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Knitting for Charity: Baby Blankets

Oct 26, 2012

Knitted baby blankets are so special; they're a fabulous, heart-felt gift that can become a family heirloom. So many people are in need this time of year, I thought I'd do a newsletter about knitting for charity, specifically, baby blankets.

Wave Border from Weldon's
Practical Knitter Volume 10

And, Knitting Daily readers, I need your help writing with this! I know you're all a treasure trove of information, so please leave a comment below and let us all know which charity is close to your heart, even if it's not just for baby blankets.

One of my favorite charities is the Linus Project. It's mission is to "provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer 'blanketeers.'" Who wouldn't want to be part of that effort?

Many charities have patterns available, as does the Linus project. But this is Knitting Daily and I'm all about sharing patterns with you!

Here's a border pattern from the eBook Weldon's Practical Knitter Volume 10, originally published in the 1890s. The Wave Border is timeless, obviously, and it's an easy knitting pattern that would adorn any handknitted blanket beautifully! I've written out the directions exactly as they appear in the eBook, but I've put each pattern row on its own line, making it much easier to read. It's all run together in one paragraph in the eBook!

Wave Border

This border is useful for edging flannel petticoats, for which purpose it may be knitted with Princess Alexandra knitting yarn, and a pair of No. 14 steel needles; it also may be employed for bordering quilts and toilet-covers, or for any purpose for which a handsome wide border is desired.

Cast on 35 stitches. Knit one plain row.
1st Pattern row—Slip 1, knit 6, make 1 and knit 2 together thirteen times, make 1, knit 2.
2nd row—Plain.
3rd row—Slip 1, knit 7, make 1 and knit 2 together 13 times, make 1, knit 2.
4th row—Plain.
5th row—Slip 1, knit 8, make 1 and knit 2 together 13 times, make 1, knit 2.
6th row—Plain.
7th row—
Slip 1, knit 9, make 1 and knit 2 together thirteen times, make 1, knit 2.
8th row—Plain.
9th row—Slip 1, knit 10, make 1 and knit 2 together 13 times, make 1, knit 2.
10th row—Plain.
11th row—Plain, 40 stitches on.
12th row—Knit 1, knit 2 together, make 1 and knit 2 together 14 times, knit 9.
13th row—Plain.
14th row—Knit 1, knit 2 together, make 1 and knit 2 together 14 times, knit 8.
15th row—Plain.
16th row—Knit 1, knit 2 together, make 1 and knit 2 together 14 times, knit 7.
17th row—Plain.
18th row—Knit 1, knit 2 together, make 1 and knit 2 together 14 times, knit 6.
19th row—Plain.
20th row—Knit 1, knit 2 together, make 1 and knit 2 together fourteen times, knit 5.
21st row—Plain.
22nd row—Plain, 35 stitches on.
Repeat from the 1st row for the length required.

From Weldon's Practical Knitter Volume 10

You could use this pattern to edge a simple dishcloth-type blanket (search the internet for Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth, and just keep increasing the pattern until your blanket is the size you want it to be, then decrease back down to the three or four stitches you started with), or add it to your favorite afghan pattern.

What an easy way to beautify any knitted afghan or baby blanket! And if you use it to border a toilet-cover, as suggested above, please email me a photo!

As you can see, Weldon's is full of interesting, unique patterns, along with a wonderful peek into the past. Download our newest offering, Weldon's Practical Knitter Series 9-12 Set, today.

And don't forget to leave a comment below, suggesting your favorite charity for afghan or baby blanket donations!


Featured Product

Weldon's Practical Knitter Series 9-12 Set (eBook)

Availability: In Stock
Price: $29.99


Weldon's Practical Knitter Series 9-12 eBook offers over 100 vintage knitting patterns from the late 1800s ranging from women's vests to men's tops and baby's jackets to socks for the whole family.


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RosesKnits wrote
on Nov 12, 2012 1:00 PM

I knitted a swatch of the Wave Border because I thought if the design were used with worsted weight yarn, it would make a great valance for the small window in the room where I knit.  However, the directions provided don't produce a border that looks like the picture.

