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Hi, I’m Natasha.

Welcome to our creative website, where I will introduce you to all the fun, creative and crazy things we get up to.

I am a wife and a mother to my 3 children and 2 dogs. I am also a freelance crochet and knitting designer and maker, so you can imagine how chaotic it can get in our house.

Check out our About Us page for more information about us and what we do.

I hope this brings you creative joy and inspiration.

Let’s get yarning and creative!

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Getting started tips

All you need is one pair of knitting needles (single pointed or circular), one ball of yarn, a learning aid, some scissors, some patience and my helpful tips below.  These suggestions are based on my usage in the UK but can be applied to the US/AUS and other countries because I know some websites, yarns and accessories are accessible worldwide.  I have also included terms, knitting needle and yarn weight Conversion Charts for UK, Europe, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, China and Japan.


Yarn Weight & Type

Yarn weight is whether the yarn is Lace, Super Fine, Fine, Light, Medium, Bulky/Chunky, Super Bulky/Chunky or Jumbo.  Yarn type is whether it is fingering, sock, 2-ply, 3-ply, sport, double knit, aran, worsted, etc. NOTE: weights and types are different from country to country and not all charts list by country, so make sure you find one for your country - you can also use my Conversion Charts below.


To get started, I would pick a Double Knit (or DK)/Light yarn because it is really easy to use when starting out.  Some people suggest Chunky yarn because it works up quicker but I find it can be a bit tough to get through the stitches and would be best to use later.  I would select a cheap 100g ball of DK because it is just for practising with.


Yarn Colour

The colour of the yarn is not as important for knitting beginners.  I would still avoid white and black because it is hard to see individual stitches.


Yarn Brand

Cheap quality yarns to pick from include James C Brett, Red Heart, Stylecraft, Robin and pound shop yarns.  Any of these are perfect for starting out with.  My favourite place to buy any yarn from is www.loveknitting.com or www.lovecrochet.com.  I would recommend these because they are the same company and give brilliant customer service.  They also give help and advice when you need it.  On top of that, they give a lot of discount deals regularly.  With every order I have placed, I have had a 10% discount code on the receipt that I’ve had to use by a specific date.


Knitting Needle Choices

Most Double Knit (DK) yarns require between 4mm and 5mm knitting needles.  All DK yarns, I have used so far, have suggested 4mm needles.  There are many cost effective brands around.  You can buy individual pairs or sets.  My first pair were metal and came free with a magazine, along with some 25g balls of yarn.  This was perfect to get started with.  I now have a set of bamboo single pointed and a set of bamboo circular knitting needles.  I purchased these from www.curzy.com, both in sizes from 2mm - 12mm and cost £12.99 per set.  They even come in a roll up case and was the only site that I could get full sets at such a cheap price.  I haven’t shopped on this site for anything else because I find their selections limited and more expensive than other sites.


Aluminium or metal needles can be a better choice for a beginner because they are more slippery, making it easier to manoeuvre the stitches on and off.  I definitely found this to be the case but now I am established with knitting, my bamboo needles are fine.


Choosing between single, circular or double pointed needles can be confusing if you are a beginner.  The double pointed are exactly the same and do the same job as circular.  The only difference is the circular ones are joined by a wire/cable.  You can also use circular needles for single pointed work and they are especially handy if you have a large number of stitches to work with because they can pass onto the wire/cable rather than be scrunched up on a straight needle.  You are not restricted by the needle length as you are on single pointed needles.  If you are on a limited budget, I would choose circular needles because all bases are covered then.


Start learning

Once you have your ball of yarn and knitting needles, the next thing you need is a way to learn HOW to knit.  Although I started with a children's book - “Stitch by Stitch” by Jane Bull - from my local library, I got a bit frustrated with the descriptions and had to use the Internet.  I highly recommend the wonderful Expression Fibre Arts YouTube channel - https://www.youtube.com/user/ExpressionFiberArts.  Chandi is one of my favourite teachers for creative crafts because she is so much fun, making it easy to learn.  She will have you learning in no time at all because she takes all the difficulty away.  It also doesn’t matter that she is in the US because knitting terms are the same across all countries.


The first thing you will learn will be how to hold the knitting needles and yarn.  This can take a while to get comfortable with this as you are having to get both hands doing two separate jobs - or technically you have one hand doing one job and the other hand doing two jobs.  You have to keep trying until you get comfortable but it may take a few weeks and you may very well drop the yarn a lot, as well as get tangled.  This is where you need to be persistent, patient and take your time.  Along with this first step, you will learn how to cast on.  This will be the basis of all projects and is the process of establishing stitches on the left needle.  There is more than one way to do this and starts with the first stitch being a slip knot.  The best method for a beginner is the thumb cast on.


The first stitch types you will learn are the knit and purl stitches.  You will also learn how to cast off to finish a project off.  You need to become confident in these.  If you experience dropping stitches or get holes in your work, just keep going.  This can be learnt later.  My suggestion is start with a cast on of 20 stitches and knit for about 30 rows or more.  Do the same for the purl stitch and maybe even a combination of one row knit and one row purl, known as the stockinette/stocking stitch.  This continuity will help you get to grips with the stitches, what they look like and how they are worked.  Once you have mastered them you will be able to easily move on to other stitches and stitch patterns.  You can even get started on projects using just knit and/or purl and achieve some beautiful things, from blankets to bags.  Maybe even some of my projects will inspire you.



I hope this brings you creative joy and inspires you to start your own yarn-tastic journey.

Please share and connect with us on social media.  I would love to hear from you.

Let’s get yarning!

Places I love to buy from and highly recommend

www.loveknitting.com & www.lovecrochet.com - These are run by the same company.  They provide amazing service and products at reasonable prices.  The team endeavour to help other creative people achieve their knitting and crochet goals, right down to their packaging of your order.  It really does make you smile and feel like they really care about you as their customer.  They even provide a large number of free patterns, as well as reasonably priced ones.  You can sell your own patterns on there too.  There is also a community on their websites that you can join, upload your own projects and view other fellow makers projects.  Two things I will say, though, is if you know the name of yarn you want and it’s not in the list, type it in the search bar because I have found they sell other yarns that do not always appear in the main list.  The other thing is they do not do gift vouchers, which is a shame because I, and my daughter, would love to receive them as birthday and Christmas presents from our family.

www.woolwarehouse.co.uk - In all honestly, I only started shopping here because my daughter bought me a gift voucher for mothers day as loveknitting did not do them.  It is a variation of being similar on price on some products and slightly more expensive on others to loveknitting and lovecrochet.  They do provide a caring service, I have shopped with them more than once and will do again.  They even have a physical shop in Leamington Spa.

www.ebay.co.uk and www.amazon.co.uk - These are my back up places to go when I can’t find what I’m looking for on the other websites.

My recommendations for particular brands or products I use or have tested


Yarn

As a cost effective, soft and easy to work with yarn, James C Brett yarns are currently my absolute favourite.  They have a wide range of types and colours that are excellent quality and quantity at cheap prices.  There is something for everyone's taste and budget.


Red Heart yarn is one I really love.  Although, being in the UK, we do not have the same access to all their ranges like in the US.  It is very cost effective in the US and you do get large amounts on a skein.  They also have a massive selection, so you really are spoilt for choice.  I just wish it was more easily available here in the UK.  Love Knitting and Love Crochet sell some but are limited.


Robin yarns are very cost effective and soft once washed.  They are easily available in the UK and have a good range for anyone on a budget.


Stylecraft yarns is a brand I have only recently discovered and I think they are really great.  There are different varieties at great prices.  The colour choice is also amazing.  I am working on some projects at the moment using a few different types and colours and I can’t wait to show how this yarn works up.  I really am loving it and it may even take place as one of my favourites alongside James C Brett yarns.


Poundland and PoundWorld's yarns really are soft and warm.  They are good to work with.  However, not all stores sell yarn and some stores change frequently from selling it to not selling it so you cannot really rely on it.


Knitting Needles

My bamboo knitting needle sets from www.curtzy.com are cost effective and great to work with.  I would recommend these.  I know that KnitPro also make knitting needles and as I find my crochet hooks from them to be of high quality, I imagine the knitting needles to be of high quality too.  It is a personal choice of whether to work with bamboo, wood, plastic or metal.  It is down to the individual knitter to find what is most comfortable and useable.


Magazines

I have had subscriptions to “The Art of Knitting” and “Simple Stylish Knitting”.  Although, I did not continue my subscriptions for long. “The Art of Knitting” provide a great service and magazine for learning knitting.  The only reason I cancelled my subscription was for cost-effectiveness.  I realised that all the lessons in the magazine were available in books I could get from the library or online for free.  I felt it wasn’t really worth the money for me.


For “Simple Stylish Knitting”, I found that DeAgostini, who produce it, to be unreliable and uncommunicative.  They do not keep up with the free gifts and often had delays in sending out the magazines.  Also, their website is often out of date for what issue they are currently on and although it states information for issue 1 they frequently cease production on it and only allow you start subscription from later issues.  I would avoid this magazine.

Tutorials to try on YouTube I follow frequently and highly recommend

Expression Fibre Arts - I only follow Chandi’s YouTube videos for knitting.  She teaches so well and has so many little tricks for making learning easier and quicker.  She comes across as a warm and inspiring person.  You can tell she has a genuine love for helping others.  If you sign up to Chandi’s newsletter on her website - www.expressionfibrearts.com - she will keep you regularly up to date with new videos, free patterns and new yarns that she has available.  She also has extensive knowledge of yarn types and weights, so if you have questions she is the one to ask!

