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« Mini Quilt of the Month - January: Courthouse Steps | Main | Whit's Knits: Four Felted Hot Pads »

Whit's Knits: Forever Baby Blanket

I call this the Forever Baby Blanket because its design is so timeless and classic. You will never look at it and wonder, "What was I thinking?", which is important when it comes to baby blankets because no one throws away a handknit baby blanket. It is, in fact, forever. It gets wrapped in tissue, surrounded by cedar, and tucked away until a new generation comes along and thanks you for having made such an enduringly beautiful blanket!

I was really excited to use Purl Soho's latest addition to our line of Anzula yarn, For Better or Worsted. Like our beloved Squishy, For Better or Worsted is a superwash merino, cashmere and nylon blend in gorgeous hand dyed colors. It is the perfect baby blanket yarn, machine washable, super duper soft, and special enough for heirloom knitting.

Ever since making the Autumn Equinox Vest I've wanted to revisit the Cartridge Belt Rib. Its distinctive texture is characterised by deep valleys and high ridges, created by a simple slip stitch pattern. For a baby blanket this rib is a wonderful choice because it provides a lofty coziness nothing short of what we want for our precious babies!

The Materials

The Pattern


7 1/2 stitches = 1 inch in stitch pattern, unstretched

Finished Size

24 inches x 28 inches

Note: When this pattern says "sl 1 wyif", it means to slip 1 with the yarn in front. So, bring your yarn forward as if to purl, slip the next stitch from the left needle to the right needle as if to purl, and then bring the yarn back into the knit position.

Cast on 179 stitches.

Row 1: K3, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: K1, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, sl 1 wyif, k1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 28 inches from the cast on edge. End with Row 2, ready to knit Row 1.

Bind Off Row: Bind off in a k3, p1 rib. (Here's how: K2, slip the first stitch over, k1, slip the first stitch over, *p1, slip the first stitch over, k1, slip the first stitch over, k1, slip the first stitch over, k1, slip the first stitch over, repeat from * to end of row.)

Cut the yarn and pull it through the remaining stitch.

Weave in the ends and you're all done!

Reader Comments (87)

Is there a less expensive yarn that would produce a lovely blanket that is machine-washable?
January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea Smith
funny, i knit this stitch naming it linnen ribbed stitch without knowing it already existed :-) i used it as the center for a shawl with a roses border in mosaic stitch.
it is on ravelry under the name "la dame aux roses" in my projects page as Zaz.
January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZaz
My sis and I are trying to make this and are a little confused. Is the close up picture of the blanket sideways? The knitting is actually going up and down in your picture, correct? We're going to keep trying b/c we love the pattern!
February 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz
Hi Chelsea Smith,

Yes, we can recommend some less expensive yarns! Try 4 skeins of Lorna's Lace's Shepherd Worsted ( or 6 skeins Spud & Chloe's Sweater ( Both would be less expensive but still machine washable and beautiful!

Good luck!
February 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Hi Liz,

Good question! Yes, the picture is sideways - when you knit the stitches will be oriented to look like V's.

If you want to practice on a small swatch before casting on all 179 stitches, just cast on a multiple of 4 plus 3 stitches (like 19, 23, or 27).

Let us know if you have any more questions and good luck!

February 2, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this blanket- but I would love to make one as a throw. How many skeins ( and cast on stitches) would you recommend for a throw? Also based on the fact that this will be a larger blanket, and the expense will increase...can you recommend a similar yarn but less expensive?
February 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
Hi Barbara,

If you give me an idea of how big you'd like your throw to be I'll be much better equipped to answer your questions. Everyone has such different ideas about what a "throw" actually is! So, give me the dimensions you have in mind and I'll get right back to you!

