Christien Meinderstma

by kate on May 9, 2011

Christien Meinderstma creating her big knits

I think I’ve mentioned my obsession with chunky knits before, and if I could hire one person to cover my entire house in her designs, I would choose Christien Meinderstma in a heartbeat. Her urchin poufs were wildly successful when they first came on the market and are now available in range of colors and sizes, but Christien and her giant knitting needles didn’t stop there. These images are from a project she completed for the Nature Conservancy using wool from an organic flock of sheep raised in Idaho. Aren’t those hexagonal knitted patterns incredible? I love how exaggerated the textures become when rendered in such thick yarn.

So here’s a fun question for a Monday morning: If you could hire one artist or designer to redo your entire home, who would it be?

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Tamara May 9, 2011 at 8:40 am

That is some serious yarn! Chunky knit poufs are fantastic.
That is a tough question…I would have to have a team, one for every room: Ken Adam, Thom Felicia, Kelly Werstler, Kelly Hoppen, Windsor Smith…

Heather May 9, 2011 at 8:49 am

Wow! that is pretty radically amazing! I love the hexagon pattern! At first, I thought she was just straight knitting to make a rug. However, once I saw the hexagons….I’m utterly amazed! What talent! :)

gloria scotto May 9, 2011 at 9:33 am

where to i purchase these…they r amazing !!

kate May 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

Tamara – That is a powerhouse team! I love that idea. It would be a very bold, brilliant house.

Gloria – The poufs and her Aran rug used to be available through DWR, so you might want to check there. Also Thomas Eyck online sells them: http://www.thomaseyck.com. I hope you treat yourself to one! I eyed them at a DWR store a while back and they are just as beautiful in person.

Marie May 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I love it and I write an post about her last year on my blog …. I would like to buy this aran rug !!

Amielle May 10, 2011 at 10:20 pm

Those pieces look so fun and warm and perfect for just adding texture and oomf! to a room.

Julie May 11, 2011 at 9:42 am

That first photo is fantastic! She looks like she was shrunken amidst all those giant balls of yard and oversize needles!

Jessica Stefano May 24, 2011 at 5:25 am

Does anyone know where I can get my hands on yarn this thick? I’ve been searching for it with no luck so far.

kate May 24, 2011 at 7:58 am

Jessica – Christien makes her own, so I would assume yarn like this cannot be found easily. Your best bet might be to ask a yarn shop or a spinner their advice on possible sources. Good luck!

Martha Winger May 24, 2011 at 10:49 am

Jessica, I have been searching for yarn this weight, too. I’ve combined two strands of super chunky #6 but it doesn’t come close to Christien’s. Her work is stunning!

Pepper May 25, 2011 at 6:12 am

I love it, well done. It’s too chunky for me to do personally but it’s a great idea to scale down and use my stash to make a throw.
Keep up the good work
Pepper

Nancy Hale January 27, 2012 at 3:22 am

Cutting very uniform strips if fleece gives a similar effect. Not the same, but very beautiful in it’s own right.

Lynne Nark March 10, 2012 at 11:22 am

I think that yarn would be so much fun to work with … I would love to make that rug!! Christien has some unique items!! I enjoyed seeing them and would love to work with the yarn!!

Edy September 4, 2012 at 7:17 am

That is seriously cool! Love it!

Debbie September 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Seems like a waste of wool….

Cathy Walls September 6, 2012 at 9:02 pm

I am a spinner and make my own yarn. Looking closely at her yarn it looks to me like she has taken thick roving (a preparation of wool fleece that has negligible twist; the fibers cling together but have no real strength) and plied it with a binder thread. The binder thread could be any fiber spun into a fine yarn.
I just found a YouTube video of her interview about making these rugs [http://www.youtube.com/watchv=zWaB7aAX4y0&feature=channel] She says in it that she uses a felted yarn which would make sense since that would give strength to the yarn yet allow it to be very lofty. A “roving yarn would be rather “delicate” for a rug and unless felted after knitting would wear badly and pill. All in all an interesting project.
As to finding yarn like this, I would suggest looking into Becca Smith’s “Big Stitch Bump” yarns. They are a blend of alpaca and wool. There is a very nice article about these yarns in the Fall 2010 issue of “Wild Fibers” magazine titled “Big, Bulky & Beautiful”.

Rob Patten December 4, 2012 at 8:55 am

It sucks seeing Christien Meindertsma getting credit for this because Chicago artist Pate Conaway is the one who invented chunky large-scale knitting about ten years ago.

ashley February 3, 2013 at 9:30 am

Gorgeous! Rob–Pate Conaway has beautiful work that unfortunately is hard to find on the internet. There are lots of interviews and one-off pics of his work, and he seems like a great guys who is obviously very talented, but I wish he had a website that was easy to find. I think the world can handle two (or more) large-scale knitting artists over the course of time–no offense to either artist, but neither was the first, or the last, in this genre…both have their beautiful interpretations. Pate’s is shown more as fine art, and Christien’s is marketed more as commercial products.

caitlin January 11, 2014 at 2:29 pm

Where exactly can I get that thick yarn? I’ve looked and can’t seem to find it or what its even called haha :( please help!!

Anna January 24, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Caitlin- I wanna get it too :( and I don’t know where, and when I found it it is too expensive..

Tiffany September 28, 2014 at 3:10 pm

loopy mango and pickles fat and happy are the only places I know that sell huge yarn bug it’s pricy!

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