Mystery Baby Blanket 2023: post 2, Mail Out 2

Mystery Baby Blanket 2023: post 2, Mail Out 2

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE SECOND INSTALMENT OF THE MYSTERY BABY BLANKET CLUB! And with the clocks turned back here in the UK and the evenings drawing in, it’s the perfect time of year to cosy up on the sofa with your blanket squares and get knitting.

This month I have another five squares for you to knit, and there’s a good mixture of techniques to keep you on your toes including intarsia, lace, fairisle and some embroidery. There is no intro this month (I’ll be back at the beginning of December), but there is one new tech vid that you might find useful for Chain stitch. Plus of course you can whizz back and forth between the existing tech vids (listed below) if you need reminders of some of the other techniques.

This is a reminder of the techniques that were covered in the previous blog:

  • How to knit intarsia (post 1, MO1)
  • Picking up stitches to knit the next square (post 1, MO1)
  • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (post 1, MO1)
  • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (post 1, MO1)
  • How to knit fairisle (post 1, MO1)
  • How to add Swiss darning to your knitting (post 1, MO1)
  • How to cable (post 1, MO1)
  • How to knit a bobble (post 1, MO1)

Further on in this blog (when I talk about this month’s squares), you will find links back to previous blogs to help you with the contrast-coloured bobbles and decorative slip-stitch stripes that are in some of the squares this month.

MAIL OUT 2 WAS EMAILED TO ALL OF THE MEMBERS ON 1ST NOVEMBER, so check your inbox if you have not already done so and you should find it’s waiting for you in there. The printed patterns for those members who added this option to their package were posted on the following dates: overseas on the 30th October; UK on the 30th/31st October.

Unfortunately we had a delay to our print run due to a flood at the local printers we use, so the patterns for the overseas members are not going to arrive in time for the 1st of the month (I have written to each member to explain this). However, you have the digital version of the file so you could have a good read of the patterns and get yourself prepped before your brochure arrives. Or you could make a start some of the squares using the digital file.

THERE WERE SOME ADDENDUMS IN MAIL OUT 1 WHICH WE NOTIFIED YOU OF IN AN EMAIL. However, if you did not receive that email from us, these are the corrections:

Page 7, The Letter ‘Y’: in the key for the chart, Heavenly should read as, K on RS, P on WS (the whole chart is in stockinette stitch).
Page 9, The Letter ‘U’: in the key for the chart, Sea Green and Taupe should read as, K on RS, P on WS (the whole chart is in stockinette stitch).
Page 13, The Letter ‘Z’: in the key for the chart, Sea Green should read as, K on RS, P on WS (the whole chart is in stockinette stitch).

These corrections are also the on the Addendum page on our website, where each month I add to it any new amendments that are found in the Mystery mail outs. So it’s worth checking this before you start knitting the squares in my Mystery projects.

THE 2024 MYSTERY BLANKET IS STILL OPEN FOR SIGNING UP IF YOU FANCY TAKING ON A BRAND NEW CHALLENGE NEXT YEAR! We now have around 8 weeks left before the deadline for signing up, or when all the memberships sell out (which could be sooner). So if it’s something you’ve been meaning to do but have not got round to it, pop across to our online shop today to secure yourself a place. We welcome knitters from all over the world – it’s a truly global KAL! Choose from various options (additional printed patterns, and Special Delivery for UK members), and to make life a bit easier there is an option to spread your payment across several months.

Below: 2023 Mystery Blanket, The Enchanted Forest.

What’s in store for 2024?

I am absolutely thrilled to be using my own bespoke Light Wool DK yarn again for this project which has been produced by the wonderful team at Laxtons in North Yorkshire, UK. I have combined it with a few of my most favourite Rowan yarns including Felted Tweed, Alpaca Soft, Kidsilk Haze and Soft Yak. Vibrant shades of teal and ocean blue graduate into bold purples and pinks, which are softened with pale turquoise, dreamy lilac and blush pink laced with flecks of cool silver and pale gold. There are plenty of sparkling beads in it too!

The blanket design includes the techniques of intarsia, fairisle, lace, textured stitches, stripes and beads, offering you a feast of squares to knit up over ten months. And there will be a choice of two options - as there is this year - for the trickier squares (fairisle and intarsia), enabling both novice and experienced knitters to participate in this unique knitting experience.

