The Bertha Blanket

Bertha Blanket made by marni

The Bertha Blanket

Instant gratification?

That’s what The Bertha Blanket is not. This handknit throw requires patience and nothing more. If you’re up for the challenge as I was, 24,000 love stitches later you’ll hold in your hands the most wonderfully, soft, luxurious blanket ever.

The is how my Bertha Blanket was born. The inspiration, my sister’s desire for a beautiful over-sized knitted throw sold through Restoration Hardware:ย  Garment-Dyed Handknit Throw ($579).

What I used:

Knitpicks 100% Pima Cotton Yarn “Billow” Gosling.
24 skeins. Total cost around $150.
I knit two strands together throughout to make it super chunky.

Clover Takumi Bamboo Circular 36-Inch Knitting Needles, Size 13

My Gauge:
5″ x 5″ (10 x 10cm)
10 stitches x 5 rows

I cast on 125 stitches and began. No border, just a simple chunky cotton throw that grew and grew. This means the edges are rough and roll, but it also allows the cotton to move without being bound by a border, so it can be draped and shaped however you want.

Note from my sister:

“It’s super soft and comfortable, and a good weight, breathable. The only thing I would change is that the long 2 parallel edges of the throw roll up on themselves, which makes folding it so it lays flat at the end of the bed tricky. I have to sort of wrap one edge over the other to make it look like it’s laying flat, though it’s not.”

Border option:

You could choose to add a border on the long edges, So that it doesn’t roll like she says. To do that you could make the first 5 stitches and last 5 stitches of every row a garter stitch, meaning on the purl side you would knit them instead of purl them. This would create a look of a border and keep the edges from rolling.

It’s absolutely GORGEOUS. It’s so soft and luxurious…. and a good weight to it. It’s like wearing a big hug!

Finished size: Approx 60″ x 84″

I feel like I just finished a marathon.

 

49 Responses

  1. Annie says:

    I love the simplicity of this! Beautiful; I need to add this to my to-do list!

  2. Carn says:

    Is this whole thing just knit stitch…sorry I am a beginner.

    • marni says:

      Hi there, yes the whole thing is just a straight stockinette stitch. Knit one row and then purl the next, over and over and over again! This means that the edges will roll slightly, but that’s the look I was going for. It takes a lot of patience but it’s worth it. My sister loves the throw! ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s a silent video by Drops Design showing you the stockinette stitch.

  3. Rhonda says:

    I think you mean circular needles, not double pointed ๐Ÿ˜‰ Looks nice and cozy, my daughter is waiting on me to knit her a throw as well

    • marni says:

      Haha! Yes ma’am circular needles ๐Ÿ™‚ but there is a point on each end! Thanks for pointing that out (no pun intended) I’ll fix the post

  4. MT Sakura says:

    The swatch says 5 rows = 5 inches, but the chalkboard pictures says 12 rows = 5 inches. Which is it? (Trying to convert to a queen bed size, lol…don’t know when that will happen!)

    • marni says:

      Oh my – I would just make a swatch yourself first and then figure out how much to cast on. Once you have the width right just keep going until it’s the length you want. I would say the gauge in the pattern is probably more accurate than the chalkboard scribbles ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. marni says:

    Good question from a follower looking to purchase the same yarn. She wants to know how bad it pills and how extreme are the changes. I’ll have to ask my sister in California if she has washed it yet. I do remember asking Knit Picks about care instructions, which are to hand wash. Let me check and get back to you on how much it has changed since she received it and what she recommends as far as care.

    • Cheryl says:

      Also the change in weight…is it that bad as reviews?

      • marni says:

        I had to re-read the reviews. Actually, I was going for that uneven look. My sister’s request – almost verbatim: “I want it to be textural and not perfect/machine-like. I want it to breathe, but not be too heavy. I want that little extra layer of warmth and comfort on chilly days or nights when my husband steals the covers!”

        It didn’t pill on me when I was knitting, and I don’t recall breathing in dust or having a difficult time making balls. It is what it is. The finished throw is like where a soft hug. I swear!

        I’m still waiting to hear back from my sister as to whether she has washed it yet, and if so how it held up. But so far she has had nothing but good things to say about her “binkie”. hahaha.

        • Cheryl says:

          Cute! Thats just what I looking for a binkie

          • marni says:

            Wonderful! I did hear back from my sister. She hasn’t washed the throw yet, and says it does not pill. Also, she commented “It’s super soft and comfortable, and a good weight, breathable. The only thing I would change is that the long 2 parallel edges of the throw roll up on themselves, which makes folding it so it lays flat at the end of the bed tricky. I have to sort of wrap one edge over the other to make it look like it’s laying flat, though it’s not.”

