easy and free, a knitted blanket that is great for beginners or stash busters

December 20, 2022


My title says it all except gorgeous. I couldn't squeeze the word gorgeous into the title, but it is. It started out as a simple scrap buster, but then like a little caterpillar it turned into a beautiful butterfly. It's watercolory soft squishiness make it my new number one favorite blanket to grab. I've got plans to make another one, but this time I'll be aiming for dark and moody.

This is one of those versatile patterns that you can either give to an absolute beginner or to a seasoned knitter who hast a lot of stash to consume. I am the latter. I held one strand of pastel fingering weight yarn with a strand of white lace weight mohair/silk blend. The two together made the most gorgeous watercolor effect and you can see by the pictures how pretty it came out!  We are loving blankets around here especially since we are trying to keep the thermostat a little lower than usual. Interested in making one for yourself? Read on!

Look at this! I could not stop taking pictures. She is very photogenic.

The blanket starts off in one corner with 3 stitches and is knit diagonally, increasing with a pretty eyelet yarn over on the beginning of each row. You knit until half your stash is knitted up or until it is the width you want, then you'll start decreasing. It will make a square; mine is 58" and is perfect for covering my legs when we watch TV. 

The knitting is entirely garter stitch which I love--love the look and love the squishy texture. It's a mindless, de-stress kind of knit that I enjoyed very much. I'll admit this is a boring project, but I actually like boring, and knowing that I was using up stash kept me going. Then about halfway through I realized it was going to turn out pretty, so that helped too.  I had several other projects going on at the same time and picked this up when I couldn't concentrate on anything more complicated. When you have several works in progress going on at the same time, it's nice to have at least one mindless one .

The pattern works for any yarn and any gauge, you'll just have to adjust your needle size. 

I started by lining up my colors that I thought I might use, although I did not end up using them all. Once thought I could create what I had in my mind, I threw the whole lot in a basket and knit color by color keeping to my very informal plan. 

Diagonal Comfort Blanket, a free pattern from Lion Brand

My Ravelry project page with all the juicy details

I have 6 skeins of a dark charcoal lace weight mohair/silk to make another blanket. It might look awesome paired with purples and reds. What do you think? I had fun gathering it but won't start it until next year. I have some VIP gifts and tests to finish before I can cast on another thing. Must. Be. Disciplined.

We have zero plans this week except to do the last bit of shopping for stocking stuffers and then the wrapping of everything. I'm hoping my kindly live-in chauffeur will drive us to "Christmas Tree Lane", a street the next town over that goes all out with decorating for the holidays. I wished I lived on a street that did that. We had a Candy Cane Lane near our neighborhood growing up and I dreamed of living on that street. Every single house on our street puts up Christmas lights which is nice, but no one goes all out with lawn displays, including us. I'd love to go crazy with all that but my husband would never go for it. Yesterday afternoon I felt very tired and I plopped down on the sofa to do some knitting and was even too tired to do that. I think all the activity these last weeks have finally caught up with me and just plain pooped me out. I'm going to cure that today and have a big day of nothing but sitting and knitting to get me back on track. I have two hats to knit before Christmas and since I haven't watched one Christmas movie yet, today's plan sounds as comforting as chicken noodle soup. I have made my grocery shopping list for our easy Christmas Eve dinner, Flat Iron Steak, if I can find one, also asparagus, corn pudding casserole and for a certain little someone, a cubed red and green jello "salad" my aunt used to make--something she called Broken Glass and I remember loving it as a child. For Christmas Day we are having New England Cod Chowder. It's so quick and easy to make and we all love it so much. We have done a lot of entertaining this season and for our own family gathering I just want it to be chill and easy. Carter is coming over on Friday and we are planning on making cut out sugar cookies and maybe he would like to help with the jello thing. I'll share the recipe if it turns out as good as I remember although it's been about 50 years since I've had it. (Edited after posting, I just googled it and it seems the whole world makes this recipe, and all this time I thought it was an old family secret 😀) I hope you have a great week and have good long bits of time to watch TV and knit. If I'm not back before Christmas I wish you the merriest of the merriest! 

