Need baby gift ideas? With brightly colored blocks and stripes and simple pattern stitches, Kristi Simpson's Knit Color Block Blankets are the perfect choice. Create a colorful nursery with 9 new patterns to knit using medium weight yarn. We've invited Kristi to be today's guest blogger, and discuss the inspiration for her fabulous designs in Knit Color Block Blankets. Welcome Kristi!
Hi! I’m Kristi Simpson, designer of the patterns in the Leisure Arts’ book: Knit Color Block Blankets. I enjoyed designing these colorful easy-to-knit blankets and I just know that you’ll love all the different designs that I’ve included. Everything from a stitch sampler to ribbed blanket (in a fun pattern of course!)---and in a huge variety of colors!
If your kids are anything like mine, they have multiple blankets on their bed, in their closet and in keepsake bins. I was on a mission to create colorful designs that would be a great gift and keepsake—something that I would love for my kids to have. These blankets are fun to knit because of the different ways they are assembled and all the colors you get to knit with. I would like to mention that all the yarns are medium weight. I used a variety of brands and they all work up beautifully and quick.
You could use new skeins as I did (let’s go yarn shopping!) or even use scrap yarn and bring in your own color scheme with what you have on hand. The sky is the limit when picking colors. You can stick to my design, and say use 3 colors for the blanket, or branch out and use more. I’d love for you to share pictures of your finished blanket on Leisure Arts Facebook page!
Also, I didn’t ‘carry’ or work in a ‘fair-isle’ style in any of the blanket designs. It’s all worked in ‘blocks’, just as the title says. The stitching and style is great for beginners and beyond. And just to make sure you can visualize how to assemble the blankets, diagrams have been included as needed….. Now, let’s look at the blankets!
First, let’s start with Bright Chevrons. I was inspired by my twin boys for this design. They just turned 10 and they love Legos. What lil’ guy doesn’t? So, I wanted to have a fun repeating pattern—but focus on the color ‘stacking’ effect most of all. I used 6 colors from Vanna’s Choice in this blanket—yes, 6!
I used a larger knitting needed, size 11 (8mm), so that the 4 row repeat could feature the fun ripple. Needless to say—they look like they are ‘stacked’ just like building blocks! How did I make it? Panels! It’s not hard, no carrying yarn or anything. Just follow the pattern and change the yarn when needed—and then sew the completed panels together. You’ll love it! I had to keep this blanket secret when making it or else it wouldn’t have made it out of the house for photos!
Embossed Diamonds is a fun blanket that works up quickly. I used a US 13 (9mm) needle with Bernat Super Value medium weight yarn so it gives it a beautiful drape when made. The border is added on the edges of the work—isn’t it pretty? Can you see the diamonds? It’s fun to see it progress in the pattern….. and I know this will make it to your list for go-to-patterns for gifts!
Who loves learning new stitches? I do!!!! This Stitch Samper is the perfect way to do just that. Now, don’t run away scared of the seaming. It’s not what it looks like! It’s made in panels—yes, panels! I took the time to figure out how to make them all even and so when you make them it will all line up. SO, get your needles, your Premier Everyday Worsted yarn and learn how to stitch the Lacy Twist, Ridged Eyelet, Ladder Rings, Petite Bobbles and Moss Stitch…. So much fun and so colorful! If I were to make it again, I’d use pinks, purples, cream, grey and maybe a yellow? What would you use?
The simplicity of top-down pattern is easy but with the stripes—it’s so cute! You could change the colors from pink to light blue, or the navy to grey or mauve? So many options! I used Red Heart Hugs—and it has so many color options to choose from. The blanket has a natural border on each side and you’ll use simple stitches such as knit, purl, yo and p2tog to create the garter border, stockinette stitch (the smooth portion) and the lacy section. That’s it! You can do it!
Bring on the ribs! Not food, silly—the stitch! I love this pattern, because it tickles my brain. It alternates the ribbed sections and makes it not only visually interesting but unique to knit! You’ll also use 2 strands held together. What does that mean? Well, it works up thicker because it’s double the yarn, faster because it takes up twice the space and makes all the stitches more dramatic. I used Bernat Super Value because it’s so soft and pretty! It works up by first knitting the first long panel and then adding the side panel by working in ends of rows across the long edge. The pattern has charts and everything you need to guide you through.
Stripes or Blocks? Make it BOTH! The pattern is a repeat of 11 rows—all knit and purl stitches building onto each section. You’ll learn how to pick up stitches on the ends of rows to add the side panels-it’s much easier than you’d think. I love this blanket, it’s made with Vanna’s Choice and the colors just work together so well. Any Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice work together, really. This would be a fun blanket to use scrap yarn with, too…. I can see it now!
Beginning knitters, this is the blanket for you! It only uses the KNIT stitch!!! But look at the design, it’s not boring or plain at all…. very ‘Beachy’ if you ask me. I loved using the Premier Deborah Norville Collection Everyday Worsted--- you can’t go wrong with any of those colors!
I always show my husband (my biggest fan) my projects before I mail them off (and a million times as I make the item…. you have to do that!) and he declared that this one was his favorite. I made each tri-color block first, sewed them together in rows, added the white panels to each and then sewed the sections together. Don’t take it from me on how easy and fun it is—use the knit stitch, get creative with the colors and make your own tri-color block blanket!
I saved my favorite for last. This is such a fun blanket to knit! It is made in two-color blocks in a fun stitch combination. My favorite part was picking out the colors from Premier Everyday Collection. My sister almost took this one home with her when she saw it (not even kidding!) …. but I gently told her I could teach her how to knit! Just know that this will bring all the ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhhs’ when you gift it! Now, let’s look at the texture. When you knit 1 and then slip 1 you will get a cool horizontal bar texture. Do you see it in each block? The border is a ‘log-cabin’ style border….and finishes it perfectly.
All 9 blankets have a fun mix of colors. They would make great yarn stash-busting projects…. or give you the perfect excuse to go yarn shopping. I vote on option 2 (you NEED more yarn, right?!?) Either way, these blankets will give you a variety of options and styles to add refreshing color to any baby’s room. Thank you for joining me with a look through this book and I hope that you pick up a copy here on Leisure Arts.