            That being said, you could choose to add a border on the long edges, So that it doesn’t roll like she says. To do that you could make the first 5 stitches and last 5 stitches of every row a garter stitch, meaning on the purl side you would knit them instead of purl them. This would create a look of a border and keep the edges from rolling. I’m going to add this option to the pattern. Thanks again for your comments and best of luck!

          • Cheryl says:

            Oh, thank you!!!

  6. Diane says:

    Hi there, please excuse me if this is a stupid question – I am a beginner! What are the dimensions of the finished blanket?

    • marni says:

      There is no such thing as a stupid question! ๐Ÿ™‚ The dimensions for me were 60″ wide by 84″ long using the double strands of Billow and size US 13 circular knitting needles. Best to make a swatch first and see how many stitches across you need. After you run through your first ball of yarn, you’ll get an idea of how much yarn you’ll need to finish the throw. Good luck!

      • Diane says:

        Thank you! I will give that a go ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Diane says:

        I was just looking at this again – I really want to give it a go! So, if I knit away, having cast on 120 stitches to begin with, does this turn into the 60″ x 84″ finished product or do you have to join pieces together?

        • marni says:

          Believe it or not I knit this thing in one big piece. I just kept going and going and every now and then laid it out to see my progress. ๐Ÿ™‚ Towards the end I got to have it keep me warm while I was knitting it!

  7. Sheryl says:

    Hi Marnie,
    Using size 13 needles, I cast on two strands of bulky (5) yarn to do my gauge. I cast on 10 stitches and knitted five rows. My piece only measured 5″ x 2″. What am I doing wrong?

    • marni says:

      Hi Sheryl,
      What yarn are you using? The Billow yarn is quite uneven and so it knits looser perhaps that what you are using? Let me make another swatch this evening with Billow double stranded and size 13 needles just to be sure. The bottom line is that your width is correct, you got 5″ with 10 stitches, so really then you can get started and just keep knitting as I did. If I had to get more yarn, I got more yarn, and I just kept knitting because the width was the right measurement.
      Marni

      • Sheryl says:

        Hi Marni, I’m not using Billow, I’m using Loops and Threads charisma marble yard (got it from Michael’s .). It’s a fairly tight knit and the strands have uniform thickness. Thanks for your help!
        Sheryl

  8. Mikes says:

    I love this pattern and just ordered the yarn! Before I order the needles, may I ask what length of needles you used?

    Can’t wait to get started!

  9. Sheila says:

    Hi Marni,
    I love this blanket! I am about to place my order for yarn and needles and am wondering what length of US 13 circular needles did you use?

    Sheila

    • Sheila says:

      Got it!

    • marni says:

      Hi Sheila! You’re in for a long haul but it’ll be worth it! Couple of comments in this post were about pilling, but I’ve copied them here so you don’t have to dig for them:

      I read the reviews on KnitPicks.com about the unevenness of the yarn… well actually, I was going for that uneven look. My sisterโ€™s request โ€“ almost verbatim: โ€œI want it to be textural and not perfect/machine-like. I want it to breathe, but not be too heavy. I want that little extra layer of warmth and comfort on chilly days or nights when my husband steals the covers!โ€

      It didnโ€™t pill on me when I was knitting, and I donโ€™t recall breathing in dust or having a difficult time making balls. It is what it is. The finished throw is like where a soft hug. I swear!

      Although my sister hasn’t washed the throw yet, she says it does not pill. Also, she commented โ€œItโ€™s super soft and comfortable, and a good weight, breathable. The only thing I would change is that the long 2 parallel edges of the throw roll up on themselves, which makes folding it so it lays flat at the end of the bed tricky. I have to sort of wrap one edge over the other to make it look like itโ€™s laying flat, though itโ€™s not.โ€

      That being said, you could choose to add a border on the long edges, So that it doesnโ€™t roll like she says. To do that you could make the first 5 stitches and last 5 stitches of every row a garter stitch, meaning on the purl side you would knit them instead of purl them. This would create a look of a border and keep the edges from rolling. Please let me know how it turns out!

  10. Cheryl says:

    Hi
    does the material pill?

    • Markie says:

      It does pill a tad, but I would say shedding is more accurate. I have some fiber remnants of my knitting project on the couch and clothes I wore while knitting, but it wouldn’t hinder me from using this yarn again. I guess it depends on your preference…for someone who does not tolerate any fiber shedding, I would definitely avoid this yarn. If you don’t mind a little extra care and a little couch vacuuming, I would say go for it!

