There was a lot of interest in the textured throw from my last post, so today I'm here with more details! I ended up having a bit of extra time over the holiday to work up a pattern for it, which is now available. In a classic color, I think it makes a great addition to any living room, although in my case it's been acting as extra bedding during this wonderfully cold weather we are having.
Umaro combines a little bit of everything -- cables, lace, and knit-purl patterns -- to create a veritable symphony of texture. The throw is made using super-bulky yarn, which helps amp up the stitch architecture nicely.
I recommend a nice round yarn that has great stitch-definition for best results. I knit mine with Cascade Lana Grande on size 15 needles -- talk about instant gratification! Lana Grande is a super bulky 3-ply wool with a very round shape as a result of its plying structure. I think it was a good fit for the textured fabric.
The pattern is written for finished measurements of approximately 48" x 57" after blocking -- a nice size for a generous one-person throw, or even a top blanket for a full or queen-size bed. Instructions are included in the pattern for simple adjustments to make a larger size, as needed.
A conscientious blocking job is the key to making this throw look its best. (I sound like a broken record with all my blocking talk month-in and month-out, but it really is the Knitter's ace-in-the-hole!) Because of its large size, wet-blocking is not completely reasonable (although it is possible for the adventurous among you!) -- I took this beast down with a good steamer and a lot of T-Pins. Beginning with a gentle steam over the entire piece to relax it, I then pinned it out so that the fabric was slightly stretched and laid flat. When using pins on straight edges you have to take care to keep your edges very clean and orderly so as not to create unwanted scallops or points in the finished piece. In general I use blocking wires for this type of job, but with such a heavy yarn and light blocking wires it wasn't a good match, so the T-Pin route was adopted!
After pinning, you'll want to give the fabric a very slow and generous steam to get moisture into all parts. After this is complete, let the blanket air dry before unpinning. The blocked fabric will have better movement, drape and overall behavior than its previously unblocked self.