Chunky knit sweaters, blankets, cushion covers… There is something so classic and comforting about the way they look. Gradually the odd one has been creeping into my knitting rotation, the most recent is the chunkiest of all: the Wool And The Gang Cable Bomber.
About the Kit:
The Wool And The Gang Cable Bomber comes as a kit which includes 7 balls of Crazy Sexy Wool yarn which is super soft for anyone who has been wondering. I chose the natural colourway as i have finally embraced the fact that i truly am ALL about the neutrals! The kit also includes the whopping 15mm circular needles, 10mm needles for the ribbing, a cable needle and the pattern in all three sizes.
You can opt out of any of the needles you already own. I needed the 15mm circulars and I am really impressed by the quality. Their join is nice and smooth and the tip is just the right amount of pokey. I was already in possession of these incredible gold glitter Addi 15mm dpns which I was able to use as the cable needle and for the sleeves and for adding some girly glee to my knitting basket.
The Cable Bomber kit is marketed as intermediate but i think an ambitious beginner would be just fine with the plethora of knitting tutorials available on youtube these days.
Okay lets talk construction. The wool and the gang instructions would have you knit the body of the cardigan and the sleeves flat. The body is knit in one piece meaning no side seams so that’s FAB, but i wanted to avoid any stitched seams on this project so I did the following things differently than the pattern.
1- I kept my front and back shoulder stitches live and on holders rather than casting them off when instructed. Then I cast off the corresponding right and left shoulder seam together with a three needle bind off. This means less work, less yarn and less bulk in the seams.
2- I decided to pick up and knit the sleeves top down rather than knitting them cuff-up in the flat. This avoided a seam in the sleeve and having to stitch the sleeve to the body. To do this i did need to modify the pattern from flat instructions to ‘in the round’ instrutions which means switching out some knits for purls and vice versa. The cable pattern also needed reversing as i was essentially knitting my sleeves upside down. It was well worth the teeny bit of extra brain power upfront though as i do think seams and super chunky yarn are an undesirable combination best avoided where possible.
The sweater did not take me long, i knit much slower with the huge needles but the fabric grows so rapidly as there are so few stitches compared to a fingering weight or even an aran knitting project. I completed my cable bomber within two weeks!
Much of this cardigan was knit while we watched Safe on Netflix which i recommend if you haven’t seen it! Anyone else addicted to the theme tune?
Knitting With Chunky Yarn
A few people have enquired as to whether working with yarn this chunky and needles this big makes my hands ache and my honest answer is no but this is only because i don’t knit the same way as i do with more ‘normal’ sized needles.
I am both an English and a Continental Knitter and I switch between the two styles depending on the project and to give my hands a rest from the same movement over and over.
When I knit English style I flick rather than throw my yarn meaning that my whole hand doesn’t move, just my right index finger. For my regular knitting this saves me hand-strain. I’m so pleased I learnt this slightly different style of English Knitting and Continental for when my hands need a total change in motion.
However, when knitting on anything approaching this level of chunky I ONLY knit English Style and I throw. By which I mean my whole right hand travels with the yarn all the way around my left needle and my fingers do very little of the work.
I would be in pain in no time were I to let my fingers take up any of the heavy lifting on a project of this weight . So my advice? Learn to throw and do it like a
pro absolute novice, seriously, i look like I have literally just learnt to knit when doing this! It will take you longer but pay off in the long run! Hand-ache is just such a bummer.
The other big question I’ve had about this garment is it’s wearability. For me this is a coat. It is definitely warm enough to be a coat. Also this garment is just not something that I would find practical to wear while cooking the dinner or doing things like laundry. I may wear it indoors if i were sat watching a movie or reading a book but only if our heating was broken and we were clean out of firewood as this thing is a whole other level of warm!
As a coat it is fabulous. Deeper into the winter I will need some kind of pin to keep it closed. I was thinking something super simple in gold like this which I would also use for shawls and scarves to do the same thing.
My cable bomber was perfect on bonfire night 🙂
Have you knit anything like this before?
Thanks for reading