A Tweed Pouf Ottoman – an Easy Chunky Knit

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.

For other great and easy chunky knits, please check out the 6 Easy Chunky Knit Pattern gallery here or by clicking on the button below.

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. 

One more thing I had to share – I ADORE this free Pickles pattern for their two way dress – how cute is this?? It’s definitely going on my list.


  1. Now that’s a great pumpkin! 🙂 I LOVE chunky knits, thanks for sharing this project!

  2. I HAVE to knit this poof! Lots of Eco wool left over from my honey’s sweater that is destined to be a new family poof! Thanks for sharing your mods, I’ll be returning to them!

  3. I love that pouf. I love that site. But I’m afraid to do it. Did you buy the wool from them ? Thank you for sharing !

    • anne

      No I made the pouf with yarn from JoAnn Fabrics – much less expensive yarn. Read the post for details on how I changed the pattern. Thanks so much, Anne

  4. Absolutely beautiful !!! I can’t wait to give it a try. I love that it seems like a quick knit, and it has such gorgeous texture. Great that you combined colours. This ALMOST 🙂 makes me wish for snow again, so I can curl up close to the fire and KNIT AWAY. Dreaming of snow. Did I just say that? *_*

    • anne

      Thanks Lynne. Your comment made me smile – yes watch what you wish for or we may all be preparing for loads of snow!

  5. Puff Daddy, ha! Appropriately named and probably didn’t have to mess with copyright infringements on the rapper’s name since he changed it to P. Diddy, lol.

    • anne

      Donaville – ha! you crack me up.

  6. Stef

    This is so great! I’ve seen the Pickles version before but found their instructions a bit confusing.

    The way I’m reading this, you knit as a rectangle then seamed to make a tube, then gathered the ends and sewed shut. Could it be knit in the round instead? Do you think it’s worth trying to convert to be knit from the bottom up (with increases) then decrease down for the top, stuff, then sew shut?

    • anne

      Yes, you knit a rectangle and then make a big tube by sewing the two short ends together. Then gather the long ends. I’m sure you could knit in the round, increase and then decrease. You would need to add A LOT of increases in the beginning however. If you try it, let me know how it goes.

  7. laura

    how many skeins of yarn did it take? thanks, laura

    • anne

      I used 12 skeins. The details on the yarn and number of skeins is in the text in the third paragraph.

    • Anonymous

      The number of skeins isn’t specified. Did you use 12 total? So 4 of one color and 8 of the other?

    • anne

      Yes, it is 12 skeins total. Here it is as it reads in the text:
      Yarn Requirements: 12 x 6oz/170g (106 yds/97m) Lion Brand Yarn Thick & Quick

      • Lisa Ogilvie

        Which Lion Brand Yarn did you use? They have several versions that come in thick and quick.

  8. I’m SO excited to read this because I’ve been wanting to make this ding dang pouf forever, but I didn’t want to buy their expensive yarn. Thanks for posting an awesome alternative!!

  9. Anonymous

    Shouldn’t the size 19 needles be 15 mm? I have knitting needles that are 10 mm but they are size 15. I just wanted to make sure I had the right size before I started this project. It’s simply wonderful! Thank you.

    • anne

      Yikes! Yes 15mm. Will update now. Thanks so much for commenting. I so appreciate it.

  10. Anonymous

    Hi Anne, Thanks for sharing your ideas. I was reading the Puff Daddy pattern and everything you described answered my questions. If I wanted to make one in off white only, do you still suggest knitting it with three strands of the same lion brand yarn? 12 balls total? –julie

    • anne

      Yes, Three strands of the same lion brand yarn. 12 balls total! Good luck!

  11. Marta

    Do you think Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn would also work? It is the same weight, but 100% acrylic (and half the price), and has the color I like. Thanks!

    • anne

      Yes, I think that would work. And, half the price sounds nice!!

    • Anonymous

      I used Hometown USA and my poof is beautiful! Marta is right, the colors are bright and the yarn is much cheaper. I used two strands of Charlotte Blue and one of Detroit Blue which gave the color some depth. Thanks for the pattern and the inspiration.

