There is something about a simple chunky sweater that makes me see hearts in my eyes and reach for my knitting needles. The knit piece that made me borderline obsessed with chunky knits is a cropped sweater my aunt knit in the 60s. It’s a gold chunky sweater in garter stitch, and I live in it every winter.
If you haven’t ventured into chunky yarn territory, please do! You will get the pleasure of working with some of the softest, plushest yarn, and the satisfaction of completing projects in record time. The first time I used chunky yarn was the first time I picked up knitting needles. I made a modified Jane Richmond Marian cowl for a friend, and I was so surprised at how fast I finished it. The second time I knit with chunky yarn, I met Malabrigro Rasta, and I didn’t look back.
Rasta is a slightly felted, unbelievably squishy yarn, that is a dream to knit with. I have knit many cowls with this yarn, including the Foster Cowl, which is a breeze to make. The Foster Cowl kit is a great introduction to chunky yarn for a beginner knitter. The kit includes the Foster Cowl pattern, one skein of the Malabrigo Rasta yarn, and one pair of US 17 24" Addi Turbo circular needles.
Another great pattern is the Softwaves Magnum Cowl by Laura Irwin. Laura Irwin is a local Portland knitwear designer, who designs clean, chic patterns that have an eye catching structural design. The Softwaves Magnum Cowl is the perfect pattern for an experienced beginner knitter. It’s a fast knit, but the seaming will teach you something new. Be warned though, once you wear this out, everyone you know will want one.
Image Source: Wool and the Gang
I usually avoid knitting larger pieces like coats, because of the time they might take; but make it a chunky knit coat, and it has become something attainable in less than a year. If you have enough scarves and cowls in your closet, try the Cross Country Coat by Wool and the Gang. It’s a great pattern for intermediate knitters. There is also the Brooklyn Tweed Bannock Coat, for the advanced intermediate knitter that wants to add a chunky knit piece to their collection.
If you are looking for super chunky yarn, try Loopy Mango Big Loop. You will need at least size US 50 needles, or your arms.
Need a little bit more inspiration? Here are some links to a few more patterns made for chunky yarn: