extreme knitting

gymir – free pattern


Let’s knit extreme! In earlier posts I already showed you how to make yourself huge broom stick knitting needles and also how I prepared my roving to be able to knit with it. And now it’s finally time to make the next step: I’m ready to go make a project with it!

Considerations when extreme knitting
When knitting a pattern on such a large scale, there are several things that have to be taken into account. For example, it is often not possible to use a large stitch pattern where one repetition requires a large number of stitches and rows: unless you are making a blanket your piece is very likely just not big enough to knit one of multiple repeats of the pattern.

extreme knitting materials

In addition, the impact of extremely large stitches is on its own already very big. Adding a complex stitch pattern to that can be just too much for the eye. A simple stitch pattern with a limited number of stitches and rows is therefore my motto.

Extreme knitting and lace
Lace patterns are indeed very beautiful, but you have to remember you that if you knit with very thick yarn and big needles, the holes in your work will also be very large. This of course does not have be a problem, depending on the type of work you want to do.

However, it is something you do need to take into account, because the effect with a tension of 20 stitches over 10 cm / 4 inch is very different from that with a tension of 2 stitches per 10 cm / 4 inch.

Depending on the type of project, it can be desirable for the stitch pattern to be reversible. In other words, that your project will be pretty on both sides. For a long scarf or cowl I think that’s really nice to have, because both sides are often visible. That is why I have chosen a simple straight-purl stitch pattern for this cowl: A two by two rib pattern.

Gymir Cowl pattern

This simply huge cowl has been named after the giant Gymir, who was in Norse mythology the giant whose daughter, Gerðr, ultimately married the god Freyr.

casting on with giant knitting needles

Cast on 8 stitches, I used the “knitting on” method.

Row 1: *K2, p2; rep from * to the end of the row.

Repeat row 1 until your yarn almost runs out, making sure to leave enough to bind off and connect both ends of the piece.
Bind off.

“Sew” both edges of the piece together to form a loop by pulling the remaining yarn through the fabric of both edges by hand. Enjoy your GIANT result!

And for comparisons sake, below my Gymir cowl in progress as well as another project on 5 mm needles.

Comparison of extreme knitting with regular knitting

tutorial: making extreme knitting needles

Extreme knitting needles - a tutorial by La Visch Designs
Knitting old fashioned and fussy? The people saying that probably haven’t heard of extreme knitting. There are many varieties of extreme knitting, to name a few examples:

  • Extremely small knitting or “micro knitting” as practiced by Althea Crome. She is also the artist responsible for the knitwear in the movie “Coraline”.
  • Knitting at extreme locations. Knitting under water as done by Nelleke and Rob Kool must be one of the more extreme examples of this type of extreme knitting!
  • Extremely large knitting, using (obviously) very big needles and yarn.

It is this last category of extreme knitting that has my attention. With much interest I have been reading about the Shetland lace garden fence, carpets from many strands of yarn knit simultaneously and fantastically fluffy blankets knit from wool roving.

I’m very interested in this type of extreme knitting. Knitting on such a scale must be very different from knitting on size 4 mm (US #6) size needles. The result itself is of course much bigger, although I can’t really get a feel on the impact of such large stitches when viewing this type of projects on the internet. I also expect that the act of knitting itself is much more labor intensive when compared to “regular” knitting.

The choice was easy to make: I was going extreme! Of course, very big knitting needles are needed for this. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you step by step how to make extreme knitting needles.

Extreme knitting needles - a tutorial by La Visch Designs


Making your own extreme knitting needles

Supplies needed

  • 2 broomsticks with a tapered end (diameter approx. 28 mm / 1 inch)
  • medium grit sandpaper
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • sanding block


  1. Tear a strip from the medium grit sandpaper and fold it around the sanding block.
  2. Sand the tapered ends of the broomsticks round and smooth.
  3. Sand the entire broomstick, both tip, and shaft, with the fine grit sand to remove any splinters and make it smooth enough to be able to knit with it.

The result: two extremely large knitting needles!

Extreme knitting needles - a tutorial by La Visch Designs


In the next tutorial on this subject, we will be preparing the wool roving to be able to knit with it.