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Sunday
Apr272014

Laura's Loop: Colorblock Bias Blanket

Whenever I am faced with a pile of undeniably beautiful yarn, I turn to an old-friend-of-a-project, the Colorblock Bias Blanket. It is a project that never grows old; it soothes your knitting soul when you’re stumped by a contiguous sleeve or bogged down by too many bobbles; it inspires combinations of color and texture that never before seemed possible; and like all of my most treasured things, this pattern was handed down to me by my dear Aunt Julie.

Julie’s wild sense of color and unique personal style constantly inspire me to freely experiment with textures and values and tones. So recently, when I found myself strolling the aisles of Purl Soho with seven skeins in a vice-grip-like hug, realizing I couldn’t let a single skein go, I knew exactly how I could pull them all together.

I knit my Colorblock Bias Blanket in simple garter stitch, using three different hand-dyed, DK-weight yarns in a spectrum of seven amazing colors. Starting with pops of peach, I used Koigu’s crisp and lively Kersti Merino Crepe. Then to contrast with the smooth consistency of the Kersti, I moved on to Madelinetosh’s Tosh Merino DK, a single ply yarn that quietly shifts from thick to thin. Next I used Anzula’s luxurious Cricket , a blend of superwash merino, cashmere and a touch of nylon. Its machine-spun quality and soft, sandy colors add elegance and subtlety. And finally, I finished the blanket with two more skeins of quirky Tosh Merino DK.

The whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts (thank you, Aristotle). Each of these yarns has its own special personality, but together, they create a rich and complex fabric. You can create your own beautiful blanket with Purl Soho’s Yarn for Colorblock Bias Blanket kit. Choose from three lovely colorways: this toasty Peach, cool Mint or burst-of-yellow Lemon! -Laura

Materials

Our Yarn for Colorblock Bias Blanket Kit comes in three colorways and includes…

  • Color A: 1 skein of Koigu's Kersti Merino Crepe, 100% merino wool.
  • Color B: 1 skein of Koigu's Kersti Merino Crepe, 100% merino wool.
  • Color C: 1 skein of Madeline Tosh's Tosh Merino DK, 100% merino wool.
  • Color D: 1 skein of Anzula's Cricket, 80% superwash merino wool, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon.
  • Color E: 1 skein of Anzula's Cricket, 80% superwash merino wool, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon.
  • Color F: 1 skein of Madeline Tosh's Tosh Merino DK, 100% merino wool.
  • Color G: 1 skein of Madeline Tosh's Tosh Merino DK, 100% merino wool.

Peach

  • Color A: Kersti in #1111.5
  • Color B: Kersti in #1133
  • Color C: Tosh Merino DK in Paper
  • Color D: Cricket in Au Natural
  • Color E: Cricket in Gravity
  • Color F: Tosh Merino DK in Charcoal
  • Color G: Tosh Merino DK in Calligraphy (if looking for a substitution, try the color Whiskers) 

Mint

  • Color A: Kersti in #0000
  • Color B: Kersti in #1051
  • Color C: Tosh Merino DK in Paper
  • Color D: Cricket in Au Natural
  • Color E: Cricket in Gravity
  • Color F: Tosh Merino DK in Charcoal
  • Color G: Tosh Merino DK in Calligraphy (if looking for a substitution, try the color Whiskers)

Lemon

  • Color A: Kersti in #0000
  • Color B: Kersst in #2100
  • Color C: Tosh Merino DK in Paper
  • Color D: Cricket in Au Natural
  • Color E: Cricket in Gravity
  • Color F: Tosh Merino DK in Charcoal
  • Color G: Tosh Merino DK in Calligraphy (if looking for a substitution, try the color Whiskers)
You will also need…
  • A US #6, 32-inch circular needle
  • 7-inch piece of cardboard or other stiff material for making the tassels (optional)

Gauge

22 stitches and 44 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch

Size 

Blanket: 33 inches by 33 inches; 46 inches by 46 inches on the diagonal (without tassels)
Tassels: 6 1/2 inches long

To modify the finished size: This blanket is knit on the bias, from corner to corner. Using the entirety of each skein, you increase every other row for the first half of your total yardage and decrease every other row for the second half. If you’d like to change the size of this blanket, add up the total yardage of your yarn and divide it by two. Following the spirit of the Increase section, work half (or a little less, to be on the safe side) of your total yardage. Then continue to the section titled DECREASE, and using the second half of your yardage, follow the remainder of the pattern.

