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Calling all knitters....where do you get your yarn and patterns from?

(12 Posts)
LackaDAISYcal Wed 02-Sep-09 21:20:00

I am limited to hobbycraft locally, who have patterns, but no longer stock the yarn, or have the yarn, but no bloody patterns and the bins of yarn are always a mixed mush of different lot nos so you can't get all the balls you need angry. There is a fab mill shop in the next town, but it isn't always convenient for me to get there as it is right in the middle of a city centre and the traffic scares the pants off me

I joined ravelry a while ago and I also subscribe to knitting daily, but have no idea where to get the yarns for some of the patterns and the patterns themselves scare me with their American terminology and needle sizes and lengths of yarn as opposed to wieghts; it's like a foreign language.

Why do they do things soooo much better for knitters on the other side of the pond and what happened to the UK yarn industry? We used to be a nation of knitters with at least one wool shop on every high street?

Oh, my word that wasn't meant to turn into a rant.....blush

help...please smile

tattycoram Wed 02-Sep-09 21:27:17

It's hard to find reasonable wool I think. There's lots of wool on ebay, but of course you can't see the colours properly. I get patterns from ravelry, or get books from the library - at our library you can order them - have you tried that?

macherie Wed 02-Sep-09 21:37:50

Have a look here

LackaDAISYcal Wed 02-Sep-09 22:42:36

oooh, thanks for that sire macherie smile I've added it to my favourites.

I never thought about ebay for yarn (although can't think why not as you can get everything else there) and had no idea that libraries would be able to get hold of knitting patterns!

I'm a big fan of lovingly caressing yarn to make sure it has the right feel before buying and internet shopping takes that away, although I assume a decent internet retailer would be happy to send some fabric swatches out for you to see/feel before buying.

some of the patterns on ravelry are for yarn manufactirer's I've never heard of and I think I would need to go by the needle size to get an equivalent yarn, is that right?

I have knitted for many many years, but nothing too adventurous so I'd put my status at a part-time hobby knitter rather than a keen amateur; a fishing gansey pattern knitted in the round with five <or was it four?> pins had me screaming and gibbering in the corner, but I can rattle off most sirdar patterns without even thinking about it.

I'd like to do more though.....

tattycoram Thu 03-Sep-09 15:41:11

If you find a pattern you like on ravelry there is a tab called something like "yarn ideas". If you click on that you can see which UK yarns people have used to knit that project. After that I suppose it is just a question of playing around to make sure you get the right gauge

LackaDAISYcal Thu 03-Sep-09 16:13:18

thanks tattycoram smile

I'll try that as I've seem some lovely hats and fingerless mitts on ravelry, and liked the idea from another thread of knitting projects for Christmas presents; beats the credit crunch and uses up all my spare bits and bobs of yarn at the same time.

BornToFolk Thu 03-Sep-09 16:24:34 is great for yarns too. And does really, really cheap yarn but mainly Patons, Sirdar and Wendy.

I do a lot of yarn shopping by internet but I've had some nasty surprises when the colour and texture does not match up to what I had imagined.

For patterns I love and also find a lot of stuff on Ravelry.

If you want to sub a yarn, you need to look at the recommended gauge of the yarn that the pattern calls for, then try and find a yarn that more or less matchs up. So, if the gauge of the pattern is 22 sts per 4 inches on 4mm needles, if you found something that was 21, 22 or 23 sts per 4 inches, it would probably work though you might need to try a few needle sizes.

It's also worth sticking fairly closely to the content of the yarn. A jumper worked in cotton is going look very different to one worked in 100% wool.

dutchmanswife Thu 03-Sep-09 16:34:46

This website is good for free patterns

and their yarns can be bought from here.

I've used them quite a bit. The yarns are nice and the service is reliable and efficient.

I use this wesite a lot as well and again reliable and efficient.

LackaDAISYcal Thu 03-Sep-09 17:55:05

thanks for the advice on the gauge borntofolk and the websites dutchmanswife smile.

Texere is the mill shop that is in the next town that I mentioned; it's a veritable Aladin's cave but is such a faff to get to for me through the week with children in tow (old mill buildings not being very pushchair friendly) so I can really only go on a weekend and they only open on about three or four weekends in the whole year!!

Seems like madness to me and that if they opened even on Saturdays they would get loads of custom as it's always mobbed when I've been before.

I've got a fair old lot to go at there; I'm hoping to start making my own knitted wool nappy covers so fingers crossed I can get something that fits the bill smile

LackaDAISYcal Thu 03-Sep-09 22:18:18

Just found a website, Dragon Yarns that sells little sample cards of their yarn, so I've ordered a few so I can see the texture of the yarn before buying.

they also have a load of interesting patterns as well

tattycoram Fri 04-Sep-09 20:10:30

Ooh there are some lovely buttons on that site

Hopefully Tue 08-Sep-09 11:44:58

I use getknitted quite a lot, but also order from quite often - they have a good sock yarn range, and are very helpful on the odd time I've had to phone them. I think Iknit in London is relaunching their website soon, so it should be a bit more useful for online ordering.

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