Knitting Tips for Beginners

I have been writing a few patterns and putting them on sale in Ravelry this week.  It has been a brilliantly exciting time for me, seeing my creations come to life in someone else’s hands.   However, it has also been an eye opener.  I think I never really gave any thought before to a lot of instructions given in patterns that I just know how to do.  But some people have asked me about them.  So I thought it might be useful to start looking at things I take for granted, but are probably not as simple as they seem.

Cut Yarn

This one may seem deceptively easy.  But how long do you need to leave the tail when you cut the yarn?  If you look at your work you can see how it is really just lots of loops of yarn connected together.












What will happen if you cut the yarn too close to your live stitches?  They will all come undone and your hard work will be for nothing.  Cut the yarn too long and not only is it a waste but it will create more work for you later when you need to sew in all your ends.  I would personally think 10-15cm is fine.

Re-attach Yarn

This can be done in a few ways.  You can thread the yarn through the stitch so you have the working yarn and the end hanging down.












Alternatively you can put the needle through the stitch and loop the yarn around the needle and knit like normal.












I think this is really just personal preference and haven’t found any real advantages or disadvantages to either method.

These are just a couple of things that I have been asked to explain this week.  If you have anything else please comment and I can address them in future posts.  Remember, no question is a silly question if you don’t know the answer to it!


Etsy Meet in York!

On Friday I boarded the 10.05 train from Gypsy Lane to York.  I was more than a little excited!  After months of talking, um-ing, ah-ing, planning, changing plans and discussing I was finally going to be meeting a couple of other Etsy sellers In Real Life!  And even more exciting – they are both fellow knitters!  Sandra from The Feminine Touch and Nicola from Twinkknits.

The day got off to a good start.  I found my reserved seat and had enough room to spread out.  And even get my knitting out!!


There is nothing guaranteed to make people double take like the sight of someone knitting on a train!










The day was a gloriously sunny autumn day.  As I walked to meet the ladies I took in the gorgeous views from Lendal Bridge, over the River Ouse.  Nicola and Sandra were already chattering away when I found them on the other side.














The first thing we decided we needed was cake!  Nicola knew a fab cake shop and so we ordered some fabulous treats.  As always, being a bone-fide tea belly, I ordered a pot of tea.  We tried out one of Sandra’s brilliant tea cosies on it, but the teapot was, unfortunately not up to the task.  Don’t they know you can never have a big enough tea pot?!?!










After lots of talking, drinking and eating we decided to get on with the order of the day – a little yarn bombing or ‘bonking’ as we like to affectionally call it after Nicola’s autocorrect had done its stuff!

We made our way back through the city, and as we passed Betty’s and saw the queue we were all relieved that we hadn’t decided to go there!



The museum gardens were very busy.  Not surprising as it was Friday afternoon and the weather was more like a May afternoon than an October one.  We saw loads of very tame squirrels that came right up to us, almost close enough to touch.  We went past one man doing something very strange.  I wasn’t sure if he felt ill or had lost something.  Either way, he was in a strange pose and not moving at all!  Captions on a postcard please!

IMG_0051We then took a lovely stroll along the river whilst we tried to find the perfect place for our yarn bonking.  We wanted somewhere quiet enough that we wouldn’t be disturbed whilst we put our yarniness up, but we didn’t want it too quiet as we actually want people to see it!






We found the perfect spot along the river, not too far from the bridge and where the boats will come past.  It wasn’t a themed bombing, we all just bought what we could get our hands on.  But in the end I think it looks strangely effective.  If it brings a smile to someone then it has done its job!























So if you happen to be in York sometime soon, maybe you could pop down to the river and see if our creation is still there.  And remember, we did it to make you smile!

Before we all headed home we wanted to mark the occasion with an obligatory selfie.  Nicola on the left, Sandra on the right and me in the middle!




A Jumper for Caitlin

I was recently looking through some of my knitting books when my daughter, Caitlin, asked me if I would knit her a jumper for Christmas.  I passed the books to her and told her to choose which one she would like.  She chose Scafell by Marie Wallin in Lakeside, Collection Two.  You can find out more about the pattern here:

We went onto the internet and I let Caitlin choose the yarn that she wanted it knitting in.  She chose a pale lilac colour and a really deep purple.  When they arrived we could see just how well they went together.  As the pattern for this jumper is for a lady and Caitlin is only 11 I had to make some modifications.  She wanted it nice and long so she could wear it like a dress over leggings.

I followed the basic pattern for the smallest size but began by making the rib deeper.   When I got to the end of the pattern I repeated the top part until the Caitlin was happy with the length.  The front was made to match.  The sleeves proved a little more difficult.  I measured her arms and knitted both sleeves together.  But when I sewed one into the jumper she said it was a little tight.  So I ended up pulling them both out and completely re-knitting in a bigger size.

The finished item looks fab on Caitlin and fits her perfectly.  Although the long body and smaller arms does mean it looks a little strange on the mannequin, but it is Caitlin that will be wearing it – not the dummy!

Check out my Ravelry project page here