Yippee! It's time for another chunky knit. When I started teaching knitting locally at Common Threads, I wanted to pick a project that would really catch the eye, but was easy enough for beginners. I thought a knitted pouf was perfect. I found a free pattern for a pouf on Pickles, a beautiful Norwegian yarn company–their pouf pattern is named Puff Daddy. It is beautifully done with their new Fat & Happy yarn, which looks amazing though a tad on the pricey side for me.
Pickles' pattern was straight-forward and easy to follow, but not detailed enough for my liking and for teaching purposes. I wanted to teach my beginning students how to read a gauge, knit a swatch, compare measurements and adjust their knitting or needle size accordingly. I also wanted them to be able to get the yarn locally and at a low price point. Using Lion Brand Yarn Wool Ease Thick and Quick from Joann Fabrics seemed a great solution, especially when you get get it on sale. At 40% off, the yarn for this pouf cost under $60 total. It comes in tons of fabulous colors, too. I also love that this yarn is fully washable, so I can just throw the whole thing in the wash when it gets dirty and pop in the dryer with some tennis balls to poof it back up again.
Pickles uses 1 strand of their Fat & Happy in their latest Puff Daddy pattern. For my pouf, I used three strands of the Thick & Quick at a time. I knit it up using two strands of Pumpkin and one strand of Butterscotch to get the tweedy look. Here is my take on the Pickles Pattern:
Yarn Requirements: 12 x 6oz/170g (106 yds/97m) Lion Brand Yarn Thick & Quick
Needles: Size 19 (15mm)
Gauge: 6.25 stitches and 11 rows across 4 inches of garter stitch.
Pouf Measurements: 24" diameter, 14" high.
Directions: Cast on 42 stitches (instead of Pickles' 35) and knit in garter stitch for approximately 50 inches. Cast off.
To Finish: Sew together the two short ends of the rectangle, however, Pickles does not describe a method for this. I teach my students to seam these ends together by placing the cast on edge side by side with the bound off edge, right sides up. Line them up stitch for stitch. Thread a length of the three pieces of yarn in a large darning needle. Secure the yarn and bring the needle under the stitch just inside the cast on edge and then under the corresponding stitch on the bound off side. Keep threading under these stitches consistently, and it will bring the two edges together and make the piece appear seamless.
For assembly, I followed Pickles instructions, stitching and cinching the long ends of the piece the way they describe However, I still had a small hole remaining at the end. Perhaps because I started with a greater stitch count? I simply stitched this closed with yarn and needle and secured the ends on the inside.
Once one end is closed tightly, you stuff it and then close the other end. My advice here is to use as much stuffing as you can. I used one king-sized comforter and ended up wishing I had used more stuffing. The yarn will stretch some and the stuffing will collapse some with use.
I am thrilled with how it turned out. So is everyone in my family, including Lucy our 10-month old puppy. Luckily, she seems to like to cuddle up against in instead of using it as a chew toy. Though heavy to work with at times, it knits up pretty quickly. It would be great for a child's room as well–a virtual bean bag. My beginning students have loved it too, as its a sizable project they can really feel good about.
Be sure to visit Pickles for their other fabulous free patterns and, of course, their gorgeous yarn! Here is a photo of their version of the pouf in Fat & Happy. They have also done a bunch of other pouf patterns you should be sure to check out.
two way dress - how cute is this?? It's definitely going on my list.