Monday, January 16, 2012

Chunky Knit Throw Knit in One Weekend

Are you a member of Ravelry?  If you have crushes on all kinds and colors of fiber, chances are you already know all about Ravelry.  If not and you want to take up knitting or crocheting, Ravelry is like a candy store with a lot fewer calories. As of today, there were over 80,000 free knitting and crochet patterns and over 70,000 to purchase.  Ravelry is not just about the patterns though--I use it to search a yarn I'm thinking about purchasing to see what other have made with the yarn, or how they paired the colors.  If you do find a pattern you need to make, it's also quite fun to see what others have done with the same pattern.  Before I started my Hexagon crochet afghan, I used Ravelry to peek through the thousands of others that were making it to see what colors I was drawn to.  Some opted for muted colors, others had pastels and some had the bright rainbowesque colors that inspired mine.  It's also much better than using a web search for the same purpose as Ravelry users will most often post a photo of their projects but may not have a blog to post the same photos. 

I love yarn.  And I love packages of Brown Sheep that comes across in the mail.  

Like Pinterest though, you can spend so much time looking at all of the fabulous things to create that at the end of of the day, all you've done is just spend hours looking at a computer.  To rectify that, I printed out no fewer than 25 must make patterns.  Twenty-five patterns for a dedicated knitter is still probably over a year's worth of knitting.  For this girl it's probably more like 20 years worth.   I did cast on the Plain and Simple Pullover almost immediately, powered through all the way to where the knitting in the round splits into front and back, and then put it away for awhile.  Yep, that's my style. 

I think it's because I really like the brainless repetitive motion of knitting, which it ceases to be when you have to start counting stitches and paying attention to the pattern.  This is probably why I make a disproportionate amount of afghans. They are brainless and you don't have to look at them so you can focus on how way sexy Alex O'Loughlin looks on this week's episode of Hawaii Five-O.  I have no fewer than 3 blankets started at one time.

I started this knit one months ago.  I wanted a ruched throw inspired by the Anthropologie Cirrus Duvet I still love so much but since I made it 274 stitches wide it is SLOW going.  It's one of my goals to complete for 101 in 1001.  Hopefully.  Love how it's puckering but sad how an entire episode goes by in which Hawaii is saved from the ridiculously high crime waves spreading across the islands but my blanket has only grown by three rows. 

So yes, knitting is more about endurance and very rarely about the sprint.  Unless you grab some size 50 needles that is.  I just happened to be in need of some instant gratification so grabbed some 50s and some cheapo yarn. 

Confession time.  I often choose acrylic yarns when I make a blanket.  Wool is usually more itchy than a blanket should be and cotton has no stretch on the needles so isn't usually my first fiber choice for big projects.  That leaves acrylic, but I think the yarn companies have come a long way from the days of squeaky and rough acrylic yarns especially if you use a blend. Besides, when you knit and crochet blankets, the $4 skein feels so much nicer to the wallet then the $12 skein, especially since most blankets use 10-20 skeins.

So enough blah blah blah right?

This blanket can absolutely be knit in one weekend.  It was knit with 11 skeins of charcoal Charisma yarn from Michaels on size 50 needles.

The Charisma yarn was soft to the touch, the price was right, and truthfully, has even shocked me as to how soft it is when knit up on size 50s.  It's smushy soft actually. Not sure how soft it would be at a tighter gauge.

***Update on the yarn since I've been asked how it held up.  It's still super smooshy soft but has pilled quite a bit.  Not sure if it's totally the yarn or if it's Brooklyn and her nesting process of turning and pawing the blanket each time before she lays down.  I then throw it into a normal wash cycle since it's essentially been confiscated as a dog blanket--but it's a lot worse for the wear.  Just FYI***

I used a yarn winder to wind them into cakes just to ensure the center pull worked flawlessly--you don't want yarn rolling all over the chair or on the floor when trying to hold 3 strands together and the center pulls on purchased skeins always get tangled when I use them. 

Charisma is recommended to be knit on size 13s so I held three strands together for the size 50 needles, cast on 45 stitches and knit in a 3x3 rib (3 k, 3 p, reverse for the back.)  I have to say that size 50s is a lot like knitting with clubs. I never use straight knitting needles and will use my addi turbo circulars even for knitting back and forth as well as in the round.  I like the relatively small range of motion required to move the little circular knitting needles as opposed to the long knitting needles so knitting on the 50s felt especially painful.  But oh so fast.  I cast on my stitches and had used up the first three skeins in almost no time.  I used 6 more for the blanket and then two of the skeins to single crochet a border (twice around) with a size Q hook.  It's a smaller little lap blanket but so gratifying to have a finished object in only one weekend.  

The crochet flower accent is only one of oh so many free patterns available on Ravelry.

Brooklyn has agreed that it is indeed a super soft squishy blanket.  Thank goodness because really, all blankets in this house belong to her. 


Cindy said...

Brooklyn does make it look like the blanket was made just for her! I love chunky blankets and think I could actually knit this if it only takes one weekend which would be a couple weekends for me. But still, since I have project ADD, I need the shorter knit ones! Very pretty!

Nora said...

I love to knit but haven't made anything in years. This blanket might be the push I need to get back into it. Love the chunky look and it does really look super soft!

Ellie said...

Makes me want to pick up my needles now instead of go to bed. Love the gray color and the pink flower contrast! I use circulars for everything too. Long needles feel so awkward.

Kelly said...

Could have used a big snuggly blanket this past weekend. Yucky snow again! I love the gray as well and Miss Brooklyn is such a doll!

Braiden said...

Knitting is the one thing I've always wanted to learn but it looks so hard. If you can make that gorgeous blanket in only one weekend though perhaps I should try it!

Sarah said...

I've had a chunky knit blanket on the list of to make items for ages but just haven't gotten around to it. I knew it would be quick but never thought I could turn it around in one weekend. May have to cast on this week!

Melody said...

looks so nice - would love it up here! :) love the flower accent too

Monica said...

Awww Brooklyn looks so comfy!

bakingmommmmma said...

They all look so warm and soft! I love the idea of finishing up a project in one weekend!

Leslie said...

i love the colors in the projects you are working on and that chunky throw looks so warm and cozy. is it heavy?

Michelle said...

I love this blanket and it looks so easy. Can't wait to try it. I love to knit but am not so patient. ARg.

Jacki said...

I love the idea of choosing a handful of patterns, printing them and stepping away from the computer. You've given me some New Year's inspiration-Thanks!

Joe Edge said...

I know this is an old post,don`t know if you`ll see this,love the blanket,I always wash acrylic on a cold wash and I find it stays in shape a lot longer that way.