This project is quick, easy and affordable! In this Instructable, I will share with you the steps it takes to make a beautiful blanket or throw, in about an hour. I made mine out of chenille yarn and it only took 3 skeins. I will explain the details of the yarn in the next step.
First, have you ever heard of arm-knitting? It's a craft and somewhat of a fad that I have seen online quite a lot. I had two issues with it. I had an issue understanding how to cast on the stitches, in order to knit with my arms. And, I also have a problem with pain in my shoulder, so that method was out of the question. This method that I will share with you is called hand-knitting and it can be done on a flat surface, the floor or table. Another issue I had when I first started research on making a chunky blanket, was the cost of the yarn. Many people make theirs out of some type of chunky wool, which is beautiful - but it ends up costing at least a hundred dollars for the yarn, if not more. This blanket that I made only cost $18!
If you're stopping by, I just want to say thank you! I haven't posted on here in a very long time and for that I am sorry. I miss Instructables immensely. If anyone wants to chat in the comments, I will be around! If you have any questions at all, please ask!
Step 1: Supplies Needed for Chunky Hand-Knit Blanket
For this blanket, I wanted to use yarn that is very soft and thick. I purchased 3 skeins of this yarn from my local Walmart for $5.88 each. They sell it in a variety of nice colors. Unfortunately, the store doesn't currently sell it online. I recommend buying one extra skein, just in case it is needed, as amounts vary based on stitch size. Or, you can buy several more if you want a larger blanket. These 3 skeins of yarn made me a throw that ended up being 30 inches wide by 50 inches long. It does stretch a bit though and when I re-measured it, it was closer to 60 inches long.
- 3-4 skeins of Mainstays Chenille Chunky Yarn 8 oz.
- measuring tape
- a needle and thread (totally optional, used to reinforce areas where you are tying on new pieces of yarn)
Step 2: Slip Knot to Start
First, tie a knot at the very end of the piece of yarn you are working with. You can see that in the first image. Secure it tightly, but be careful not to break the yarn. Once it's tight, you can trim off the excess yarn or leave it as it is, as you can clean it up at the very end of the project.
Now, you will need to create one simple slip knot. Start by taking the yarn, and creating a loose loop. Then, hold that in your hand, while reaching for the working yarn, to pull that through the yarn in your hands, to create a slip knot.
If it's difficult to understand, I will have a video demonstration of this step as well.
Step 3: First Row - Create 16 Stitch Chain
For the first row, you will need to create 16 stitches. Take your first slip knot and reach some of your fingers through it to grab the working yarn and create a loop (a stitch). Please try not to make the stitches too tight. If you see the chain I created in the last images, I feel now that I made them a tiny bit too tight. Feel free to create them a little bit more loose.Then, take the chain and flip it over vertically so its back side is facing up. Short video demonstration available in this step as well.
Step 4: The First Full Row After the Chain - Creating a Braided Bottom
In the last step, you flipped the chain over vertically so the backside would be facing up. You will see on the far right side that there is a loop from the chain you created. Just take that loop and angle it upwards, before you begin making the first row.
Now, look for the little bump in the middle. You will put your finger underneath that bump and reach for the working yarn, pulling it through and creating a loop. Try to make the loop lay flat and continue on with the rest of them, until you reach the end. You will see that the bottom of the piece is braided when you create it this way. It creates a beautiful effect.
A video clip is available here so you can really see how to do this step.
Step 5: Next Row & Subsequent Ones - Important Thing to Remember
You will do all of the following rows in this same way. There is just one important step to remember. Always skip the first stitch in each row. It doesn't matter if the stitch direction is going left-to-right or right-to-left. If you are on a brand new row, skip the first stitch and begin working in the 2nd loop. By doing this, you will be creating a beautiful braided affect along the edges.
For each stitch, you just put your hand through a loop, grab the working yarn and pull it into the loop to create another loop. These loops can be quite loose or tight. It is up to you. I made mine a bit loose, and this created a blanket a bit larger than the standard measurement of 30 x 50 inches. I only used 3 skeins of yarn to make it. I recommend trying to keep the loops on the side, tighter rather than looser. Otherwise the braided edges will look a bit sloppy or possibly a little too loose.
Keep working row by row until you have the desired length. It takes very little time to create this blanket. I will share some tips in the next step, about how to tie onto a piece of yarn with a new piece of yarn.
Step 6: Tips on Joining New Yarn
There are a few ways to go about attaching or joining with new yarn. You will use at least 3 skeins of yarn, and will need to attach new yarn to the piece as you go along. For me personally, I did a lot of research and tried to learn from some experts in this field. I found two recommended methods.
The way I attached a new piece, was very simple. When I got close to running out of yarn, I pulled out a new ball of yarn and took the end of it to the end of the working piece I was running out of. I then tied those two together into a very basic knot - kind of like tying your shoes, but into a knot. I tightened it as much as possible, then trimmed the ends off. With using chenille yarn, this is very unnoticeable when all is finished.
If you want to be extra careful, you could then take out a needle and thread (of similar color to your yarn) and create several stitches through that very knot. If I were to make these blankets to sell them, I would most definitely do that. I would never want it to accidentally come apart, especially if someone purchased it or I gave it as a gift. If that happens to you and you made your own blanket without the thread reinforcement, you should just be able to use some excess yarn (as long as it wasn't super tightly knitted) and re-knot it where the knot came out. It should be totally fine.
The second method is not the one I used. This method involves beginning a new row with your new yarn, and weaving the ends of your old yarn into the back side of the piece.
Step 7: Finishing Off the Hank Knitted Blanket
Finishing off the blanket is easier than you might think! Take two loops into your hand, then take the working yarn and pull it through those loops, creating another loop. Now take that new loop into your hand and grab the loop next to it so you have two loops again. Then pull the working yarn through those loops to create another loop. Keep doing this until you reach the end. Then, you will pull the final piece of yarn through the final loop, creating a small, unnoticeable knot. Then, take the end of the yarn and trim it so it is a bit shorter and tie a knot at the end. Then, weave this through the back of the fabric to blend it into the rest of the piece. You could also, optionally, take that needle and thread out and sew it inconspicuously to the blanket you made. But, that is not necessary. You are now done!
Step 8: Full Video of How to Create the Hand Knitted Chenille Blanket
Here are some final images of the blanket. Next time, I plan on making the stitches a bit tighter. But, even with this level of looseness, I love it. It is a super warm, cozy blanket. It only took less than an hour to make and about $18! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!
Full video, showing how to make it from start-to-finish, is here!