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Girls, Boys, Infant/Baby
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About the designer

Hi, my name is Mary Gildersleeve. I began designing shortly after teaching myself to knit at the age of 8, primarily because I do not take commands very well and I also could not afford the fancy ...

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Barra's Blanket and Cap

from By Hand, With Heart
(6) Name: 'Knitting : Barra's Blanket and Cap
Barra's Blanket and Cap
Barra's Blanket and Cap
Barra's Blanket and Cap
Barra's Blanket and Cap
Barra's Blanket and Cap

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • understanding of knitting in the round
  • understanding of creating cables and twisted sts
  • understanding of yo's and kfb

Pattern Description:

Barra means "fair haired" and has been a popular name since the sixth century when St. Finbar came to an area of Cork that was being tormented by a serpent. The people begged him to do something to help them. One night he went to where the serpent was sleeping and sprinkled it with holy water. The angry serpent tore and devoured the land until she slithered into the sea at Cork Harbor. The track she left behind filled with water and became the River Lee. It is said that the sun didn't set for two weeks after Finbar's death. The Scottish island of Barra is the southernmost island in the chain of the Outer Hebrides; an ocean-going ferry ride from Oban takes you out to this predominately Gaelic/Catholic island filled with ancient churches and sites ... well-worth the time to visit.

It can be extremely hard to find a nice, boyish baby set. Here's my answer to this dilemma. Barra's blanket (30x30 inch) and cap (newborn-12m) are exercises in twisted and cabled stitches to create a lovely example of traditional knitting perfect for any little boy ... or girl ... on on your gift list.

The blanket makes a wonderfully cozy lapblanket for the older crowd,too!

Directions are charted and written-out with stitch counts whenever the sts increase.


14sts x 22 rnds = 4-inch stockinette (knit in the round; blocked)

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • 30-inch square blanket/lap blanket; cap to fit newborn-12mo


  • approx 600 yards of worsted weight wool (85yds for cap, 515 yds for blanket) -- sample used 3 skeins of Plymouth's Galway
  • US #10 dpns, circs (16"; for blanket you might also want a 40/47")
  • stitch markers (4 for blanket; 7 for cap)

Suggested yarn:

600 yards of Worsted weight

Preferred Brand/Yarn:

Plymouth Galway