Among the many pairs of knitting needles I’ve collected in anticipation of learning how to knit everything under the sun, I bought a pair of size 50, plastic needles. They’re fourteen inches long. Those are some big needles! Have you ever knitted with big knitting needles? Some knitters really love them because projects go much quicker. Think about it – when every stitch gets you an inch of finished project, it’s bound to get done faster than knitting that’s ten stitches to an inch. Ten times faster, most likely, although it takes some time getting used to the bigger needles.
Think big, knit big
But what do you knit with large knitting needles? Obviously, not cashmere sweaters with a fine gauge, but items like scarves and blankets and rugs. Lion Brand Yarn has a wonderful garter knit scarf pattern that’s more than five feet long, but can be completed in two hours with size 50 needles. Some knitters have gotten caught up with big knitting, and even extreme knitting. Becca Smith of BagSmith launched a collection of kits, books, yarns, and hand carved wooden needles with what she calls “Big Stitch” knitting. In England, Rachel John sets records by knitting 1,000 yarn strands at one time on her oversized needles. Big knitting needles are perfect for using multiple strands to knit; helping to use up that orphan stash that accumulates in every knitter’s home. Here’s a very easy blanket to make, using size 50 needles and four skeins of yarn. Color, brand, and type (i.e. chunky wool) are all your choice, but keep in mind how and where you’ll be using the blanket. If you’re donating it, try to keep the color simple and the yarn relatively non-scratchy. — Cast on 40 stitches (any method) — Rows 1-4: stockinette stitch (knit 1 row, purl 1 row, repeat) — (RS)Rows 5&6: purl — (RS) Row 7: knit — (WS)Row 8: purl (Note: On Row 5 when you purled on the RS it made a natural crease) — (RS) Row 9: Fold in half and knit the cast on stitches. — Row 10: purl — Row 11: knit — Continue rows 10 and 11(stockinette stitch) until blanket is desired length (52 in.) — Repeat rows 5-8. — Bind off loosely — Fold the end of the blanket in half, at the RS purl row and sew (to hem the blanket) Whether you’re a new knitter or an experienced knitter, big knitting needles are great for finishing knitting projects quickly.