Knit­ting is burst­ing out from street, says Katie Ni­cholls the

Knit Today Magazine - - Notebook -

Knit­ting is big news and hot con­tem­po­rary knitwear is every­where! Just take a look at the au­tumn/win­ter 2015 cat­walk where huge su­per-chunky knitwear rules among the col­lec­tions of Edun, La­coste and Alexan­der Wang. To­day’s young knit­ters are hun­gry for ex­cit­ing de­signs us­ing bold colours and ex­per­i­men­tal tech­niques. Big, it seems, is bet­ter, and the trend for knit­ting with over­sized yarn on gi­ant nee­dles is gath­er­ing pace. De­signer Deb­bie Bliss is the lat­est con­vert, in­spired by what she saw at Ital­ian knit­ting in­dus­try show Pitti Fi­lati: “One of the big trends for spring/sum­mer 2015 seen at Pitti Fi­lati in Jan­uary was tape yarn. I’ve been slow to warm to tape yarn in gen­eral, but when I saw the way that the right tape could be used and how it could bring much needed va­ri­ety to the sea­son, I was on board!”

BIG IS BET­TER Who can ig­nore the flurry of big knit­ting books and pat­terns flood­ing shops and blogs? Add to that a va­ri­ety of new yarns made from a myr­iad of ma­te­ri­als, such as up­cy­cled t-shirt yarn or sari silk and you’ll be in­trigued with this new revo­lu­tion. De­signer Me­lanie Porter (melanieporter.com) was one of the first to spot the po­ten­tial of go­ing gar­gan­tuan with her knit­ting. “I love us­ing tex­ture in my work, es­pe­cially felt­ing,” says Me­lanie who is look­ing for­ward to the release of her new book, Big Nee­dle Knits (ry­landpeters.com) in Oc­to­ber. “While I love the dense, tight tex­tures I wanted to take it to the other ex­treme and cre­ate su­per-over­sized ca­bles and bob­bles. I started try­ing to knit with rope on broom han­dles!” Me­lanie’s chunky, hand-knit­ted chairs and so­fas have cer­tainly in­flu­enced the big knit­ting trend.

FIN­GERS AND ARMS While Me­lanie prefers enor­mous nee­dles to cre­ate stitches, de­signer Anne Weil (flaxandtwine.com) au­thor of Knit­ting With­out Nee­dles, ex­plores the pos­si­bil­i­ties of fin­ger and arm knit­ting. “Weav­ing yarn by hand brings great sat­is­fac­tion,” en­thuses Anne. “I started de­sign­ing beau­ti­ful fin­ger-knit­ting projects as a way to use up the miles of fin­ger knit strands we had made for fun. Be­fore I knew it, I was at­tach­ing strands back to them­selves to make a wider knit fab­ric.” Her book is cer­tainly tes­ta­ment to that – from wo­ven rugs to a stylish dip-dye scarf, Knit­ting With­out Nee­dles is an in­spi­ra­tional read. “We’ve only just be­gun to ex­plore the pos­si­bil­i­ties,” says Anne. “With a few twists, you can ap­ply al­most any tra­di­tional knit­ting tech­nique to arm knit­ting, from in­creases and de­creases to ca­bles and lace!” Me­lanie agrees that big knit­ting of­fers the chance to be hugely cre­ative, “I feel very free when de­sign­ing a big nee­dle knit,” she says.

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