Hexipuffing Uncovered: the joy of Hex
Hexipuffing is the new knitting craze of stitching up tiny hexagonal 'puffs' to form fabulous things. Some Ravelry users have begun to refer to it as 'hexi-crack'. But just what is hexipuffing and why is it so addictive?
A month ago London-based, Birmingham-born Tina B posted this on Ravelry "My name is Tina and I am a Hexipuff Addict." The perfect person to ask. I tore her away from her handmade habit to find out more.
Explain hexipuffing in one snappy sentence.
Tiny hexagons of squishy puffy loveliness made to give you a big yarny hug.
Where did you find out about hexipuffing?
I first heard about it on the Posh Knitters board on Ravelry (yes Poshees, I am blaming you lot for this) and it's the first KAL (Knit Along) I have ever got involved with. Since losing a lot of weight I am loathe to make any full-sized garments for myself and this project is perfect. I don't lose my knitting mojo.
The great thing about this is that each puff uses such a tiny amount of yarn that it's brilliant for using up all those little bits of leftovers. I am trying to not buy any yarn for this project but 'stash bust' instead and let's face it my stash can do with it. So time to sort out other things that WOBLE (Wool Beyond Life Expectancy).
Do you know how hexipuffing began?
The pattern was created by tinyowlknits, otherwise known as Stephanie Dosen, a singer with the group Indigo Girls, and was published in July 2011. To date 1279 knitters have cast on and it is in 2536 queues on Ravelry - not bad for a pattern that is only two months old.
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Without distraction I can do a plain puff in 38 minutes, ish. Each puff is cast on as you would a toe up sock, which I had never done before, then worked in the round increasing and decreasing so you end up with a double-sided pocket to fill before closing it up.
What's so addictive about it?
There are so many reasons. Firstly the fact that there is so much variety that you can add to it. Whilst the pattern remains the same, the joy of puffing means that you can make them as complicated as you like - intarsia, cables, duplicate stitching, colourwork.
Also you get a little finished item every hour which is fab if you love the joy of casting on and off - the perfect instant gratification project.
It's true I am totally addicted to the point that I have even made teeny tiny hexis to use as stitch markers or possibly earrings. People are making and selling hexagon bags especially for the project; having swaps of mini skeins; there's a Facebook group, and numerous threads all over Ravelry. It really has taken off in a big big way as the world goes hexipuffing mad. It's taken me rather by surprise, to be honest, but I am indeed a hexi addict.
I hear you have been adopting people's hexi-orphans. What's all that about?
Whilst hexis are little puffs of instant gratification, the project does require a longer term commitment no matter what size of project you are doing. Again the joy of hexing is that you can make your blanket as big or as little as you want. It's not a taxing project but because you have essentially a finished article in its own right undoing and frogging each little puff seems such a waste.
So I have offered to take in any little orphans to add to my blanket of love. I've calculated that I need between 770 and 900 puffs, so any additions to my blanket are greatly appreciated, which is why I jumped at the chance to take them in. If you have started but not finished then I am more than happy to take more orphans in.
Do you knit hexipuffs in your dreams?
Not quite yet but I do wake up with ideas for charts for them, and can't wait for the day when I wake up under my squishy blanket.
I might but i have a cunning plan. I've been doing bits of colourwork on some of my puffs that symbolise areas of my life and things I enjoy and have plans for lots more, having been inspired by the quilts of Tracey Emin at the recent exhibition at the Haywood Gallery.
If I do get bored then my plan is to put them all together and create a wall hanging about my life that I can take down and add more as I go along, seeing as there are things like Christmas knitting that I know will get in the way of my little puffs.
And how many hexis have you knit to date?
Eighty-six normal ones, two little ones and one big one.
What's your ulitmate hexi-amibition?
To create a HUGE squishy blanket of redness that will see me into my old age, which is rapidly approaching, however long that may take. If you had asked me four years ago when I first cast on my first stitch that it would play such an important part of my life I would have laughed in your face but look at me, hooked - well needled - beyond belief.
Then again I would have done the same if you had said to me you will one day be interviewed for a fabulous craft website about it too.
Long may the hexi reign!
Wanna start hexipuffing right now? Find tinyowlknits' addictive pattern for the Beekeeper's Quilt here. And there even a movie:
[Images via Tina B and tinyowlknits]