Giant Knitting – making your needles

My recent post about giant knitting got more attention than I expected, so I’ve decided to do a few more blogs to expand on the details of what you need to start giant knitting, and how it’s done. First, making your needles!

1 1/2" PVC

Giant knitting needles in my studio – a wondrous creation!

I tried to buy needles for this project, but it was really a no-go. The largest I could find locally were a pair of 12″ plastic US size 50 needles, which are both not big enough and not long enough. Online I was able to find some other options – mostly wooden ones that I deemed too heavy. So, with some help from my plumber husband, I made my own. It’s not necessary to have a plumber handy to make these, but it did help.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • a length of 1 1/2″ PVC pipe
  • hacksaw to cut the pipe
  • 2 end caps (although I’ve seen these made out of duct tape so that would do too)
  • tape of some sort – I used packing tape and masking tape because it was handy, but I’d recommend using something sturdier)
  • something to stop the yarn from sliding off the ends – I used the pieces of plastic that stacks of blank DVDs come on when you buy a 100 pack.

Step one: cut the pipe. PVC comes in 12 foot lengths, but don’t make the mistake of assuming that you should just cut it in half and that’ll be good. Unfortunately, longer is not really better, because you will come up against some issues when knitting, especially on the first row, as that’s when the stitches tend to be tightest, and the needles need to come nearly parallel in order to knit properly. Unless you are VERY tall, knitting with 6 foot needles is not going to work. After some adjustments, I settled on 46″ as my ideal length.

Caps on the ends work just as well as points in my experience.

Caps on the ends work just as well as points in my experience.

Step two: put on the end caps. This is pretty easy – just stick one on each piece of pipe. You can keep them in place with some glue. If you decide to make more pointed ends, you can fashion them out of duct tape. I found that it didn’t make much difference – once I got going, the blunt ends were just fine.

Stoppers! So fancy!

Stoppers! So fancy!

Step three: stoppers.Giant knitting is hard on your body, and the last thing you want is all your hard work to go to waste when the stitches fall off the ends of your needles. This happened to me. It was bad. So, I found the most convenient thing to do was to use the plastic things that blank DVDs come on, and tape them to the end. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. Note that you should make sure you wrap the tape REALLY well, with no plastic bits sticking off, as they will destroy your knitting in no time given the chance.

Finished product

Finished product

Well, that’s it! Tomorrow, let’s talk about knitting in giant!

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One Response to Giant Knitting – making your needles

  1. Pingback: Giant Knitting – casting on and knitting | Concrete Oyster

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