I had seen so many gorgeous photos of those huge, squishy, unbelievably chunky knit blankets all over the internet and I finally have one all to myself, thanks to the team at Ohhio for sending me an Ohhio Braid Blanket DIY Kit for review. I received free product for this post, and all opinions and photos are 100% my own.
I’m sure you’ve all seen the same photos and videos of chunky blankets made from roving wool. I’ve even done some extreme knitting with Loops and Threads Biggie Yarn a while back. What I learned is that roving wool, unless it’s well-felted, will pull and snag and generally not be the best blanket to have around kids.
And then, I saw Ohhio Braid. Thanks to the team at Ohhio, I was able to try out their Braid yarn as part of the Ohhio Braid Blanket DIY Kit. This yarn, gosh, if you can even call it that, is a large cotton tube filled with what the website calls hollowfiber. It feels like a dense roll of the polyfill you use in amigurumi, but not quite as dense as quilt batting. The cotton tube itself is over 1 inch in diameter!
The best part about Ohhio Braid, and the characteristic that stands out the most, is obviously the cotton exterior. Unlike wool, the fabric won’t pull apart or snag easily, which makes it perfect for the rough handling it’ll encounter in our home. Plus, I love the cool feel of the yarn, as I am always a sucker for the “cool side of the pillow” and am always a fan of cotton and cool-touch yarns.
I tested the Medium size blanket kit. First, the box that arrived at my door was … HUGE. Really, those photos do not do it justice. A “skein” of this yarn is like a small barrel. The Medium blanket kit came with a 1.5 skeins in this ginormous box, shipped from Ukraine, so please be aware of shipping and customs costs when you purchase. I had picked the light grey color and it’s such a cool, sophisticated color. Add that white ribbon to it, and the packaging was just simply beautiful.
The yarn comes with open ends, so you can see the hollowfiber inside. However, the fiber is dense enough that it doesn’t fall out, even after I started and frogged the blanket a few times. There are instructions in the diy blanket kit to not pull on the yarn, which I found strange, until I did it (of course) and found that once you loosen the fiber inside, the tube starts losing its structure. Then when you knit it, you’ll end up with these “empty” spots in the yarn where the fiber has clumped elsewhere. So pay attention – do not pull the yarn! As long as you work the yarn gently, nothing clumps, and every stitch is plump and squishy.
This was also my first time arm knitting, so I was eager to check out their instructions and give it a try. I found the instruction booklet sturdy and beautifully made. It’s even used as a measuring device – how cool! The booklet doesn’t have written instructions for the arm knitting part, and just shows photos, which I found to be sufficient to start. However, as I got into the 2nd and 3rd rows, the photos got a bit confusing, and I thought my stitches looked twisted. Plus, I found it difficult to continue holding all these huge stitches on my arms, and it made me manipulate the yarn more and loosen the fibers inside. I think it may be feasible to arm knit a Small size blanket, but the Medium had too many stitches for it to be comfortable. I also have fairly long arms, so that’s something to keep in mind.
But, there’s a super easy fix, which I thought was the best part of this whole adventure. By poring over the instructional photos, and checking my stitches, which were clearer than day at this size, I was really able to understand the anatomy of a knit stitch, and how the yarn is looped to created the signature ‘v’ look. I ended up knitting the blanket flat on my bed, pulling each loop up through the previous loop, row after row. I used the instructions to start my cast-on, for sewing and attaching the two skeins, casting off and tucking the yarn in at the end. Otherwise, the actual knitting part was done flat and laid out.
My final blanket is approximately 4 feet by 5 feet. I modified the original number of cast-on stitches a bit after I frogged it a few times to make it wider, and that’s just personal preference. The blanket curls a bit on the edges as it expected of stockinette stitches, but overall, it’s pure squishy heaven. It’s a bit weighty, which is not surprising at all, but not so big or heavy that it’s unmanageable.
It was immediately put to use on our bed, jumped on by the kids, and confiscated by the husband. Because of the cotton material, the blanket handled all of that use with ease, and there were no flurries of wool, or bits of blanket stuck to zippers or fingernails. In the few weeks since I’ve had it, there has been no pilling, no shedding and no breakage.
I’m so grateful to the Ohhio team for letting me review this amazing product. At this particular price point, the Ohhio Braid Blanket DIY Kit is definitely more of a luxury item, but for the price, it’s infinitely more functional than an equivalent blanket made from unfelted roving wool. If you’re having chunky knit blanket envy and want to splurge a bit, this is it. This is the one that you’ll keep out to use, which is the point of it all, isn’t it?