If you follow @mindfulknitsgram on Instagram, you may have seen my series of posts where I detail how I created the Blinky Blanket, which was a present for my newborn niece, Blinky.
I’d like to share some more details on how I created the blanket here, so that you can create it with mindfulknits yarn, if you so desire! This is a great project if you are a beginner crocheter and if you have never made a blanket before.
Some things I had to consider when I was on the hunt for inspiration for the Blinky Blanket:
- I am all about instant gratification. If a project takes too long, or is too monotonous, I am out.
- I wanted to make something unisex, because I’m not a big fan of gendered baby items, and I also did not know the gender of the baby.
- I wanted to make the blanket with mindfulknits yarn, so whatever I chose to make would have to work with the mindfulknits yarn colors.
After searching high and low for inspiration, I began to lose hope that I would find the perfect blanket to make little Blinky. But then I happened upon the following Gingham Crochet Baby Blanket pattern from the Sum of Their Stories blog. Perfect.
This project ticked many ‘firsts’ for me. First:
- Granny square(s)
- Time blocking cotton yarn
- Handmade item for my little niece
You Will Need:
- A size 4.5mm crochet hook.
- 4 x 50g balls of mindfulknits yarn in Simply White (or any white cotton yarn)
- 4 x 50g balls of mindfulknits yarn in Palm Shade (or any dark teal yarn)
- 6 x 50g balls of mindfulknits yarn in Soothing Sea (or any light blue cotton yarn)
- 1 yarn needle.
Part 1: Creating Granny Squares
Granny squares are the atomic unit of classic granny square blankets. Here is the pattern for the granny squares we created.
This is the most convenient part about making a blanket that is made up of smaller pieces. I was able to crochet squares during a work trip to NYC, and a couple squares every night while watching TV, and some squares on the BART. When I started getting bored of one color, I simply switched to a new color. Little by little, an entire blanket worth of squares was complete.
Instant gratification? Check.
I created 31 in Soothing Sea, 12 in Simply White, and 20 in Palm Shade. 1 ball of mindfulknits yarn should make about 6 squares.
After completing the squares, I weaved in the loose ends of each square. The picture above shows the squares before we weaved in the ends. Warning: weaving ends is not particularly fun.
Part 2: Block it Like it’s Hot
After weaving in all the loose ends of the granny squares, it’s time to block it like it’s hot! The purpose of blocking is to ensure all squares are uniform in shape and size before they are joined together.
I pinned each square to foam boards in 4″x4″ squares, spritzed them with water, and allowed to air dry. See the before and after in the 2nd image below!
Part 3: Lay ’em Out
After blocking the squares I laid them out in the gingham pattern you see here. After laying it out, I realized the pattern looked unbalanced, so I quickly made an extra row for symmetry and balance. The material quantities and square counts provided are for the final blanket.
Part 4: I’m a Wizard! (the Mattress Stitch)
Time to seam all these squares together. This can really make or break your blanket – you don’t want unseemly (hehe) edges on all your squares.
A seamless seam is what we need…so who do we call? The mattress stitch! A really cool technique for joining crocheted/knitted pieces together that leaves behind no indication of a seam. Here is a link to the mattress stitch tutorial. Made me feel like a magician 🧙♂️
Part 5: Weave on the Go
The beauty of knitting & crochet is that you can do it anywhere – planes, hotels, automobiles, on the beach…and this was the case for the Blinky blanket! I joined the remaining squares and wove in all the loose ends during the amazing mindfulknits company #tropicalretreat in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Part 6: Border Baybeeee
Once all the squares are joined and all the loose ends are safe and secure, it’s time to add the finishing touches, namely the border. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure what to do for the border, but a good rule of thumb is to do one round of single crochet to start things off and then hope that inspiration strikes. So that’s exactly what I did.
Part 7: Inspiration strikes!
Great news! As I was pondering how to complete the blanket border, inspiration strikes in the form of the highly awaited arrival of the one and only BLINKY 💙💙💙 Blinky is a sweet, pure, lovely little girl so naturally a sweet, pure, lovely scalloped edge made sense. Here is a tutorial for crocheted scalloped edges.
A delayed flight back from the #tropicalretreat had a silver lining: I finished the scalloped edge! I had a couple days at home before I was going to travel to meet baby Blinky, which was enough time to do the last and final step in the Blinky blanket process. I gave the blanket a quick hand wash in warm water and decided to do a final blocking session to make sure the squares dried properly and the blanket kept a uniform shape.
Series Finale: Lessons Learned
After the final block, I packed up the blanket and headed to Blinkyland. Here is the Blinky blanket in its final form.
As much as I tried, I couldn’t get the blanket to look like a perfect rectangle, as perfect as the blanket pictured in the pattern I followed or as perfect as blankets in countless Instagram posts I looked at for inspiration. The edges wouldn’t lay flat and the bottom seemed a little more stretched than the top. Some of the loose ends I thought I had securely weaved in came undone and unraveled a bit. While I love knitting and crochet so much that I founded a yarn company, I certainly can’t claim to be an expert at either one 😊 And I think that’s the beauty of these crafts.
Even though they may not be perfect, it brings us joy to make them and it brings people joy to know they have a truly one-of-a-kind item made with some yarn & needles, and copious amounts of love.
A Note to Blinky
The value of things/people/ideas doesn’t lie in how they stack up to a gold standard, but rather, I believe, in what makes them unique. There is only one Blinky, and therefore you are the most precious Blinky in the world. Love,