Wednesday 21 June 2017

Extreme Knitting & A Tree

Extreme Knitting - A Tree in Progress

If anyone asks what I've been doing recently I'll say,"Knitting a tree," which will no doubt confirm their worst fears that I am in fact completely bonkers! And I expect if they saw the size of my extreme needles they'd be certain of it. 

First batch of extreme yarn - 2.8kg

It's not quite that simple however as such big needles (50mm diameter) require extreme yarn!  So the first task is always to prepare some yarn.  First I gathered together some suitable materials - curtains (a lifesaver from the charity shop as they were already the right colour!), an old brown tablecloth, a dark brown fabric remnant, then an old sheet, the curtain linings from the charity shop curtains and some blankets, all of which I dyed.  They ended up various shades from terracotta to brown to grey.  Next I cut them all up into long strips, 3.5cm to 5cm wide (1.5 to 2 inches).  I rolled them up into balls and knitted them into a tree using 2-3 balls at a time.

More yarn - 1.5kg
That sounds all very straightforward but I kept running out of yarn and having to either cut up more or dye and cut up more.  In the end I used almost 400 metres of yarn weighing about 4.3 kilos.  And, funnily enough, the resulting tree is uniquely coloured!

Knitting (detail)

I did manage to finish the tree but couldn't lay it out anywhere inside to see how it looked - so I took it into the garden....

Tree knitting

I only have a small garden and it took up most of it!  Once down, I added a few leaves and the odd bird and took another look...

Tree with leaves and birds

It'll be in Rowntree Park, York in June as part of the Brilliant Birds Installation supporting St Leonard's Hospice (#BrilliantBirds).  You can read about the Brilliant Birds Yarnstorm here.  My tree still needs stabilising which will be quite a job so I hope the weather stays nice for it.  Keep your fingers crossed!

Tree, birds and person!

And in case you needed an idea of scale, there's a small person in the above pic to help you visualise it.


  1. What you make is amazing! And a great inspiration to think out of the box!

    1. Thank you, Marjolein. I'm looking forward to seeing it in place in the park on Tuesday!