Tagged with 'accessories'

Knitting Needles From Abakhan: Available Now!

When you first get into knitting and other areas of haberdashery, there are many important things to consider. Once of the most important is which variety of knitting needles you’re going to make use of. Fortunately, we’ve come up with this little guide to help you decide between them.

Metal needles are one of the most common, and certainly one of the most popular, due to there being relatively long lasting and fairly low cost. However, it’s worth noting that they are fairly unpliable, and that the clicking sound might irritate anyone in the vicinity!

Wooden knitting needles are certainly a great choice if you’re looking for a way to keep your knitting quiet – people won’t thank you for interrupting their TV programme, even if we know knitting’s the more rewarding activity! If you’ve ever struggled from carpal tunnel or any similar disorders, the wooden needles’ light weight will help you maintain your comfort over long periods.

Plastic needles are a relatively modern occurrence, but have plenty to recommend them. Their very light weight means that they can move speedily, which is very effective should you need to create a new design in a hurry. Whilst there was previously some concern about the potential for splitting, a lot of modern plastic needles have a metal centre, ensuring their longevity.

To view Abakhan’s full range of knitting kneedles, visit the main page here.

Knitting Accessories Everybody Needs!

Knitting can be a rewarding, fulfilling and entertaining way to pass the long summer days (well, assuming there’s any left!). However, if you want to take up this great hobby, there are certain essential knitting accessories you’ll need to invest in, all of them available now from the Abakhan store:

Fabric Comb. Wool is a wonderfully soft material when used in the right way, it’s important to ensure that any fuzzballs and pilling are removed from the material before use, and our fabric comb is the ideal way to get the job done. They’re available now for a bargain price.

Needles. Whilst this might sound obvious, you won’t get very far without the right knitting needles! There are a wide variety of different knitting accessories available at Abakhan, so take the time to discover which ones work best for you from the myriad of different materials, and you can be sure that you’ll have years of satisfied knitting to come.

Materials. There are a few different types of material that can be used as knitting accessories, from felt, to crochet to old fashioned yarn, and you’ll find them all available now at the Abakhan website. Again, to an extent you’ll want to experiment with the different options to see which ones work for you – but ensure that you continue to check into our site for the very best prices!

To view all of these and more of our knitting accessories, check the Abakhan catalogue here.

Sewing Patterns For Men’s Clothes

Do you have a husband who is a little on the fussy side? Men are more clothes focused than they often like to admit, which can be spending more on their wardrobes than anyone who’s budget conscious should! Our sewing patterns will enable you to create great clothes for the men in your life, at a far lower price than simply buying them!

Trousers and shirts. These sewing patterns are a great investment, especially when you have a young son who’s always growing out of his clothes! Rather than having to invest money at the beginning of every school term, you can instead spend your time modifying and creating new clothes with existing materials. The far cheaper option!

Vests and Ties. There’s nothing a man enjoys more than dressing up to look his very best (well, apart from a good football match, obviously) which is why our sewing patterns for waistcoats and ties are a fine investment. With varying patterns and styles, you can ensure that the men in your life always look their best.

Dressing robe. If you’re looking for a great present to treat the men in your life, then why not use your sewing skills to create them the perfect robe for the chilly early mornings? With winter coming up, they’ll be grateful! In a variety of different colours, there is a pattern for everyone.

Click here to view more of our sewing patterns for men.

Craft Essentials From Abakhan

If you know someone who’s a big enthusiast of haberdashery in all it’s forms, you might be interested to hear about the potential gifts that can be purchased for them through the Abakhan catalogue, whether they’re a knitter or a sewer.

If the only time you get to work on your sewing is when all the kids (and possibly the husband too!) have gone to bed, you’ll likely be grateful for the Maglamp. Complete with an energy saving bulb, it’s the ideal way to obtain the maximum visibility whilst you work.

Whilst sewing and knitting are both rewarding hobbies, there’s no denying that they can be fiddly. The hands-free magnifier that you can buy here is the ideal solution, offering you a more in-depth view of what your hands are doing, making those complicated patterns a breeze.

The Stitchmaster Seat Stand is the ideal investment for anyone that wants an easy way to support their work, with the mobility and quality that comes from genuine craftsmanship. Enabling you to work from a variety of different angles, it’s a great investment.

To view these and more sewing accessories, visit the Abakhan catalogue here .

Day Care Centre Gets Volunteers Knitting

After an article appeared in the Oxford Mail before Christmas, the John Radcliffe Hospital’s special care baby unit has been inundated with volunteers offering to knit special clothes for premature babies. Women at the Wantage Day Care centre began knitting the clothes for the tiny children back in 2007, and what started out as a few blankets, hats and booties has grown and grown, with regular deliveries of clothing now arriving at the centre.

