I have seen several of these puffy foot stools both on line and in stores. The ones I have seen in stores are expensive, not washable, and too squishy. The one I want needs to be dense enough to be used as a end table (capable of holding a desert plate and I know my kids will end up sitting on it) and washable (outer covering can be removed and washed).
Step 1: Materials:
- Large diameter knitting needles--I used size 13 US
- Yarn, color and texture of your choice, washable--I used some leftover yarn that my mother-in-law gave me. It is worsted weight. I used about 10 ounces of each color.
- Old pillowcase
- Stuffing--I have been saving my fabric scraps for a while and had close to a full pillowcase
- Shoe laces or other cord to tie up the ends of the pouf
- Large eye yarn needle
Step 2: Stuffing
I started with the stuffing so that I would know how big to knit the pouf. I packed all my scrap fabrics into an old pillow case. I tested the size by setting the filled bag in front of the chair where I plan to use it. I even tested sitting on it. Adjust the amount of stuffing to suit your needs.
The pillow case is just to make washing easier. To wash the covering, you will simply untie the draw string and pull all the stuffing out at once. If you do not have an old pillow case, you can sew an inner bag out of any piece of fabric.
Step 3: Knitting
Holding 3 strands of yarn together, cast on stitches. If you are using a thin yarn such as baby or sport weight, you may want to use 4 strands. If you have a chunky yarn, maybe only 2 strands will be necessary. Cast on 60 stitches. Knit in stockinette stitch until the piece is long enough to wrap all the way around the pouf. I measured my bag of stuffing--40 inches. Because of the large size needles, this will work up quickly.
I had a little problem with my stitches falling off the end of my needle. There were so many stitches that the little end cap on the needle was not big enough. To solve the problem, all I had to do was wrap a rubber band tightly around the end of the needle.
Step 4: Closing Up the Cover
Instead of binding off the stitches, I wove a row of stitches connecting the last row with the first row. This should leave you with a tube.
I cut a tail that was about 3 yards long--it always takes more yarn than it looks like it should. Thread the tail in a yarn needle. Then I sew/weave the tail creating a row of knitting that connects the needle stitches to the first row of knitting. This makes it almost impossible to see where the knitting started--at least from the outside of the tube.
Step 5: Finishing Touches
To close up the ends (top and bottom of the pouf), you will need some sort of cord. You can use a length of any strong cord or string. I have a lot of shoelaces; some of which are too short for most of our shoes. The little plastic things on the ends of the shoelaces make lacing through the knitting easy. Use what you have handy.
First End (will be the top when finished): Lace through every other loop and pull tight when you get back to where you started. Tie in a tight knot. Push the ends of your cord into the inside of the pouf.
Fill with the pillowcase full of stuffing.
Bottom: Lace the second piece of cording through every other loop of the knitting. Pull the cord tight and tie in a bow. If you have children who like to untie things, you might want to tie it in a "double knot"--you know the ones you used to tie in kid shoes so that they were not coming untied every ten minutes. I know, kid shoes all have Velcro now but I can't be the only one who remembers.
Turn the pouf over so that the bow is on the bottom--unless you used some pretty ribbon or something and you want it on top.
If the pouf gets dirty or the stuffing needs to be adjusted, untie the bow and remove/refill the stuffing.