Spotlight the teacher - Blog post - The Power of 'yes I can!' by Jacqui Speed

Every month we spotlight one of our fabulous members! This month we have been getting to know more about Jacqui Speed from Purlwise!  See our previous blog post for a written interview with Jacqui. Jacqui runs Purlwise in Brampton, Cambridgeshire. You can find out more about Purlwise on her Knitting For All teacher page and on her own website. We are delighted to share this blog post written by Jacqui about her thoughts on the power of 'yes I can!' What could you do if you changed 'no I can't' to 'yes I can!'?

The Power of 'yes I can!' by Jacqui Speed

Isn’t it funny how we can always see things in other people more easily than we can ourselves.  At one time I had a wool shop and I noticed how many times I heard “oh, I couldn’t do that” often from people who were really experienced makers. I thought about this for a while and not only realised that I say it myself (of course!) but that I think it means one of two things:...

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Knitting and Crochet with Deafblind Scotland by Alison McKie

I have had the immense privilege of facilitating a knitting and crochet group with members of Deafblind Scotland for the past few years.

“How do dual sensory impaired people knit - or crochet?” is a question I am frequently asked. After all, even those of us who do not have sight or hearing problems often struggle! Quite simply as all knitters and crocheters know, both crafts are very tactile, and with such a finely honed sense of touch, the members are often aware of “errors” in their work, which they can feel, but which I can hardly see! More than once I have reassured someone that what they feel as an imperfection, will not be seen, or noticed, by anyone else!

Initially the group was a face-to-face group, held in Deafblind Scotland’s national headquarters in a Glasgow suburb. The majority of members were assisted by a guide communicator, who translated what I was saying into British Sign Language (BSL). For those who have very limited...

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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



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 โ€“ 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
  • Itโ€™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 thatโ€™s just the beginning!  

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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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Meet Jaki, our Star Knitter at Knit Night & Day classes in Cramond and Blackhall

knit night & day Jan 01, 2019

Fiona Campbell teaches Knit Night & Day classes in the Cramond and Blackhall area of Edinburgh. One of her popular classes takes place on Tuesday mornings in a beautiful conservatory in Ye Olde Inn in Davidsons Mains. Fiona thought it would be fun to introduce one of her knitting companions, so please meet Jaki, this month’s Star Knitter!

Hello Jaki!  Who taught you to knit and how long ago?

My granny taught me when I was about 5 or 6.  I knitted up until my mid-twenties, then I got diverted!  I knitted on and off over the years but not successfully – I had a good friend who finished projects for me!

What do you like about Fiona’s classes?

I like the friendship and banter.  It’s a very sociable group.

What kind of thing do you enjoy knitting most?

I’m now addicted to Fair Isle!

What do you like about knitting?

I find it very therapeutic, and it keeps your brain active, and when you actually complete something...

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