Pattern

Prepare for Tassels (Optional)

From your wound ball of Color A, wind a second smaller ball of approximately 30 yards and set aside. Repeat with Color G.

Begin Blanket and Increase

With Color A, cast on 5 stitches, leaving a 15-inch tail (which you will use later to secure the tassel).

Row 1 (wrong side): P2, knit to last two stitches, p2.

Row 2 (right side): K2, make 1 left (m1L), knit to last two stitches, make 1 right (m1R), k2.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have used the entire skein, ending with a wrong side row. 

With Color B, work Row 2 and then repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have used the entire skein, ending with a wrong side row.

With Color C, work Row 2 and then repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have used the entire skein, ending with a wrong side row.

With Color D, work Row 2 and then repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have used the entire skein, ending with a wrong side row.

Decrease

With Color E…

Row 1 (right side): K1, slip slip knit (ssk), knit to last 3 stitches, knit 2 together (k2tog), k1.

Row 2 (wrong side): P2, knit to last two stitches, p2.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have used the entire skein, ending with a wrong side row.

With Color F, repeat Rows 1 and 2 until you have used the entire skein, ending with a wrong side row. 

With Color G, repeat Rows 1 and 2 until 5 stitches remain, ending with a right side row.

Bind off in pattern on wrong side. Cut yarn, leaving a 15-inch tail. 

Make Tassels

For full instruction on how to make a tassel, please see our Tassel Tutorial

The tassels for the Colorblock Bias Blanket are 6 1/2 inches long and to make them I used a 7-inch long piece of cardboard. I wrapped the cardboard approximately 60 times, using almost all of the 30 yards that I had set aside at the beginning of the project. 

Make one tassel using Color A. Make a second tassel using Color G.

Attach the Tassels

Thread one of the two tails from the top of the tassel onto a tapestry needle. Weave the tail along one edge of the blanket. Repeat with the second tail, weaving it along the other edge of the blanket. 

Thread the cast on (or bind off) tail from the blanket onto a tapestry needle. Bring the needle through the head of the tassel, then draw the needle through the cast on (or bind off) edge from back to front. Pull taut.

Tightly wrap the tail a few times around the place where the tip of the blanket meets the top of the tassel.

Bring the tapestry needle through the wraps and down the center of tassel. Remove the tapestry needle and trim the tail to match the length of the tassel.

 

Finish 

Weave in remaining tails and block as desired. 

Reader Comments (50)

Such a beautiful throw and I love how clean the edges are. Did you only K2 or P2 on the first and last stitches of each row, no slip stitches?
April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoni
Any ideas about how to finish off the two ends if you don't like tassels? (Or, if you worry the dogs will find them to be irresistible dog toys!). Thanks, this is beautiful.
April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarkwood
Hi I would love to do this project but because I live in England I'm not sure how much wool is in a skein.
Could you please let me know so I can get the wool and start.
Thank you
April 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commentermargieclarke
I was thinking of making this but making the tips at the end of the blanket the same as the beginning. So, the decreasing wouldn't start on Color E, right? I would add another section of A and B at the end to match the beginning. In that case, what color would you suggest starting the decrease on then? Does that make sense?
April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJoan Warren
What is the total amount of yarn used to make this blanket? Approximate yardage for each colour? Did I miss that somewhere?
Thanks
April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDee
Wow. All I can say is "wow." Add it to the "on deck" list! Beautiful color and texture combinations!
April 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine Nietzel
This is beautiful! I would make the mint one myself. I am not very good at knitting so I might make this color scheme in crochet for my aunt, who is like a second mother to me since mine (her sister) passed away 8 years ago.

