Yarn pictured above: Sugar Bush Chill
Super bulky yarn is one of those things that you’re always drawn to in the store but perhaps don’t quite know how to use it. It’s thick and cozy. You know that it will work up quickly. But if you don’t work with it often, then you might feel a bit overwhelmed by how different this #6 weight yarn behaves compared to a #4 worsted weight yarn. So, what can you do with super bulky yarn? Lots actually!
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Let’s Talk About Yarn Weights
What is a super bulky yarn? Well, there’s a Standard Yarn Weight system. That’s why when you look at any yarn label, it has a number on it from #0 (lace weight yarn) to #7 (jumbo yarn). Fun fact: jumbo yarn is a fairly recent addition to this system.
Although it varies, you’ll usually use specific hooks and needle sizes when crocheting or knitting with a particular yarn weight. Here’s what’s commonly recommended by the Craft Yarn Council:
So, as you can see, Super Bulky Yarn is a size #6. Roving also falls into this category. And for the sake of this article, you could also use #7 bulky yarn in any of the ways that we’ll describe below.
Additional Materials for Super Bulky Yarn
As you’ll see, two of the things we suggest for ways to work with this kind of yarn are arm knitting and finger crochet. In other words, you might not need any special tools to work with thick yarn. But if you do want hooks and needles, then you might need to raid your stash or go shopping to get:
- Crochet hooks size 9 mm or larger (size M or larger)
- Knitting needles size 8 mm or larger (size 11 or larger)
Along with the larger crochet hooks and knitting needles, you will need to purchase a set of finishing needles that will accommodate super bulky yarn as well. Susan Bates has a great set that I love where the eye runs the whole length of the needle. Therefore, it allows eve thick yarn to easily pass through. If you purchase that recommended set from Susan Bates, then you will get a set of 5 needles to use on a variety of yarns from thin to very thick yarn.
Tips Before You Begin Working With Super Bulky Yarn
We must also take into consideration how we will finish off the projects. Unlike when using thinner yarn, it is much easier for the ends to come out of a bulky weight yarn. In order to combat this I suggest that you split the yarn as you weave it in. This will help it stick to itself and stay in place. Choosing a super bulky yarn that is at least some percentage of wool will also help it felt to itself to reduce the problem of ends coming out of the work.
One last reminder before you start your first project: gauge is still important! Designers give the information for a gauge swatch so that you can match it before you start your project. This information will tell you if your project will match the size the designer set forth in the pattern. If you don’t check gauge first then you could end up with a project that is much larger or smaller than you planned. Just remember that one stitch in a super bulky is MUCH larger than a stitch in worsted weight. So, even if you are off byjust one stitch to the inch you could end up with many extra inches at the end. If you’re making a blanket and don’t care how large it is, no big deal. But if you want your project to be the size the designer intended, do pay extra attention to this when working with super bulky yarn.
Yarn pictured above: Bernat Blanket Stripes
10 Things to Do With Super Bulky Yarn
Don’t be afraid to get creative when playing with this yarn. You can do whatever you want to do with it. But here are the top ten things I recommend you try to do with super bulky or jumbo weight yarn:
1. (and 2.) Practice Arm Knitting (and Finger Crochet)
Arm knitting and finger crochet are both projects that you can share with your children. You will go through the same motions to make your piece but will use your arms or fingers instead of needles or hooks. These techniques allow beginners to see how the stitches are formed on a large scale and see how things are working. In other words, they’re the perfect way to show off the fundamentals
Arm knitting and finger crochet use what you already have to create the projects. No special tools needed. There are many tutorials online if you have never tried these techniques before. There are also patterns specific to arm knitting and finger crochet.
3. Make Extra Cozy Blankets
Lately while I have been out shopping I have noticed that there are a lot of bulky weight knit options in the store. Looking closer at those blankets I noticed that they are using roving, which will end up piling with use and washing. I believe that you are much better off making your own handmade version. It’ll look just as good, if not better. Moreover, it’ll last longer.
Plus, who doesn’t love a handmade warm blanket on their couch for those chilly winter days? You can make blankets out of any thickness of yarn but using a super bulky yarn will show off the stitches in a unique way. Moreover, it will work up quickly for any deadlines that you have.
4. Don’t Forget The Pillows
You don’t want to wrap yourself up in a thick warm blanket then lay your head down on a thin wispy pillow do you? Make your own extra plush pillows using bulky yarn. You can also just take pillows that you already have and quickly make a cover to slip them inside of. That thick yarn look is chic and trendy.
5. Floor Poufs With Thick Yarn
Pull the whole room together with one more big accessory – an ottoman or floor pouf. This can be a huge, time-consuming project if you work with lightweight yarn. But use a #6 or #7 weight yarn and you’ve got it made up in a jiffy.
6. Quick and Comfy Cowls
Personally I like using arm knitting and finger crochet to make scarves and cowls. Since they are designed as rectangles, it is quite easy to get the finished project that you want. Of course, don’t forget that you can make cowls and scarves the traditional way using hooks and needs as well with this super bulky yarn.
Like cowls, baskets work up quickly with super bulky yarn. You can make them using finger crochet or using your hooks and needles. What’s great is that this thick yarn is really durable. Therefore, you get the strength that you need to make a basket stand up straight. When you work with thinner yarn, even worsted weight, you often have to double-strand to get that durability. Not so with the right super bulky yarn!
8. Your New Favorite Poncho
Blanket sweaters are really popular. And that’s great. But why make a sweater when you can make a poncho? They’re more flexible and they have an ease that is just so delightful. Worked up in bulky yarn, this is a quick accessory that you might end up wanting to wear everywhere!
9. Granny Square Sweater
If you do want an oversized sweater, though, why not go with a classic granny square motif? The bulky yarn gives it an exaggerated twist that makes it contemporary and fun.
10. Holiday Decorations
For those of you that have big plans for the holidays that don’t seem to pan out super bulky yarn helps to change that. Using bulky yarn allows you to work faster and you can create things for your home or your children.
You Might Also Like:
- 7 Affordable Yarns That Give Big Bang for Their Buck
- The Perfect Bulky Knit Hat for Beginners – works up so fast with bulky yarn!
- Loop-It Puffy Seed Stitch Cowl