Knitting with noodles

Words: Tonkotsu   Knitting by Anna Feldman

Knitting with noodles

Wild & Wooly x Tonkotsu


Anna Feldman has been knitting for forty years and opened Wild & Wooly in Clapton in 2014. A mutual friend, Andreas, put us in touch when he happened to be in her shop one day and overheard another customer ask Anna is she had any knitting noodles. This simple slip of the tongue snowballed and here’s where we got to, knitting with noodles.
We gathered together on a Monday morning in Haggerston, where Tonkotsu’s co-founder Emma was waiting eagerly with her team for what was about to happen. Last time we teamed up with Emma we cooked noodles in a laundomat’s dryer. Today we were going to knit with them. Usually these noodles are cut fresh from the machine at a length of approx 20cm. For knitting purposes we went for longer balls like wool.


Anna first chose giant Japanese 15mm bamboo knitting needles.


“My thinking was that big loops would be gentler on those fragile noodles which were losing moisture by the second. Wrong. Each loop was being dragged on an unnecessarily long route through the next. I started again, this time with 8mm needles. I cast on 10 stitches, turned my work and managed to finish a row. One row shows it can be done. But there's not much to show for it. My working yarn-noodle was by now not only looking worryingly dry, it was also way too short to carry on. So I took another - reassuringly still moist - and began the second row. A third and fourth followed. Ok, there was the odd broken stitch. But this was real knitting with real noodles. Finally 10 rows of knitted fabric made of noodles was hanging off my needles.”
So what did we learn? Be careful what you say when asking a shop owner a question. Sometime’s words have consequence.