February 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
I chose Blue Sky Alpacas worsted hand dye in light blue. I have 6 skeins, which I'm knitting on 10.5 needles (I think, my addi turbos are impossible to read). After a couple of tries with different sized needles and different number of stitches, it looks like I'll have a blanket about 28" x 30". The combination of this stitch with this yarn feels like velvet! I don't think this will be the last blanket I make with this pattern. Thank you so much!
February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErica
Do you know anything about how superwash wool is made? I've heard that it is made using a plastic-like coating. I'm wondering about using this type of wool for a baby that will likely mouth the wool on a blanket. Thanks in advance for any information you have!
February 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Hi there! Gorgeous pattern but I'd like to make the blanket a little bigger. I'm a beginner and haven't learned how to figure that sort of thing out yet. I'd love to have a 36x40 blanket. How much more yarn would I need? And cast on stitches?

many thanks!
February 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKati
Hi Kati,

To determine how many to cast on, you multiply the gauge by the dimension. So, in this case, 7 1/2 times 36 equals 270. Then you need to round up or down for the stitch pattern to work out correctly. For this pattern you need a number that is a multiple of 4 plus 3. So 268 is a multiple of 4, plus 3 is 271. So cast on 271 stitches!

And I would guess that you need 11 skeins of Anzula's For Better or Worsted.

It sounds beautiful and good luck!
March 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Beautiful! I can't wait to get started tonight!

March 21, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
Hi! I have MANY babies in my future so I have gotten started tonight on what surly will not be the last of this blanket in my future. Just wondering if you can clarify one thing for me. When you slip the stitch, are you wanting to slip it purl or knit wise? I have been slipping it purl wise and it's looking good but it is looking a bit different than the picture. I think my gage it a bit looser than what your picture is showing which could be why it's looking a bit different but I just wanted to clarify that, in case anyone else it wondering.


May 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSummer
Hi Summer,

You're doing it right! You want to slip the stitch purlwise...

Good luck with this and all your baby blankets!

May 19, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
August 31, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersuzanne
The pattern says "Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 28 inches from the cast on edge. End with Row 2, ready to knit Row 1". I am confused about ready to knit row 1 after end with row 2. My thought is that if it ends with row 2. then, next would be bind off. Did I miss something?
September 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPeng
Hi Peng,

All I mean is that you WOULD be ready to knit row 1 if you weren't binding off. So, you're right, after knitting your final Row 2, you bind off...

Sorry for the confusion!

September 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Hi! I'd like to use Blue sky worsted
for this blanket. What size of needles/ how many skeins do I need? Is it machine washable? Thank you!
September 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteridele
Hi Idele,

I would use a US size 10 needle with the Blue Sky Worsted, although the ideal size depends both on your knitting tension and on your taste!

You'll need about 10 skeins of the Worsted, but because the Blue Sky is a bit thicker than the Anzula, you can expect a slightly bigger blanket.

And, to answer your last question, no, the Worsted is not machine washable, but it is, of course, hand washable!

Thanks for asking - your idea sounds so beautiful!
September 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
I made the investment in Anzula For Better or Worsted and am about halfway through this baby blanket. I love the stitch pattern --- it's almost like pleats!

I do have one question. I expected to be able to machine wash and dry this blanket but the yarn label says to hand wash and lay flat to dry. Will it truly be machine washable? I would hate to burden a new mom with a hand wash blanket.

Also, a word of warning: The "Ducky" yellow color is really sort of a mustard--- not what I expected. I decided to go ahead and knit it up and will probably embellish it with some other colors to brighten it up a bit. It's a lovely color but not what you'd typically see in a baby blanket.
September 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSunny
Hi Sunny-

Do not fear, this yarn really is machine washable!

Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

- Molly
September 13, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love the baby blanket but am actually very curious to where you got your Moses basket seen in the picture? I have been looking for one and am finding it very difficult to find one.
- Alisha
September 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlisha
Hi Alisha-

It's from Target! Here's the link:

Thanks for the question.

- Molly
September 19, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm thinking of knitting this with Madeline Tosh Merino- I'm guessing I'd need about 6 skeins- but do you think I should use a different size needle? Thanks!
September 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMichaela
I LOVE this stitch! I've been wanting to try it for a while and finally decided to test it on a scarf in chunky merino. It looks awesome - so lofty and cozy. Thanks Purl SOHO!! <3
September 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKelley Z
Hi Michaela,

If you're thinking of casting on the same number of stitches as this pattern, you should be fine with only five skeins of the Madeline Tosh Merino (each skein is actually 10 yards longer than the Anzula For Better or Worsted).

The best needle to use depends on your tension and your taste. If you know that you are a tight knitter, consider a US #10 or even #10.5. If you are an average knitter, I would guess a US #9 or #10. And if you are a loose knitter, try a US #9 or #8. Factor in also if you like a tight or loose knit. For this project, I personally prefer a looser knit so the blanket is really lofty and soft!