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  1. Sorry I keep being first. It is just that I wake up really early every morning and read my email and blogs with my coffee for an hour or two before everyone else is up. It’s a wonderful peaceful way to start my day and I get cranky if I get deprived of it. I love using lace mohair/silk as a tag-along yarn, and that gauge in garter stitch looks divine. But for some reason that particular pattern does not agree with me. I get very annoyed by the time I get to the middle. Too bad because it is simple but effective. And, in your hands, downright beautiful. A lifelong very accomplished knitter in my knitting circle spent her last decade knitting ONLY baby blankets in that pattern which she donated to hospitals. Very noble and admirable but I mentally tore my hair just watching her. Maybe when I turn eighty….:). However, Kristen, you have inspired me to find a KSH scarf pattern (with short, garter-stitch rows!) to pair with fingering weight yarn to knit something for a scarf-loving family member. Hopefully with muted pastels like yours. All the blessings of the Season to you! Chloe

    1. Haha, I hear ya. It's a boring pattern and I can only knit it when I need to completely unwind. I keep this kind of thing in a basket in the family room and it can sit for weeks while I knit on other things. The only saving grace was the changing of colors and watching the blend occur.

      I am the same way in the morning, although I don't wake up very early. I like to drink coffee and read my email and blogs. I also write my blog posts in the morning. It's a great way to start the day, and right now it's too cold to walk first thing.

  2. Your projects are always so pretty, even the most simple ones inspire me. I like that you are a seasoned knitter yet still enjoy the simple projects. It shows me again that the process of knitting brings on a feeling of well being. I'm wishing you and your family and very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. I love your blog and it's a highlight for me when you write a new post. Thank you!

  3. Good morning Kristen,

    I just love the blanket you knitted. I have so much fingering weight wool from the many pairs of socks and I would love to use this pattern to use it up. Can you please tell me how much of the kidsilk you used? I have to order it online and would hate to not have enough to finish the job. I would make my blanket approximately the same size as your. Its so pretty and would be the perfect project to work on when in my craft group chatting.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    1. Thank you Janet. Unfortunately I didn't take into account the amount of mohair I started with so I don't know how much I used. I'll take a wild stab and say 6 skeins. I used a combo of Rowan KSH and an inexpensive alternative, Valley Yarns Southhampton. They were of different dye lots and even slightly different colors of white but for this project it made no difference. Since the yarn is so expensive, I would start out with 6, knit until 3 are finished up and if it's the right size, then you can use the other three on the decrease part of it. If it's not big enough you can just purchase one or two more skeins and the dye lot won't matter. I really do think 6 is enough, but I'm sorry, I just don't know. Also, for this project using an inexpensive brand of the mohair/silk is a good idea if you are trying to slim the costs. I'm using a cheaper brand for my next one and I'm certain I'll be happy with it.

      I sure hope I was able to help.

      Merry Christmas, Kristen

  4. I love your description "like a caterpillar turning into a butterfly! Beautiful blanket!!!

  5. I love this so much! I’m currently doing a similar pattern with 4 strands of worsted weight on 17s, (Purl Soho featured it with one of their new yarn lines last week). I’m desperately trying to use up my stash before indulging in more yarn. I love your gauge and color way though.

    We like to practice a No-Pressure Christmas. Just make time to spend with family, watch some movies, have some good food and of course time to sit and knit, that’s all I want!
    Fondly, Elizabeth

    1. Your blanket sounds like a lovely stash gobbler! I have only recently learned about the no pressure Christmas and I love it and won't ever give it up. This year, it just turned out that we had a lot of entertaining on our plate and I know it was all my doing as my husband likes to remind me, but most years I'm able to reign it in. Today is the the 23rd and I've wrapped all my presents and just finished cleaning the house, have all my groceries in and only half a hat to knit. It feels like heaven.


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