The big knit

As the winters seem to have drawn in rather quickly we have, as I’m sure you have too, been turning out the hats and scarves to keep warm. Sadly much of the knitwear we have found on the high street is not made here despite the fact that we are great wool producers. I decided that I would therefore try my hand at knitting, something my maternal Granny tried for many years to get me into. She sadly never quite passed on the enthusiasm she had in quite the same way my paternal Granny passed on the sewing bug so it has always been that which I have felt ‘good at’.

However with the demand for a hat for Lucan at school coming home in his book bag, now seemed as good a time as ever to give it a go. I had tried a few years ago to make a scarf for James (not massively successfully I might add) so I had large 10mm knitting needles in the loft. After a trip to a fantastic local shop to source the wool and a rather nifty book about knitting and crocheting hats, it was time to give it a go. The internet, as always, was the ever reliable source of videos to help me get started and after about 3 attempts of knitting and undoing it all I finally made my first ever wearable bobble hat!

Lucan seems quite taken and I am now in the process of making one for James (the same colour minus the bobble) and one eventually for myself in cream (bobble undecided). It has been wonderful to start to learn a new craft and I must admit I see now what my Granny was trying to show me all those years ago. While rather fiddly at times, the speed that you can create a fully formed and functioning garment is rather exciting. Give it a go but make sure you hunt out British wool 😉

If however you aren’t quite so crafty minded there are some lovely bobble hats to be found at Fieldlife, a super kids brand of durable wearable clothing all made here in the UK.



  1. Miguida says

    If you are taking up the needles I recommend

    It is a website coded amd hosted in the US so I don’t know if that passes your test? It has directories for patterns, paid and free (and you can pick British designers only), yarns, yarn shops, and also a great community with groups covering just about everything!

  2. Welcome to the wonderful world of knitting! I can’t recommend the Ravelry website highly enough as a font of all knowledge especially for information on UK produced yarn of which there is endless suppliers it would seem! I’d recommend joining the British knitters group. Time to get back to my knitting which I only put down to type this reply 🙂

  3. Well done you! Yo must be very proud!!

  4. Well done, I have been doing a fair amount of knitting and dress making over the last year or two. It is very difficult to find British yarn at a reasonable price and nearly all haberdashery is imported. I am lucky enough to still have a few reels of Coats thread on wood and state Made in England, and a few needles. Everything is now made in China.

  5. Hello! So glad you are taking up knitting & British wool, but I’d just like to add that British wool is very available and not at all expensive. It’s a bit of misconception.
    Knitting with UK grown wool has been my mission for 2013 and you can buy quality homegrown yarn for under£5 I have just completed a cowl in gorgeous smooshy Suffolk/Jacob yarn which cost under £3.
    I did a series on my blog of where you can find British wool to suit every pocket

    It is very satisfying to knit with yarn that supports the industry in your own country

    Keep it up!

  6. My mum has just knitted me two beanies in different colours out of British wool. I tried knitting once and it was a disaster, decided at that point it wasn’t for me so well done to you.

  7. Well done. I was lucky enough to be part of the Woolsack project that knitted cushions made of British wool to give to competitors in the London 2012 Olympics. The website is still going strong and has a comprehensive list of British wool suppliers. ;

  8. Well done. This reminded me of when I was a teenager and crocheted really funky berets!

  9. Lizzie Baker says

    I haven’t knitted or crocheted for years (s’pose I’m waiting for the excuse!). I can do both, but I seem to remember crochet was even easier to learn than knitting. So maybe you could crochet a flower to attach to your hat?

    The area I live in used to be a wool producing area, and our house is among 9 which occupy the land that a fulling mill used to stand on. Sadly no evidence of it remains except a few doors away there is still the most massive and beautiful Wellingtonia tree that can be seen in old photos of its latter days.

  10. There are lots and lots of real quality UK knitwear available, and not all of it with premium prices. There are innumerable factory shops in Hawick (Scottish Borders) who do great bargains. There also appears to be a good concentration around Leicester. Otherwise, have you tried the Sweater Shop, who appear to have a branch in Bluewater ( If you want to buy UK-made only, there is one thing you never have to go without and that is top quality knitwear!!

  11. Great job, well done! British wool is still relatively easy to come by and excellent quality to. I have found close inspection of the label is required as not all that has a British household name on it is what it pretends to be. Turkey and China seem to have a lot of British sounding people. 🙂 We sell hand knits in our shop,much of the yarn used is from within a 25 mile circle of our door.

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