There’s a lot to love about giant yarn. It’s super cozy, knits up really fast and has to-die-for texture. So when Anja Johnson from Peony & Thyme wanted to show us how to use it to make a throw pillow, we were quick to jump on board. Watch her video below to get the gist of this tutorial, then use the directions to break down the project step-by-step.
The 411 On Giant Yarn
For this super-sized material, you just knit on your fingers. That means there's no consistent needle size to guide your stitches, so you may end up with some variation while you're getting the hang of it. And that, of course, can greatly affect the overall dimensions of the finished project.
The good news is, you don't have to worry. This project magically comes together with just a few rows of stitches. Meaning if you get to the end and you’re not happy, you can simply unravel it and try again. Amazing, right?
Giant Yarn Throw Pillow
What You Need
- 2 pounds giant yarn
- 16-inch pillow insert
- 15-inch piece of sturdy yarn, in a similar color to your project
Stitch Size Definitions
For small stitches, three fingers should fit inside the stitch. For regular stitches, you’ll want four fingers to fit inside the stitch.
Cast On and Join In the Round
Measure 7 ½ feet into your giant yarn and tie a slip knot. To do this, simply twist the yarn to make a small loop, reach through the loop to grab the yarn, pull through, and snug down to create a secure loop that's 3-fingers wide. This slip knot is your first cast-on stitch!
Next, you’ll need to cast on 12 additional small stitches using the long tail method, which is essentially just creating a series of slip knots. Start by making a small loop with the 7 ½ foot tail you measured out, then pull the live yarn (the yarn connected to your skein) up through, and snug down to create another 3-finger loop. Continue until you have a total of 13 cast-on stitches.
Make sure your row of cast-on stitches isn’t twisted!
At this point, it helps to temporarily pull part of the yarn tail through the final stitch you just cast on, so it doesn’t fall out while you're knitting your first round. Once you make it around to that stitch on your first round of knitting, you'll pull the tail out and just knit like normal.
Once your cast-on stitches are all ready to go, it's time to join your knitting in the round by drawing the live yarn through the very first cast-on stitch and snugging it around your three fingers. You've now created the first stitch of your first round of knitting! See how joining in the round pulls your project into a little circle?
Knit Your Rounds
Continue drawing the live yarn through the loops and snugging it around your fingers to knit two rounds of small stitches (three fingers wide). Then knit six rounds of regular size stitches (four fingers wide).
Now turn your work over and weave the yarn tail through every other loop from your cast on stitches. Gently pull tight to close the opening, and pop the tail down into the inside of the project. Turn the work back over so you’re looking at the inside of the project. Pass the yarn tail through one of the cast on stitches and tie a secure knot.
Add Your Insert
Place your 16-inch pillow insert on the inside of your work.
Now knit two or three rounds of small stitches up around the pillow insert. Since we’re using our hands instead of a specific size of knitting needles, the pattern is variable. When you get to this point, just use your judgment to determine if you can comfortably close your work with just two rounds, or if you need a third.
Finish It Up
When you're ready, cut your yarn (leave plenty of length!), pass the end of your yarn through your stitches and gently pull your work closed. Pass the end of the yarn through one of the last stitch loops and tie a knot to secure. Tuck the rest of the yarn into the inside of your project.
Finally, take the 15-inch piece of sturdy yarn and loop it through the final stitches. Pull them tightly closed and tie a secure double knot. (This yarn will be tougher than your giant yarn and will be able to take this pressure better.) Tuck the ends of this yarn inside the project, too.
Now pop that gorgeous pillow on your couch and settle in for some serious cozy time.