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« Molly's Sketchbook: Father's Day Tie - Updated! | Main | March Mini Quilt of the Month: Masking Tape Quilt »

Laura's Loop: Half Log Cabin Ombre Blanket

When Whitney first spotted Cascade's Eco Cloud, the array of un-dyed colors instantly reminded her of Joelle's Ombre Blanket from Last Minute Knitted Gifts which beautifully highlights the variety of hues that exist in nature. Inspired by the Joelle's blanket and this new sumptuous yarn, the idea for another blanket was quick to come.

There are few patterns that can be applied to the craft of knitting and quilting as elegantly as the Log Cabin. It is classic yet modern and endlessly adaptable, and because of this it is a favorite here at Purl Soho. We think it's the perfect form to showcase Eco Cloud's richness.

In order to maximize the ombre effect of Eco Cloud's subtle shades, I shook things up a bit and decided on a Half Log Cabin. I started with the lightest color and worked through nine skeins in nine colors, watching the transition from Cream to Ecru to Fawn, all the way to Dove Grey. Seeing the colors interact was endlessly entertaining. I could have kept working on this blanket, continuing the gradation from light to dark and back again. It is such a flexible pattern in that way, yet another attribute of the Log Cabin. 

Finished Measurements

  • Approximately 30 inches wide x 48 inches long


  • 18 stitches and 18 ridges = 4 inches in Garter Stitch


  • 9 skeins of Cascade's Eco Cloud, (70% Un-dyed Merino, 30% Un-dyed Alpaca). One of each of the following colors,  used listed order: Cream, Ecru, Fawn, Bunny, Doe*, Otter, Wild Dove, Charcoal, Dove Grey
  • US size #9, 32-inch circular needle. (We all agreed this blanket was knit quite densely, so feel free to jump up to a US size 10. The finished size will jump up a bit too!) 

*Cascade has discontinued the color Doe. We recommend the color Silver Mink as substitution.

The Pattern

The simplicity of a Half Log Cabin pattern makes knitting this blanket incredibly enjoyable. For a photo tutorial on how to do the Log Cabin technique take a look at Whitney's Log Cabin Washcloths. Just remember, this blanket pattern is a Half Log Cabin, so where in a Full Log Cabin you always rotate your work, in a Half Log Cabin, at points you will be flipping your work.

To begin, simply cast on however many stitches you want (I started with 60 stitches). Knit every row until you are nearly finished with your first skein, finishing with a wrong side row. Make sure to leave enough yarn for binding off, about four times the width of your knitted piece. On the right side, cast off all but the very last stitch. Cut your yarn.

Rotate your work clockwise, 90 degrees. Move the remaining stitch from your right needle to your left. Knit the remaining stitch with your new color. Continue to pick up and knit one stitch through each ridge of garter. Once again, knit every row until your skein has nearly run out, finish with a right side row, leave enough yarn for casting off. On the wrong side, cast off all but the last stitch. Cut yarn.

This time, instead of rotating your work, you will flip your work. Move the remaining stitch from your right needle to your left. Knit the remaining stitch with your third color. Pick up and knit one stitch through each ridge and then each stitch until you get to the corner. Knit every row until you are nearly out of yarn, finishing with a wrong side row. On the right side, cast off all but the last stitch. Cut your yarn.

Rotate your work clockwise, 90 degrees. Knit the remaining stitch with your fourth color. Pick up and knit one stitch through each ridge and then each stitch until you get to the corner. Knit every row until you are nearly out of yarn, finsihing with a right side row. On the wrong side, cast off all but the last stitch. Cut your yarn.

Flip your work. Move the remaining stitch from your right needle to your left. Knit the remaining stitch with your fifth color. Pick up and knit one stitch through each ridge and then each stitch until you get to the corner. Knit every row until you are nearly out of yarn, finsihing with a wrong side row. On the right side, cast off all but the last stitch. Cut your yarn.

Continue in this fashion for all nine skeins. When you near the end of the last skein, cast off all stitches, weave in your ends and enjoy! --Laura

Reader Comments (36)

I've only just started knitting, but seeing this blanket makes me want to make it right now. I really like how you go from light to dark.
April 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commentereva vercauteren
Oh how I love the new header! And the blanket is fabulous colours.
April 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRuth
You knocked it out of the park with this one! It is genius! It is a mix of Bahaus and Amish ingenuity! Great design!
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterdcarver
this is just awesome - we're moving into a new flat this summer, and my list of to-makes gets longer and longer...!
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermbb.
love it and love the colors
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpam g.
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterc.m.
This is the perfect blanket. I can't wait to get started. I love that it has the old fashioned log cabin quilt design but also looks very contemporary!
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanet B
This is beautiful. I don't knit, but I can see using that design to make a throw from reclaimed cashmere sweaters from the thrift shop.
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBea
April 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDKerr
Oh i am absolutely love it, it is gorgeous.!
April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNicola
This is beautiful. I love the upgrade to the old traditional afghan on the back of the sofa.
April 6, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterflaky
This blanket is really nice. It inspires me to spin some more of my various colored fleeces to see if I can make a similar one. Thanks very much.
April 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaryAlice
Can you tell me the dimensions of the first rectangle? I think mine is too wide, and blanket will be really long and skinny if I keep going.


April 30, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermelissa lester
Can you please clarify a direction in this pattern? After knitting block number two, the direction to "flip" the work puts the knitter on the wrong side of the blanket. To pick up and knit stitches on the wrong side puts a line of the old color on the front of the blanket. How is this supposed to work?
Thank you,
September 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermargaret
Hi Margaret. You are completely right. As the pattern is written, picking up for the third, fifth and seventh color will create a line of the second, fourth and sixth colors on the right side. If you would like to avoid this... rather than leaving the last stitch live, cast it off. Do not flip your work. And pick up with the new color on the right side. I hope this helps! -Laura
September 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPurl Bee
Lovely - I could curl up in it right now!
February 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
My mom always personalize our things in our room because she wanted that our belongings is designated to each of her daughter.Just like our blanket and pillow case which have first letter of our names.
March 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCosyplay
I wondered if you could give me the colors you used in numbers. That is how they are identified on the ball band and also on Cascade's website. I'm not having any luck finding the names of the colors as you have listed them in your pattern. Thanks for any help.
P.S. LOVE your website!!
October 9, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHope
Hi Hope-

We have all of these colors available in our webstore here along with their numbers:

Thank you!

October 9, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Thank you, Molly for getting back to me w/ that info
October 14, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHope
Hello again. I am having a little trouble figuring out how to flip the work when adding the 3rd color and pick up the stitches and have my pickup ridge be on the wrong side of the blanket.
November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHope
Hi Hope.
The pick up ridge is going to show on every other new color you start. So in the end there isn't really a 'wrong side' and 'right side' of the blanket because both have pick-up ridges.
Let me know if you have any other questions.
November 5, 2012 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
ok thanks.
November 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHope
Ive never knit a blanket before, and I'm terrible at making things the right size! I have an unusual gauge and I was planning on using a different yarn, which would make "knit to the end of the skein" unreliable. So i was wondering how many garter ridges are in each piece? Thanks in advance. I REALLY want to knit this blanket!!!!!!!!
June 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGirly Knitter
Hello Girly Knitter.

Thanks for writing in. Unfortunately right now, I do not have the blanket in front of me. My best advice would be to make sure to use the proper needles to get the gauge correct. The beauty of this blanket is that the pattern is so loose. If your blocks are a bit larger or bigger it is ok. You can always continue adding blocks until you are happy with the size.
June 17, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I don't understand how to flip the blanket to add the 3rd colour
August 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoan
Hello Joan,
To add the third color, turn your work so the opposite side is facing you. Then pick up.
August 12, 2013 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
i've read all the comments and still can't figure out which way to turn for the 3rd block of sts. Is it the one directly on top of the second block or is it the one to the right of the second block? Is there a way to number the blocks so we can figure it out?
Thank you
January 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMj
Hi MJ.
When you pick up the third block, you will be holding your knit fabric lengthwise, so that the first two blocks are side by side, the first one towards the left and the second one towards the right. Does this help orient you at all.
Something that has caught some folks off guard is that you pick up the odd number blocks on the "wrong side". Of course this is a blanket and there is no "wrong side", but by this I mean you will see the pick up row on the "front", which you don't see when you picked up for the second color.
Please write back if you have more questions.
January 24, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Since Cascade has discontinued Doe as a color, can you recommend another color to substitute? Will Silver Mink give this nice ombré effect?

Thank you-- I am in the middle of knitting this blanket and love both the yarn and the look.
January 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJenny
Hi Jenny,
Fantastic question. I'll be sure to put an update in the pattern.
Silver Mink is the best choice for replacing Doe.
Thrilled to hear you are enjoying this project.
January 27, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura,

Yes, your advice did help. Also, once I read through all the directions and noticed that some blocks are bound off on the "right side" and some on the "wrong side" everything made sense. The picked up new color always shows on the "wrong side" because of the change in which side the block ends. Perhaps that information will help others?

I'm loving this blanket! Thank you.

January 29, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMj
if I want to make this blanket using sport weight yarn but keep it the same size, how many stitches and how many rows would you recommend beginning with? My gauge is approximately 5 sts = 1 inch and 5 garter ridges or 10 rows = 1 inch.

Thank you,

February 26, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMj
Hi MJ,
My first block here is approximately 13 1/4 inches square. So if you want your first block to be the same size, I would cast on 67 stitches and work approximately 132 rows. Perhaps you aren't limiting yourself to just one skein of each color (as I did here). Typically the first block requires some trial and error to figure out how large a square you can make from your skein of yarn. The instructions I'm giving you here is assuming though that you have the yardage to make a square this large.
Let us know how the project goes / if you have any questions!
February 27, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi Laura,

I have already made this blanket with sport yarn and began with 90 sts. By adding more rows of yarn and adjusting each color, I knitted it to 54x54". Am making these blankets for a family of 5 in different colors and sizes. If I want to knit one for a baby, approximately 36x36", how many stitches would you recommend I cast on for the first square? Because of all the turns, I am assuming it would be less than if I were making it 30x48"?

Thanks for all you help!

February 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMj
Hi again MJ,
5 blankets?!? Goodness gracious. So generous of you.
I have to admit this math problem has many variables and is a bit beyond me. You are scaling it smaller, but also making it square. Yes, the beginning cast on would be smaller than the 67 stitches I suggested in my previous comment for making on the size of mine here. But because you are hoping to make a finished product that is square with the same number of turns and colors as the rectangular one here, I believe you'll need to start with a rectangle in order to end up with a square, rather than starting with a square that results in a rectangle. As for an exact cast on number, I do not know. My wild guess would be to try 50 stitches. PLEASE let me know how this goes. I am so curious now!
February 28, 2014 | Registered Commenterpurl bee

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