Vatersay
Sunny Beach Baby Blanket

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13th August 2019

A moment of nirvana from my trip to Scotland a few years ago (BC: Before Covid), I was on the Isle of Vatersay one of the outer of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, it felt like the end of the Earth. The weather on this beach was totally calm, sheltered from the prevailing wind, I sat for a while feeling totally at peace with the world.

This beach is the inspriation for the ‘Vatersay’ beach baby blanketscape. I want to make a baby blanket made in once piece from 150g gradient yarn cakes. I have been trying some out with various levels of success!

This pattern page ended up a bit more complex than I hoped, but really it's not as complicated as it looks!  Please drop me a note via social media or Ravelry if you need any help...

The Yarns:

I've so far tried Sirdar Pattercake and Lion Brand Mandala Baby yarn cakes.  They differ quite a bit in the weight of the wool even though they are both DK weight.  There is also a fair bit of variation between balls (Sirdar) and dye lots (Lionbrand), so it has been difficult to design a pattern that is a single pattern, but flexible enough to work with the variations in the balls.

I'm not usually a stickler for knitting test guages, but in this case it is quite important!

The bespoke instuctions are given for each ball below, please read these for the yarn cake you decide to use.

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Sirdar Pattercake: Seaside Surprise

I worked with 3 of these yarn cakes, I was hoping there would be some consistency in the amount of each colour.  It turns out that while the transition colours are consistent (~8g), the main colours aren't consistent amounts, and each ball started at a different point in the colour sequence.  So, if you are hoping for a pattern with no ends to sew in - this isn't for you as you will need to break off and rejoin for the right colour layout.

Hopefully the pattern I've designed has enough flexibilty to accomodate the different starting points and colour amounts.  The colour of the outside of the cake is the colour you are likely to have the least of.

I have split the instructions into sections, as labelled on the diagram in the General Instructions (at the end of this page) - see the General Instructions for the details of the section.  The diagram also shows how much yarn you will need for each section (providing you have the right gauge).  The yarn is quite lightweight in comparison to other DK yarns, so this one uses the largest border option.

Finished size: Approx 56 x 60 cm.

Needles: 3.75 mm.

Gauge: 23 sts x 33 rows for 10 x 10 cm.

Specific instructions:

Section 1: Wind off the yarn until you find the transition between the white and yellow.  Start at section 1 with the lightest yellow colour.  Use the first number option for the borders, i.e. 11 stitches for left and right border, 20 rows for the lower border. 

Section 2: Continue section 2 (you should hopefully have enough yellow to get through this section).

Section 3: If you haven't reached the green (yellow / sea blue transition) colour, break off the yellow and wind off the yarn until you get to the green. Rejoin the green yarn. Work section 3.

Section 4: If you haven't reached the end of the green, break off the green and wind off the yarn until you get to the sea blue.  If you are very close to the end of the green you may as well finish it off rather than have another join.  Work section 4.

Section 5: If you haven't reached the transition to the sky blue (this is a little hard to find), break the yarn and wind off the yarn until you find the first spot of sky blue.  The yarn will have bits of sea blue until the transition section is finished.  Work section 5.

Section 6: If you haven't reached the end of the blue transition section, break off the yarn and wind off the yarn until you get to the solid sky blue.  If you are very close to the end of the transition colour you may as well finish it off rather than have another join.  Work section 6.

Section 7: Continue with the colour you have into section 7, work 21 rows for the upper border before casting off.

I took the finished blanket to Exmouth beach for some photos, the Outer Hebrides is a bit far from Devon for a quick photo trip!

Sirdar Pattercake:  Blueberry  Swirl

I only tried one of these yarn cakes, and the colours worked out quite well across the blanket, to the extent I only had to break and re-join the yarn once.  The colour transitions are very gradual for this yarn cake, so it is a bit more forgiving as to where the colour transitions take place.  The colour change was a bit tight where the waves section finished, so you might want to check you have enough yarn before that particular colour change before you commit yourself to the number of border stitches.

I have split the instructions into sections, as labelled on the diagram in the General Instructions (at the end of this page) - see the General Instructions for the details of the section.  The diagram also shows how much yarn you will need for each section (providing you have the right gauge).  The yarn is quite lightweight in comparison to other DK yarns, so this one uses the largest border option.

Finished size: Approx 56 x 60 cm.

Needles: 3.75 mm.

Gauge: 23 sts x 33 rows for 10 x 10 cm.

Specific instructions:

Section 1: Wind off the yarn until you find the transition between the white and darkest blue.  Start at section 1 with the white.  Work the first number option for the borders, i.e. 11 stitches for left and right border, 20 rows for the lower border. 

Sections 2-7: Work through the sections, rejoining the yarn to the appropriate point when you reach the end of the yarn you have wound off.  Work 21 rows for the upper border before casting off.

I took the finished blanket with me when I visited my sister and family in Abu Dhabi.  My niece Rebekah helped me with the modelling on the beach at the Corniche!  This is now, therefore, the "Abu Dhabi" variant of the Vatersay pattern.

