Crafting with Katie


Welcome to the official Crafting with Katie blog, where you can find loads of information on knitting, crochet and other crafts.

If there’s a crafting question you’d love us to answer, simply get in touch via our social media, or email us.

Travelling with Knitting, Crochet, and Other Crafts

Published 20 Jan 2020

(Note: this is UK-specific advice).

If you’ve ever been worried about what the protocol is when taking your crafting projects with you on holiday, here’s all the information you need on what to bring.


For travelling on planes, the official UK government guidelines state that knitting needles, crochet hooks, sewing needles and small scissors with blades of less than 6cm are permitted in both your hand and hold luggage. These scissors can either be round-ended, blunt or sharp, just as long as they’re the right length.

For other modes of transport, I would follow the same advice. You can take knitting needles and crochet hooks on any train in the UK. You are also allowed to take knitting needles onboard the Eurostar train as part of your luggage allowance.

Personally, in any of these cases, I would be inclined to use shorter, less sharp knitting needles if possible (but there’s no specific rule stating that you can’t take longer ones, if that’s what you need).

Do make sure that you have somewhere safe to store them on your journey, just in case (for example a padded suitcase or handbag).

If there is any other crafting question you’d love us to answer, simply get in touch via our social media, or email us.

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List of Helpful Knitting Abbreviations

Published 13 Jan 2020

Here’s a handy guide to all the essential knitting abbreviations that you might find in patterns or magazines:

  • alt = alternate
  • beg = beginning
  • bet = between
  • cn = cable needle
  • CO = cast on
  • dec = decrease
  • dpn = double-pointed needles
  • foll = follow
  • inc = increase
  • k = knit
  • kfb = knit 1 into front and back of a stitch
  • k2tog = knit 1 stitches together
  • LH = left hand
  • p = purl
  • pat/patt = pattern
  • p2tog = purl 2 stitches together
  • prev = previous
  • psso = pass the slipped stitch over
  • rem = remaining (stitches)
  • rep = repeat
  • RH = right hand
  • RS = right side
  • sl = slip
  • sl st = slip stitch
  • st = stitch
  • St st = stocking stitch
  • WS = wrong side
  • yb = yarn back
  • yf/yfwd = yarn forward
  • yo = yarn over
  • yrn = yarn round needle

For knitting needles and other equipment, click here to browse our products.

If there’s a crafting question you’d love us to answer, simply get in touch via our social media, or email us.

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Connecting With Other Crafters

Published 7 Jan 2020

For many people (especially beginners in crafting, knitting or crochet), going out and meeting new people who enjoy the same things as you can be really terrifying.


Here’s a few easy ways to find others who love to knit and crochet:

  • You can meet other crafters both in person and online – there are many communities across the world, the amazing thing about the internet is that you can gossip about knitting and crochet with someone who lives halfway across the world from you.
  • You can also find a whole load of tips online – crafting blogs, forums, social media groups, and pages. Join these groups and don’t be afraid to ask for help on a problem! People will be ready to answer, because they’re all passionate about the same things.
  • Contact crafting blogs, contact local knitting and crafting groups. Many knitting clubs actually take place in a local wool shop, just like ours.
  • You can set up your own knitting group within your local community – many village halls, churches, schools, etc. can be hired out for under £10 an hour. You can even set up a weekly club in a café or library – no rent to pay!

If there is any other crafting question you’d love us to answer, simply get in touch via our social media, or email us.

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What You Should Know About Knitting Before You Start

Published 5 Jan 2020

Here are a number of tips and advice for anyone who’s thinking of picking up knitting as a new skill this year!

  1. Once you get the hang of it, knitting is actually easy enough to do without even looking at what you’re doing (a lot like typing).
  2. You don’t have to buy the fanciest wools and yarns to knit things that look and feel amazing. Find a colour and texture of yarn that best suits you and your budget.
  3. You should start off knitting with brightly coloured wool that contrasts with your knitting needles – not the variegated kind, it’s best to use solid colour. This will make it far easier to see your stitches, so when you do make mistakes, it’ll be a lot easier to spot the problem and fix it.
  4. You don’t need to buy every knitting needle size before you start. Choose the size and length of needle that works for you and the wool you have available (for beginners, usually standard aluminium 4mm knitting needles).
  5. Tension squares aren’t completely necessary in order to create a high-quality knitting project. These squares/swatches are typically used to ensure that when you knit up a pattern, you don’t end up making it too big or too small. These allow you to compare your own tension with the original pattern tension, so that you can adjust the pattern to the specific size you need. However, if you are not looking to modify patterns, or if your tension is fairly good, you can safely abandon the use of a tension square. I have been knitting for about a decade now, since early high school, and I have never used a tension square/swatch. This is what my knitting looks like:


(For similar yarn to this one, click to view Teddy Classic Family DK Wool Forest Green)

  1. You should also learn a simple sewing technique, just in case you want to move onto more difficult patterns. This is such useful skill to have, and can really help you if you want to try different things with your knitting.
  2. Most crafting communities, both online and in person, are very willing to help you with any questions you might have. If you need help on a pattern, many knitters and crafters will be more than happy to help you figure it out.
  3. If you’re used to dropping stitches a lot, you can actually use a crochet hook to save them!
  4. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – in most cases, you don’t need to start from scratch. Don’t worry about taking back stitches. Even if you need to start from scratch, it’s not a disaster – it’s all part of the learning process! You will continue making mistakes in your knitting, even as an expert.

If there is any other crafting question you’d love us to answer, simply get in touch via our social media, or email us!

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