Knitting a large blanket can be like climbing a mountain: some preparation, a lot of hard work, and at the very end, a tremendous sense of pride, accomplishment, and beauty!

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Our Optic Blanket makes the climb as rewarding as the summit. You cleverly work each square in the round from the periphery inward, decreasing with simple central double decreases. And to begin each square, you pick up stitches along adjacent squares, saving you from the dreaded task of sewing everything together at the end!

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

We used Purl Soho’s incredibly soft and weighty Flax Down to knit our blanket, especially excited that it’s now available in six new colors! For high contrast drama, we chose rich Kettle Black paired with classic Heirloom White, but the results are equally stunning in all of the colors. We’ve included swatches of each below to help you choose!

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Our Optic Blanket may be more ambitious hike than quick jaunt, but it promises a truly fulfilling journey and a spectacular destination! -Kristy

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Materials

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Kettle Black
Kiln Red
Lavender Opal
Stonewall Gray
Rose Granite
Stillwater Blue

Gauge

20 stitches = 4 inches in garter stitch

Size

Finished dimensions: Approximately 48 inches wide x 56 inches long

Notes

For this blanket you work each square in the round, decreasing from the perimeter to the center. To attach the squares, you pick up stitches from an adjacent square (or two!) and work from there. Don’t worry, it’s easy and we explain everything!

S2kp (slip 2, knit 1, psso): Slip 2 stitches together knit wise wyib, knit 1, pass slipped stitches over knit stitch and off right needle. [2 stitches decreased]

To learn how to change colors for this blanket, check out our Stripes in the Round Tutorial.

Pattern

Square 1

With Yarn A, cast 164 stitches onto the circular needles.

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches. Note: Do not place a marker when you join.

Round 1: With Yarn A, [k40, slip 1 purlwise, place removable stitch marker on slipped stitch (not on needle)] four times. Use the different color marker for the last marker you place. It indicates the end of the round.

Round 2: With Yarn B, [knit to next marked stitch, slip marked stitch purlwise wyib] four times.

Round 3: With Yarn B, [purl to next marked stitch, slip marked stitch purlwise wyib] four times.

Round 4: With Yarn A, [knit to one stitch before next marked stitch, remove stitch marker, s2kp (see Notes, above), place stitch marker on s2kp stitch] four times. [8 stitches decreased]

Round 5: With Yarn A, [purl to one stitch before next marked stitch, remove stitch marker, s2kp, place stitch marker on s2kp stitch] four times. [8 stitches decreased]

Repeat Rounds 2 – 5 eight more times, changing to double pointed needles when necessary. [20 stitches]

Work Rounds 2 – 4 one time. [12 stitches]

Final Round: With Yarn A, s2kp four times, removing stitch markers as you work. [4 stitches]

Cut yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail, and with a tapestry needle, thread the yarn through the remaining 4 stitches. Weave in the tail on the wrong side.

Square 1 is done!

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Square 2

With Yarn A, cast 123 stitches onto the circular needles. Then with the right side of both the cast on and Square 1 facing you, use the left end of the needle to pick up 41 stitches purlwise along an edge of Square 1. [164 stitches] Note: For some tips on picking up, please visit our Picking Up Stitches Tutorial.

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Starting with Round 1, repeat Square 1 instructions to complete Square 2.

Squares 3-7

BLANKET DIAGRAM

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Working to create a line of seven squares, continue by casting on 123 stitches and picking up 41 stitches along the top edge of each previous square (always use Yarn A for this). Make each square as instructed for Square 1. Work until you have completed all 7 squares.

Squares 8-14

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

For Square 8, continue as above, but pick up the 41 stitches along the left edge of Square 7, instead of at its top.

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

Orient the completed squares so that they are face up and Squares 1-7 are on the left.

For Square 9, cast 82 stitches onto the circular needles. Then, keeping the right side of the cast on facing you and using the left end of the needles, pick up 41 stitches purlwise along the top of Square 8, and then 41 stitches purlwise along the right side of Square 6. [164 stitches]

Join for working in the round, being careful to not twist the stitches.

Starting with Round 1, repeat Square 1 instructions to complete Square 9.

Work Squares 10-14 as you did Square 9, casting on 82 stitches and then picking up 41 stitches from the top and right sides of each previous square.

Squares 15 and 16

Now orient the completed squares so that they face up and Squares 1-7 are again on the right. Cast on 123 stitches, pick up 41 stitches from the left side of Square 14, and make Square 15, as described above.

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho

To attach Square 16, cast on 82 stitches, pick up 41 stitches purlwise from the left side of Square 13 and 41 stitches purlwise from the top of Square 15. Make the square as previously described.

Continue

Using this same logic and referring to the Blanket Diagram, continue to attach and work the remaining squares.

Finish

With a tapestry needle and Color A, sew closed any gaps that may remain at the squares’ intersections.

Weave in ends and block as desired.

Optic Blanket | Purl Soho