Lots of knitters love to make blankets and afghans because, even though they can be large projects, they are very satisfying. The feeling of knitting love into every stitch is certainly present, and knowing that you are literally keeping your friends and family warm when you knit blankets for them is a great feeling.
It's like literally knitting a hug.
It's relatively easy to design your own knitted blankets.
Just pick a pattern stitch and a yarn you'd like to use, make a gauge swatch and use that to determine how many stitches you need to make a blanket the size you want.
But what size do you want? Different countries have different standards for the size of mattresses, and blankets designed to go on beds tend to be significantly bigger than the bed they are going on, so there's room for tucking and for a little bit of blanket to hang over the sides of the bed.
In America, the "standard" sizes for blankets are as follows:
- Crib: 45 by 60 inches
- Twin: 66 by 90 inches
- Double: 80 by 90 inches
- Queen: 90 by 90 to 100 inches
- King: 108 by 90 to 100 inches
Of course, the size of your blanket will vary based on the depth of the mattress, how much coverage you want, whether you want it to hang to the floor or comfortably cover the pillows, and so on.
If you're not American or are planning a gift for someone overseas, you can alter these measurements slightly to correspond with the slightly different measurements of beds in other countries, as shown in the chart below.
And even if your measurements aren't perfect, odds are whoever you're giving the blanket to will be so thrilled they won't even care if it doesn't fit their bed perfectly. Just call it an afghan or a throw and it's still a lovely gift, whatever its size.
The chart below gives the sizes in inches and meters for the four main types of mattresses sold in most of the Western world.
Another size you might want to know is the size of cribs, which can vary in size but usually have a mattress around 28 by 52 inches.
Standard Mattress Sizes
|Twin (Single)||39x75 inches (1x1.9 meters)||36x75 inches (0.9x1.9 meters)||36x75 inches (0.9x1.9 meters)||36x79 inches (0.9x2 meters)|
|Full (Double)||54x75 inches (1.35x1.9 meters)||54x75 inches (1.35x1.9 meters)||54x75 inches (1.35x1.9 meters)||55x79 inches (1.4x2 meters)|
|Queen||60x80 inches (1.5x2.05 meters)||60x78 inches (1.5x2 meters)||60x80 inches (1.5x2.05 meters)||63x79 inches (1.6x2 meters)|
|King||76x80 inches (1.95x2.05 meters)||72x78 inches (1.85x2 meters)||72x80 inches (1.85x2.05 meters)||71x79 inches (1.8x2 meters)|
Note: Measurements are approximate.
Of course, once you know the size you want to knit and the gauge you're getting in the stitch pattern you want to use, you'll need to know how much yarn to buy.
I have some rough estimates for yardage estimates for knitting baby blankets, and the knitting calculator at Jimmy Beans Wool is a good guide as well (though it only goes up to 52x70). Of course, if you are working from a knitting pattern it will tell you how much yarn you need, or you can look for patterns of a similar size to the one you are planning to estimate how much yarn you will need for your project.