Tips and Tricks — advice

Pilling - what causes it and what can you do about it?

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Pilling - it is so frustrating! You have spent hours knitting or crocheting and your item is perfect, and then, over time, little balls or fluffy strands of fibre appear on the surface. Why does this happen and what can you do about it?

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What is Bluefaced Leicester?

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We have recently added Bluefaced Leicester yarns for hand-dyeing to our collection.  Bluefaced Leicester is a breed of sheep which was first developed by Robert Bakewell in Leicestershire in the 18th century. For a long time, the breed was predominantly used for meat, but the wool is becoming increasingly popular among hand-spinners and hand-dyers. The wool is curly, fine and soft. Photo: Bluefaced Leicester Ewe and Lambs, @Wikipedia, @Magic Foundry, used under creative commons licence.  Chester Wool purchases Bluefaced Leicester fleeces from small farms across the UK and processes the fibre into beautiful yarns for hand-dyeing, knitting and crocheting. 

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Crochet: American and British crochet terms

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You would think that English speaking countries all use the same crochet terms, but unfortunately, that is not the case. Generally speaking, UK and Australian patterns use the same crochet terms but some terms in American patterns are slightly different. To make matters worse, there are a few terms that are the same but mean different things! So it is important to make sure you know which terms your pattern uses. One clear give-away is the use of the term "single crochet", which only exists in American crochet terminology. So if you encounter the term "single crochet", make sure you...

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Choosing the right yarn for your project

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Maybe you have an idea for a jumper or a pattern for a scarf but no yarn yet. How do you find the right yarn for your project? Familiarise yourself with the properties of different fibres before you choose your yarn. Think about how different fibres behave and feel. Are you going to knit or crochet with your yarn? Do you prefer 100% natural fibres? How are you going to use your project? A beautiful and expensive yarn does not guarantee the right kind of outcome if you don't consider the quality of the fibres first. Structure & flexibility Do you want to make something...

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