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Moo-tastic cow baby blanket for your new little cowpoke!

Cow baby blanket on the patio

This whimsical black and white cow baby blanket is an affectionate nod to my growing up in Ohio.

When I discovered that National Cow Appreciation Day is this month, I took a trip down memory lane. As a kid, a Sunday drive might take our family through the countryside, past working farms with red barns, metal silos, reedy ponds, and Holstein cattle grazing in long grass

After I married and moved to Idaho, my honey did a stint working nights shifting cattle at a small dairy farm. Once, they let me come in and feed the newly-born calves. Let me tell you, baby cows suck. Quite literally! Emptied the bottle so fast I was stunned.

Cow baby blanket inspiration

But how do you celebrate a cow holiday? My first inclination was to grill a juicy cheeseburger! I'd just as soon not go out and find a cow to hug . Instead, I drew up a graph for a black and white cow baby blanket! A much more festive activity, don't you think? And a great gift for the cow enthusiast in your life!

Graph

Click here for a Printable PDF Graph of this Cow Baby Blanket

I used the free version of Stitchfiddle to design this Holstein cow baby blanket. The beauty of its simplicity is that, if I count wrong, it's totally okay! Because every black and white cowhide pattern is unique.

You can print the pattern, which comes out kind of small, or click here to use the Progress Tracker that stitchfiddle provides online.

Size

This little beauty is 25 x 31 inches after blocking.

It has 90 stitches per row and 120 rows.

Materials

Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn ~ 1 skein black, 2 skeins white

For this cow blanket:  Black - 6 oz., White - 9 oz. (Approx.)

You may want to use yarn bobbins to have enough separate balls of yarn for the intarsia method. Use this youtube tutorial to brush up on your intarsia skills.

My first intarsia blanket was the Phases of the Moon Baby Blanket, designed to celebrate the 9 months my granddaughter was in utero. This cow baby blanket is my second go-round with intarsia. If I can do it, you certainly can! It's a pretty simple process.

Here's the how-to:

Cow baby blanket nearly done! Showing the yarn skeins and bobbinsCow baby blanket nearly done! Showing the yarn skeins and bobbins

The entire cow baby blanket is single crochet. 

Each black cow spot should have its own skein or bobbin of black. You will need a couple bobbins or small balls of white also.

To start:

Chain 68 white, then change color and continue chaining 23 more in black. 91 chains total

Turn. In 2nd chain from hook, begin single crochet, switching colors according to the graph. Each row has 90 stitches.

This baby blanket has 120 rows.

Notes:

  • For intarsia, be sure your yarn is always on the back side when you're done with it in a row.
  • Crochet over yarn ends as long as they match the color you're using at the time.
  • If you'd like a bigger cow blanket, just increase your beginning chain and work more rows, adapting the spots as you wish. 
  • Don't worry if your count is off. Each cow has its own pattern! If you're feeling especially artsy, you could freestyle this whole blanket!

Need a border?

Reverse single crochet edge and corner curlicuesReverse single crochet edge and corner curlicues

I used reverse single crochet for a simple finish on this Holstein cow baby blanket. But I matched the edge colors with the white or black that was on the main blanket. Also, I crocheted 2 revSC in each corner.

Cow curlicues

For a playful embellishment, I used curlicues in the corners!  Your little cowboy or cowgirl will love them! No longer than 8 inches (22cm) is recommended for infants and small children. Click here to see a blanket with an entire border of curlicues!

Curlicues are a practical way to use up the yarn on your bobbins or small intarsia balls. I made four in each corner, 2 shorter and 2 a bit longer. Here's how:

  1. Using white, slip stitch to attach yarn in a corner. (I attached it over the reverse single crochet border into the regular single crochet row.)
  2. Chain 25.
  3. In second chain from hook, sc 3x.
  4. Sc 3x in each chain until you get back to the corner of the blanket. (You'll see the curlicue develop.)
  5. Attach to the corner with another slip stitch.
  6. Chain 30.
  7. Repeat steps 3 thru 5. Fasten off.

Repeat these steps in the same corner with the black yarn, for a total of 4 curlicues per corner. Weave in the ends.

Blocking acrylic yarn

My edges on this cow baby blanket were a little wrinkly, so I decided to steam block it into shape.

I love this Conair steamer for blocking yarn work!I love this Conair steamer for blocking yarn work!

Yes, you can block acrylic yarn with steam. Before my first try at blocking, I did my research to find out how. Some people actually use a steam iron to block with! I was afraid I'd accidentally melt the yarn, so I invested in this Conair steamer. It's really easy to use, has two heat settings, and has a pretty long cord that reaches over to the rug on which I pinned the blanket to size.

It heats up quick, too, and I was done blocking in five minutes! Not counting the pinning, of course.

My first ever blocking escapade regulated some uneven squares I made for a temperature pregnancy blanket for my grandson. His blanket surpassed my expectations, so now I routinely block acrylic blankets made with CSS yarn!

Moo-oodles of fun to make and give!

Cow Baby Blanket complete

Now that you're done, just give your kids this fun faux "cowhide" to pretend with or gift it to your friend who loooves cows! Either way, you have celebrated Cow Appreciation Day without that juicy cheeseburger!

Cow baby blanket folded for giving


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