Where can I buy the pattern?
You can buy my pattern on Ravelry and Etsy. I recommend buying the pattern on Ravelry because it’s cheaper (I can charge less because Ravelry’s fees are lower) and you’ll get immediate delivery of the pattern. If you buy on Etsy, you have to wait for me to email you the pattern, which I do as fast as possible, but if I’m asleep or in a movie or on an airplane you’ll have to wait a bit. Ravelry also has the benefit of sending out automatic pattern updates when they become available.
Click here to buy the pattern on Ravelry.
Click here to buy the pattern on Etsy.
I don’t knit! Do you sell the completed blanket?
I do sell the completed blanket on commission on Etsy. Because every blanket is made to order, delivery will take 4-6 weeks upon receipt of payment.
Click here to buy the completed blanket on Etsy.
What are the finished measurements?
The finished blanket size is approximately 50″ by 84″. Because each blanket is unique, sizes will vary slightly.
How much wool does the blanket require?
The pattern calls for six pounds of unspun wool roving. I’ve knit three blankets so far and this amount seems just right.
Doesn’t that make the blanket really heavy?
Yeah, the blanket’s pretty heavy. It’s very comfy, too. The weight does require a bit of upper-body strength while knitting the pattern, however. You need to be fairly able-bodied in order to knit with such large needles and with so much wool. To alleviate any weight and stress on your arms while knitting, I recommend resting the “needles” on the floor while working with the yarn and taking regular breaks!
How much do the materials cost?
Well, that depends. I buy my wool from Sheep Shed Studio online, and I buy the Brown Sheep Superwash roving. As of October 2011, 6 pounds of roving plus priority shipping to California cost $107. That said, there are many places to purchase roving and you can likely find a cheaper source. The most important factor in choosing your roving is to make sure the roving comes in long pieces — ideally, you’d like it to all be in one long piece. Sheep Shed Studio has always delivered impeccable roving, so I’m sticking with them for now, but feel free to shop around!
The non-wool materials needed are PVC pipe, duct tape, and ideally a needle felting mat and needle-felting tool. Prices will vary depending on location, but shouldn’t cost you more than another $45 or so.
Though the needle-felting kit is listed as “optional” in the pattern, I highly recommended it for grafting ends together.
How do you cast on?
You cast on using a simple backwards-loop cast on. It’s very easy and has the benefit of using up less wool than other cast-on methods. Here’s a video tutorial on the backwards-loop cast on.
Where can I get more information about the process?
Here’s a video of me knitting the blanket.
Here are all the blog posts about the giganto-blanket.
Here are all my pictures on flickr tagged “gigantoblanket.”
Here are all the people who are working on the blanket on Ravelry.
Here is a video of me grafting the wool ends together.
Does the roving shed?
Any unspun roving will shed, so the felting process I describe in the pattern is intended to minimize this shedding in the completed blanket. That said, the blanket will still shed fibers and pill a fair amount — there’s just no way around it, as far as I can tell. Suggestions are welcome! I recommend putting the blanket in a low-traffic area to reduce shedding. The more abuse the blanket gets, the more it will shed. Also, just expect to use a lint-roller afterwards if you’re going to curl up under the blanket. You can also “groom” the blanket gently with your fingers to remove excess fiber or pilling.
How long does it take to make the blanket?
In my experience, it takes about 2-3 hours to felt the wool. After letting the wool dry for 24 hours, the knitting itself takes anywhere from 2-4 hours. There’s about 720 stitches in the entire blanket, so it’s a quick knit!
Where can I buy the wool?
I buy my wool from Sheep Shed Studio online.
Why do I have to felt the wool? I thought superwash wool doesn’t felt!
The felting process does indeed work on the superwash wool, and the main reason I do it is to puff up the wool so it’s larger in volume and can be split into two strands more easily. Also, the texture changes a bit after felting, so hopefully this makes the wool sturdier and cuts down on shedding. Check out this post for more info and a photo.
How do you clean the blanket?
Soak with a no-rinse wool wash in the washing machine with cool water — do not agitate. Drain, and spin out excess water. Dry flat, or as flat as you can.
Here’s a video tutorial showing how I graft the ends together:
Basically what you do is hold the two ends of wool together and pound it with the needle felting tool until it becomes one cohesive piece of wool. The friction from the needle felting will basically fuse the wool together so you don’t have to worry about weaving in ends. I highly recommend using a needle-felting kit while making this blanket because it allows you to use up every inch of your precious wool and not have any ends to weave in.
Why didn’t you answer my question?
Because you haven’t asked me yet! Please feel free to post any additional questions in the comments and I will be happy to answer them. Thanks!