Nothing says Christmas more than being curled up on the sofa, at home with your friends and family. We can picture it now – twinkly lights on the mantelpiece, beautifully wrapped gifts waiting under the tree, your festive favourite on the TV and an abundance of chocolate within easy reach.
There’s only one thing that can make it all even cosier – a gorgeous hand-made Merino wool blanket to keep you warm and snug.
The magic of Merino
Not heard about Merino wool? Merino sheep are reared in particularly harsh conditions, but they’re able to thrive thanks to a dense coat of wool which keeps them warm and well insulated. It’s completely natural, biodegradable and breathable.
This type of wool is incredibly soft, easy to care for and it reacts to changes in your body temperature, keeping you warm in winter and cool in summer. If you’d like to know more about the benefits of Merino wool, take a look at the information from the global authority on wool, Woolmark.
We’ve partnered with Kelly from House of Merino to learn all about this special type of wool and how, in a few simple steps, you can transform it into a beautiful, cosy throw for your sofa.
No knitting needles required
The first step is to prepare your wool. You’ll need a large ball of chunky Merino wool in your chosen shade. We’re using a 2kg ball which will make a small throw. To get the wool ready to be knitted, it’s a good idea to unravel the whole ball, taking the strands through your hands to smooth the wool and remove any strays. Kelly recommends doing this at least four times to make sure the wool is silky smooth and ready for the next step.
Getting started is always the trickiest part. Using your hands, you need to create a slip knot with the wool. Make sure your slip knot isn’t too tight – you need to be able to fit your whole hand through the hole. Leave a tail that can be woven into the blanket when complete.
Create a chain of stitches by reaching through the hole you’ve created, picking up the long strand of wool and pulling a loop through. Repeat from this loop, moving from left to right and making sure to keep all stitches evenly sized. The looser these loops, the looser the knit of your overall blanket will be.
When you’ve created a chain of 10 loops, your first row is complete! Add more stitches if you want to create a wider/bigger blanket. To move onto the next row, pull your final stitch through, creating a turning loop that is almost double the size of the previous loops.
Moving from right to left, starting with the stitch next to the turning stitch loop you have created at the end of row 1, reach through, pick up the long strand of wool and pull it through to create a loop in the same way you created the first chain of stitches. Continue until you have completed the second row. At the end, create a larger turning stitch loop in the same way you did in step 4.
Moving from left to right, starting with the stitch next to the turning stitch loop you have created at the end of row 2, repeat until you reach the end of the row. Continue to repeat, building up the rows until your blanket is the desired size.
To create the final row you need to ‘cast off’. To do this, instead of going into each individual stitch, you need to combine the stitches. Starting with the turning loop, pick up the stitch next to it and pull the wool through both stitches. Continue along the row, combining adjacent stitches until you reach the end.
Pull through the remaining wool and tighten to create a knot. Trim the tail until it is just long enough to weave into the back of the blanket. Find the tail from the slip knot and weave this into the other end of the blanket. Use a needle and thread to stitch the tails into place.
Watch the video
Ready to get started? Watch our video of Kelly in action and see how quick and easy it is to make this cosy little blanket. When you’re done, why not share a photo of your Christmas crafting with us over on Instagram?