Get the best from summer yarn shows

If you take a look at our knitting and crochet event calendar you will see there are plenty of yarn fairs to visit over the next two or three months.

With this in mind here are our top tips for getting the best out of a summer yarn show.

Take some time to research and plan

It is worth taking a little time before the show to make sure you will see everything you want to on the day. Check to see if there are any workshops with spaces and any talks or demonstrations you might want to fit in.

Have a glance down the retailer list so you don’t miss a stall you will regret later.

Check out the refreshment facilities. If it is an outdoor (or even partially outdoor) event, see if there are places where you can eat a picnic on sunny day.

Allow plenty of time

There is no point is rushing round an event like this. There may be sheep or alpacas to admire, a shearing or a spinning demo to watch and you might bump into people you know.

Plus if you are determined to get the best from the stalls you may be best advised to make two circuits. First as a recce to you can see everything on offer (and not spend all your money at the first stop) and then a second to find a few treats whether that be yarn, needles and hooks, bags or something out of the ordinary.

Image from Fibre East

Enjoy yourself and chat to representatives of guilds, as well as  other knitters and crocheters

One of the joys of a yarn show is admiring other people’s knits and chatting to them about what the pattern is and what yarn they used. Another is visiting various guilds and associations on their stands to find out about new crafts. The social side of a yarn event can be as much fun as the shopping.

We are planning to have some fun trips to yarn fairs this summer and we hope you do too.

Why knit in public

This Saturday, 10 June 2017, is World Wide Knit in Public Day. Pretty much as it says on the tin, this is when knitters of all abilities, styles and nationalities take their needles and yarn out and about.

For some people this means going to an organised Knit in Public Day event. A number of these around the UK have been organised as part of Commit To Knit (C2K) month so will be focusing on charity knitting in public – you can find details of 70 C2K events here.

Other people might just get together with friends in a café or have a special local knitting group outing.

And some people will do pretty much what they do anyway, that is knit everywhere – on park benches, on public transport, in waiting rooms and hospital wards, and anywhere else they might have an opportunity.

world wide knit in public

If you haven’t knitted in public before, why not give it a go this Saturday? It is a great way to reduce your stress in waiting rooms or lose yourself on a crowded train. You just need a small project that you can pull out of a bag (or even a pocket in the case of a crochet square for example) when you have the opportunity.

And it may not be just you that benefits. When you knit in public, you will notice people who seem to relax by watching your needles. Other people will chat or ask you what you are making. This can range from the chirpy “Will you do me a hat, love” to people asking where they can learn or who really want to tell you about the lovely sweaters their Nan made. Whatever the conversation, a little friendly chat can’t be a bad thing.

Finally, you might meet a fellow knitter. Knitters round the world seem to be happy to greet another person with their yarn out. So you never know, you could make a new friend this Saturday.

Click here for the full worldwide list of events.

Three reasons to Commit To Knit for charity this June

June is Commit to Knit month, when we ask you to commit to knit or crochet at least one item for charity.

So why should you get involved?

  1. Stashbusting
    A lot of the patterns in the special charity knitting supplement we have put together with the lovely folk at Simply Knitting (look out for it in your newsagent in the next few days) and the ones on the charity section of our website use small amounts of yarn. Why not make some space in your yarn cupboard by rustling up a few twiddlemuffs, blanket squares or preemie hats.

    Commit to knit month

  2. Knowing that what you make will be really appreciated
    We receive lots of feedback from charity projects we support, thanking knitters for their time and skill. If you have run out of people to knit for, why not make something that will really help someone?
  3. Meet like-minded makers
    We will be putting together a list of libraries, knitting groups and shops that will be hosting Commit To Knit events and sessions, where you can join other knitters and crocheters to simply make together or work on a joint project. Keep an eye on the Commit to Knit area of our website.

 

How quickly can you knit 100 stitches? Could you be the Nation’s Fastest Knitter

feature17_fastestknitterWe are joining forces with event organisers ICHF to find the Nation’s Fastest Knitter.

The challenge is to knit 100 stitches as quickly as possible. You can use whatever yarn and needles you prefer and choose to knit or purl – it is all about what works for you.
There are two ways to enter.
Firstly, visit the UK Hand Knitting Stand at the following shows:
•   The Stitching, Sewing and Hobbycraft Show, Manchester, Event City, Manchester, 2-4 February
•    Sewing For Pleasure and Fashion & Embroidery with Hobbycrafts at the NEC Birmingham, 16-19 March
•    Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show at ExCeL, London, 20-22 April

There, one of the UK Hand Knitting team will time you and record your entry.
We will have yarn and needles standing by for your attempt, but you are permitted to bring your  own favourite set of lucky needles if you wish.
Or you can enter online by submitting a video of you completing the 100 stitches as quickly as possible. We will be able to take your time from the video and verify that you complete 100 stitches.

Or you can enter online by submitting a video of you completing the 100 stitches as quickly as possible. We will be able to take your time from the video and verify that you complete 100 stitches.

Watch our video on entering Nation’s Fastest Knitter and
ensuring you get your best time

To enter the competition please follow these steps:
1. On the video make sure your say “get ready, set, go” before you start knitting.

