I designed a blanket for a friend based on one I saw at a local yarn shop. It's easy enough for a beginner but isn't boring garter stitch. All you need to know to make this blanket are the basics: cast on, knit, purl, and bind off. It also requires making a swatch to determine gauge, which is a good habit to foster with beginning knitters. I know a few experienced folks who should swatch more. *raises hand guiltily*
Anyway, here it is.
This blanket can be made in any size: baby, lap, throw, etc. Any yarn can be used, but the pattern was written with a bulky yarn in mind so that the blanket does not take forever to knit. Because gauge determines the number of stitches to cast on, knit a swatch as follows:
Row 1: *k4, p4**, repeat from * to ** twice more
Repeat Row 1 until swatch measures 3” long
Bind off in pattern
Block swatch as the finished blanket will be blocked. Measure across and divide 24 by that number. This is your number of stitches per inch.
Determine how wide you want the blanket to be in inches, then multiply that by your gauge to get your total number of stitches to get that length. Round this number down to the nearest multiple of 8.
CO predetermined number of stitches (multiple of 8)
Rows 1-5: knit
Row 6: k4, *k4, p4**, repeat from * to ** until four stitches remain, k4
Repeat row 6 until blanket measures five rows shorter than desired.
Last 5 rows: knit
Bind of loosely and block.