My monthly tech vids have been extremely popular this year, so I am pleased to say that I will continue with these in a dedicated monthly blog so that you have all the help and support you need as you work your way through the forty-nine squares.

Above: 2022 Mystery Blanket, Deco Dreams.

The club begins on 1st February 2024 and runs for ten months until November 2024.

The finished size of the blanket is approximately 135cm x 135cm.

What does my membership include?

Each member will receive a knitting kit which includes over forty balls of premium quality yarn, ten sets of emailed patterns (with the option to purchase additional printed patterns), Debbie Abrahams size 6 beads and a woven label. The kit will be posted in two halves with the first one delivered in February, followed by the second one in May.

NEW! Download pattern option

For the first time we are offering the ten sets of patterns as monthly downloads enabling you to use yarns and beads from your own stash to knit the blanket. The list of yarns and beads for the first part of the kit will be released a week before the project begins. If you decide to purchase the yarn and beads for the project yourself, the cost of all the materials, like for like, is approximately £340. We are unable to guarantee that all of the colours in my Light Merino DK yarn will be available to purchase so substitutes may have to be used.

Choose to spread the cost of your payment

For those who would prefer to pay in instalments we have an easy-to-use payment system in place called Splitit which enables you to make your payment between 2-4 months. This means you can secure your membership today with a deposit with nothing more to pay until next month. Simply select Splitit at checkout when you make your first payment and then your remaining payments will be taken automatically from your account. If you choose this option you will still be included in the Early Bird Special Offer.

How do I make my purchase?

It’s really easy. You just need to visit the shop on our website and there you will find the 2024 Mystery Blanket Club for sale. There are several options to choose from starting with the basic package which includes the full knitting kit and emailed monthly pattens. Or you can upgrade and add on printed patterns (UK and overseas), and/or Special Delivery (UK only). All overseas parcels are posted by Tracked International Delivery.

If this sounds like an interesting project to indulge yourself in next year, then come and join me! I have a super theme lined up for next year with a bunch of fabulous squares to keep you busy for February to November. And with everything delivered to your door (and inbox!), what could be better than that!

NOW IT’S TIME TO FIND OUT HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE GUESSED THE THEME OF THE MYSTERY BABY BLANKET! It must be a difficult one as we’ve only had three correct guesses sent in so far. Congratulations this month go to Jacqui Lund, Emma Raftery and Annie March, so well done to all of you!

There are clues in the squares – take a look at what you knitted so far and what is in the Mail Out 2 patterns – and there is the letter puzzle below to help you too.

This month the letter I am giving you is “O”:

_  O  _   / I   /  _  _  O  _  /  _  _  /  _  _  _ ‘  _

Please send your guesses to Sue at There are no prizes for the correct answer, it’s just a bit of fun each month. But if you do send in a correct answer then with your permission we will publish your name in the next Mystery Baby Blanket blog. Thinking caps on everyone!


Square 28: ‘W’ is for Whale! – intarsia whale motif:

Above: Colourway 1.

Below: Colourway 2.

Square 15: The Letter ‘X’ – striped pattern with Swiss darned letter motifs:

Above: Colourway 1.

Below: Colourway 2.

Square 16: Love You – lace heart motif:

Square 25: The Letter ‘N’ – striped pattern with fairisle letter motifs:

Above: Colourway 1.

Below: Colourway 2.

Square 31: The Letter ‘S’ – intarsia letter motif:

On each pattern page there is a list of Pattern notes and tips that are worth reading before you start to knit each square. These bits of advice will help you with your knitting, pre-warning you what to look out for and giving you some useful information about how to knit the square.

In the following notes below I am going to give you a few extra tips about some of the squares.

SQUARE 8, ‘W’ IS FOR WHALE!: we begin this month with an intarsia motif, offered in two colourways.

Tech vids to watch for assistance with this square:

  • How to knit intarsia (post 1, MO1)
  • Picking up stitches to knit the next square (post 1, MO1)
  • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (post 1, MO1)
  • How to add Swiss darning to your knitting (post 1, MO1)
  • How to knit a bobble (post 1, MO1)
  • How to add chain stitch to your knitting (NEW this month!)

You will find some advice about the intarsia technique on page 17 of Mail Out 2, but the tech vid is also there for you if you need to see a demo. You knitted some intarsia in the first mail out – it was ‘The Letter S’ – so you’ve already had a go at intarsia before (and I am sure you did just fine!).

