How do I learn to knit or crochet?

Today many people learn to knit and crochet using videos on YouTube.  If you are near a yarn shop they may have sessions for beginners or you could find your local knitting group on our map and contact them.  Keep an eye out for any of the big yarn shows near you – we will be there with our lovely volunteers who will be happy to teach you.

Who are UK Hand Knitting’s members?

Our members are companies that sell yarn wholesale to UK knitting shops and online retailers.

How do I substitute a yarn with another of the same thickness?

Most standard weight yarns are interchangeable in a pattern as long as they knit/crochet to the same tension, which will be defined in the pattern.  For example many DK yarns will knit to a tension of 22sts by 30 rows to give a 10cm square.  It is well worth taking the time to knit a tension square to check.
The next thing you have to check is the amount of yarn on the ball in the pattern and compare it to the yarn you want to substitute with to make sure you buy the same overall yardage. Remember, substituting a yarn may result in a different overall effect – be prepared for that.

I think there is something wrong with the pattern I bought.  Who can I contact?

If it is one of our patterns you can email [email protected] If it isn’t one of ours, most companies will have contact details in the pattern.

I want to find a knitting group.

We have a great map and list that you can find here.

I want to find a yarn shop.

We have a great map and list that you can find here.

I want to find a knitter.

We have a  list that you can find here.

How do I get my knitting group details on to your website?

You can add your details here.

How do I get my yarn shop details on to your website?

You can add your details here.

How do I hire a knitter?

We have a list of knitters that undertake commissions on our website here.  We don’t take any responsibility for the quality of their work so we suggest you ask them for images or swatches before you engage them.

How do I become a designer?

Budding designers get into our industry in many different ways.  Some study textile design at university, majoring on hand knitting.  Others are super keen knitters with a love for maths and learn how to design by trial and error.  If you want to learn gradually you might want to look at a City & Guilds course.

How do I learn a new technique?

The first thing we always do is look online to see if there are any videos available to help get you started.  Then we look for a workshop where you can spend a concentrated amount of time learning the technique.  You will find a list of workshops on our website.

How do I find out about workshops?

We have a list of some on our website but you could try enquiring at your local yarn shop or have a browse through the Craftsy website.

Washing knitted garments.

When you have spent so much time knitting or crocheting a garment it is well worth the time washing it correctly. Here is a great article to help you. 

What is a tension square?

A tension square is to knitters what a brick is to a builder.  Every pattern will give you the tension you must achieve in order to get the right result from the pattern.  We highly recommend that you take the time to knit a square slightly larger than the defined tension to make sure that you have the right number of stitches and rows. If you don’t do this your project might be out by several centimetres and might not fit you at all. It is a bit like a builder buying bricks that are slightly smaller than specified and wondering why the house he has built is so much smaller than the architect’s drawings.

What is Fair isle knitting?

Fair Isle knitting is a method usually involving two strands of knitting in each row to create a pattern.  It is also referred to as stranded knitting.

What is  cable knitting?

Cable knitting or cabling is a technique where you use a third or cable needle to move stitches around to create rope like textures.  Some people also refer to it as Aran knitting.

What is lace knitting?

Lace knitting uses yarn overs and decreases to create a pattern of holes. Lace patterns may include panels of holes, or all over lacy effects with yarn overs worked on the right and wrong sides.

What is brioche knitting?

Brioche knitting is similar to Fisherman’s rib and is a method of creating an almost double layered fabric that is warm and soft.

Can I sell something I have made from a pattern?

Usually not.  Designs and patterns remain the copyright of the designer or yarn company.  However some patterns, such as those on our charity knitting patterns page have been specifically created for this purpose and our members might allow this if you are knitting for a charity.

Can I photocopy a pattern for my friend?

Please don’t, it is illegal to photocopy a pattern.  Designers and yarn companies invest a lot of money in creating patterns for you to enjoy and they really aren’t too expensive when you think of the work that goes in to them.

What is a dye lot?

A dye lot refers to a batch of yarn that has all been dyed together.  Although manufacturers work hard to keep colours consistent there might be a slight difference between batches, so it is important to make sure you are buying the same dye lot for your project.

What is ease?

You often see the term ease in American patterns although some UK designers use it more and more.  It refers to the fit of the garment.  A negative ease means the garment will fit closely and a positive ease indicates a loose fit.

What is blocking?

Blocking is a technique designed to relax the fibres in your knitting and help you with shaping.  Pin your piece of knitting out to the desired shape and either squirt with water or hold a steam iron above your work.  Then let it dry.

How do I become one of your volunteers?

How wonderful that you want to help out.  We have such fun teaching people to knit and crochet at shows.  You can sign up here.

What is ply?

Ply is a yarn manufacturing term and means a single strand of yarn. You will see it used in yarns such as 4 ply or you may even see DK yarn referred to as 8 ply. So a 4ply yarn will be made of 4 strands and a 6 ply yarn of 6.  Historically this was a great way to understand how ‘thick’ a yarn was, but some yarns today are made from a single strand, called a roving, and yet will still be referred to as e.g. a 4 ply yarn because of the thickness or weight of the yarn. It is probably easier for you to look at the weight of the yarn rather than the ply.

What needles should I use?

That’s a really important question.  Needles come in all shapes and sizes but are predominantly made from metal, wood, bamboo, carbon fibre or plastic. Your choice depends on the type of project you are knitting.  For a fine lace project a metal needle might be better to allow the delicate yarn to move around.  Wooden, bamboo  and plastic needles are good all rounders but might not be resilient enough for you in very small sizes.  Carbon fibre is very strong but feels warm to the touch like wood.

Can I knit on a plane?

The rules on this are changing all the time.  We suggest you consult the website of the airport you are travelling from.

How do I know how meters of yarn there are in a ball?

If you look very closely at the ball band it will tell you approximately how many metres of yarn are on the ball.

What are the metric equivalents of old needle sizes?

You can find a handy comparison chart here.
Most UK manufacturers include both metric and ‘old’ needle sizes on their ball bands.

What is the correct cast on to use?

Some projects require a specific cast on, which will be stated in the pattern. Otherwise simply use the one you are most comfortable with.  You can find a common cast on here.

What is continental knitting?

Continental knitting is a technique where you hold the yarn in your left hand instead of the right.  The hands move less so it is a good one to learn if you get aching hands or elbows when you knit the English way.

Back to Previous Page...
Find A