I know that the month of July isn’t really a good month for knitting blankets – hello sweaty – but I couldn’t wait to share this pattern with you!
As a designer, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect lazy yet satisfying project. To me that means a pattern that is simple enough to make whilst watching TV or relaxing somewhere but interesting enough to still keep your attention – especially important for big, bulky projects like blankets that can take a while to make and could get boring after a while. For me, 90% of the time frogging a project isn’t because of a mistake, but because my knitting ADHD takes over and I get devastatingly bored and want to start something else. Or I just give up and put it in the ‘projects that will remain unfinished forever’ basket up in my studio. Don’t all of us makers have one of those?
The idea behind the Bimba Blanket was to involve ribbing (even though ain’t nobody got time for that), but knowing that ribbing puckers in on itself and could look weird on a blanket, I wanted a stitch that looked like a rib but with something extra. In fact, the pretty, squishy stitch you can see is “sand stitch”, a stitch I’ve been using for years and years not knowing its name – and once convincing myself that I’d invented it like a total loser.
The best thing about this project is seeing the gorgeous stitches pop out and enjoying the tact as you work. On the right side it’s a rib-like texture wheras the wrong side is a kind of separated moss/seed stitch. It’s chunky, almost rubbery feeling, puffy and one of the most enjoyable stitches to work! I promise you that you’ll spend 50% of your making time actually knitting it and the rest just stroking it.
You can of course choose how big you want this blanket to be, but in this pattern it is measured to be a nap blanket for children, or even a cute stroller blanket if you like.
(Measures 35″/89cm – 27″/68cm)
Skill Level: Beginner.
Yarn: 420g (approx) of chunky weight yarn.
I chose a ‘brandless’ 100% acrylic yarn that I fell in love with and was desperate to use, but check out my list below for some yarns that would be awesome to use with this project.
Extras: For the pompoms, I used a small amount of Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky in Neon Orange, Neon Yellow, Pale Lilac and Neon Pink.
Tools: 1 pair 8.00mm/US 11 circular needles, scissors, small-sized pompom maker, wool or tapestry needle.
Skills: Long-tail cast on, slipping stitches purlwise, knit stitch, purl stitch, casting/binding off, weaving in ends, making pompoms.
Gauge: Not important.
NOTES: You will be using the circular needles in the same way as straight needles (working back and forth but not joining). You can substitute the circular needles for straight needles, but be aware that the work will become heavy after a while. Circular needles take the strain of weighty projects like blankets and stop your arms falling off. When making the pompoms, use the same yarn as you used in the project to tie the pompoms off. This means that when you attach them and weave in the ends they will blend into the work and not be noticeable.
Cast on 90 stitches using the long-tail method.
Work sand stitch as follows (remembering to slip the first stitch of every row purlwise to ensure a smooth edge) until the piece measures 27″/68cm (or as long as you like) from the cast on edge;
Row 1 (wrong side): (Slip first stitch purlwise) Knit to end.
Row 2: (Slip first stitch purlwise) *Knit 1, purl 1 until two stitches remain. Knit these last two stitches.
The purl side is the ‘right’ side.
Cast/bind off all stitches and weave in the ends.
Make four pompoms in your chosen colours, attach them to each of the corners and weave in the ends.
Don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with the hashtag #bimbablanket so I can check out your work!
This free pattern is ©emmaknitty 2018. It must not be copied, reproduced or sold. Do not claim it as your own.