Oh, buttery-soft Billow, I’ve been waiting for you for ages.
I’ve had the prototype skein of Billow on my desk for months, and it’s easily the most-petted yarn sample in my office. It’s soft yet sturdy, knits up quickly, and makes you look like The Fanciest Knitter in the World when all you’re actually doing is miles of stockinette.
This line is a completely new concept for Knit Picks – the 8-ply thick-and-thin structure gives you a yarn that knits up into a slightly slubby, richly textured fabric. We wanted to show off that texture to best effect, and consequently Billow was a challenge regarding color selection. We wanted to come up with softly saturated colors that came together unexpectedly in a fresh palette, and we also were trying to include a good range of neutrals (both browns and greys) in order to make the line more versatile. It’s a great mix of colors, and they work together in surprising ways but can also stand on their own in solid-color projects.
The blanket that I made uses three skeins of Chocolate and two skeins each of Mongoose, Turmeric, Cornmeal, Natural, and Lichen. For each stripe, I simply knit in stockinette until I came to the end of the skein. I cast on about 200 stitches using size 10.5 needles, and my finished throw is about 6′ wide and 5′ long with stripes that are about 3.5″ wide.
I don’t say this often, but I’d describe this project as joyful – worry-free knitting, rich textures in my hands, bright colors surprising me at just the right intervals. The finished blanket feels decadent and plush, and I can’t wait to use it during my intense Netflix marathons (also known as “Oh no, they added The West Wing!).
If you’re planning a sweater or another project that needs a bit of structure, I’d recommend knitting Billow a little more tightly – for the way I knit, I would probably size down to size 9 needles and get about 3.5 stitches to the inch. My blanket, on size 10 needles, is about 3 stitches to the inch and the resulting fabric is soft and stretchy.