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The joy of knitting with big yarn and big needles

by Fiona Stevenson

Welcome to Wednesday! It’s good to see you again! This week I’ve been sharing with you details about my latest knitting project, the Spiral Rug, using Universal Yarn Be Wool yarn.

The green Spiral Rug knit with super bulky Be Wool yarn lies folded on top of a super bulky blanket. Surrounding it are a bulky cowl, bulky socks, and extra large circular knitting needles.

Super-size your knitting to maximize your time and comfort!

Today I’m pausing this project to consider the joys of working with chunky, bulky, and super bulky yarn. If knitting with big yarn and big needles isn’t something you usually do, I’d like to push you out of your comfort zone, and into the super cushy zone.

I don’t know about you, but I often get trapped in an endless loop (pun intended) of using lightweight yarns with complicated patterns. That’s been my habit for the past few months. So, when KNITmuch offered me the opportunity to work with a super bulky yarn I was relieved! I’d been feeling when knitting lightweight yarns like I was knitting all the time and getting nowhere. Be Wool was such a nice change, and I knew I could finish an entire rug on a weekend. Yeah, you heard me right! One weekend – project done even with an added garter stitch border. The Spiral Rug reminded me why it’s fun to dive into the world of big yarn from time to time.

What is a bulky yarn exactly?

I often get asked questions about yarn weights and sizes. Bulky weight yarn isn’t as common as some of the medium weight yarns like worsted or aran. Just in case you didn’t know what a bulky, super bulky, or jumbo weight yarn is, here some descriptions:

This information is from the Craft Yarn Council’s Standard Yarn Weight System.

Bulky (Chunky) Yarn

The term chunky or bulky is used to describe a #5 size yarn. It’s about the size of two strands of light worsted weight (#3) held together. Using the recommended needle size US 9 -11 [5.5-8mm] – it has a gauge of 12 to 15 stitches to knit 4”.

Super Bulky

Using the recommended needle size US 11-17 [5.5-8mm] it has a gauge of 7 to 11 stitches to knit 4”. Be Wool, the yarn for the Spiral Rug pattern is super bulky.


This is the largest yarn available and is usually only knit into blankets. You can see some in the foreground of the photo above. It has a gauge of 6 stitches or fewer per 4” of knitting on needles size US 7 [12.5mm] and larger.

These days who has time to knit?!

A photo collage of the author doing various activities with family, and her pets.

I’m a busy woman – my knitting time is limited.

These days even the simplest tasks take a lot more time and effort. Since the spring I’ve been finding my energy low, and my knitting time-limited. Enter the super bulky yarn projects! Whether it’s a chunky pair of reading socks, an oversized cowl, or a quick throw; my time is maximized with big yarn and big needles. I can get all the satisfaction of a finished project with a fraction of the time. And let me tell you with so much of my life up in the air right now it’s grounding to accomplish something.

The satisfaction of a knitting project finished, and put into use, has been comforting. When I can’t squeeze more time out of my day, I can maximize the time I have with bulky yarn projects. And I hate to mention it, but Christmas isn’t that far off. Can you see last-minute quick bulky knit gifts under the tree? Use the large size of your yarn and needles to help you destress your knitting life!

Shot outside in a park, a close up of a knitting project on the needles being held up in the sunshine. It’s the beginnings of a raglan collar using a purple and white yarn held together for a marled effect.

Big yarn, like this Fibra Natura Kingston Tweed held double, knits up quick and easy

Up the coziness when you upsize your yarn

A close up of the hands of a woman wearing cabled grey chunky fingerless gloves as she cradles a cup of coffee in her hands.

Add extra warmth and coziness with big yarn.

Of course, the other great benefit of working with a big yarn like Be Wool, is that any project you make will have an increased coziness factor. The super squishy warmth of bulky knits is perfect as days get cooler, and winter approaches. There’s nothing like slipping on a squishy pair of chunky knit slippers or reading socks as you cozy up under a big wool hand knit blanket. Let the softness of these large stitches cushion your life as you settle into fall and await the first snow of winter.

A light green Spiral Rug knit with super bulky Be Wool yarn lies spread out on a beige floor

The Spiral Rug with all the finishing touches

Well, that’s it really. If you want to maximize your knitting and create super luscious cozy knits, why not explore the world of bulky yarns. One last note: fashion trends have been towards super bulky knits. Everyone is getting cozy in bulky yarn! Now you can, too with Be Wool!

Join me and tomorrow and Friday, I’m going back to the Spiral Rug pattern to give you a few more suggestions for making this project your own. Learn about stitch marker placement, how to do a Yarn Over for this project, how to add an elegant garter stitch border and final finishing details with proper blocking. See you then!

This is part 3 of 5 in this series

Go back to part 2: Knitting the perfect invisible circular cast on


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