I want to talk a little bit about how NOT knitting to gauge can play in your favor
Most of the time you want to make a swatch and knit to gauge to ensure that the finished project is exactly the size of the finished project in the pattern. This is especially important when you work up a fitted garment.But what if you want to make it bigger deliberately?
The most simple way to do that is to use thicker wool and larger needles.
Goal: I have been intrigued by the "Tree of Life Afghan" by Nicky Epstein and when I decided to knit up a blanket for a friend, I thought that this was the perfect pattern (finished size 48"x 58"). The beautiful pattern, which looks almost like a painting, is created simply by knit and purl stitches and a few cables.
Problem: But almost 2,000 yards of Aran weight yarn on size US #8 needles?
I wanted something quicker to work up and squishier/ thicker for those cold nights she would use it.
Solution: Then I found the baby blanket version by the same designer : " Baby Tree of Life Throw"
which would make a 26"x34" blanket in worsted weight yarn on size US# 7 needles.
So, I decided on using Bulky Yarn on size US#11 needles and tweak the pattern a bit.
Right off the start I decided to knit a seed stitch border right in.
With a gauge of 11 sts and 4 rows to 4 inches, I calculated that I should cast on 20 additional sts for the border left and right for a total of 112 sts .
To lengthen the blanket I threw in a few additional seed stitch rows to get to a total of 212 rows.
The end result: A 41" wide to 53 " long throw knitted up fast and looking fabulous :)
I used 1122 yards of bulky weight yarn on size 11 needles :)
The blanket is ready to ship :)
Next time you knit a blanket or shawl, give it a try and go up ( or down) in yarn weight and needle size.