Have you ever wanted to sit down and knit a baby blanket and don’t have a pattern? Now you can! The Ultimate Guide to Baby Blankets will show you how much yarn you will need, how many stitches to cast on, and you choose the yarn weight.
Be sure to read all the way to the end because there is a free printable so you can keep it in your knitting bag.
How to Knit the Perfect Baby Blanket in 3 Easy Steps
With this Ultimate Guide to Baby Blankets, you'll be able to choose the right size blanket, what yarn to use, and how many stitches to cast on. That's it! Just 3 easy steps, no matter what yarn you choose!
How to Plan the Perfect Baby Blanket in 3 Easy Steps
Baby blankets are special projects and choosing the necessary materials should be fun and easy. Here’s the formula to select the blanket, yarn, and start knitting in 3 easy steps!
How Big Should My Blanket Be?
This is a question that comes up a lot and one I've even asked myself. Which size is the right one? There are sizes for carriers/car seats, receiving blankets, stroller covers, full size crib blankets and somewhere in between. To select just the right size and materials begin with Step 1.
Step 1: Choose Baby Blanket Size, Yarn Weight and Yardage
This is where you will also get to choose the weight of the yarn you would like to use and determine the approximate yardage for your chosen size.
To choose, take a look at the guidelines below. When considering a specific pattern you can still use these guidelines to judge how many ways your blanket will be used. Better yet, if creating your own design, you'll know the "suggested" dimensions and approximately how much yarn you'll need.
How Much Yarn Will I Need?
Knowing how much yarn is needed to make a baby blanket is a question we are often asked. This section will show you the popular baby blanket sizes that people like to knit. We’ll also include how many yards of yarn for a baby blanket based on the gauge or thickness of the yarn.
How To Find the Yarn Weight of a Yarn
If you are new to looking at the weight or gauge (thickness) of a yarn, keep reading.
To use this section, find a yarn you really like and then take a look at the yarn label. There is usually a gauge box on it and it will state how many stitches over 1 inch or 4 inches. If it says how many stitches over 1 inch, just select the baby blanket size below, select the stitches per inch recommended on the yarn label.
If it says the gauge over 4 inches, you’ll need to divide by 4 to get the gauge over 1 inch. For example if the gauge on the label says 20 stitches to 4 inches. When divided by 4, you’ll have 5 stitches per inch. So you’ll look up the blanket size, then look at the yards needed next to 5 stitches per inch (worsted weight).
Carrier/Car Seat Size Blanket Size 24 x 24"
3 stitches per inch/Bulky 230 yards
4 stitches per inch/Chunky 325 yards
5 stitches per inch/Worsted 410 yards
6 stitches per inch/DK 580 yards
Stroller Size Blanket Size 30 x 30"
3 stitches per inch/Bulky 428 yards
4 stitches per inch/Chunky 610 yards
5 stitches per inch/Worsted 770 yards
6 stitches per inch/DK 1090 yards
Receiving Blanket Size 34 x 36"
3 stitches per inch/Bulky 580 yards
4 stitches per inch/Chunky 830 yards
5 stitches per inch/Worsted 1050 yards
6 stitches per inch/DK 1480 yards
Crib Size Blanket 36 x 52"
3 stitches per inch/Bulky 890 yards
4 stitches per inch/Chunky 1270 yards
5 stitches per inch/Worsted 1600 yards
6 stitches per inch/DK 2260 yards
How many balls of yarn for a baby blanket?
Now that you know how many yards of yarn you need. It’s time to figure out how many balls of yarn that actually is. It’s very easy to figure out!
Take a look at the yarn label again. It will tell you how many yards are on the skein. All you need to do is divide the total yards needed by the yards per ball.
For example, I selected a bulky weight yarn 132 yards/skein and I’m going to make the receiving blanket size which requires 580 yards. So I divide 580 by 132 = 4.39. I round up so that I have enough yarn and I’ll need 5 skeins to make the baby blanket.
Step 2: What Yarn Can I Use for a Baby Blanket?
Now that you've selected your blanket size, yarn gauge and yardage, it's time to select the project yarn. Merely locate your gauge below and select a yarn from the list. It's that easy!
3-4 Stitches per Inch /Bulky-Chunky Yarn Suggestions
5 Stiches per Inch/Worsted Yarn Suggestions
6 Stitches per Inch/DK Yarn Suggestions
Step 3: How Many Stitches Should I Cast On?
Refer to the size baby blanket you chose in step 1.
Take the completed width measurement and multiply it by the number of stitches per inch. That's your cast on number!
For example: Let's say I'm going to knit the Stroller Size Blanket which measures 30" x 30". I've chosen to knit it in a Worsted Weight: 5 stitches. per inch. All I need to do is multiply 30 (width measurement) x 5 (stitches per inch) = 150 stitches to cast on. Start knitting and bind off when you reach the required length. In this case, it's 30 inches.
Use the needle size suggested on the yarn label. Now cast on and create!
Step 4: What Size Knitting Needles Will I Need?
This part is easy! To find out what size knitting needles you’ll need for a baby blanket, just take a look at the yarn label. It should have the recommended needle size listed right near the gauge. Since you’ll be knitting a blanket with a lot of stitches, select either 14” straight knitting needles or 24” or longer circular needle to accommodate all those stitches.
We are often asked how to knit a baby blanket on straight needles? If you don’t feel comfortable knitting on circular needles, you can knit a baby blanket on straight needles.
Most of the blanket sizes will fit on 14” long needles. It’s okay of the stitches are a bit smooshed, it won’t affect the completed project. If there are a lot of stitches on the needle, just be sure to use a point protector to keep the stitches from sliding off when not in use.
Always finish a row of knitting before setting it down, so you don’t drop stitches on your baby blanket.
This guide is also available as a free printable so you can download it and keep it in your knitting bag for easy reference.
Browse our entire collection of baby yarns.