Novice knitting lap blankets

tangerine_z6November 12, 2006

Hello knitters. I am from the Garden Forums and a novice knitter. When I say novice, I mean that I can literally cast on, knit and purl. This morning I read about a volunteer opportunity in my local sunday paper to knit lap blankets for hospice patients and I would like to do that.

I'll figure out how to cast off (!) but am wondering what the dimensions for a lap blanket might be and which fibers are best to use. The purpose of the blanket is to help ward off chill and I would think being washable is also desirable. In the store I get swept away by the beautiful wispy mohair blends but need advice on the type of yarns and needle sizes needed to achieve the desired results. Thanks for any information or tips on websites that you have.

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abc12345

I'm not familiar with how things work at Hospice, but I've made lots of lapblankets for nursing home residents. I crochet them tho, cuz its easier and faster (at least for me). But that doesn't really matter.

Here's what I consider:

1. Sturdy washable yarn like plain knitting worsted, they use *powerful* laundry facilities with real hot water and hot dryers, and all kinds of chemicals to help sanitize the laundry. (My grandmother got a rash from whatever they use and now we bring her stuff home and wash it ourseves.)

2. The blanket will be put over the lap and down the legs of people in wheelchairs, too wide a blanket gets caught up
in the wheels and stuff, I usually make mine about 30" square.

3. I use nice bright cheery colors.

I go to visit and see my creations on people I don't even know, and it's a nice feeling.

Have fun with it!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 12:01PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

I would also suggest that you not use wool. Try using acrylic yarns.

You eventually could adapt baby blanket patterns if you want to try some interesting patterns. For now, I suggest you just buy a color or two or three that you like and knit and purl in stripes or all one color till you get that dimension. Once you have made one or two of these, you'll be ready to graduate to a more elaborate design. You then could experiment with making cables or anything you feel like trying.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 6:00PM
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ironkit

I'll suggest a nice soft acrylic, like Caron's Simply Soft. With the kind of washing places like hospices use, natural fibres would disintigrate very fast, I would think.

~ Kit

    Bookmark   November 12, 2006 at 7:21PM
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threejsmom

Another vote for Caron's Simply Soft. You can get it in the chain stores like AC Moore and they do run 25% off sales sometimes. Another sturdy washable yarn is Plymouth's Encore. It comes in a ton of solid colors and variegated ones too (fun to knit if you don't want to alternate colors). If you don't want the blanket too stiff, go up a needle size and it'll drape nicely. The mohairs will frustrate new knitters. You can't see your stitches well and if you accidentally drop or add one, you may not spot it quickly. Do a swatch to figure out how many stitches you need to cast on for a blanket. As for size, I find a 3 to 4 foot square blanket is adequate without being too large.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 11:34AM
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wantoretire_did

Hello tangerine - I have been crocheting for an unwed mom's home (for the babies) and am now starting on lap robes for dialysis patients.

Check out garage sales. I got 33 skeins of acrylic in various colors for $9.00!! Also, check thrift stores, freecycle, etc. There are so many people needing warm coverings you will be kept very busy.

Carol

    Bookmark   November 13, 2006 at 1:01PM
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tangerine_z6

Thanks knitters for all your suggestions. Garage sales for picking up yarn never occurred to me but that's why these forums are great. I'll be starting soon on my first (plain) lap blanket!

    Bookmark   November 14, 2006 at 8:12AM
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cej127_aol_com

I would like to know if someone has a patternfor a knitted lap robe to they send it to me . Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2011 at 1:04PM
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Lindsey_CA

Claire, it would violate copyright laws for most patterns for anyone to send them to you. Go to the various yarn website, such as Bernat, Lion Brand, etc., and you can find lots and lots of free patterns. The sites will tell you that you need to sign in to get to the free patterns, but all you have to do is create an account by using your e-mail address and a password that you choose. You're not obligated to buy anything from them and you don't have to enter a credit card number, etc. And you can use any yarn by any manufacturer, as long as it's the right gauge for the pattern.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2011 at 4:31PM
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acraftylady

Before starting the blanket you should contact the organization as they may have specific guidlines for what they want. I know here if you do the preemie blankets for the hospital you go to a meeting and they tell you how they want them done and give you guidlines to follow. Mary

    Bookmark   February 27, 2011 at 11:35AM
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BIRDLADY1007

I crochet instead of knit. I had lots of nice yarn and no project so I made 6 nice lap blankets. I can't find a home for them. I've called around to nursing homes and no one needs them. I keep hearing about how they are welcomed but I guess I should have looked around first before I made them. I was looking forward to taking them to nursing home residents and was very dissappointed to find out no one wanted them.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 1:53PM
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sheilajoyce_gw

I have been told that veterans' hospitals like the lap blankets too.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2012 at 6:51PM
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