Thank you for this lovely pattern!
April 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJana
Hi Dee-

This blanket uses the entire skein of each of the 7 skeins used. Each different yarn used has a different length. The 2 skeins of Kersti Merino are 114 yards each, the 3 skeins of Tosh Merino DK are 225 yards each, and the 2 skeins of Cricket are 250 yards each. That means that the grand total for yardage is 1403 yards.

All of the info on each yarn, including this yardage info, can be found by clicking on the links in the materials section of this pattern.

Thanks!

Molly
April 28, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Margieclark-

Please see my response to "Dee" above.

Thanks for writing in!

Molly
April 28, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hey Joni,
Thank you so much. I'm glad you like it!
And, yes. That is correct. I did not slip the first stitch of the rows on the Right Side or the Wrong Side.
Thanks for writing in.
Laura
April 28, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Larkwood.
Thanks for the kind words on the blanket!
And great question... If you do not want to add the tassels, you can simply bind off and weave in your ends.
Laura
April 28, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Joan.
If you add an extra skein of A and an extra skein of B at the end then you'll have a total of approximately 1631 yards. You'll want to start decreasing after you've worked half of the total yardage... approximately 815 yards into the project.

This will be around 112 yards into skein E, which is just under half way through the skein.

I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any questions!
Laura
April 28, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Love it! I'd like to try with some Anzula Worsted. Am assuming this pattern can work in worsted weight as well?

Thanks so much!
April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJane
Oh my gosh, this is lovely. I've been skulking about this blog looking for a blanket/throw, within my price range and my abilities, to knit as a wedding present for someone. I think I've found it!!
April 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Hi Jane.
This would be wonderful in Anzula's For Better or Worsted! It is such an adaptable pattern. Appropriate for any weight yarn!
Laura
April 30, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
This looks so beautiful, is it available for purchase?

xo
Maggie A
http://youtu.be/xnwR2RHZLQk // LOVEMAVIN/YOUTUBE
http://www.lovemavin.com // LOVE MAVIN/BLOG
April 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie A
Hi Laura, I love this blanket! I have so much sock weight yarn (including a lot of Purl Soho Line Weight). I was wondering if I could make this blanket out of the smaller gauge yarns? I realize it would be more tedious, thanks.
May 1, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGwen Kading
Hi Gwen-

Yes- this will work with any gauge yarn, and if you don't mind the extra time it would be lovely in a lighter weight!

Thanks for your question!

Molly
May 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Maggie-

None of our finished projects are available for sale but we do sell all of the materials to make one of your own! This is a very easy project so works for beginner knitters and seasoned pros alike!

Thank you!

Molly
May 1, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Lovely blanket! What type of cast-on did you use?
May 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura
Will you be getting the. 3 rd color in spoon.
May 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMary
Hi there,

This a lovely blanket and I'm wondering if you have any advice for where to locate the Kersti merino crepe yarn for the peach version of the blanket. I've looked absolutely everywhere on-line including on Purl Soho.com for the 1111.5 and 1133 color ways. You were sold out of the kit. Will you be able to get these colors in stock at your store?

Thank you!
May 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
Hi Christine-

We will be getting more in stock. If you'd like to be notified please email customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com and they'll let you know when it comes back in!

Thank you!

Molly
May 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Mary-

Yes! Please email customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com and they will let you know when it's back in stock.

Thank you!

Molly
May 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura-

Our Laura used a longtail cast on for this project. Here's a tutorial in case you need a refresher! http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-cast-ons/2006/9/29/long-tail-cast-on.html

Thank you!