Websites that are great inspiration for knitting

www.expressionfibrearts.com - Chandi and her team dye yarn themselves and it is absolutely beautiful.  I only follow Chandi’s YouTube videos for knitting tutorials.  She teaches so well and has so many little tricks for making learning easier and quicker.  Her patterns are amazing too.

www.allfreeknitting.com - This is a great site with thousands of free patterns along with guides on how to knit.  They even have free patterns from top brands like Red Heart and Sirdar and have ebooks available to download too.

www.redheart.co.uk and www.redheart.com  - Red Heart’s website has hundreds of free patterns and they list all their yarns.  They also sell their yarns worldwide from the US site but I find the postage charges to be too high being here in the UK.  I wish they would make it as available here as they do in the US because they have colours and types that just aren’t available at reasonable prices here.  Loveknitting and lovecrochet sell some but are limited.

Knitting Terminology Abbreviation Chart

From what I have read and researched, knitting terminology appears to be the same in all countries.  The only things that are sometimes different are the abbreviations.  This chart only contains the most common terms and abbreviations.

Abbreviation

Knitting Terminology

Abbreviation

Knitting Terminology

alt

alternate

prev

previous

beg

beginning

psso

pass slipped stitch over

BO

bind/cast off

pwise

purlwise

c2b

cable two back

rem

remain(ing)

c2f

cable 2 front

rep

repeat

CO

cast on

RS

right side

cont

continue

sk

skip

dec

decrease

skp

slip, knit, pass stitch over

foll

follow(ing)

skpo

slip one, knit one, pass slipped stitch over

gst

garter stitch

sl

slip

inc

increase

sl st

slip stitch

k

knit

st(s)

stitch(es)

k2tog

knit two together

stst

stocking(ette) stitch

ktbl

knit through back loop

tog

together

kwise

knitwise

WS

wrong side

M1

make one

wyib

with yarn in back

p

purl

wyif

with yarn in front

p2tog

purl two together

yf

yarn forward

patt

pattern

yon

yarn over needle

pm

place marker

yrn

yarn round needle

Metric/Millimetres

(mm)

UK/Europe/Canada/AUS/NZ/China

(Imperial)

US

(Imperial)

Japan

(Metric (mm)/Imperial [in square brackets]

2.0

14

0

2.1mm / [0]

2.25

13

1

-

2.5

-

-

2.4mm / [1]

2.75

12

2

2.7mm / [2]

3.0

11

-

3.0mm / [3]

3.25

10

3

3.3mm / [4]

3.5

-

4

3.6mm / [5]

3.75

9

5

3.6mm / [5]

4.0

8

6

3.9mm / [6] or 4.2mm / [7]

4.5

7

7

4.2mm / [7] or 4.5mm / [8] or 4.8mm / [9]

5.0

6

8

4.8mm / [9] or 5.1mm / [10]

5.5

5

9

5.4mm / [11] or 5.7mm / [12]

6.0

4

10

5.7mm / [12] or 6.0mm / [13] or 6.3 / [14]

6.5

3

10.5

6.3mm / [14] or 6.6mm / [15]

7.0

2

-

7mm

7.5

1

-

-

8.0

0

11

8mm

9.0

00

13

9mm

10.0

000

15

10mm

12.0

-

17

12mm

15.0

-

19

15mm

16.0

-

19

-

19.0

-

35

-

25.0

-

50

25mm

Knitting Needle Conversion Chart

Knitting needle sizes differ from country to country.  There are UK and US size types, as well as the metric sizes working in millimetres (mm), which are actually universal across countries.  In the UK/Europe there are two types - before metric, which are imperial/numbered sizes, and after metric, which are sizes in millimetres.  In the US, there are three types - lettered sizes, imperial/numbered sizes and metric in mm.  Canada, Australia and New Zealand follow the UK and metric sizes.  Japan appear to follow a combination of imperial and metric, but in different sizes to other countries, and I think China work with metric.

Yarn Weight Conversion Chart

Yarn weights, like hooks and terms, differ from country to country.  The weight of a yarn refers to its thickness and has different categories.  I cannot find any information for Japan or China and there is some conflicting information about Australia and New Zealand.  The latter two mostly follow UK weights with just a couple of slight differences.

UK/European

US/Canada

AUS/NZ

1ply

0/Lace

2ply

2ply

0/Lace/Light Fingering

3ply

3ply

1/Super Fine//Fingering/Sock/Baby

3ply

4ply

2/Fine/Sport/Baby

5ply

DK

3/DK/Light Worsted

8ply

Aran

4/Medium/Worsted/Afghan/Aran

10ply

Chunky

5/Bulky

12ply

Super Chunky

6/Super Bulky

14ply

Jumbo

7/Jumbo

-

Bobble and Knit - Knitting Hints & Tips