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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)

Hi Maizee,

As far as adding a border goes, a hazard you may run into is not getting the same horizontal stretch from the border that you get from the blanket's ribbing. In other words, a border would tend to bind the drape of the blanket.

If you'd like to give it a try anyway, then yes, the Bulky Blanket border would be a good choice. You'll want to first find out the gauge of your border stitch (i.e. stockinette). Then multiply the measurement of the edge of the blanket by the number of stitches you get per inch and pick up that number of stitches. For example, if in stockinette your gauge is 5 stitches to the inch and one edge of the blanket is 24 inches, then 5 x 24 = 120 stitches.

And as far as fixing your mistake goes, you'll want to pick up every other strand of the "ladder". So knit one strand, ignore the next, knit the next, and so on. If the adjacent knit column is also effected, then you'll pick up every strand.

Please let me know if you have any more questions! Thanks for these and for your intrepid spirit!

December 28, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Would a cotton yarn work? I am making two striped throws for my grandchildren using cotton yarn and love the feel. Could the yarn work for this as well?
May 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLilla
Hi Lilia,

Yes, absolutely! Blue Sky's Worsted Cotton would be a great choice, really soft and cuddly. You can find it right here:

If you want your blanket to be 24 x 28 inches, just make sure you get the same gauge with whatever yarn you choose!

Thanks for asking!
June 1, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Kym,

We underwent some site construction and accidentally lost your question! Luckily, I had it saved somewhere else. For other readers, it was this...

Hi, I would like to make this as a throw for an adult (thinking maybe 45 X 60. Can you help with the conversion, i.e. how much to cast on and also using larger needles to make it a little chunkier, say size 11 or 13?

So, to finally answer you... You'll first need to make a gauge swatch in the stitch pattern (cast on a multiple of 4 plus 3; 19 stitches, for example). Multiply the number of stitches you get per inch by the width of your intended blanket (45) and cast on the number of stitches that is closest to that number but is also a multiple of 4 plus 3.

If you're confused by any of this, please let us know your gauge and we'll work it out for you. Here's our tutorial on knitting a gauge swatch, in case you need it:

Thanks for your question!
August 2, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I've made the forever baby blanket and LOVED it! I am going to try making an infinity scarf with the same pattern, but as I go to knit it in the round, I'm having a hard time figuring the pattern out. Would I alternate every other row like this:
Row 1: K3, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to end of row.

Row 2: P1, *sl 1 wyib, p3, repeat from * to last 2 stitches, sl 1 wyib, p1.

This is just my best guess at how to knit this pattern in the round. Can you verify if it's right or help me otherwise? Thank you so much!
October 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeanne
Hi Jeanne,

To knit this stitch pattern flat you should cast on a multiple of 4 plus 3 stitches and then do almost exactly as you suggest, except for Row 2 you should...

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

Sounds beautiful! Thanks for your question and good luck!

October 15, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I have loved this blanket since it was first posted -- it truly feels timeless. I am expecting my first baby and finally have the opportunity to knit this blanket.

I typically use a long-tail cast on. Would this cast on be appropriate for the stitch pattern? Since the bind off edge is in the rib pattern is there another cast on method that would better match the bind off?


October 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLB
Hi LB,

I almost always use a long tail cast on (including when I knit this blanket!). For ribs some knitters use what'scalled a tubular cast on. It bears some resemblance to a provisional cast on but is designed to look and feel like the rib pattern that follows it. It's a fairly challenging technique, and I'm not sure how it will work out with this particular stitch pattern, but you might care to look into it!

Thanks so much for asking and please let us know if you have any other questions. Congratulations, too, on your coming baby!

October 30, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This blanket is beautiful. I love this stitch. I am using Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn" Ombre in Pastels. It is so soft and warm. I will be making more blankets with the pattern. Thank you so much!
December 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRochelle
Whitney - I notice that you've gone up several needle sizes (to a 9) over the sizes (4-7) usually recommended for "For Better or Worsted". Do you recommend doing this for other yarns we might use for this pattern as well? I'm using Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJanet
Hi Janet,

Well, a few things... First, the needle recommendations on all yarn labels (and in all knitting patterns!) should always be taken with a grain of salt, both because everyone knits at his or her own tension and because the ideal gauge depends on the project. For blankets, I tend to use a bigger-than-normal needles because a bit looser means a bit softer and more drapey.

If I were using Debbie Bliss's Cashmerino Aran, I would probably use a US #9 needle like I did here. But you may want to experiment a little to find the needle size you like best with this stitch pattern for this project.

I hope this steers you in the right direction. Please let us know if you have any other question and thanks for this one!

January 15, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there,

Like a previous poster I too would like to make a larger blanket, (the 45 X 60 sounds good). I purchased 11 balls of Spice Berry, Wasabi because of the softness and lovely combination of colors in it. The gauge says 12 sts X 16 rows = 4" with size 9 needle. Upon reading your comments I noted you said we need about 1000 yards of yarn for the baby blanket. It seems like I only have enough for the baby blanket size and will have to order more to make the larger blanket, but I'm not sure about needle size and quantity of yarn. Can you help? Thanks. It looks to be a beautiful blanket.
January 25, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaila
Hi Laila,

I'm not familiar with Wasabi yarn (and don't see it in the internet), but it sounds quite a bit thicker than the For Better Or Worsted, which is normally 4 1/2 to 5 stitches per inch on a US #4-7 needle. I used a bigger needle than suggested to have a nice loose and soft fabric.

