Thursday, February 25, 2010

10 Hour Afghan Pattern - My Remnant Throw Blanket

So in my search for big needle blankets, I found a blanket titled "6-Hour Afghan." I wanted to make a big needle blanket of my own, using left over Lion Brand Wool Ease yarn from my sampler afghan and various other projects. Is it possible to create a blanket like this in 6 hours? See my time log to see how the project goes.

This is more of a 9 hour 32 min blanket. See my time log to understand the real time progress of this project.

Materials
  • Size 50 knitting needles (Lion Brand 'Speed Stix;' 25 mm)
  • Remnant Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn. Since I had a lot of the fisherman color left over, I hand-dyed some with koolaid . The project will take 32 balls of Wool ease yarn (6304 yards; 197 yards/ball*32 balls).
  • Finished Dimensions: 60"x60" (Measured on wood floor so stretching wouldn't become part of the measurments)
  • Gauge over seed stitch: 5 sts/3 inch, 16 rows/10 inches.

About 15 balls of Wool-ease yarn from my stash. I found another 11 equivalents around my apartment, and had to order 6 others to complete the project. See more details about yardage in the Time Log.

The Pattern
  • Cast on 33 stitches using 8 strands of yarn on size 50 knitting needles.



  • All rows: K1, *P1, K1* repeat from * across. (Seed Stitch)
  • Work in the seed stitch pattern for 100 rows and bind off. This is the first rectangle.
  • Repeat to make a second rectangle.
  • Stitch the two panels together using 4 strands of yarn. Make sure to stitch loosely so you do not lose the give and stretch of this afghan.
  • Weave in loose ends. If you choose to make a remnant afghan like I did, there will be many loose ends where you switch colors. The weave is so loose that a end woven in will stick out in some place, so you may need to play with it a bit to find something that you're happy with.
  • Enjoy!

The two rectangles before stitching them together.

I am unbelievably happy with this afghan. I had no idea how much I would love it when I decided to save up my remnant yarn for this project months ago. My hands are tired, but it is 100% worth the effort. This afghan is so cozy and squishy. It was quite comfortable to stitch the two pieces together while sitting on it on the floor.


The Final Skein, 19.6 grams, or 1/5 of a ball remaining. Now this 1 ball is representatative of the 4th set of 8 balls. But the 32 ball estimation of the project is very reasonable. You could add a fringe with the leftover yarn! (I am out of fun colors so I will not be doing that.)

I made my blanket huge. The seed stitch pattern is so stretch knit on these huge needles that even half of the blanket is enough for one person to cuddle with. The blanket will stretch to accommodate your body like a hug.


An illustration of the stretchiness of this afghan. I think you would need more than 8 strands of worsted-weight wool to make a knit that isn't so loose!


A closer look at the seam


Here I've folded the blanket so you can see the amount of color variation I have within this one blanket. You could plan one out to be uniform, or use this as an excuse to clean out your stash.

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This this pattern was created by ChemKnits for your personal or charity use. This pattern is not to be replicated, sold or redistributed without permission from ChemKnits. © 2010 ChemKnits Please send a picture of your project to chemknitsblog@gmail.com when you've finished your afghan, I'd love to see your creation!

80 comments:

  1. just a thought, but try a russian join, so that there are no loose ends to weave in. takes a second or two each time you need to add in a new yarn, but saves time and frustration in the end.

    Nice Blanket, thanks for sharing!

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    1. What is a "russian join?"

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    2. The link to the Russian Join was further down in the comments.

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    3. I made mine on size 50 needles 18" long. I had my husband make them for me as I prefer straight needles. I had never heard of the Russian join but after I checked it out, it's the only thing I use now. I hate to have to wait to use my project because you have to weave in all those "tails". I liked the big needles so much I made myself a moebius with left over yarn too and it goes with anything! Thanks.

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  2. I wasn't thinking too much about that when I started... but that would have been a good idea.

    I kept finding ends during the first week that I was using it!

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  3. Way to go, Chemmy person!!! this is from another Chem person..Organic for me. Go figure a science brain trying to figure out how to use up all that yarn. I bet I have that many skeins of LB, too, but the size of the needles, like you said, would kill my hands.

    Love the blanket and glad you finished it!

    Christine

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  4. Wow. Just, Wow. I would never attempt a project that big unless I could locate a long cable needle in the correct size; my hands couldn't manage that much weight on straight needles. It's gorgeous, congratulations and adulations!

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  5. Could you tell me what a Russian Join is, please?

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    1. I too would like to know "what is a russian join"

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  6. Here is a good illustration of a Russian Join. http://www.knittinganyway.com/freethings/russianjoin.htm

    It is a great way to deal with loose ends as you work. (versus looking for them to pop out and then trim, which is what I did this time)

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  7. What a gorgeous creation! Now I simply must find out what a russian join is...

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  8. i have a bunch of lion brand homespun sitting around that was gonna be a blanket i got bored with. i think i will borrow your technique here, but only use 3 or 4 strands because the yarn is kinda bigger. thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. That would make a really comfy blanket. The lion brand homespun yarn is really cozy and warm. You're very welcome!

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  10. Nice blanket!! And I love the idea of the Russian Joint to join the loose ends. I'm going to start using it all the time, ^_^

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  11. Wow! That's so beautiful. You have an amazing talent!

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  12. I did something similar after Hurricane Katrina using all sorts of left over yarns from my stash. I did it in straight garter st, size 50 needles. Cast on as many sts as needles would hold with 8 strands of KW in dark blues, purples, red, and black, as each ball ran out I added a slightly lighter shade and knit it to about 65". It turned out a beautiful gradation of color which someone in Biloxi, MI, hopefully enjoyed through Lion Brand's "Blankets for Biloxi" project. BTW, I knit European style and was able to keep one needle on my lap almost all the time I was knitting.

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  13. Sounds like that would help with the weight!

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  14. Can you tell me what knitting "European Style" is? Thanks

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  15. This Wikipedia article explains European (or Continental) style of knitting quite well. https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Continental_knitting

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  16. it looks fun but i would hate to have to put it sew it together..

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  17. Yeah, that was a limitation of the size of the needles. I wonder if there are size 50 round knitting needles available....

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    1. There are size 50 circular needles. Search the web and you'll find a couple of places to purchase. I purchased some from Jenkins Woodworking and I think there is a larger retailer that also sells them.

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    2. Size 50 US = 25mm.

      Size 20mm are fairly easy to find in UK wool shops or hobby shops. I'm gonna give this a go with 4 strands on my size 10mm needles. I also have a Swift Knit pattern sweater from the 70s!

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  18. Reminds me of a similiar blanket...Size 50 needles, 50oz knit worsted, 50 stitches,5 strands,knit every row, fringe if wan; making fringe at least 5 inches long. All 5's. very stretchy, smaller than above pattern, not too heavy until end. Have to smash stitches on needle...but can do. Definitely do the russian join.

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  19. Yeah, 50 stitches on these needles would be difficult, 33 was pushing it ;)


    Thanks for sharing!

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  20. thank you so much for sharing this i cant wait to get started

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  21. You're very welcome. Have fun!

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  22. how many strands of yarn might one use if knitting with size 13 needles instead? i dont have size 50 and dont want to spend the extra money on a new pair of needles!! so i was wondering what you would do for size 13 needles...

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    1. I'm going to try 4 strands on 10mm needles. You should be OK with 4. Try it out, and add or take away a strand till you get the drape that you want.

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  23. How many strands you use depends greatly on your gauge and how thick you want the fabric to be. I could have used more than 8 strands with the size 50 needles, but I wanted the fabric to be pretty loose. I would play around with some swatches until you get something that you like.

    Also, using size 13 needles You will need to increase the number of stitches and rows if you wan the blanket to be as large as it is in the pattern. (So it could take more than 10 hours this way!)

    Good Luck!

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  24. thank you! my stash needs this!

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  25. You're welcome! It is so cuddly, and I love the reminder of projects past as I lay wrapped in it.

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  26. Addition to previous post:the size 50 needles, 50 ounces knitted worsted weight, 5 strands, (5" of fringe...if desired). Forgot to write: 50 ridges of garter. (100 rows). Am finishing one now. Russion joins this time...no yarns will pop out. A tight tension makes it very hard to knit with these needles; keep it loose. That's also how you get 50 stitches on the needle. Fun to knit...but not very portable.

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  27. No, this is not a portable project! I really wish I had known about Russian joins when I started my blanket. But I can say that even with the occasional end popping out, this is one of my favorite blankets to curl up with!

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  28. I made these last year for Family Christmas gifts. Everyone that received one loves it and then I had to make more for other Familie members
    birthdays

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  29. Awesome! I'm glad that they are loved. :)

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  30. Wow! I can't believe these are still being made! I did one in 1975 as a Christmas gift - was in such a rush to finish I knitted two days straight and gave myself tendonitis of the elbow (very painful!). My parents still use it on their bed, almost 40 years later; it has held up well. Weighs a ton.
    Can't wait to get back into knitting!

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  31. This afghan certainly weighs a ton! I love it dearly.

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  32. I love this pattern-it'scertainly on my to-do list (after I make my son's overdue wedding quilt and now their baby's quilt)-may have to squeeze this in- When I get tired quilting or sewing,I just pick up my needles and make a project-They don't call them UFOs for nothin'! Thank you so much for sharing!

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  33. You're very welcome. I love snuggling with this afghan, and it is a great (and fast) project to sneak into your queue.

    Cheers,
    Rebecca

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  34. Great job on this.

    I make these as well and if you want a smaller blanket, but bigger than the LB size 50 needles (and don't mind the weight of the extra stitches) I ordered a pair of size 50 needles that are 2' long from http://www.etsy.com/shop/baahurrah they weren't much for what I was requesting and I got to pick my needle end color! In hindsight, I probably should've started with an 18" pair because it took a while to get used to the length and size of the needle in addition to accommodating the weight of my projects!

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  35. Wow, 2' long needles would come in handy for this project, but the weight of it would definitely get to me after a while!

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  36. hi there i am just about to start knitting this blanket i see you are using a 25mm needle the nly needle size i have is 20mm do you think i could still get the 8 strands on these thanks gillian

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  37. I suppose it depends on how tightly you knit. My gauge was pretty loose, so I would imagine that you could fit this on slightly smaller needles. If it ends up being too tight for you, go down to 7 or 6 strand.

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  38. I was very daring and I made this in a larger version. I cast on 54 stitches and I was able to do it and still keep all the stitches on the needles.
    It came out a perfect size.
    I used purple and lilac, it's so beautiful.
    I also made matching slippers for the recipient.

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  39. hello i love this blanket gorgeous could you knit this in all garter stitch instead of seed stitch.

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  40. You certainly could make this in garter stitch. Most of the big needle blanket patterns out there are in garter stitch, which is why I wanted to do something a little different, but still simple. The seed stitch also retains it shape better than garter (wool/acrylic blends are much harder to block.)

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  41. I made one almost like this for a Calif. king. I used 4 strands of Simply soft on a size 50 needle, and I can hardly pick the thing up. It is warm. It took me several years to make, because I couldn't work on it unless it was cold. I made it all one piece. I took the yarn to Home Depot and matched my paint to the yarn. Turned out great. I used a circular needle (of course) and the cord was as thick as the needle. I didn't really like that. I found it hard to move the stitches.

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    1. WOW, I have never seen size 50 circular needles! I love the idea of picking a paint to go with a huge afghan.... I may need to do that when I have a house of my own someday.

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  42. I have a new pair of circular needles German made in size 17. I have made 2 Afghans (2 strands of worsted weight yarn) in one month and finished a 3rd that I started a few years ago. I want to do a 4 of 6 strand of stash yarn on these needles. Can you tell me how many stiches to cast on for a 50 x 65 (or perhaps 72) afghan using this size needle. I don't have 50s.
    Thank You.
    Patti

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    1. Patti,

      What is your gauge? My gauge over seed stitch was 5 sts/3 inch, so if I wanted to make a 50 inch wide afghan I would need to cast on (50/3*5) 83 stitches.

      Knit a small swatch (5 inchx 5 inch square) so measure you gauge. From there you can calculate how many stitches you want for your afghan. Good luck!

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  43. I have size 50 circulars that were made for me by Ed Jenkins of Jenkins Woodworking. He'll make the cable any length you want. Love them. Very smooth and great transition from needle to cable & back.

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    1. That is awesome! Does he have a website?

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    2. Here's his website: http://www.jenkinswoodworking.com/index.htm

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  44. My son did something similar to this when he was about 10 years old. He only used three or four strands of my worsted weight leftovers, with an occasional fuzzy yarn, or bulkier or finer, compensating with the number of strands. He didn't like to purl, so it was done in stockinette stitch. When he started it, it was about three feet wide. By the time he'd finished, it was four feet wide. HE RIPPED THE WHOLE THING OUT AND DID IT OVER AGAIN. He took that Afghan to college with him; he took it to Iraq with him during Desert Story (1991). I'd love to know if he still has it, but hesitate to ask. I would have been like losing an old friend if he'd had to give it up.

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    1. Now that is a lot of love in one afghan. I can understand ripping out a project to start over. I'm glad that this afghan was able to travel with your son to so many places.

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  45. Try using size 35 circular needles with your four strands of yarn. No seams that way. Also, a No.5 needle will help you join your threads. Just weave the joining yarn into the yarn you are nearly out of. So much easier than having to deal with all those pokey-outies once the knitting is done. I have been knitting with 50's and 35's and find the 35's are so much easier to handle. It even works well with two or three strands of regular yarn.

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    1. These are great tips. I had no idea that 35 circulars existed! I really love my blanket, so I wouldn't change it for anything right now, but these tips are super helpful for anyone else wanting to try this out!

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    2. I love your blanket, Great idea, I took your idea and used Addi- turbo circular needles size 35... I casted on sixty sts and used four strands of yarn, this way I did not have a seam to join.

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  46. I found you by accident while cruising through all knitting sites that I could find. Lucky for me! I love your blanket and certainly have a lot of yarn that I could use! I have knitted since I was nine years old when I had time. I was looking for a project to do and this would be perfect. I also loved all the extra information about ways to join it together and websites for needles. Thanks to everyone!

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    1. I'm glad you like the blanket. It is a lot of yarn, but it knits up so fast and then is so cozy. I use this one more than any of my other knit afghans combined. Plus it reminds me of so many projects that I knit for other people over the years :)

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    2. That sounds great.I had a friend of mine make me a big set of needles,out of wood.They turned out great.

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  47. I do a LOT of charity knitting during the fall and winter months "Hats for the homeless" my non profit group i live in Ohio but was born and raised in Michigan and it gets cold. I was volunteering at the local animal shelter and the cages the kitties were kept in were made of cement and if you know a cat they LOVE heat so my non profit started with pads for pets and i would knot thick blankets for the kittie cages. I felt the need to expand my ambitions and started hats for the homeless. Although im not advertised or promoted i simply get a group of women/men from church to help knit or donate yarn. We knot hats, scarves, & mittens for homeless people. I wantes to do more for ppl and have come across this pattern which will be perfect to help keep ppl warm. And because its such a quick knit i can get quite a few done b4 it gets real cold! Thank You for the wonderful pattern and idea! I live to knit and am disabled but get bored easly doung the same thing over & over this helps break up the monotnomy. Thank You and God Bless!! :-)

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  48. Great design! I love it!! I am thinking of making it about half sized. It would be for my brother who loves falling asleep on his couch and 60x60 would be too huge for that. So i am thinking 30x60. Do you do this in the smaller rectangles because it would be too heavy to do it as one huge strip or does it have something to do with the color changes. I am making another lap quilt right now that starts at the top and just keeps going until the bottom. Could I do that here as well? I really hate sewing pieces together, but I will if I have too!! :)

    Thanks in advance for any advice and for the great pattern.
    Stacie

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    1. The blanket did get extremely heavy as I was knitting it, but I did two long rectangles because I could not fit more than 33 stitches on my size 50 needles. (And for me the 33 sts wasn't wide enough.) In some of the comments above people share where you can find size 50 circular needles, so that would enable you to cast on more stitches.

      So in your case, I would just cast on the 33 sts (or as many as you can as an odd #) and then knit until it is the length you want. Happy Knitting!

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  49. I saw a project made from scraps where they did not weave in the ends--instead they knitted the pieces together an left an inch or so of it out. It reminded me of the knots in a quilt-though not uniform. I loved it! Just a thought.

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  50. I would suggest if you want to fit more stitches per needle, buy a dowel of the right thickness from a hardware store, cut it in half in the middle and sharpen one end with a pocket knife, then sand them to a decent point. Fasten a drawer pull to the opposite end to act as a stopper, and there you go, gargantu-needles, probably for under ten dollars.

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  51. It is possible to purchase size 50 circular needles. One large commercial yarn site was selling them but they were pretty expensive. I purchased some hand made size 50 circular needles from someone I found through a Google search at a much lower price and they were very well made. A Google search should find him or someone comparable. It is sooooo much easier knitting thick afghans, blankets, etc. with them!!

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    1. It is possible to purchase size 50 knitting needles. (They are linked to under materials.)

      Size 50 Knitting Needles at Amazon

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  52. I am impressed! I have a lot of stash that isn't enough to do much with except small items. This is just wonderful!!! Thanks so much for the idea!!!!! Rita Spratlen rjspratlen@gmail.com

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    1. This is the magical stash busting project. I am amazed that I was able to do it out of almost 1 type of yarn. (I did need to buy some more to finish it, but still, mostly stash!)

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  53. Thanks for a wonderful project.! I read your pattern and got size 50 needles and have finished 1/2 of the blanket. I made it just long enough for the couch my son sleeps on when he visits us in Vermont. It's a 90 year stash blanket because my daughter gave up knitting and gave me all of hers. The fun of it is remembering all the knitting project that were made out of the yarn.

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  54. Dear Rebecca,
    I love your Afghan! You must be so proud. It is truly unique and most beautiful! I love Wool Ease yarn, one of my favorites. I made a couple of the 6 hour throws and only used 4-5 strands and could barely do it with 34 cast on my 50 needles! I don't understand how you were able to do 8! You inspired me to try with my Homespun yarn and maybe a little smaller. I have more Homespun than Wool Ease as of now. Anyway thank you for sharing and happy knitting! Suzanne

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    1. I'm glad you like it! Making one of these out of homespun would be mega cozy.

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  55. THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! This year there really IS a Santa Clause who will surprise everyone I love with one of these fabulous blankets.

    And THANK YOU for the Russian Join. This is probably the best pattern and information I have ever found online.

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