I have often been asked the question ‘how much yarn do I need for a blanket?’ To which, of course, there is only one reply, ‘depends how big your blanket is going to be’.
Then of course the next question is usually, ‘how big does my blanket need to be?’ Sounds silly, but there are no fixed rules about how big a blanket should be, just make it to the size you want.
OK, so that sounds like a bit of a slack answer I know.
I have done a little bit of digging to find out what sort of sizes people generally consider to be standard. Or standard-ish at least. Some people have their own personal set of sizes that they tend to work to and others like to make it up at random. I know I have a rough guide in my head and I tend to vary it depending upon the project.
One thing to bear in mind, if you are making a blanket for a bed, UK bed sizes and US bed sizes are different!
So most of you will have at some point made a baby blanket I suspect. The sizes do vary a little bit, but most of them out there seem to fit into the same categories and approximate sizes.
Not necessarily for adults, but it just gives a different category from babies. These can vary quite a bit more, especially between the continents! So, I had a look at the bed sizes first as the standards seem to vary slightly. Here is a comparison between the USA and the UK. Obviously there are many other variations around the World, but there is a limit to how many I can list and these two seem to be pretty common.
When it comes to the blanket sizes, as oppose to the actual bed sizes there seems to be a lot more discrepancy as to how a blanket should fit a bed. Should it just reach the edges? Should it overlap the edges and drape down the sides? Should the top be long enough to cover the pillows? Is it just a decorative thing?
I still believe it’s all just personal preference. There are no right and wrongs, but here are some guidelines to what appear to be the most common blanket sizes out there. Most of them allow for some drape over the sides of the bed. This is NOT a definitive answer as to the size a blanket should be, NOR is it an instruction that you must create your blankets this size. It is simply what my research has found…
I hope these help some of you a little bit. If not my advice when making blankets is to make them big and just keep going until you’ve had enough of making it and then it’s big enough.
There are loads of lovely books containing patterns for blankets out there, but these are a couple of my favourites: (click on them to look inside and check out the latest prices)
Did you know that the USA and UK have exactly the same crochet stitches, but they are given different names?
I think the rest of the World uses either one or the other too. So, it’s useful to know how to convert them.
It can get a little confusing though, especially when downloading crochet patterns from the web as it’s not always obvious which continent they have come from.
So, here is just a little guidance, to help you easily convert between the two.
So, next time you get a crochet pattern and you’re not sure where it has come from, the biggest clue is that if it mentions ‘Single Crochet’ then it’s definitely North American. (There is no Single Crochet in the UK terminology).
Or, if you start to work on something and it really doesn’t look anything like the picture on the pattern, then maybe it is not from the continent you expected.
The easiest way to convert your pattern is to read through it and do a straight replacement. So, for example, if you are converting from USA to US, work through and find all the mentions of ‘dtr’ and replace them with ‘ttr’. Work your way through each of the stitches until you have replaced them all. But, beware, always work from the largest stitch to the smallest, otherwise you could get in a pickle. You could end up replacing all the ‘sc’ with ‘dc’, then accidentally replacing all the replacements you have already done with ‘tr’, which would make the pattern completely wrong.
Just a little warning, that some patterns may use different abbreviations to the ones above. Always check your pattern to see what abbreviations are being used before you start.
That’s all there is to it. The actual working of the stitches is exactly the same. I hope it makes sense to you. If not, get in touch and I will work through it with you.
If you would like a little bit more help as a beginner, then I found that this book is really popular and full of helpful hints, tips, stitches and great beginner patterns. (Click on it to go look inside it and check the latest price)