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Tuesday
Nov292011

Whit's Knits: Eleventh Hour Blanket

It's not too late to wrap your favorite people in hand knit love! True, starting a knitted blanket now would normally be a recipe for big time holiday stress; but since we should all banish yuletide overdrive from our lives, I decided to design a blanket that, even if you worked at a leisurely pace, you could start now (or next week!) and be done in plenty of time for Christmas!

Of course, for this plan to work the blanket would have to be the kind of beautiful gift you love to give. And so for inspiration, I turned to a perennial Purl Bee favorite, the Eleventh Hour Scarf, and borrowing the concept, the yarn and the stitch pattern, the Eleventh Hour Blanket was born!

Doubling Cascade's very soft and very bulky Magnum means not only a quick knit, but a deep and toasty blanket, perfect for cuddling and snoozing. It may not be the eleventh hour to the holiday season, but as far as knitting blankets goes, it is!

 

The Materials

 

The Pattern

Gauge

About 3 1/2 stitches = 4 inches in seed stitch, with yarn doubled and using the larger needles

Finished Size

42 inches x 52 inches

Begin

NOTE

  • For the Main Color, you will use the Magnum doubled. The best way to do this is to pull from two balls at once. For the seventh ball, just pull one strand from the inside of the ball and one strand from the outside. If you don't have a swift and ball winder to wind a center-pull ball, never fear, you can do it by hand! Click here for a great video that shows you how!

With two strands of the Main Color and the circular needles, cast on 45 stitches.

Row 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Repeat Row 1 until you have used all seven skeins, leaving enough yarn for the bind off row.

Bind off loosely in k1, p1 pattern.

I-Cord Edge

NOTES

  • For the I-Cord Edge you will no longer double the yarn. You'll use just one strand of the Contrast Color, like normal!
  • I like to use a Provisional Cast On for this kind of edging so that, later, I can graft the two ends together. If you feel overwhelmed by a Provisional Cast On, then just cast on as usual and you can sew the ends together when you're through.

With one strand of the Contrast Color and the double pointed needles, cast on 3 stitches.

Starting a few inches from a corner, make an Attached I-Cord around the entire blanket, picking up 1 stitch for every row or stitch.

AT THE CORNERS

When you get to a corner, knit 1 row of the I-cord without attaching it (in other words, just knit 3 stitches and slide them to the right end of the needle), then pick up a stitch at the corner (knit 2, slip 1, yarn over, pick up 1 stitch, pass the yarn over and slipped stitch over), make 1 more row without attaching, and then continue the Attached I-cord as usual.

Finishing

When you have knitted the Attached I-Cord all the way around, then use the Kitchener Stitch to graft the two ends together. (If you didn't use a Provisional Cast On, then just sew the two ends together.)

Weave in the ends and enjoy your big, cozy blanket!

Reader Comments (100)

Great blanket! For finishing, can you recommend something other than the attached I-Cord?
November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAna
This looks so comfy and soft! I love it. Thanks so much for another gorgeous pattern.
November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCandice @ Sailing on Paper
Hi Ana-

You don't need to add the I-cord at all, the blanket would still be beautiful without it, and quicker! Or if you want an alternative boarder you could do a single crochet around the edge, or sew a blanket stitch around the edge with a large tapestry needle.

Thanks for the question!

Molly
November 30, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
toasty.
November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPetra
i'm greedy - i want to make this for myself!
December 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteralexis
This looks great! I'd love to make one (or several!)! Any idea where I can get those needles without spending a fortune?
December 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterCharlotte
make them out of wooden doweling...the double points I mean..
December 1, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterval
I love this! it looks amazingly cozy and comfy - looks like a MUST knit!
December 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermeg
I realize I picked up knitting again after a long absence but I thought the seed stitch is k1 p1 1st row then p1 k1 2nd row and continued like this for the seed stitch pattern. If so, I'm confused with your directions for seed stitch.
Row 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Repeat Row 1 until you have used all seven skeins, leaving enough yarn for the bind off row.
Thanks.
December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara
Hi Barbara-

The pattern for seed stitch depends on how many stitches you cast on. For an even number of stitches your pattern is correct. But for an odd number of stitches, as in this pattern, our pattern is correct. It can seem confusing but we promise it works if you just go ahead and give it a try.

Thanks so much for your question!

- Molly
December 5, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Beautiful Blanket! Would this work as a last minute baby blanket, too? How would I have to adjust sizing?
Thanks a lot,
Viviane
December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterViviane
Hi Viviane-

This could work in any size, but if you're making it into a baby blanket please keep in mind that it's not machine washable. (It is hand washable however.)

To make it in a baby size you could cast on 23 stitches for a blanket that is 26 inches wide. You could knit until it was 26-inches long for a square, or any length you like.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
December 5, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
thanks a lot, Molly! One more question: Could you maybe suggest another yarn for this blanket?
Thanks,
Viviane
December 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterViviane
Hi VIviane-

You could use any very bulky yarn for this.

Outer would make a bit thinner but washable version (you might want to go down a needle size or two):http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/5885-Spud-Chloe-Outer

We chose the Cascade Magnum because it's such an exceptional value since you get 123 yards on a skein.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
December 6, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Can you confirm the needle size? 36s sound like knitting on, as a friend said, tennis racquet handles. I haven't been able to find them at stores or online, and the link Purl Bee provides in the Materials list links to a selection that maxes out at size 19 (the largest size I've been able to find elsewhere as well). I'm running out of hours, so let us know :)
December 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterleigh
Hi Leigh-

They are indeed a size 36, which is bigger than a size 19. We are currently sold out but they should be back in stock, at the link posted in the story, by Monday. If you'd like to be emailed when we get them in please drop our warehouse a line at customerservice@purlsoho.com

Thanks for the question!

- Molly
December 7, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Nice that the 36's are verified.. I have 19's and RH Craft yarn...77sts...it looks fabulous and my son will not wreck it in the wash. NEXT I can make another with my wool yarns, as really this is beautiful! Thanks!
December 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterval
So I'm definitely in need of an eleventh hour project! About how fast is this project?
December 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterEmily
You could also bind it as a quilt with a nice printed fabric. It would keep it from stretching over time.

I figured out you are just using the circular needle for its length, in order to hold that ammount of stitches, but are knitting in straight rows and not in rounds, right? Maybe it would be worth the mention.

Thanks for the beautiful pattern.
December 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commentercarmen
Hi Emily-

It all depends on how fast of a knitter you are but it would probably be cutting it too close to start it now for Christmas or the last day of Channukah.

If you're looking for something you could actually make in one sitting we would suggest the eleventh hour scarf: http://www.purlbee.com/bulky-knit-scarf/2008/12/19/whits-knits-the-eleventh-hour-scarf.html

Thanks for the question! - Molly
December 22, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What other yarn could you use besides Magnum? I would like to have my Mother knit this, but I think the yarn is a little expensive.
January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCathy
Hi Cathy-

Unfortunately we don't carry anything this thick that is less expensive. We find the Magnum yarn to be a very good value because you get so much yardage and it's 100% wool. If you'd like to cut down on the cost you could make it a bit smaller and not add the I-cord edging.

Thank you very much for your question!

Molly
January 4, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Simply lovely!! Seed stitch on doubled up super bulky is probably my favorite thing to knit!
January 4, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
About the 11th hr blanket, it really looks ingenius and I cannot wait to begin the project. Thanks to AllFreeKnitting to sponsor this wonderful Purl Bee site and too many thanks to Purl Bee for the donation. I adore it so much, I would like to advertise this pattern via a coat! What do you think folks?
January 4, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterpatricia
If I am going to knit a project I want it to last a couple of generations so I appreciate you using this wonderful yarn. If its worth doing-do it right!.
Thank you for the free pattern. I love the look of the completed blanket.
January 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Hello all!

Thank you for this very lovely pattern!

I am almost done the main color and I just measured it. 44x72!!!

Yet, I bought this exact wool, in the right quantity... But now I have an extra-long blanket!

Did anyone else experience this? I didn't knit very tightly, I don't know why it's gotten so long!
January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEmilie-Anne
I am new to this link. I just found it today. The llth hour blanket sounds just beautiful and I would love to make it. I donate almost all of my work to charity, so I try to keep my costs down. Can you tell me more about this beautiful yarn you are talking about, and where can I buy it? I can't wait to get started!!!!!!!!!!
Susie
January 7, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSusie
Hi Susie-

The yarn is called Magnum and it's available at our online store here, http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/650-Cascade-Yarns-Magnum

Thank you for your question!

Molly
January 8, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Some of my childres and I are allergic to wool. Do you have any other suggestions for the yarn?
January 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLinda
Hi Linda-

Unfortunately we don't have anything this bulky that doesn't contain wool. You could make a beautiful blanket using a Blue Sky Cotton that has been doubled but it would be much less bulky so you wouldn't be able to follow this pattern. You would probably use a US #11 needle. Here is a link to that yarn: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/721-Blue-Sky-Blue-Sky-Cotton

Thank you for your question-

Molly
January 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have been wanting to make a bigger version of this to fit the top of my queen bed (so, about 60"). I figured I would cast on 67 stitches or so, and that I would need a 60" needle, but I can't find any #36 in 60" (addi turbo or other). Do you know of any? Might I be able to squeeze that many stitches onto the 40" (I'm guessing no)? Perhaps I'm just crazy to think I can make it so big!
January 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJill
Hi Jill,

You may actually get away with a 40 inch circular needle, but we do also carry a 47 inch length which I think would be perfect. I see that it's not in stock right now, but if you drop us an email at customerservice@purlsoho.com about it we'll let you know when it's back.

