Innocents Big Knit

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Twelve years ago innocent came up with a great idea to raise money for Age UK to help older people whose lives are at risk during the cold weather because they don’t have enough money to heat their homes properly.  They asked the public to knit little hats that would adorn their smoothies in store – each little hat represents a donation of 25p – and so the annual Big Knit was born.

In the first year the hats numbered in the thousands, but the campaign was so popular that this year innocent are calling for 800,000 hats for the UK!

You may very well have seen the smoothies in your local supermarket or even knitted a few yourself.  What you may not know is that the Big Knit is also extremely popular in Sweden and Denmark.

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Juliet Bernard has been working with innocent, creating patterns and interpreting celebrity designs for 10 years. “It’s great fun and really pushes your creativity because each mini hat is just 30 sts by 16-18 rows,” she says.

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But this year the hats for Sweden are a bit different, Juliet told us “Innocent’s PR Company are very creative. I was asked if I could knit hats for 11 statues in Stockholm.  A couple of them needed to be around 2 metres in circumference and be very eye-catching using fruity colours.”

Juliet designed (and made) the hats you can see here, which were knitted on 20 cm needles using 10 ends of yarn.  She chose Special DK to get just the right colours. “Knitting on such big needles is quite tiring for your hands but with 10 ends, they do knit up quite quickly.”

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Making giant pompoms wasn’t quite so straightforward until she spotted a video on YouTube. “Luckily Stylecraft’s (Special Aran with Wool) comes in 400gm balls. By tying them tightly around the middle you can cut into the big ball to create the biggest pompom I have ever made,” she says.

The closing date for this year’s Big Knit is 11th December and you can find more information as well as lots of patterns here www.thebigknit.co.uk