“Extreme” Knitted Blanket

Check out my foray into extreme knitting with this huge chunky blanket!  Lots of pictures are in this post!

Inspiration

So… my sister-in-law is getting married, and she asked if I could make something to raffle off to help raise some money for the wedding.  Of course, I jumped at the chance!  And I wanted to find something really cool to make… the fundraiser is in May so it can’t be hats or sweaters.  I figured this would be a good opportunity to try the extreme knitting craze that people are doing these days!

Sourcing Giant Yarn

So I hopped online to source some giant yarn.  It took me some time to even figure out the right words to use – Merino Roving – and after looking all over Etsy and a few other places, I went to my local Maker’s group and found a local distributor – Monika at The Olive Sparrow in Toronto.  This was much better than getting it shipped because this stuff is HEAVY – you need 3-5 KG for a single blanket!  So shipping can be expensive and bulky – we all know that shipping rates in Canada are kind of rough.  I visited the supplier’s studio, tried some samples and placed an order.  The yarn is sourced in South America and dyed in Europe.

For my first try, I decided to use a cream (natural) colour, 23 micron merino roving.  The micron measurement is how thick the diameter of each thread is.  This stuff is THICK!  The needles I used (details below) are 1.5″ diameter / 40 mm homemade needles.  I could just use my hands to do the knitting too I’m sure.

Making the Needles

I did an entire post about how my husband made my giant knitting needles.  I love him!  Check it out here.

Knitting the Blanket

Seriously, it’s not easy.  It’s awkward!  I got into the swing of it but still need WAY more practice.  It’s an arm workout!  I need to shorten my needles so I can move them a little better – they were 4′ long but they would be much better if they were 3′ instead!  Hubby can do that for me no problem.

I made the blanket to be 3’x4′, I cast on 36 st and knit in stockinette (knit on the right side, purl on the wrong side).  Each stitch is ~1″ wide and 2″ tall.  It’s very smushy!

A Caution about Extreme Knitting

The thing about this roving is that it’s not spun like yarn, so it needs to be taken care of carefully.  Any snags or pulls will cause tufts to come out of the blanket.  It’s not something you can realistically use all the time – you’d need to dry clean it.  You can try to hand wash but it’s 3.5 KG when it’s dry so imagine what it will weigh when it’s wet!  So it’s more of a decorative item than a functional one.

All in all I’m happy I’ve given it a try and hope to play around with it more in the future!

Happy crafting!

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