I see this project as a masterclass in knitting. There are 48 different squares to knit, each one featuring a different stitch pattern. Half the squares are worked in one colour using all sorts of techniques and patterns. The rest of the squares are knitted with both the main colour and a rainbow of other shades. These coloured squares all use slip stitch, possibly my favourite knitting technique of all. Just look at those colourful patterns in the picture above to get some idea of how versatile slip stitch can be.
Some of the stitch patterns come from the Barbara Walker Treasuries, others are inventions of my own ... and then there are those which are a combination of both. By the time you've knitted Frankie's Blankie, not only will you have a lovely blanket to treasure but also a resource to refer to for future projects. When next you want an interesting pattern - for a scarf perhaps - you can choose a stitch pattern from your blanket.
Speaking of scarves ... should you not want to knit a blanket, the individual patterns could be used in other ways. How about a sampler scarf or shawl? For each of the 48 squares I give details of how to knit different widths using the stitch pattern and I also tell you if that pattern will lie flat and whether it looks good on both sides. All particularly useful for scarf knitting.
The yarn I've used for this blanket is Stylecraft Batik DK. This is a lovely soft yarn which has a subtle flecked look, reminiscent of hand-dyed yarn but is very reasonably priced. To complete the blanket you will need to buy 600 g (12 balls) of the main shade (Biscuit, 1901) and one 50 g ball in each of the following ten colours:
The colours are changed every four rows or so (it varies), giving a rainbow effect. This will give you lots of ends to darn in but slip stitch makes quite a thick fabric so there’s plenty of room to hide them. If you would prefer to use only one contrast colour per square, I would suggest buying eight colours and working three squares with each. Be warned though, if you do this, I can't guarantee that you will have enough yarn for the edging which rather eats up yarn.
I bought my yarn from Wool Warehouse and I can recommend them wholeheartedly. They offer a very quick service, their yarn comes packed in useful drawstring bags and, best of all, you get a special discount. Just quote the code FRANKIE10 at the checkout to get 10 % off your blanket order. Within the UK the postage will be free as it's over £25, details of their International shipping rates are on their website. Rates vary between countries but there's a particularly good deal for customers from the US as they will send a package up to 2 kg in weight (which would cover all the yarn for the blanket) for just £2.99.
You've got plenty of time to buy your yarn now before the KAL starts next year. The first pattern will be published on January 1st. the second on the 8th, the third on the 15th and the fourth on the 22nd of the same month. There will be four patterns published each month for the rest of the year, always beginning on the first of the month with the other three being published at weekly intervals. I hope that makes sense. This will give you a slightly longer gap between patterns at the end of each month to catch up and to sew the squares together as you go.
So, by the end of 2018, you will have knitted 48 squares and sewn them together. Then there are two more patterns to complete the series, first for a knitted on border and then a colourful edging that really brings the whole thing together. These two patterns will be published in January 2019 - which seems a ridiculously long time away at the moment.
I'm particularly proud of this knitted edging which looks just like crochet. It takes ages to do but it's the last of the 50 patterns so there's no rush to get it done.
I'm really excited about this project and look forward to lots of you knitting it together next year. We will be chatting, comparing notes and generally admiring each others work on my Frankie's Knitted Stuff ravelry group so do come and join in the fun. It's going to be a wonderful year.