my big reader's wrap

The Oregon Coast is chilly in winter (and much of the rest of the year), and I wanted to knit something I could snuggle up in rather than turning the heat up, up, up. A wrap seemed good. And I wanted pockets too, because they're useful, and because women have historically been deprived of pockets. True story. Look it up.

Most of the time I knit really simple things that can be made without continually reading a pattern. If I could read and knit, I'd read a book, not a pattern. So much more interesting, right? So far, I haven't figured out how to do that, except to listen to audio books, which are not the same kind of fun as hearing my own little voices in my head, you know? When I have to choose, read or knit, knitting usually wins.

So wandering around Google Images, Pinterest, and Ravelry for something like a "shawl with pockets," I came across a lot of patterns for Reader's Wraps. This was a great idea I'd never heard of. All I wanted were dimensions for a finished wrap, but of course everyone wanted to share a pattern with me. I didn't want one, not even a free one. So sticks in hand, I set out on my own.

The resulting wrap, which took me a couple of weeks to knit, because I usually have 3 or 4 projects in the works at any given time, is bigger than most of the ones I saw in pictures. I like it that way.  Some of the patterns I saw were really just wide scarves. When it's chilly, I want my arms covered. And my back too, for that matter. I'm pretty pleased with what I came up with. And I'm also pleased that it was a project I could work on without having to pay much attention. Just knit, knit, knit. So easy.

The dimensions of my Big Reader's Wrap are about 6 feet long by 25 inches wide. I used two strands of worsted weight yarn together, and size 13 needles. More specifically, I used the super inexpensive Pound Of Love yarn from Lion Brand, in Oxford Gray. I used up two whole giant skeins of yarn, which are just over 1,000 yards each. That's a lot of yarn, which is why I'm glad I used the cheap stuff for this experiment. Fancy yarn would be wonderful, but 2,000 yards of anything other than acrylic might mean having to choose between knitting and eating for a couple of weeks.

Actually, because I made the wrap a lot wider than most, I even needed a little extra yarn to get the length I wanted, plus the pockets. I think I could have made it just a teensy bit narrower and it all would have come out even. Now I have a ton of leftover yarn, which needs another project. It's OK. Too much yarn is something I can deal with.

To make my wrap, I cast on 74 stitches, and did a few inches of ribbing (2 knit, 2 purl). Then I took off across a vast expanse of lovely, mindless (or mindful, if you want to call it knitting meditation) garter stitch. The edges are a little bit special, and I like them a lot. I just did a simple 2 stitch i-cord edging as I went along. (There are lots of videos online to show you how to do this.) When I had the length I liked, I did more ribbing on the other end, and finished it off.

I made the pockets on size 10 needles, so they're a denser, sturdier fabric than the rest of the wrap. I sewed them on a little bit too high... but I'm not going to undo them. This big warm beast is finished.

If I do another one, I'll make a couple of small changes, like reducing the width by a few stitches, putting the pockets in the right place (sheesh), and continuing the i-cord along the edges of the ribbed sections too. Otherwise, it's pretty perfect, and just what I was wishing for.

Want one? I bet you can make it yourself. If you really don't want to, I might make one for you. Yes, I'll charge you. The going rate right now is $150 plus the cost of the yarn, so if you want cashmere, I'm on board, but you're going to spend considerably more than if we go with acrylic.

Now when I want to sit and read (or knit and not read), I have the perfect wrap to toss on. So far I've only worn it at home, but you know, I think it's actually stylish enough to go out in public, or at least as far as the mail box. Best of all, it's warm, and I'm warm. Success! (unlike last week...)


  1. Absolutely gorgeous. I'd wear it out the entire winter season.

    Doesn't it seem like good things usually come after failures? Creativity flows after an ego reset.

  2. Thank you, Carol! Ego reset for sure. Always a good thing! xo

  3. This is my favorite type of project !! No intricate patterns please ! I will have to give this one a go. Thanks for sharing

  4. Hey Anne and Denise! If you make one of these, I'd love a picture!


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