Knitting YarnKnitting Yarn MaterialWool Stash

What to Consider When Choosing Your Knitting Yarn Material

Thinking of taking up knitting? First you will need to get to grips with the different types of knitting yarn available. Some people make the mistake in calling all yarn ‘wool.’ In fact there are many different types of yarn available, each of which have different properties and are therefore suited to different knitting projects. Below we discuss some of the values and purposes of various different yarn materials.

Wool

Standard wool comes from sheep, but did you know that different breeds of sheep yield different types of wool? In fact, there are almost as many different types of wool as there are different breeds of sheep! People have been using wool for over twelve thousand years. It varies in price, depending on the type, though popular types can be picked up quite affordably.

Wool Sheep

Wool Sheep

Today many people prefer to make clothing items and accessories out of wool as it has a number of beneficial properties e.g. dirt resistant, durable, waterproof, colourfast, wrinkle-resistant and flame retardant. Whereas some types of wool are coarse, others are medium or fine. It also comes in different weights, making some types of wool more suited to certain knitting projects than others.

Blue Faced Leicester

Two of the most popular wool types are Blue Faced Leicester wool and Merino wool. Blue Faced Leicester sheep have long shaggy coats and produce wool that is soft and strong. It is our most lustrous British breed and can only be rivaled in softness by Merino. Merino sheep produce wool, which is superfine and as soft as cotton. It does however have tendency to pill, creating little balls of fuzz.

Mohair

Mohair is a fuzzy yarn that is often used to make fashionable jumpers and cardigans. It comes from the fleece of Angora goats and is not to be confused with Angora yarn, which actually comes from Angora rabbits. Whilst Mohair yarn looks great and is soft to touch, many people find it to be a little itchy. This is why we recommend blending it with another type of yarn.

Mohair boasts a number of great qualities:

  • Very durable
  • Water-resistant
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to dye

Cashmere

Cashmere is known as being the most luxurious of all yarn, which is why it is the most expensive to purchase. It comes from the Cashmere goat and is usually hand combed from their under-bellies during moulting season. Cashmere is known for being soft, fluffy and extremely warm, making it ideal for scarves, gloves, hats, jumpers, cardigans and tunics.

One of the great things about cashmere fibres is that they can be made into any thickness of yarn. This makes the yarn suitable for a wide range of knitting projects. If you cannot afford to splash out on cashmere, a cheaper alternative comes in the form of a cashmere blend. This yarn usually features cashmere and a cheaper type of yarn like wool.

Alpaca

Alpaca is a type of natural yarn that comes from the Alpaca, a llama-like animal. It is best known for making extremely warm clothing and accessories like gloves, scarves and hats. Most people refrain from using alpaca to make jumpers and cardigans, as it is just too warm – even for the UK! The best Alpaca yarn comes from it’s native Peru where the knowledge of gauging the fleece and producing the softest fibres has been handed down through generations!

It is worth noting that Alpaca yarn lacks lanolin, meaning that whilst it is hypoallergenic, it is not water-resistant. You will also find that it lacks the elasticity of other types of yarn, so careful gauging is a must.

Angora

Angora yarn comes from Angora rabbits and is known for being soft, fine and very fluffy. The material is often associated with 1950s fashion, as anyone who was anyone owned an angora sweater! Although angora is soft and fluffy to touch, it is actually prone to shedding. This is why it is recommended that you blend it with wool fibres to create a more durable yarn.

Silk

Silk comes from the long fibers of unraveled silkworm cocoons. It is one of the strongest types of yarn and is known for its luxurious and shiny aesthetics. Like cashmere, it is very expensive to buy. Silk is very lightweight, making it ideal for summer clothing knitting projects.

Cotton

One of the most popular types of yarn is cotton, a lightweight material made from the fibres of the cotton plant. This material is often used to make clothing, as it allows the skin to breath, the same for which cannot be said for some man-made yarns. It is also very durable, making it ideal for cloths and towels.

Whilst cotton has many benefits, if you are new to knitting, it is recommended that you wait a little while until you use it in your projects. Unfortunately cotton is very unforgiving, so if you make a mistake, it will show up more so than if you were using wool.

Linen

People have been making cloth from linen for a very long, long time. In fact, the use of linen for cloth is thought to date back to around 8000 B.C. Linen is a very strong, yet lightweight yarn that is spun from the long fibres of the flax plant. On it’s own it is quite stiff and prone to wrinkling, however mixed with cotton it is ideal for making lightweight summer clothing including shirts, trousers and jackets.

Bamboo (sourced viscose)

Bamboo is a relatively new fibre on the market but is used in many products nowadays most notable re-usable nappies as it wonderfully absorbent naturally germ resistant and breathable!. As a yarn it is usually mixed with other fibres such as wool or cotton as on it’s own it would be too heavy. It has a wonderful drape and gives great stitch definition so is great for slinky evening tops, but is also great for children’s wear as it can be dyed to wonderful colours and is has the benefit of being great for babies who may be allergic to wool, but need something warmer and softer than cotton.

Acrylic and Nylon

Acrylic is one of the most popular synthetic fibres. Although it feels a little like wool, it does not offer the same quality in terms of warmth and durability. Synthetic fibres also tend to pill more than natural yarn. One of the great things about acrylic is that it washes really well. This is why many knitters use it for baby and pet projects. It is also less expensive, (although as this is essentially a plastic and is derived from crude oil the price of oil does have a bearing on the price of man made fibres!) making it ideal for beginners and those on a tight budget. Blended with wool it is both easier to work with and more comfortable to wear.

Have a look at our knitting yarn selection – we have a great range of different yarn materials, weights, and colours here at Little Lamb Wool. If you can’t find what you’re looking for r need some advice then check our Q and A, or get in touch and we’ll see if we can help out!

IdeasKnitting YarnWool Stash

A-Z of great ideas to use up leftover wool scraps

After a big project you may be left with a small amount of wool which you just can’t bring yourself to give away, even though you don’t have any immediate plans.

So rather than be left with lots of wool oddments, why not try these different wool crafts and make something really useful?

Below is an A to Z of some of the mini projects you could try out with the scraps of wool you have left.

A…is for animal stuffing
If you crochet, knit or sew stuffed animals, you will need some kind of soft material to pad out the insides. Why not use leftover wool as an organic and alternative stuffing?

B….is for bookmarks
No pattern needed, a crocheted or knitted book mark makes a great personal present and best of all only uses a tiny amount of wool.

Monkey knitted bookmark

Monkey knitted bookmark : www.etsy.com – Oksana Eremenko

C…is for card making
Why not make your cards stand out by gluing some wool on to make a personal and textured card? You can either decorate shop-bought cards or make your own entirely from scratch, depending on your level of expertise.

D…is for dish cloths
If you want to use an entirely natural and organic dish cloth, then a knitted design will be your best option. Easily washable and totally natural, you can either combine scraps or use just one colour to create an eco-dishcloth.

E…is for ear muffs
Whether it’s to block out sound or keep ears warm in cold weather, ear muffs are a slightly more complex make for your scrap stash suggestions.

F…is for flowers
Whether you decide to use them for creating a brooch, adding to a bag or decoupaging a picture frame, tiny oddments of wool can be great.

G…is for granny squares
One of the first projects most crocheters try, granny squares only take up a small amount of wool so you can make whole squares from small amounts of wool. When you have a big pile, why not sew them together to make a blanket?

H…is for handbags
Even if you don’t have lots of wool in the same colour, all you have to do is grab some of those granny squares you crocheted earlier and sew them together to make a fabulous custom handbag. Very retro chic!

I…is for individual fruit cosies
If you want to help your apple stop getting battered about in your bag, why not create an individual fruit cosy which will protect your snack from getting bruised and damaged.

J…is for jewellery
If you want to stand out from the crowd, why not knit yourself some tiny pendants or other jewellery items using teeny-tiny oddments of wool you have in your bag? Different and eclectic, it won’t take much to look fabulous.

K…is for knitting needle case
A perfect crafting item to use up your spare wool, knitting a needle case from oddments is the ideal purpose for your leftover wool. If you’re proficient at sewing you could add a little zip or else it’s easy to use kam snaps to secure.

L…is for lace
A technique not everyone can master, learning to knit lace is time consuming and tricky, but the final results are simple breathtaking. Try it out using your leftover wool, perhaps aim for a small project such as a coaster or placemat first.

M…is for mug coasters
Another simple project suitable for novices too, you can make a multi-coloured mug coaster from the oddments of wool that you have.

N….is for nest material for the birds
Our feathered friends are always looking for scraps of soft material in the springtime. You could see your wool made into a woolly nest!

O…is for ornaments
Rather than the breakable kind, use your scraps to create beautiful ornaments you can enjoy looking at. If there’s a special holiday season coming up, such as Halloween you could even make themed ornament for a party.

P…is for pom-pom balls
Simple to make and great for using up small scraps, it doesn’t matter how many different colours of wool you use to make a pom-pom. Try a Pom-pom maker to speed the process up.

Q…is for quilt
Use the pom-pom balls you have just made to create a custom quilt; simply stitch them onto a piece of fabric and then back it for a fluffy cover.

R…is for rugs
Create a multi-coloured and beautiful rug for the floor by using of several various techniques. Either create one huge design by either knitting or crochet, sew together small pieces or else felt your rug after knitting it but before you use it on the floor.

S…is for snuggles
Phone snuggles are the perfect way to protect mobiles when you’re out and about and you can either create a custom pattern or just use up tiny scraps you have. You won’t need a complex pattern and you could even add a press-stud or a kam snap for extra security.

T…tug of war dog toy
Strong and resilient, leftover wool oddments can be knitted to make a strong and durable tug of war toy for your pet pooch who will simply love your forever. He probably will anyway…

U…is for up cycling
The trend is for re-using items that would have otherwise been thrown away; why not use your wool to decorate and up cycle something. Use your imagination – even an old can could be cleaned and a cover knitted to create a pen holder pot!

V…is for Valentine hearts
Hearts are always a great decorative item and don’t have to take much wool at all. How you choose to use them in decoration is then up to you!

W…is for wrist cuff
Either add a watch to it for the perfect piece of functional adornment or else keep in plain, you could even felt it and add some fasteners too if you want to make it more complex.

X…xtra tiny teddies
Ok, we know this is a tiny bit of a cheat, but miniature makes are hot right now and crocheting a small teddy or tiny animal could be achieved with just a small amount of leftover wool.

Y…is for yarn bombing
There’s lots of groups all over the country who are yarn bombing cities to make them a more pleasant and colourful place to be. You could contribute your time as well as your wool scraps to join in with a local group.

Z…is for Z
If you have youngsters in the family, why not try using your scraps of wool to crochet or knit free standing letters of the alphabet? A great way to introduce learning whilst having sensory fun, children will love to explore letters in such a hands-on way.

Circular NeedlesKnitting Yarn

How to Knit on circular needles

Are you looking for an alternative way to knit in the round than using double pointed needles? Circular knitting needles offer the perfect solution! Here we’ll provide a quick guide to circular knitting needles and share tips on how to use them to circular knit.

Different types of circular knitting needles

Like straight needles, circular needles can be made from various different materials. Two of the most popular styles are metal and bamboo circular needles, as they are both fairly lightweight and easy to use. The main difference between circular needles and straight knitting needles is that circular knitting needles have a wire joining them together.

Round knitting needle

Round knitting needle

The wire joining the circular knitting needles is usually made from a flexible plastic material and can be purchased in different lengths. Depending on the size of the piece you are making, you may need a shorter or longer wire on your circular needles.

There are also ‘fixed’ and ‘interchangeable’ circular needs. The fixed as the name suggests is one pair of needles which come in the same size diameters as straight needles and have a fixed length of flexible plastic joining them. The interchangeable type are again what the name suggests, varying thicknesses of tips (the bits you use to create the stitches) which screw onto varying lengths of flexible plastic – the cords. These are available in sets which will contain a few sizes of tips and the usual lengths of cord.

Why use circular needles?

So now you know what circular needles are, you are probably wondering what you can use them for. Circular knitting needles can be used to make a wide range of items including hats, socks, sleeves and even larger pieces like the body of a jumper.

The main benefit of using circular needles to knit in the round is that you can make a complete piece. There will be no need to join your pieces together, so you can make knitted items without unsightly seams.

circular knitting needles

circular knitting needles

Knitting with circular needles

Circular needles can be used in two different ways. The first way is to knit back and forth in rows like you would with straight needles. The benefit of using circular needles instead is that they offer extra space for you to hold your stitches, which is ideal if you are knitting something large like the panels of a blanket or a jumper. Circular knitting needles can be used just like straight needles – you knit across the row, pushing the stitches to the end of the needle and using the other needle to create the stitches.

Circular knitting with circular needles

The second way you can use circular knitting needles is to knit in the round. This basically means that you will knit all the way around the needle and create a tube-like shape.

If you are going to circular knit with circular needles you will need to make sure you have enough stitches to go all the way around the needle and wire. Therefore you probably won’t want to use them for small knitting projects.

To begin, cast on the desired number of stitches for your project using an appropriately sized circular needle. Next, slide the stitches along the cable so that they are evenly distributed around the entire length of the circular needle. Make sure that your stitches don’t slip off the other end!

The next step is to lay your knitting project down on the table in front of you so you can examine it. Make sure that all of the stitches are facing in the same direction (inwards) and that there aren’t any twists in the stitches.

Once you’ve inspected your project, flip it over so that the needle tip with the wool on is on the right and the empty needle is on the left. You can then insert the right needle into the first stitch on the left needle to create your join. Make sure you pull the first stitch tightly. To create one seamless piece of knitting, continue to knit around and around the circle.

Keep in mind that if you want to create a stocking stitch, you just need to continue with the knit stitch. There’s no need to purl because you will always be knitting around the outside of the piece, never on the inside.

Continue knitting all of the stitches on the left needle, sliding them along the cable as you go. Once you have reached the end of the round (you’ll know this by the presence of the wool tail) place a stitch marker on your right hand needle as a reminder.

When you have reached the end of your knitting project, you will need to bind off as usual. Make sure you check that your work is not twisted before you do so. All of the casts should run smoothly along the bottom edge of your work and there should not loop over the needle at any point.

Tips for circular knitting with circular needles

Now you know how to circular knit with circular needles, have a quick read through our last minute tips and you’ll be good to go!

Select a slightly shorter circular knitting needle: choose circular needles with a length that is slightly shorter than your finished project’s circumference. This will prevent your stitches from being over-stretched. Make sure that the knitting needles are only slightly shorter though as otherwise you won’t be able to cast on the required number of stitches in the first place.

Keep them stored away separately: keep your circular needles stored separately from each other as well as the rest of your knitting needles to prevent the wires in between them from getting tangled up.

Conclusion

So there we have our guide on how to circular knit with circular needles! If you are looking for a more efficient way of knitting hats, bags and other items without seams, then this could be the perfect solution for you.

Interested in finding out more about the different types of circular knitting needles or fancy adding some to your collection? Then be sure to check out the range of bamboo and aluminium circular needles on our ‘accessories’ category page!

AdvantagesGood HealthKnitting Yarn

Knit or Crochet Your Way to Good Health

A mental work out

Often described as yoga for the brain, knitting & crochet provides an exhilarating mental work out, forcing devotees to focus on the job in hand, unless they want to end up with a finished item which is out of shape and full of holes.

The repetition involved in the task can be soothing, and induce an almost zen-like state. This in turn can help to ease anxiety and stress, and lift depression.

For this reason knitting has been introduced in places such as hospitals, clinics, schools and even prisons, to help improve the state of mind. Many experts believe that the combination of simple, repetitive movements together with the focus of having a pattern to concentrate on is an effective formula for improving mood and emotions.

Knitting has proved particularly useful in conditions such as eating disorders. In one study almost three quarters of participants said that knitting helped them to think about food and the desire to binge or purge far less, and quelled their obsession. More than half agreed it provided a sense of achievement and encouragement.

So we’ve established that knitting and crochet is great for keeping our brain cells in good shape and keep stress levels down what else is it good for?

Grieving and bereavement

It can be difficult to function normally following bereavement where there’s a great sense of loss and little inclination to do much.

Knitting can be a great way to start to do things again; the repetitive, non-demanding nature of knitting can slowly soothe the soul, providing something to concentrate on and shutting out all unwanted thoughts.

Other activities such as reading can be too demanding, but knitting hits the ideal point between two extremes.

Dementia

Dementia comes in many different forms but probably the two best known of them all are Alzheimer’s disease and senile dementia.

The various types of dementia manifest in a similar way, with patients becoming confused in familiar surroundings in the later stages of the disease.

Certain cognitive activities have been found to be beneficial to the brain functioning of sufferers, and can help to delay the onset or rapid development of symptoms. Cognitive activities which have been identified as being particularly beneficial include painting, crossword puzzles and knitting.

The key is that the activity must require the individual to focus inwards in order to complete the task, giving the body a powerful shot of dopamine. Dopamine is often referred to as the “natural anti-depressant” and has many benefits relating to mood and emotion.

However, for the activity of knitting in particular, the areas in the brain that are stimulated include those used for attention span and memory. These are the same two areas which are typically attacked by dementia too. Although knitting doesn’t offer a cure for the disease, some research has suggested that it may slow the progression down by as much as 50%.

And for those individuals who started knitting earlier in life, before age 50, their chances of developing dementia at all is significantly slashed.

Sleep disorders

Suffering from insomnia is particularly unpleasant but it can provide the ideal opportunity to learn a new craft.

Picking up a project which isn’t too taxing mentally has been shown as helping to ease the symptoms of insomnia and increase the chances of sleep. The Mind/Body Medical Institute reported a study from Professor Herbert Benson that suggested all of the patients on their study had recorded improved sleep patterns with knitting, with nine out of ten able to eliminate the need for medication as a result.

Conclusion

No-one is suggesting that knitting is a magical panacea for all ills but there’s certainly evidence that it can help with a number of different medical conditions. If you want to protect those brain cells and lift your mood, regardless of your age, bring out those knitting needles and tell anyone who asks that you are looking after your long term health

Knitting Yarn

Top Baby Knitting Patterns

Little ones grow so fast that they’ll need a constant supply of new clothes, so if you’re new to knitting you’ll certainly get lots of practice. We’ve picked some of our favourite baby knitting patterns to get you started, and once you’ve mastered these you won’t look back!

Snuggly baby bootees

Nothing looks cuter than tiny feet in tiny bootees, and this Sirdar pattern is absolutely adorable. There are four bootee styles to choose from, including picot edge, ballet slipper-style and two different boot-shaped styles.

Whether you’re making these bootees for a new baby or a 1 to 2-year-old, you’ll only need one ball of yarn, and it’s a great item to embellish with ribbons or other decorations. Once you’ve mastered this pattern it’s a great idea to make it in a few different shades so you have a ready supply of footwear!

Baby Hats

As all new parents know, one of the joys of having a new baby is dressing him or her up in adorable outfits, and these animal hats fit the bill. A great fun knit, this Sirdar pattern lets you create a cat, rabbit, owl or fox complete with smiley face and pointy ears.

You’ll need just one ball of yarn for the main colour, and two for the embellishments. This pattern is great for using up extra bits of yarn you have lying around, and it’s sure to bring a smile to your little one’s face!

Baby Blankets

This chunky blanket is a great project that new knitters will love. You’ll need larger needles and a chunky weight yarn so it’s relatively easy to work, and looks great even if the rows aren’t perfectly straight! This is one of the very first items your baby will use, so it’s a great first knit to do during pregnancy.

If you’d like to try any of these patterns, remember to pick up your yarn and needles too – each product page has a handy guide so you’ll know exactly what you need!

Knitting YarnSave & Splurge

Save or Splurge

When To Save

IT’S SMALL.
If you can use scrap yarn, don’t worry about whether it’s cheap or expensive. A pattern like a crochet necklace, for example, is small compared to a garment. If the yarn is inexpensive and you only need a small amount, go ahead and use what you already have, even if it isn’t great quality.

YOU’RE NOT WEARING IT.
If you’re stitching something like home decor for example this crochet mobile you are likely worried more about colour or thickness than you are quality. If it isn’t going to be next to your skin, you can get away with something less expensive — even the itchy stuff.

IT’S FOR A KID.
If you know a kiddo, you know what kind of stress their garments and accessories go through. From yesterday’s lunch to playground mud, there’s no telling what your stitched gift will go through. While softness and care play a big role in your yarn choice, price probably does not. Plus, that kid is going to outgrow whatever hat or sweater you made, so you don’t have to worry about long-lasting durability. Remember though Wool will always be warmer than man made fibres.

When to splurge

YOU PLAN TO KEEP IT FOR A LONG TIME.
Low-quality yarn won’t last as long as expensive yarn, so if you plan to keep it around for a long time, make sure it’s going to last. An example of this might be an heirloom blanket such as the Debbie Bliss pattern above that you’d like to pass down to the next generation of your family.

YOU PLAN TO WEAR IT. A LOT.
Expensive yarns are usually more durable than cheap yarn. A good quality natural fibre will keep it’s quality for years a fine example is this Wendy Ramsdale pattern and wool because I don’t know about you but the men I know will wear and wear a jumper.

IT’S A GIFT FOR A FELLOW STITCHING FRIEND.
Fellow knitters and crocheters know a good yarn when they see one. Most of us won’t make a high-quality project for ourselves; instead, we give it to a friend or family member. If you’re stitching something for a friend who knows fibre well, then an expensive yarn will be much appreciated.

IT’S COMPLICATED.
If I’m going to work that long and that hard as you would for this beautiful fair isle pattern in West Yorkshire Spinners Illustrious a blend of Falkland wool and Alpaca then I want the result to do the beautiful pattern justice with some equally beautiful yarn.

IT’S A SPECIAL OCCASION.
Special occasions call for spending some money. If you’re stitching something special — say, a shawl for a wedding then spend it on that expensive yarn that you’ve always been dying to work with. After all, if you can’t use it on a special occasion, then when can you use it?

WHEN DO YOU USE CHEAP YARN AND WHEN DO YOU SPLURGE? WE’D LOVE TO HEAR WHAT YOU THINK!

Knitting YarnOnline community

Join the Online knitting community

There are knitting groups all over the UK that you can join to meet people who share the same interests as you but did you know there is also an avid online community of knitters? Here we’ll explain how to join the online knitting community so you can make new knitting friends all over the world!

Knitting forums

Simply type ‘knitting forums’ into a search engine like Google and you will be presented with pages and pages of forums dedicated to knitters. Joining a forum (also sometimes referred to as a messaging board) will allow you to interact with other knitters all over the world.

Many forums have a number of different categories that cover different chat topics. For example, there may be a message topic where you can share pictures of your latest work with each other and another for sharing knitting techniques.

Some forums may also be dedicated to a certain area for example London knitters or knitters in the Midlands. If you are looking to meet up with other knitting enthusiasts in your local area or get involved in a local knitting group, joining a knitting forum may be a great way of building your confidence up so you feel a little less nervous when you meet people in person.

Knitting webinars

If you are new to knitting and want to get involved in the online knitting community, why not participate in a knitting webinar for beginners? Not only will you be able to pick up a few new tips from the person leading the knitting webinar but you will also have the opportunity to chat with other users at the same time.

Social media groups for knitters

It is likely that you already use social media websites like Facebook and Twitter to interact with your ‘real life’ friends and maybe even share your knitted creations, so why not use them to interact with other knitters too?

On Facebook you will find numerous groups dedicated to knitting enthusiasts. Look for a group for knitters in your local area to join and if there isn’t one – start one!

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have active knitting communities

Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have active knitting communities

If you use Twitter, you are probably already familiar with hash tag chats. These are basically chats that take place at the same time each week, where those involved include a specific hash tag in their tweets in order to participate.

Look out for knitting chats taking place on Twitter. A popular one is ‘#knittinghour’ which takes place at 7:30pm every Thursday. During this hour you can chat with other knitters by including the #knittinghour hash tag in your tweets and share links to your website, as well as pictures of your latest creations.

Another way you can interact with other members of the online knitting community is by using Instagram. Search for hash tags like ‘knitting’ or ‘knittinghour’ and you will be presented with all of the images that have been tagged with that particular hash tag. Comment on other users’ pictures and follow them on Instagram and you’ll be making online knitting friends in no time!

Although Google+ is still considered to be a relatively new social media platform, there are plenty of knitting groups on there so why not join a few? The great thing about joining groups on Google+ is that you can participate in hangouts, which are basically like video chats. This means you can effectively participate in what are referred to as ‘Knit & Knatter’ groups from the comfort of your own home!

You could also consider joining a knitting blogging community

Knitting blogging community

You may already read other people’s knitting blogs but have you thought about starting one of your own? Writing a knitting blog is one of the best ways to get involved in the online knitting community.

You can blog about whatever you like but we highly recommend that you avoid making your content overly promotional. Whilst blogging is great for promoting your knitted designs and driving traffic to your Etsy store, if you want to interact with other knitters, it’s best to create articles that they will find interesting. For example, you could use your knitting blog to share knitting tutorials, hints and tips for beginners or even posts on the creative ways you store your wool – the possibilities are endless!

The more interesting and engaging your knitting posts are the more likely people are to comment on them and follow your blog. Be sure to visit their blogs in return and use your social media pages to promote your new posts.

Knitting YouTube channels

If writing isn’t your strong suit why not create knitting videos instead? Creating your own knitting YouTube channel is a great way to immerse yourself in the online knitting community. Sharing videos featuring knitting tutorials, the latest project you are working on and even wool hauls is a great way to engage other knitting enthusiasts. Remember to reply to all of the comments on your videos and subscribe to other people’s knitting YouTube channels to share the love!

Knitting doesn’t have to be something you do on your own! If you want to make it more social, why not join a local knitting group or make knitting friends all over the world by joining the online knitting community?

AdvantagesKnitting Yarn

5 great reasons to take knitting up as a hobby

Here at Little Lamb Wool we are avid knitters and believe there is a lot of enjoyment to be experienced from this rewarding hobby. Thinking of having a go at knitting but need a little more persuading? Check out our five great reasons to take up knitting as a hobby below.

1. Make personalised and affordable gifts for others

Once you have mastered the basics of knitting and had plenty of practice, you will soon be able to make good quality knitted gifts for others to wear and enjoy. Not sure what to buy your friend for their birthday? Why not knit them a new jumper? Or if a family member has had a new baby, you could knit them a pair of booties or mittens. The possibilities for gifts are endless!

It is also worth considering donating your knitted creations to charities. All sorts of charities ask people to send in their knitted goods, including those located in the UK and elsewhere in the world. By donating a knitted blanket, a hat or scarf, to keep someone warm and comfortable, you could be making a real difference to his or her life.

If this is something you would like to do, we recommend contacting your local neonatal ward, as many premature babies are in need of blankets and hats or your local homeless charity.

2. Knitting is a rewarding hobby

We don’t know about you, but for us, there is nothing more rewarding than learning a new skill. Some people find knitting easier than others, but with a little practice you will master the basics in no time! There are a number of interesting techniques you can learn and an endless number of projects you can try out, so you will never get bored. Just wait until you finish your first knitted project, you will be so proud of yourself that you will be showing it to as many people as you possibly can!

3. Social knitting is a great way to meet people

Many people think of knitting as a hobby you do alone, but that is just not true! There are so many different social knitting groups to join in the UK – we bet there is even one in your local area. Social knitting groups provide a great way to meet new people and share passion for your hobby. Of course, the topic of conversation isn’t always knitting-related; the great thing about knitting is that you can multi-task so you will be able to chat for hours on end whilst still being productive!

If you have moved to a new area or work from home and are looking for a way to meet new people and make new friends, joining a knitting club is a fantastic idea. Simply do a quick search on Google and we bet you’ll find a knitting club you can join.

There is also an avid online knitting community that you can get involved with. As well as numerous forums and Facebook groups related to knitting, many hobbyists also set up blogs where they share their creations, tips and knitting related news to communicate and engage with others. If you are a Twitter user, you may want to consider joining in with #knittinghour chat that takes place every Thursday from 7:30pm until 8:30pm.

