Free Afghan Knitting Pattern: Color Field Baby Blanket
Making baby items as gifts or for your own new arrival is one of the most enjoyable and fun (and fast) handmade projects you can knit. New parents always appreciate little knit items that are made with warm wishes and love.
Baby blankets are one of the easiest projects, especially for new knitters or for those who are intimidated by shaping. Blankets are just a rectangle, often with no increases or decreases. And a blanket is usually used much longer than other items since a child won’t outgrow it as fast as clothing or toys.
Quick Knitting Poll
Do you like to knit baby items as gifts?
Color Choices and Design
I designed this blanket using leftover yarn I had from a previous project. I used 6 colors, and transitioned between them by using the detail color of the previous block as the background color of my next block. This created a fun and colorful design, but you can certainly change the colors and blocks to your own personal taste or to match a nursery color scheme.
This Color Field Baby Blanket can be knit in just two colors, or you can switch colors as often as you choose. If you want to use just two colors, consider using a variegated or striping yarn for the background, and a solid color for the detail design. Or, try the opposite – use a solid color for the background and a variegated or striping yarn for the detail. Another suggestion would be to do the background in blocks of changing colors as I did, but knit the detail in one constant color throughout, using a soft pastel like blue, pink, yellow or white. You can personalize and design it however you choose!
I decided to use acrylic yarn for this project because I think it is a safe choice for any baby item. There’s less chance of unknown problems with allergies and it is easier to wash and dry for new parents who already have their hands full :)
As I said, I used leftover yarn from another project, so my yardage is a generous estimate of how much I used. You can use any worsted weight yarn for this knitted blanket.
Less than 150 yards of Caron Simply Soft in Dark Country Blue (navy)
Less than 200 yards of Caron Simple Soft in Country Blue (light blue or denim color)
Less than 200 yards of Red Heart Super Saver in Tea Leaf (green)
Less than 200 yards of Caron Simply Soft in Grey Heather
Less than 200 yards of Bernat Super Value in Lavender
Less than 100 yards of Caron Simply Soft Eco in natural (off white)
#7 circular needle – long enough to hold all your stitches
Two stitch markers
Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Finished size: 25 inches wide by 29 inches long
Gauge: 5 sts per inch in Stst
Description of Terms
This slipped stitch pattern creates a different design on each side of this blanket. For the sake of clarity, I am referring to the pattern side in the swatch above as the "right" side of the blanket. In this sample, I consider the dark blue color to be the background color, and the green to be the detail color.
Abbreviations Used in Pattern
B = background color
D = detail color
K = knit
P = purl
Sl – slip stitch purlwise from left needle to right needle without knitting
Yf – move yarn to front side of work (the side you are looking at as you knit)
Yb – move yarn to backside of work
Color Field Pattern:
(this will create a 5 sts garter border on your blanket):
Row 1 (RS): With color D - K8, *sl1, K3*, repeat from * to* until last 5 sts, k5.
Row2: With D – K8, *yf, sl1, yb, k3*, repeat from * to * until last 5 sts, k5.
Row 3: With color B – K6, sl1, *k3, sl1*, repeat from * to * until last 6 sts, then k6.
Row 4: With B – K5, p1, sl1, *p3, sl1*, repeat from * to * to last 6 sts, then p1, k5.
Row 5: With B, - Knit all sts.
Row 6: With B – K5, purl across until last 5 sts, k5.
Repeat rows 1-6 for Color Field Pattern.
Note: As you continue with the same colors in your repeats, do not cut your yarn. Instead, as you begin a RS row, loop your working yarn around your alternating color and carry it up the side of your work. This way, you will only be weaving ends in when you change colors. (see photo above)
To Begin Color Field Baby Blanket:
Cast on 121 sts in color B (you can increase or decrease the width of the blanket by adding or subtracting sets of 4 stitches). Place stitch market after the first 5 sts and before the last 5 sts. This will mark the 5 st garter border. Knit flat, do not join in the round.
Continue in color B by knitting 8 rows in garter st. Then begin Color Field Pattern above by introducing your detail color (D) in Row 1.
To make my blanket, I knit 7 repeats of the pattern, then changed my background color to a lighter blue and my detail color to green. When you are ready to change your background color: do your last repeat of the pattern, but on Row 6: purl across in the new background color. On the next row (Row 1 of your next repeat), knit with your new detail color.
As you can see, I transitioned through 5 color changes: from dark blue with light blue detail, to light blue with green detail. Then I used the green as my background color and added gray as my detail color, then I switched to gray background with lavender as detail. I ended my blanket with lavender background with a white detail color. Lastly, I knitted my ending garter border with the lavender background color
When you are ready to end your blanket, knit through Row 5 on your last repeat. On what should be your row 6, begin 7 rows of garter st in your background color (B). Bind off your stitches and weave in your ends.
I finished my blanket by pinning it and lightly blocking to straighten the edges.
I really love this blanket. I hope it brings joy and warmth to the new little one in your life!
© 2013 Donna Herron. No part of this pattern may be copied or reproduced in any way without permission from the author/designer. For personal use only. This pattern and materials made from this pattern are not meant for commercial sale.
Questions & Answers
My question is regarding row 4. Is the Sl1 slipped purlwise and is the yarn in the back?
Yes, I've listed all the abbreviations and descriptions at the beginning of the pattern. For the Sl1, you should slip the stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle without knitting.Helpful 1
Does this pattern only change to the detail color once, then just continue with the original color?
As noted in the instructions, you will knit Row 1 and 2 with the detail color, then work Rows 3 through 6 with your background color. Repeat Rows 1 through 6 until you reach the size of the blanket that you want. I hope this clarifies your question. Thanks!
Unless otherwise specified, are slipped stitches (s1) slipped with the yarn in the front, or with the yarn in the back?
The slipped stitches are slipped with the yarn in back.Helpful 4