We’ve all came across the term knitting and know about its basics. Though we imagine it’s often considered a hobby only suitable for women of a certain age (rocking chair required), knitting is now experiencing a rejuvenation of sorts. Thanks to the aesthetically inspiring pinterest boards, many extreme knitting superstars who have their blogs and tutorials on various patterns of knitting, fashion-forward companies like Wool And The Gang and We Are Knitters etc, – millennials are discovering that knitting is totally cool.
And if you need more convincing of its utter coolness, consider the mind-blowing art of giant knitting. Yes, the concept is exactly what the name suggests. Knitting has been taken to another level altogether. Knitters have now taken up projects that are extremely big sized.
Anna Merinenko, the well-known extreme knitter from the Ukraine, says giant knitting is pretty much grandma’s knitting, only on steroids.
“I think this type of knitting has become more popular because it is quite unusual but in the same time very traditional technique,” Merinenko has mentioned.
The 27-year-old has been knitting since she was a child but only discovered — and fell in love with — giant knitting in the past few years. She now sells her handmade, over-the-top fashion and home decor creations via Etsy and says the demand for her pieces is sky high. She hopes to launch a Kickstarter campaign for her company in order to make her products, which are made out of giant merino wool, more widely available and more affordable.
Why has giant knitting gained so much popularity?
These knitting patterns utilize traditional knitting techniques, but the end result looks completely unlike anything you’ve seen before due to extreme knitting yarn and extreme knitting needles. Let’s dive deeper to explore what types of materials you need to participate in the trend.
Needles for Extreme Knitting:
So while the stitches might be the same, the tools are not. In fact, the actual knitting needles used for these huge creations could definitely be mistaken for baseball bats.
However, if you can’t get your hands on the unique over-sized needles used for these patterns, there’s no need to fret. People have used all sorts of materials to knit their giant creations, including PVC pipes, broomsticks, and even their own arms.
As Marie Segares from UndergroundCrafter.com explains, as long as you’re excited about a project and the materials fit into your budget, there should be nothing holding you back from tackling a giant knitting pattern.
Yarn for Extreme Knitting:
In order to create a larger-than-life design, it’s important to use a yarn with a hefty weight. Jumbo yarn is the ideal yarn weight for oversized knitting patterns. According to Erica from LionBrand in her article, “Big Stix, Big Knits,” “The recent influx of extra large knitting and crochet encouraged a necessary change to the yarn weight standards from the Craft Yarn Council (CYC). A “#7 Jumbo” category was added to accommodate the very thick yarns and roving.”
But jumbo yarn is still expensive and often hard to find.
Many shops do not carry jumbo yarn due to its sheer size. And when you do happen to come across some skeins, be prepared to shell out some serious cash as the rates go too high. And that’s just the supplies and doesn’t account for the time needed to make them. Just because extreme knitting uses large yarn, that doesn’t necessarily mean that these projects are quick.
Extreme knitting Patterns:
As the knitting has been taken to the next level, knitters are constantly coming up with new patterns with the giant knitting method.
Some of the examples of articles that have been made with these giant yarns are:
1. Knitted Wrist Warmer Pattern with Roving Yarn
2. Giant Yarn Plush Knit Bag
3. Extreme Knitted Blanket.
4. Adorable super chunky pillows
5. Chunky knit scarf:
Apart from these, there are many records of extreme knitting which have been added in Gunness World Records.
One of them is of Elizabeth (a.k.a Betsy) Bond, an art student from Wiltshire, UK, who holds the record for the Largest knitting needles, which measure in at 4.42 m (14 ft 6.33 in) long and have a diameter of 9.01 cm (3.54 in).
Betsy created the needles as a part of her final major project at Wiltshire College, where she was studying Art and Design. She wanted to focus on a textiles project, and felt knitting would be a great addition.
This knitting trend is definitely something out of the box and knitters are finding this to be fun and unique too. Innovation is part of any creation and this is remarkably an innovative approach in addition to the regular knitting techniques and patterns.