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Yarn cake 1

Yarn cake 2

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Yarn cake 1

Yarn cake 2

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Yarn cake 1

Yarn cake 2

Lion Brand Mandala Baby: Wishing Well

I worked with two of these yarn cakes, and they were very different in both the colours and the yarn weight.  The yardage / metres per gram given doesn't seem that accurate, it is much thicker than the Sirdar Pattercake yarn cakes.  It is, therefore, hard to be sure what size border to recommend.  For the first ball, I used a border of 10 stitches, but had to drop down to 9 for the second cake, and then didn't have enough yarn to finish, so I had to miss out 2 rows of the last square pattern. If you're not sure, it would be safest to use 9 border stitches.

I have split the instructions into sections, as labelled on the diagram in the General Instructions (at the end of this page) - see the General Instructions for the details of the section.  The diagram also shows how much yarn you will need for each section (providing you have the right gauge). 

Yarn cake 1:

Finished size: Approx 58 x 62 cm.

Needles: 3.75 mm.

Gauge: 22 sts x 32 rows for 10 x 10 cm.

Yarn cake 2:

Finished size: Approx 60 x 64 cm.

Needles: 3.75 mm.

Gauge: 21 sts x 30 rows for 10 x 10 cm.

Specific instructions:

Section 1: Wind off the yarn until you find the transition between the blue and brown (the yarn may already start at this point).  Start at section 1 with the darkest brown colour.  Use the border stitches as described above, depending on the yarn cake you have.

Section 2: Work section 2.

Section 3: Work section 3.

Section 4: If you haven't reached the white colour, break off the brown and wind off the yarn until you get to the white. Rejoin the  yarn. Work section 4.

Section 5: Work section 5 - the colour should change to the sky blue colour at some point in this section.

Section 6: Work section 6.

Section 7: Work section 7 - if you don't have enough to finish the top border, either work two less rows for the top border, or two less rows for the combined sunny clouds square.

I took the blankets (along with some relatives) to the seaside at Clevedon to take some photos, we were very lucky to avoid the rain!  This is now, therefore, the "Clevedon" variant of the Vatersay pattern.

General Instructions:

This blanket is knitted in one piece rather than in separate squares as the other blankets. See the patterns above for the final blanket size.

After a bit of trial and error I went with a width of 3 squares and 3 rows of textured square patterns, with some gaps for a bit of leeway in the colour change.  It has a large garter stitch border, partly to make it the right size, but also to help it sit flat and not curl up. For the number of stitches to use in the border, please see each individual pattern.

The diagram below gives a guide to how much yarn is needed for each section.

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Click the links at the end of the page for the charts for each square pattern.

Yarn: See above for more detail on each yarn cake.

Needles: 3.75 mm.

Gauge: See above for more detail on each yarn cake.

Note: for the main pattern rows, you knit the garter stitch border (stitches specified in individual pattern) at the start of each row for the left border, then work each chart pattern row (36 sts) 3 times across the stitches, then knit the garter stitch border for the right border (and do not cast off at the end of each square pattern chart!).  The instructions below guide how to place stitch markers to mark the start and finish of the borders & each 36 stitch chart pattern row.

  • Section 1:

    • Cast on 108 + 22 (20,18,16,14) stitches (3 x 36 pattern stitches and 2 x 11 (10,9,8,7) border stitches).

    • Work 20 (18,16,14,12) rows in garter stitch for the lower border.

  • Section 2: Following the note above, place the stitch markers as follows:

    • Knit 11 (10,9,8,7) stitches, place stitch marker.

    • Work the 36 stitches of chart row 1 of the "Combined Footprints" chart, place stitch marker.

    • Repeat chart row 1 of the "Combined Footprints" chart 2 more times, placing a marker at the start and finish of each 36 stitch repeat.

    • Knit last 11 (10,9,8,7) stitches.

    • Following the sequence set above, work the remaining chart rows 2-48 of the "Combined Footprints" chart, slipping the stitch markers as you come to them.

  • Section 3: Following the sequence set above, work 12 rows in stocking stitch (continuing with garter stitch side borders).

  • Section 4:

    • Following the sequence set above, work the chart pattern for "Combined Breaking Waves", from chart row 1 to chart row 15.

    • Following the sequence set above, work 4 extra rows of stocking stitch (continuing with garter stitch side borders).

    • Following the sequence set above, work the chart pattern for "Combined Breaking Waves", from chart row 16 to chart row 27.

    • Following the sequence set above, work 4 extra rows of stocking stitch (continuing with garter stitch side borders).

    • Following the sequence set above, work the chart pattern for "Combined Breaking Waves", from chart row 28 to chart row 39.

    • Following the sequence set above, work 4 extra rows of stocking stitch (continuing with garter stitch side borders).

    • Following the sequence set above, work the chart pattern for "Combined Breaking Waves", from chart row 40 to chart row 48.

  • Section 5: Following the sequence set above, work 12 rows in stocking stitch (continuing with garter stitch side borders).

  • Section 6: Following the sequence above, work the chart pattern for "Combined Sunny Clouds" from chart row 1 to chart row 48.

  • Section 7:

    • Work 21 (19,17,15,13) rows in garter stitch for the top border.

    • Cast off

I have made the patterns available for free but they are © Blanketscapes, the patterns are not to be copied or resold. I'm happy for you to make and sell finished blankets using these patterns for charitable, non-commercial, purposes only. Please credit @blanketscapes on Instagram or Facebook for your final creations, I'd love to see what you make.

 

Happy knitting!