Projects & Pages: Hand Knit Baby Blanket & Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen


September 14, 2014 by Heidi

What most defines my free time, other than reading, is crafting–and yet it’s something I never really post about.  And so, because I absolutely feel like it, today I will start a new feature here at Bunbury in the Stacks called “Projects & Pages”.

Most often, this feature will entail me featuring a recently finished project along with an audiobook review of whatever I listened to while making it (because let’s be honest here, my audiobooks have been sadly pushed aside revew-wise lately).  Today, however, I’m going to feature a project and a book that I paired together as a present.


The Book

I first read Extra Yarn while working in the children’s section this past Christmastime and absolutely fell in love.  As a devout knitter for the past decade, it would have been impossible not to find the charm and wonder present in Annabelle’s unending box of yarn.  It’s like the folktale of the magic porridge pot for knitters!

Annabelle lives in a very dreary and drab world where the only color differentiation is between the white of the snow and the brown of the wood.  One day she stumbles upon a box of yarn, so she makes herself a sweater…but she still has extra yarn.  Extra Yarn continues on as Annabelle begins to knit sweaters for every man, woman, child, and animal in the village, and even turns to buildings and trees.  Yarn bombs to cheer not just the village, but the many visitors who come to see the wonder of Annabelle’s yarn.  When a cruel archduke comes to take her box away for his own selfish desires he finds the magic of the yarn box will not work for him.

I love, love, love this book and find it to be one of those criminally underread picture books.  The story is touching and beautiful, and the illustrations are charming and quirky–you may know Jon Klassen from other works of genius like This Is Not My Hat, Lemony Snicket’s The Dark, or Maryrose Wood’s The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place.  Extra Yarn is the perfect book to pair with any knitted baby gift, and I plan to do just that for years to come!

The Blanket


For the blanket I used Skacel HiKoo SimpliWorsted yarn in Goldfish (#4), Natural (#3), and Silver Hair (#36).  The blanket required near 1.5 balls of each color (slightly more for the Goldfish as I also used it for the border).  This has become one of my absolute favorite yarns, it’s so soft and cuddly, and comes in an array of gorgeous colors!  I chose these colors as a more neutral combo since I did not know the sex of the baby I was making it for (turns out–it’s a girl!)

On a size #9 needle, I cast on enough stitches to make a 32″ x 32″ blanket (based on gauge, didn’t mark it down).  I based the stripe pattern off of one I’d seen done, but more or less winged it in order to have two repeats of each stripe combination.  The border is simply an applied i-cord, which has become one of my favorite finishes–it’s fast, simple, and clean.

This blanket was fun and easy to make (a great car project), and I think it came out adorable!

For my next project: Maybe I’ll design a logo for this feature!  But baring that, I’ll be making my husband a new Christmas stocking.  It has bears…with scarves!

Are you a fellow knitter?  Find me and my projects on Ravelry


If you liked that you might like this:

  • Sorry, this post was completely original!


  1. Chachic says:

    Congrats on the new feature! I think it’s great that you’re combining two of the things you love – knitting and reading. :)

  2. Sandy says:

    I hadn’t heard of this picture book before and it sounds absolutely adorable!!! I’ll have to check if my library has it :)

    That’s cool that you’re a knitter! I tried learning forever ago and I couldn’t get into it. But I’m always in awe of the crafts that people make.

  3. Melanie says:

    This is an awesome feature! Is it sad that I want some of my friends to hurry up, get married, and have kids so I can knit them adorable baby stuff? 😀

    • Heidi says:

      Hahahaha, NO, that’s fantastic! I’ve had cause to make lots of baby blankets for cousins and friends in the past year and really enjoyed it. Glad you like the feature, Melanie!

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While the source for each book I review is posted within its review, please assume unless otherwise stated that books reviewed on Bunbury in the Stacks were received free from the author or publisher in exchange for an honest review.