6 cozy, chunky knit home decor items you can DIY (with free patterns!)

December 2 2015 | the_kellbot
Photo by Sylvia McFadden
Photo by Sylvia McFadden

If you've taken a stroll through any trendy home goods store lately you may have noticed that big chunky knits (and crochet!) are having a moment. And who could blame them? Cozy soft blankets and pillows are the perfect items to fend off winter.

For those of us who like to knit or crochet for fun this is great news, since chunky yarns knit up really fast and there are hundreds of yarns and colors to choose from. It's a great excuse to learn something new. Whether you've never touched needles before, or you're looking to try out a tricky technique, here are six free patterns for chunky knit home goods…

Patterns:

Quadrat throw

Photo by Knit Picks
Photo by Knit Picks

This pattern uses basic knit and purl stitches, plus a few increase and decrease stitches. I like patterns like this because they're interesting enough to keep you from getting bored but not so challenging you'll be cursing the whole way. Get the pattern on the Knit Picks website.

A blanket for seriously cold people

Photo by Sylvia McFadden
Photo by Sylvia McFadden

This monster blanket is knit in super bulky yarn and uses just two basic stitches, knit and purl. The great thing about this design is it's super easy to make it bigger, smaller, chunkier, or daintier to suit your preferences. The pattern is available as a free PDF from Ravelry (you'll need an account but it's free to sign up).

Puff Daddy Ottoman

Photo by GreenCamijo
Photo by GreenCamijo

You can knit your own furniture! I have visions of knitting tons of these and having my living room be a magical land of brightly colored bulbous seating. The pattern is also dead simple — it uses garter stitch, so it's just knit knit knit all the way without purling. Cheap duvets are used to stuff the puffs so if you're looking for an excuse to replace your sad deflated duvet and recycle the old one, you're welcome. Find the pattern on Pickles.

Baskets!

Photo by Elizabeth Pardue
Photo by Elizabeth Pardue
Photo by Lily Sugar'n Cream and Bernat Design Studio
Photo by Lily Sugar'n Cream and Bernat Design Studio

If you need more baskets for your baskets moments, make your own! Round, rectangular, big, small, whatever you want. These guys are crochet, rather than knit, as crochet fabric tends to have a more stable structure than knits. Cotton yarns are excellent for baskets, and you may want to work in a slightly smaller gauge than the yarn usually calls for in order to get a nice tight fabric. Baskets can also be lined with cardboard or plastic canvas to give them a little more structure. Find the pattern for the round basket on Crochet in Color and the rectangular one can be found on Yarnspirations.

Twisted Taffy pillow and throw

Photo by Coats & Clark
Photo by Coats & Clark

Break out your cable knitting skills with this super-chunky throw and pillow combo. If you've never tried cables before this is a great first cable pattern, the large stitches make it easier to manipulate the fabric. You could also make it into a bedspread by making it larger, or make a super sized throw by following the pattern as-is in a thicker yarn. Choose a lighter color yarn for this pattern, as cables tend to get lost in dark or busy colors. You can find the pattern on the Red Heart website.

Cactus

Finally, a plant I can't kill. Free pattern!
Photo by Aggatho

If you're someone who lives in an area where it doesn't get very cold, or where it's currently summer, consider cuddling up with this super cute cactus instead. It's the perfect plant for notorious black thumbs like myself. That's right, I killed a cactus. Rather than subject more innocent plants to my poor gardening skills, I think I'll fill my pots with these guys instead. You can find the pattern on Mary J Handmade. (Note: the website is in Italian but both Italian and English versions of the pattern are available.)

Tips and Tricks:

Want to try out some of these patterns but feeling intimidated?

If you're totally new to knitting check out some basic tutorials on casting on, knitting, and purling.

When it comes to deciding what to use…

You can either use a super chunky yarn like Lion Brand Thick and Quick or hold multiple strands of your favorite yarn together to get a similar thickness. If you want really clear stitch definition look for single-ply chunky yarns like Bernat Roving or Cascade Yarns Magnum. To go REALLY big you can try arm knitting knitting with actual roving (unspun fiber), available at specialty fiber shops.

If you can't find a pattern that's quite what you had in mind, make your own!

Find a stitch pattern you like, cast on about 30 stitches, and knit a 4" long sample (called a swatch). Use thinner yarns / fewer strands for a more delicate look, or thicker yarns / more strands if you want to go super chunky. You can use this swatch to calculate how many stitches you'd need to make a throw, pillow cover, etc.

What are your favorite chunky knit patters or home goods?

  1. So this is exciting! And is inspiring me to go back to knitting, but I've run into a mild snag. I learned to knit when living in Germany, and the approach is slightly different, sometimes that means anything beyond knit or pearl loses me. do you have ideas for links that may have tutorials for some of the other stitches?

    • If you learned in Germany you probably learned to knit "continental style," sometimes called "left handed" as opposed to English style which is what most folks in the US learn. The instructions are actually all the same in the end, it's just a different approach to how you hold and manipulate the yarn. If there's a particular instruction you're having trouble with, like k2tog (which stands for "knit two together") you can try googling for a continental demonstration of the technique (i.e. "k2tog continental"). You can find videos for most techniques in either style, you just have to know what to look for.

      1 agrees
      • Be careful however about searching on "left-handed" knitting because the more common usage for that term is to mean either English or continental knitting for somebody who is left-handed. ( So everything is switched between the two hands : the cast-on stitches are held in the right hand needle and new stitches appear on the left hand needle. )

        I've also heard English referred to as "throwing" and continental as "picking" but again I wouldn't use those terms in search engines.

    • I knit both English and continental. My grandmother taught me to knit English and then I taught myself to knit continental. Although there is a lot on YouTube out there for continental knitting, I do find myself sometimes in the position of "translating" from English to continental. Also I find that although continental is faster you have better control with English. I encourage you to learn both!

  2. Thanks Kelbot for this great post! My holiday roster is already full but I can't resist that cactus! Are you on ravelry?

  3. Aw, that cactus is so cute! And I love that ottoman. I've been resisting learning to knit, but this post is really tempting me to try it! I, too, love the dream of living in a house filled with brightly colored furniture balls.

    1 agrees
  4. Does anyone flick knit? It is the only way I can do it, and if you are having difficulties with the other ways, this might be the way to go. The monster blanket is a fast knit (despite its size) as are the poufs.

    • I've never heard of the term before but looking at videos on YouTube it kinda looks like how the Yarn Harlot ( Stephanie Pearl McPhee ) knits. She calls it Irish Cottage knitting.

  5. I am so excited to see knitting on Offbeat Home!

    It's not a free pattern ($5.50 on Ravelry), but the Beekeeper's Quilt is amazing. It's been in my queue for years – perfect to use up all those odds and ends of sock yarn. I'd also like to learn to crochet, just so I can make a big granny square blanket.

    I knit continental, but took a class at my local yarn shop on two-handed color knitting and learned English as well. I only use it when I'm doing colorwork, as it's much slower for me.

    Current pattern: INSULATE. You're welcome.

    1 agrees

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