I have often been asked the question ‘how much yarn do I need for a blanket?’ To which, of course, there is only one reply, ‘depends how big your blanket is going to be’.
Then of course the next question is usually, ‘how big does my blanket need to be?’ Sounds silly, but there are no fixed rules about how big a blanket should be, just make it to the size you want.
OK, so that sounds like a bit of a slack answer I know.
I have done a little bit of digging to find out what sort of sizes people generally consider to be standard. Or standard-ish at least. Some people have their own personal set of sizes that they tend to work to and others like to make it up at random. I know I have a rough guide in my head and I tend to vary it depending upon the project.
One thing to bear in mind, if you are making a blanket for a bed, UK bed sizes and US bed sizes are different!
So most of you will have at some point made a baby blanket I suspect. The sizes do vary a little bit, but most of them out there seem to fit into the same categories and approximate sizes.
Not necessarily for adults, but it just gives a different category from babies. These can vary quite a bit more, especially between the continents! So, I had a look at the bed sizes first as the standards seem to vary slightly. Here is a comparison between the USA and the UK. Obviously there are many other variations around the World, but there is a limit to how many I can list and these two seem to be pretty common.
When it comes to the blanket sizes, as oppose to the actual bed sizes there seems to be a lot more discrepancy as to how a blanket should fit a bed. Should it just reach the edges? Should it overlap the edges and drape down the sides? Should the top be long enough to cover the pillows? Is it just a decorative thing?
I still believe it’s all just personal preference. There are no right and wrongs, but here are some guidelines to what appear to be the most common blanket sizes out there. Most of them allow for some drape over the sides of the bed. This is NOT a definitive answer as to the size a blanket should be, NOR is it an instruction that you must create your blankets this size. It is simply what my research has found…
I hope these help some of you a little bit. If not my advice when making blankets is to make them big and just keep going until you’ve had enough of making it and then it’s big enough.
There are loads of lovely books containing patterns for blankets out there, but these are a couple of my favourites: (click on them to look inside and check out the latest prices)
Here is just a quick post in celebration of the Wool Monkey knit and chatterers.
(I call them chatterers as they always have plenty to say and being quiet is definitely not one of their strong points).
The groups started when I originally opened the Wool Monkey shop. They started small in number but have grown in strength since. New members join from time to time, which keeps the group growing and keeps adding fresh ideas and new impetus. We have had many, many giggles, some cracking outings and some great gatherings.
These were from last years Xmas knit and chat, in the pub. The ladies are such great sports considering that I made them all knit with toilet paper, followed by a knit behind your back competition.
There are two knit and chat groups these days, Saturday evening and Tuesday mornings, both of which have continued long after the Wool Monkey shop has closed. They really are a great bunch of ladies. A somewhat eclectic mixture without a doubt, but very caring and very supportive of each other.
They go on outings together, (almost always involving some kind of woolly event of course), they’ve helped me yarn bomb on the odd occasion, they teach and inspire each other and they looked after me when I had to close my shop.
Oh, and they’re always up for showing off their knitting!
So, thank you ladies for being such a fab group, let’s keep it going. I am looking forward to seeing what sort of stuff we can get up to next year!
If you are interested in joining our knit and chat groups, do get in touch so we can let you know where we are meeting, newcomers are always very welcome.
You don’t need to know how to knit or crochet to join, we will teach you…
So, Christmas is over and like many of us you might have spent the last few months knitting Christmas presents for friends and relatives. It’s something we all do from time to time when we feel the need to be creative and need an excuse to make things. Plus, it’s nice to give presents that you’ve made. But then suddenly, after Christmas, you have fulfilled all your gift requirements and no longer have any projects to make. Panic!
You need a new project, fast. But what?
Well, nobody you know needs anything and you already have a full wardrobe of woolly goodies, so how about making something for somebody unknown? Somebody who needs anything you can give because they have nothing. Or, somebody who needs a bit of a hand up in life. After all the excesses of Christmas maybe a bit of charity would be good for the soul.
Knitting, or crocheting for charity is a lovely thing to do. There is nothing more soothing when you’re in a bad place than something warm and cosy, handmade by somebody else and filled with love. It offers comfort and sometimes a bit of hope that the future is not always going to be bleak. Plus of course, the good feelings and sense of well being that it generates for you. Sometimes you can be in need of that warm cosy feeling just as much as the person receiving your knitting, you just don’t realise it. Like I said, it’s good for the soul.
So, there are many different ways you can join in. Blankets, hats, clothing, twiddle mats, toys to name but a few. There are lots of organisations out there asking for donations and it’s up to you to decide how you think you could best contribute, but here are just a few things to consider before you go leaping in headfirst.
Check your Charity. By this I mean do a bit of research and find out about the charity that you are going to donate to. Make sure they are real, that their motives are genuine and that all your hard work is going to get to the people that need it the most and not be wasted or worse. Most organisations have websites and you can also check their status using the charities register and similar.
Make sure that the charity wants knitted or crocheted items. (Some don’t). Look for any specific requirements they have for particular items or sizes and make sure that what they want is something that you want to make. Don’t put yourself in a position where the making suddenly becomes a burden for you. Also check if they have any specific yarn requirements, such as acrylic or machine washable or similar that you need to consider before starting.
Lastly, be aware that they are not going to pay you to donate your work to them. You are going to have to cover the cost yourself. Don’t set out to create a pure wool blanket for refugees in Syria for example, without taking into account not only how much the yarn is going to cost you, but also any postage costs you might have to incur to get your item to the charity! If you’re lucky you may be able to get somebody else to donate you some yarn. Local businesses or a friend who has her great grandma’s stash in the loft but never learnt to knit maybe. Don’t be afraid to ask around, give somebody else the chance to get in on the act and you may be surprised how many people will want to contribute. You could also team up with others, spread the cost and the work and make it a group project!
So, if you fancy a go, here are a few ideas for you to think about and websites that you might find interesting.
This is a great organisation, which I have worked for on several occasions. They always have lots of projects on the go, for a large variety of different causes, often with patterns available for you to use for free and loads of interesting stuff on their website. I can highly recommend going and having a peek. It might just spark your interest with projects you never knew existed.
The knit a square group is a great one to get involved in if you would like your projects to be really quick and simple. Lots of my regular customers from the Wool Monkey shop used to bring me squares on a regular basis to send away to these guys. They have ladies who then sew all the squares into blankets to be sent away and handed out in places where they are needed. They also have requests for other items too, always with instructions and patterns to help you get started. This is a great project for beginners, knitting squares is a good way to practice.
Loving Hands is a bit more of a forum type group, who focus onbringing like-minded crafters together to create for charities. They aim to make sure that all handmade work goes directly to the people/animals who need it. They have lots of information on local groups, free patterns and projects to join in with.
I could go on listing all the charities that need knitted items all day, but then this blog would become rather long. But, you get the idea, that there is more out then than what you perhaps first thought. A simple google search brings up hundreds of different ones. Or, you can visit the UK Hand Knitting Association website, where there is a list of charities for you to have a nosey at.