Help/guidance creating a simple pattern of squares?

Hi everyone,

I posted here 2-3 years ago, for help making a blanket for a friend’s first grandchild. The blanket turned out great, thanks to the help I received here. Now that same friend has another grandchild due!

I’d like to make a baby blanket with black and white (or brown and yellow, whatever) squares to match those on a chessboard. And then I want to put in chess pieces. I’ve joined a chess forum to get help deciding on a good configuration for the pieces. I know there are two methods for embroidering in the pieces–either intarsia or duplicate stitch, as I recall from the first blanket I made with sheep.

I can’t seem to find a good pattern to copy for my chessboard squares! Also, I want to make a pretty boarder for this blanket. Can anyone help me with some advice/resources/whatever for a) making the squares, b) the border and c) the embroidery of the pieces? I don’t expect anyone to invent a pattern for me! But maybe someone could recommend stitches to look up, or maybe a website that explains a good way to do the squares, etc? I’m worried that maybe crochet is better than knitting for making the chessboard, but then I’m not sure I can embroider the pieces in well. I’m not that familiar with crochet (or knitting for that matter!).

Any help would be appreciated.


Hmm… I’ll have to look around to find chess pieces that might be charted for duplicate or intarsia stitches. You could maybe do stranded, but the results probably wouldn’t be satisfactory (at least for me). The back of square will have some color show through popping up and/or twisting of colors for intarsia. Just FYI.

The squares can be done diagonally, mitered, log cabin style or just regular. You need to decide what type of squares you want. Diagonal, mitered and log cabin style are easy to make the same size. Log cabin style can easily add a border to each square, too.

I’ll see what I can find.

Thanks for your help! I looked up mitered, diagonal and log cabin squares. I never knitted squares before. I tried to do crochet squares a while back and failed miserably. Anyway, although I’m not 100% convinced about this, I’m somewhat thinking that I want to keep the squares themselves as simple as possible, so it really can look like a chessboard, and also so that the texture of the squares doesn’t affect the actual chess pieces. Maybe I could do some kind of pattern or special stitch along the internal edges of the squares though, to make it look a little fancier… I’m looking at knitting squares patterns now…

I don’t think (again, not totally sure) that I want a border around each individual square. I think I want them to go together just like a chessboard. I do want a border around the entire blanket though.Otherwise I think it will feel unfinished and not fancy or something. But I’m not experienced with multi-colored knitting so I’m not sure I can easily create a border of a new color around the whole blanket.

I see…yes plain blocks will show off the chess pieces better. A border around the outside would look good and most like a chessboard I think, but it’s YOUR blanket so do what you want to do. There re no rules. :wink:

Couple thoughts - You can make individual squares and seam them. You can make strips of alternating colored squares and seam the strips.

I’ve not done intarsia or much duplicate stitch so this is out of my knowledge base other than technique so hopefully someone with more experience can answer this. @salmonmac

I like Jan’s idea of knitting strips for this.
I found this pattern which makes a 33x33 inch square. It more the idea of it and its simple border than the pattern itself (which includes sheep).

You will likely have to line the blanket with either intarsia or duplicate stitch. Both will look fairly neat on the back side but I’m afraid not finished enough to leave without backing.
Here’s one example of a chart. This may be a finer gauge than you’re planning for a blanket however. For myself, I’d rather do intarsia for this because of the thickness of duplicate stitch.

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Thank you for the pattern. I like the idea of doing strips as well! I may buy this pattern or hunt a bit for ones like it. It’s really a relief, after months of vaguely thinking about this project, to feel that it’s beginning to move forward.

I was thinking of doing duplicate stitch on top of intarsia, thinking poofier pieces might be cuter for a child and that if I did duplicate stitch on top of the intarsia, it would look ok on the back because it’s all the same color. I didn’t do backing for the sheep blanket I made previously, but the back did bother me a little. In the end, I just left it like that because I liked the stretchy feel of the knit blanket and thought a backing would make it stiffer… But I’m really a newbie…

Jan–so you recommend a border around each square, in addition to around the whole blanket? I just want to make sure I understand your preference.

Oh no, I don’t have a preference. You just said you wanted it to look more like a chessboard so I mean that a border around the edge would probably create the most chessboard look. If you want t o border each square you will of course have to do separate squares rather than strips. If you do the strips you sew them together then pick up stitches to do the border around the outside.

What do you think of this border? I kind of want something really fancy and gorgeous to make up for the relative simplicity of the chess board…

It’s gorgeous! But…IMO the center isn’t really simple with chess board and intarsia or embroidered chess pieces. I think a simpler border if you want to do all that. Ultimately it’s what YOU think though. :slight_smile:

You can do checkerboard in double knitting. There is a you tube video for that.