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« Purl Soho's Holiday Gift List 2011! | Main | Laura's Loop: Paint Pail Mittens »

Whit's Knits: Hudson's Bay Inspired Crib Blanket

We love the Hudson's Bay Blanket for its classic simplicity and beauty. And maybe more, we love the underlying belief that, even in the midst of the great Canadian wilderness with its arduous cold and haunting vastness, the Hudson's Bay Blanket will protect us. 

Originally, the Hudson's Bay Blanket's lightweight warmth and insulation made it common barter for Native American goods, like beaver pelts, buffalo robes and moccasins. But in the last three hundred years the Hudson Bay Blanket has come a long way. Now it is practically a national symbol to many Canadians, and to the rest of the world, an unmistakable design icon.

I love the idea of a handknit version, borrowing the iconography of the original and lending it a little homemade twist! Sized for a baby's crib, I'm also tickled by the notion of a small child wrapped in the gear of a rugged adult. No baby in sight? Use it as a gorgeous throw over your favorite chair, in front of a roaring fireplace. It may not be an open fire deep in a white pine forest, but, hey, you're probably not a fur trapper either!

For this special project we turned to Anzula's absolutely gorgeous For Better or Worsted. A merino, cashmere, nylon blend, it is the perfect blanket yarn with its machine washable durability and cuddly soft coziness. And its quirky hand dyed colors give the Hudson's Bay Blanket a fresh look, warm and bright!

So, for a great barter idea this holiday season, give a handknit Hudson's Bay Crib Blanket. In exchange, you'll get a whole lot of love!

The Materials

  • Anzula's For Better Or Worsted, 80% Superwash Merino Wool , 10% Cashmere and 10% Nylon. You'll need:
    • 6 skeins of Au Natural
    • 1 skein of Teal
    • 1 skein of Ducky
    • 1 skein of Candied Apple
    • 1 skein of Juniper


The Pattern


19 stitches = 4 inches in garter stitch

Finished Size

34 inches wide and 39 inches long (Note: Garter stitch has a tendency to stretch, so your blanket will "grow" beyond these dimensions.)


  • When this pattern refers to "ridges", it means a garter stitch ridge which is formed by knitting two rows. Counting "ridges" is an easy way to determine how many rows you have knitted without having to count as you work. But if you find this confusing, just multiply the number of ridges given by 2 and that is how many rows you should knit (ie 6 ridges is 12 rows).
  • Always change colors with the right side facing you, so that all of the tails are along the same selvedge.


With the Main Color (Au Natural), cast on 162 stitches.

Knit until piece measures 4 1/2 inches from the cast on edge (or 21 ridges).

With the Teal, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit 6 ridges.

With the Ducky, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit 6 ridges.

With the Candied Apple, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit 6 ridges.

With the Juniper, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit for 11 3/4 inches (or 53 ridges).

With the Juniper, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit 6 ridges.

With the Candied Apple, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit 6 ridges.

With the Ducky, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit 6 ridges.

With the Teal, knit 6 ridges.

With the Main Color, knit 4 1/2 inches (or 21 ridges).

Bind off loosely in knit stitch.

Weave in the ends and tada!

Reader Comments (85)

As always,your taste is impecable and your choices have a distinctly modern and classic flair. Thanks again Whitney! Thanks too,Purl!
November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBambi marksohn
This is so simply pure and beautiful... I'm not a big knitter but am saving this little project! Need to find out a bit more about circular needles first.. Thanks for sharing!
November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterFrambooske
Hi Readers-

If anyone out there is looking for a less expensive yarn to make this blanket in here are a few suggestions:

Cascade 220- 6 Skeins of Ecru, and 1 each of the accent colors. This yarn is very reasonably priced and 100% natural wool. It isn't machine washable (neither is the original Hudson Bay Blanket!) but it handwashes beautifully.

Cascade 128- 10 Skeins of Ecru and 1 each of the accent colors. This yarn is a slightly thicker gauge, so you would probably want to move up to a size 9 or 10 needle. It is machine washable and comes in great colors!

Blue Sky Cotton- 8 Skeins of Bone and 1 each of the accent colors. This is the softest, easiest to work with cotton around. It's machine washable and comes in great colors!

Happy knitting everyone!
November 23, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love it! If I wanted to make a full-size blanket out of this pattern, what adjustments would I have to make dimension-wise and materials-wise?
November 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDrea
Hi - I love this pattern. I don't see the Juniper colour on your site - do you know if you will be getting any in any time soon? Thanks!
November 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermarianellen
Hi Maianellen-

The Juniper should be back in stock shortly. If you'd like to place an order for it now you can go ahead and place an order. Then in the "special instructions" section just request that the order is held until the Juniper is in stock.

Alternatively you can email and ask that they drop you a line when it comes back in stock.

Thanks for the question!

November 28, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
If using the Blue Sky Cotton, would you still recommend using a #7 needle?
November 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMerleelah
Hi Merleelah-

If you are a tight knitter you might want to move up to a size 8 or 9. The best thing to do would be to knit a gauge and use whatever needle gives you 19 stitches over 4 inches in garter stitch.

Thanks so much for your question!

November 29, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am knitting the Hudson's Bay Inspired Baby
blanket. As far as I can tell, your estimate of how much yarn "Au Natural" is needed is way off. Perhaps my math is wrong but it seems to me that this requires almost 10 skeins of Au Natural. Please double check the pattern instructions and get back to me. Thank You. Nancy Blanford
December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy Blanford
Hi Nancy-

It definitely only took 6 skeins. Please check your gauge and the blanket measurements if it seems like you're using a lot more yarn.

Thanks for the question!

December 2, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Is the Blue Sky Cotton the "worsted" cotton?
December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaurel
Is your Blue Sky Cotton the same thing as Blue Sky Worsted Cotton?
December 7, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaurel
Hi Laurel-

It is the same thing. Thanks for your question!

- Molly
December 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am getting ready to start this blanket, and am just wondering if you only used one strand of yarn to knit it with? Sometimes I have seen people using two, just want to make sure I am doing it right. Thanks!
December 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Hi Christine-

This pattern uses just one strand of yarn. Our patterns will always let you know if you need to be using two strands.

Thanks so much for your question!

- Molly
December 8, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Drea,

To make the blanket bigger, you should multiply the gauge-per-inch (ie 4.75) times the size you'd like (for example, 50 inches) and cast on that number (237 or 238 stitches)

Make sure to also proportionately increase the sizes of the stripes and the distances between them. For example, if you want a blanket 58 inches long (which is 1 1/2 times longer than the original 39 inches), the stripes would be 39:58 as 6 (ridges):x. So, 9 ridges (58 / 39 x 6 = 9)!

You should have plenty of the contrast colors for a much bigger blanket, and for the Au Natural color, again, figure out proportionately how much bigger your blanket is than the original and get that much more of the main color. If you overestimate, remember that you can exchange any unused, unwound skeins (within 6 months) for your next project!

Thanks for your question. If you have specific measurements in mind and are feeling overwhelmed by the math, I'm happy to figure it all out for you!

December 12, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Just wanted to say thanks so much for the beautiful pattern ... and then a hearty thank-you for the less-expensive yarn option in the comment area! Much appreciated. When I did the math I realized the little crib blanket would cost upwards of $350 US for my materials only... so offering a complete breakdown of the # skeins needed and types of yarn is so wonderful. I am really excited to make this, it is absolutely adorable and looks like such a fun project. Thank you again!
January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCanadianJane
I've never knitted anything. Would this be a good project for a beginner?
January 22, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBagne
Hi Bagne-

The skills involved in this project are appropriate for a beginner but it is quite a lot of knitting. We usually recommend that people start out with a quicker first project, usually a scarf in garter stitch.

Thank you for your question-

January 23, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I would like to make this in a washable yarn. What can I use? How much of it, etc. Thanks.
February 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEnid C. Band
Hi Enid-

This yarn is machine washable, which is one of the (many) reasons we love it!

Thanks for your question!

February 13, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
thanks for the great pattern... i wanted to echo Canadian Jane... i hyperventilated a bit at the prospect of a $350 crib blanket...even tho i am excited to be welcoming another grandchild... so thanks for the options. this website is an absolute inspiration.
February 16, 2012 | Unregistered Commentergaildugas
Just finished this blanket using some ecru yarn that was taking up space in my hope chest along with leftovers from the "Super Simple Baby Blanket" for the stripes. I love the way this blanket looks and feels. Thank you so much for reigniting my passion for knitting.
March 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl
I am just starting this beautiful project! (I am Canadian, where the Hudson Bay Blanket is very much a national symbol.)

But I have a quick question; I'm opting to use one of the more cost effective cottons, the Blue Sky worsted cotton, which is listed as machine washable. But the Blue Sky website lists it as hand washable only. Do I need to do anything extra to the yarn to ensure machine washability? Silly question, but I appreciate the answer! Thanks :)
March 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah
Hi Sarah-

It's not a silly question! Even though the Blue Sky Cotton says it's hand wash only we have machine washed countless things we've made from it and they've all been fine. You donn't have to do anything special to it beforehand.

Thanks for writing in.

March 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Is doubling the size of the Hudson Bay baby blanket = to a usually sized afghan? Could you give me the yarn needed for same at 200 yds. per skein. Thank you very much for your reply. Ruth
March 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRuth
Hi Ruth,

Doubling the size would result in a 68 x 78 inch throw. I would say that the "usual" afghan is something more like 48 x 58. For such a blanket you would cast on 228 stitches (provided you get the same gauge as we did). And you would need about 12 of the natural colored skeins, but I suspect you would get away with just one of each of the accent colors.

Good luck and thanks for asking!
March 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Help! I made this using Cascade 128 and it came out beautifully. But when I washed it (in Cold water with Color Catchers and after testing a swatch in the sink) the red ran and now the white is pink. I am just heartsick about it.

Any tips out there on anything I can try to save this? Thanks so much.

