Book Club > Author Interviews > Anne Weil: Knitting Without Needles

Anne Weil: Knitting Without Needles

Added March 4
Anne Weil: Knitting Without Needles

We know you love scouring the yarn shop shelves for a squidge of the latest woolly treats, so we’ve devised a plan to give you the perfect excuse to do it even more in 2017! It’s time to start a challenging project, and although the prospect may seem daunting, the satisfaction and pride once it’s finished will make your hard work worthwhile – we promise. A new make often brings with it a new technique, so expand your crafty skills with us.

Take your time

Knitting and crochet extraordinaire Amanda Bassetti is the blogger behind the fun and creative website She sat down for a cup of tea with us and gave us some top tips for crafting a large project. “Always practise before you commit!

Start with something small and perfect your stitches. Once you’ve gained confidence and are happy with your progress, move onto bigger projects. I’ve had to teach myself so many new stitches to make large projects, but it is so rewarding.”

Why now?

Anne Weil, owner of craft website Flax & Twine ( says the new year is the best time to start a big project. “All the obligations of the holidays are over so you can kick back and create something special just for you. This time last year, I taught myself to crochet without a hook and I’m so glad I did. This technique creates amazing oversized, structural fabric and my favourite blanket was the result of this extra effort. It’s a great time to challenge your brain to attempt something new. Learn a new stitch pattern or take on something that has lots of moving parts, but always be sure to prep your yarn first; it’s really disappointing when you’re making progress and have to stop!”

Something to treasure

Many of us fondly remember our first childhood blanket, so if you want your craft challenge to be really special, why not try an heirloom make? Your hard work can be passed down through the generations and be loved by all your family. Anne Weil says, “When planning a big project, take your time and buy quality yarn to make something that you will cherish forever. Blankets are a great gift as you can create something that will make the recipient feel snuggly and well taken care of.”

Trend alert: arm knitting

Arm knitting has many benefits: not only does it help you finish big projects quickly, it’s also helpful for crafters who struggle with the sometimes fiddly and intricate details of regular knitting.

“It allows you to create gorgeous, oversized stitches even if you don’t own huge needles,” says Anne. “It’s also a gross motor skill, meaning it gives both your body and your mind a real workout. I really enjoy making something with nothing but my hands. To make a gorgeous outcome, with no tools, is incredibly inspirational to me.” Simply Maggie’s Amanda says that arm knitting can often be a lot easier than needle knitting. “Knitting stocking stitch with your arms is so simple as there’s no purling involved. You knit each stitch in every row as you don’t turn your work.” We like the sound of that! Amanda continues, “Some projects can be quite challenging though; my hardest make was a mermaid blanket. However, the satisfaction of weaving in the last end and admiring your work makes it worth the time and effort.”

Feel inspired

Whatever you set your mind to, you can do it – no matter how big the project. Social media-based crochet group Mother India’s Crochet Queens is made up of Indian women of all ages who managed to create the largest crochet blanket in the world. It measures an astonishing 11,148.5m², and easily covers a football pitch. Their hard work gained them a Guinness World Record. Take a leaf out of their book and break your own personal crafty records.

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