    • anne

      Great! I”m so glad it worked out for you! And, that you made one!!

  12. Hi Anne! Thanks so much for a great pattern! Making my first pouf for my daughter’s wedding gift/new house! Very excited! My question is really about stuffing the pouf. Do you roll or fold/pin the comforter in some way to make the shape a nice smooth “pumpkin shape”?

    • anne

      Yay! No, I didn’t roll it. If you use a down/faux down comforter, you can mush it around after the fact to get the nice shape. I would reiterate, though, that you should stuff it as full as you can. If you are using pillows, put them in the middle and fill the outsides with the comforter. Let me know if you have any other questions!

  13. Anonymous

    The pickles pattern calls for circular needles, even though they knitted a rectangle. Did you use circular needles or straight needles? I’m going to use Lion Brand Hometown yarn like the person above. Much cheaper! Thanks for your help and ideas!

    • anne

      Straight needles are totally fine. Have fun! Happy pouf!

  14. I’ve been thinking of trying this with a 1/2 inch rope for a more industrial look (with have to use bigger needles). Do you think it will work? Thanks!

    • anne

      absolutely! I think that would be super cool. Just adjust the stitch count based on your gauge with the rope and needles. Send me pics when you’re done!

    • Michelle Gulewich

      I would like to see the rope one finished. I have been looking around for rope or maybe macrame cord might work

  15. What do you think of using t-shirt yarn (cutting up strips of a knit material)? Same advice as to the rope commenter?

    • anne

      t-shirt yarn would be great. super cool. yes, check the gauge, and you should be good to go. good luck!

  16. I want to make this- just to clarify- what size needles should I use?


    • anne

      size 19

  17. Anonymous

    Could you use polyfill instead of the comforter? Seems a waste of a comforter to put in there?

    • anne

      You can. It will take a lot, though. Let me know how it goes!

  18. Anonymous

    When you say ‘knit for 50 inches’ do you mean stretched or simply laying flat? I’m never sure if I should stretch out my work when measuring.

    • anne

      Ack! So sorry for my delay in responding – this comment got lost in my email! Don’t stretch it. Just lay it flat and measure.

  19. Anonymous

    Hey, it looks like you have our dog. No, really they could be twins, but we have no idea what she is. (the dog next to the orange poof) Do you? We adopted Cali from a Petsmart shelter event. My guess is she is a mix of many. Do you have any more details?

    • anne

      That’s so funny – we adopted lucy from a Petsmart shelter event. They told us there that she was a German Shepard/Rotty mix. I think there is clearly something smaller in her. The vet said she thought it was Sharpei. My husband think she must be part Kelpie. I guess it’s anyone’s guess :).

    • Anonymous

      The pickles pouf circumference is 70 inches and width 16 inches. What are the measurements of your pattern

    • anne

      Pouf Measurements: 24″ diameter, 14″ high. I’m not sure on a circumference basis what it ended up being. I gifted it to someone, so I don’t have it any more to check. sorry!

  20. Anonymous

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  21. Hi Anne

    Can this be knit on the round (joined to make a tube) so as not to have to sew the short ends together? I realize you would have to purl every stitch or knit every stitch and turn it inside out. If you were to do this would you cast on by width or height?


    • anne

      Hi Sherry. Thanks so much for your comment. If I were to try knitting it in the round, I would cast on by width and then cinch up the bottom and top of the piece. This would change the orientation of the stitches however, the garter stitch would be going the perpendicular to way its shown here. I’m not sure I would like this look. Additionally, I would think it would be more likely to squash down as it would lose the structure a bit. Does this make sense?

    • Hi Anne


      I am going to try it in a seed stitch for which I think the orientation won’t matter that much. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks again!

    • anne

      great idea – yes, please let me know!

  22. Cynthia scheeler

    i would love to make a bean bag chair with chunky yarn. The measurements are 35″ x 90″ x 35″. Would you be able to help me with the pattern.

    • anne

      Hi Cynthia! I’m so sorry for the delay in responding. If you email me separately at flaxandtwine (at) gmail (dot) com, I’d be happy to help you!

