Working on a blanket…

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I mentioned in my WOYWW post that I am working on a blanket. I have three circular knitting machines and the small i-cord mill and while I love using them I don’t seem to make a lot of finished projects. Many people who have these machine do craft fairs where they sell all manner of things – hats, lovies

blankets, and sometime even sweaters. I guess for me the issue is that you have to be a size that works with the number of needles on the machine. A lot of people complain that the hats are too tight for a fully grown adult. I find this to be true. A lot of people knit for charity, where I guess it isn’t super important the fit – they think that every hat, even a slightly smaller one, will fit SOMEONE. Fair enough.

I have always loved the hexi-puff blankets. They look like this:

Now, I have to admit I am not mad keen on the flowers or the owl. But using up yarn in this manner is great, cause I have a lot of bits and bobs. The ongoing problem is that I have a mixed bag or weights and fibers and even between the same weight the actual weight of the yarn varies a lot. There is heavy DK and light DK. Look at Stylecraft Special DK and Hayfield Bonus – both are £1.99 a ball but the Stylecraft has 322yds/294m and Hayfield has 306yds/280m ! The WEIGHT is the same but the amount of yarn is way off. From experience I know Stylecraft is much thinnner. I always research the YARDAGE of a yarn before I assume it works when a pattern specifies x balls of yarn. Do the math or be disappointed!

But I digress…

I had a look, instead, at some patterns for QUILTS using hexagons. There is a much wider variety of options. I found a few I liked and started cranking. Blimey but it’s tiring work. The big difference is I can’t really sit comfortably to do it. Lots of people who do this as a business have custom set ups, usually something like a low table with a hole in it so the knitted tube can flow without touching the table the sits on. Puffs are only a few rows so that is not an issue but I’m tall and my table is not. I have been searching for a way to do the cranking but finish off the puffs in comfort. I finally found a method that works well for me.

Basically I cast on, crank out my rounds, cut the yarn then add in some smooth, high contrast yarn and let the piece just drop off the machine. Once I have a pile of them I can sit in comfort in front of the TV or with my knitting mate and finish them off by threading the tail onto the needle and slipping thru the final round of stitches. Easy Peasy. You have to pull both the ends then cinch the puff into a flat circle anyway so better to do all that sitting easily!

Once I have all the puffs completed I string them onto a long piece of yarn IN ORDER of the row. I label it then move on. It makes the assembly process so much easier.

I can mark off the rows as I complete them. I also created a sheet of hexagons for colouring in. It is only 11 hexes across but it is easy enough to print two and tape them together. My hexipuffs are about 2.5 to 3 inches across. Usually I see them specified at 17 rounds. Na. I do 15. Te 17 round ones are SO puffy I don’t like them. Plus at 15 rounds I can get what I need from a single skein of yarn, at 17 I come up short. Also, remember you can print that PDF two to a page

Simply cut and paste if you prefer more hexes and/or smaller areas to colour. Think of this like a colouring book you can use to design your own blanket.

Yeah so that got long, and there is a lot of randomly useful/mildly interesting info in there for Addi or Sentro crank knitters. Hope it wasn’t too boring for the papercrafters.

Back to it…

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