I think the Madeline Tosh Merino is great idea, by the way! A little bit more affordable, still machine washable, wonderfully soft and absolutely beautiful!

Thanks for your question and good luck!
September 28, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, I'm quite new to knitting (only ever done scarves with knit and purl stitches). I love the look of this blanket and set out to make one using US #9 circular needles (first time using circular needles!) and Paton's silk bamboo yarn (

Anyway, I tried to knit a small swatch first after casting on 19 stitches, and it really looks nothing to me like your beautiful blanket. Mine is quite hole-y and yours is tight (can't see through it) and I can barely make out the pattern on mine. What am I doing wrong? :(
November 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hi Stephanie,

It looks the Paton's Silk Bamboo you're using is a sportweight yarn. The Forever or Worsted that I used is a worsted, which means it's a bit thicker than yours. You can either stick with your #9 needles and switch to a worsted weight yarn, or you can use your yarn with a smaller a needle. Paton recommends a US #6, so that would be a good place to start. You may also want to cast on more stitches since smaller yarn will make a smaller blanket. This pattern works with any multiple of 4 plus 3 (for example, 4 x 5 = 20 + 3 = 23).

Thanks for your question and for challenging yourself! Good luck!
November 11, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I am a beginner and have only ever done knit and purl stitch. I am hoping that I can conquer this pattern for my sister's new baby.

I am opting for a different type of yarn and just wondered what weight yarn I should purchase. I like the look of the picture and would like to acheive something similar.

Thank you.
November 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Hi Melissa-

You should be able to tackle this, just make sure to practice the "sl 1 wyif" described in the "Note" in the pattern before you begin.

You should look for a worsted weight or aran weight yarn for this project. We have a lot of options available here:[]=6

Thanks so much for your question!
November 16, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Help! I am new to this an was doing great until I just made a mistake in R1. I knit 4 before sl 1 wyif. I only did it once, but it was the very first sequence in the row (only noticed when I finished the row as stitchees were off). I am afraid to take the row apart in case I lose some of the stitches......

What do I do?

Thank you for any help you can give me.
November 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
HI Melissa,

Instead of taking the stitches off your needles, you might want to "unknit" the row. It's much safer and not hard to do! I found this video which shows you how:

Fixing mistakes is daunting at first, but learning how to unknit will spare you a lot of stress. Good luck!

December 12, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I would really like to make this blanket using Malabrigo Rios. I'm pretty sure it is compatible with what the suggested yarn. Would you be able to tell me if I would need more or less of the yarn? I'm thinking maybe 6 skeins?
Thank you for any help you can give!
January 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
Hi Emily-

I'm not familiar with that particular yarn but you will need 1000 yards total of whatever yarn you choose to use.

Thank you for your question!

January 18, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
i was thinking of using Blue Sky Cotton for this blanket. Any thoughts on that substitution? Also any color suggestions for a baby of unknown sex? I'd like to do something more modern than a traditional light green or yellow.
February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hi Stephanie-

We love Blue Sky cotton so that seems like a great substitution. Just make sure to knit a swatch beforehand to make sure you're using the correct needle size. You don't need to worry too much about the gauge in this pattern because it doesn't have to fit anyone.

As for colors: Tomato and True Red are both beautiful and bright, Poppy is a luminous orange, and Stone is a lovely neutral. I think anyone of those would make a great unisex blanket.

Thank you for your fun question!

February 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

thanks for answering so quickly! one more question for you. how much will the cotton shrink? any care recommendations?

February 8, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
Hi Stephanie-

It shouldn't shrink at all and you can machine wash it on a gentle cycle or hand wash it.

Thanks for your question!

February 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm really hoping that someone can help me! I'm about 90% done with this blanket and I seem to have made a mistake. I now have what looks like a broken rib. It looks like my mistake was only about 2 rows back but with 179 stitches per row, taking it out is no small task.

I'm attempting to correct myself but I feel like this would be so much easier if I clearly understood which part of the stitch pattern made the V. Is it slipping the stitch that does this, knitting the stitch after the slipped stitch, or is it something else? I can usually think through my mistakes pretty easity but this one is really giving me a hard time.
February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterVMACAULAY
Hi VMacaulay,

The pronounced "V" stitch is the stitch that is slipped every other row. It is surrounded on either side by one column of garter stitch. I hope this helps to disentangle your knitting. Good luck - you're almost there!

