My very first knitted blanket is complete! I've been working on this on and off for the last few months, in between other smaller projects. Knitting a baby-sized blanket is a lot less intimidating than a grown-up sized one.

Knitted Baby Blanket

I used two colours of yarn and a slip stitch pattern from Purl Soho's Reversible Stripes scarf, changing the number of stitches to suit my gauge. This is one of my favourite knitting stitch patterns; it looks good on both sides and kind of has a woven feel.

Knitted Baby Blanket

Below are some steps to help you make your own blanket in any size, using yarn and needles of your choice.

Step 1: Choose your yarn
You'll need 2 different colours of yarn in the same weight. Choose thicker yarn if you want your blanket to work up quicker, or thinner yarn for a lightweight blanket. I used some yarn I already had in my stash: Loops & Threads Cambria (now discontinued) in white and grey.

Step 2: Knit a test swatch
This step is important if you want your blanket to be the right size. Cast on an odd number of stitches - enough to make a square about 10 cm (4 inches) wide. Your yarn label will give you a rough idea of what size needles to use and how many stitches you'll need. Knit in the pattern stitch (from Purl Soho's Reversible Stripes Scarf) for about 10 cm (4 inches). Cast off and lay your swatch on a flat surface. Place a ruler or tape measure on top, and count how many stitches are needed to make a 10 cm (4 inch) wide piece of knitting. Save this number for later.

Using 3 mm knitting needles, I needed 27 stitches to make a 10 cm wide square.

Step 3: Decide how wide your blanket will be
Let's say 90 cm (36 inches) for this example.

Step 4: Figure out how many stitches to cast on
Now you'll use a simple calculation to figure out how many stitches you need to cast on:

total blanket width ÷ swatch width = a
a x number of stitches in swatch = total number of stitches to cast on

Here's the calculation for my blanket:

90 cm (36 in.) ÷ 10 cm (4 in.) = 9
9 x 27 stitches = 243 stitches total

If the number of stitches you calculated is even, add one more to make it an odd number.

Step 5: Make your blanket
Now for the fun part! Cast on the required number of stitches you calculated in step 4. Knit in the pattern stitch until your blanket reaches the desired length. Cast off and sew in the ends. Wash, block, and snuggle!