Project-Hooded Blanket and BBF (Baby’s Best Friend)

Hooded Baby Blanket and BBF-Everything Pudding

I am absolutely terrible about finishing projects. But I’ve been finishing some up recently and this is one of them.

There are sometimes when I see a cute pattern and I want to make it, even though I have no idea what I’m going to do with it after I’m done. This project was one of them. I saw the pattern in JoAnn’s. It was one of those free tear-off patterns they have in the yarn aisles. I picked it up and added it to the growing pile of patterns to be knitted (well  maybe to get knitted). Later when I wanted a new knitting project I picked it up and went to JoAnn’s looking for the yarn. They didn’t have it. Thankfully when I went back a couple weeks later they had it. I got all the yarn I needed for it. I also picked up the needles I needed since I didn’t have the right ones in my stash. I’m really not sure how long it took me to knit the blanket. I picked it up every now and then, during movies or trips. I did eventually finish and when I did I had a whole ball of yarn left. What do I do with it?

My little sister was given a “buddy” when she was little and slept with it every night. She gradually got less and less attached as she got older but when she was really little she had to have it. I though I’d look for a pattern for something like it. Her’s had a bear’s head but instead of body it was attached to the center of a mini blanket and had “feet” on all four corners.  I was originally thinking of doing a little bear but I found a pattern on Ravelry for a bunny and loved it. I had never made anything with double pointed needles so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. But it ended up great. It was so fun knitting and seeing the head form and then the ears. The cute little knotted feet on each of the four corners are so fun. My least favorite part of the whole project though was embroidering the face. It took me several tries to get it right but I love how it looks.

So know that you’ve read my whole long explanation of how I made mine, here’s some pictures and the details for if you decide to make one.

Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding

Blanket with Hood

Pattern: Blanket with Hood by Bernat (Link goes to a page with a download link for the pattern.)

Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak Baby Baby Print (I got mine at JoAnns.)

Yardage Used: 600 Yards (5 Balls, 120 Yards each)

Needles: Clover Bamboo 36″ Circular Knitting Needle Size 10

Notes: The pattern calls for size 9 knitting needles but I wasn’t able to find size 9 in the right length so I went up a size and got size 10. It worked fine and the knitting is close enough, no holes or anything. This may have been why I only ended up need 5 balls (600 yards) vs. the 660 yards the pattern called for. I even had enough yarn left over from the fifth ball to sew the hood onto the blanket.

Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding Hooded Blanket and BBF Knitted by Everything Pudding

BBF (Baby’s Best Friend)

Pattern: BBF by Linda Skinlo on Ravelry

Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak Baby Baby Print (I got mine at JoAnns.)

Yardage Used: ~150 Yards (2 balls, 120  yards each)

Needles: 12″  Straight Needles Size 6 (Used to knit the blanket portion)

Clover Bamboo Double Pointed Needles 7″ Size 6 (Pack of five needles, can’t do it with four, used to knit the head)

Crochet Hook: Size G/6 (4.25 mm) (Used for picking up stitches to knit the head)

Cross Stitch Thread: DMC #3689 (Used to embroider face)

Notes: The pattern only called for 105 meters which is 115 yards. I ended up having to buy another ball of yarn because one ball (120 yards ) was only enough to do the blanket portion. I used the new ball to knit the head and didn’t use very much of it. I estimated that I used 150 yards for the project total so plan for somewhere around that. I used a crochet hook to help in picking up the stitches for knitting the head. Because I had never done this I looked up how it was done. I found a blog that had some very useful videos on knitting in the round. View the playlist of the videos here. I was also unsure of what backward loop cast-on was. Found out here.

These two projects were so much fun to make, especially the BBF. Bernat Pipsqueak comes in really cute prints so you could create so many different ones. You could also make these out of different yarns. I’m finishing up another baby blanket from a real pretty pattern and am going to make a buddy to go with it. Hopefully that’ll be finished soon!

When I started this project I didn’t have anyone in mind to give it to, but by the time I finished it I did. A friend just had a baby girl so I gave it to her. Hopefully she’ll get a lot of use out of it!

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Knitting Technique: Continental Knitting

It’s always great to be able to do something faster and more efficiently. This applies to knitting and is why I’m going to introduce you to a new method of knitting called continental knitting.

My mom was introduced to this technique by another mom at a speech and debate tournament (there can be a lot of down time if you’re a parent and you’re not judging a round so both my mom and the other mom had brought along their knitting). I learned it and have been using it on my simple projects. It takes a minute to get a hang of it, but after you do it can be much faster.

So that you can take advantage of this faster method check out these two videos: The Knit Stitch (Continental Method) and The Purl Stitch (Continental Style).

Knitting Technique: One-Needle Cast On

Most of us like quick and easy methods of doing something. I do. Sometimes the quick and easy method seems more difficult to start with than the regular way. That is what I thought of the one-needle cast on method. For however many years I’ve been knitting (probably 6+) I have used the traditional method of casting on. The one-needle way intimidated me and I had no reason to try it.

Then I started knitting a Beaded Lace Scarf. This new project (which I will hopefully do a post on soon) was started by casting on using the one-needle cast on method. This method was necessary so that the beads could be “part of” the cast on row. I now had to learn the method and I did. I consulted my trusty Klutz Knitting Book and followed their instructions and illustrations. I practiced using scrap yarn so as not to mess up my nice yarn. It took me a couple tries but I finally got it and realized what I had been missing out on. It was so easy and fast. I will not be using the traditional method anymore.

Since some of you knitters out there may want to try it I found a good video of it online. You can also probably find instructions in any learn to knit books that you have. This video has a very good explanation and you can clearly see how the lady did it. You can view the video here.

Note that this method of cast on is more commonly know as Long-tail Cast on and also Continental Cast on, and Double Cast on. I believe there are one or two other methods for casting on with one needle but this is the one I saw in my knitting book and the one my pattern used.

I hope this is helpful.

Learn to Knit-The Easy Way

I am very blessed in that I have a very talented grandmother who is an extremely good knitter and sewer. She was the one who taught me how to knit. I’m not sure how long ago that was but I was pretty young and my first piece had plenty of whole holes and the sides were very uneven (I was constantly dropping and making new stitches). I wish I still had that piece but I gave to my cousin for a baby blanket for her doll. Thankfully, I have improved.

How? I have knitted dozens of projects. Since, at the time I was taught, my grandmother was not close enough to help me anytime I needed it and since my mother was also learning to knit we turned to books for help (and sometimes urgent calls to grandma). My favorite learn to knit book: The Klutz Learn to Knit Kit.

We had gotten a learn to knit book before this but they didn’t have very good illustrations. The Klutz book is amazing. They have illustrations for every single explanation and project. The teach you how to cast on several ways, knit and purl stitch, and how to cast off. They also have helpful things for when you drop a stitch, how to unravel, and buying more yarn. There are six projects in it. All of them are pretty simple, useful, and well-explained. I have made five out of the six projects in the book and had great success.

I highly recommend this book for anybody who is struggling knitting or wants to learn. It has great explanations and simple projects to get you started. It also comes with the needles and yarn you need to knit several of the projects.

It is overall the best learn to knit book I have.  If you have been waiting to learn to knit don’t put it off any longer. Get this book and learn. It is such a fun activity to do and you can make all kinds of things.

Happy Knitting!

P.S. This is the first of my posts on knitting. I have been knitting for years and am still knitting. Look for posts about my current projects soon.