Knitting is something that a lot of people enjoy doing as a hobby, opting for the enjoyment and challenging nature associated with the pastime, anxiously waiting to finish so they can marvel at what they’ve spent, in some cases, weeks or months creating.

When it comes to a new born baby, you can almost guarantee that the parents will be inundated with gifts including various items of clothing – with many knitted by the friend or family member – but the problem with premature babies is that they are often much smaller, so the baby clothes available in stores are simply too big for the child. This project has helped the parents find a solution to their clothing issues, and the coordinator of the project, Margaret Fell, has admitted that she has been “overwhelmed” by the support and donations they have received.

She told the Oxford Mail that “Mums often come to the unit underprepared, but these kind people have helped to clothe many children, and shown extraordinary skill in doing so.”

Many of the volunteers saw the article in the newspaper and rushed to help the unit out with their project. Knitting, after all, is a hobby that can be very fulfilling, but it isn’t restricted to making things just for yourself at winter or whenever your child needs a new wooly hat.

As all knitters will know, you get a real thrill out of completing a project and seeing the face of the recipient when you hand it over to them. The love and effort involved in creating a unique garment almost adds an extra layer of warmth to it, and by helping out premature children and their parents, you’ll be able to feel as though what you’ve done has really made a difference to someone’s life.

For more knitting news and for all the accessories you could possibly need for your next project, visit the dedicated section on the Abakhan website. Simply click the link here and you’ll be taken to the store. Alternatively, give us a call today on 01745 562133 to speak to one of our members of staff.

Get Knitting and be a Part of the 2012 Olympics

A lot of the United Kingdom will have applied – probably unsuccessfully – for tickets to this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics in London, and while there will be many travelling to the capital to take in the sights and sounds of the sporting showpiece, others will be confined to watching on the television. But there is a way for you to get involved – by knitting.

A shop in Ely in Cambridgeshire is giving locals the opportunity to participate in the national Woolsack competition, which is aiming to get people throughout the UK knitting special cushions to commemorate the games coming to London, with them being presented to the athletes taking part as a souvenir.

Ginette Herd, the co-owner of Yarn on the Square, said that “We’re trying to get as many people as possible to grab their needles and start knitting. These cushions will be presented to the athletes as personal gifts, so they can take a little bit of Britain away with them, whether they’ve been successful or not.”

The cushions can be made in any colour, and any size, but the one stipulation in place is that those involved must use British wool in their creations, giving the final product a true British feel.

So while others are putting up the bunting in the streets and settling down to watch the athletes fight it out for the glory, you can be doing your own special thing, and really contributing to the whole Olympic experience for the athletes. Creating something that reflects everything great about Britain will hopefully make the games truly memorable for those taking part, watching at the venues and in front of their television sets at home.

With the games fast approaching, knitters are being encouraged to get down to business as soon as possible, so if you want to be a part of the Olympics, get knitting!

To get yourself all the knitting equipment you would need to take part, visit the dedicated section on the website, or to find out more information about our products, contact your local Abakhan branch today.

Spotlight on Crochet

'Spotlight on Crochet'

Crochet: the perfect hobby for all you nutty knitters looking for an additional challenge, or for anyone looking for a fun and easy to learn new craft.

Crochet is the art of creating products from yarn, thread or other materials (such as wire) using a crochet hook. Like knitting; it requires you to pull loops through other loops and to make your finished article, but unlike knitting it’s all done using only one needle rather than two.

All you need to get started is a crochet hook, some beautiful yarn, a pattern (once you’ve mastered the basics) some patience and you’re good to go!

Which Hook?

A crochet hook is a needle with a hook at the end, which is used to draw yarn through knotted loops. Hooks are available in a wide variety of materials; from Birchwood to Bamboo, although metal hooks are probably the most widely available and a good place to start for anyone new to the craft.

The next thing to consider is the size of the hook. Generally speaking the smaller the hook, the finer the yarn and the more delicate your finished article will be. A larger hook with some thicker yarn or wool would be a good for beginners.

Your crochet pattern, once you are feeling confident with the basics, will direct you to the hook size required for the project.


From wool to silk to wire, the possibilities are endless. Beginners will generally find wool or a sturdy crochet thread in your favourite colour easy to learn with. As before, once you are confident enough with the basics to follow a pattern, the pattern will guide you to the type of yarn suitable for the project.

Have a look at the beautiful yarns available with Abakhan here. They have a lovely soft texture and are very easy to work with.

