Tagged with 'knitting'

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.

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.

Create your own Valentines Day Gifts

When it comes to Valentines Day, choosing the right gift can be particularly tricky. You need to show your partner how you feel about them – without spending less than they do on you – and also reflecting how they feel about you. For instance, if you turn up with a bouquet of garage forecourt flowers, and they buy you an expensive, personalised watch, you could find yourself single by the 15th February. For that reason, we’ve come up with some great ideas to help you make your Valentines gift at home.

Creating something from scratch allows you to put your heart and soul into the gift, with the recipient immediately aware of the effort you’ve gone to in order to make them the perfect present.

Going shopping for the perfect gift can be a chaotic process. You finally find yourself a couple of hours to hit the high street, (normally the day before), and after what seems like a week of window-shopping, you’re still uninspired. Unless you’re born with that unique trait of knowing exactly what to get your loved one, (please share it with me), making your own can be the way to go.

As mentioned earlier, you can show your loved one how you feel by making them something unique that you’ve poured your heart into, and there are several other advantages to making your gift. For instance, nobody knows your partner like you do. If you pop to the shops for a gift, it’s inevitable for the item you want to be unavailable in their favourite colour or size. By creating your own gift, you have the opportunity to make it according to the tastes of your partner, making it extra special for them.

It can also be a way of saving money, without it looking particularly inexpensive. Using materials bought from the Abakhan store, you can get everything you need for the perfect gift, such as wool, card, sewing patterns and accessories, without having to pay the over-the-top high street prices.

Still struggling for ideas? Well don’t tell your partner, but here’s a couple from us. Firstly, you could try making them some jewellery. If you’ve made it yourself, it’s certain to be unique, using the materials and colours they love, and you could customize it if you wish to let them know it’s from you, or include your Valentines message. Another option is to make them something for the home. If your partner is always talking about their love for throws or cushions in the living room, make them one to fit the décor of your home. Or if your partner loves to cook, you could make them something for the kitchen; They’ll need something to wear as they make the dinner! (Only joking!)

For all your essential accessories to make the perfect Valentines gift, including those mentioned here and anything you may already have in mind, visit or contact your local Abakhan store, or place an order online.

Cold On Top? Try Knitting Your Own Wooly Hat

The recent cold snap has taken many of us by surprise. In the UK you expect the snow and ice to arrive before Christmas – skipping the period where we actually want it to snow i.e. Christmas day – and disappear by mid-January. As is so often the case with the British weather, that hasn’t happened. A lot of people have been stuck in their villages with no way of getting to the nearest town or city to buy their winter essentials. Normally that would mean the world stopping around them, but there is an alternative to buying a new winter hat - knitting your own.

While many people will have put learning to knit onto their list of New Years resolutions and then forgotten about the whole thing, others are seeing the opportunity to make their own hats as the first step into achieving that goal.

Using some of the products from the Abakhan range, we’ve devised a plan to help you on your way to making your own wooly hats to keep you warm through the cold weather.

What You Need

• Needles – it goes without saying that needles are an essential for knitting. We recommend our 35cm x 10mm needles as these give the user much more to hang on to.

• Wool – again another essential part of making any wooly hat. By using even yarn beginners have a much better chance of success as it’s easier to work with than the more ‘knobbly’ form.

• A plan – by coming up with an idea before you start and then sticking to it, you’re much more likely to get your hat right. Problems occur when people attempt to change their plan halfway through a project so only start when you’re absolutely happy with it.

Key Terms There are a few terms and abbreviations associated with knitting. Some of the main terms are ‘cast’ which is to get the stitches on to the needle. Another is ‘knit’ – a basic stitch – and ‘purl’ is another basic stitch. Some of the abbreviations are a bit less clear to beginners. One of which is ‘k’ short for knit. ‘P’ relates to ‘purl’, ‘K2tog’ means to knit two stitches together and similarly ‘P2tog’ is to purl two stitches together.

What To Do With us so far? Right, well, here goes!

1. The Headband Cast on 36 stitches. For a fitted hat do eight rows of k3, p3 all the way to the end. For a baggier hat, increase that to ten or twelve rows but ensure it is always an even number.

2. The Middle Four, six or eight rows of stocking stitch (one row of knit stitch followed by one of purl stitch). Number will differ depending on the size of the hat but again – ensure it is an even number.

