My adventure in extreme knitting started in 2013 with 100% British wool, undyed, and as thick as your little finger. My cats would constantly sit on it and make nests in it, so I made it into cat beds and baskets, using custom-made oversized wooden double pins. Each piece is unique, soft, warm and sculptural. Adored by cats for its warmth and woolly scent, I quickly got through the yarn. Sadly this wool was discontinued in 2014 so I had to find a substitute.
Your cat will love this wool cat basket. And you will love those giant stitches.
The extreme knitting Cat Cave is a hooded version for cats who like to hide away.
Someone recommended t-shirt yarn which comes in all sorts of crazy colours. I thought this could be a fun new direction, so I made a few baskets, altering the pattern along the way. The recycled nature of the material really appealed to me; they were stretchy, sturdy and very washable. The cats approved. But they didn’t take off.
So I focussed on making giant cable knit blankets, and the cat baskets went on the back burner.
A couple of years ago I started experimenting with natural fleece tops to make my own pure wool giant yarn. I loved that you could choose the breed of sheep, and the wool was undyed and just the sheep’s natural colour. This wool is intended for hand spinning so was not sturdy enough to be yanked around large knitting needles, so I hand-felted it to give it some structure. The resulting giant wool was even more gigantic than before, but worked on the same needles, it gave a really dense woolly knit which is just what you want for a cat basket. It was great, but time-consuming.
More recently there has been an explosion in extreme knitting supplies and now you can get all sorts of colours and fibres in arm knitting yarn. This kind of yarn is ready to knit so no hand-felting is required. Lots of suppliers are offering giant circular needles too. Finally the market is ready for my cat basket pattern! I made some sample baskets in acrylic arm knitting yarn and it worked great. I tried it bottom up and top down, included both methods in the pattern and released it.
Thanks for looking!