There are two colourways so you must choose the one that matches your kit – Silver (Colourway 1) or Rosy (Colourway 2). It is only Silver and Puddle, and Vintage Pink and Rosy that are swapped with each other. All the other colours in this square are the same.

Before I started to knit this square, I wound off two bobbins of Duckling and used the ball of Duckling to cast on. I used one bobbin each of Silver/Vintage Pink, Puddle/Rosy and Heavenly. On Chart Row 40 I introduced a short length of Heavenly yarn to use where the tail splits into two halves.

There is a contrast-coloured bobble which is knitted on Chart Row 15. But if you look carefully at the chart, you will see that the stitch below the bobble (Puddle for Colourway 1 and Rosy for Colourway 2), is purled in the contrast colour. So don’t forget to do this on Chart Row 14. The tech vid from the first Baby Blanket blog shows you how to knit a self-coloured bobble. So if you need guidance with how to knit a contrast-coloured bobble, this tech vid from the 2022 Mystery Blanket blog (February) will help you:

The letter ‘W’ in the top left-hand corner can be knitted in or Swiss-darned onto the square. I chose to Swiss darn mine. I did this for the Rocket in Mail Out 1, so I would suggest that you do the same as you did for that square too.

The three droplets of water are added to the completed square using Chain stitch, after it has been blocked and pressed. There is a new tech vid this month to help you with this technique. Try to imitate the shape of the droplets using the chart and the images as guides. If it helps, a fabric pen can be used to draw out the shapes onto the knitting before you start stitching. Just make sure it is a fabric pen (the one that disappears) rather than a felt-tip pen!

SQUARE 15, THE LETTER ‘X: stocking stitch, garter stitch and decorative slip-stitch stripes are combined with two bands of embroidered letters. It’s time to test out your Swiss-darning skills!

Tech vids to watch for assistance with this square:

  • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (post 1, MO1)
  • How to add Swiss darning to your knitting (post 1, MO1)

There are two colourways for this square, so make sure that you choose the correct one to match your kit.

If you look at the ‘X’s, you will see that they are in three colours. So this is why I Swiss-darned them rather than knitted them in. I always knit fairisle with just two colours in a row and very rarely do I use three colours as this can make the work really bulky. It is also important to embroider these letters rather than knit them in as the ‘X’s will look elongated and the whole square will be too long if they are knitted in. This is because fairisle extends the row count, thus making the stitches longer. So it’s embroidery for this square and no fairisle!

There is a decorative slip-stitch pattern in this square which I have used in several other projects – it’s one of my favourite stripe patterns! But if you have not come across this before, this tech vid from the 2022 Mystery Blanket blog (May) will help you. In the tech vid I am working with different colours, but the technique I use is the same:

The last thing to mention are the frequent needle size changes which are in bold so that you don’t miss them. They are important to do as the different stitch structures in this square will affect the tension and consequently the width of your knitting.

SQUARE 16, LOVE YOU: now it’s time for a bit of basic lace knitting with a pretty heart-shaped motif with a self-coloured bobble in that beautiful soft shade of Camel.

Tech vids to watch for assistance with this square:

  • Picking up stitches to knit the next square (post 1, MO1)
  • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (post 1, MO1)
  • How to knit a bobble (post 1, MO1)

This pattern is presented as both a chart and worded instructions, so you can choose to work from whichever format suits you best. You will find the chart overleaf on page 12.

The square is cast on (or stitches are picked up) using 3.25mm needles, and then you swap straight over to 2.50mm needles for the moss stitch border that is knitted all the way around the perimeter. Remember then to change back to 3.25mm needles on Row 6. These instructions are given in bold in the pattern instructions.

The lace stitches are very basic and easy to do. The only increase that is used is ‘yf’ (which is the same as ‘yo’). All of the increases are made between knit and knit stitches on RS rows only. Bring the yarn forward between the needles (so that it is at the front of the work, towards you), then keep it there as you knit the next stitch. The yarn will go over the needle (it might look a bit odd), but this is your increased stitch. When doing a ‘yf’ I always keep the yarn held pretty tightly as I take the yarn over the needle so that the eyelet is nice and neat.

If you need some guidance for ‘yf’, or any of the other abbreviations in this square, take a look at the Abbreviations on page 19 where you will find them clearly explained.

