Elizabeth (a.k.a Betsy) Bond, an art student from Wiltshire, UK, holds the record for the Largest knitting needles, which measure in at 4.42 m (14 ft 6.33 in) long and have a diameter of 9.01 cm (3.54 in).

Betsy created the needles as a part of her final major project at Wiltshire College, where she was studying Art and Design. She wanted to focus on a textiles project, and felt knitting would be a great addition.

Having already been used to bigger knits by using lightweight broomsticks, she decided to take it up a notch by making the world's biggest needles which were measured on 13 June 2017 and now star in Guinness World Records 2019.

"I was thinking 'how big is big?'. So I looked it up," she said.

Betsy 12

After looking up the previous record holder, Betsy decided to try and top it and managed to add more than a metre to the record.

The concept behind the needles installation was to open a conversation about crafts, and traditional skills that are passed on through generations.

With the large scale installation, Betsy wanted to command attention and get people talking about it.

"They stopped and they looked. And then people started coming over, and asking, and talking, and smiling, and laughing!"

Betsy 11

However, creating knitting needles on such a large scale that were also workable was a challenge for Betsy.

"The shape of a knitting needle is not complex, but making it work is!" she explained.

In order for her needles to become record holders, Betsy had to be able to knit at least 10 stitches and 10 rows of yarn using them.

"When you're faced with building something that big, that's also got to be usable, there's a few thoughts that have to be in there; practicalities, weight, strength, any flex or lack of flex.

"I did quite a lot of research. I kept rethinking, redrawing and redesigning."

In the end, Betsy constructed the needles from hollow plastic tubes (polypipe) with plastic points and knobs (printed at her college in the 3D Enterprise Centre by Nicholas Llewellyn-Jones) at the ends to make them light enough to use and move.

However, creative Betsy relished the opportunity to take on a new challenge.

"You need air to breathe. You need food to eat. I need to make stuff," she said.

Betsy-creating-art

Betsy's love of art and making stems from her childhood, as Betsy's mum always set DIY craft projects. 

"When I was growing up I always had a drive to be creative, and design and make.

I think that was from mum constantly encouraging us, with left over loo roll tubes and washing up bottles, to create and build."

Betsy never envisaged that she'd go from creating rockets from washing up bottles as a girl to holding a Guinness World Records title. 

"Part of me still doesn't believe it. I've done it - I've got the certificate that says so!"

Despite the hard work Betsy faced created her record breaking needles, she wants to encourage others to try as much as possible to fulfil their own dreams. 

"Everyone's got potential. Nothing can stop anyone I don't think, If you truly believe you can do it.

"Just keep striving, just keep pushing forward. Give it a go - what's the worst that could happen?"

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Betsy's colossal knitting needles feature in the Guinness World Records 2019 book, which is jam-packed with incredible achievements and fantastic feats and bursting at the seams with facts, figures and trivia! Find out where you can buy your copy.

Betsy with GWR 2019