Getting Started.

A slipknot and chain stitch are excellent first stitches to learn. There are several online tutorials available to show you how to do these. Or, you could sign up for a three week beginners crochet workshop, led by an expert, to join likeminded folks on your crochet journey. What better way to learn?

The next ‘Learn to Crochet' Workshop is in Liverpool in September 2012.

Next Steps.

Already handy with a hook and creating super stitches? The opportunities are now endless. Take a look at this beautifully illustrated book showing you how to create adorable crochet toys.

Or take a look at the details of the next ‘Continue to Crochet’ workshop in Mostyn, North Wales, starting in September 2012.

Get the kids involved with this cute crochet jewellery kit; something to keep the little ones occupied during the long summer holidays?

You can always rely on Abakhan for creative, crafty inspiration - Happy Hooking!

Pick up your needles and join the Cool Revolution!

In case you haven’t heard, knitting is the new cool. Fact. With thousands of ‘Knit and Natter’ crafting groups popping up all over the country and ‘Yarn Storming’ become a new craze, the age-old stereotype of knitting grandmothers in rocking chairs is long gone!

Crafting has become incredibly popular in recent years, with people, especially the younger generations, becoming interested in a handmade culture, and, of course, Yarn Storming! If you haven’t heard of Yarn Storming – where have you been?! Yarnstorming is the art of using graffiti knitting or crochet to enhance an object or public place, guerilla knitting, if you will. Just check out this Yarnstormed phone box in London, courtesy of Knit the City.


Need more evidence that knitting is uber cool? Just have a quick chat with the Sisters from the Shoreditch WI, possibly the coolest people you will ever meet! We asked them to give us a little insight into their fantastic knitting group and they very kindly obliged.

The Sisters told us their go-to for knitting and crochet patterns is the online knitting and crochet community, Ravelry. Free to join, this community offers a huge pattern database. We asked the Shoreditch WI to tell us exactly why knitting was so cool and Martha Wass told us it was “the ability to make anything out of a long strand of something” and we couldn’t agree more! Knitting has become an incredibly sociable pastime, with many of the Sisters telling us that their friends introduced them to the craft, Rebecca Baird told us that the same friend who taught her to knit also taught her to crochet, and she has “been hooked ever since.” (Haha)

It soon became apparent that some of the Sisters have completed extremely difficult projects in their knitting quests. We asked Kim Byrne what the most complicated knitting project she has every completed was, her answer? “A 5 piece beach hut draft excluder.” (!!!)

Jen has been a Shoreditch Sister for 4 years and she told us that “the Shoreditch Sisters' Knit'n'Natter group meets monthly and is a great social activity. We all get to chat and admire each other's projects. I also really like that you can make something truly unique that you wouldn't be able to buy elsewhere easily.” Jen is also no stranger to complicated knitting projects; the hardest thing she ever made was a blanket for her niece sporting a tree design that she managed to finish the very day her sister went into labour!! She also told us that she is “addicted to making hideous 70s novelty poodle wine bottle covers to give to friends as a joke.

Now, tell us knitting isn’t cool?!

For all of your knitting supplies, visit the Abakhan website.

The Shoreditch WI Knitting Group hold regular meetings, to find more details, visit their blog, here. To find out more about their latest campaign, Days for Girls, visit their dedicated Facebook page.

Charity Shop: Sewing With A Difference

One of the hallmarks of most town centres is that there will be at least one street on which the charity shops are based – usually four or five of them in a row. However, one particular shop is setting themselves apart – and is using the magic of haberdashery to do so!

The Birdcage in Skipton has been the focus of an article in the Yorkshire Post, and it’s easy to see why. As well as the usual bric-a-brac you’d expect to see in any charity shop, there are also a variety of sewing machines, knitting wool, a dress-maker’s dummy and many other knitting and sewing accessories.

Behind Closed Doors, the Leeds Charity who are responsible for the birdcage, are keen to point out that the difference between their project and other charity shops is entirely intentional. Louise Tyne, Behind Closed Door’s manager said that:

We don’t want to be just any other charity shop on the high street. It’s about harnessing the creative skills in the local community and giving people an opportunity to express themselves creatively; and also to share their skills and their experiences.’

‘As an organisation we recognise the need to be sustainable and to generate income but we wanted to do it in such a way that the actual enterprise itself had a purpose so it’s not a typical charity shop.’

The aim of the community enterprise is to raise funds for those who have suffered from domestic violence.

Needless to say, we here at Abakhan applaud using such a wonderful hobby for such a great cause. Good on them!

To view our wide range of knitting accessories , click the link here .