Saturday, 28 September 2013

Extreme Knitting: Rug Edition

I've just moved into a new and unfurnished place. Although it was a NIGHTMARE getting the furniture for it, I did have a bit of fun with decorating :)

Whenever I'd browse online yarn shops, I had occasionally come across huge and gigantic knitting needles and always thought "those would be so cool to try out one day" but I never had a project in mind to warrant using them. So when I realised my flat needed a rug I had a lightbulb moment - knit a rug!

I put a lot of thought into planning this - it would be nice to have a durable material that was easy to maintain and wash if needed so I settled on using tshirt yarn. I was originally going to make my own yarn from buying tshirts in bulk from eBay. But I couldn't find the colour I wanted and dying it myself was looking like a necessity. I ended up googling 'orange tshirt yarn' and found this amazing site called Hooplayarn that sold cotton jersey tshirt yarn on bobbins in millions of colours (okay not millions but definitely over 30).  I didn't want the orange to be too garish so I ended up going for a colour called Sunset, which made sound a but romantic too:) They seemed a little pricey, £8.50 for a 100m bobbin, but when I calculated how many tshirts I needed to buy to get 100m it turned out to be more expensive, plus I wouldn't have to dye it myself! I wasn't sure how many bobbins I needed so I just ordered 10 and figured I could order more if I needed to.

Next step, the huge needles! The tshirt yarn was designed to be used with 10mm needles or hooks. I came across a few, but the ones by Rachel John seemed to be what I was looking for. The extreme knitting needles came in either 19mm or 24mm. I decided on the 19mm, that way I could easily double up on the bobbins and the stitches would still look tight. I kinda wanted to do a cable knit too so I bought the straight 19mmx700mm needles and the 19mmx400mm cable needles!

As you can see from the picture, there isn't a cable. This is because I was silly and didn't think it through, what was the point of a cable if there's going to be a coffee table on top of the rug?! Doh!

Next came the actual knitting! Me being on the petite side found using these ridiculously large needles a challenge, but I love challenges! I cast on 65 stitches and just worked a stockinette until I got the length I wanted. It was easy to begin with, but as it got longer turning the work over got harder. I even had to sit on the floor as the work was too heavy to try and hold up doing it sitting on a chair or sofa! But turning heavy work meant a good arm work out, I should start selling tickets to my gun show now!

Et voila, here is my work in all orangey and extreme knitting wonder. It ended up being 100cmx150cm (101x152 to be exact!). I'm pretty darned pleased with how it came out.  I might even use the left over yarn to make coordinating coasters!


  1. This looks brilliant, Mehreen. I have done quite a lot of knitting in my time and come back to it quite recently. Never even thought of knitting a rug, but like the idea. How long did it take you?

    1. Hello Deb W! It took me about a week to get it done, I work full time but was knitting every moment I got, even had a few late nights! If I had done it without being obsessive I'd say it would normally take about 10-14 days! It is very fun to do and using such large needles is so different but Ian good way :)

  2. I am doing a crochet rug at the moment using hoopla yarn and I love it