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.
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!
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.
This little beauty is 25 x 31 inches after blocking.
It has 90 stitches per row and 120 rows.
Caron Simply Soft acrylic yarn ~ 1 skein black, 2 skeins white
For this cow blanket: Black - 6 oz., White - 9 oz. (Approx.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Repeat these steps in the same corner with the black yarn, for a total of 4 curlicues per corner. Weave in the ends.
My edges on this cow baby blanket were a little wrinkly, so I decided to steam block it into shape.
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!
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!