Freddie's Knitting and Crochet Workshops

Freddie is next teaching workshops with Woman's Weekly Magazine. For more info, click here. Can't knit yet? Check out Freddie's online tutorials here.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Introducing - Love To Knit And Crochet Magazine

So I've been saying for ages that I had a bit of news. Well the time has come where I'm safe to blab.

I'm very pleased to announce that I am now writing and designing for Love To Knit And Crochet magazine!

There's actually been two issues now, they come out at the end of each month and every issue comes with a free gift. We've been making a few videos teaching you how to make them, including the first one which was how to crochet an amigurumi cat;

The top that I'm wearing is one of the knitting patterns from the inside, a multi-textured handknit designed by Pat Menchini that I have 'adopted'. It's so easy to wear and very comfortable. S-wish!

Love To Knit And Crochet is aimed at a fresh and modern audience, so it's been great fun linking up with bloggers for interviews. My first was with Ruby of Frank & Olive fame. A fab design house boasting workshop retreats and collaborations with big brands such as Patons.

Issue 2 landed in shops last Friday, and featured a fun granny square phone cover kit. It's great fun too because so far each freeb kit has come with a colour-coordinated crochet hook and I'm in love with this pink one.

It's a really extra special issue for me this second one, and it sounds completely silly I'm sure but see the crocheted tee on the cover?

You know, the one being modelled by a real-life grown up adult model? That super-easy crochet design is one of MINE and I was squeeing in the office for a good couple of hours at least, when I'd discovered that I'd made the front cover. What an honour!

I never thought I'd say this but I seem to be designing more crochet than knitting these days - weird considering knitting was always the one I was madder about. It's great fun though. These new challenges all feel wonderful.

And what a lovely model!

I also had the pleasure of getting to know EmmaKnitted for the interview in this month's issue which was a real honour. She's super nice and has a very distinctive style. Love her pattern detail.

Part of the fun of the mag is simply that it uses both knitting and crochet so there's something for everyone, in a wide variety of sizes. Plenty for the total beginner up to much more challenging designs that you can get your teeth into.

It's a very exciting time working with such a refreshing, vibrant team on this new project. I can't wait to see what's around the corner with Teresa Conway at the helm (Previously of C + B).

Teresa (above, right) and I at a press launch for Pompomania, a super-fun book by Christine Leech aka SewYeah
She has more ideas in her head than I'd previously thought possible and I'm greatly looking forward to learning a lot from her.

...and as much as I want to tell you more about what's in the mag, I can't! Go buy one. Don't take my word for it, either - Katherine Lymer has done a great review of our first issue on her blog (thanks, Katherine!).

I'd really like for you to get involved - find the new mag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry. If you're a yarn company, a blogger or designer, come say hi. Ideas and feedback always welcome.

Monday, 7 March 2016

I hated the idea of Arm Knitting, but now I love it!!! I show you how

I think Arm Knitting was probably mentioned in the office about a year ago, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up into a big raisiny face at the time.

Arm knitting? What bollocks! Surely no knitter would admit out loud that they have ditched their needles and gone for the gimmick. Surely not.

Previously pooh-poohing the notion to be another social media flash-in-the-pan technique that would come and go, that it would never be taken seriously in the knititng community, I'm now starting to realise I was probably wrong about that.

It came up again recently and I felt it was high time I had a go, even if it didn't go anywhere. If nothing more, I ought to at least learn how to do it. Another string to my bow and soforth.

Playing with it at my desk with my headphones on (bare in mind I work around a lot of journalists who are not knitters), as soon as I built up some speed, I realised I'd attracted a crowd of spectators. They were fascinated!

It was just so massive and so quick, and SO fun. Everyone wanted to see what I was doing.

Having worked out how to do the arm knitting, it's surprisingly easy! Essentially using your arms as needles (well, duh!) and 'knitting' a regular row before working a row in reverse. Arms are big needles, so the thing grows super-quick!

A photo posted by Tammy Kanat (@tammykanat) on

...perfect for HUGE things.

It's all very me anyway, because I knit backwards instead of working purl rows in stocking stitch, something strange which just happenned to me when Learning to knit as a child. Works for me though.

I found the most AMAZING yarn - Premier Yarns in America do this great [and sparkly] stuff called Couture Jazz. I have a secret weakness for anything sparkly. Tinsel included. But this is, y'know, tasteful.

A photo posted by Linds & Chad (@the_gloedes) on

Obviously, anything super-thick will work. There are plenty of these scarfy yarns around that will be fine - someone on Facebook said earlier that Tiger have started selling something you could use.

So without further stalling, allow me to introduce me introducing the concept of Arm Knitting. Below is a little taster and then the full video is here (it's free, I just can't embed it here!). I warn you now, my hair is doing something almost as crazy as my coffee-fuelled excited self, but enjoy nonetheless!!

Unbelievable! Make this cosy throw in a few minutes - no previous knitting knowledge needed (yes, really!) See the full how-to video here
Posted by Knitting Network on Monday, 7 March 2016

In this video I'll show you how to knit a blanket with no knitting experience, in 15 minutes. You should know I did it in 10, but when you do things deliberately on film in a way that's clear to see, it often takes a bit longer. We didn't want to lie, so we said 15. But you could totally do it in 10.

If you've seen the video and fancy having a go, join me and Vicki Walker to Arm Knit your very own snood at the Sewing For Pleasure show at Birmingham NEC from the 17th - 20th March. Anyone can do it and you should leave with a snood to boot! Just what you need in this chilly weather.

I guarantee you'll catch the bug, I sure did!