One thing I’ve been asked a lot as a knitting designer is “how big should I make a blanket?”. Today we are going to cover everything you need to know about knit blanket sizes.
Welcome to another post where we unravel the mysteries of the knitting world, one stitch at a time. Today we are jumping into a topic that’s essential for every knitter, from the absolute beginner to a seasoned pro: blanket sizes!
Whether you’re planning your next blanket project or knitting your first baby blanket, understanding the right size is crucial.
In today’s guide, we’ll cover everything from the average baby blanket size to the king-size blanket and everything in between. We’ll expore the importance of gauge, the influence of yarn weight, and how the choice of stitch pattern can affect the final size of your beautiful blanket.
We’ll also take a look at different knitting needles, including straight needles and the circular knitting needle, in determining the width of the blanket. Of course we will also provide a handy baby blanket size chart for easy reference!
Whether you’re knitting a small security blanket or a large blanket for a double bed, this guide will serve as your starting point. So, grab your yarn, your favorite needles (or circular needle) and let’s get started!
Understanding the Basics
Before we get into specific blanket sizes, let’s talk about some important concepts that you will need to understand on your knittig journey. These basics include understanding key terms, the role of different types of knitting needles and the characteristics of various types of yarns
Definition of Key Terms
Stitch Pattern: The stitch pattern is the sequence of stitches that you repeat across a row to create a specific texture or design in your blanket. The most common stitch patterns are Stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl one row when working flat), garter stitch (knit every row when working flat), and seed stitch (k1, p1) and it’s variations. The stitch pattern you choose can greatly affect the size of your blanket, especially if it’s a pattern that stretches or contracts.
Gauge Swatch: A gauge swatch is a small, square piece of knitting that you create to check your tension or gauge before starting the actual project. It helps you determine how many stitches and rows per inch you’re getting with your chosen yarn and needles. This is critical for ensuring your blanket ends up the right size.
Yarn Weight: Yarn weight refers to the thickness of the yarn strand. It ranges from lace (very thin) to jumbo (very thick). Common yarn weights used for blankets include worsted weight yarn, bulky yarn, and chunky yarns. The weight of the yarn you choose can affect both the size and the drape of your blanket.
Needle Size: The size of your knitting needles (whether you’re using straight needles or a circular knitting needle) can also impact the size of your blanket. Larger needles create larger stitches and a looser fabric, which can make your blanket bigger. Conversely, smaller needles create smaller stitches and a denser fabric, which can make your blanket smaller.
Different Types of Needles Used for Blankets
Straight Needles:Straight needles are the most traditional type of knitting needle. They’re great for knitting flat pieces like scarves or the panels of a blanket. However, they can be cumbersome when knitting large blankets due to the weight of the fabric, and larger blankets won’t fit on the needles at all.
When knitting blankets, I only knit a lovey or security blanket on straight needles.
Circular Knitting Needles: A circular knitting needle consists of two needle tips connected by a flexible cable. They’re versatile and can be used to knit both flat and in the round. For large blanket projects, circular needles are often the go-to choice because they can comfortably hold a large number of stitches, and the weight of the fabric is distributed more evenly.
Circular needles are much easier to use when knitting blankets, and these are what I use for most blanket projects.
Different Yarn Weights for Blankets
The type of yarn you choose for your blanket can significantly impact its size, texture, and warmth. Here are a few common types:
DK Weight Yarn: Dk yarn is a light weight yarn that is a category #3 on the Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Yarn Weight System. It’s probably the thinnest yarn that’s usually used for blankets.
Worsted Weight Yarn: Worsted yarn is a medium-weight yarn that’s popular for a wide range of projects (it’s actually the most common yarn weight). It’s thick enough to be warm but not so thick that it’s hard to work with. It’s a category 4 on the Standard Yarn Weight System.
Chunky Yarn: Also called bulky yarn, this yarn is thicker than worsted weight yarn and a category 5 on the Standard Yarn Weight System, making it a great choice for cozy, warm blankets. It also works up more quickly, which is another plus in my book.
Super Bulky Yarn: A category 6 on the standard yarn weight system, these yarns are even thicker than the chunky yarns. They’re great for making super cozy, warm blankets quickly. However, the skeins in this size don’t have a lot of yardage, so you can go through yarn quickly.
Of course, there are larger yarns in the “Jumbo” category as well, but most knitters will use a yarn weight category of 3-6 listed above.
What is the Best Yarn for Knitted Blankets?
Choosing the right yarn for your blanket can make a big difference in the finished product. The best fabric for your blanket depends on its intended use.
