A 2015 – 2018 Top 100 Knitting Blog!
Raise your hand if you can go to Costco to save $1.49 on paper towels and not leave with $200 of great deals on things you never knew you needed.
If you were hanging out on the couch next to me right now (and I wish you were), you’d see that not only is my hand not raised, it never even twitched.
If I had any impulse control, not only would I not have an enormous stash, I wouldn’t buy yarn every time I went in to teach at Jimmy Beans Wool. In my defense, few knitters could resist that temptation.
Craft stores are another trigger for me. I stopped at Michaels the other day to buy a frame. I also found a cute sign, some nice paper and a sale on ginormous yarn. I’ve always wanted to try one of these huge gauge yarns but didn’t want to spend a lot of money on an experiment. However, this yarn was on sale for just $17 a ball. When I finally headed to checkout, I had a cart brimming with yarn boulders.
Yes, I swatched – for multiple reasons, the first of which is you should always swatch a new yarn (and I know you do).
I had no idea what this yarn would knit up like, what would the drape be on the larger needles or how many stitches could I fit on the 40” circulars. I also needed to practice handling these oversized tools.
The label called for US 50 (25 mm) needles but Michaels had only US 70’s (35 mm) and clearly I was not going to wait to knit this, so I bought them. I am very glad I went with the larger needles and only wished they were longer. This 40” by 50” blanket uses just 20 stitches but they were hard to move around even with the 40” length. It felt more like knitting with 16” needles in a normally sized equivalent. I’ve already ordered longer ones online.
This yarn is so loosely spun it’s almost like knitting with roving. The acrylic / wool blend is nice and soft to work with and to lie under. This sample took 3 balls (about 160 yards total) in case you want to race out to buy a few before they’re gone. I looked online and both Michaels and Jo Anne’s are listed as carrying it. My blog proofreader (my mom!) reminded me that Michaels always has online coupons as well.
Regular readers will not be shocked, or even slightly surprised, that the reason I had wanted to try this bulky yarn was to highlight the Showy Decrease. If you’re new to the blog, no worries, you can see how it’s used in just about every pattern I’ve published. There’s also a nice summary on the New Readers page in the blog.
This yarn is perfect for a faux cable blanket. Knitting with this yarn and 35mm needles is a bit challenging so I can’t imagine knitting standard cables with it. Not only would it be physically difficult, it would make this already bulky blanket even more so.
Wondering where the name Pendere comes from? Pendere is a Latin root word for “to weigh”. The weight of the blanket is one of the strongest features, so I started in the thesaurus with gravity and went down a rabbit hole of synonyms and root words before I found pendere. It has that pretty French verb feel to it.
The pattern is now available on Ravelry for free. Have some big yarn but not quite this big? It will still work if you knit a few more repeats each way.
I am thrilled with the impact the Showy Decrease has in this gauge, but there is a side benefit to the yarn that I had not considered.
This heavy blanket seems to have the same effect as the gravity/therapy blankets now available in stores and online. People stare at it, some might even roll their eyes, they try it because I make them, and then they won’t give it back.
I’ll be heading back to Michaels today to buy a few more yarn boulders to knit some gifts. There was a tip online to help prevent shedding that I included in the pattern. I’m also willing to buy some higher end wool now that I know it will work out so nicely.
During the summer, I sleep outside a lot. The stars, so beautifully displayed in the high altitude and dark skies of Lake Tahoe, are irresistible and the silence is absolute. The temperature at 7,000 feet is still around 50 degrees F (10 C) at night, so this blanket will be perfect for me. I’ll just knit it a bit longer to cover me from head to toe!