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.

Why we like to knit for charity

It is Commit to Knit month  and we’re asking you to sign-up to knit or crochet an item for charity during June.

We’ve come up with a list of charities that could benefit from your knitting and put together a collection of patterns for those organisations. The patterns are available in a booklet issued with the June issues of Simply Knitting, The Knitter and Simply Crochet magazines, and will be published on our website during the month.

 

Commit to Knit Month

Some of our Commit to Knit patterns – Egg cosies for Oxfam, Preemie Hat for Bonnie Babies and Tulips for AYME Mums.

Commit to Knit month was inspired by the 1,000s of you who knit for charity every year, but we’re sure that some of you are wondering if it is for you – so making a single charity item is a way to try it out.

To inspire you we’ve been asking some of our followers to tell us about their charity knitting and found so much variety in what they do. Charity knits come in all shapes and sizes. It could be something traditional like a blanket of squares or a hat for a preemie baby but equally it could be prizes for a tombola, a crocheted prosthetic breast or a knitted flower to raise awareness of a cause. Charity knits might be donated or sold – or they might be something you make from a pattern sold for charity. As knitters and crocheters, you do all of these things, proving once again the variety in the yarnie community.

And why do people knit for charity?

When you look at what people have to say about their charity knits, the underlying reason is that we love knitting and we can use something we love to help others. So it is a win-win. Plus we can think about the object we create being loved by someone who will really value a warm garment or a comforting blanket. Or of someone benefiting from a charity that has raised money through our stitches.

So whether you’ve knitted for charity or not in the past, please join in this great tradition and share the love this June.

commit to knit

Are you ready to Commit to Knit?

June is Commit to Knit month 2016, when we ask you to pledge to knit an item (or more than one) for charity.

The month follows on from our first Commit to Knit campaign last year when hundreds of knitters and crocheters signed up to make items for a number of charities with yarn based projects. This year we have decided run the campaign in June to coincide with Worldwide Knit in Public day on Saturday 18 June, and we hope that some of you will organise charity-knitting events through your knitting groups on the day.

This year we are focusing on eight charities and have worked with our member yarn companies to put together a set of patterns – one for each of the charities The charities are we are supporting are Knit For Peace, Project Linus, Knit A Square, Oxfam, RSPCA, Mission To Seafarers, Bonnie Babies and  AYME Mums.

We have teamed up with Immediate Media, publisher of Simply Knitting, Simply Crochet and The Knitter, to create a Commit to Knit pattern booklet which will be given away with copies of those magazines over the next few weeks.

The patterns will also be made available of the UK Hand Knitting website over the period of the campaign. Three of the patterns are already on the site for you to make a start – click here to see our egg cosy, crochet tulip and preemie hat patterns.

How to Commit

If you want to knit or crochet something for charity during June please sign up to the campaign here. And if your knitting group would like to pick a charity to knit for during the campaign or would like to organise a charity knitting in public event, you can join the campaign here.

There will be suggestions and advice on organising an event in future weeks and we’ll be running prizes draws for individuals and groups who sign up during June.

commit to knit

Look out for the Commit to Knit booklet with Simply Knitting, Simply Crochet and The Knitter magazines

 

6 reasons why we love local yarn shops

6 reasons why we love local yarn shops

With Yarn Shop Day 2016  on Saturday 30 April fast approaching, we thought it was an ideal time to look at why we love local yarn shops – beyond the fact we are yarn addicts who can’t help go ooh and ahh at the sight of a room full of yarn.

  1. Being able to touch and compare yarns. Reading about a yarn can only tell you so much. So times you need to see it close up to decide if it is right for you. Plus when you see yarn in the fibre, so to speak, there is the opportunity to try different colour combinations.
  2. Discovering new yarns. When you go into a yarn shop it isn’t unusual to spot a new yarn or colourway you didn’t know about. Admittedly this can mean you buy a lot more yarn that you went in for. On the UK Hand Knitting team we’re great believers in going into yarn shops we come across because you never know when you might find something new.
  3. New patterns. One great thing about yarn shops is exploring the knitted samples they have on show, which can give you new ideas (and lead to buying unplanned yarn…)
  4. Yarn shop owners and staff know a lot about yarn and yarn crafts. They tend to be passionate about what they do and so are a mine of information and advice.
  5. Want to learn a new technique? A good place to start will be your local yarn shop which may run classes or point you in the right direction.
  6. Yarn shops are somewhere you can talk about your knitting and crochet with like-minded people. It is socially acceptable to admire other people’s yarn or work. Plus many shops have their own knitting groups.

If you are not sure if there is a yarn shop near you, we have been mapping them across the UK to help you. Click here to find your nearest shop.

And we’ve been asking the shops on the map what they’re planning for Yarn Shop Day and you can find out more here. And even if your local yarn shop doesn’t have a special event listed, why not show your support by popping in for a look on Saturday 30 April.

ysd 1