Molly
May 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I love this very much but it doesn't appear the peach color combo is available. Any idea if that will be coming back in stock? I am in love with the peach colors!!!! thanks!
May 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda
Hi Amanda-

Please email customerservice AT purlsoho DOT com and they can let you know when it is expected back in stock.

Thanks so much for your question!

Molly
May 8, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura, what a lovely blanket! I already started the blanket for my nephew to be.
I have a question about the edge. My 'right' edge is a bit wonkey, since the M1L pulls on the second stitch of the row. My 'right' edge looks like a slip stitched one and my 'left' edge like regular.
Any thoughts on how to prevent this?
May 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTanyarn
Hi Tanyarn,
I'm so glad you like the blanket. Thanks for writing in. And congrats on the new nephew.

As for evening out your edges... its a matter of tension. A little unevenness is natural and common. It is a handmade good after all. Have you worked a while, sometimes with time, once you've relaxed into a pattern, your tension can also relax. All I can think of is to a way to make the left look more like the right by slipping the first stitch on the wrong side, but since you've described the right as wonky, I imagine this isn't an idea solution. Have you tried working those first two stitches a bit looser than you normally would? providing a bit of slack for the m1L?

I tried a bunch of different edges before landing on this one. It worked for me, but you may want to play around with different increase techniques to see what suits you best.

Let me know what you try and what works and doesn't. I'd love to trouble shoot this more with you.
Laura
May 13, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I'd like to make one for my daughter (peach), and son. I was thinking of using the "mint" or "lemon" colors only swapping out the mint/lemon for a slightly more boy-ish color (he's 7). Do you have one you'd recommend? I was looking at some of the brighter greens in the Kersti Merino, but I'm not sure what would look best.

Thanks!
Jen
May 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Hi!
I've restarted this blanket several times trying to fix it, but every time my m1L stitches are really loose compared to the rest of my stitches. I've tried making them extra tight to match the rest of my stitches, but nothing seems to help. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks for your help!
May 30, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRachael
I'm in love with it, i'm making my second one now, and was wondering how to make this as a rectangular shape, as i'm planning to use it as a bed throw (kind of a runner for the feet area, i hope you get what i mean).
I saw the Joelle's diagonal scarf, but the borders are not the same as in this blanket, and i would love to have this look.
Thanks!!!
June 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergaby
Hi Rachel.
How are you working your m1L increase? Are you doing it as instructed here http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-increases/2013/8/13/make-one-right-m1r-make-one-left-m1l.html
If you wanted, you could work a k1fb (knit one front and back) rather than m1L and m1R. It doesn't render as clean or as symmetrical of a look, but it's a reliable increase when working in garter stitch. http://www.purlbee.com/knitting-tutorials-increases/2013/8/13/knit-front-and-back-kfb.html
Please let me know if you have any other questions.
Laura
June 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Jen,
I like the color 2132.5 or the color 2339!
Thanks,
Laura
June 4, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
It is very difficult to estimate the yardage in half a ball of yarn. If you have a digital kitchen scale, first make the tassels if you will add them to the finished blanket. Then weigh each ball of remaining yarn and record weights and halve them. When you think you have used almost half of each yarn, begin weighing the ball every row until it approaches the half weight for that yarn. Change yarn when just a bit over the half weight remains. You won't have much yarn left over when you finish with that ball, but you won't have too little, either, if you're aiming for symmetry.
June 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Lee
Ok, I am new to knitting, I am a freak about washing everything I make.
Can this be washed? If so how or what temp do i wash it in.
Thanks
June 4, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris
Hi Gaby!
I so badly want to make a rectangular shaped version of this next. I love that you are going to do it! I believe the key is to increase every right side row along one edge, and every other right side row on the other edge. Or at least that's going to be my plan of attack. I think you'll be able to tell fairly quickly if it's coming out how you want. PLEASE let us know how it goes and keep your eye out for a worsted weight rectangular version come autumn here on The Purl Bee.
Thanks for writing in.
Best,
Laura
June 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Kris,
Yes, this can be washed. You can wash it by hand or by letting it soak (with this product http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/company/240-Soak) or in the machine. All of these yarns are machine washer friendly. I would recommend laying it flat to dry though. I would wash it in cool or warm water, not hot.
Hope this helps!
Laura
June 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am making this in the light green color way and love how it is looking. One question - what is the best way to joint the yarn for the color changes? I tried the spit join but didn't really love how it looked. A little too bulky and felted looking and my eyes are drawn to it. By the way - the mint green is more like a sea glass green or a pale blue green - really really lovely!!!
Thanks,
Tracie
June 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTracie Smith
I too had thought I might make a rectangle, as a wrap or a table runner--someday when my queue is a bit shorter. My plan would be to increase on both edges until it is the width I would like, then decrease on the right edge while increasing on the left edge (looking at the right side of the work) until it is the length I want, then decrease on both edges to finish off. If you change the pace of increases and decreases on either side, you will have some sort of quadrilateral that does not have right angles at the corners.
June 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaryBethK
Hi Tracie.
I would simply stop knitting with the current yarn and start up with the next yarn. Later you can go back and weave in the ends, securing them.
Laura
June 9, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Mary Beth K,
You are absolutely right!!!
Thanks for taking the time to write in!
Laura
June 9, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hello:

This is a lovely blanket. Could you please recommend yarns for wool allergic people? I would like to make this for my daughter in an alternative (sheep free) yarn. I posted this question a couple of weeks ago, but it never made it up. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks so much, Lori
June 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLori
Hi Lori.
I apologize for the delay, one of our team members was away on vacation and it seems a few comments slipped through the crack. I'm sorry about that.

As for some non-wool yarn, how about...
Blue Sky's Skinny Cotton: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/3823-Blue-Sky-Skinny-Cotton
Cascade's Ultra Pima: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/7117-Cascade-Yarns-Ultra-Pima
Habu's Dyed Bamboo: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/9119-Habu-Textiles-Dyed-Bamboo
Habu's Bamboo: http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8063-Habu-Textiles-2012-Bamboo

Again, I apologize about the delay. Please let us know if you have any other questions at all!
Laura
June 16, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thanks so much, Laura, I really appreciate the response. I'll read about the yarns you proposed - they look like interesting choices I wouldn't have found myself. Thanks! Lori
June 16, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLori
yo la hice y me quedo hermosa la verdad me fue todo un desafio porque no entendia bien como era priemro la hice en forma de rombo, pero luego me di cuenta que era un rectangulo. sigan asi gracias por comartir cosas tan lindas
June 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersilvina
Could I do this blanket with a seed stitch? Does that stitch hold up okay on a bias?
July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterErin
Hi Erin.
Yes, you could definitely do this blanket in seed stitch. I think that would be lovely. Let us know how it goes!
Laura
July 6, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I just turned the 1/2way mark on this blanket. I am using elann denim in a natural color and Marks and Katens denim in a dark denim blue. The dark yarn is from a frogged sweater and has been washed several times so the chance of dye bleeding is very slim. I did it in stripes 10 ridges wide. The mommy requested navy and cream stripes and I was so dreading the boring stripes till I came across your pattern. I have to hurry since the the baby due 3 wks from now was born yesterday. But the great thing about this blanket is it will knit like the wind from now on. Thanks so much for a lovely pattern and I am looking forward to making another with one of your color ways. Marci
July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarci
Hi Laura,

My (first) blanket is finished. I hope it will keep our little nephew warm.
I played with the edge stitches and tension for a while (the first 150yards;-) ). I could not get it right with the M1L so I increased by knitting in the stitch below the 3rd stitch and then knit the 3rd stitch itself.
For the 2nd increase I used the k1fb, which is a faster knit for me.

Thanks again for your pattern!

Love, Tanyarn
July 15, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTanyarn

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