This pattern features cables that turn horizontally and meet, forming patterns that were nearly impossible before. Sideways cables open up all kinds of design possibilities. All of the interlacings fit together without interruption.
Although I think lacy baby blankets are wonderful, I wanted to make an heirloom baby blanket that little fingers or toes couldn't get trapped in, and was machine-washable.
As someone who loves Celtic designs, I was inspired by stonework found in Dunfallandy, Perthshire, Scotland, documented in J. Romilly Allen's masterful work, Celtic Art in Pagan and Christian Times.
photos: Dale White, Teresa de Roulet, Brittany Ross
Recommended needle size [always use a needle
size that gives you the gauge
listed below -- every knitter's
gauge is unique]
5 US #7/4.5 mm 32-inch circular needles
crochet hook, about the size or a little smaller than the knitting needles used
18 sts/26 rounds = 4 inches in stockinette stitch with US#8/5mm needles.
PATTERN NOTES [Knitty's list of standard abbreviations and techniques can be found here.]
This blanket is made up of 4 squares worked from one corner to the opposite corner, oriented like diamonds. The top and bottom diamonds are turned facing sideways, the left and right ones positioned upright, one upside down to the other, as knitted with 8 triangles used to fill in the corners, to make a square blanket. Background and two borders are added by picking up stitches on the blanket and working in the round. See schematic below.
A horizontal cable will have loose stitches in the following row, but these can be tightened up by knitting through the back loop. After a few rows, it is barely noticeable, especially when supported by other cables. If the looseness bothers you, they can be tightened up later by turning the blanket to the wrong side, and finishing them as is described below.
For those who count very carefully, you may notice that once the pattern is established, after finishing a wrong side and looking at the right, the borders are 5 stitches each; at the end of working the right side, borders are 4 stitches each. This will reverse after the half-way point of the square. There will also be three right side rows following one after another halfway through. All will be explained.
The first 17 rows can be fiddly, and some stitches will look wonky, but will improve in succeeding rows. In addition, the cables will cross the same direction together on a particular row -- one row they all cross to the right, the next time they cross, all to the left. This can look a little confusing on the edge cables as the come in or out of the square. See picture.
3-way dec: Sl first st on Left needle to Right needle, pass second st on Left needle over st closest to ndl tip, pass the st on Left needle to Right needle, pass the second st over the ndl tip, slip st back to Left needle, pass second st on Left needle over st at ndl tip.
3-way inc: Kbf (not kfb), then insert left hand needle front to back into right side of the vertical strand just below the stitches worked, and knit it.
Kbf: Knit into back of st, then into the front of it.
M1PL: Insert left needle, from front to back, under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle; purl this stitch through back loop. 1 stitch increased
M1PR: Insert left needle, from back to front, under strand of yarn which runs between next stitch on left needle and last stitch on right needle; purl this stitch through front loop. 1 stitch increased
p clockwise: Assuming you are knitting Western style, the yarn usually goes around the ndl counterclockwise. In this case, the yarn is wrapped in the clockwise direction to avoid a loose st. This is optional, but can help to keep the border welts tidier if you find that your purl gauge is much looser than your knit gauge.
pfb: P into the front and the back of the st.
C4L: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in front of work, k2; k2 from cable ndl.
C4R: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in back of work, k2; k2 from cable ndl.
T2L: Sl next st to cable ndl and hold at front of work, p1; k1 from cable ndl.
T3k2togR: Sl next st to cable ndl and hold in back of work, k2tog; p1 from cable ndl.
T3L: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold at front of work, p1; k2 from cable ndl.
T3R: Sl next st to cable ndl and hold in back of work, k2; p1 from cable ndl.
T3incL: Sl next st to cable ndl and hold in back of work, M1R, k1; p1 from cable ndl.
T4k2togR: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in back of work, k2tog; p2 from cable ndl.
T3sskL: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in front of work, p1; ssk from cable ndl.
T4p2togR: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in back of work, k2; p2tog from cable ndl.
T4sskL: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in front of work, p2; ssk from cable ndl.
T4R: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in back of work, k2; p2 from cable ndl.
T4L: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold at front of work, p2; k2 from cable ndl. T4p2togL: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in front of work, p2tog; k2 from cable ndl.
TP4R: Sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in back of work, p2; k2 from cable ndl.
DIRECTIONS Square (Make 4)
Using the smaller ndl and the long tail method, CO 3 sts.
Note: In the next row, you turn the cable horizontally. It's a complex row to read, but not so challenging to work. Things will look wonky at times, but will even out in a few rows.
Row 31 [RS]: K1, M1PR, p2, sl next 2 sts to cable ndl and hold in back of work, k2, sl sts on cable ndl onto Left ndl, sl the last 2 sts worked from Right ndl to Left ndl, YO, k1, ssk. *Slip last 3 sts from Right ndl to Left ndl, kbf, k1, ssk; rep from * 9 times more, until you are 2 p sts away from the next cable on the Left ndl. T4R. T4L, T4R, sm, T4L, T4R, T4L, sl the last 2 sts worked onto the Left ndl. YO, k1, ssk. *Slip last 3 sts on Right ndl to Left ndl, kbf, k1, ssk; rep from * 7 more times, until you are adjacent to the next cable on the Left ndl. Place 2 sts on cable needle and hold in front of work, rep from * 2 more times, k2 from the cable ndl, p2, M1PL, k1. 58 sts.
Note: The next row is also a right-sided row. This allows you to start another horizontal cable on the RS, rather than the WS. Cut the yarn, leaving sufficient tail for weaving in later, slide the sts back to the other end of your circular ndl, and begin work on the RS again.
Row 34 [RS]: P5, k2. Using your crochet hook, create two new stitches as follows: insert the hook into the first of the two sts just worked, grab the working yarn and pulling it through; repeat with the second stitch. Put these two stitches on your cable needle. Rotate the cable needle, and knit those two stitches off it (the first stitch worked will be the second one you created). Slip these two sts back to the left needle, yo, k1, ssk. *slip last 3 worked sts back to Left needle, kbf, k1, ssk; rep from * until you are 4 stitches from the next cable, p4, k4, p2, sm, p2, k4, p4. Using your crochet hook, create two new stitches as before, and work them off the twisted cable needle. Slip these two sts back to the left needle, yo, k1, ssk. *slip last 3 worked sts back to Left needle, kbf, k1, ssk; rep from * to last 5 sts, p5. 58 sts.
The following row is again a right-sided row. Cut yarn and slide stitches to the left as for row 34.
Seam together the 4 squares to form a diamond, following the schematic below. When the pieces are sewn together, the cables that start and stop on the edges will meet the cables on the other squares. Seam the triangles together in pairs to form the corners, according to the schematic, then to the edges of the diamond.
BORDERS Note: To manage the large number of stitches, each side will be worked with a separate circular ndl.
Using a circular ndl, starting at one corner, pick up and knit 174 sts along the side. Repeat along all four sides. Place a removable st marker in the fabric to indicate the start of round. 696 sts.
The instructions below will refer to "sides" -- this means a set of stitches on one ndl.
Rnd 1: [K1, M1R, k across to last st of side, M1L, k1] 4 times. 8 sts increased. Rnd 2: K around.
Rep Rnds 1 & 2 for a total of 40 rnds, or until border is 7.5 inches in depth.
Rnd 41: [P1 clockwise, M1RP, p clockwise across to last st of side, M1LP, p1 clockwise] 4 times. 8 sts increased. Rnd 42: P clockwise around.
Repeat the last 2 rnds once more.
Work Rnds 1 & 2 twice.
Work Rnds 41 & 42 twice.
Work Rnds 1 & 2 twice.
Generally, if there are other cables stabilizing the fabric, no additional finishing is needed. If the stitches above the horizontal cable still appear loose, they can be snugged up on the wrong side. Thread some of the same yarn used in the project onto a tapestry ndl. Anchor it by weaving it through a few stitches on the WS near the cable.
Pick up one loose strand of each V of the cable, twist it, and run the ndl through the twisted loop. Do the same for each V, then anchor the yarn on the other end by weaving it through several sts again. Cut yarn.
Block and weave in ends.
ABOUT THE DESIGNER
Terry has a B.A. in English in Creative and Technical Writing, a Master's in English, and is an M.D. She is fortunate to have a wonderful husband and three fine sons who tolerate her. She fights with her cats over yarn, and usually wins. She was born on Halloween.