Notice in the picture that each point consists of eyelets in the first half and solid garter stitch in the second half, so the overall appearance has vertical stripes of garter stitch. However, the directions provided specify eyelets in both halves, so there are no garter stitch stripes.  I wanted a valance that looks like the picture, so I revised the directions to exactly duplicate the wave border shown in the picture.

Here are the corrected directions, for anyone interested in making this border:

Cast on 35 sts.

Row 1 (RS):  Knit.

Row 2:  K7, (yo, k2tog) 13x, yo, k2.

Row 3:  Knit.

Row 4:  K8, (yo, k2tog) 13x, yo, k2.

Row 5:  Knit.

Row 6:  K9, (yo, k2tog) 13x, yo, k2.

Row 7:  Knit.

Row 8:  K10, (yo, k2tog) 13x, yo, k2.

Row 9:  Knit.

Row 10:  K11, (yo, k2tog) 13x, yo, k2.

Row 11:  Knit.  (40 sts)

Row 12:  K9, k2tog, yo, k27, k2tog.

Row 13:  Knit.

Row 14:  K8, k2tog, yo, k27, k2tog.

Row 15:  Knit.

Row 16:  K7, k2tog, yo, k27, k2tog.

Row 17:  Knit.

Row 18:  K6, k2tog, yo, k27, k2tog.

Row 19:  Knit.

Row 20:  K5, k2tog, yo, k27, k2tog.  (35 sts)

Repeat rows 1-20 for desired length.

tllmargie wrote
on Oct 31, 2012 9:03 PM

I'm part of a group of volunteers in Ohio called For the Babies.  Just thought I would mention that when knitting or crocheting blankets or afghans please don't make them too lacey.  Fingers and toes can get caught in the holes.  We use the pretty lacey ones in our burial layettes.

gailmsn wrote
on Oct 30, 2012 8:28 AM

My church has a Prayer Shawl Circle and we knit or crochet shawls for those who have a need for comfort, regardless of the circumstance, and these gifts are not limited to the congregation. Many of us purchase the yarn ourselves and donate the finished project. We have also received donations of unused yarn, needles and crochet hooks for supplies. As you might imagine, those yarn donations are usually a lot of "orphans" or not enough to make a shawl. We use everything though, and we are also on a winter accessory campaign and knitting up mittens, hats, and scarves to donate to homeless shelters and for people of our churches who have a need. I have a picture of a little pile of my giveaway mittens on Ravelry (my avatar is gailmsn),

HFL1313 wrote
on Oct 28, 2012 6:27 PM

Bob's Blankie Brigade donates baby blankies and lap blankies to local hospitals along with preemie caps and chemo caps. Bob's also donates larger blankets to domestic violence shelters and housing. The blankies are knitted, crocheted or quilted. Bob's is headquartered in NJ and FLA and has volunteers in 10 states. Bob's also has patterns.   For current news see www, (you don't have to be on Facebook to visit the site)

craftlover wrote
on Oct 28, 2012 5:22 PM

Hi, My favourite charity is our local "Pregnancy Research Centre. I like to knit all types of baby clothing, blankets, bibs, socks, etc. for them. We also have a charitable organization who works with at-risk families. Each time an expectant mother has her baby, they are given a bag of baby things. This organization's name is "Headstart". Both of these are in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

MaybellineD wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 6:37 PM

I knit lace blankets for fetal demise infants.  I have found many knitted lace doily patterns and have started quite a collection.  They are the perfect size and many are free patterns on Ravelry.  Minutes of Gold is the charity that makes layettes for various hospitals.  Blankets are always needed - they just need to be square and at least 15" wide.  

kseckels wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 6:16 PM

In 2010, I began knitting little bears for bereaved parents.  In reaching out to parents who have faced the death of a child, I continue to work through my own grief from the loss of my 3 month-old daughter, Kristen.  With the help of several friends and my older two daughters, we started my favorite charity knitting project, "Peace of my Heart."

