Here's my personal hexipuff recipe. I consider this to be "the perfect puff."
What's a hexipuff? It's a motif used in making The Beekeeper's Quilt. There are a series of posts on my blog about adjusting the pattern to make hexipuffs of the same size from all different types of yarn. These are modifications - you'll still need to buy a copy of the official pattern to make the quilt.
I use 3.25mm needles (instead of the 3.50mm specified in the pattern) because I like the look better. This makes a 3" puff with a sock yarn of average fingering weight.
This recipe has been tested and works for:
Skinny Bugga! (formerly from the Sanguine Gryphon and now Cephalopod Yarns)
Gnomespun Yarn Phouka
Knit Picks Palette
The Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller
Zwerger Garn Opal Regenwald
Update 7/24/12: Into the Whirled Ulundi Sock
M1T: make one towards. Make a right-leaning half hitch, with the yarn tail coming out of the front (just as you would cast on a stitch during a backward loop cast-on). This is also known as m1R (make one right) by some knitters.
M1A: make one away. Make a left-leaning half hitch, with the yarn tail coming out of the back. This is also known as m1L (make one left) by some knitters.
ssk: slip the next stitch knitwise, slip the following stitch knitwise, knit these two stitches together through their back loops.
k2tog: knit the next two stitches together as one.
Here's how you do it...
Using the long tail cast on, cast on 22 stitches, alternating between front and back needles.
Start your first round by knitting into the last stitch cast on. Knit the rest of the round.
Increase Round A: Knit 1, M1T, knit to 1 stitch before end of first needle, M1A, knit 1. Repeat on second needle.
Increase Round B: Knit 1, knit 1 through the back loop, knit to end of first needle. Repeat on second needle.
Repeat Increase Rounds A & B again (30 stitches total).
Knit one round.
Repeat Increase Rounds A & B three more times (42 stitches total).
Decrease Round A: ssk, knit to 2 stitches before end of first needle, k2tog. Repeat on second needle.
Decrease Round B: knit all stitches.
Repeat Decrease Rounds A & B twice more (30 stitches total)
Knit one round.
Repeat Decrease Rounds A & B once more. (26 stitches total)
Repeat Decrease Round A only once more.
Stuff your puff.
Bind off in purl using a crochet three-needle bind off as follows: purl first stitch from the front & back needles together using a crochet hook. Repeat for second stitch. Pull loop from second stitch through loop from first stitch using crochet hook. One stitch from each needle bound off.
Repeat until 2 stitches remain on each needle. Purl these 4 stitches together as one, and pull that loop through the loop from the previous stitch to complete the bind off. Break yarn, pull tail through remaining loop. Use the crochet hook to tuck the tail inside the puff.
Ta-da! Puff perfection!