Gentle Waves Blanket
Once more, with feeling: I like making baby blankets. I do it a lot, as you may have noticed, dear reader.
This pattern was inspired by my earlier pattern, the Soft Waves Blanket which is done in crochet. At some point, I looked at the blanket and wondered if I could "translate" it over to knitting. Turns out, yes!
Q: What do I need to make this project?
A: To make this blanket, you will need:
Yarn - you can use any yarn for this pattern, see notes below on yarn choice and amount.
To meet the gauge and use the size reference chart, choose a weight 4 yarn.
In the example shown, I used Caron Simply Soft in sunshine, plum wine, lavender blue, country blue, and pistachio (less than 1 skein each)
In total, I used about 888 meters (971 yards) of yarn to make the sample shown (baby blanket size)
US size 8 (5mm) knitting needles- use needle size needed to meet the gauge OR whatever size is appropriate for the yarn you've chosen (see notes below on adjusting size).
Stitch markers (optional but highly recommended)
Q: How long does it take to make?
A: The blanket shown took me about 34 hours total to complete (finished size 44 in x 47 in) including weaving in the ends. Project size will be the biggest factor with respect to time. That said, this pattern is very easy to memorize and work on without using too much brain power once you get it down. I highly recommend using a row counter like the Row Counter App to keep track of when you need to count and pay attention.
Q: How difficult is this pattern?
A: This pattern is a good one for beginners who are ready to start working with basic increases and decreases but would otherwise prefer to avoid shaping. Stitches used: knit, purl, yarn over, knit 2 together. Overall difficulty level is just above a basic stockinette (knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side).
Q: How big a blanket will the pattern make?
A: Up to you! See the note below on blanket sizes with starting cast on counts (the table assumes you are meeting the given gauge).
Tips, Notes, & Learnings
(Yarn & Needles)
You can use any yarn at all to make this project. To meet the gauge given (and use the table for sizes below), I suggest using a weight 4 yarn in your favorite fiber. Remember to consider how often you will need to wash the blanket when choosing a fiber. Also consider the physical weight of the final project (multiply the weight of one ball by the number of balls you think you'll need to estimate the weight).
Needle-wise, choose the size that matches your yarn. For a weight 4 yarn, this will likely be a US 8 (5 mm) or US 7 (4 mm) set of needles. Use whatever size you need to meet the gauge if you want to follow the table below. Otherwise, be sure to work up a swatch first to figure out how many stitches to cast on.
Using the gauge given in the pattern below (20 sts = 4 in and peak to peak = 5.5 in), this table makes a great quick reference to get exactly the size blanket you want!
If you are deciding how many stitches to cast on based on your own swatch, measure from peak to peak (increase to increase) - 30 stitches - to help determine final size. Also know that you must cast on a multiple of 30 stitches.
(Adding some texture)
To easily add some texture to the blanket, you can work the second row in knit stitch to make a garter stitch row which will pop on both sides.
Gentle waves make for excellent blankets because the pattern is so easy and repetitive. This also means it works great for other applications too! Some ideas:
Wall hanging (e.g. think cotton in shades of blue and tan- very beachy vibes)
Translating the Pattern from Crochet to Knitting
As mentioned above, this knitting pattern was inspired by my previous Soft Waves Blanket which is done in crochet. I thought it would be a fun conversion and, naively, that it would be a simple translation and off I would go knitting!
Wrong. Very wrong. So incorrect.
(Swatch 1) Setting off on this conversion, I started by replacing the increases of 2 double crochets in each stitch with kfb. The dc2tog decreases were translated to right leaning and left leaning knitting decreases, k2tog and ssk, respectively. I also had this set to be Row 1 and was working under the assumption that I would need to increase and decrease on every row as with crochet. I did a bit of looking around at chevron and similar patterns and found that the increase need only be every handful of rows on the right side.
I also recognized that the lean of the increases and decreases would make very little difference in a flat object like a blanket (whereas direction is very important in shaped items like socks). After making that adjustment, I settled on the following for swatch 1:
R1: [k1, yo, k5, k2tog twice, k5, yo, k1] across R2: purl R3: knit R4: purl
The resulting swatch left something to be desired. While the amount of stitches between the increase and the decrease looked alright, the waves very small and reasonably pointed. I also didn't like working the wave row into the cast on stitches. The eyelets felt odd having only one on either side of the center line.
(Swatch 2) Adjusting primarily to increase the "waviness" of the swatch, I doubled the number of increases and decreases in all locations and moved the "wave row" to be R3, making the first row easier to work. The pattern for swatch 2 was as follows:
R1: knit R2: purl
R3: [(k1, yo) twice, k5, k2tog 4 times, k5, (yo, k1) twice] across
If you look closely at the swatch in the image. you'll notice I actually started the swatch with the same (k1, yo) four times across the increase area. I saw it was off-center and adjusted to create one large eyelet between two smaller eyelets. I wasn't a fan of this and ultimately settled on the adjustment above.
Overall, improved waves, still not quite as curvy as I wanted.
(Swatch 3) Again adjusting to increase the curve, I changed the number of increases/decreases from 2 to 3. I also shortened the distance between the increases and decreases in hopes of a curvier wave, giving the following pattern:
R1: knit R2: purl
R3: [(k1, yo) 3 times, k3, k2tog 6 times, k3, (yo, k1) 3 times] across
This was much closer to what I wanted, but I thought the curves were actually a bit too sharp in this sample.
(Swatch 4) This ended up being my final swatch. The only change I made at this point was to restore the k3 to a k5 between increases and decreases for a softer wave:
R1: knit R2: purl
R3: [(k1, yo) 3 times, k5, k2tog 6 times, k5, (yo, k1) 3 times] across
After finishing the swatch, I decided it was exactly the look I wanted. The only very minor adjustments I decided to make for the final pattern was changing the k5 to a k6 because everything else is worked counting to 6. This change makes the pattern far easier to work without paying close attention.
Gentle Waves Blanket Pattern
Abbreviations (US Terms)
CO - cast on
k - knit
p - purl
yo - yarn over
k2tog - knit two together
st - stitch
Peak to peak = 5.5 inches
6 rows = 1 inch
5 sts = 1 inch
CO a multiple of 30 sts. For the size shown, CO 210 sts. It is recommended to place a stitch marker every 30 sts (each peak) to help with counting pattern repeats as you work.
R1: k across
R2: p across
R3: [(k1, yo) 3 times, k6, k2tog 6 times, k6, (yo, k1) 3 times] across
R4: p across
Repeat R1 - R4 to desired length, changing colors as desired. Bind off and weave in all ends.
The sample shown has 189 rows with the following color blocks, all colors were changed following a R4:
Sunshine - 20 rows
Plum wine - 12 rows
Lavender blue - 16 rows
Sunshine - 8 rows
Country blue - 8 rows
Pistachio - 24 rows
Sunshine - 16 rows
Plum wine - 20 rows
Lavender blue - 8 rows
Sunshine - 8 rows
Country blue - 20 rows
Pistachio - 12 rows
Sunshine - 20 rows
Check out the video below for a detailed look at this pattern!
That's all, friends!
I hope you enjoy this week's pattern and share photos of your creations here in the comments and on Instagram and Ravelry!