Big Fishy

A lot of special Fish hats were knitted since the pattern apeared on Knitty. One of them is extra special. It’s the ginormous Fish Hat the people from Lindstrom (Minnesota, USA), knitted in an attempt to make it into the Guiness Book of World Records. Place of action: Miss Elsie’s Yarnery.

The first stitches were cast on at the Februari 6, 2010, at the Non Superbowl Sunday Knitting Party in Miss Elsie’s yarnery. Every knitter was welkomed to knit their share. According to plan, the big fish was finished 5 months days later, on Saturday July 10, 2010.

To be specific, Fishy was ready to swim at 12.00 noon that day. Right on time to enter the festivities it was knit for, the Karl Oskar Days parade (a celebration in memory of the first Swedish settler in Minnesota). Very suiting, because the parade was themed ‘Hooked on knitting’. The fish was carried along on a trailer with a bucket of fresh knit worms for lunch break.



15 time bigger
The original Dead Fish hat pattern (designed by Thelma Egberts for results in a fish that is 44 cm/17 inches long and has a circumfence of 50 cm/20 inches. By duplicating the pattern by 15, the knitters planned make the hat about 15-20 “long en 6”wide. (The exact measures after finishing were 6'10" x 20'9"). 

Original patterns says to cast on 90 sts, for it's Big Brother 500 sts were cast on. Instead of needlesize US 3 (3,25) this one was knit on size US 11 needles. 

Out of yarn
The yarn store must have ran out on Brown Sheep bulky yarn between february and july, because about 150 skeins of this 100% woollen yarn were used.But, as shop owner Pam Anderson declares: “We were able to get the seconds from Brown Sheep for cheap, and we had a swear jar to help fund the yarn. We went with whatever colors they could give us.”

Lots of knitters
Geri wwas the first knitter, to cast on the 500 stitches. The last few sts were knit by Mackenzie. In total about 40 knitters joined in for the job. The major part though, was done by only 5 knitters! Theo knitted even till 2 p.m. sometimes.
Most of the knitters were women, but also 3 or 4 men took up the knitting needles for a while. The youngest knitters doing their share were the two brothers Tanner and Damian (aged 8 and 10). The oldest was 72-year old JoAnn. 

Not all Fishy-knitters live in Lindstrom area. Some even came from far away. Like a knitter from Iceland! Of course she didn't travel this far just to knit on the fish (though we like to think so). To make the knitting extra exiting there was a competion. How many stitches could a team of two knitters knit in 10 minutes on those hard to handle size 11 needles? To make knitting even more complicating, by-standers were allowd to disctract the knitters.  

That darned Pink Rabbit!
Yarn store owner Pam Anderson hoped to get the fish into the Guinness Book of Records and applied for it. The GBR put them in the knit sculpture category, but alas, they lost out to a pink rabbit (called Hase the giant rabbit). The rabbit was only a ‘bit’ bigger: 200 feet long, took 5 years to knit, 2,200 pounds of wool yarn and is on display in Italy on a hillside. It is visible from a satellite!!!!

Well, Elsie’s yarn store still has the World’s largest knit Fish anyway.


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