Monday, April 09, 2012

Puff Daddy

contributed by Shawn

Wow. That's what I thought when I spied the Puff Daddy ottoman by Anna & Heidi Pickles on Ravelry. These things are neato! Inspired by the pouf from Christien Meinderstsma Anna and Heidi came up with a DIY version, and were nice enough to have posted it as a free pattern. 
The original artist/designer seems to have created this object from one strand of an absolutely enormous yarn and there is a video showing the process that I found quite fascinating toward the end when the 'yarn' is going through the spinning process at the mill. 

When our first shipment of Brown Sheep Burly Spun yarn arrived at the shop I knew I was looking at the perfect yarn for a Puff of my very own! I calculated the yardage and took home 6 skeins of Burly Spun.  The puff is knitted using 3 strands of this yarn held together at the same time!  So I also invested in a pair of new Addi Turbo circular needles in size 19 US!

First chore: yarn winding.  One skein of the Burly Spun just barely fits onto the bobbin/spindle on my ball winder before I have to finish winding the skein by hand. I ended up winding the last skein by hand from my swift - it was just as fast as using the ball winder.

The knitting was super fast at this gauge! My puff was done in one day! (Ok, truth, it was my day off so I had more knitting time available than on a typical day.) This pattern is super easy - no shaping and no purling - it's simply one large garter stitch rectangle. 

I made a couple of key modifications - I used a provisional cast-on so that I could do a 3-needle bind off. Why? So that my seam would not be bulky! This slight modification also give me a more invisible join along the garter stitch fabric of my puff than if I had seamed two finished edges together.

When the rectangle is finished you thread yarn through the side stitches to gather the fabric together leaving the bottom edge open for stuffing.  I happened to have an old duvet so I balled this up and put it inside.  Unfortunately one old not-so-fluffy duvet was not enough stuffing for my puff.  So I went in search of another inexpensive comforter to put inside as stuffing. 
Needs more stuffing! This was when I only had stuffed the puff with one duvet!
My other modification was to pull the bottom stitches shut tightly and knot (instead of cut) the ends of my threaded yarn.  I just tucked all the loose yarn and the knot into the inside of the puff.  If I ever need to wash the puff, it is now really easy to take apart and clean.
The feline residents in our house are mortified by this thing and will not go near it. So much so, that the orange cat even hisses if we try to move the puff too close to his perch.  But the upside is that we humans will actually get to use the puff as a footstool! 
Ever since I brought the finished puff into the shop for its photo-shoot we've been considering large numbers of these urchin-like footstools and how fun they are! I wish I could make enough puffs to fill an entire kindergarten classroom - wouldn't it be neat to see a story-time if every student had their own puff? 
I can't wait to make a second puff in a much brighter color (I think Limeade). I think all of my friends are going to start asking for puffs. I thought about challenging as many of our customers as we can to make a puff and schedule a finished puff day.  Can you just see all of our customers carrying their finished puffs up from the back parking area and coming over to the shop all on one set date to have a puff knit-in?  It would be great!  Let's fill the entire front yard of the shop!

1 comment:

Joy said...

I love it! Was it very hard on the hands working with size 19 needles?