  23. Kacie

    I would love to make this, but am a complete beginner. Do you still teach this in a beginner class in Boulder?

    • anne

      Hi Kacie! You can do it! This is the perfect project for a beginning knitter. I don’t live in Boulder anymore, unfortunately. Good luck finding someone to help.

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  25. Barbara Bennett

    I have knit my pouf, now I just need to assemble it. Could you explain the closure of the tube. Could bean bag beans, in a protective bag be used?


    • Hi Barbara! Congratulations! once you have finished the knitting, join the two sort ends with a mattress stitch. Next, gather the long sides by running a length of yarn through every other end stitch. Then, run a second length of yarn through every other end stitch that you didn’t collect on the prior pass. Pull those tight like a draw string bag. Bury the ends. Place in your stuffing (yes, bean bag beans in another bag would be perfect!) and repeat the drawstring process with the second end. Then you can relax on it! Have fun!

  26. tinkerpigs

    This is really useful, thank you!! I made a pouffe using the Pickles pattern but didn’t like the yarn I used and didn’t stuff it well enough. I’m going to have another go, this time with t-shirt yarn. Quick question though – I know you said you knitted to 50 inches long – how wide was the piece? Just so I have something to work from for how many stitches to cast on… I’m very new to knitting so don’t really understand all the gauges etc!

    • Hi Hannah, I made the piece around 26″ wide. Does that help? Do you have a sense of how to figure out how many stitches of the t-shirt yarn to cast on to get that width?

      • Tinkerpigs

        Great, thank you!! I should be able to work that out, I’ve been playing around with needle sizes and tension and things with the yarn for a bit. The width/length ratio is great to know as I didn’t want to finish it and find the shape was completely wrong!

  27. EVE

    Hi there,

    thankyou for posting the pattern for the poof, i am so excited to knit it!

    The only thing i am unsure as to how to do, is the last bit, where you have your tube and then you sew up the ends. Do you have an english translation of this as on the Pickles website, im not actually sure what language it is in but i dont understand it!

    Is it as simple as passing the tapestry needle through every stitch and then pulling tight to draw the circle in?

    Any help would be much appreciated.


    • Hi Eve,
      You pass the tapestry needle through every other end stitch and then use another length of yarn and bring the tapestry needle through all the end stitches you didn’t get in the first pass. Pull both circles tight like a drawstring bag. It makes the end have more room to draw close because there are fewer stitches on each circle. Does that make sense?
      Thanks for making!

  28. Mollie

    I took inspiration from this pattern and then put my own spin on it. I gathered a bunch of old white tshirts and made some tshirt yarn out of them. I knit until I ran out of yarn (which I believe was about 18 tshirts worth). I stuffed mine with batting. Lots of batting. It turned out great. Here’s a link to a picture of it! http://instagram.com/p/ssftUPQaqZ/

    • Hi Mollie! Thanks so much for sharing your instagram! Your pouf looks fabulous!! Love it in the white tshirts! Perfection!

  29. I just loved this post! Your orange poof fit right in with a blog post I was writing about design inspiration. I shared your link with my readers. Such a lovely blog. This is my first time seeing it. I know I will be visiting frequently. I don’t knit but I do love all things crafty. Thanks for the wonderful post.

    • Thanks so much for stopping by Marianne! I love your comment!

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  31. Terra

    I did it! My 2nd knitting project (my husband, who is a knitter, strongly recommended I start with something a little smaller first, so I made him a scarf). Check out the picture at: http://instagram.com/p/xlPl2BTAoX/?modal=true

    • Wow Terra!! You did an absolutely beautiful job! Congratulations! Hard to believe that’s only your second project. You have a bright future ahead of you 🙂

  32. Amy

    Okay, I’m getting the bit about how to close up the first end – through your reply to Eve – but how do you close the top after it’s stuffed? Thread the needle through every other end stitch then do it again with another length of yarn, pull closed – and then what? Then you have basically a giant yarn drawstring with the top bits poking out? What if there’s a hole left over? I’ve only ever finished one knitting project before (I have a bit of an issue with follow-through) so I’m not 100% on how to sew it up.

    Thank you so much! What a beautiful pouf. 🙂

    • Thanks for getting in touch Amy. If you pull the two drawstrings closed and pull them really tightly, the holes should be closed up. If not, you can weave the end back and forth across the hole pulling it closed further. Then, secure that end by knotting it to the knit fabric, or another yarn end if one is available. Once secure, stuff the ends inside the poof. Does this all make sense?

  33. Catherine

    Hey! Amazing pattern I have one question. After cinching first side then stuffing. How did you bring the end of the yarn on the top to cinch it and finish?

    After cinching the bottom I did the put the meedle inside to tighten more then stuff it . How do I do it with the top part? Do I weave it inside till it reach the top? Or what do I do , please help

    • You can leave that yarn down there (knot it and pull it to the inside of the poof. After stuffing it, do the exact same thing you did with the bottom with the top, using a new length of yarn. Then know that off and bring the ends into the middle. Okay?

      • Catherine

        Thanks so much! Just have to make sure that next yarn I attach for the top will hold up. Do you have suggestions on how best to attach the next 3 strands to close the top? Thanks! You’re a life saver

        • What I do is just use two separate lengths about 1 yard long. Use it as its own drawstring. Pull it tight and knot it to itself and tuck the ends in. Repeat with the other length for the other drawstring circle. You don’t need to attach it to the work because each ring closes itself. Does this make sense?

          • Catherine

            Yes it does! And I got it thank you so much!

  34. Catherine

    Hi great pattern. After closing edges and then CinChing the bottom then stuffing it how do you bring the yarn towards the top to cinch it? After closing hole I took needle in and tug more to close , should I weave in the yarn to reach the top and cinch it? How do you close the other side please help

  35. Catherine

    Can this be knitted circular?

    • Sure – I would just do a swatch to see how many stitches to cast on to get the same measurements as are in the pattern. Then you would knit a huge loop (instead of a rectangle you turn in to a loop).

      • Catherine

        Just need your expert advice how do you take out the fuzz plying on the yarn you’re knitting so when it’s a full ottan not a lot of fuzz

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  38. Cheok

    I’m an absolute beginner knitter and I’m a little nervous about starting on this project. Can I use old pillows to stuff it? And I’m not quite sure how to sew it up. Is any crocheting needed? Thanks!

    • Hello! Yes, old pillows or an inexpensive alternative down comforter work well as stuffing. There is no crocheting needed. I use a mattress stitch to sew it up. There are tutorials on line. Or, you can watch the end of this video where I show how to mattress stitch arm knitting. The mattress stitch is the same only on bigger scale. http://bit.ly/armknitcowlvideo

  39. Debra

    Hi! Thank you for the pattern. I finally have mine finished as of today. The knitting has been done for a few months but it has taken me a while to actually finish it. I knit short rows throughout so that the finished pouf is more shaped (8 row repeat, 3 stitches less on each row, with the first stitch on each short row slipped). The only problem with this is that I could only close one end and part of the side before stuffing. However, closing the ends was very easy since it was quite small. I made a lining bag out of a tshirt in the same colour as the pouf. It turned out beautifully!

    • Congratulations Deb! What a great idea to knit it with short rows. I”m so glad you got it closed and stuffed the way you wanted!
      Warmly, Anne

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  41. Thank you for this. I saw the pickles pattern and this is, for me, so much clearer.

  42. Tiffany

    Hi! I started mine with 4 strands of wool-ease tonal (based off another pattern I found before yours – boo!). It’s making a dense and heavy rectangle- was yours the same?


    • Are you knitting this with traditional needles? four strands of wool-ease thick and quick? or something else? Yes, the pouf starts with a rectangle. Let me know what yarn you’re using and what size needles.

  43. Alison

    Hi. Thank you for the pattern. I am using 3 strands of Lion Brand Thick and Quick but could only get 35 stitches on the needles. I’m using US 19 – length is 14 inches. Should I still knit 50 inches or should reduce the length since mine will not be as wide? Thanks.

    • I would just keep the ratio of length to the width the same as what I did for my piece. Does this make sense?

      • Alison

        It does. That’s what I was thinking but wanted to confirm. Thank you!

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