baby Blanket: 28" wide x 31.25" long
Small Crib/Lap Blanket: 31" wide x 35" long
Medium Throw: 34" long x 38.75" long
Large Throw: 38" wide x 42.5" long
XL Afghan: 42.5" wide x 46.25" long
XXL Afghan: 46.75" wide x 50" long

It's easy to make any of the blanket sizes longer by adding additional pattern repeats.  Adding one pattern repeat will add about 3.75" to the length of the blanket.

Of course...be sure to purchase additional yarn if you plan to make your blanket longer!  The pattern includes estimates for how much additional yarn is needed to make each blanket size longer.

WORSTED WEIGHT YARN

Baby: 680 - 700 yards
Small: 840 - 870 yards
Medium: 1030 - 1060 yards
Large: 1260 - 1300 yards
XL: 1600 - 1650 yards
XXL: 1900 - 1950 yards

This pattern will work well with many worsted weight yarns.  The pattern will also work well with DK, Aran or other yarns that are similar in weight to worsted.

Prairie Fields blanket knitting pattern for worsted weight yarn.
EXACT GAUGE NOT ESSENTIAL

I used US size 7 circular knitting needles and my gauge was about 17 stitches and 24 rows to 4 inches.

When you select your yarn do a test swatch in stockinette stitch with the needle size recommended for your yarn.  Cast on about 25 stitches and knit in stockinette stitch for a few inches.

You may find that you need a smaller or larger needle size depending on the thickness of your yarn and your knitting tension.  If your knitting seems too tight...switch to a needle size one or two sizes larger.  If your knitting seems too loose...go down a needle size or two.

Pick the needle size that gives the best appearance....without worrying about exact gauge.

Just keep in mind...a different weight yarn may require more...or less...yarn.  So...plan ahead by purchasing extra yarn just to be sure you have plenty.

Prairie Fields blanket knit with Cascade 220 Superwash.

BLANKET SHOWN IN CASCADE 220 SUPERWASH

I used Cascade 220 Superwash in the color 'Lake Chelan Heather' #859 that I purchased at The Yarn Barn in Lawrence, Kansas.

This was the first time I have used Cascade 220 Superwash....it's just lovely!  Easy to knit...100% superwash wool...220 yards per skein at a reasonable price for very nice quality yarn...it's a great choice for blankets!  And...this yarn comes in so many beautiful colors!

The Yarn Barn is a lovely store that has been in Lawrence for many years.  In addition to the fantastic selection in the shop, they also publish a fabulous catalog that includes a huge selection of yarn. If you like traditional mail order...using a catalog and calling someone in person...give them a call!  And, if you are near Lawrence, Kansas this store is worth the stop!  (There's also an amazing fabric store across the street if you are into sewing and quilting....Sarah's Fabrics.)


Knitting with Cascade 220 Superwash in 'Lake Chelan Heather'.

BLOCKING HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

I highly recommend blocking this blanket after you have finished knitting and weaving in the ends.

Click here for a link to my blog post about how to block a blanket.

Here's what this blanket looked like BEFORE blocking...

Before blocking!
Before blocking the knitting was bumpy and puckered...especially along the sides next to the garter stitch border.

Here's what the blanket looks like AFTER blocking...

Prairie Fields blanket - After blocking!
Blocking makes everything about the blanket look better!  The texture of the pattern shines and flat stockinette stitch sections of the blanket are smooth and neat.

WHERE TO BUY THE PATTERN

Prairie Fields blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry.  The pattern is also available on Craftsy, LoveKnitting and Etsy.

If you like knitting blankets with worsted weight yarn you might also like these other blanket patterns I designed: Summer Sidewalk, On the Porch and On the Map.

It's fall in Kansas City!

It's feeling more like fall around here in Kansas City.  The leaves are turning beautiful colors and it's much cooler...time to pull out my collection of cozy blankets.  We like to keep our house pretty cold in the fall and winter so we always have warm blankets around to wrap up and keep warm!

Thanks so much for your interest in my knitting patterns!  Hope you have a fabulous day!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

New Cozy Blanket Knitting Pattern - Winter Dance

I'm so excited to announce my new blanket knitting pattern - Winter Dance.

Winter Dance blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, LoveKnitting and Etsy.

I love the chunky texture of this blanket!  It's big, thick and cozy....perfect for cold winter nights.

Winter Dance - cozy, chunky blanket knitting pattern. 
It was so fun to design this blanket as a collaboration with Lion Brand Yarn Company!  I used their popular Wool-Ease Thick & Quick super bulky yarn in the color 'Denim'.

Lion Brand is offering a kit to make the Winter Dance afghan!  The kit includes enough yarn to make an extra-large afghan (46" x 57") using the lovely 'Denim' blue colorway.

I have used Wool-Ease Thick & Quick for many projects and I am always very pleased with the results.  This was the first time I used the 'Denim' shade of blue and I absolutely love it!  I will definitely use this lovely blue yarn in future projects.