So, you'll have to experiment with needles a little bit to see what you like with the Wasabi and the stitch pattern. Like us, you may want to go up a couple of needle sizes for your blanket!

And your blanket size is four times the size of ours, so you'll need 4000 yards, although probably less since your yarn is thicker!

Please let us know if you have any more questions; thanks for these; and good luck!

January 28, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Forgive me because I am a brand new knitter. I want to make this a little larger but I need some guidance please.
I can easily figure out to make it longer to simply keep knitting.

BUT, I need help to figure out how to increase the cast on for the width if I want it to be closer to say 36" wide instead of 24". Would you kindly help me please? It doesn't have to be exactly 36" wide but sort of closer to that than 24.

Thank you kindly.
February 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
Hi Diane-

I would cast on 271 stitches to get a 36-inch wide blanket. Just make sure you are getting the correct gauge before you start!

If you're interested in how I got the number 271 here's the math:

This stitch pattern will only work with a cast on that's a multiple of 4 plus 3.

You should be getting 7.5 stitches per inch in the pattern. 7.5 X 36 (the desired width) = 270. Round that down to the nearest multiple of 4, which is 268, and then add 3= 271.

Thanks for your question!

February 24, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I am a beginner knitter and this is my first time using a pattern, so far the only thing I have made is a scarf. I had a question about the pattern and apologize if my question is silly. When starting row 2 stitch pattern does it matter if you do it front or back?

Thank you for your help!
February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClorinda
Hi Clorinda,

No questions are silly, but I'm not sure I understand what you're asking. Are you asking about slipping with the yarn in front? Or are you wondering how to turn the work in order to start the next row? Or are you unsure of where the working yarn should be? Or is it something else?

If you're still wondering, please clarify a little bit and we'll be happy to help!

March 3, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney,

Sorry for the confusion. I am wondering how to turn the work in order to start Row 2. Also I am making this blanket for a baby that is about 2 months old, I figure it is going to take me awhile to make this blanket should I make it a little bigger.

Thank you for your help!
March 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClorinda Emerson
Hi Whitney,
This might sound silly but why a circular needle? It would seem that this would Create a tube, rather than something flat. Maybe I'm thinking of the wrong kind of needle?

March 7, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Hi Melissa-

In this case you are using a circular needle but not knitting in a circle. You simply do not join to work in the round at the end of the first row. Instead, treat the two ends of the needle as separate needles, switching them in your hands after each row. It's no different than knitting with two separate needles except that the cord connecting the needles holds the width of the blanket as you go.

We actually use Addi Turbe circular needles for most of our projects because they are less bulky than straight needles and because they knit very smoothy.

Thank you for your question!

March 7, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Clorinda,

Thanks for clarifying! To turn the work in order to start the next row, you simply put the end of the needle that was in your right hand into your left hand, and the needle that was in your left hand into your right. This turns the whole work so that the side that was facing away from you is now facing you, and the working yarn is coming from the left needle. When you insert the right needle into the first stitch and knit it, the working yarn will then be coming from the right needle, ready to work the rest of the row.

Since making the blanket bigger just takes longer, I would maybe stick with this size, but if you do want to add a couple of inches, cast on 187 stitches instead of 179.

I hope this gets you on the right path. Please let us know if you have any more questions and thanks for these!

March 10, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this pattern. Question... I am so new to pattern reading.
Row 1: K3, *sl 1 wyif, k3, repeat from * to end of row.
This means:

Row 1: K3, *sl 1 wyif, k3, *sl 1 wyif, k3

I always get confused.
March 13, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey
Hi Lindsay,

When a pattern says "repeat from * to end of row", you should repeat the instructions from the asterisk to the word "repeat" over and over until you reach the end of the row. In this case, you will repeat "sl 1 wyif, k3", starting with a k3, so k3, sl 1 wyif, k3, sl 1 wyif, k3, sl 1 wyif, k3, etc all the way to the end of the row. Note that, unless the pattern says otherwise, you should end the row exactly at the end of the instruction you are repeating, i.e. with a k3.

I hope this clears things up for you. Please let us know if you have any more questions and good luck!

March 17, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I am thinking of knitting this blanket (in adult size) with this yarn, what size needles and how many skeins do you recommend?

Thanks in advance :)

ps I love your knitting! :D
March 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJana
Hi Jana-

Thanks! We are not familiar with that yarn but it does seem like it's a fairly similar weight to the original yarn Whitney knit this in. The needle size depends on your personal gauge but the link you sent recommends a US 7 or 8 needle so I'd try that.

The amount of yarn you need will also depend on the gauge and the finished size you'd like. But, as a rough estimation, if you're getting the same gauge as the pattern recommends you will need approximately 1000 yards per every 4 square feet. So for a blanket that was 5 feet by 6 feet you would probably end up needing 7500 yards.

