Knitted Paragliders

I found this paragliding website about knitted paragliders quite useful, but only with a lot of help from my sister. Mum pitched in too. Thanks Mum! (Hey, I'm kidding...)

And it was good to know that those hours spent learning to knit as a 6 year-old weren't entirely wasted too. (... did actually learn to knit!)

The site offers the following information, materials and services so you can knit up your very own woolen paragliders.

It's a total package, even the lines and harness are knitted from the supplied massive skein of wool.

Ordering online is straight-forward, with the usual secure credit card facilities available on the order page.

  • Knitting patterns for all the latest EN-A paraglider designs (downloadable PDF)
  • 570 km (354 miles) of premium-grade, low-porosity sheep’s wool (delivered to your door)
  • A knitting needle set (machined alloy, delivered to your door)
  • Supporting documentation for the trickier bits (downloadable text files)

The beauty of knitted paragliders is that when you are confident in the air, you can unravel your EN-A design, download an EN-B or even an EN-C pattern, and knit up your first cross-country wing! Fantastic! Yes, there are patterns for some of the higher-rated wings, but naturally the prices are a little higher. Because many pilots choose to unravel/re-knit, the knitting patterns are available separately. Good to know.

Whatever you do, stick to the manufacturer's recommendations for the ratio of Pearl stitches to Plain stitches over the upper surface of the wing. Failure to do so adversely affects the low-speed performance of these paragliders, since it thickens the boundary-layer airflow.

Here's something else to be careful about. If you fly through some rain showers, the wool will shrink badly. But only in the fore-and-aft direction. So your wing area will go way down, and at the same time the aspect ratio goes up. So when you reach the Landing Zone, you will discover you are flying one hot racing wing buddy.. Don't say I didn't warn you. I've still got grazes on my knees. Honest.


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