A guide to learning how to knit in London

Kicking off this new blog with an exciting topic: knitting!

I’ve recently learn how to knit again (I learnt before from my gran when I was a little girl), luckily it’s like riding a bike, the movements still seemed to be in my fingers. What wasn’t like riding a bike was learning how to purl. I had never learned how to do this before, and it felt really jarring at first. But I managed to get over my initial scepticisim and now I’m enjoying my new-found ability to create all sorts of great patterns.

Here’s how I went about learning to knit:

To start of my knitting I went to a local yarn shop (http://www.allthefunofthefair.bigcartel.com/), which I would advise anyone to do.

The shop lady was very helpful, and explained some of the basics to me:
– extra chunky wool is great for beginners because it allows you to clearly see what you’re doing, and also very important: to make quick progress
– the needles you use are defined by the wool you’re working with. The packaging of your wool will tell you which needles are appropriate (in UK measurements the number indicated the diameter of your needle)
– you can buy needles in a variety of different material, the most common ones being bamboo and metal. She advised me to try out bamboo, and I found them great to work with: they look pretty, feel soft and warm and have just the right amount of slipperiness for me.

 

Next I joined in one evening of Stitch London (originally stitch-n bitch London): http://www.stitchldn.com/

They organise a knitting meet-up in central London (subscribe to their newsletter to find out where and when), these are held on week day evenings in some great central locations, I went to one at the South Bank centre, and just consist of lots of like minded knitters turning up at the same location, to knit, chat and drink for a few hours. Once a month they also make sure they have some people around to teach you how to knit if you’re new to the craft, so that’s how I refreshed my knitting skill. They’re such a friendly bunch, I recommend everyone to try it!

Finally, to learn how to purl (an this may explain my difficulty in learning, although it’s a notorious trick to begin with), I just googled ‘learn how to purl’, there’s two type of instructions, pictures and videos, I personally found the pictures easier to learn from…

Now I knew the basics, my first project was a nice little cushion for Annelies (late Christmas present), inspired by a cushion I saw in All the fun of the fair (http://www.allthefunofthefair.bigcartel.com/), they sell kits with wool, needles and pattern to make this cushion (and I definitely would advise you to go and get one), but since I already had my wool and needles, I decided to just try and replicate a similar style (and so learn how to create my own pattern as well). And this is the result (I was trying out playing with a colourful background to photograph my projects, but think this one might be a bit over the top)

 

If you want to recreate this cushion, this is the pattern:

Size:
Creates a shape of about 40cm wide, 80cm long
Fits an inner cushion of approx 35x35cm

Material:
Cygnet seriously chunky in grey: http://www.allthefunofthefair.bigcartel.com/product/seriously-chunky-extra-thick-value-yarn-in-10-great-colours

Gauge:
7 stitches and 10 rows = 10cm

Directions:

Cast on 28

Section 1 (8 rows)
K9 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K9
P9 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P9
P11 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P11
K11 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K11
P11 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P11
P9 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P9
K9 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K9
K28

section 2 (8 rows)
P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K8 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2
K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P8 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2
P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P12 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2
K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K12 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2
P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P12 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2
K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P8 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2
P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K8 – P2 – K2 – P2 – K2 – P2
K28

Repeat Section 1 (8 rows)

Repeat Section 2 (8 rows)

Repeat Section 1 (8 rows)

Bind Off


If that baffles you, I’ve also created a little diagram, see below. (click to view the PDF) the grey areas represent your purl bumps and the white your knitting V’s (or the reverse if you turn your work around), the instructions are listed per row on the left.

2 thoughts on “A guide to learning how to knit in London

  1. Pingback: Personalised topshop bag | Fabric Stash

  2. Pingback: Pink knitted cushion | Fabricstash

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