A baby blanket with Scandinavian flair : The Amala blanket

A baby blanket with Scandinavian flair : The Amala blanket

Baby blanket frenzy

For those who’ve followed me for while, you will probably think : what, another baby? And yes, another dear friend and colleague of mine had a lovely baby this April, and of course, that set another deadline for a new baby blanket pattern for me.

I knew she liked the Zoe blanket and Victoria blanket a lot, but also, that she was quite a fan of Scandinavian design and colour schemes. Which was a win-win situation for me, since I got to work with my favourite colours combined!

This time around though, I wanted to make sure I would be able to finish the blanket BEFORE the baby was 6 months old (or married or something), and decided to downsize it a bit, and make a baby blanket that works well for the first year, especially in a pram or when you’re holding them in your arms (sounds good as an excuse, doesn’t it?).

Go for another intarsia

Ok, so before the blankets, I had never really done any intarsia work before, or none that compares to the insanity of these blankets. But since both the Victoria blanket (diamonds) and the Zoe blanket (hearts) have both been downloaded over 7.000 times (!), I thought, well, there are enough knitting crazies out there to maybe want yet another intarsia blanket.

The Amala blanket : triangles, triangles, triangles

This time I went for a new yarn I fell in love with, the Onion no.4, which is a 70% wool, 30 % nettle fiber blend and incredibly soft and warm. Don’t get confused by the nettle fiber, Onion uses a lot of it in its yarn combination, and it can turn out really soft, like for this specific yarn.

Another argument for it is that it had exactly the colours I wanted to use : blue, yellow , pink and a nice creme colour, AND I could finally knit with a little bit larger needles…

The finished blanket measures 55 x 65 (60 x 71″) and is composed of 7 triangles in a row and a total of 12 rows – 4 repetitions of the 3 colour triangle rows – and a seed stitch edging. You can easily adapt the size of the blanket by simply adding another triangle in the row at cast-on, or by continuing for further triangle rows.

Download your free copy of the Amala Blanket in English, French, German or Danish and subscribe to my newsletter if you want to be the first to know when a new Baby blanket – or other pattern – is out! (It’s quite right but … too quiet … I suspect there might be some siblings in the making soon after all these first borns …).

I’d love to see your work and for you to share it, either in Ravelry or on Instagram, using the #amalablanket hashtag.

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Note: I’m delighted to be offering this pattern for free to knitters all over the world. If you enjoyed the pattern and would like to support me anyway, you can always buy me a coffee 😉

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Happy knitting!

Make the perfect gift for a new baby : The Zoe blanket

Make the perfect gift for a new baby : The Zoe blanket

Diy versus store-bought

A few years ago, some sort of baby boom hit my “office family”, with an average of 2 babies brought into the world every year from my female colleagues. When the first one was about to be due, I found myself in Denmark on holidays, walking on the beach with the kids, when I suddenly thought to myself: Well, this time, I’m going to do something special! I won’t simply buy something from the wishlist for the new baby, but make something specially for the baby itself. That day on the beach of Ebeltoft, what would become a neverending series of baby blankets was born. Little did I know that once I’d started this “tradition”, I’d have to make an average of two blankets a year. And let me tell you, blankets take a loooong time to make!

Oer Strand (Ebeltoft, Denmark)

I had made one many years ago for one of my friends, a chevron blanket that afterwards was passed on among my friends until it was worn threadbare. Which is, in my opinion, the best thing that can happen. Knowing that you’ve made a present that is useful and brings joy, is the best feeling you can get. And since usually, when people have their first child, family and friends are only too keen to buy everything that’s on the list of the soon-to-be-parents, I guess that if you have certain crafting talents, you should definitely put them to good use and make something special!

Which is my new basic rule: If you can think of a handmade present that will give more joy than anything you can think of buying, just so you have a present for a certain occasion, then make it yourself!

So for little Jacob, I went with the Chevron Baby blanket from Purl soho, one of my go-to patterns which I absolutely adore. I used a double strand of a simple, machine washable cotton blend, and since I was on holidays, knitting it up was a breeze. Soon after, the next baby was due, little Julie… so I quickly whipped up another one. But by now, the chevron pattern was getting a bit boring, and also, I almost had a bad conscience at not doing something personal for little Julie. (By the way, Julie is quite happy with her blanket and finds it very comforting to stick her fingers between the knits and purls …)

Luckily, there were a few months until the next baby was due, so I could actually start sitting down and thinking a bit about making a dedicated pattern this time around. I fiddled around with rainbow patterns (but let me tell you, trying to transpose a rainbow onto a blanket is NOT an easy task – to make it short, I failed!). The end result of a lot of trial and errors was the Victoria blanket, an intarsia pattern with diamonds in rainbow colours.

Who is afraid of intarsia?

Since I had put so much work into drafting the Victoria Baby blanket, I guessed I could just as well put it online for others to use. And altough I thought that the intarsia part of it would put most knitters off the task, it has been downloaded more than 5.000 times in less than a year! Which means, there are a lot of really crazy knitters out there ready to take up the challenge!

Soon after that one was done, you’ll guess it, another baby was about to pop out, little Zoe. And since I’d started this crazy tradition, off I went for another blanket.

And since I am the kind of gal that quickly looses interest in doing the same thing more than once, I knew I had to come up with something a little different to make it work in time and still be satisfied with the result.

On the other hand, the rainbow theme is one that I really really like as you can see … there’s just something about these gorgeous colours that makes my heart skip a beat and think of sunshine, spring, and all good things wrapped up in one simple blanket. Also, I feel that as new parents, you need something to brighten up your daily life when sleep and me-time are a distant memory and will be for a long time to come (experience talking here, since I myself did not have the pleasure of producing any babies that slept throught their nights…).

The Zoe blanket : hearts and rainbow all in one

Keeping with the Baby cashmerino yarn, which is just the right kind of soft you want for a newborn AND is still machine washable (!), I started testing and trying out a few design ideas, and stuck with the heart theme. It took a while to get the curves just right, and the perfect spacing between them in both directions, but the result was definitely worth the sweat!

The finished blanket measures 90 x 100 (35.5 x 40″) and is composed of 7 rows of hearts, and a seed stitch edging.

Ready to take up the crazy intarsia challenge once again? I’d love to see your progress! Share your work using the hashtag #zoeblanket !

Download your free copy of the Zoe Blanket in English, French, German or Danish and subscribe to my newsletter if you want to be the first to know when a new Baby blanket – or other pattern – is out! (spoiler alert : there is another one in the making… I told you: baby boom in the office family…)

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Note: I’m delighted to be offering this pattern for free to knitters all over the world. If you enjoyed the pattern and would like to support me anyway, you can always buy me a coffee 😉

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Happy knitting!