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 Knitting for Babies and Children
 Sewing blanket segments together??
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
524 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2010 :  10:52:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There are probably several different places where this question would "fit," but I decided to try here first. For garter-stitch blocks that are to be sewn together (like quilt blocks) for a baby blanket, what would be the best technique to keep the blanket looking good on both sides? Should I use mattress stitch, kitchener stitch, whip stitch? Should I pick up stitches and crochet the blocks together, or what?

These blocks will be made by several different kids for a charity project of sorts, and I'll be the one putting them together. I've only knit baby blankets in one piece before, so will appreciate any suggestions. I'm also thinking I may need a border around the whole thing, and will probably be in a hurry, as there's a deadline.

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time.

Consuelo
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
582 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2010 :  12:03:52 PM  Show Profile Send Consuelo a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Donna, I don't have a suggestions. In fact, I'm anxiously awaiting the responses you'll get. I just wanted to congratulate you on this project. You're making blankets for babies that need them and you are teachin children to knit. You GO girl!

Consuelo
"Travel is fatal to prejudice" Mark Twain
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socks4all
Permanent Resident

USA
1460 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2010 :  12:52:55 PM  Show Profile Send socks4all a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I would go with putting a border around each block and crocheting them together. Or pickup and knit (literally pick up a stitch put it on the left needle, then knit it) a border then kitchener (graft) the live sts together. The advantage of that is that you can measure the largest block and using that block as a template make the borders on the other blocks the size needed to make them all the same size. Interest will be added if the borders are not all equal (onece around all edges, then a second on 1 side only if the block wasn't square, or once around, then a second on 2 adjoining sides if it is square but not quite large enough for only once around but too large for twice all around). I would also border the whole blanket when done. If the colours are bright, black makes the whole look like a stained glass window. White works well with pastels. Really anycolour works as long as it harmonizes with the blocks. One colour for all the borders unify the whole.

I too want to congratulate you on this project. Let us know how it turns out.
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2010 :  1:56:21 PM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I used mattress stitch for garter stitch. Put your 2 blocks side by side and on one side go through the "smile" and the other side go through the "frown" aka the overbump and the underbump of the stitch. Works like a charm. If your blocks are two different colors just use one yarn color or the other. It won't matter because the yarn disappears. I joined striped blocks and you don't see any joining yarn at all.

For the border I used applied i-cord. It was the world's fastest knit border because you pick up one stitch at a time like crochet so you just zip around the edge and you don't need an extra long circ to do it, just 2 dpns. It doesn't use much yarn either. My favorite tutorial on this shows how to use a contrast color: i-cord

GFTC of NYC
my knitting photos on Flickr or Ravelry
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
524 Posts

Posted - 04/09/2010 :  2:34:20 PM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Oh, thank all of you for your ideas! Yep, this is a "learn-to-knit" project and the children will have limited time, so I'm going with only the knit stitch (if any of them want to continue with more knitting, that will be possible, but with other/later arrangements). We do want something to show for the effort, not just a scrap they will each take home to never touch again, unless possibly a washcloth. And I DO expect that not all the parts will be the same size, so I needed that suggestion to add unequally some of those edges to make them match (as much as possible). I've also done plenty of I-cord, but not as an edging; I want to learn, so this may be the perfect chance. This project won't happen until June, but I'm making preparations now so nothing is left to chance. If enough children take part, there could be two baby blankets, I suppose ... or maybe the blanket plus a personal washcloth. We'll see!

Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time.
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2010 :  04:41:59 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This is the type of problem where the baseball stitch is ideal. It will cover the edges and draw them in which hides slight irregularities and gives a smooth flat seam that looks good on both sides because it is the same on both sides. This is also one of those times that it is a good idea to block the squares before sewing them together. That will also even out slight differences in size. I suggest that you use a layout that looks like bricks rather than trying to match up 4 corners as that also hides slight differences in size. It would look like this
____________________
__|___|___|___|____|
|___|___|___|___|___
__|___|___|___|____|
|___|___|___|___|___

That way you only have to match up one size of the blocks as the lengths are more forgiving and you will have few blocks that need enlarging.

The directions for the baseball stitch seam are at the bottom of the bootie pattern found here on my blog. I don't mention the inside of the seam but it looks the same as the outside.

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/2006_06_11_archive.html

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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ikkivan
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
524 Posts

Posted - 04/10/2010 :  06:46:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit ikkivan's Homepage Send ikkivan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thank you, Fran. I am bookmarking ALL of the tutorials given by all of you who responded ... if I don't need each one for this particular project, I will surely need it for another!

We hope to build some excitement in advance of this so a good number of childen will want to participate. But most will not be from homes where they will receive help or encouragement there, which is why I want to keep this "first" effort simple enough to be completed within the class timeframe. I'm really leaning to the idea of each child making two blocks, one for the blanket and one for a completed washcloth (potholder??) to take home. I'll have some already made up, of course, so they can see what they're aiming for.



Donna, with intentions always bigger than her available time.
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