To block or not to block - by Samira Hill

knitting May 20, 2021

Time to throw some clarity on that famous closing phrase at the end of most patterns: “weave ends and block to size”…

I am always amazed at the equally amazed looks I get from a lot of very experienced, or long time knitters and crocheters I come across at my classes and workshops, when I ask them if they have blocked their piece, or whether these measurements are taken before or after blocking. 

I suspect some of you might be wearing that same look right now, as you are reading this! 

The answer I usually get is: “I don’t know what you mean!” I then respond quoting the end of the pattern, followed by “oh, I just ignore that bit cause I don’t know what that means”, or “I didn’t do it because I don’t know how to do it”.

This might make you think that if they have been knitting and crocheting for so long without blocking, then it can’t be very important.  And you may be right,...

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Kids Knit - New Book

kids knit knitting Oct 07, 2020

 

Kids Knit is the perfect starter book for children wanting to learn how to knit. Packed with 20 fun patterns and top tips for knitting success, this comprehensive children’s knitting course starts with basic knitting skills and gradually increases in complexity as the book progresses.

Children begin with chunky, wooden needles to create simple shapes using Rowan Big Wool. The key at this stage is to get projects completed quickly so children grow in confidence and see themselves as creatively capable. As they move through the patterns, skills are consolidated and new skills introduced.

Post your Kids Knit makes on social media with the hashtag #kidsknitbook

BUY ON AMAZON

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Make summer bunting with the kids

craft activities Aug 12, 2020

Everyone can join in this fun project, which incorporates knitting, threading beads and buttons and sticking stuff down!

The Knitting…
Requires only basic skills – great for beginners or those whose knitting skills are feeling a bit rusty! You’ll need some aran weight yarn and some 6mm needles. Use up odd ends of wool you have around the house, or treat yourself to a couple of new balls in colours you love.

To knit the squares:
Cast on 10 stitches, knit 15 rows and cast off.

To knit the triangles:
Cast on 15 stitches
Rows 1 – 2: knit
Rows 3 & 4: slip one (pass the first stitch onto the other needle without knitting it), knit two together, knit to the end of the row.
Rows 5 & 6: slip one, knit to the end of the row
Repeat rows 3-6 until you have 3 stitches left
Knit 2 rows
Knit 3 together
Cut the wool leaving a 10cm tail and thread it through the last remaining stitch, pulling it up tight.
Thread loose ends into the back of the bunting so they can’t be...

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Five reasons you should knit on holiday

knitting Jul 01, 2020

1:  Get into holiday mode. The holiday feeling starts the moment you begin choosing your patterns and shopping for your holiday yarn.  Enjoy perusing and squishing until you find the perfect colour, texture and weight.

2:  Hanging about in the airport, delays or long journeys? If you have your knitting with you, this won’t feel like time wasted.

3:  It’s the ultimate relaxation activity. The repetitive movements of repeatedly knitting stitches has been likened to meditation.  Furthermore, concentrating on complex knitting patterns and skills allows your mind to focus entirely on your knitting and forces you to leave behind the stresses of work and home life.

4:  Meet new people.  Your knitting will spark lots of conversations and before you know it you will make lots of new holiday friends.

5:  Take home a special keepsake from your holiday.  Long after your sun tan has faded (or your sun burn has healed) and the sand has gone...

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Re-purpose the pre-loved

craft activities Apr 02, 2020

A few weeks ago my daughters and I took a short walk to our local second hand shops to see if we could find some interesting treasures. We set ourselves a budget of £2 each. We picked out jewellery and trinkets that caught our eye and then brought it all home to get creative! Beaded necklaces, an embroidered bag, little ornaments, a small cushion…. these objects once loved and now discarded by other folk were soon to be loved by us again!

Together with other jewellery making things like pliers, wire and earring accessories, we set to work to take apart all our treasured purchases and make them into something new.

After much experimenting with what would go best with what, laying things side by side and chatting about the pros and cons of this that and the other, some decisions were made and the sewing, threading and wire bending began!

The little cushion was decorated with beads and charms, the embroidered bag was given a pretty new handle, umpteen sets of...

