Monday, October 31, 2016

Flint Hills Blanket Knitting Pattern

I'm excited to announce my new blanket knitting pattern...the Flint Hills Blanket.

This blanket is knit with super bulky yarn on big needles.  It is an easy pattern that will work well for confident beginners or experienced knitters who enjoy an easy knitting project.

The Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, LoveKnitting and Etsy.

Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern
This pattern is named for the Flint Hills - a large region in the east central portion of Kansas which features rocky, rolling hills of limestone and flint (hard gray rock).  Early settlers in this area were unable to till the earth due to the rock so the land was mostly used for cattle ranches.  Today, the area is known for the largest intact tallgrass prairie in North America.  You may think all of Kansas is perfectly flat, but the east central portion of Kansas is full of beautiful rolling hills.  Here's a photo I took this past August as we drove through the Flint Hills...

Flint Hills in Kansas
The texture of this blanket design reminded me of that drive through the Flint Hills.

Flint Hills Blanket - the stitch pattern reminds me of rolling hills.
I used Loops & Threads Cozy Wool super bulky weight yarn from Michael's Craft Store.  The color is called 'Thunder'.  I have used this yarn many times for other projects.  It is very soft and easy to knit.  One thing to keep in mind...this yarn is hand wash only.

If you would prefer a machine washable yarn you might try Lion Brand Hometown USA.  Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick would also be a great choice for this pattern.

Weaving in the ends on the Flint Hills Blanket.
For best results, I recommend blocking the finished blanket.   Note: When using Loops & Threads Cozy Wool...I find it best to dampen the blanket moderately before blocking...NOT soak it completely in water.  This yarn really soaks up the water and can become very water logged and stretch too much.  I placed my blanket in the kitchen sink and ran water over the blanket...but I did not fill the sink with water.  For more tips on blocking the finished blanket, see my blog post from March 2016.

The Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes so you can make a very small baby blanket, a crib size blanket, a medium or large throw...or a very large afghan.  It's easy to adjust the length for any of the sizes...details in the pattern.

Pattern includes instructions for five sizes:
XL: 49.5" wide x 55.25" long
Large: 41.25" wide x 49.75" long
Medium: 38.5" wide x 47" long
Small (Crib/Lap): 35.75" wide x 36" long
Baby: 30.25" wide x 30.5" long

This blanket is knit flat in one piece.  I use 38" long circular knitting needles in US size 13.  The long length makes it easy to accommodate a lot of stitches when knitting a blanket.

Flint Hills Blanket - knit with super bulky yarn.
One more thing about the Flint Hills...a few years ago I had the opportunity to go with a dear friend and her parents to the "Symphony in the Flint Hills".  It has become a tradition for the Kansas City Symphony to hold a summer outdoor concert out on the Flint Hills.  It is an incredible event.  People purchase tickets months in advance.  On the day of the event people drive from all around to park in a field, hike about a half mile or so, and set up their folding chairs on a hill to view the concert.  The backdrop is the panoramic view of the rolling Flint Hills...it's simply breathtaking and my photos from 2010 do not to it justice.

Symphony in the Flint Hills June 2010
After sunset at Symphony in the Flint Hills - June 2010.

Thanks so much for reading!

The Flint Hills Blanket knitting pattern is now available on Ravelry, Craftsy, LoveKnitting and in my Etsy shop.

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Easy Blanket Knitting Patterns

In the past year and a half I have been addicted to knitting blankets!  I love using super bulky yarn to knit blankets because they are quick to knit.  Also, I love the chunky texture and the cozy finished blanket.

I have two new blanket designs in the works that I hope to publish very soon.  Here's a little look at the projects I have been working on recently...

Stitch markers are helpful even with easy knitting patterns.
The tan yarn above is Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Mushroom'.  This yarn is available at Michael's Crafts Store.

Weaving in the ends on a new blanket.
The yarn for the blanket above is Loops & Threads Cozy Wool in the color 'Thunder'.  Pattern coming soon!  (Hopefully early November 2016.)

Last week the weather finally started to cool down around here and I pulled a few blankets out of storage.
Belleview Blanket in tan & blue / Brookside Blanket in white
If you are looking for a very easy blanket knitting project here's a few ideas....

My Third Street Blanket knitting pattern has quickly become my best selling blanket pattern.  One of my customers described it as "TV knitting at it's best"!  The pattern is very easy to remember.  Instructions for five blanket sizes including baby, crib, medium size throw and XL afghan.  It's very easy to adjust the length for any of the sizes.

Third Street Blanket knitting pattern
My Westport Blanket knitting pattern is also very easy to knit.  I used Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color 'Dallas Grey'.  I love this yarn! It is very economical and I love how the subtle sheen of the yarn gives this blanket a bit of a modern look.  This pattern also includes instructions for five sizes...and it's easy to adjust the length for any of the blanket sizes.

