There's no doubt why we love knitting,
When the needles starting clicking it felt like a dream. There was a connection.
It felt so natural to be walking around a local yarn store, to find some gorgeously radiant yarn, with fibres that mingled and flowed with Autumnal colour and delicious tweedy bobbles, that just oozed Outlander sophistication.
This was going to be an absolute Hermione Granger elf-hat experience. The fabric will fly off your needles as if by magic. The scarf you envision wrapping around your shoulders will be keeping you warm in just two week's time… but then the worst happens!
If only Mrs Weasley was there to wave her wand when your stitch-count goes off, those dropped stitches need picking up (tidily!) and the yarn you’ve run out of just needs to lengthen a few metres for ten more rows.
“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either.”
“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”
Every knitter, including me, has gone through that mill of disappointment.
I've had projects fail on me, yarn has tangled, finished sizes have been completely off the scale, and yes, I drop stitches, get lost when reading a pattern and unravel row after row to re-knit what's taken hours to achieve. But I’ve learned so much.
I’m here to help you get back on your feet when your yarn stash is exploding, when the pile of patterns is ready to topple.
And when even the purl stitch seems overwhelming because you just can’t figure out which sides of the knitting are ‘right’ or ‘wrong’!
But how did it all start for me?
I began knitting at the age of four. It seems a long time ago, and I don’t really remember much other than the colour of the needles and the distress I had when holes appeared and I dropped stitches.
But I made it. As a teen I began learning beyond my family’s ability to teach, so I searched for books at the library, began attempting patterns that were ‘too difficult,’ and learned from my mistakes.
I became even more hooked than I already was.
This is when knitting and other crafts became a mainstay of my life.
Life was leading me in a different direction.
I became ill with multiple chronic conditions as a teenager. It was knitting that helped me.
By recognising the beauty of ‘one stitch at a time,’ the gifts of patience and acceptance are right there when things don’t go as you wished.
What appears like a marathon ahead, with a blanket pattern in front of me, becomes nothing more than a delicious recipe of small ingredients, a meal of multiple courses to be relished one mouthful at a time.
So how did Knit With Hannah come about?
Aside from finding new perspectives as I was knitting, there was one practical thing that really helped me when I was most ill.
I would prepare bags with everything (absolutely everything) that I needed for each project. Not just the yarn, needles and pattern. I’d find multiple sizes of needles, if I needed to change after ribbing. I'd pull out stitch holders, extra yarn for marking rows, measuring tape, sewing needle for loose ends and crochet hook in case I had to rescue a dropped stitch.
There was no frustration when something was missing - it was all there waiting for me - and I could pick up and put down the knitting any time I needed without asking someone else to help me find more yarn, needles or tools.
That’s how I’ve knitted ever since.
It can cause procrastination if you’re not focused enough, switching yarn choices a few times, waiting until a needle appears through the post, or going to a yarn shop to double-check that you don’t want a different colour.
I began filming
I wanted to recreate the ease that had become part of my creative life.
Seeing the project set out in front of you in a workshop or as part of a longer course makes the knitting seem achievable. It’s a virtual bag of yarn, needles, pattern and tools. And yes - each course has a ‘materials’ video helping you create that bag for yourself before you start!
I have always felt like a teacher. I knew I could share so much of what I'd learned over the years so it just felt natural.
Knitting kits make it even easier!
Yes, you guessed it!
Once the courses and YouTube channel were set up and running, I knew I could invest in bringing you the real-life kits that I'd found so helpful for so long.
Everything in one place.
Happy mail appearing on your doorstep so you can start clicking those needles and know that joy of knitting, without the hassle of trying to source the right needles, the right yarn, and pattern tools and my YouTube tutorials linked from the pattern leaflets.
How am I different to other knitting teachers?
Very obviously no knitter is the same as any other. All knitters are you-nique!
But as I said above, I have things in my life that guide and inspire the way I teach.
And if these things inspire you too, we're a perfect match! Like Ron and Hermione, Rose and The 10th Doctor, eggs and bacon!
- I’m a massive fan of Rooibos tea, can’t go a few hours in the day without one - even in the summer.
- My coffee preference is a perfectly made flat white -but I only partake once a week.
- I can’t eat fruit (no I’m not Scottish!)- my stomach rebels and I regret it. I miss it so much as I was a big fan as a teenager. I break the rules for strawberries, blueberries and cherries as they are absolute favourites, but only a few at a time.
- You might have guessed already I’m a sci-fi fan. Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Fringe, Picard, Big Bang Theory. And I love a bit of period drama along with crime solving too. I’m always on the lookout for new series of Outlander, Line Of Duty and Homeland.
- Yoga has been part of my every day since 2012. Whether on the mat, the meditation cushion or randomly in the kitchen waiting for the kettle to boil, it’ll be part of my life as long as I can breathe.
And what about some of my favourite knits?
Yes I've been knitting for a long time, so here's a quick list of some of my favourite projects:
- A pair of feather-fan wraps which I knitted in stripes of different styles and weights of yarn.
- A lion hand puppet with a loop-stitch mane, that I knitted for my Girl Guide knitters badge.
- A warm navy blue chunky beret with a crocheted peak, that I wear winter, after winter.
- A pair of un-fussy blue blankets with squares of knit ad purls and contrast borders
- A second cardigan, knitted from the same pattern, in moss-green Debbie Bliss, tweed aran yarn!
- Rusty-orange-coloured fingerless mitts, with cable pattern and long, wrist-hugging ribbed cuff.
- A long, super chunky, infinity scarf, knitted in a colour-changing green and yellow yarn — that was such perfectly timed knitting for the unusually snowy British winter of 2010-2011.