2. When you finish you 100 stitches pause for a moment before ending your video. This will give us a chance to time you properly

3. Upload your video to social media, eg Facebook, Instagram, your blog, etc, or put it on a cloud file hosting site like dropbox and send us the link to the video for us to watch. We cannot download files because we do not have enough server space.

4. Please include your name, email address and postcode with your entry.
The fastest online entries along with those from the shows will be invited to take part in the grand final taking place at the Stitching, Sewing & Hobbycrafts Show in London.
A number of exciting prizes including yarn and other knitting equipment is up for grabs for runners up. The overall winner will take home an exclusive Nation’s Fastest Knitter trophy plus a ‘golden ticket’ giving free access to all ICHF Event’s shows for life.

Plan your 2017 knitting and crochet fun

In some jobs it can be quite a good thing to be the person in the office on the days between Christmas and New Year.

You can sort out loose ends from the year, sort out the filing and get your diary organised for the new year.

If you have some down time at home over this period you can apply the same principles to your knitting and crochet pursuits.

You could plan some trips to yarn shows or workshops for the new year. There are already quite a few shows from large multi-craft events to local wool festivals in our 2017 events calendar and plenty of knitting and crochet classes being added to our workshop diary.

yarn event diary

Over the Christmas holidays is also a good time to finish off a few projects (or be brutally honest that some things aren’t going to be finished) and to plan new ones.

The equivalent of sorting out the office filing is to tackle the stack of knitting magazines you have been accumulating over the months. Go through them and identify the patterns you want to make. Some of us are strong willed enough to tear out those patterns to go in a folder and to throw away the rest – or perhaps share the remainder with other people at a knitting group.

organising knitting patterns

Once you have narrowed down your patterns, it can be great fun to go through your stashed yarn to see if you have something suitable. This can of course mean getting out all your yarn to have a look. Matching patterns to yarns and putting them together in a project bag can be very satisfying as you line up a little collection of projects for next year.

Of course you will discover that you don’t have the yarn for all the patterns you’ve saved, but that’s OK because now you have an excuse for a spot of yarn shopping and perhaps some online browsing to narrow down suitable yarns and colours. So it is a win win.

 

Join our Christmas Appeal and hone your sock skills

Over the past few weeks on the blog we’ve looked at baby knits being a great way to learn new skills with out the commitment of an adult garment.We’ve also had tips on making socks for the first time.

UK Hand KNitting stocking appeal

If those two ideas interested to you, the UK Hand Knitting  Christmas appeal is just the thing for you. We are asking knitters and crocheters across the country to join our Christmas appeal and spread some festive cheer by making mini stockings which will be made into bunting. We want to bring a little Christmas spirit to care homes and lunch clubs by getting as many people involved as possible to make some festive bunting.

Anyone can get involved simply by making a mini Christmas stocking from left over yarn. We have created two special knit patterns and Raveler RhonddaM has kindly donated a crochet pattern, all of which can be found on the UK Hand Knitting website.

One of the patterns, mini Christmas sock, is worked in the round and has all the components of a full adult sock in minature. Perfect for learning sock construction while using up the odds and ends in your stash.

We are keen to make as many metres of bunting as possible. Knitters and crocheters can drop off their bunting at the UK Hand Knitting stand at the Knitting and Stitching Shows at Alexandra Palace and Harrogate, or by sending them to
Christmas Stocking Appeal
60 Bridge Road East
Welwyn Garden City
Herts AL7 1JU
Please join with UK Hand Knitting to spread some cheer this Christmas

Join or organise a Commit to Knit event

There is still time to join in or even organise your own Commit to Knit month event.

We have suggested that knitting groups could hold charity knitting events on Worldwide Knit in Public Day, 18 June. This could be by linking up with your local library or arranging to knit at a picnic, in a café or in any other public space. One of our team will be on a ferry that day so she plans to knit an item from our charity pattern collection and have spare yarn and needles if anyone else wants to join in.

Commit to Knit month

Why not talk your charity knitting on an outing and share your love of yarn crafts with others

More than 90 libraries from across the country have offered to host Commit to Knit events. You can find the one closest to you and a list of the knitting groups already planning activities here.

If there isn’t anything happening near you, why not organise you own charity knitting in public event. It doesn’t have to be anything very formal, you just need the following:

  • Some knitting friends to meet up with
  • A venue – café, library, pub, park. Remember if you go for an outdoor event, have a back-up plan.
  • A willingness to talk about knitting and crochet to anyone who is interested
  • Be welcoming to new (to you) knitters
  • Your yarn and needles.

Once you’ve decided on your plan please use this link to let us know what you are doing and if it is on Saturday 18 June list your event on the WWKIPDay website as well. You can find more ideas here.

If you don’t think you can manage a special Commit to Knit event why not persuade your knitting group to give a regular session to charity knitting. We’ve heard of one group that are planning to make Twiddlemuffs for dementia sufferers and then have a finishing session at their regular meeting where they’ll share buttons, beads and trimmings.

Click here to find out more about this year's Commit to Knit patterns including the Twiddlemuff

Click here to find out more about this year’s Commit to Knit patterns including the Twiddlemuff

Whatever you decide, don’t forget to let us know how you plan to Commit to Knit this month.