Pollywolly wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 4:38 PM

When is a toilet not a toilet?  Possibly in 19th-Century England during the time Weldon's was publishing lovely patterns like this knitted lace.  London installed a sewage system for use of flush toilets in the late 1800's--not so long ago.  At that time, "toilet" might refer to a woman's dressing room, dressing table, toilet articles (cosmetics, perfumes, etc.), her process of dressing, or the protective cape she put around her shoulders while she dressed her hair.  I can picture knitted lace in those contexts, but still the idea of trimming a toilet fixture with lace is intriguing.  Like you, if someone takes on the challenge, I'd love to see the photo.    

zumbadilly wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 4:26 PM

What does "make one" mean in the pattern for the wave border?  Thank you.

doclette wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 4:20 PM

I make chemo caps for knots-of-love out of CA. They send lovely hats all over the U.S. to cancer centers

doclette wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 4:20 PM

I make chemo caps for knots-of-love out of CA. They send lovely hats all over the U.S. to cancer centers

chillycatt wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 3:47 PM

Myself and some of the women from the knit shop I go to knitted some breasts for women who have had mastectomies and need a "falsie" That was a different kind of knitted project to knit for charity!

kaylace wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 3:16 PM

Boy, this was hard to find... I just wanted to leave a short note about charity knitting but had no clue how to go about doing it... maybe you need a little specific info other than just "leave a comment down below" ... but i digress ...

I'm a member of several quilt guilds so most of my large donations are quilts to various organizations but I since i also knit, which I frequently do during a meeting, I've gotten involved in providing knitted item to maternity cottages for teen moms, making baby blankets for women's shelters, and now my newest recipient is a hospital's preemie nursery for which I make hats, booties and small blankets for both the babies in the nursery but for the still-borns as well. It is a very humbling experience to realize how many still-borns there are in this modern day. We are trying to provide not only a little warmth but a little comfort as well. Kay, metro Atlanta

cmacfarlane wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 2:18 PM

I just recently completed purple baby hats for a local campaign to raise awareness of the Period of PURPLE Crying and Shaken Baby Syndrome.   Others in my church knitting group participated as well.  We've also made more than 30 helmet liners for our troops in Afghanistan through a local military contact.

CTFAWN wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 1:40 PM

You asked for a favorite charity.  We don't have a formal organization, but there are a group of us ladies here in Big Bear City, CA  that make lap robes, hats (skull caps), scarves, and amputee socks for the Veterans in the VA hospital at Loma Linda California.  All charities are worthy, but for me, our veterans are the most deserving, and I am speaking of men and women.  We use cotton and acrylic yarns that are machine washable and not likely to cause allergy problems.  All colors, brite and beautiful, and all color combinations.  A great use of scrap yarns.  Our hospital is extremely appreciative and I am sure the others would be the same.  Contact  Patient Services at a local VA Hospital and they will tell you what they need the most.

antieeboo wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 1:29 PM

I sit on the Board of directors for a registered charity in Canada that provides hand made items of warmth to street youth locally,  Keeping Kids Warm                 ( ).

I have grown as a knitter with this group and helped to provide many needed items during the winter months to homeless teens and others who need help.

redheadeb wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 1:04 PM

I knit for charity with the <a href="

">Wool-Aid Ravelry group</a>.  Wool-Aid's mission:  

<i>Wool-Aid is a community of knitters and crocheters who create warm woolen garments for children who live in the coldest climates and have the least access to resources. This group is for people 18 years of age and older.</i>

<i>Our mission is to provide wool socks, sweaters, vests, mittens, hats, and blankets to the neediest children. Items that meet Clothing Guidelines or Blanket Guidelines can be sent to Wool-Aid HQ at any time.</i>

<i>We work with organizations that put the human imperative first; that provide aid regardless of the race, creed, or nationality of the recipients; and that do not use aid to further a particular political or religious viewpoint. Priority is given to helping populations where washable items are neither required nor recommended. We have been able to send our lovingly handknit and handcrocheted items to places as diverse as Tibet, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Bulgaria, and Canada.</i>

The Ravelry group is a very lively and supportive group.  You can also find info at their website, <a href=">

DianaP1216 wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 12:56 PM

Currently I am knitting for the Foster Children, and want them to have hats which are new and cute.  I have also knit for the vets at the VA hospital.

