Remember this humble little pattern I came up with when my sister was expecting and didn’t fancy the usual baby cardigan, but asked for a blanket instead? Now her baby boy has just turned three-years-old and 521 people on Ravelry alone have knitted one. 5347 people on Ravelry have favourited it and 1663 have added it to their queues.
And those clever knitters out there have created not just baby blankets, but turned the pattern into full-size bedspreads and throws, scarves and cowls.
Here’s a little look at some of the stories behind the Zig and Zag sock yarn pram blanket:
If you can tear your eyes away from the beautiful baby boy, Michael Francis, this blanket was made by AnnaW on Ravelry. He was born three weeks early due to pre-eclampsia and spent a week in intensive care after developing pneumonia, but carried home all snuggled up warm in his Zig and Zag blanket.
This gorgeous example was knitted by stitchinseminary on Ravelry. Her knitting group, The Hurricane Knitters, adopted it as their standard group project when one of them is having a baby. In her words, they “use a solid color for the bottom and top border, eliminate the solid border on the sides, each person does five colors, and then we separate each person’s work with 2 rows of that solid border color.” A really great idea.
I love how the reds and oranges tone up to the blues and greens without being too obviously a rainbow in this blanket by shefee. I found out that shefee lives on Nantucket and owns a yarn store called Flock which stocks these gorgeous Nantucket hat kits using Koigu yarn. That’s very cool. I spent a summer working on the boats which sailed from Hyannis to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, so I’m delighted to have come across shefee, and if I ever get to go back there, I’ll make a beeline for her store.
Another beautiful example in blues, greens and plum, this time from relaxcris on Ravelry who knitted the blanket for her new great niece who lives in Maine. And here’s cute-as-a-button Julia with her blanket, and some very gorgeous knitted bootees by the look of them.
The basic zig-zag pattern is worked on a 13 stitch repeat, so it’s adaptable into other items, such as this scarf knitted by sockmum on Ravelry. It also shows how the all-one-colour border can be dropped, and you can just work the garter stitch in the colour of the stripe. Very effective.
And be warned. The pattern can be addictive. Javo on Ravelry started knitting the blanket because her sock yarn scrap basket was overflowing and it was the perfect pattern to use it all up so that it wasn’t wasted. She has knitted six to date and had to stop only when her husband asked her to please start knitting him socks again!
And some super dedicated knitters turned the pattern into a full-size bedspread. This one by knittybang is particularly impressive and I bow to her staying power!
This was the original full-sized blanket made by alabamawhirly which she called an unfortunately very large ziggety zaggety blanket.
She was inspired by the number 13 – because of the original stitch pattern. At the time Skein Queen was running a sock club based on Lemony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events and there were 13 installments of sock yarn. She used a border of 6, 6 and 6 for extra unluckiness and 13 rows of each colour. She added the colours in the order they arrived in the post and had to wait each month for a new delivery, then repeated them in the same order and it’s become the favourite family blanket, as you can see by her twins using it at the beach!
This blanket was knitted by kiknits and I love that she’s used semi-solid colours and wider stripes – we actually dyed some of the yarn for this one here at SQ hq one day. Kiknits wanted to make a blanket for her daughter who “constantly stole” her alpaca throw to snuggle under to watch TV. She loved alabamawhirly’s blanket and having just completed the Reading Half Marathon (13.1 miles), she felt that a project this size would be manageable if she set a deadline of the next half marathon to complete it by. She was knitting right up until the deadline, but she did it!
And if you’d like to see more examples of the Zig and Zag blanket, you can see them over here. I think part of why the pattern works is that you can’t really go too wrong on colour choice – almost anything works, from the most variegated, colourful yarn to being knitted all in one colour.
Big thanks to all those here who gave me permission to use their photos and told me a bit about the story behind their pieces.
Hope you’ve had some fun knitting them, thank you for choosing my pattern and if you ever wondered about the origin of the name, apart from the obvious, you’d do well to look here. Those Irish guys used to make me laugh so much.