There is a tech vid for how to knit the self-coloured bobble in the first blog, so it is advisable to watch this if you need some guidance. There are many different types of bobbles, but these are created by working several times into one stitch, knitting the stitches, purling them, then casting them off.

SQUARE 25, THE LETTER ‘N’: garter stitch and stocking stitch stripes are combined with bands of fairisle in two colourways.

  • Picking up stitches to knit the next square (post 1, MO1)
  • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (post 1, MO1)
  • How to carry yarns up the side of the work (post 1, MO1)
  • How to knit fairisle (post 1, MO1)

This square is similar to Square 29 from Mail Out 1, but this time you are knitting the letter ‘N’ rather than ‘Z’.

There are two colour options for this square so make sure that you follow the correct instructions for the colourway you are knitting. Colourway 1 (Silver) is always written first with any changes for Colourway 2 (Rosy) written afterwards in brackets and bold.

If you need a reminder of the fairisle technique, then the tech vid from the first blog post will help you with this. It uses two colours in each row and there is a change of needle size to make (one size larger than your main needle size), to keep the width of the knitting the same as the rest of the square. There is also a needle size change for the garter stitch stripes (three sizes smaller than your main needle size), so watch out for them – they happen quite often! – to ensure a perfect piece of knitting!

SQUARE 31, THE LETTER ‘S’: your final square to knit this month is an intarsia letter!

Tech vids to watch for assistance with this square:

  • Picking up stitches to knit the next square (post 1, MO1)
  • Mattress stitch (horizontal) (post 1, MO1)
  • How to knit intarsia (post 1, MO1)

There is one colourway, so everyone is knitting the same square.

Before I started to knit this square, I wound off my bobbins so that I was prepped and ready before I cast on. I used two bobbins of Duckling plus the ball of Duckling yarn (which I cast on with), and two bobbins of Sea Green for the intarsia letter. Study the chart before you begin so that you are familiar with the shape you are knitting. I found this a really lovely letter to knit and hopefully you will enjoy it too!

Now you have all the tips and advice you need and can make a start on Mail Out 2 – have fun!

IF YOU ENJOY SOCIAL MEDIA THEN YOU MIGHT WANT TO JOIN THE VERY FRIENDLY AND HELPFUL GROUPS ON RAVELRY AND FACEBOOK. Here you will find a bunch of very welcoming and informative members who will be only too pleased to talk to you about your project. It is a great way to get help and answers if you get stuck and need some quick advice:

Instagram: debbieabrahams_knitting

Pinterest: debbieabrahams@debbieabrahamsk

Facebook: Debbie Abrahams Mystery Knitters

Facebook: Debbie Abrahams Handknits

Ravelry: Debbie Abrahams Handknits

OUR MONTHLY ‘MYSTERY’ MEETINGS IN NOTTINGHAM ARE TAKING A BREAK OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF MONTHS. Our last meeting of the year is on Weds 1st November, and then we will resume again in February.

If you belong to any of my mystery clubs, then you are welcome to join us. It’s a great opportunity to meet other members and have a chat while cracking on with your squares. It’s a lot of a fun and we have a lot of giggles too! And if you have any questions about the mystery projects, I will be on hand to answer any queries or help with techniques.

The meetings begin at 4pm and run until 6pm. Yarn Loft is at 118 Hucknall Road, Carrington, Nottingham, tel number 07825 702433, website: To cover the costs of hosting the meeting there is a small sub to pay (£3.00), which can be paid to Doreen on the day.

I will send out an email in the new year to all the members, and if you are interested in joining us, send me a quick reply and then I will email you a reminder each month. It would be great to see you there!

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog and are now feeling motivated and fully fired up to begin this month’s squares. The blog offers you a lot of help and advice but remember that the social media groups are a great source of support too – you are never alone in a Debbie Abrahams Mystery Club!

The design is slowly progressing and the ‘mystery’ is being revealed, bit by bit. So if this month’s squares trigger any ideas as to what the theme is, please don’t forget to email your answers to us, plus any other related stories or pictures you have – it is always great to hear from you and see how you are getting on.

So that’s it for now. It’s time to grab those knitting needles, get your yarns ready and get going! Have fun everyone, and I look forward to seeing you back here next month for Mail Out 3! Take care, Debbie, x

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