For a baby blanket, you might choose a soft yarn that’s machine washable, like a cotton blend or a soft acrylic. For a warm, winter throw, a chunky wool or a wool blend would be a good choice. If you’re making a summer throw, a lightweight cotton or bamboo yarn would be suitable.
Merino wool is a popular choice for blankets because it’s soft, warm, and comes in a variety of weights. Bulky yarns can make a project go faster, while lighter weight yarns can provide more detail in your stitch pattern.
Remember, the yarn you choose will also affect the size of your knitting needles or crochet hook, the drape of your blanket, and the amount of yarn you’ll need for your project.
What is the Right Size for Your Next Blanket?
Choosing the right yarn for your knit blanket project is more than just a matter of personal preference. It’s a blend of art and science, taking into account the purpose of the blanket, the recipient’s size and preference, and the specific pattern you are using. Let’s look at these more in detail.
Choosing the Right Size
The size of your blanket can greatly impact its functionality and aesthetic appeal. For instance, a baby blanket size is perfect for a crib or stroller, but it would be too small to use as a bedspread. Conversely, a king-size blanket might be too large and unwieldy for a toddler to carry around. Therefore, choosing the right size is crucial to ensure that your blanket is fit for its intended purpose.
Factors Influencing the Size of the Blanket
Two main factors can influence the size of your blanket. Understanding these can help you make an informed decision when planning your next blanket project.
Purpose of the Blanket
The intended use of the blanket is a significant factor in determining its size. For instance, a lap blanket or a couch throw is typically smaller and more compact, perfect for snuggling up on the sofa. On the other hand, a bed blanket needs to be large enough to cover the mattress with some overhang on the sides of the bed.
The Recipient’s Size and Preference
The size and preference of the person who will use the blanket also matter. For example, a baby blanket for a newborn might be smaller than one intended for a toddler. Similarly, an adult might prefer a larger blanket that they can wrap around themselves, while a child might prefer a smaller, more manageable size.
Rough Guide to Choosing the Right Size
While there’s no one-size-fits-all rule for blanket sizes, here’s a rough guide to get you started:
- Baby Blanket Sizes: These range from small security blankets (also known as lovey blankets) that are about 12 to 14 inches, to larger crib blankets or stroller blankets that can be anywhere from 30 to 40 inches or more.
- Toddler Blanket: These are typically larger than baby blankets, with sizes ranging from 42 to 52 inches.
- Lap Blanket: These are designed to cover a person’s lap and legs while sitting, and they typically measure about 36 to 48 inches.
- Throw Blanket Sizes: Throw blankets are larger than lap blankets but smaller than bed blankets. They typically measure about 50 to 60 inches.
- Bed Blankets: The size of a bed blanket depends on the size of the bed. For instance, a blanket for a double bed might be around 80 to 90 inches, while a king-size blanket might be 108 inches or more.
Remember, these are just starting points. The perfect blanket size for you might be slightly smaller or larger, depending on your specific needs and preferences.
Detailed Breakdown of Different Blanket Sizes
1. Baby Blanket Sizes
Baby blankets come in a range of sizes, each designed for a specific use.
- Receiving Blanket: These are typically 36″ x 36″ and are perfect for swaddling a newborn and providing a soft, warm surface for them to lie on.
- Security Blanket: Also known as a lovey, these small blankets are typically 24″ x 24″ and are used to provide comfort to the baby.
- Stroller Blanket: These are slightly larger, usually around 30″ x 40″, and are perfect for draping over a baby in a stroller or car seat to provide warmth and comfort.
- Crib Blanket: These are designed to fit a standard crib mattress and typically measure 36″ x 54″. They are larger than a stroller blanket and provide ample coverage for a sleeping baby.
- Bassinet Blanket: These are smaller blankets designed to fit a bassinet, and they typically measure 16″ x 36″.
- Preemie Blankets: These are specially designed for premature babies and are typically smaller than a standard baby blanket.
2. Toddler Blanket
As babies grow into toddlers, they require larger blankets. The most common sizes for toddler blankets are 42″ x 52″ for a basic blanket and 45″ x 60″ for a crib blanket.
3. Lap Blanket
Lap blankets are designed to cover a person’s lap and legs while they are sitting down, such as in a wheelchair or on a couch. They typically measure 36″ x 48″.
4. Throw Blanket Sizes
Throw blankets are versatile and can be used on a couch, chair, or bed for added warmth. The standard size for a throw blanket is 52″ x 60″.
5. Afghan Blanket
Afghan blankets are larger than throw blankets and are often used as bedspreads for twin beds. They typically measure 48″ x 72″.