Winter Dance afghan blanket - fun to knit with super bulky yarn!
I loved knitting this blanket!  The center pattern is a four row repeat that is very easy to remember. The blanket is framed by a classic, easy-to-knit seed stitch border.

This blanket design will look great with just about any decorating style.

My denim blue version of the Winter Dance blanket will be a favorite in our home for years to come!

Winter Dance blanket knitting pattern - shown in XL Afghan size.
I made the "XL" size...it's a big, cozy afghan!  It's about 46" wide and 57" long.

The pattern includes instructions for six sizes so you can knit a blanket for just about anyone.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR SIX SIZES:
approximate sizes after blocking...

Baby/Infant Blanket: 30" wide x 32" long
Small - Crib/Lap Blanket: 34" wide x 39.5" long
Medium Throw: 38" wide x 44" long
Large Throw: 42" wide x 48" long
XL Afghan: 46" wide x 57" long
XXL Afghan: 52" wide x 60" long

Any of the blanket sizes may be make longer by adding additional pattern repeats.

This blanket is fun to knit with super bulky yarn & big needles.
SUPER BULKY YARN:
This pattern is designed for use with super bulky yarn.

Yardage needed...

Baby: 300 - 320 yards
Small: 460 - 480 yards
Medium: 570 - 600 yards
Large: 690 - 730 yards
XL: 900 - 950 yards
XXL: 1100 - 1165 yards

My favorite choice for this blanket is Lion Brand's Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in a solid color.  This blanket would also look wonderful knit with Lion Brand Hometown USA.

The texture of the pattern will show up best with solid color yarns.

Be sure to purchase additional yarn if you plan to add length to your blanket.  The pattern includes estimates on how much additional yarn is required to add pattern repeats.

A seed stitch border frames my Winter Dance blanket.
TIP: To keep the edges 'clean'...transition from one skein of yarn to the next somewhere in the middle of a row.  It's easier to hide the woven-in ends in the center of a row on the wrong side of your knitting.

Weaving in the ends on my new blanket.
When you are finished knitting and weaving in the ends, I highly recommend blocking this blanket. Read my recent blog post for lots of tips on blocking a handknit blanket.

Knitters often ask if my blanket patterns are reversible...this one is not reversible.  This blanket definitely looks prettier on the "right side".

Winter Dance - chunky blanket knitting pattern.  Love the texture!
You might be wondering about the name for this blanket.  Let's just say that it's named in memory of a dear friend who was like an aunt to me.  She loved all of the seasons...especially a beautiful, snowy winter day.

Winter Dance blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, CraftsyEtsy and LoveKnitting.

Thanks so much for your interest in my patterns!

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Monday, September 25, 2017

Four Easy Blanket Knitting Patterns

One of the frequent questions I hear from knitters is..."which blanket knitting pattern would be the best choice for a beginning knitter?" 

Over the last 2+ years I have designed and published 17 blanket knitting patterns!  

All of my blanket knitting patterns are pretty easy to knit.  

But, these are my four easiest blanket knitting patterns!  


All of these patterns include instructions for multiple sizes so you can use the pattern for a baby blanket, medium size throw or big afghan.

Here's some info about each pattern and links to more info and how to purchase each pattern.

Top Left: On the Porch

My On the Porch blanket knitting pattern is very easy to knit with worsted weight yarn. The pattern can also be used with slightly heavier or lighter weight yarn.  

On the Porch blanket knitting pattern - Easy to knit!


On the Porch knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.


Top Right: Summer Sidewalk

My Summer Sidewalk blanket is very easy to knit!  It's designed for use with DK or worsted weight yarn...or slightly lighter or heavier weight yarn.  

The design features a wide garter stitch border as well as simple alternating garter stitch and stockinette stitch stripes.  

Summer Sidewalk blanket knitting pattern


Summer Sidewalk blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.


Lower Left: The Boulevard Blanket

The Boulevard Blanket is a FREE knitting pattern.  

This blanket is reversible!  And...it's very quick and easy to knit with super bulky weight yarn.  Some knitters have also liked knitting two strands of worsted or bulky weight yarn knit together.  

The Boulevard Blanket - FREE knitting pattern.

The pattern has been updated to include instructions for six sizes.


The Boulevard Blanket knitting pattern is FREE on Ravelry, Craftsy and LoveKnitting.


Lower Right: Where the Sidewalk Ends 

This blanket is fun to knit with super bulky yarn!  The finished blanket is chunky and cozy.  

This blanket makes a great gift for a baby, toddler, teenager heading off to college, graduation, first apartment, wedding...and so many other occasions.  The simple design will look great in almost any decor style.  A solid color yarn will show the pattern best.

Where the Sidewalk Ends - easy blanket knitting pattern.