4. Knitting is a way to make money

What many people don’t realise is that knitting can be a hobby that pays. Although some knitters are happy giving their creations away for free to friends and family, if you wanted to supplement your current income, you may want to consider selling your creations at local craft fairs or online. Knitted items are particularly popular in the winter, so we recommend asking around to see if any of your friends want to place an order. If you fancy selling your creations online, we recommend checking out Etsy and creating your own Facebook page.

5. Knitting is very relaxing

Whilst your hands may be constantly moving, knitting is still one of the most relaxing hobbies you can do. One of our favourite things about it is that you can actually knit whilst doing other things, like watching TV! Of course, in order to multi-task well, you will need to master the knitting basics, but once you have done that, you’ll be able to watch TV, chat to your friends and watch your kids all whilst knitting your next project.

Many people find knitting very therapeutic, particularly those with highly stressful jobs. Because you can get into a routine with it, you will be able to let your mind wander elsewhere and relax whilst still being productive.

Now can you see why we think knitting is one of the best hobbies? Not only can you get enjoyment from it but there is also the opportunity to help others and make a few extra pennies!

DesignKnitting YarnSelling

Where to sell your knitted designs

Where to sell your knitted designs

Have you ever been to a local craft fair, seen other people selling their hand-knitted designs and thought ‘I could do that.’ Well maybe you can! Here we’ve provided detailed information on some of the best places to start selling your knitted designs.

Friends & family

If you have been thinking of selling your knitted designs, the best place to start is with your friends and family. Knitted items make fantastic Christmas and birthday presents, so why not find out if anyone wants to buy something from you? Your friends and family will be your biggest advocates and will help to spread the word about your knitting business, so don’t be afraid to get them involved.

Fancy making some money from your hobby? Start selling your knitted items to your friends and family.

Fancy making some money from your hobby? Start selling your knitted items to your friends and family.

You may even want to gift them a few of your knitted creations for free so they can wear them out and about. When they receive compliments on their new knitted scarf, hat or bag, they’ll be able to point people in your direction and the sales will soon start rolling in. Just make sure you make people aware of how long it will take you to knit their items and don’t take on too much at once!

Craft fairs

One of the best places to start selling your knitted designs is at local craft fairs and festivals. Some will require you to fill in an application form, whereas others will just require you to pay a fee for a selling space at the event. At some events you will be need to bring your own table to use, whereas others will supply them for you – it’s best to check with the vendor when you enquire about having a stall.

Craft fairs are very competitive, so you need to make your display as interesting and attractive as possible. The more eye-catching it is the more likely people are to come over to your stall and look at your knitwear. There’s bound to be someone else selling knitted designs too, so you need to make sure your stall looks better than theirs!

Sell your knitted or crocheted items at craft fairs and get to know other crafters in the local area.

Sell your knitted or crocheted items at craft fairs and get to know other crafters in the local area.

Another tip is to make sure you take business cards with you. Even if a visitor doesn’t purchase one of your designs there and then, they may want to later, so provide them with a business card featuring your website URL or Facebook page.

Our last tip is to be wary of expensive craft fair fees. There’s no point paying a high fee to rent a table at a craft fair if there’s little chance of you making your money back.

Facebook

Social media is great for promoting small businesses, so why not set up a Facebook fan page for your knitted designs? Take some photos of your creations (you could even get your family members to model for you) and add them to your Facebook albums, quoting a price for each item in the description. Next, start inviting all of your friends and family to ‘like’ your Facebook page and share it with others. You’ll soon build up a good following!

Make sure you set up a PayPal account so that if anyone wants to buy your products on Facebook, you have a safe way for them to send you the money.

You should also ask your customers to write on your Facebook fan page wall and share pictures of the knitted items they have bought from you, as a way to promote your business and get others interested in your products.

Set up an online store on Etsy where you will be able to sell your knitted items to people all over the world

Etsy

There are a number of websites where you can set up a store and sell your knitwear but Etsy is arguably the best online marketplace for selling handcrafted items. It’s really easy and straightforward to sign up and customise your store. There are no membership fees – you simply pay a small listing fee for the items you add to your store and a small selling fee on those that are purchased.

Our top tip for selling products on Etsy is to make sure you take high quality photographs of your knitted items. The better your photographs are, the more likely people are to be confident in purchasing from your Etsy store.

We also highly recommend that you spend time working out of all your prices. You don’t want to list your items so cheaply that you end up making a loss or so expensively that no one buys them. Working out prices can be time consuming and complicated, but once you get it right, it’ll be so worth it!

Start a knitting blog

One of the best ways to promote your Etsy store or Facebook page is to start a knitting blog. Sharing knitting tips, tutorials and even promoting other people’s handmade creations is a great way to engage your target audience and show your expertise.

We also recommend getting involved in the blogging community by commenting on other blog posts and interacting with other bloggers on social media sites like Twitter. Remember every person you talk to online could be a potential customer or even someone that will go on to promote your knitted creations on their own sites.

