Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Release: End of the Day Ottoman

Have you ever considered knitting your own furniture?  I was peripherally aware of the "pouf" trend that was going on, mostly because one of my LYS owners was knitting one last fall.   Poufs have their place, kind of like the beanbag chair of yore.  But for my money, if something is going to be out in a living area of my house, I want it to look a little more tailored.  And I want it to be multi-functional.   A pouf can be fun for a little kid to lay in while watching tv, but it doesn't offer much support when you want to use it as a footstool.  I want to be able to pull it up as an extra seat when we have visitors.  I want to be able to sit on the floor and use it as a table for my laptop.  I want to be able to put a tray of drinks on it and know they won't tip over and spill.  

So with those things in mind, the "End of the Day Ottoman" was born!

 Since this is a big project, I wanted to keep it pretty simple.  And I wanted it to be portable for at least most of the time it is being knit.  That's why this is constructed in three pieces: a top, a bottom, and a long rectangle that wraps all around the sides.  Seaming is very simple - attaching each circle to the long side rectangle (each circle is 75" in circumference) took me less than an hour.  I include step-by-step instructions with accompanying photos to explain how to seam using a slip-stitch crochet chain, but if you're staunchly anti-crochet, a knit alternative is also provided.

Continuing with the theme of simplicity, the only stitch used is the knit stitch.  The stockinette circles are knit in the round and the garter stitch rectangle is knit flat.  (A lifted-leg increase is also used to create the circular pieces.)

Here's a close-up of the joining seam.  It gives the ottoman a nice, finished look where the pieces meet.

Nervous about what's inside the knitted fa├žade?  Don't be.  If you don't have an unnatural fear of packing tape, you can do this.  No tools are necessary - just the ability to tape stuff together and shove it into the shell of knit fabric.  The interior is based on this brilliant ottoman design that was posted on-line in a million different spots (so sorry - I don't know where the post originated, so I don't know how to credit the original poster.  I can, however, thank Kelly, who made me aware of the idea!)  Anyway, all the materials are readily available at your typical craft, home improvement & grocery stores, and you might be able to find some of them in your recycling bin or bucket of old rags!

This pattern was written for Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky for 3 main reasons:

1) It's a long-wearing workhorse yarn that can take some abuse and still look good.

2) Knit Picks currently offers this yarn in 25 different colors, so one of them is sure to match every decor.

3) It's economically priced.  For a project like this that uses 16-17 skeins of yarn, being able to buy each one for $5 makes this project within reach for many knitters.

Because my family is currently in the process of replacing furniture that has been shredded by cats who took an exceptionally long time to give up their habit of sharpening claws in inappropriate places, I recruited a friend to let me take pattern photos at her house.  She even modeled for me, even though we had just come back from ice skating.  Her kindness, and the fact that I couldn't possibly continue to keep every project that I knit without auditioning for "Hoarders", meant that the ottoman gets to live at her house now.  She said that as soon as her young daughters saw it, they backed it up to the wall, put pillows along the back of it and christened it their "reading chair".  I bet it's just the right size for them!

If you could use a new footstool, an extra seat for guests, a place to sit down in your bedroom or near a door when you want to put on socks or shoes, or a comfy new place for your cat to sleep, download the pattern and get started today!