Directions for Knitting a Lap Robe

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Knit a lap robe to help someone stay warm.
Knit a lap robe to help someone stay warm. (Image: knitting image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)

A lap robe, also known as a lap blanket or lapghan, is a small blanket you drape across your wrap while seated. It helps to keep your legs warm. These types of knitted throws are particularly popular in nursing homes and assisted-care facilities or for anyone who sits in a wheelchair throughout the day. If you want to knit a lap robe, you can use any combination of yarn and needles.

Things You'll Need

  • Yarn
  • Circular knitting needles
  • Ruler or tape measure
  • Scissors
  • Large eye-blunt needle

Knit a gauge swatch. This will help you determine how many stitches to cast on for the lap robe. To do this, use the yarn you have chosen and a pair of circular knitting needles. The needle size should be recommended by the yarn label or yarn manufacturer. Cast on 20 stitches and knit every stitch in every row for 10 rows. This will give you a square of garter stitches.

Measure your gauge. Hold your gauge swatch flat in front of you. Measure how many stitches fill 1 inch horizontally; then measure how many rows fill 1 inch vertically. Record or remember these numbers. Next, unravel your gauge swatch and wind the yarn back onto the skein or ball.

Multiply the number of stitches per inch from step 2 by 36. Cast on this number of stitches. This will give your lap robe a measurement of 36 inches wide. That is a fairly standard size for this type of project. It is large enough to cover a lap without dragging on the floor.

Multiply the number of rows per inch, as determined in step 2, by 36. This will tell you how many rows you need to knit for your blanket to reach a length of 36 inches. This will make it square. Knit every stitch in every row for the number of rows you have determined.

Bind off the stitches on your blanket and cut the working yarn. Leave a 5-inch tail. Thread this tail onto a large eye-blunt needle and weave the yarn tail in and out of the stitches on the blanket. This will hide the yarn ends. Do this with any other loose yarn ends that are visible, and your lap robe is ready to use.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you are knitting a lap robe for a person in a nursing home, try to use machine washable and dryable yarn in a soft fiber blend so it will be cozy but also easy to care for.
  • If your lap robe recipient is in a wheelchair, do not add fringe to the lap robe. This can get tangled in the wheels of the wheelchair.

References

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