Local stores

If you have started selling your knitted items at craft fairs and set up an online store and things seem to be going well, why not try selling your work to local stores too? Yarn shops and other independent craft shops often like to support local crafters by stocking their designs. The best thing to do is phone them up or visit them in person with samples of your work.

knitted pot

knitted pot

Some shops will buy your knitted items from you to sell on to their customers, whereas others may take a percentage of every sale. Either way, it’s important to make sure that you are getting a good deal and that you are able to keep up with demand.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the places where you can start selling your knitted items. It’s best just to start out small and see how it goes. There’s a lot of competition out there, so selling your knitted items won’t be the easiest of tasks at times, but as long as you are enjoying it, it will be worth all the effort!

IdeasKnitting YarnStore wool stashWool Stash

Creative ideas on how to store your wool stash

Every keen knitter has a bit of a wool stash hidden somewhere; some may be bigger than others but each one needs a safe, convenient and readily-accessible place to be stored.

Many people have no specific place for their craft stash, letting it slowly creep across the living room, dining table or conservatory. And if you live with anyone else, the chances are that they get pretty fed up with edging round your piles of wool too.

So if you’ve ever needed to find a better place to store you wool stash, this article is for you.

What makes the perfect wool stash storage?

We don’t know about you but for us there are three main qualities that make up the perfect storage solution for a wool stash. It must be 1) easily accessible 2) out of the way and 3) neatly displayed. Below we have shared some of our favourite creative ideas on how to store your wool stash.

Convert an old shoe box

An old shoe box is the perfect place to stash your wool; easy to separate into colour schemes and stackable too, using old shoe boxes can really help to tidy things up.

Wool is fantastic and easily storable!

Wool is fantastic and easily storable!

However, shoe boxes aren’t transparent so that can make it more difficult to find the ball of wool you want. A great way to get round this is to punch several holes along the side, and taking the end of each ball of wool, threading it through the hole. This allows you to access the wool without taking the lid off, and you will also be able to see at a glance what wool is housed where.

If you don’t have a spare shoebox, we bet you have a few tissue boxes lying around? Once they’re empty they will be perfect for storing your wool stash and will fit nicely on the shelves in your craft room.

Pretty yet functional

If you have the space to hang a large peg board on the back of the door, you have the instant crafty storage device.

Attach the large pegboard to the back of the door, and then simply arrange your wool by pushing the spoke of the peg through the centre of the wall. The benefit to this storage option is that it looks very pretty whilst being functional too.

Recycling old storage

There lots of different types of recycled bags and boxes that could be of use in helping to keep your wool stash under control, you just have to think creatively.

Old mesh bags from onions are great as they allow you to store entire batches together in one neat bundle, but are entirely visible too.

Similar to the peg board idea; recycling old canisters and gluing their base to a board, leaving them jutting out at a 90 degree angle provides excellent storage which is space efficient and accessible too.

Funnels or bottles cut in half can be used in the same way too; provide enough room for the yarn to be threaded through the funnel or bottle top and hey presto! You have a homemade storage board.

Out of sight

If you don’t have the room to store your wool in plain view, there are lots of different storage options which can help your yarn to avoid becoming a big tangled mess.

Hanging canvas clothes organisers that go in wardrobes are great for separating colours. Lightweight and easily accessible, you could have your wool stash today and out of sight.

Over the door plastic shoe holders offer a similar solution.

A unique solution

Rather than throw all your yarn into a plastic box, you could use a basket instead. But the twist here is that the basket is made by you!

There are lots of patterns available which will allow you to either crochet or knit a large, self-supporting basket. What better place to store your balls of yarn?

Repurpose your old jars

An easy way to store your wool stash is in old jam jars. Wash them out and then pierce a hole in the lid using either a drill or hammer and nail. All you need to do then is pop your wool inside and leave the end poking through the hole in the top of the lid. Repurposed jam jars are perfect for keeping your wool accessible and tangle-free.

Shoe organiser

Canvas shoe organisers are ideal for using as wool storage. Simply hang one on the back of your craft room door and organise your wool in each compartment. The great thing about using a canvas shoe organiser to store your wool is that it is portable – allowing you to move it from room to room, depending on where you feel like doing your knitting!

Use clothes pegs

Are you one of those people that like to keep every scrap of spare wool in case it comes in use? Keep it all neat and tidy by wrapping it around clothes pegs. You can then peg them onto your shoe organiser or the top of your handmade basket, depending on what you are using to store the rest of your wool stash.

Conclusion

With space at a premium for many households, trying to find the time to be creative over storage can be difficult. Hopefully some of the ideas above have inspired you to come up with your own crafty solution. And why limit it to wool? How about inner tubes from kitchen rolls to store your needles? The choices really are endless….