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!  

Four Easy Blanket Knitting Patterns by Fifty Four Ten Studio
January 28, 2020 UPDATE: My blog has a new location at

Click here if you would like to read this post on my new website.

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.

The pattern name is inspired by childhood memories of summer evenings on my grandparent’s screened porch. The simple textured stripe design reminds me of the old, painted wood floor of their porch.

On the Porch blanket knitting pattern - Easy to knit!

On the Porch knitting pattern is also available on 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.

Customers have loved using this pattern for baby blankets!  The pattern includes instructions for five blanket sizes.

Summer Sidewalk blanket knitting pattern

Lower Left: The Boulevard Blanket

The Boulevard Blanket is a FREE knitting pattern.  

This blanket is reversible!'s very quick and easy to knit with super bulky weight yarn.

The blanket in the photo below was made with Lion Brand Hometown USA in 'Washington Denim'.  Visit the Lion Brand Yarn website to see the most complete selection color options in Hometown USA.

Some knitters have also liked knitting two strands of worsted or bulky weight yarn knit together.  

Click to download the FREE pattern!

The pattern includes instructions for six blanket sizes.

The Boulevard Blanket knitting pattern is FREE on Ravelry 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.  I love how this blanket looks made with Lion Brand Hometown USA in 'New York White'!

Where the Sidewalk Ends - easy blanket knitting pattern.
Ravelry:  Click here to purchase on Ravelry.

Fifty Four Ten Studio Website:  Click here to purchase the pattern.

Where the Sidewalk Ends blanket knitting pattern is also available 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's so fun to see that they had success making a special blanket for themselves or to give as a gift!  (Click here and here to see some projects knitters made using Fifty Four Ten Studio patterns.)

I love fall in Kansas days...leaves turning to beautiful shades of red, orange and yellow...taking a walk and hearing the leaves crunch under my'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 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.

January 28, 2020 UPDATE:  CLICK HERE to read the updated version of this post on my new website.

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 20+ 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 blocking mat 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 or exercise foam mats for blocking...what a great 'multipurpose' idea!

If you do not have blocking 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'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

Friday, September 1, 2017

New Blanket Knitting Pattern - On the Map

I'm so happy to announce my newest blanket knitting pattern - On the Map.

The On the Map blanket is easy to knit with worsted weight yarn.  The pattern includes instructions for six sizes...see details below.

The pattern is now available on Ravelry, CraftsyEtsy and LoveKnitting.

On the Map - easy blanket knitting pattern.
I love maps!  In fact, I still prefer paper maps to using a GPS.  Ask my family and they will tell you that I bring our well worn 2005 Rand McNally Atlas on every road trip.  I have written dots, arrows and notes on the map showing the location of favorite restaurants and convenient gas station stops, as well as travel dates and times, for just about every trip we've taken in the last 12 years.  It's sort of like a trip journal!

My 'On the Map' knitting pattern also reminds me of the way much of Kansas City (my hometown) was planned with a very even, grid system of streets.  The tiny squares in the knitting pattern remind me of the intersections of the main thoroughfares in our city.

Enough about my obsession with maps!  Here's some more info about the pattern...

I really enjoyed knitting this blanket with Valley Yarns 'Valley Superwash' in the color 'Colonial Blue' from WEBS.  This yarn is lovely!  It's made of 100% extra fine merino wool. It's so soft and a delightful to knit with.  And...the color really speaks to reminds me of my childhood home where this color could be found in almost every room.

WEBS offers a kit to make my On the Map blanket using the same yarn shown in these photos!  Visit their website for the details.  How nice that they offer the kit (yarn and pattern) in a choice of all six blanket sizes!

I used Valley Yarns 'Valley Superwash' yarn in 'Colonial Blue'.
Directions for 6 Sizes:

Approximate sizes after blocking...
Baby: 28.25" wide x 31" long
Small (Crib/Lap): 30" wide x 34" long
Medium Blanket: 33" wide x 43.5" long
Large Throw: 37.75" wide x 46.5" long
XL Afghan: 42.5" wide x 50" long
XXL Afghan: 47.5" wide x 53" long 

Any of the blanket sizes may be made longer by adding pattern repeats.  The pattern includes estimates for additional yarn needed to add length to each blanket size.

Worsted Weight Yarn:

Baby: 600 - 620 yards
Small: 710 - 730 yards
Medium: 970 - 1000 yards
Large: 1240 - 1280 yards
XL: 1500 - 1550 yards
XXL: 1750 - 1850 yards

Be sure to buy additional yarn if you plan to add length to your blanket.

I made the medium size blanket (shown in the photos) which is about 33" wide and 43.5" long.  I used about 980 yards of yarn.

This pattern is designed for worsted weight yarn. And, it may also be used with DK or Aran weight yarn or similar.  Just pick the needle size that gives the best appearance for your yarn and knitting tension.  Finished size and amount of yarn needed may vary based on the weight of the yarn used.

On the Map - easy to knit blanket pattern with directions for 5 sizes.
I used US size 9 circular knitting needles.  Pick the needle size that gives the best appearance for your yarn and knitting tension.  

My gauge was about 15 stitches to 4" in stockinette stitch. Exact gauge is not essential.  However, you may use a bit more yarn (or less) if your gauge is significantly different.

I have had a few knitters ask me about how I maintain such clean edges on my blanket knitting projects.  One key is to change from one skein of yarn to the next in the middle of a row of knitting.  The only reason I would do an end of the row change is if I was changing from one color to another. 

End of the row changes are great when making a project with seams...such as a sweater.  However, with a blanket I would much rather weave in the ends in the middle of a in the photo below.

Blocking Finished Blanket Improves Appearance:

Another way to improve the overall appearance of your finished blanket is to carefully block the finished knitting with blocking mats and pins.

Here's what my blanket looked like before blocking...

On the Map Blanket - BEFORE BLOCKING
Notice how the stockinette stitch section is sort of puckering and the entire middle section of the blanket looks kind of lumpy.  The purl stitches that make up the 'dots' in the pattern appear almost lost.

Here's the blanket after blocking.  The stockinette stitch areas are completely flat and smooth...almost like it was ironed!  Now the purl stitches that make up the 'dots' in the center pattern really pop.  And...the puckering situation is gone.  The seed stitch border gives a lovely texture contrast to the smooth stockinette stitch.

On the Map Blanket - AFTER BLOCKING

I have to admit....I have been knitting for over 40 years (I can't believe it's been that long!) and I had never blocked a piece of knitting until early 2016!  I have found that blocking has improved the final appearance of every blanket I have blocked.  

Thanks so much for reading and for your interest in my knitting patterns.  I have lots of knitting plans in the works right now that I'm looking forward to sharing with you in the months to come.

Happy knitting!

Mary Lee
Fifty Four Ten Studio