      • marni says:

        My sister hasn’t washed hers yet but I will share your info with her. I bet she’ll be of the same opinion as you. She loves her blankie. Did you add a border or go for the natural rolled look?

        • Markie says:

          I bought a pima cotton blanket years ago from Restoration Hardware that shed like crazy until I washed it a few times. This yarn doesn’t shed nearly as much as that one, so I image with some use/washes it will be insignificant. I went with the natural rolled look. It is so beautiful!

  11. Stacy says:

    Thank you for this pattern, it looks so soft and cuddly! You keep saying it’s a long project, just how long did it take you to knit? I know everyone knits at a different rate, I only knit at an average rate myself, but I’d like to know what I’m in for if I take this on. I love big, soft, cuddly blankets but I have thought about making it just a tad smaller…maybe 50″X 68 to 70″ long. That way it is plenty wide for snuggling and long enough to cover my shoulders and still tuck under my toes. But as I said I need to know what I’m getting myself into! The Knit Picks yarn is even on sale right now! Thank you.

    • marni says:

      Hi Stacy,
      This was an ongoing project that took me several months. When I got bored or needed a new project I put it aside and worked on something else ๐Ÿ™‚ But when I finally finished I was so pleased with it. Almost hated sending it off to my sister, but it was her request and she purchased the luxurious yarn for me to knit. I enjoyed it as a calming project and put a lot of love into every stitch! I say go for it! I hope the yarn is still on sale. Let me know how it goes!

  12. Markie says:

    I LOVE this blanket! I am 2 hanks from finishing and couldn’t wait to post my review. My husband has been asking me for the past month if his blanket is done. It is so soft and comfy, exactly how it is described. I am planning to make another in the near future! Thank you for the pattern ๐Ÿ˜€

  13. Markie says:

    Will do. What is your email address?
    Also, I washed the finished blanket in my high efficiency machine on delicate (there is no central agitator) and laid it flat to dry. I also air fluffed it for about 15 minutes and it turned out great!

  14. Carmen says:

    How many stitches do you cast on and if you just use 1 strand to knit with instead of 2 would you use the same size needle and would the number of yarn be half the amount?

    • marni says:

      I would first make a swatch using the yarn and needles of your choice and then using that calculate how many stitches you need to get the desired width of the blanket.

  15. Teri says:

    Hi there Marni! I love the blanket very much, and I’m starting to do mine too. Just to confirm its only a stockinette stitch all the way? -sorry for the stupid question >< Thank you for sharing this knit of yours!

  16. Teri says:

    Thank you for the reply! I will do so if I can finish it, haha. just got into knitting around 1 week ago. ^^

  17. Mikes says:

    Heya! I just finished this blanket and it is a little slice of heaven. Before I weave in my ends, I’m wondering if you blocked this? This is a gift, so I want to make sure I give the recipients a perfect finished product. Thanks!

    • marni says:

      Hey! Good for you! I would love to see a picture. Can you post it on Instagram and tag me? Use #berthablanket and @mbm_madebymarni please! And no I did not block it. The ends sort of roll but I like it that way. The one I made for my sister has gotten lots of love and been washed and held up great. What yarn did you use?

      • Mikes says:

        Sure, I will get it all tidied up and take a photo for you! I may need to wait a month to post it – this is being given as a gift, so I don’t want the recipients to see it before they receive it! ๐Ÿ™‚ I used the same yarn you used, Knitpicks 100% Pima Cotton Yarn โ€œBillowโ€ Gosling. It is beautiful, nice weight and so soft! Thanks again for putting this pattern online!

  18. Tina Aquilla says:

    Any idea how many stitches/balls I’d need for king size?

    • marni says:

      Hi Tina,
      Gosh you’d just need to do some math to figure out the width of the size blanket you want and then depending on your gauge you would know how many stitches to cast on.
      Marni

  19. Tina says:

    One more question. I’m two hanks away from finishing this blanket for my sister-in-law (month long marathon project) and I want to wash it before I send it to her. Can I wash it in a washing machine and dryer on the wool cycles?

    • marni says:

      Hi Tina,
      Just catching up on comments here – what did you end up doing with the finished blanket? I would say you can put it in the washing machine on gentle and tumble dry low? Would love to see a finished picture of your work! Marni

  20. idks888.com says:

    It does break if pulled on with the intent of breaking it. There are thick and thin sections, which I did not expect, which left my blanket a little nubby but it’s charming in it’s own way.

    • marni says:

      Yes I agree – and that was my sister’s wish when I started the blanket for her. She wanted it to feel natural and uneven. I’m glad you like it! Congratulations on finishing it! ๐Ÿ™‚

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