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One Ball Beanie

Using just one ball of Rowan Big Wool, this easy garter stitch beanie style hat is a real stunner!

Materials: 100g Rowan Big Wool

Needles:  8mm single point needles

Notions:  Tapestry needle for sewing up

Abbreviations:  k2tog: Decrease by knitting 2 together

Tension:  8mm needles and in Garter Stitch: 10cm = 10 stitches and 24 rows

 

PATTERN

Cast on 48 stitches. Knit 30 rows.

Decrease for the crown of the hat

Row 31: *K4, k2tog, repeat from * to end (40 stitches) Row 32: Knit
Row 33: * K3, k2tog, repeat from * to end (32 stitches) Row 34: Knit
Row 35: * K2, k2tog, repeat from * to end (24 stitches) Row 36: Knit
Row 37: * K1, k2tog, repeat from * to end (16 stitches) Row 38: Knit
Row 39: * k2tog, repeat from * to end (8 stitches)

Cut the yarn leaving a long end to sew up. Then thread the end through all the remaining stitches. Pull up tight and secure with some sewing. Sew the sides of your hat together.

Decorate with a...

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Six well known benefits of knitting

Every knitter knows the joy that knitting brings.  Just squidging some lovely hand dyed alpaca yarn and giving it a sniff relaxes us and makes us feel good!  But just in case you need a reminder – here are just six of the many great benefits knitting brings us.

  • It helps relieve feelings of stress, worry and depression
  • It helps prevent arthritis and tendinitis
  • It’s a great way to escape the chaos of everyday life
  • It improves maths skills and spacial recognition
  • It might delay the onset of dementia
  • It provides opportunities to meet with like-minded people

And that’s just the beginning!  

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10 Great Things About Kids Knit

kids knit knitting Jan 03, 2020

Our Kids Knit Programme features 4 levels of knitting: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. Within each level, there are many projects to choose from which are specifically designed to be appropriate for that level and ability. Each project aims to consolidate skills learned in the previous project whilst introducing a new ones.

Our award winning classes are available in schools, cafes, church halls and the homes of our teachers. They are fantastically successful with children clamouring to join in the fun and learn new skills.

But Kids Knit isn’t just about learning crafting skills. Here’s what’s so great about our Kids Knit classes!

 

1.  Building Confidence. 

Confidence is the key to success in learning any new skill. Most of the projects are fairly quick to knit, especially in the Beginner stage. This allows the children to take satisfaction from having achieved something and encourages them to get started on something new, which...

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Meet Sara, our clever Star Knitter!

kids knit knitting Dec 18, 2019

Fiona Campbell teaches Kids Knit classes in the Cramond and Blackhall areas of Edinburgh.  Recently, one of her students showed her a presentation she had made about her Kids Knit classes to show her primary school class.  Fiona was so impressed she thought you would like to meet her clever and inspiring little Kids Knitter.  We’ve included one of her PowerPoint slides below.  Say Hello to Sara! 

Tell us bit about yourself Sara, how old are you and what school do you go to?

I am 10 years old and I am the youngest in my year group. I go to Blackhall Primary school where I have loads of great friends.

What are your favourite foods and what kinds of things do you like to do in your spare time?

My favourite food is any pasta dishes. In my spare time I like knitting, drawing and reading. I am more of an indoor kind of person. I also really enjoy swimming, in fact I just started a proper swimming club!

What would you like to be when you grow up?

I am not...

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Knitting really is for everyone

knit night & day knitting Nov 18, 2019

Alison McKie is a former lawyer and now a Knitting For All teacher in Glasgow.  As well as teaching children at her regular Kids Knit classes, she also helps a group of deafblind adults to knit.

Deafblind Scotland is a charity that supports the needs of deafblind adults at their national centre in Kirkintilloch.  Their aim is to enable deafblind people to live as rightful members of their own communities, campaigning for the rights of the deafblind people and providing a range of services, support, training and information.

When the charity contacted Alison to ask if she would be interested in teaching knitting and crochet to a small group of deaf blind people, she was delighted.  With plenty of experience of working with a variety of groups previously, she was confident she could offer them something that they would enjoy.  However, initially she was wondered how she would be able to communicate with them.

“I was assured the guide who was with them would...

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