Westport Blanket knitting pattern - very easy to knit!
If you would like to start with a very easy free knitting pattern...you might like The Boulevard Blanket.  This pattern is easy to knit with super bulky yarn.  It has great texture and makes a super cozy blanket.

The Boulevard Blanket knitting pattern - FREE pattern!
I recommend using solid color yarns for any of these patterns so the texture of the knitting shows best.  If you are a beginning knitter...I highly recommend light to medium color yarns and definitely solid colors.  Dark colors and variegated yarns are challenging for new knitters.

These patterns will work with a number of different super bulky yarns. My three favorite super bulky yarns are...in no particular order...

Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick - favorite colors 'Glacier' & 'Fisherman'

Loops & Threads Cozy Wool - favorite colors 'Mushroom', 'Thunder', 'Fleece', 'Stone' & 'Pewter'

Lion Brand Hometown USA - favorite colors 'Dallas Grey', 'Houston Cream', 'Chicago Charcoal', 'Washington Denim' and 'New York White'

If you like seeing behind the scenes photos, follow me on Instagram!

Thanks for reading!  Happy knitting! :)

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Westport Blanket - Quick & easy knitting pattern!

My new blanket knitting pattern is quick and easy to knit!  I'm excited to announce the Westport Blanket knitting pattern is now available on Ravelry, Craftsy, LoveKnitting and in my Etsy shop.

The Westport Blanket is named for the oldest neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri...my hometown. The blanket design was inspired by the many old brick buildings that line the streets of Westport. Though the design is inspired by very old buildings, the knitting pattern has a simple, modern appearance.  

Westport Blanket Knitting Pattern by Fifty Four Ten Studio
Westport was settled, starting in about 1835, along the Santa Fe Trail.  Businesses there provided goods for those traveling west.  Today, Westport is located in the heart of the Kansas City metropolitan area and is home to many local restaurants, bars and small shops.  My favorite shop in Westport is Pryde's - "the hardware store for cooks".  This charming store is located in a very old brick building and the inside is packed from floor to ceiling with the best kitchen products available. 

Westport Blanket - a warm, cozy blanket that is easy to knit.
I used Lion Brand Hometown USA super bulky yarn in the color "Dallas Grey" for this blanket.  I loved knitting with this yarn!

Lion Brand Hometown USA in the color "Dallas Grey"...so soft! 
This was the first time I had used Hometown USA.   I really enjoyed knitting with Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn!  It is so soft!  This yarn is 100% acrylic, machine washable and very reasonably priced.  I found a great deal on this yarn and only spent about $32.00 (including shipping cost) for 8 skeins.  This was the perfect amount of yarn to make a 37" x 37" small crib/lap blanket.  I am very pleased with the Hometown USA yarn and I will definitely use it again!

I used Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn in color "Dallas Grey".
The pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.  Approximate sizes after blocking....

XL Blanket: 48.5" wide x 49" long
Large Blanket: 42.75" wide x 43" long
Medium Throw: 39.75" wide x 40" long
Small (Crib / Lap): 37" wide x 37" long
Baby Blanket: 31.25" wide x 31" long

All of these sizes are for square blankets but it is easy to make any of the blankets longer by adding additional pattern repeats.  The pattern includes tips on making the blanket longer and estimates of how much additional yarn is needed.

Westport Blanket - a simple, modern blanket design.
I recommend blocking your finished blanket.  It's not essential but it does improve the appearance of the finished blanket.  Here's what I did to block my finished blanket....

First I soaked the blanket in a sink full of water for a few minutes.


Then I pulled the drain plug and allowed the water to drain out of the sink.  I left the blanket in the sink for a few minutes to drain off excess water.  Then I carefully lifted the blanket out of the sink and set it on a couple of old towels.  The entire time I was careful not to wring or twist the blanket.  


I set up my blocking mats on my craft table.  I transferred the blanket to the blocking mat and carefully spread it out.  I spent at least 10 - 15 minutes arranging the blanket on the mat...adjusting the knitting so that the edges were straight and square...and adjusting the center part of the knitting so the stitches throughout the blanket were in straight lines.  I pinned the blanket in place using rust proof T-pins.


It took about two days for the blanket to completely dry.  I love how it turned out!

Westport Blanket - a quick & easy knitting pattern.
This blanket is so soft and cozy!  I will definitely use Lion Brand Hometown USA super bulky yarn again for future projects.  

The Westport Blanket pattern is very easy!  It's a great pattern for beginners who know how to knit and purl confidently...or for experienced knitters who enjoy an easy to remember pattern.  

The Westport Blanket knitting pattern is available on Ravelry, Craftsy, LoveKnitting and Etsy

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio