The Dogwood blanket makes for a wonderful gift, adding a touch of romance to any nursery or living room, whether you are making one for yourself or as a gift for someone special. If you are feeling a little daunted by lace in the round, let’s work on that together. So get your Dogwood pattern here and we can get started!
::: My Square :::
While the pattern calls for 750 yards of worsted/aran weight yarn and US 8 / 5mm needles, I chose Madelinetosh Tosh DK (square shown is ‘gilded’) and US 7 / 4.5mm needles. This means my square and finished blanket will be a bit smaller than our original sample.
::: Construction :::
Each Dogwood square is worked from the center to the edge, with the lace pattern repeated four times per round (more on that later). To start a project from the center you will first work a Pinhole Cast On. You will then work the lace chart and bind off all of your stitches loosely. If you are new to lace knitting you might want to check out our tutorials on how to knit lace here and reading a lace chart here.
Once you have 4 or more squares you can seam the squares together to create your blanket.
::: The Pattern: which needles where? :::
While Magic Loop is a perfectly great method for knitting this blanket, I prefer to use double pointed needles (dpn’s) when there are so few stitches to start a ‘center out’ project. So I cast on my stitches, then evenly distribute them over 4 dpns. Why four? Because the pattern repeats itself 4 times! More information on how to work a lace chart here.
While the stitches are on your dpn’s you WILL have to work a yarn over at the end of each needle. While this may seem a little fiddly, don’t worry. As long as you know the yo is there, and not some strange mistake, there is nothing wrong with a yo at the end of a needle.
When your stitches start to get a little squished on your dpn’s it’s time to switch to a circular. If you like the magic loop method you can use a long circular here, if not I went with a 20 inch circular for a bit, then switched again to a 32″ needle when the stitches started to feel squished on the 20 inch.
::: Binding off loosely :::
Why is binding off loosely so important for this project? Lace knitting is rather stretchy and you will want to block your finished piece somewhat aggressively to show off your pretty lacy pattern. With a bind off that is too tight you won’t be able to block your piece as much and your lace pattern will be lost.
One good method for binding off loosely is: k1, (k1, place both stitches back on LH needle, and k2tog-tbl), repeat to end.
::: Blocking :::
You will want to wet block your first square right away to make sure you are pleased with the size and the ‘stretchiness’ of the bind off. For a perfect block you will need: blocking boards (I used these foam puzzle pieces from the hardware store, but a piece of cardboard will do just fine), blocking wires, T-pins, and a measuring tape. If you don’t have blocking wires you can block it with pins alone, but the wires create a nice straight edge.
Once you have soaked your square for about 15 minutes in cool water (a threw in a little Soak as well), put the wires through each side, pin them out, and measure to make sure you have all 4 sides the same. Let dry!
::: Seaming :::
To seam your squares together we recommend a slip stitch crochet seam (although it is knitter’s choice of course!). For detailed instructions on the slip stitch crochet seam, check out our tutorial here!
More ‘center out’ designs by Tin Can Knits: