This tutorial will explain how thick and thin yarn is different from other yarns and why the resulting look can result in a beautifully textured throw blanket that far exceeds those of lower quality sold for far more in stores.
While scrolling through Instagram, about 8 weeks ago, I found a more urban, more chic, but definitely equally money-savvy blogger, Reichel Broussard of Copy Cat Chic. We connected over a common love of textured textiles, swapped a few emails, and hatched a plan for me to figure out a way to mimic the look of a throw she loved but was sold for an obscene $1,000. Her focus is on finding less expensive but fabulous ways to furnish one’s home and my focus is on making less expensive but beautiful things resulted in a positively dreamy throw. Check out her Wildflower-approved site www.copycatchic.com here, and her swoon worthy Instagram here.
The first problem with her desired throw was that it appears to be woven (I never saw said blanket in person) from a very thin, to very thick yarn.
I don’t weave, unless you count the rad hot pads I made in elementary school. I felt confident that if I could find a thick and thin yarn that went from very thin to very thick, I could copy the look pretty closely by using a very similar pattern to that of my giant yarn throw tutorial here.
So I began by searching Etsy for yarn that would have sections where it was spun very thin, and fairly tight, and transition to yarn that was much thicker and not spun very tightly at all. It is funny, because when I was learning to spin before my daughter was born, I felt really pleased with my yarn because it was the trendy thick and thin look. My lovely spinning I teacher Janell told me that the inconsistency in thickness is the mark of an newbie and while it was really cute, it was best to strive for an even product. Rest assured, the thick and thin that you would buy from a reputable etsy seller would be consistently inconsistent. The poofy thick parts would be of equal fluff to one another and the skinnier parts would be equal to one another as well.
I settled on a gorgeous yarn from Hookaholic Handspun on Etsy and I am thrilled with their yarn and customer service. The thick is super thick, and the thin is still soft and not too tight, and the whole of the yarn is spun enough to avoid excessive and premature pilling which is the cost of using super giant yarn in some cases. I bought 10 skeins and was thrilled with how fast it worked up.
To crochet this baby, I used the largest plastic hook I have on hand, the lovely S. To work with yarn that is very thick and thin, you will have to probably experiment a bit with a hook size to achieve the look you want. I was hoping for a bit more open look, that wouldn’t look too “crocheted” and more of a weave appearance, in order to mimic the obscenely overpriced throw mentioned above.
You can download the pattern that I made up here and rest assured; it is a very simple pattern and I use only 2 stitches total. I wrote the pattern in plain ol’ English so if you don’t read patterns, you can still understand how I created the throw.
Get your plain English, step-by step pattern here!
Because of the heft of thick parts of the yarn, I didn’t want to use a stitch that would add bulk, like a popcorn stitch. I used a single crochet to create nice, short stitches, an easy hand (that means not pulling the yarn tight, but keeping it nice and loose), and I found that by skipping every other stitch (one of my fave techniques for giant yarn) I was able to pretty closely model my throw after the woven one.
Working with this yarn was so enjoyable and the result of using a thick and thin is like a fun surprise; it is an unusual look and the results can vary wildly depending on hook size and stitch used. It also was SO warm and was my favorite afternoon project to work on while my kids napped.
To make your own, you will need a large quantity (10+ skeins) of yarn. I found it most helpful to ask the seller specifically how much yarn I might need for a project and a good seller can help you figure that out. Most of the sights I shopped for yarn had info for knitting specifically. Remember that crochet takes a bit more yarn than knitting does, but is a faster method. If you are a buying several skeins, don’t be shy about asking if there’s a coupon code for a bulk purchase.
Once you are in possession of some gorgeous fiber, follow this clear, step by step pattern
OR wing it. Because it works up so quickly, you can see in short order if your plan will look the way you’d like it to or not.
Joining: I joined by matching up the new tail and the old tail at their thinnest spot and making an overhand knot and incorporating the tails into the stitches as I went. I found that to disappear the best. The thick ended up next to some thin and it worked out nicely.
A similar but equally fun project that I worked on in the giant yarn realm was my felted wool basket using yarn from Love Fest Fibers. I used one ball of their tough love yarn and my fingers to crochet this adorable, sturdy basket. I made the pink one for myself, and then a red one for a housewarming gift for a good friend.
I typed up the step by step instructions for the basket in a free, easy to follow guide just for you, Wildflower! Download the PDF here!
If you want to learn how to sew, check out the courses HERE!
There you have it, Wildflowers! It turned out beautifully, I think. What fun yarn projects are you working on?