I hope this helps!

March 25, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, I would like to make a throw size of this pattern. I was thinking something like 60x60 - do you think this would look good in this size and how many skeins would I need. If you could explain how to calculate the number of skeins that would be great. From previous posts I get a cast on number of 447.

Thanks in advance

April 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
Hi Melissa,

Yes, I think this stitch would make an incredible throw! To calculate the number of skeins you'll need, you first figure out how many square inches this blanket is: 24 x 28 = 672 square inches. Then you figure out how many square inches one skein can knit: 672 / 5 (skeins) = 134 square inches. Then you calculate how many square inches your throw will be: 60 x 60 = 3600 square inches. And finally you divide that number by how many square inches 1 skein can make: 3600 / 134 = 27 skeins (which, by the way, is 5400 yards).

Please let us know if you need any more help with calculations. Thanks for your question and good luck!

April 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am so impressed with your patient answers to everyone's questions. I worked a swatch of 19 like you suggested, and all went well. But when I tried 179 to make a baby blanket, I just could not get it to work. I tried for days. I really want to do this beautiful pattern. I am a beginner knitter so please help.
April 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKim Hughes
Hi Kim,

If you were able to figure out a 19-stitch swatch, then I know you'll be able to master the same pattern over 179 stitches. Don't despair!

Since it seems you understand the concept of the repeats and the way the pattern is written (again, since you made it work over 19 stitches), then my best guess is that you're losing count and making some small mistake somewhere along the way.

But to really diagnose the problem, I need to know what's happening. Do you end up with the wrong number of stitches at the end of the row? Which row? All of them? Or does the stitch pattern just not look right?

Please let us know so we can help straighten you out!

April 21, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Whitney,

I love this blanket and would like to make a couple for my granddaughters to use as a throw while they’re growing up. I want to make it with Cascade Superwash 128 (so soft)! Can you tell me how many stitches to bind on using a #9 circular needle so it would be about 45” wide and around 60” long? I cannot ever figure these things out and feel so dumb! Also, is it thick enough, or should I double the yarn? I want to make it yummy for them to love forever.

Thanks for any help you can just looks beautiful!
May 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Hi Nancy,

First of all, since the Cascade 128 is a really soft, chunky weight yarn, your blanket will be super cuddly using just one strand.

Then, as far as how many stitches to cast on, you will have to first figure out your gauge. To make a gauge swatch, cast on 23 stitches and follow the pattern instructions for about 4 inches. Measure how many stitches per inch you're getting, then multiply that number by the width you want (45). Find the closest number that is also a multiple of 4 plus 3. That is your cast on number!

If this sounds confusing or overwhelming, please feel free to write in with your gauge and we'll help you figure out how many stitches to cast on!

Thanks so much for your questions and good luck!

May 12, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

I need some help, originally I wanted to make this baby blanket for my cousin before she had her baby. I never had the time. Now the baby is 8 months and I figure by the time I finish he will be 1. What size blanket do I make and can I still make this one. I already bought the US #9, 32 inch circular needle needed.

Thank you for the help!
July 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterClorinda Emerson
Hi Clorinda,

To make the blanket bigger, you will, of course, need to cast on more stitches. For this stitch pattern, the number of cast on stitches has to be a multiple of 4 plus 3. For example, 4 x 44 = 176 + 3 = 179.

A good size to shoot for might be 30 x 36 inches. So in that case, you'd cast on 30 x 7.5 (the gauge) = 225; then you figure out that the nearest number that is a multiple of 4 plus 3 is 227, and that's your cast on number. You then follow the pattern as it's written.

If you need more help, please let us know. We'd be happy to get you on the right path! Thanks for your question and good luck!

July 7, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Lovely pattern - made a scarf for my boyfriend in a lovely dark grey which looks great. I have a question about working this in the round (I'm a big fan of cowls!) and not sure if this question has already been asked. For working in the round, would it be a case of simply repeating Row 1 until the required height is reached?

Thanks in advance.
July 11, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGemma

If I am getting two columns of garter stitch(or some stitch!) in between each V column, what am I doing incorrectly?

In my pattern, the V columns are more spaced out than your pattern. Not sure where I am misreading the pattern.
July 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJana
Hi Jana,

You should end up with three columns between your columns of "v"s: two garter stitch columns on either side of the wrong side of a "v" column. As you knit, the rib pulls in a little and the three columns scrunch together, not looking so wide. So, it could be that you're not doing anything wrong!

However, if you still think you are, I think the most likely place to go awry is with slipping the stitch, so be sure to double check the Note at the beginning of the pattern that explains how to slip with the yarn in front.

Please let us know if you still have doubts and we'll get you on the right path!

July 14, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Gemma,

No, it wouldn't be quite so easy, but it's not hard either! Here's what you'd do...

Cast on a multiple of 4 stitches.

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

Round 2: P1, *sl 1 with yarn in back, p3, repeat from * to last 3 stitches, sl 1 wyib, p2.

Please let us know if you run into any problems and thanks so much for your question!

July 14, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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