3. The Top Unlike the other two sections, the number of stitches here does not change. Row one – K2tog, K4 six times. Row two – P. Row three – K2tog, K3 six times. Row four – P. Row five – K2tog, K2 six times. Row six – P. Row seven – K2tog, K1 six times. Row eight – P2tog.

4. Cast Off and sew the sides together to finish.

By now you should have a very good wooly hat to keep you warm on those ventures out of the house into the arctic conditions outside. For more information on any of the products available at Abakhan, contact your local branch where the staff will be happy to help you with your enquiry. Good luck!

How To Knit Your Own Scarf

Scarves are a must-have accessory and look great at any time of year. In winter they act as an extra layer of warmth, while the thinner versions add style to an outfit in the summer. The only drawback is because they are so in-demand and feature prominently in the “latest style” sections of the glossy magazines, the prices can be quite high. To combat this, we’re going to tell you how to knit your own scarf for a fraction of the high street price.

To help you to make your own scarf, we’ve come up with a simple guide using products available in the Abakhan range, ensuring that your project remains both stylish and affordable.

What You Need:

1. Yarn – ideally two or three colours to make an elaborate scarf, or just the one colour if you prefer the toned-down style. Thicker yarn will make for a quicker process and give you more warmth, whereas a thinner yarn is ideal for the style-over-warmth option.

2. Knitting needles – choose the size that most suits your knitting style and hand size. Obviously you don’t want anything you can’t handle and manoeuvre easily otherwise it will complicate the process unnecessarily. Thicker needles will help to speed up the process in association with a thick yarn.

3. Yarn needle – enabling you to thread your yarn through

4. Scissors – to cut the yarn to length and chop off any irreparable mistakes

What To Do:

1. Cast on ten stitches using your first coloured yarn. Knit for twelve rows. At this point you can either change to a second colour or continue with the one you’re using depending on what style you prefer.

2. If you’re going for a second colour, cut the yarn at this point leaving a 6-inch end. If not, skip this step and continue knitting until you reach your desired length.

3. Add a second colour of yarn to the first and start knitting. Hold the first six inches of the new yarn and the end of the first and do about five stitches.

4. At this point you should weave the loose ends into the pattern with a tapestry needle. Knit twelve rows with the second yarn.

5. If you choose, add your third colour and repeat the process.

6. Continue to do so until your scarf reaches your desired length and cast off your stitches.

7. At this stage, you should be left with your brand new hand-made scarf! Go out and make a statement!

To find the materials used in the making of this scarf, visit the dedicated knitting section of the Abakhan website or call in to one of our stores. Should you have any questions about the products in our range, you can contact us by calling your local branch or 01745 562133, or leave us an online message and we’ll respond to you as soon as possible.

Knit & Natter – Abakhan Knitting Workshops

As we keep saying, knitting is the new cool. Everyone is getting stuck in, but what if you’ve never tried knitting before? Or it’s been so long since you picked up a set of needles that you can’t remember anything?

Fear not! Abakhan to the rescue! We offer various knitting workshops that’ll soon have you in the swing of things!

A Refresher in Knitting

This workshop is perfect for people who were taught to knit as a child but haven’t picked up their needles for years. If you know the basics but need a little confidence come and join this workshop and you’ll be a pro knitter again in no time! All yarn is included; all you need to bring with you are 4mm/4.5mm needles and a passion for knitting!

The next knitting refresher workshop is on the 19th June 2012 in Mostyn, North Wales. If you attend this class, let us know how you get on, we’d love to see photos of your work.

Advanced Knitting

Already a dab hand at knitting? Then give this workshop a go. If you’ve mastered the basics and want to take your knitting skills a little further this workshop is ideal. Covering cables, eyelets, bobbles and chart reading as well as requested processes over a four week period.

As before, yarn is included, just bring your needles.

Keep an eye out for the next advanced knitting course.

Elongated and Slip Stitch

A more specialist class, this workshop explores elongated and slipped stitches in depth whilst working on a cushion cover. All materials are included, just bring your 4mm needles.

The next Elongated & Slip Stitch workshop is in Mostyn, North Wales on the 17th June 2012.

Festive Knits

Get a little festive with this workshop dedicated to Magic Knitting and Beaded Knitting and create unique and charming Christmas decorations.

Bring along your 3.25mm needles.

The next Festive Knits Workshop will be held in Liverpool on the 3rd October 2012.

For details on all of the workshops we run, including dates and times, visit the workshop section of the Abakhan website. Happy crafting!

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 .