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Free Afghan Knitting Pattern: Color Field Baby Blanket

An avid knitter for over 10 years, Donna enjoys sharing her free patterns and knitting experience with other fiber fans and yarn lovers.

Baby blankets are one of the easiest projects, especially for new or inexperienced knitters.

Baby blankets are one of the easiest projects, especially for new or inexperienced knitters.

A Fantastic Baby Gift That's Easy to Make

Making baby items as gifts or for your own new arrival is one of the most enjoyable (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 those 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.

Detail of color field baby blanket

Detail of color field baby blanket

Color Choices and Design

I designed this blanket using leftover yarn I had from a previous project. I used six 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 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!

Materials for Your Baby Blanket

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.

Finished size: 25 inches wide x 29 inches long

Gauge: 5 sts per inch in Stst

Yarn weight: worsted


  • 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)
  • 2 stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle to weave in ends
Example of pattern design

Example of pattern design

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

Carrying contrasting yarn up the side of your knitted piece

Carrying contrasting yarn up the side of your knitted piece

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).

Color field baby blanket

Color field baby blanket

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.

Happy Knitting!

I really love this blanket. I hope it brings joy and warmth to the new little one in your life!

Questions & Answers

Question: Unless otherwise specified, are slipped stitches (s1) slipped with the yarn in the front, or with the yarn in the back?

Answer: The slipped stitches are slipped with the yarn in back.

Question: My question is regarding row 4. Is the Sl1 slipped purlwise and is the yarn in the back?

Answer: 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.

Question: Does this pattern only change to the detail color once, then just continue with the original color?

Answer: 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!

© 2013 Donna Herron


Donna Herron (author) from USA on February 12, 2016:

Hi Linda - Your web browser should have a print function, usually along the top navigation bar. Another option would be to cut and paste this article into a Word document and print it from there. Hope this helps! Thanks for stopping by!

Linda on February 11, 2016:

How can I download or print out this pattern?

Donna Herron (author) from USA on January 21, 2016:

Hi N - On row 1, your yarn should be in the back. Good luck with your blanket! Thanks so much for your interest in this pattern!

N on January 20, 2016:

Hi thank you for the pattern to your lovely blanket. New knitter here and my question is on row 1 when it says sl1, when I sl1 should my yarn be in the front or the back. Thank you again for this pattern excited to knit it for a wee one on its way :0)

Donna Herron (author) from USA on November 12, 2015:

Hi Jennifer - Sorry, I haven't yet turned this pattern into a hat, but it's a great idea. One solution would be to just use the color field pattern as a band around the sides, maybe 2 to 4 inches high depending on the size of your hat, before you start the decrease for the crown. Then you can just shape and finish off the hat in a solid color. I hope this helps! Good luck and thanks for stopping by!

JENNIFER on November 11, 2015:

Do you happen to have this exact color field pattern for a hat? I made this blanket for my niece and nephew and would love to turn it into a hat as well but can't figure out how to keep the design while decreasing.

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 27, 2015:

Hi Rita! This stitch doesn't have a specific name, but the technique is called slip stitching. This technique is quite easy and is exactly what it sounds like - you slip the working stitch from the left hand needle to the right hand needle without knitting it. I'm sure you can find some videos on YouTube to get you started. Good luck with your blanket!

Rita on October 27, 2015:

Beautiful pattern, thank you so much for sharing. I would really love to knit it, but I´m just starting and I'm not that good starting a project and following written patterns, as I normally have my mum nearby showing me how to cast the first 3 or 4 rows! I know it sounds kind of lazy, but does this stitch has a name? So I could check for it in youtube or so :)

Donna Herron (author) from USA on October 09, 2015:

Hi Michele - Thanks so much for your lovely comments! It's always nice to meet another knitter. Welcome to Hubpages and thanks again!

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma, USA on October 08, 2015:

That is a very unique baby blanket! It is so adorable and great of you to share this as a free knitting pattern! It's great to connect with a like minded person as I begin my journey on this site.

I look forward to reading more from you!

Michele Kelsey (theflirtyknitter)

Donna Herron (author) from USA on April 12, 2014:

Hi Susan,

Thanks so much for stopping by! You should be able to print this page to use as a copy of the pattern. Thanks again for your comment!!

Susan on April 11, 2014:

Loved the blanket. How can I get a copy of the pattern? It's gorgeous!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on September 12, 2013:

Hi Lee - I admire that you just finished one blanket and are now looking at patterns for another :)

Sadly, I don't crochet (yet) so I can't compare the two stitch types on stretchyness. However, I can say this blanket has a nice weight, not too heavy but warm, to it. I think the slipped stitches make a tighter weave than just knit stitches, so it has a good feel to it. I hope this helps.

I appreciate your interest in my patterns and welcome any questions or thoughts that you have. Thanks again for your comments :)

Lee Tea from Erie, PA on September 12, 2013:

This is beautiful! I just crocheted a wavy baby blankie for my friend's baby shower. It took a long time (16 hours) to complete and after knitting for so long I forgot all about counting stitches in crochet lol...but I like the weight and texture of a crocheted blanket. I've never knitted a blanket - I assume it'd be more stretchy (like, have more give) than a crocheted one, and I wondered if that would affect how warm it is. But the picture of yours above makes it seem like that wouldn't be problem. What do you think? Thanks again for your awesome knitting hubs...what a gift!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 27, 2013:

Hi Michele - Thank you so much for your kind comments! This design probably isn't as complicated as it may seem. The slipped stitches are easy once you get used to them. I hope you give this pattern a try and have fun knitting it :) Thanks again!!

Michele Kelsey from Edmond, Oklahoma on August 27, 2013:

This is a gorgeous blanket. I'm not quite that experienced yet, but I will definitely keep this page bookmarked for when I am experienced enough to make a blanket such as this. I love the mixture of colors, and the design is gorgeous. Great work! Michele

Donna Herron (author) from USA on August 08, 2013:

Hi howtocurecancer - Thanks so much!! So sweet of you to comment! I appreciate your kind words :)

Elena@LessIsHealthy on August 08, 2013:

Beautiful! I love it!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on May 08, 2013:

Hi sallybea - I'm sure you could handle this blanket pattern. But I know you have some felting projects of your own to work on :) Thanks for stopping by and for your comments. I appreciate it!

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on May 07, 2013:

Nice one purl3agony, this project should give all those Knitters many happy hours of knitting. I wish my knitting skills were up to par - but you never know!

Donna Herron (author) from USA on May 07, 2013:

Thanks so much, kidscrafts!! I'm glad you like it!

kidscrafts from Ottawa, Canada on May 07, 2013:

What a lovely baby blanket, Purl3agony. I love the transition from one color to the next!

Lucky are the future parents receiving a blanket like that!

Thanks for sharing!

Definitely voted up and awesome!