The Secret World of The Woodturning Workshop!– Wool Couture

The Secret World of The Woodturning Workshop!

The Secret World of The Woodturning Workshop!

Hi there!

When it comes to knitting, I am somewhat of a novice...

Having grown up amongst many knitting enthusiasts, with my Christmas stockings full to the brim with Winter woollies, you would have thought I would have followed in the footsteps of my family; heading to the knitting shop and gathering together my yarn and knitting needles. However, it’s fair to say I struggled. My Mum couldn’t teach me (she is left handed) and I basically have two left hands! However, had I been introduced to Wool Couture's super-sized knitting a little earlier, it may have been a different story. I finally feel I have discovered a form of knitting which is so much easier, quicker and far more fun!

When the opportunity arose to go behind the scenes at the Wool Couture Company workshop, I jumped at the chance. I was rather excited to discover the unfamiliar territory of the knitting world and to be given a glimpse into where the magic happens. I was amazed to discover that they they actually make their own needles and they are huge!

As I entered their cosy little wood workshop, I could immediately feel the passion of the craftsmen. They appeared to carve each needle with care and precision and use the traditional method of woodturning.

Just like I did, you may wonder how these funky tools are made. Well, all was revealed when I was lucky enough to watch the exceptionally skilled work of Rob Ing.

I gazed in fascination as he carefully carved the needles via the process of Woodturning. Woodturning is a form of woodworking that is used to create wooden objects on a lathe (a tool used to rotate objects). The machine looked quite technical to an on-looker like me, although I was amazed at the fast speed Rob was working.

Woodturning itself dates back to around 1300 BC, I loved the fact that such a traditional crafting method was being kept alive for such an innovative, modern product.

As the piece of wood turned, Rob, used a set of chisels free-hand to carve sections of the wood away, forming the shape of the needles. He made it look so easy, but I am sure the technique would take years to perfect.

I was interested to hear that there are a range of beautifully crafted creations that come from the workshop. They craft a variety of sized knitting needles, these come in a range of diameters, 40mm, 50mm and 60mm, each are a huge 500mm long. There's more, the largest made in the workshop is 1000mm (a colossal one metre!) Chunky crochet hooks are also created in various sizes, 25mm x 200mm, 35mm x 250mm, 45mm x 250mm and 55mm x 280mm, pretty big, huh?!

When it comes to crochet hooks, Tom Millward is the master! He is in charge of designing and crafting Wool Couture's distinctive crochet hooks and is extremely skilled in his craft. The passion of the Wool Couture craftsmen is apparent from every piece they make and their attention to detail is second to none.

During my time spent in the workshop, it wouldn't be an understatement to say I was in awe and watching the needles come to life was mesmerising! The end result was so simple, yet so unique. There they were, needles upon needles, lined up like soldiers, ready to go, each shaped to perfection yet with their own unique wood grain.

So, it is obvious that the knitting needles at Wool Couture Company are rather large, which makes them extremely unique, but due to the needles being super sized, it means that getting your knit on is easier and much faster. It also means you have more time to enjoy your fabulous creation.

I can’t wait to visit again and maybe next time show them my newly developed skills! I found the whole experience to be super funky with the end result being fast and chunky...!

Thanks for having me!


Photography Credits: Keely Robinson and Tom Millward. Rob Ing featured in images.