June 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara
I just love this....I had the pattern and it was on to make pretty...
July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
When you use circular needles and the pattern
calls for all garter stitch don't you knit one row
and purl the next row because of the
circular needles? Then one knit row and
purl row would be a ridge?
July 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRhonda
I love this. My neighbor (from Canada) just got married. Due to time limit, I am thinking this in a quilt would be awesome. Thanks for the perfect idea!
July 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJody
Hi Rhonda. Great question. In this case, the circular needles are to be treated like straight needles. You will not be working in the round, you will be working flat, back and forth. So, you will the knit every row. If you were working in the round and wanted a garter fabric, you would knit one round, purl one round. It is a small, but important difference! Let us know if you have any other questions! -Laura
July 6, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, Rhonda,
Regarding your question about garter stitch on circular needles, unless you are "knitting in the round", you would knit every row. With this pattern, you are knitting flat, just on circular needles.

July 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLisa
I just wanted to post an update with good news to say that I was able to get the red color-run out of the blanket and the ecru is ecru again! The blanket is back to normal colors and t is now drying happily. Thanks so much for the folks at Purl Soho for giving me advice. I also did some research on Ravelry that was helpful. I ended up using Carbona Color Run Remover (which says on the label to NOT use on things that have run on themselves, so I was very nervous, but not much to lose, right?) and used it very carefully without agitating the blanket and it amazingly lifted the color and the red did not bleed any more. In testing (I made and tested on a swatch first), I found that the red seems to need a bit of agitation to start to run - it didn't seem to run until I squeezed and rubbed it some, but once it starts running it doesn't stop . So if you use the Cascade 128 yarn (which is lovely and soft and cushy), I would recommend that you do not put it in the washing machine (I have a front loader and it still ran), but either spot clean, or handwash gently in cool water - do not rub/squeeze/agitate the red! :)
July 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSara
That is wonderful news! Thanks so much for sharing about the Carbona Color Run Remover too.
--Purl Bee
July 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Help, yes, my head is hurting from the math- hate to be a suck, but I would love to do a larger version of this for the hockey games, if you could do the math! Maybe a double bed size- guessing that is the size of most afghans? Thanks so much.
October 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSherri
Hi Sherri,,

To figure out how many to cast on just multiply your gauge by the width of the blanket. For example, if like me, you get 4 3/4 stitches to the inch in garter stitch and you want a 48-inch wide blanket, you would multiply 4.75 x 48 and cast on 228 stitches!

Let me know if you have any other questions! Sounds like a really cozy hockey game!

October 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi I'm knitting this for a baby who is going to born in a few months. About how long does theism take to knit. (This pattern is absolutely adorable!)
October 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCathrine
Hi Catherine,

That's so hard to say! Maybe between 18 and 22 hours? It depends so much on your speed, but at least it's easy!

Thanks for asking and good luck getting it done!

October 17, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
My daughter wanted to knit this for a friends baby. I know you said about 18-22 hours, but how long would it take an 11 year old?
November 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjanie
Hi Janie,

It depends on the 11 year old, but I will say it's an awful lot of knitting! If she's a confident young knitter with a lot of patience and stick-to-it-iveness, I would hate to discourage her!

What a wonderful idea she has; I wish her tons of luck!

November 9, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi there,

This blanket is so beautiful and I'm hopefully going to have a crack at making it in the coming weeks, but I just have a little question: if I wanted to make this in the 'full-grown' size (48x58), would I still use the same length of needles (32"), or would I need to go up to the next length?

Thanks for your help.
November 18, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJosette
Hi Josette,

You could probably get the stitches onto a 32-inch needle, but I imagine that a 40-inch might be more comfortable!

Thanks for your question and I love your idea!

November 26, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm relatively new to knitting and was wondering if you could give me an idea on the best way to switch colors when knitting this blanket? I absolutely adore it but there seem to be so many different ways to change colors out there. And on circular needles, to me, is a little confusing. Thanks so much. Ann
January 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
Hi Ann,

To switch colors you cut the yarn that you're not using any more, leaving at least an eight-inch tail that you will later weave in. Then you simply knit the first stitch of the next row with your new yarn (again leaving a generous tail). There's nothing tricky to worry about, and any looseness you may notice in that first stitch will be remedied when you weave in the tail.

I hope this helps. Thanks so much for your question!
January 7, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Im a new knitter and was wondering if you could you post the exact instructions for making this into a larger size blanket-
March 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentersarajoe
Hi sarajoe-

Unfortunately we don't have the time right now to change the scale of this blanket but thank you so much for writing in with the suggestion!

March 21, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'm planning to make this, but bigger -- do you think I could do double the size with still just one ball each of the accent colours?
April 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristel
Hi Kristel,

I'm afraid that the best answer I can give you is probably! I'm 90% sure that you'll be fine, but I can't honestly remember how much yarn I had left over, and the remainders have long since been made into hats and mittens and who-knows-what!

Thanks for asking and good luck!
April 29, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Ok I'll be sure to weigh as I go! Thanks!
May 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKristel

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