In this blanket, by starting at the center and making increases every row in the same spot, the increases end up making a spiraling square. By making the lines thin at the center, and increasing in width as they move outwards, an illusion is created that the center is further away from the viewer than the outside edge. Pretty cool, don’t you think? This kit comes with the pattern and 8 balls of yarn in 2 contrasting colors (4 balls each)
This pattern also appeals to the developmental process of infant vision. Babies are born color blind, and with very poor vision (about 20/400 for a normal infant at birth. They are naturally attracted to high contrast, since these are more distinct to them. From a distance of a foot or so, a newborn will be able to distinguish only the larger stripes on the edge of the blanket, with the thinner ones fading away into a solid gray, as the baby matures, the thinner stripes will become distinct. To an adult, however, it’s a fun, funky pattern with an optical illusion of a square tunnel spiraling away. The yarn, Schachenmayr Merino Extrafine 120 DK is a very soft, superwash, merino wool, and even suitable for the low heat setting on a tumble dryer. You can use slightly larger than recommended needles, both to allow for severe blocking, and to make sure the blanket wouldn’t be too warm. The breathable, absorbent, and antibacterial qualities of wool make it an ideal fiber for infants, and the fact that it’s machine washable is fantastic for new parents. If the parents are interested in art, vision, or infant development, it’s even better!
This pattern is written for knitting in the round on 2 circular needles. If you prefer, it can be started using double-point needles, or using one long circular needle and the Magic Loop method. However, as work progresses, it will be necessary to use two long circulars to accommodate the large number of sts.
Don’t be alarmed when the blanket comes off the needles looking all wonky. It will require fairly severe blocking to achieve its square shape.