Think Big

I’m hoping that you haven’t noticed that this should have been posted yesterday. Four days in and I’m already falling behind; this doesn’t bode well… But to make up for it, there will be two postings today to allow me to catch up.

Fear not, the title of this post does not relate to a huge, ambitious and impossible-to-complete project in fairisle or lace. Rather it is a tip for your needles. Big needles mean big stitches, and big stitches pile up a lot more quickly than small ones. If time is of the essence, then size up.

A lot of yarns look great when knit at a looser gauge and freeform, or flying-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, knitting can make the most of this – a yarn like Kidsilk Haze takes on a pretty, lacy appearance just knitting on big needles or in simple garter stitch.

But there are also plenty of patterns that make good use of bigger needles. Take Simmer Dim, a pretty lace shawl by Gudrun Johnston.


Ordinarily, knitting a shawl with sock yarn would take a while and you’d be following a chart, or more complex instructions. This has an ingenious┬áconstruction, whereby you knit the centre triangle in garter stitch on 6.5mm needles. You then pick up the yarn overs you’ve made along the edge, and alternate between the large needle and a 4mm needle to give a pretty stitch pattern, before finishing with a simple lace border.

I knit mine while I was on holiday and several other Ravelers have commented that it makes very good car or commuter knitting. Perfect for making on the go as you dash from one Christmas party to the next.

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3 Responses to Think Big

  1. Katie says:

    I’ve had this shawl in my mental queue forever. It caught my eye immediately, though I didn’t know those deets about the construction. Thanks for blogging it!

  2. Joanne says:

    I had been successfully avoiding casting on any more gift knitting (although there’s a hat idea in the Bach of my head I may try to make reality…), but this shawl makes me think perhaps my brother’s lovely partner needs something like this… And I have some pretty silvery-grey mcn yarn which would be perfect for her.

    Oh gift knitting… So tempting!

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