24 December 2013

Have a Merry One!

This Christmas I will be mostly chillaxercising... including with my knitting!

When I asked you for advice on how I should start knitting, I knew you'd be helpful, but I didn't expect quite so many amazing tips and generous offers of free lessons! I would have loved to visit more of you, but in the end I went to Stepney for a lesson at the home of Aneeta Patel, author of the bestselling book Knitty Gritty which many of you recommended, along with the follow up book Knitty Gritty: The Next Steps. Aneeta was a fantastic teacher - clear, patient and down-to-earth. If you're looking to take a knitting class in London, I would definitely recommend paying her a visit.

Online Knitting Class

I've also just booked into the Knit Lab online video class on Craftsy, which looks great as you can see the teacher's knitting in action close-up while learning the essentials from the comfort of your own sofa. The class is on sale at the moment, along with loads of other classes in sewing, pattern making, knitting, photography etc if you fancy learning something new this Christmas or new year.

I'll also be curled up on the sofa sipping amaretto sours (classy), eating lebkuchen (mmm... I am getting through an average of 12 a day at the moment, yikes!) and reading the new issue of Crafty magazine. Ooh look, there's my column! This month I share some tips for beginners for diagnosing common causes of sewing machine strops.

Well, I'm exhausted, so off to recline with my knitting. How will you be chillaxercising this Christmas? Wishing you a very merry one!

[Soundtrack: 'Presents for Christmas' by Solomon Burke]


  1. Sounds like a fabulous time! I have spent this morning dyeing wool, but will soon be reclined on the couch working away on a jumper (hopefully with some mulled wine). Keep up the good work!

  2. Merry Christmas, Tilly. I once tried to knit and it was a disaster! I'll stick to sewing until I find the urge to take it up again.

    I'm on my way home to Florida today to spend Christmas with my family. It's going to be hot, hot, hot - so great!

  3. Merry Christmas to you, too, Tilly! Looking forward to seeing what you do and creatw in 2014!

    1. (and the "Perfect Sweater Craftsy class is awful tempting.,...)

  4. And a Merry Christmas to you too, Tilly! Your blog is so inspiring - I hope in the new year I'll get closer to your level of skill. <3

  5. What a fabulous Christmas plan :)

    I made my first pair of knitted socks this year, as a christmas gift for my other half, and can't wait to give them to him so I can start a pair for myself!!!

    Have a lovely Christmas : )

    Faded Windmills

  6. Happy Christmas, Tilly! That gorgeous pink is really becoming your signature colour :)

  7. Merry Christmas sweet lady! xoxo

  8. Merry Christmas Tilly,enjoy ur knitting!

  9. Merry Christmas, Tilly. Enjoy your knitting.
    I started sewing this year having been inspired by you on GBSB. Such fun. It's easier to squeeze bits of knitting time into hectic Christmas, so I'm doing that. But as soon as the last bit of turkey disappears, I'll be sewing again.
    Thanks for an excellent blog and for being sew enthusiastic!

  10. I hope you have a really lovely day Tilly, it does sound blissful.

  11. Merry Christmas! I will be 'chillaxercising' beside the pool, catching up on reading and picking out patterns for 2014 ... J

  12. I'm knitting a baby sweater and getting stuck into making Coppelia from Papercut patterns.

    Happy New Year!! Your 2013 was awesome, 2014 can only get better!!

  13. merry christmas to you Tilly! i plan to catch up on some ufo's and repairing some of the opp-shop item ive bought over the year and need to resize. Good luck with your knitting!

  14. Merry Christmas to you too Tilly! I so want to take up knitting but I've had three failed attempts... I've realised that no one can teach me the virtue of patience :(.

  15. That's exciting that you are mastering a new craft. Did you manage to get the hang of holding the needles from underneath? It's hard at first, but well worthwhile. Merry Christmas.

  16. I'm crocheting squares for a bed throw I will need one day when I finally clear the junk from my spare room! A glass or two of The Famous Grouse is helping me along! See! I'm on the hard stuff already! Lol!

  17. Merry Christmas! What a gorgeous color you've chosen! I cast on for a sweater this week as I'm really missing my sewing machine over the holidays!

  18. I'm glad you're knitting, now. The best knitters start as seamstresses, ha! (I started sewing, too). Come check out my blog sometime, my specialty is cutting up and changing all my patterns like I'm sewing! Happy New Year. www.dayanaknits.com

  19. You ask about knitting tips; Its a bit of a time eater but Ravelry is a real life line, when you want to get inspiration there are lots of finished projects on there, lots of patterns; free and paid for. You can keep track of your yarn stash and search for patterns that will work with your choice of yarn or needle size. www.ravelry.com

    My fave knitting tutorials are by Judy on YT http://www.youtube.com/user/knittingtipsbyjudy her's are great as you watch over her shoulder, not sitting in front of her ;)

    The best knitting companion book is The Knitting Book, its more a dictionary of techniques as well as information about tools and materials. Think Alison Smith's sewing book but for knitting ;) Its a great reference when you get a term you don't understand or want to look up a technique.

    One thing to watch out for though is that USA terms for crochet especially are different to the UK terms, some of the knitting terms are different too, but not so much. With the knitting the USA/UK confusion can come from yarn names and needle sizes. Ravelry helps there too.

    Wishing you every success with your knitting, its a great way to chill out (when you are doing something you understand) and like with your sewing, you get garment tailored to your taste and materials you love.

    Best wishes

    Billie :)


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