Extreme Knitting 101: The Giant Knitting Trend You Need to Try
Learn how the giant knitting movement has taken the fiber world by storm. Plus, find a wonderful collection of free oversized knitting patterns.
Recently, you may have seen an inordinate number of images on the internet of oversized blankets, enormous scarves, and unbelievably large knitting needles and thought to yourself, “Huh?”
Well, these extra-large creations can be attributed to the extreme knitting movement -- a movement that has definitely taken the fiber world by storm. In many ways, giant knitting patterns have caused a rejuvenation of sorts.
Though often perceived as a hobby for an older demographic, knitting is now experiencing a rebirth thanks to awe-inspiring Pinterest boards, oversized knitting celebrities, and fashion-forward yarn companies with their finger on the pulse.
As our friend Marie Segares from UndergroundCrafter.com said, "I'm always excited to see any movement that gets more people interested in fiber crafts like knitting and crocheting. Besides all of the health benefits of these hobbies, they are great ways to make beautiful things!"
So, 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, as well as some thoughts on how these patterns suit different skill levels. Plus, scroll down to find some of our favorite extreme knitting patterns!
Needles for Extreme Knitting
Although the stitches might be the same, the tools are not. The actual knitting needles used for these patterns more closely resemble giant 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. Any arm knitters out there?
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. "I've taught people to crochet and knit for the past decade," she said. "One thing I've learned from hundreds of students is that, if you're excited by a project, you're more likely to finish it. If the investment in materials gets a knitter excited about making something (and it fits within their budget), I say go for it."
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. For a typical, queen-sized knitted afghan made from jumbo yarn, you could spend upwards of $300-$400. And that's just the supplies and doesn't account for the time needed to make these blankets. Just because extreme knitting uses large yarn, that doesn't necessarily mean that these projects are quick.
Hey, we never said this new knitting phenomenon was cheap! We realize many people would prefer to run out to the store and buy a blanket for $50 or less, but those people will miss the satisfaction that comes with participating in such a fun, off-beat hobby such as giant knitting. At the end of the day, fiber lovers will appreciate the slightly outrageous appeal that comes with making one of the biggest blankets they’ve ever seen with their own two hands.
Many knitters on Etsy will sell extreme knitted blankets for anywhere from $500-$800 because of the high cost and time requirements. Sites like BeCozi sell this kind of yarn at some of the lowest prices out there, but it can still cost you $20-$25 for a skein.
Extreme Knitting Like a Pro
There are many benefits to knitting, but the true beauty of the hobby is the ability to make so many gorgeous items out of yarn, a pair of needles, and a bit of imagination.
You certainly do not need to be an advanced knitter in order to extreme knit with the best of them. The possibilities are endless when it comes to these larger than life creations, so what are you waiting for? Purchase some jumbo yarn, grab the nearest broomstick, and get started!
Here's a final word from our fiber-loving friend Heidi Gustad, the blogger behind HandsOccupied.com and the lovely star of the video you see below, "Extreme knitting offers knitters at all skill levels the chance to finish visually impactful projects with ease. The current trend of giant knitting projects looks like it's going to be here for a while, so why not take a weekend to give it a shot? These projects work up so quickly, you may even have your first extreme knitting project done in an afternoon!"
So what does it take to knit with these giant needles and oversized yarn?
It can often be easiest to knit with your arms when using jumbo yarn. Check out this collection of 15 Simple Arm Knitting Patterns
Extreme Knitting Patterns
The good news is once you get your hands on the proper knitting materials, you don’t need to worry about trying to decipher complicated patterns or a lengthy set of instructions. In fact, you can create something truly eye-catching in no time.
The scale of the stitches and the feel of the yarn are all the interest you need. This lets you relax back into the process. All you need to know is the knit stitch! This stitch is the first stitch newbie knitters learn, so you don’t need to have extensive knitting experience in order to participate in the “bigger is better” trend.
The knit stitch packs a big punch when it comes to giant knitting. Plus, intricate designs are not necessary with such bulky yarn. Novice knitters can certainly get into the hobby with the help of big yarn and big needles. Plus, if you’re the kind of person who grows impatient with long-term craft projects, a giant knit blanket, scarf, or pillow won’t take a large amount of time to complete. You can knit the oversized item of your dreams with a minimal amount of effort.
Here's what Marie Segares of UndergroundCrafter.com has to say, "I think extreme knitting has given knitting a much-needed burst of recognition in the home decor space, which has been dominated by crochet for the past few years."
Are you a fan of the extreme knitting trend? Why or why not?