jofrogger wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 12:48 PM

Favorite knit-worthy charity?  Afghans for Afghans ,> -- which, despite the name, sends more sweaters and vests and hats and socks and other garments than actual blankets.  I can't find on the website or the blog the total number of items sent, but it's in the high thousands.   The group partners with NGOs in Afghanistan to meet the actual needs of Afghan schools, hospitals, refugee camps, and the like -- and they are VERY much appreciated.   One campaign had us knitting hats in specified colors for a traveling children's circus ( -- scroll down, and don't miss the video of a kid juggling hats!)  The effort has been ongoing since early 2002, despite almost unimaginable difficulties in getting our gifts delivered in wartime conditions.   Besides keeping kids warm, this serves as a reminder to both sides of the exchange that we're all just people, trying to get along.

KathrynH wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 12:32 PM

I make children's sweaters for the Guideposts program, now known as Knit for Kids-World Vision.

JaneL@40 wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 12:23 PM

My favorite charity is Sanctuary Stitchers. They make blankets for children in residential treatment facilities: or

on Oct 26, 2012 12:23 PM

my favorite charity is warm up america!,which collects hand crocheted and knitted afghans for distribution to homeless shelters and low income families across the us.they also collect the individual crocheted or knitted squares for later assembly into afghans by groups of volunteers,if you don't want to complete an entire afghan but still want to donate.(by the way,kathleen,the wave border pattern has given me the idea for a shawl.....)

deneshel wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:59 AM

I belong to a group that makes baby items for the Christ Child Society. They gather layettes to give to high risk babies at area hospitals. Knitting booties, hats and blankets for the "littlest" ones is so rewarding. Sometimes it's all the babies have.

KathyM@05 wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:58 AM

Baby Blankets for Deployed Daddy's is my favorite charity. Basically, one knits/crochet a baby blanket, puts it in a bag, sends it to Dad, he sleeps with it to get his scent on it, bags it, then sends it to Mom and baby. Baby will become familiar with his scent and know him when he comes home.

hrhosmer wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:55 AM

Thanx for posting the link for Stitches from the Heart.  

deesquared wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:43 AM

Check out The Preemie Project -

on Oct 26, 2012 11:28 AM

 One that I knit for is *Stitches from the Heart* - we make blankets & hats for infants, and they are sent to various hospitals in the U.S. for newborns and preemies.

fuchialady wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:26 AM

Our group makes baby blessing blankets for one of our local hospitals. The response is so overwhelming that we cannot make enough and the stories coming back are heart warming. We have been asked to add prayer shawls to this ministry and have done so.

rcbushey wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:15 AM

Here is a website that has a number of charities that would love hand knit or crocheted items:

jan-gay wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:08 AM

I knit blankets, caps and scarves for Angel Snugs, a non-profit  established to provide "snugs" for children, from infants to teens, fighting cancer. For more info go to or on Facebook at     :-)

Rhonda wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:06 AM

I haven't done any afghan or baby blanket donations, though I did a handful of items for preemies, some years ago.  My charity of choice is our local Youth Emergency Shelter, for whom I've been knitting scarves and hats for a number of years, to help the kids through our cold winters.  Last year for the first time, I switched to weaving (much faster for production) and made a bunch of wooly scarves for some needy kids that a friend of mine was teaching at the time.  This year I am weaving more scarves, probably about a dozen.  Fortunately I can do about one per day, so it won't take very long to weave enough to make a difference for a bunch of kids.

Gina-marie wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 11:05 AM

May I please ask: where can I buy Princess Alexandra knitting yarn, or a substitute to knit this border?

Thank you!


JGD9225 wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 10:56 AM

I make a knitted blanket every year for the Linus Project and throughout the year make baby blankets for Newborns in Need which is part of our We Care - Maine charity knitting.

Schnucki wrote
on Oct 26, 2012 10:33 AM

For those who live in Germany: My favorit charity is├╝ They knit for premature babies. It's such a help and lovely gesture for those poor troubled parents.

on Oct 26, 2012 10:09 AM

I don't have a favorite knitting charity (yet) but my mom does....she makes hats, generally for premies and babies of single mothers.