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Saturday
Oct022010

Whit's Knits: Pixie Dust Lap Blanket

This is a where-did-you-get-this?! kind of blanket. Big, loopy stitches; hand dyed, extraordinary color; and smatterings of sparkly "pixie dust" all conspire to make this no ordinary blanket.

The yarn comes from the incredibly creative yarn company, Knit Collage. We used their super funky Handspun Yarn to knit up the Fun Kid's Hat last spring, and now we're turning our attention to their more subdued (relatively speaking!) Pixie Dust yarn. A blend of wool and mohair, Pixie Dust is a handspun, ultra bulky yarn that really sparks the imagination. I'm transported right into the land of fairy tales. With this color (Lemon Meringue), I can't help but think of Rapunzel and "Let down your golden hair!".

You won't be the only one who thinks your new blanket is awfully cuddily. While I was making the Pixie Dust Lap Blanket, my cat Butterfly stalked my every move, waiting for the moment I would set down my needles so she could finally claim her rightful place deep inside the blanket's soft stitches. Now that the finished blanket is at Page's house her cat, Sylvy, has taken up right where Butterfly left off!

I can't think of an easier way to makeover a room than to whip up this show stopper. Provided you can wrest it from your cat, it may even keep you toasty warm all winter!

The Materials

  • 7 skeins of Knit Collage's Pixie Dust, a blend of Wool, Mohair and Pixie Sparkles. This color is "Lemon Meringue".
  • A US #36, 32 or 40 inch circular needle.

Other Ideas!

We also knit up the Pixie Dust Lap Blanket in a cool white "Snowflake" version. It's equally gorgeous!

Or try doubling up Knit Collage's Sister. Same size needles, same pattern, same textural adventure, a Sister Lap Blanket is a beautifully affordable 100% wool alternative. You'll only need five skeins (you could even get away with four if you don't mind losing a few inches!). Here's a swatch:

The Pattern

Gauge

1 stitch = approximately 1 inch in 1 x 1 rib

Finished Size

Approximately 26 inches wide by 56 inches long

Begin

Cast on 27 stitches.

Row 1: *K1, p1, repeat from * to last stitch, k1.

Row 2: *P1, k1, repeat from * to last stitch, p1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2  until you have used all 7 skeins minus about 4 yards (or until piece measures 56 inches).

Bind off in pattern and weave in the ends. (Little Tip: Rather than wresting this yarn through the eye of a tapestry needle, just use your hands to weave in the ends. It's easy - you'll see!)

Reader Comments (119)

gorgeous! But at 7 skeins at $35 a pop, I want it to have real pixie dust in it and make me 20 years younger. I surely wouldn't let my cat near it!
October 2, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergaile
So beautiful! What size needle did you use?
October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKelly K.
This is beautiful! Any suggestions on a substitution yarn that is a bit more affordable?
October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAnn
Beautiful, but that is a $245 blanket! Way out of my price range, even for a wedding gift, but the yarn looks gorgeous.
October 2, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMartha
I am a beginning knitter and looking for a simple project to make as holiday gift. Would this be a good one? It looks absolutely luscious.
October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKamila
I agree -it's gorgeous and I'd love to make one but I need a more affordable yarn.
October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNikki
If you're looking for a more affordable yarn at a similar gauge we recommend Magnum from Cascade. For this project you will need a total of 245 yards. You can find it right here:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/650-Cascade-Yarns-Magnum

Hope this helps!
The Purl Bee
October 3, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
What size needle? I wasn't sure if you meant a #36 size needle or 36 inch circular. Love the color!
October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBilli
Gorgeous! What are the final dimensions? Can you clarify the needle size?
October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAngela
Do you mean a #19 needle? That is the largest you seem to carry and I've never heard of a #36? Could you give the needle size in millimetres?
October 3, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpeanut
what size needle did you use?
October 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda
Hi people with needle questions. Whitney used a size 36 circular (32-inch length) for this blanket. It's really big, bigger than a 19. there was a mistake in how they were listed on our site, but they're back now!
You can find them at the bottom of this page:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/8
October 3, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hi, For the Cascade substitute yarn, do you use the same size 36 circular needle?
October 4, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpatrice
Size 36 needle for the magnum also? Gorgeous blanket.
October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrooke
Hi Brooke,
Yes size 36 needle for the Magnum too.
Enjoy!
October 4, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I second gaile's comment, which was hilarious. I think yall lost your minds a little on this one. When we get back to 1980 numbers I will be with you on 7 skeins at $35.00 a skein for a lap blanket.