By the way, a queen size version sounds wonderful! Good luck!

Whitney
January 19, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I absolutely LOVE this blanket! I already have some large crochet hooks (sizes L, P, and Q), so I was wondering, instead of buying size 17 dpns, what you might suggest as the best size to achieve a crocheted border (in place of the I-cord)? Thanks!
January 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
HI Nicole,

Great idea! The size hook will depend a little bit on your tension and taste, but I would start my experimenting with the P!

Good luck!
Whitney
January 30, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi.

I saw you commented about turning this into a baby blanket. I'm still weighing this, especially given the machine washability issue. But if I do decide to do this in that smaller size blanket, how many skeins (or yards) of yarn would I need?

Thanks so much,
Adriana
February 9, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteradriana
Hi Adriana-

You would need about 1/2 the yarn so 430 yards, or 4 skeins of the main color. You'd still need to get 1 skein of the border color.

Thanks for your question!

Molly
February 9, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What is the size?
February 10, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
Hi Martha-

The finished size is 42X 52-inches. It is listed under the "Pattern" section above.

Thank you for your question!

Molly
February 10, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This is a lovely blanket. Is it necessary to block a large blanket like this, or for that matter, any throw or scarf made of a super bulky wool? Thanks!
April 15, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Hi Elizabeth,

Blocking is a usually a matter of personal preference, but for this project I would say, no, there really isn't any big benefit to blocking. I tend to reserve my blocking energy for lace projects, yarn that needs a little softening, and projects that could use some shaping...

Thanks for the question!
Whitney
April 18, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Wow. What a lovely, cozy blanket. Just what I need in the cold northerly winters.
May 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJackie
Hi!
Do you have to use circular needles to make this blanket, as I've only ever knitted with straight single-point needles!!

Eep!
May 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBecky
Hi Becky-

This project is too bulky to fit comfortably on straight needles so we do recommend using circular needles. The cable connecting the circular needle just holds all the stitches for you but otherwise you treat them just as you would straight needles. No special skills involved! Here's a little video to make it more clear:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2utVAejcTE&feature=related

If you have any more questions please let us know. Thanks for writing in!

Molly
May 14, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
i am looking to make this lovely blanket. Do i have to use circular needles? If not, what size straight needles are comparable?
July 10, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjoy
Hi Joy.
I don't know of any straight needles long enough to hold all the stitches for this blanket. Whitney suggests a 40 inch needle because the blanket finishes at around 42 x 52 inches. -Laura
July 11, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I have the same yarn that I tried to make a cable knit blanket out of but found it too time consuming. I would LOVE to try this blanket but where in the world would someone find US 36 40" circular needles? It's crazy! I could possibly make it with one strand of yarn and the thickest circular needles I can find but that would take so much longer.
August 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAlyson
Hi Alyson,

Actually, we sell US 36, 40-inch circular needles. We just happen to be out of them at the moment! If you'd like to be notified when they come back in, please send an email to our customer service department at http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/contact. They can also let you know how soon we expect the the needles to arrive!

Thanks!
Whitney
August 2, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello! I just finished the big herringbone cowl and am starting this blanket as my new project. I am a beginner so pretty much everything is new to me.

Question: Do I need to be careful of the double strands getting crossed? Will the end product look messing if I am not careful to keep the strands separate? Also I casted on 55 instead of 45 to make a bigger blanket. How many balls of yarn do you think I would need to complete the project that would end up being 10 rows longer as well?

Thanks a lot!
August 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCelia
Hi Celia,

No, you don't need to worry about the strands crossing or twisting. Just knit like usual, making sure your needle picks up both strands. Great question!

And for those bigger dimensions, I would guess you'll need two more skeins, possibly three to be on the safe side. (If you don't wind the extra skein into a ball, you can return it for store credit within six months of having bought it.) Sounds like a beautiful idea!

Thanks for your questions and good luck!
Whitney
August 13, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I would like to be notified by you when you have the needles this blanket takes, circular
needles, US #36, 40 inches . Thank you. Elizabeth Cruise
August 17, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth Cruise

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