Where the Sidewalk Ends blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and LoveKnitting.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ 

All of these blankets are very easy to knit.  I love hearing from beginning knitters who enjoyed using these patterns.  I especially love it when they email photos of their finished blankets...it's so fun to see that they had success making a special blanket for themselves or to give as a gift!

I love fall in Kansas City...cool days...leaves turning to beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow...taking a walk and hearing the leaves crunch under my feet...it's really a lovely time of year.  It's also a great time to knit! I have a couple new knitting projects in the works...more info on those soon. :)

Thanks so much for your interest in my knitting patterns!

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Saturday, September 9, 2017

The Final Step of Your Knitting Project: Blocking

Blocking your finished knitting project makes a big difference in the appearance of your project!

If you have not blocked a finished knitting piece before, it's not hard...it just takes a little extra time but it's worth the effort.  I have written about blocking several times here on my blog but I thought it would be helpful to put all my tips in one place.

Here's a step by step guide....

How to block a blanket or other knitting project:

1. After finishing your knitting, weave in all the ends on the back of your knitting.

First, weave in all the ends on the back of your knitting.
2. Soak the knitting in cold water for several minutes in the kitchen sink, a large bowl or a large pot.

Place knitting in the sink and add cold water.

Soak the knitting in cold water for several minutes.
3. Pull the plug to allow the water to drain out.  Let the blanket sit for a few minutes to allow excess water to drain off a bit. Gently press out water but do not wring or twist the knitting.

Allow water to drain out of sink.  Let blanket sit for a few minutes to drain excess water.
4. Carefully transfer knitting out of sink and set on an old towel for a few minutes to soak up a bit of excess water.

Place knitting on an old towel to soak up a bit of the excess water.
5. Set up blocking mats on a carpeted or water resistant floor (don't set up on hardwood floors!).  Or, if you have space, set them up on a craft table or counter top with a water resistant surface.

There are lots of choices for blocking mats. I have two sets of POCO-DIVO "child play mats".  Each set includes nine 12" mats that fit together like puzzle pieces.  I have two sets so I have enough pieces to make a mat large enough to block large blankets. These were the most inexpensive option I could find when I purchased them.   There are other similar products available...including this set with grid lines and included T-pins looks very nice.  Another idea I learned from one of my customers is to use yoga mats for blocking...what a great 'multipurpose' idea!

If you do not have blocking mats...it is definitely possible to have good results without them.  You can set your blanket up on old towels or a sheet...just make sure the surface underneath is water resistant.  I blocked my Belleview Blanket without mats or pins...

Blocking without mats or pins can work out great too!

6. Carefully unfold the wet knitting and spread it out on the blocking mat.  At first your knitting will likely look a bit messy and uneven...

Place knitting on blocking mats...but don't leave it like this!
7. Next, carefully adjust the knitting so that the stitches on the edges and center of knitting are straight and even (or the desired shape).  Use the edges of the mat and a ruler as a guide to make the edges very straight.

If your finished knitting is supposed to be blocked to a specific size...use those dimensions as a guide to adjust your knitting to the desired size.  This might require "nudging" the stitches closer together if the knitting stretched out a bit when wet.

Check the stitches in the center of the blanket and adjust as necessary to make the rows straight and even.
Adjust knitting so edges & center of knitting are straight and even.
The blanket shown in the two photos above is my Over the Rooftops knitting pattern.  See more photos here on my blog of how much better this project looked after blocking.

8. Use rust resistant T-pins or other blocking pins to pin the edges in place.

Edges of my Third Street Blanket pinned in place.

9. Allow knitting to dry.  If desired, set up a small fan to expedite the drying process.  A worsted weight knitting project may dry within about a day.  However, a large blanket knit with super bulky yarn may take 2 to 4 days to dry depending on the yarn, air temperature, etc.  It's worth the wait!

10. Enjoy your finished knitting project!

In case you are wondering....why should I block my knitting project...here's a few thoughts...

Some projects will look just fine without blocking.  But, many projects look so much better after blocking.  Here's one of my favorite before and after blocking comparisons...
Before & after blocking my 'On the Map' blanket knitting pattern.
Before I blocked my 'On the Map' blanket the stockinette stitch section was sort of puckering and the entire middle section of the blanket looked 'lumpy' and unattractive.  The purl stitches that make up the 'dots' in the pattern were sinking...the blanket didn't look that great.

After blocking...the stockinette stitch area is completely flat and smooth...almost like it was ironed! The purl stitches that make up the 'dots' in the center pattern really pop.  And...the puckering situation is gone!  Here's another photo of this blanket after it was blocked...

On the Map blanket after blocking....I love how it looks!
I admit that I had never blocked any knitting projects until about two years ago.  I have been knitting since I was about 8 years old and worked in a yarn shop in college...and in all my years of knitting (including the many sweaters I made years ago!) I never learned to block my knitting.  Now I block almost every project and I continue to be amazed at how much better my project looks after taking the time to block the knitting.

I hope this tutorial is helpful to you! Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio