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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 Ravelry, it 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 have a few reliable sources I can recommend:
They have a great 7-pound special for non-superwash version. You can usually get a good discount if you sign up for their mailing list, and free shipping on orders over $99.
Sheep Shed Studio
Cheaper per pound, but you must pay shipping.
World of Wool
Good for international/UK orders, and a huge range of different colors. Shipping can be expensive.
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.
Click here to buy the Cabled Giganto-Blanket Throw 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.
Where can I find the cabled blanket pattern?
The cable chart is now included in the pattern!
The pattern calls for six to seven pounds of unspun wool roving. I’ve knit a ton of blankets so far and will order 7 pounds just to be safe, but I usually have a bit left over.
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 Paradise Fibers and get the 7-pound Merino Special. As of January 2018, 7 pounds of roving costs $146, with free shipping, and I usually have at least a 15% discount coupon in my inbox because I’m on their mailing list. That said, there are many places to purchase roving and you can possibly 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 also always delivered impeccable roving, and I can highly recommend them as a source in addition to Paradise Fibers, 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 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!
I want to make a different-sized blanket! How much wool do I need?
In my experience, you get about 600 square inches per pound of wool.
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?
Spot clean with a wool-safe detergent when necessary. If you need to wash it: Soak with a no-rinse wool wash in the washing machine — do not agitate. Drain, and gently squeeze out excess water. Dry flat, or as flat as you can. You can also Dry Clean if needed.
What is a needle felting mat and needle felting tool and what does it mean to “graft” the ends together?
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.
Sure! I don’t include a crochet stitch in my pattern, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t improvise your own! The bulk of the pattern is a tutorial on how to prepare the wool (about 6 of the 8 pages total), so even if you intend to crochet the blanket, I believe the pattern will still be useful for you. That said, I’ve been told that crochet uses up about 30-40% more material than knitting, depending on the stitch used, so make sure to buy more wool to accommodate this difference. And because crochet only has one live stitch at any given time, you can just use your arm as a “crochet hook” and just make sure to not unravel when you take breaks.
Can I use non-superwash wool?
Yes! In October 2016, I added instructions for how to prepare non-superwash wool for knitting.
Where do you get the needles?
They’re 1.5″ PVC pipe — I got mine at Home Depot! The pattern also tells you how to make the needle tips so they’re easier to use while knitting.
The knitting skills needed for the blanket are really really simple. The pattern is a k2/p2 rib, but you could also just do it in normal stockinette (where you knit on the right side and purl on the wrong side) or garter stitch (where you knit every row).
Here’s what I’d say: practice doing whatever stitch you’re planning on normal-sized needles, just to get it down and know the mechanics. Just knit a swatch — and maybe try learning to knit backwards, too, so you can figure that out. Then you’ll have a better footing when you go to knit on the big needles!
There’s a TON of amazing knitting tutorials on youtube, and all you need to know is how to do the backwards loop cast on, knit, purl, and bind off.
I’m allergic to wool and/or vegan, can I use another fiber?
I have only made this blanket using wool roving, so I can’t guarantee good results with other fibers. However, other knitters have suggested using llama or alpaca roving in place of the wool. They claim lanolin is the culprit with wool allergies, and llama and alpaca don’t create lanolin. That said, I would make sure to test with a small swatch before committing to buying the whole weight and make sure you don’t react to a different fiber.
If you’re vegan, you could try using 100% acrylic roving, but it might require trial/error to get the gauge right. Also, don’t steam or felt this stuff!
What kind of steamer do you use?
I have an older model of this Rowenta Compact Valet Steamer, but any steamer with a big-enough reservoir to last a few hours should work.
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!