However, HOWEVER, it did give me the idea to use less expensive yarns, mixed together to create the bulk to make a soft and fuzzy blanket. I have my own sparkles at home and can sprinkle them on it.
October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterFig
Hi Knitters!

This is Jen writing from the purlsoho.com warehouse - we sold out of many colors today on this yarn and also sold out of the US 36 needles but we are expecting another shipment of the yarn within about a week and half or so and more needles in about a week. If you'd like to be notified when it is in, you can email us at customerservice@purlsoho.com and I'll let you know!


Jen
October 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterjen
I think this is truly beautiful and can't wait for the yarn to arrive as i live in England (I'm spending the time in between dreaming of how it's going to feel). Thank you for more gorgeous inspiration. Yes, the yarn is pricey but i know it will be a feature in my house for years to come...
October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHelena
I don't knit, only crochet. BUT, the yarn's so gorgeous...I can't resist...can I use it for crocheting an afghan???? If possible, what size needle would I use?? Oh please oh please tell me it's possible to use in crochet.
October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlicia
Why a circular needle? Can I use regular needles that are very thick?
October 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterIda
Hi Ida,
You use a circular needle for the width of the blanket. You can cast on all of the stitches you need so no sewing up.

Hi Alicia,
Of course you can use this yarn for crochet. We recommend using one of those giant blue plastic hooks. (size Q?). We are out of them at the moment, but they'll be coming in again soon.
October 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Hey there. I've not heard of a needle size of US 36. Ravelry states a US 35 (19mm) and the next size up is a US 50 (25mm)
Any help here would be great. I picked up some of the cascade magnum.... a great option!! I'm excited to cast on!
I looked on your site, and did not see a US #36... could you specify yet again for me?
Thanks so much.
Such a lovely blanket!!
October 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterrebecca
Hi Rebecca,
A size 36 is 20mm (I'm sure a 19mm wouldn't make that much of a difference if you have that available). This project was really popular so we sold out of the size 36's temporarily, but we have more on the way! If you'd like us to email you when they are back in stock please let us know at the following link:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/contact
Thanks!
October 5, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
can anyone give a cheaper suggestion for the yarn? id really like to make the blanket this week.
October 9, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoxanne
If you're looking for a more affordable yarn at a similar gauge we recommend Magnum from Cascade. For this project you will need a total of 245 yards. You can find it right here:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/650-Cascade-Yarns-Magnum

Hope this helps!
The Purl Bee
October 10, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
thank you very much!
October 11, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRoxanne
Have I done the math correctly--if I wanted to make this blanket with the more affordable Magnum yarn, would I only need two skeins? $44 would be quite affordable! Anyone try for a yarn with a price point somewhere in between?

Those Q crochet hooks are great--you would finish the blanket in a flash! It might be too dense, though, since crochet uses more yarn than knitting.
October 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJR
Hi JR,
You might also want to check out Revelation from Lorna's Laces, it's a bit thinner than the PIxie Dust, but it's hand-dyed and has more variation in the weight than the Magnum. You can find the Revelation here:
http://www.purlsoho.com/purl/products/item/7179-Lornas-Laces-Revelation
October 15, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am loving the Pixie Dust yarn however what about all the fuzzies, anyway to control them?

Thanks,
Brenda
October 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda
I love this yarn - but have never used anything like it before. Do you block it and if so, what is the best method?
I was about half done with the blanket before I decided to start over - I would like mine to be less narrow.
Thanks,
Tracie
November 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterTracie Smith
How soft is this yarn?
November 24, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCali
If I use the Lorna's Lace Revelation would I still use 36 needles to get this look? Also how does the Revelation feel? Soft and cozy?
December 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterNicole
Hi Nicole,
Yes, use the size 36 needles. The yarn is very cozy and warm. It's quite soft for a 100% wool, put isn't plush like alpaca or cashmere.
Enjoy!
December 15, 2010 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
2 skeins of magnum yarn doesn't seem right for this project and how much (skeins) would be needed with the lorna's laces or am I missing something?
December 26, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterpam
Will you guys be restocking colors and quantities of this yarn anytime soon? I'd love to curl up with this, perfect January project!
January 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBlair
How many skeins do you need to make the blanket with the ozark yarn and would the same size needle do? I'm concerned that the blanket will be too long and narrow-more like a shawl? I have used magnum before and can't imagine 2 skeins making much of a throw? I'd really like to do this project but want to make sure all is right if I'm going to spend the money on luscious yarn
January 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPam
I just purchased 2 skeins (I really hope this is enough...?) of the Lorna's Laces Revelation in "Firefly". I ended up having to get the size 36 needles from another company since it is sold out here. I am very excited to start this project. I would have loved to get Pixie Dust, but I nearly had an aneurysm when I saw the quantity and price involved. Thank you, Purl Bee, for suggesting more affordable substitutes! I am a huge fan and hope to be able to stop by your store when I make a trip to NYC.
January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
Has anyone else that is using the Pixie Dust yarn had to deal with the fuzzies? any help for them?
January 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBrenda
Why circular needle? I have never used a circular needle to make a blanket. Will it end up making a long tube? Sorry if this is a silly question, I'm new to the knitting word
January 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaci
Hi Kaci-

