At LoveKnitting our customer service team is named Smiles simply because our goal is to have you smiling at all times! Whether you have a question about a purchase or a knitting query, our team is here to help. Louise, from the Smiles team, was kind enough to sit down to give you an inside look at what it's like to help knitters around the world!
Over at Smiles, we get lots of questions from knitters on topics like yarn substitutions, knitting patterns, and how to get started if you're a complete beginner. We've rounded up 10 of the most common questions and gathered our knitting advice to help you on your journey!
1. 'I'm not sure what to knit'
Lost your inspiration? There are so many fabulous patterns to choose from, but sometimes it's just hard to decide what to knit next!
First, decide whether you want a challenge that will will take your skills to a new level, or a project that is satisfyingly quick to get the momentum going. A quick knit might include a thick scarf or hat which can be whipped up in a matter of hours with a bulky yarn weight. For a challenge, you might opt for Fair Isle, try your hand at a classic Aran sweater or take on a project you've never knit before, such as your first pair of socks!
The trick is to keep knitting. As knitters, we know once you start, you'll almost immediately see a pattern you want to knit next!
2. 'What can I knit with one skein of yarn?'
It all depends on the weight of the yarn and the size of the skein! If you have one 100g skein of lace weight or 4ply (fingering) yarn, it is plenty for a beautiful shawl or a pair of socks! If you have a 100g ball of bulky or super bulky yarn, you could make a pair of wrist warmers or a hat; with a 100g ball of aran weight yarn, you would be able to make a pair of mittens or a hat and a couple of mug cozies, a purse, bookmarks, dishcloths or a small toy. 100g of DK yarn will make a cowl, a pair of socks or a baby cardigan or a cover for a tablet.
Free projects you can knit with one skein
3. What can you do with French knitting?
French knitting produces a fabulous long cord of knitting that you can use for edging, for bag handles, or to write words. Stitch the cord into the shape of a name or a heart, or flower! If you coil the cord and stitch it flat, you can make coasters and table mats, cushion covers or even little animal toys - and if you coil the cord spirally, you could make a little pot to store buttons or stitch markers. Christine Leech explains how to create beautiful french knitted lettering with her easy free tutorial.
4. What can you knit on a round loom?
A round loom is most often used to make hats, and you can make different sizes by using different diameter looms. Small diameter round looms can also be used to make socks or double thickness scarves.
Round loom knitting projects
5. Projects for men: what to knit?
Knitwear designer James McIntosh, author of Knit and Nibble, explains how knitting helped him recover from depression in his inspiring interview: 'How knitting saved my life', which challenges the gender stereotype all too often associated with knitting.
Whether you're guy who wants to knit yourself a project or looking to craft a handmade gift for the man in your life, there are plenty of beautiful knitting designs for men to try, including sweaters, beanies, mittens and accessories. Here we've rounded up some of our favorite mens patterns to get started.
Projects for men
6. Beginner knitter: How to start knitting?
From picking your needles, casting on, learning new stitches and creating magnificent knitwear, we have guides, tutorials and projects for all levels of knitter. Explore our guide to knitting stitches and learn how to knit step-by-step.
Knitting tutorials for beginners
7. What to knit when you're expecting!
Plan some fun knitting projects to take you through to full term! Baby cardigans and sweaters are fun to knit, especially if you are giving birth in a cooler season. Booties and tiny socks are finished fast, and baby hats are very useful to have ready for newborns. If you're feeling adventurous, knit some baby toys, but be careful to use only safety eyes or embroidered features.
If you love knitting larger projects, knit a couple of baby blankets that you can have at the ready when baby is born - knitting two will mean there is always a spare to use when one is in the wash! Use yarns that are soft, washable and baby friendly. Acrylics are great on delicate baby skin and are easy to wash.
Free knitting projects for baby
8. Not sure what to knit with cotton yarn?
Cotton yarn is perfect for summer projects: warm weather sweaters and cardigans, everyday garments for children and homeware. Dishcloths, face cloths and table mats are great cotton projects that wash well, and cotton throws for garden picnics and parks are great fun to knit! Cotton works well for toys, and for anyone who is vegan or who has sensitivities to animal fibres.
Free knitting projects that use cotton yarn
9. What can I knit with leftover yarn?
We knitters love to use up our stash! Save your leftover yarn and store in bags of the same weight to save time sorting through! You can make pom poms, small projects like purses, or work on a leftovers blanket of squares or stripes. Toys use small amounts of yarn, and you just never know when you need to make a tiny sweater for a teddy. Christmas decorations look fabulous in multicolored selections too!