Thursday, 30 December 2010

Christmas Knitting

Knitwits Yarns

Having been hugely excited about a 4 day break over Christmas I seem to have spent most of my time up to my ears and eyeballs in wool. To clarify, I spent Boxing Day winding well over 100 skeins of wool into balls and then spent the next 2 days knitting them (and their 150 already winded friends) into a giant piece of knitting. At the moment I can't reveal what this is for as it's super duper top secret but I can give you a hint of the enormity and complexity of the problem:

After 2 days of this, I had a migraine, sore shoulders and aching hands. There had been tears, tantrums, much shouting and a fair bit of swearing along with some hysterical laughter and, ultimately, a huge feeling of satisfaction all round. This piece of knitting is BIG and weighs about 20kg. All will be revealed in due course.

In the meantime, I'm back to my Cornish Organic 4ply on 3.25mm needles, in front of the telly with a G&T - bliss.

(For the curious amongst you, yes, I'm wearing my 5ply Gansey in the picture - the school gym was damned cold)

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Prague - aka Bath

Knitwits Yarns

Well, the good news is that I got the 2+ hours knitting in the car and 3+ hours knitting in the airport. The bad news is that I got 0 knitting on the plane as the plane didn't go. The good news was that we'd had prior warning that the plane might not go - announcements along the lines of, "we regret to announce that Bristol Airport is closed for snow clearing operations" kind of gave the game away, so we had plan B in mind. This was good because, at about the same time as the announcement, "Easy Jet regret to announce the cancellation of Flight 24856 to Prague" [not the right number but you get the gist] FB heard on the radio that the M5 and A30 were closed so, even if Plan B had been to go home, we wouldn't have been able to. Plan B, in fact, involved going to Bath for 2 nights. We booked a hotel on the airport computer (£3 for half an our of very slow connection) which was complicated slightly by the credit card company initially declining the transaction because I'd been really efficient and told them we would be in Prague. Finally, we left the airport:

(I'd like you to note at this point that I got to haul the luggage whilst FB did his David Bailey impersonation). This was the journey to Bath:

Bath was beautiful and snowy and cold:

and with wonderful Christmas lights:

This sign intrigued me:

On the second day I decreed the need for some culture so we went to The Roman Baths. Certain members of the party (basically, all the men) weren't thrilled with this idea but, after the event, agreed it had been fascinating and well worth it. As the water in the Baths is warm (35 degrees) and the air outside was damned cold, old David Bailey was in his element:

Boys are v pleased to see they are now noticeably taller than their midget mother!

Happy Christmas one and all - may you get all the yarn and needles you desire and, critically, plenty of quiet time to knit.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Happy Holidays

Knitwits Yarns

Some time ago - long before 6" of snow in November and December became our reality - we booked ourselves a pre-Christmas break of Christmas markets and fairs in Prague. We thought it would be fun to go somewhere really cold and Christmassy where we could have a break and get into the Christmas spirit with freezing temperatures and snow. Well, ho, ho, ho - how we are laughing at that decision this morning as we pack in freezing cold temperatures with snow on the ground, closed airports and general, total travel disruption. We leave for Bristol today and will attempt to leave Bristol (currently snowy and with forecasts for huge more dumps overnight and tomorrow) tomorrow morning. We could end up holidaying in Costa Bristol Airport but, hey ho, we're going to give it a go.

The shop is left in the capable hands of Marie and Tracey and, all being well, I'll be back on Christmas Eve with photos of snowy Prague and a suitcase full of lovely holiday wool (yes, of course, I've looked up wool shops in Prague and have the computer printouts with full address details in my bag - don't tell the boys). I also have an urgent knitting deadline to fulfil so am thinking - 2 hours in the car, 2+ hours in the airport, 2+ hours on the plane - if the plane is delayed, more knitting time - hoorah.

How do people who don't knit, cope?

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

10 Days To Go

Knitwits Yarns

So - in 10 days time the 4 day holiday will be upon us and I'll, very possibly, be sipping a G&T surveying the chaos that will, undoubtedly, be my house. In the meantime, there is much shopping, knitting and merriment to be had and, in that vein, some new yarns to tempt! Actually, just a few new colours to current ranges but, nonetheless, something to tempt.

Firstly we have Cuddles from King Cole, which is exactly the same makeup and tension as Sirdar Snowflake Chunky but comes in 50g balls so is better value. Also has some lovely patterns (to follow) or you could use your current Sirdar Snowflake patterns. Colours are:

Secondly, we have 3 new colours in King Cole Aero:

Aero is a super chunky with a wide range of patterns - very popular, so check it out.

I don't know about you but Christmas has kind of leapt up on me this year so FB and I went shopping on Saturday morning and actually managed to get most of the stuff we needed although I nearly killed him on several occasions. Amazing how men (or is it just FB) disappear when it comes to the queuing/paying bit and can be found outside lurking. He seems to think that I enjoy that bit - for the record, FB, no - I don't enjoy it either but, if I don't do it there'll be precious little to open on Christmas morning!!

Happy shopping everyone! We are still getting orders which look like they could be Christmas presents - we're doing our best but, be warned, the Post Office seems to be incredibly slow at the moment (due largely to the inclement weather). Once orders leave the shop they're out of our control!

