Love knitting blankets but once I get to a certain length it’s very bulky and awkward, anyone use a certain tip or trick to keep it all together and tidy?
Just in time @Lalla posted a handy way to manage bulky projects.
"So here’s what I now do, and what has, I’m absolutely certain, been mentioned long since here, but there’s probably little harm in mentioning something useful again?
Find a small soft bag with a drawstring closure, like the sort of thing that travel hairdryers, or other such items come with. Shoe bags were, for my purposes, too big, though they might work for some projects? It helps if it’s a non-shiny surface, like the plastic ones that come with bathroom things such as electric toothbrushes, because the plastic ones are slippery.
Stuff (carefully!) the bit of the work that you are not working on into the bag, and draw the drawstring carefully closed over the whole mess-attracting lot of it! Tuck the little toggles on the closing cord into the top of the bag so you don’t have them to contend with. You need to be able to get at the stitches you are actually working on, of course, but there’s a whole lot you can get out of the way and into the bag. Non-slippery helps if you work on your lap, it saves the little bag skidding off all the time. And turning the whole thing after each row (or short row, in my case at the moment) is SO much easier with all that clutter tucked safely out of the way. "
From one of the most recent posts here:
You might need something rather larger than a hairdryer bag, Jennifer! Maybe you could add a drawstring to a pillowcase? Or perhaps there’s a laundry bag that might work? As a last resort, if you are a person who sews (“sewer” always sounds horrible, doesn’t it?!!) you could run something up - lots of little videos on YouTube to tell you how to make a drawstring bag. Hope all that helps, anyway. It’s absolutely transformed my life!!
Or if your blanket gets really huge, what about co-opting a shopping wheelie bag? Then it could follow you around??! I’m serious! You can get fabric-y ones that you can squash down to the height you want?? Or what about a pet carrier, if you just happen to have a pet? I am a great re-purpose-er as you can tell! I love using things meant for something quite else to solve problems when I’m knitting or quilting - IKEA is a great source of peculiar inspiration, for things like bread board racks for storing quilting rulers in (way cheaper than those made for the actual purpose); a tissue-storage box might work for putting in knitting in progress? Maybe a bit bulky? I love thinking outside the bulky box!
Here are a few ideas to try
Keep the opposite end of the blanket you are working on tucked into your tote bag.
Set up a TV tray in front of u and drape the long end over it. This will also keep it off the floor.
Put the long end next to u on the couch.
I have knitted 4 blankets in the last 15 months, so I’ve had good experience with this. I tried putting the blanket into a very large pillowcase - made for a body-pillow. That was OK, but the constant rubbing of the blanket against the pillowcase (even though I didn’t move it a lot) made the blanket fuzzy. It looked used & worn before it was even finished. The stitch definition of the cotton yarn was lost because it was so fuzzy. It wasn’t good.
So I developed a new technique. Before starting a new row, fold the blanket in half vertically. Then in half again, so the whole bottom end is nicely folded in quarters. Then I neatly lay the folded blanket next to me on my right side, and let it just stay there. Then knit a row. You might need to adjust how much is folded, so you have plenty of slack to knit comfortably. At the end of the row, the work will get slightly twisted when you switch your needles around to start a new row. Just leave it twisted and keep knitting. When you get to the end of the 2nd row, it will look pretty twisted up, but all you need to do is pick up the folded blanket & turn it over. The whole piece will magically untwist, and it will be just as neat as when you started the 1st row. Just make sure you turn it in the correct direction.
This has worked very well for me when knitting very large blankets. It does not get fuzzy or worn-looking, since the bottom end of the blanket STAYS folded, and only gets flipped over every other row.
Ive been knitting afghans for years and never thought of that!! So you fold in half, putting the 2 side edges together. Then you fold that in half by bringing the bottom up towards the top???
THANKS. let me know if i’ve got it right!!
Almost! If it’s a smaller blanket, you can just fold in half vertically once. If it’s a big, queen size blanket fold it vertically twice, so that the whole bottom end is folded in quarters. Now this folded part can STAY folded, nice and neat, until the blanket is finished.
Then you can fold it UP in an accordian fashion, so it stays in a smaller, convenient “package”. As the blanket gets longer, you will refold it ‘up & down’ to keep the size convenient, but you don’t need to re-fold the vertical quarterly fold.
At the end of your knitting day, make your last row an “untwist” row. Then fold your circular needles in half or quarters, so that the ENTIRE blanket is now folded in quarters vertically. Now you can fold the quartered blanket “accordian-style”, into a convenient size, say 12" to 18" long. The whole thing should be a nice rectangular package that can be easily moved. This also keeps the blanket from getting ANY wrinkles.
I hope that helps. It’s harder to describe than it is to do. If you need more clarification, let me know!
I accordion-pleat the bottom of a large project and then hold the pleats in place with the long stitch-holder (like big safety pins). Might help with the method Jahneen mentions, too. Re-fold and pin again as needed.
Here is my 2 cents worth. I immediately thought of draping it up & over a quilt frame - like the oval ones. To keep the weight from dragging it to the floor. Something that would hold it but you can bring it up like a desk.
I freely admit I have never done it.