February 12, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I absolutely love this pattern! I just finished the blanket, but i'm confused about the BO row. I've never done a BO in pattern before (to BO i usually just knit two stitches together, then slip the resulting one stich back onto the left needle and keep going like that until i don't have any stiches left). I understand the stitches for the BO row, but i'm not sure how it actually binds off, it seems like it would just be knitting another row. Could you offer a little more guidance on the BO row for this pattern? I would be forever grateful!!
June 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLJ
Hi LJ,

The way you're used to binding off is not actually a conventional technique. I'm glad you have this opportunity to learn the more usual way!

You are probably just confused by "slip the first stitch over". This means that when you have two stitches on your right needle, grab the first (or right hand) stitch with your left needle and pull it off the right needle, just letting it fall. There are tons of bind off videos on line if you need some visual help with all this!

Thanks so much for your question and good luck!
July 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpurlbee
Am just about to begin this blanket, the wool and needles and the other item I ordered turned up in only 8 days, incredible. Thanks so much

October 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLesli
I'm about 90% finished, and wondering which technique would be best to weave in my ends. I've checked out your page on the different ways of weaving in the ends, and was thinking the garter stitch, since part of this pattern is garter. What would you recommend?
Thanks so much for all of your beautiful projects, I plan on making many more sweaters, cowls, blankets, beanies.... you get the picture ;-)
~ Courtney
November 29, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney
HI Courtney,

When ribbing is involved I almost always use the technique described in our tutorial as "Weaving in Ends on the Vertical." I hope you're happy with the effect and with your finished blanket!

Thanks for asking!
December 3, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there,

Do you think it's possible to introduce other colours into this pattern, rather than just the one? If so, is it better to begin it on a row 1 or 2?

Also, I'm from Australia, so we don't tend to have a LOT of skeins (not that are easy to find anyway!) , so I'm just wondering, approximately what would be the ply of the wool be that you've used in this?

Thank you!

December 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJulia
HI there! I am about 50% done with this and it is just so gorgeous. I love it!!! I ended up using the Spud and Chloe yarn in grey, pink and cream...and I made big stripes with the pink and cream, with grey as the primary clolor. It's so pretty! This is a great pattern that I will make several times over! Excited to try more of the great stuff on purlbee!
December 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElyse
Hi Julia,

The transition row between colors may not be perfectly clean, but give it a try! It may look great!

I believe that in Australia this worsted weight yarn would be known as a 10-ply. Also, if you'd like to expand your choices, we do ship to Australia all the time. Here are our shipping rates and policies:

Thanks for your question! Let us know how it turns out!

December 19, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
this is only my second project ever (and my first is just quarter-finished as I wanted to try this!) and I'm having so much fun with it. It's an awesome combination of simple in execution and dynamic in look. and it is also really serving as a useful "exercise" project for me because it's teaching me to let go of perfectionism and embrace my "homemade" mistakes, pay attention to stitches enough to "unstitch" rather than just unravel, and pay attention to the pattern enough to decide on a corrective course of action knitting forward when a mistake is too far gone to be corrected.

anyway... enough about us...

like a poster above, I was also thinking of incorporating another color, but as a border. is there a border you would recommend for this? I was thinking of the one that goes with the "bulky baby blanket" pattern, but would you suggest any modifications to that in adapting it to this blanket, or suggest another border pattern altogether?

December 25, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermalzee
so... although (as mentioned above) I was going pretty strong on the blanket, I had one hole some rows back and thought that maybe it would be best to try to address it earlier rather than later. I know, I know, as this was only my second project, perhaps I should have just let it be and either loved it as a beginner's mistake or maybe even just taken another piece of yarn and sewing it up a little after I was all done. but alas... I got cocky and tried to follow some videos to fix it. but now I unraveled just that one stitch column, but because of the knit/slip combo I now am not exactly sure what to do :( I am sure you are quite quite busy but any chance you could walk me through how to close it back up and work my way back up to where I left off the knitting...?? the stitch currently unraveled is the slip (facing forward) -- although I also kind of think the stitch to the left of it (k1) might also be affected, but I at least had enough forethought to just undo one column at a time. ugh...
December 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermalzee

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