If you’ve ever seen one of these thick, chunky wool blankets on Etsy or Pinterest, chances are it was made by 27-year-old Anna Marinenko.
Her Ohhio store on Etsy is extremely popular with over 50,000 “admirers” — people who have favorited her shop. The store also has nearly 80,000 followers on Instagram and 28,000 followers on Facebook with fans all around the world.
She’s so popular, in fact, that she’s since launched her own personal website, she told INSIDER in an email.
Marinenko is from Kiev, Ukraine, and started knitting the blankets over a year ago with her hands instead of knitting needles after she found a huge spool of merino wool.
“One day [I saw] an unusual material that awakened my imagination,” she said. “I did not have any knitting needles, so I just started to knit with my hands.”
The blanket she made had gigantic magnified stitches.
Marinenko loved the aesthetic — a soft, lightweight blanket that made the knitting the focal point — and decided to order more of the yarn.
“It’s not a new technique,” she told INSIDER, but it was the foundation of her successful Etsy shop, where she now charges as much as $900 for one of her deluxe large blankets.
Though she declined to tell INSIDER where she gets her spools or how much they cost, she did say each blanket costs her a pretty good amount of money to make.
On her website, Marinenko sells the yarn in six different colours for $60 a 35-ounce spool or $109 for a $75-ounce spool, which can make a blanket around 30-inches by 50-inches — the same size as Marinenko’s small blanket ($295).
Her largest blanket measures over 5 feet long and nearly 7 feet wide.
In addition to selling yarn, Marinenko designed a pair of knitting needles for customers who want to knit their own blanket with the 23-micron wool. A friend makes the needles in his wood workshop and Marinenko sells a version of them for $65 on Etsy, or $145 if customers buy the wool as well as the needles as a blanket-making set.
Ohhio isn’t the only chunky knit-blanket store on Etsy, but it is one of the most popular. With over 400 reviews, Marinenko’s store has a near-perfect rating and customers rave about her blankets.
“Wow this thing is amazing and even my husband, who started joking about its bulk, won’t get off of it,” one reviewer wrote. “It’s just the best blanket to cosy up in.”
“I bought this as a gift for my wife and she loves it,” another said. “It’s luxurious, wonderfully tactile, and looks amazing.”
She hopes someday to have stores in major US and European cities. If her popularity on Etsy is any indication, Marinenko is on her way to achieving that level of success.