New Favorites: Graphic blankets

New Favorites: Graphic blankets

Every summer I say I’m going to do three things: knit socks, crochet something, and work on a blanket. I could kill two of those birds with one stone if I were to do something like Linen Stitch Manghan (free pattern) by Dedri Uys (bottom photo above), a crocheted blanket that I would like even better if it were scrappier and mismatch-ier than pictured. That has the dual appeal of modularity and using up some of my leftovers, but then there’s the lure of the upper one, Purl Soho’s Optic Blanket (free pattern). So stark and sophisticated with its ebony-and-ivory palette, and still has the modularity factor going for it, but that wouldn’t help me out with all those loose ends lying around …


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15 thoughts on “New Favorites: Graphic blankets

  1. That optic one is to-die-for. On my “probably will never make, but will add it to my to do” list.

  2. I can’t stop thinking about that purl soho one. I’m in the midst of a prolonged international move and in no position to make something as big as a blanket, but I’m daydreaming about it living in my new yet-to-be-found apartment once all of this shuffling is done. Grasping at stability ;)

    Does anyone have any good ideas for alternative yarns for it?

    • Flax Down is a fairly unusual yarn, so you might have to give up some of its properties when looking for an alternative. It’s basically a 50-50 alpaca-merino blend plus 15% linen, spun to look like a single-ply (I don’t know if it actually is single-ply or not, since I haven’t gotten my hands on any yet!). The only other yarn I can think of that’s kindasorta similar is Classic Elite Soft Linen (35% wool, 30% alpaca, 35% linen, DK, plied).

      So one option is to look for a worsted-ish weight yarn with similar proportions of alpaca and wool, and with a mid- to low-energy twist. Alpaca-merino-linen is a pretty rare combo, but there are a lot of alpaca-wool and alpaca-wool-silk yarns out there. Those will give you the warmth, drape and halo, though not the edge of low-sheen crispness the linen provides.

      But garter stitch and mitered squares (what this blanket is made of) look great in plenty of different yarns, so you could also just find something you like that’s in the right gauge range and go for it. I can imagine this blanket working up quite nicely in cotton (and blends), merino (and blends), or plain old workhorse 3-ply wool. None of these will produce exactly the same fabric, but they’ll still be very nice blankets.

      The Optic Blanket pattern plays with color contrast using a yarn whose colors are all slightly heathered or tweedy (due to the fiber mix), so no matter the fiber content I’d look for a yarn with a similar heathered-ness or softness of color. A straight solid color yarn will look *way more* contrast-y and op-art, possibly more than you want if you like the look of this sample.

      • Wow, thanks for the thorough and thoughtful response, Julia, lots to ponder!

  3. I like the graphic modernity of the Optic. To my eye, it looks more unusual than the other. I never have scraps that suit my decor anyway.

  4. I’m totally smiling. When Purl Soho released the new optic blanket, my first thought was Karen would like this one! Happy to say I have finished my Falling Bobbles Blanket and started my first pair of socks last week. Completely in love with both. xoxo

  5. Take a look at Wooly Thoughts by Steve Plummer and Pat Ashforth. Their blankets are amazing. Haven’t made one yet but have the pattern and deciding on colors.

  6. what to do with scraps is a subject all in itself. I am making Babette’s blanket using many colors. I also attended a class about using seven different yarns to make a sweater, but I haven’t tried it yet.

  7. Your very close to starting a cozy memories blanket (and if you do, you might as well start a video podcast ;) ), it combines the use of scrap yarn, the “working on a blanket”, and most likely the “knitting socks” because they are mostly done with beautiful sock yarn. If you manage to add a crochet border you’re all set.

  8. I wonder if a superwash wool would be good and not pill?
    I am knitting my first pair of socks using my newly learned magic loop. Beats dpn hands down!

  9. Do you mean too many ends to weave in? I see Optic as perfect. The colors would be carried, and if you leave long ends at the end of each square they can be used to sew the squares together, weaving in as you go. If you sew in each square as it is done, into strips, and sew each strip to the next, there would be no finishing at all. A perfect summer project with just one portable square at a time to worry about.

  10. I’m actually working on the optic blanket right now, although I’m making it a bit larger.

    Ellen: you actually pick up and knit one square to the next. (The pattern is free at The Purl Bee, btw, so you can read through it if you like!)

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