For this project you are using a circular needle because it holds the wide width of the project better than straight needles, You will not be knitting in a circle, which as you noted, would produce a tube. You will simply be knitting back and forth and treating the circular needle like straight needles. Hope this helps.

Thank you for your comment- The Purl Bee
January 19, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I would love to make this blanket at the more affordable yarn price. But they only have one skein of the colour I want. Are they expecting more?
February 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
Dear Danielle-

Thanks for your comment. We ordered more Magnum today so we should be getting it in stock very soon.

Happy Knitting-

Molly
February 9, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
I am a begining knitter, is this something that will be do-able?
February 24, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy
I am ready to order some yarn to make this blanket but I'm trying to figure out how much I would need of the Lorna's Lace Revelation or the Cascade Magnum. I know the pattern calls for 250 yards but it just seems like 2 skieins of either won't amount to a blanket's worth of yarn, but am I missing something? Do you still use the size 36 needles for these substitute yarns? I'd love some insight before I order so I don't have to reorder more of whichever yarn I choose. MANY THANKS for all the beautiful patterns and for such an amazing website!
March 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNancy
Hi Nancy-

You are correct that you need 250 yards total of any yarn you decide to use. Because the yarn and needles are so big it goes further than you think. With that said, this blanket is a long rectangular shape, 26-inches wide by 56-inches long, perfect for a lap blanket. But if you want it larger you might want to get 500 yards total and cast on double the stitches for a finished blanket of 52-inches by 56-inches.

Thanks so much for your nice comment.

- The Purl Bee
March 15, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
If we use the revelation yarn, will the blanket not be as thick? I am making this as a gift and would love to use that light pink color. But in the picture it looks a lot thinner then the pixie dust and even the Magnum. So will my blanket end up being thinner with bigger holes if I use that yarn?
August 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterZoey
HI Zoey,

I agree that the Revelation wouldn't be as thick as the Pixie Dust and that it would be a much looser knit. One option is to use a smaller needle (like a US #17) and cast on some more stitches. You would still have a bulky blanket, just not quite as dramatically so. Another option is to add a worsted weight yarn to the Revelation and stick with the #36 needles. It may take a little experimentation to see what you like, but I'm sure you'll find a beautiful solution!

Thank you for your question!
Whitney
August 9, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
It's been a year since I saw this pattern and I'm revisiting it for a wedding gift. Has anyone tried making it in a closer-to-square throw blanket, rather than a super-long, narrow lap blanket? I'm wondering whether I could make two shorter blankets and mattress stitch them with any degree of invisibility...

The yarn, though pricey, is gorgeous and I may just have to order some for this heirloom gift. Purl Bee, you are so generous to give these lovely patterns and advice.
November 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJen
Hi Jen-

Thank you so much for your kind words and for your question. Rather than sewing two blankets together it might be easier to just cast on 55 stitches, which would yield a blanket with double the width. You might want to use a longer circular needle, either 47 or 60-inches would probably work. And you would want to get 14 skeins total.

Thanks again!

Molly
November 27, 2011 | Registered Commenterpurl bee
Jen-

I am making this blanket now, and wanted to do the same thing-- that is, for it to be closer to square than narrow....and bigger. With that, I've tripled the pattern. I am also using the Cascade Magnum, paired with the Cascade Baby Alpaca, about 6 or 7 skeins of each. I'm 2 skeins in and it's amazing. The fibers I'm using don't have the uneven texture in the same way as the Pixie, but they are producing what will be a thick and cozy blanket.

Loving this blanket, glad to have come across the pattern and fibers!

Emily
December 3, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteremily

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