Sustainable DIY: Why You Need To Take Up Chunky Knitting

I know what comes to mind when you think of knitting: a rosy cheeked granny sitting by the fire with balls of wool, and her needles making that somewhat relaxing *click* *click* sound. Well our granny is definitely on to something, because knitting is making somewhat of a comeback – specifically super chunky knitting. A simple hobby that anyone can take up, knitting with balls of giant merino wool is a rewarding way to use your time.

The environmental impacts of synthetic fibres are detrimental – materials such as nylon, acyclic and polyester are not environmentally friendly. These types of plastic based fibres will not biodegrade back into the Earth but instead break down into smaller pieces and leech chemicals into the ground, and after a very, very long time, eventually become dangerous and toxic micro-plastic. Using 100% wool can be more expensive than synthetic fibres, but it does come with its benefits. Wool is a natural fibre that is obtained (with no harm done) from sheep, designed by nature to keep them warm and dry in less than favourable conditions. Wool is also fantastic due to its completely biodegradable nature, making it great for the environment.

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For chunky knitting with giant merino wool, you should use needles that are 30 – 40mm in diameter to give you that beautifully thick stitch. I bought a pair of handmade tulip wood (FSC certified) needles from Wool Couture Company, which are a pleasure to work with due to the chunky ends to stop the wool from sliding off. My first piece of work was a white (Instagram worthy) chunky knit blanket from a tutorial that I watched from Be Cozi on Youtube which was very helpful. I got into the swing of things very quickly and now I can watch Netflix and knit at the same time (what an achievement!).

Learning a new skill which requires creativity and produces a finished product is a wonderfully satisfying feeling. Perhaps my favourite part of knitting is producing gifts for family and friends – there’s something a lot more special about a giving an item that you’ve created with your own hands than something that’s been store bought. It’s also a lovely feeling knowing that I’m supporting the economy of the country in which I live by buying British wool and tools made by British craftsmen.

Interested? World of Wool is a great place to start for an extensive range of colours, but if you’re looking for a bit more guidance, Wool and the Gang do amazingly fashionable beginner kits.