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Four Corners Baby Blanket

Babies tend to inspire soft and gentle designs with petal pinks and cloudy blues, big-eyed bunnies and fuzzy elephants. Babies are, after all, pretty soft and gentle. But for this Four Corners Baby Blanket, I decided to throw convention to the wind, opting instead for something a little different, something for the kind of baby (and parents!) who might have an eye for quirky colors and spare, modern design.

The beautiful hand dyed colors of Madeline Tosh Merino DK are the perfect paints for your palette. Complex yellows, unusual neutrals and a whole fascinating spectrum in between, you'll love choosing the pops for your own version of the Four Corners Baby Blanket!

 

The Materials

  • 6 total skeins of Madeline Tosh DK, 100% machine washable merino wool. 
    • 4 skeins of the Main Color. I used Antler (right).
    • 2 skeins of Contrast Colors. I used Candlewick (left) for the corners and Butter (center) for the stripes. (One skein would be enough to make both the corners and the stripes. And two skeins is enough for two blankets.)

The Pattern

Gauge

22 1/2 stitches = 4 inches in garter stitch

Finished Size

28 inches by 31 inches. Keep in mind that garter stitch tends to stretch vertically, so with use, the length will grow a bit.

Intarsia Tips (Changing Colors)

Changing Colors on the Right Side

When switching from one color to the next on the right side of the work, bring the first color in front of the second so that it is "trapped" between the new working yarn and the knitted piece. Knit the first stitch of the new color normally.

The right side "seam" will look like this:

Changing Colors on the Wrong Side

When changing colors on the wrong side of the work (between purl stitches), "trap" the first color by bringing it behind the new working yarn. Purl the first stitch of the new color normally.

Here's what the wrong side "seam" looks like:

 

Begin

NOTE: When you're winding your skeins into balls, be sure to wind the yarn you will use for the corners ("Yarn A") into two relatively equal balls.

Corners 1 and 2

With Yarn A (Candlewick), cast on 32 stitches. Then use Yarn B (Antler) to cast on 94 stitches. With a second ball of Yarn A, cast on 32 stitches. 158 stitches total

(At this point, the three sections are not attached to each other, but as you work the intarsia they will be!)

Row 1 (right side): With Yarn A, k32; with Yarn B, k94, with second ball of Yarn A, k32. (See Intarsia Tips above for how to properly switch colors.)

Row 2 (wrong side): With Yarn A, k31, p1; with Yarn B, p1, k92, p1; with second ball of Yarn A, p1, k31. (Again, the above Tips will help you change colors correctly.)

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 4 inches from cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row.

Cut all three yarns.

Joining Yarn B, knit every row until piece measures 10 inches from the cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row. Cut the yarn.

Here's what the right side looks like:

And here's the wrong side:

Stripes 1 and 2

Row 1 (right side): Joining Yarn C (Butter), k100; joining Yarn B, k58.

Row 2 (wrong side): With Yarn B, k57, p1; with Yarn C, p1, k99.

Row 3: With Yarn C, k100; with Yarn B, k58.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until stripe measures 1 1/8 inch (or for 6 garter stitch ridges / 12 rows), ending with a wrong side row. Cut both yarns. **

Joining Yarn B, knit every row for 1 1/4 inches (or for 7 ridges / 14 rows), ending with a wrong side row. Cut the yarn.

Repeat from Row 1 to **.

Joining Yarn B, knit every row until piece measures 27 inches from cast on edge, ending with a wrong side row. Cut the yarn.

Corners 3 and 4

Row 1 (right side): Joining Yarn A, k32, joining Yarn B, k94, joining second ball of Yarn A, k32.

Row 2 (wrong side): With Yarn A, k31, p1; with Yarn B, p1, k92, p1; with second ball of Yarn A, p1, k31.

Row 3: With Yarn A, k32; with Yarn B, k94, with second ball of Yarn A, k32.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until corner squares measure 4 inches, ending with a wrong side row.

Bind Off

Bind Off Row (right side): With Yarn A, bind off to the end of color A (1 stitch of Yarn A remains on the right needle). Cut Yarn A and pull it through the remaining stitch. With Yarn B, bind off to the end of color B (1 stitch of Yarn B remains on the right needle). Cut Yarn B and pull it through the remaining stitch. With Yarn A, bind off to end. Cut yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Finish

Weave in all the ends. Use the cast on and bind off tails to sew closed the gaps between colors. Gently block or machine wash (and lay flat to dry) if you'd like!

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21 Responses to Four Corners Baby Blanket


  1. Deborah says:

    I fell in love with this pattern as soon as I saw it, but didn't think I'd have time to knit it in time for my friend's baby shower. I used bulkier yarn in bolder colors and think it's a great alternative to the more delicate version in the pattern. I'm new to intarsia, so the tips really helped!

    I posted my version on my blog:
    http://percolatingdesign.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/diy-baby-gifts/

  2. getchristielove says:

    I finished it! and i love it. ii'm telling anyone who will listen that i made this afghan. :) its larger than it looks in the photo, especially for someone like me who refuses to use a measuring tape until its clear something is growing out of control. its large enough for baby and mom to curl up in.

    a picture of my finished product can be found at this link:

    http://www.ravelry.com/projects/getchrisitelove/four-corners-baby-blanket

  3. megoon says:

    What cast on method is best for this pattern?

  4. megan says:

    what is the best cast on method for this pattern?

  5. purl bee says:

    Hi Megan,

    I almost always use a long tail cast on for nearly everything I make. Some knitters prefer other methods depending on what stitch pattern follows, but for garter stitch I've never heard of there being a special cast on… Cue the cast on experts!