6. Twin, Double, Queen, and King-Size Blanket
These blankets are designed to fit standard bed sizes. The typical measurements are 66″ x 90″ for a twin bed, 80″ x 90″ for a double bed, 90″ x 108″ for a queen bed, and 108″ x 108″ for a king bed.
Size of the Blanket for Specific Uses
1. Car Seat
A smaller blanket, such as a stroller blanket, is typically used for a car seat. It provides warmth and comfort without being too bulky.
2. Couch Throw
A throw blanket is perfect for use on a couch. It’s large enough to cover a person’s lap and legs while they’re sitting, but not so large that it becomes cumbersome.
3. Large Number of Stitches for a Larger Blanket
If you’re looking to create a larger blanket, you’ll need to cast on a large number of stitches. The exact number will depend on your gauge (the number of stitches per inch), the width you want your blanket to be, and the stitch pattern you’re using.
Standard Knit Blanket Size Chart
|Type of Blanket
|Width x Height (inches)
|Lovey / Pet
|24″ x 24″
|16″ x 36″
|30″ x 54″
|36″ x 36″
|36″ x 48″
|42″ x 48″
|48″ x 72″
|48″ x 78″
|60″ x 78″
|66″ x 84″
|80″ x 84″
|10″ x 10″
|40″ x 40″
|42″ x 52″
|45″ x 60″
|Child Square Blanket
|54″ x 54″
|52″ x 60″
|66″ x 90″
|Full Size Bed
|90″ x 108″
|Queen Size Bed
|96″ x 108″
|King Size Bed
|108″ x 108″
Please note that these are standard sizes and can be adjusted based on personal preference or specific pattern requirements. Always remember to consider the purpose of the blanket, the recipient’s size and preference, and the specific pattern you’re using when deciding on the size of your blanket.
How Much Yarn is Needed for Different Sizes?
The amount of yarn you’ll need for your blanket project depends on several factors, including the size of the blanket, the stitch pattern you’re using, and the weight of the yarn. For instance, a baby blanket made with worsted weight yarn might require around 1000 yards, while a larger blanket for a king-size bed could require 4000 yards or more.
It’s hard to give exact measurements for sizes because it depends on a lot of factors: your yarn choice, stitch pattern, needle size, etc.
It’s always a good idea to buy a little extra yarn than you think you’ll need, especially if you’re working with a specific dye lot. This ensures you won’t run out mid-project and risk not being able to find more of the same color and dye lot.
How to Measure the Width and Length of the Blanket
Measuring your blanket is straightforward. For the width, measure across the blanket at its widest point from one side to the other. For the length, measure from the top of the blanket to the bottom.
However, before you start your project, you should make a gauge swatch. This is a small square of fabric that you knit using the yarn and needles you plan to use for your blanket. The purpose of a gauge swatch is to determine how many stitches and rows per inch you get with your chosen yarn and needles. This information is crucial for calculating the size of your finished blanket.
How to Handle Washing Machine Care for Knit Blankets
Caring for your knit blanket properly will ensure it lasts a long time and stays looking beautiful. The care instructions will largely depend on the yarn you used. Some yarns are machine washable, while others need to be hand-washed.
Always check the care instructions on your yarn label. If your blanket is machine washable, use a gentle cycle and cold water to prevent the blanket from shrinking or the yarn from felting. Lay the blanket flat to dry to help it keep its shape.
Final Thoughts on Knit Blanket Sizes
Wow, we’ve covered a lot today! Starting a new blanket knitting project is exciting. Whether you’re crafting a comfy couch throw, a cozy lap blanket or a soft baby blanket, understanding standard blanket sizes can help ensure that you are happy with how your project turns out.
Remember, the perfect size for your blanket is not just about following standard measurements. It’s about considering the recipient’s needs, the purpose of the blanket, and your own personal touch. From the small lovey blanket for a newborn to a large king-size blanket for a master bedroom, each project is unique and special.
When it comes to choosing the right yarn, consider the texture, warmth, and care instructions. Merino wool, for instance, is a popular choice for its softness and warmth. Bulky yarns, on the other hand, can help you finish your project faster, while lighter weight yarns can provide more detail in your stitch pattern.
Don’t forget the importance of a gauge swatch in ensuring your blanket ends up the right size. And when it comes to caring for your finished blanket, whether it’s machine washable or requires a more delicate hand-washing, proper care will ensure your beautiful blanket lasts a long time.
As you embark on your next blanket project, remember that the journey is just as important as the destination. The process of knitting a blanket, from casting on the first stitch to binding off the last, is a labor of love. Whether you’re knitting for yourself or as a gift for someone else, each stitch is a testament to your skill and creativity.
So, grab your knitting needles, choose your yarn, and get ready to create a beautiful, cozy blanket.