There has been something of resurgence in the popularity of knitting. A craft that was for many years the preserve of the elderly has become trendy again and the higher profile of knitting has led to some amazing projects and record attempts. Knitting is now frequently used to raise awareness of issues and charitable efforts via group projects and Ravelry is one of the most successful social networking sites in the world. There are over one billion sheep on our planet and in the light of some of these projects it is just as well!
The World’s Largest Knitted Sculpture
In 2005 The Gelitin Collective, a group of four Austrian artists, decided to create a giant pink knitted rabbit called Hase. The enormous bunny was constructed on a mountainside in Northern Italy and was 61 metres (200 feet) long. The artists, whose work explores relational aesthetics (whatever that is when it is at home!), used over 1,000 kgs of yarn to make Hase and took over a year to complete the sculpture which they hope will remain in place until 2025. I must remember to visit this attraction the next time I am in the country!
Largest Knitting Needles
I am not at all sure why anyone would feel the need to attempt this record but artist Ingrid Wagner did. She managed to knit a tension square of ten rows of ten stiches at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle back in March 2008 with needles which were 3.5 metres long and had a diameter of 8 cms. Quite heavy then!
The Most People
In 2012 another world record was set when 3083 members of the WI attending their annual general meeting at the Royal Albert Hall broke the record for the most people knitting simultaneously over a period of 15 minutes. The attempt had been undertaken to celebrate traditional crafting skills. The woman all followed a pattern promoted in their membership magazine, WI life.
Talk about a riddle wrapped up in an enigma! How about this one for a crazy record? In 2011 the record was set for the fastest time to knit a scarf and put it around an iguana in a Toyota Prius. The utterly ridiculous project was part of a two day event in Los Angeles to set 200 Prius-related world records thereby setting a world record for the number of world records in 48 hours. Are you confused? I am and I do not understand the inclusion of an iguana!
The longest scarf in the world was knitted by the friends, workers and other supporters of the children’s hospice Ty Hafan in Wales. The project took over three years to complete and when the scarf was measured in 2005 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff it was an incredible 54.29 km long! Yes you did read that correctly. That is a lot of wool!
What Will You Knit Next?
The next time you pick up your needles it could be to fashion part of a record breaking project, to raise the profile of a worthy cause or to do something totally barmy like knitting a giant pink rabbit! On the other hand you could do something useful like making clothes!