    Thank you so much for asking and good luck!

    Whitney

  6. brynne says:

    i'm in the process of starting this blanket for my own baby and having a difficult time starting the intarsia knitting. i've made the super easy baby blanket and have the garter stitch down but am new to intarsia. any tips for this beginner would be greatly appreciated! :-)

  7. purl bee says:

    Hi Brynne,

    Did you see the tips and photos at the beginning of the pattern that explain the intarsia techniques for this blanket? If so and you're still having trouble, here is what may be a helpful overview of intarsia, taken from our Intarsia Tutorial:

    Intarsia knitting isn't hard, but there are some basic rules to know.

    Unlike fair isle knitting, the yarn is not stranded across the back of the work in intarsia knitting. Instead, you have a separate ball of yarn for each area of color. If you have a lot of color changes in one row, you may want to wind the separate colors onto bobbins to help you stay organized.

    The other important rule to keep in mind is that when you switch from one color to the other you have to “twist” the yarns in order to avoid holes. I like to think of it as “trapping” the yarn, because you put the yarn you're finished using in front of the new yarn, trapping it between the new yarn and the knitting. This manoeuvre is always done on the wrong side of the work.

    If none of this sets you on the right path, please let me know where you're getting hung up and I'd be happy to help!

    Thanks for your question!
    Whitney

  8. brynne says:

    hi whitney! thanks for your quick response. i did read those instructions and have looked up quite a few tutorials and for whatever reason am just struggling, embarrassingly enough. the trouble i'm running into comes right off the bat on my first row of knitting.

    so i cast on my initial stitches and begin each color with a slip knot (yellow, grey and then my second ball of yellow). the colors should not be connected at this point, right? so after casting on, i begin knitting the next row. for some reason, i think my slip knots are preventing the intarsia from working. the yarn on the slip knot slips through properly when i initially make it but once i try to combine the colors on my first row, the loop from the slip knot stretches out and stays in a large loop rather than coming back together with the new color after being knitted. does that make sense?

    i appreciate your help and hope my explanation makes sense!

  9. purl bee says:

    Hi again Brynne,

    My big question for you is, have you knitted beyond the first row yet? Or have you been too concerned with the looseness of the slip knots to try the second row?

    I recall that there may be some inevitable looseness in the cast on that is very effectively fixed when you weave in the ends (similar to what happens when you join for working in the round). By the second row the wonkiness should have resolved itself.

    What do you think about that? Does this sound like it might get you on the right path? Let me know!

    Whitney

  10. Isabel says:

    Hi Whitney -

    I'm thinking of using Blue Sky Worsted Cotton for this. Do you think I need to change the number of stitches I cast on? Or the number of rows?

    Thanks!

  11. purl bee says:

    Hi Isabel,

    Blue Sky's Worsted Cotton is quite a bit thicker than the yarn I used here, so if you follow the pattern as is, you'd get a bigger blanket (probably around 40 inches wide). You would, of course, need more yarn and bigger needles.

    If you'd like to maintain this size (28 x 31 inches), then you would cast on the number of stitches you get per inch with the Worsted Cotton times 28. So if your gauge is 4 stitches to the inch, you would cast on a total of 4 x 28 = 112 stitches (23 for each corner color). The length measurements would remain the same.

    Please let me know if you need more help making these conversions! And thanks for asking!

    Whitney

  12. Sheetal says:

    Do you do commission work? I'd like to pay you to knit a custom baby blanket for me. Wondering if you do they sort of thing?

  13. purl bee says:

    Hi Sheetal-

    We don't do custom knitting but if you call our NYC store they might be able to put you in touch with a custom knitter,

    Thank you!

    Molly

  14. Federica says:

    Hi Whitney!
    your project is very very nice!
    I'm an italian knitter and I can't find the Madelinetosh wool….could you suggest me a wool alternative?

    thanks!
    Federica

  15. purl bee says:

    Hi Federica,

    We do ship our products overseas. Our shipping policies and rates are right here: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/shop/shipping

    Otherwise, any DK weight yarn would work great! Here are some more options: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/3-knitting-crochet-yarn?filters=5

    Thank you so much for your question and please let us know if you have more! Ciao!

    Whitney

  16. Valerie Miles says:

    Love love love this. Can I get instructions for throw-size. I'm a rooky knitter and need help with the calculations. Thanks so much. And love your web-site too.

  17. Valerie Miles says:

    Me again – could you give me calculations for bulky yarn please?

  18. purl bee says:

    Hi Valerie,

    Without knowing exactly what your plan is, I suggest that you cast on the number of stitches you get per inch (for example, 2 stitches) by the desired finished width (say, 48 inches, for a cast on of 96 stitches). You'd then have to calculate how many stitches wide to make the corner squares and stripes based on the proportions of your finished blanket.

    I hope this gets you off on the right foot! Please let us know if you have any other questions and good luck!

    Whitney

  19. Valerie Miles says:

    Thanks so much for your quick response.

  20. Stephanie says:

    Hi Whitney,
    I saw this blanket on pinterest and I definitely want to make this my next project. I was just curious to know what ply of yarn did you use? Also what size needles do you think work the best?
    Thanks

  21. purl bee says:

    Hi Stephanie-

    All the information on the needles and yarn can be found under the "Materials" section of this pattern. The yarn would be equivalent to an 8ply weight but the important thing is that you get the correct gauge, which is listed at the beginning of the "Pattern" section.

    Thanks for getting in touch and please let us know if you have any more questions.

    Molly

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