I finish a new kind of baby blanket

This particular project has been a leap of faith for me as it involves a new kind of baby blanket that forces me to rethink my biases.

As my regular readers know, I like to use lots of colors, but there is research that suggests that a baby’s first blanket doesn’t need lots of colors. Instead, ti needs a more limited palette of stripes with lots of contrast between them to help stimulate the infant brain.

For that reason, I decided that socially and morally responsible thing to do was design a baby blanket that would assist these newcomers as they learn to navigate the world.

Plus I reasoned, it’s not a forever blanket — it’s a starter blanket — suitable for the first three or four months of life. After that, the blanket could be passed along, and replaced with a more color intensive blanket.

In the meantime, I still had a few rounds of black and white to crochet.

I had initially thought that I would make the blanket 30″ x 30″, but when I reached two feet by two feet, it really seemed like plenty for most babies in the first four months of life, but when I finished the twentieth round the blanket measured 24″ by 24″, and it looked about the right size to accommodate most babies, so I stopped where I was:

A sixteen round black and white striped granny square baby blanket with a red crochet circle at the center
A sixteen round granny square baby blanket in need of a border

I liked the overall look a lot more than I thought I would, but I was not particularly thrilled with the way the edge curled toward the front.

Something, I thought, had to be done about it.

I first discovered that a stitch I call the “half double slip stitch” could be a very effective technique for flattening out a circle that was curling inwards and used it to good effect for a dog bed I made for a dog named Oreo:

a dog named oreo on a replica oreo crochet pet bed
Oreo on her bed

I decided to see if the same technique used along the edge of a square would be as effective.

I started by weaving in all of the ends, and then I turned the blanket so that the wrong side was facing me. I joined the yarn with a slip stitch to the immediate left of a chain-2 corner and worked my way around the outer edge.

To my relief and delight, it flattened right out:

A red crochet circle centered black and white stripe baby blanket with a half double slip stitch border
The granny square black and white striped baby blanket with a modest border ready to be blocked

and it even folded neatly:

a new kind of baby blanket made with red, white, and black yarn
The new kind of baby blanket folded and ready to be shipped out

I am not yet done writing the pattern, but I should have it ready for my next blog post, and in the meantime, I will dig out some colorful yarn and get back to rehabbing my many crochet remnants, one stitch at a time.

UPDATE: The free pattern is now ready for your crocheting pleasure.