Christmas Opening Times:

Christmas Eve: 9.00am - about 3.00pm
Christmas Day: Closed
Boxing Day: Closed
27th December: Closed
28th December: Closed
29th December: 9.00am - about 4.00pm
30th December: 9.00am - 5.00pm
31st December: 9.00am - about 3.00pm

Normal service resumes on January 4th 2011.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Precious Little Blogging

Knitwits Yarns

Precious little blogging has been going on of late, due almost entirely to the fact that we're so busy - for which we thank you all most gratefully. When it goes well, this is a great job - we supply you with yarn, which makes you all very happy, you supply us with money whilst buying your yarn which means that we can a) pay bills and b) buy more yarn. This keeps us in business and, therefore, makes us very happy. It's a win, win and you get to knit with lovely yarn, which is a third win - perfection!

Despite the fact that Christmas is approaching faster than I can quite handle, we still have some new yarns arriving to tempt you. Latest in this week is a new slightly sparkly yarn - perfect for Christmas hats and scarves - go on - you know you want a sparkly hat for New Year! Six shades:

including the slightly unusual blue, green and mauve. There are a couple of patterns:

but, as it's a standard DK, you could knit it to all your favourite ones.

I have one more item to knit for Christmas (should be done tonight), stocking filler pressie shopping to do tomorrow and my first Christmas dinner of the year on Sunday evening. I always say this Christmas deadline thing is ridiculous but, whatever one says, it's rapidly approaching and it ain't going to wait for anything.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Snow Part The 2

Knitwits Yarns

FB had to go out this morning but was concerned about getting back up our lane and, lo, his concern was well founded as he skidded and slid perilously close to a solid Cornish hedge. So he gave up and left the car in the field next to the track thinking that was the safest place possible. Sadly the track was somewhat icy so the tractor, towing a load of slurry, slid along in places and one of them was right next to our car:

This is now the re-arranged end of our car:

(In case you can't tell, there's no glass in the boot!):

Luckily the farmer is a very good friend of ours and the insurance companies have been brilliant. Car cannot be driven and cannot be collected until Monday. Replacement car hasn't arrived yet. Let's hope there's a bit of a thaw and I can cycle to work tomorrow - otherwise it's going to be a bit of a hike!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Let It Snow!

Knitwits Yarns

I think the best way to sum up today is through pictures.

Amazing how hard it is to get teenagers up on a school day but, when it's snowing, they're up at dawn:

Mmm - maybe I won't cycle to work today:

Getting the car up there is going to be interesting:

Our house - don't palm trees look amazing in the snow:

Mr Cocky has no fear - the girls inside are thinking, "sod that for a game of soldiers":

no post today:

beastly grandsons ensure Granny isn't going anywhere:

Heading down the lane to work:

the shop looking suitably festive (T uttered the immortal line, "Mum, you're wearing so much wool it's f*******g ridiculous"!!!!!:

OK, so we don't have skis or a snowboard so what can we use:

("snowboard" in G's hands is actually a skateboard with its wheels taken off - works well - just so you know) [boat is good once the snow has been flattened]

Amazingly, we actually had a really busy day in the shop because .................... WE HAD A DELIVERY OF CAN CAN!! .......... ooh, yes we did. No multi colours are available as they were all pre-reserved but we do have some plain colours left. Call the shop on (01736) 367069 to order. I haven't put them on the site yet as there's no way we'll keep the stock levels up to date. I'm pretty sure it'll all be gone by Saturday so order fast!

Forecast is for more freezing and more snow - happy boys!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Christmas is Coming, the Turkey's Getting Fat

Knitwits Yarns

As you can see, if you came here via the website, I have finally accepted that Christmas is coming and there's absolutely nothing I can do about it. I absolutely refuse to do anything for Christmas until December 1st but I was forced to do the shop window last Thursday night as the street lights were being turned on on Saturday and I was away. I have to say, I think the window is looking lovely (decorations c/o Ludgvan School) and I'll get FB to take some pics.

Each year in the street we ask local school to make decorations and hold a competition for the best ones. It's a great project and it's also a canny way of ensuring the parents visit Causewayhead at least once in the run up to the big day! (Although the first year I did get one very disappointed child in on about January 5th who'd missed her decoration in our shop as I'd taken them down by then - sometimes you just can't win.)

Our contribution to the window is the knitted turkey by Alan Dart, featured in a recent Simply Knitting magazine:

When I say "our" contribution, what I mean is that Tracey knitted the pieces and stuffed most of them and then it got fiddly and she ran out of patience and threw them all in a bag and gave them to me! I reckon we spent about an equal amount of time on him:

He is now sitting proudly in our window, complete with his party popper and hat and next to the Christmas pudding made by Ludgvan School. He enjoyed his photoshoot in the snow:

I hope you've all got your Advent Calendars ready for the morning.......

Monday, 29 November 2010


Knitwits Yarns

This weekend we took ourselves off to Devon for a night to stay with FB's step-mum - who isn't like a step-mum at all, just more like a good friend and she's known to some of you as she designed this:

and this:

for Cornish Organic and currently has a bag of C.O.W. wool which she is turning into more goodies for us. So we planned to have a knitterly, gossipy time and did (apart from the knitting of which there was precious little) as we got into the history, gossip and scandal of FB's family - which was a hoot. There is an amazing amount of stuff still around about FB's family and he's brought a load of it home to sort and archive - stories of derring-do during the last two wars, unsuitable marriages and even hints of a mysterious death - we, like most families I suspect, had it all!

Sadly we forgot to take the camera as it was cold, damned cold and the views of Dartmoor on the way home were spectacular. This morning it snowed here - not like the snow in the north-east but, for Penzance in November, a respectable amount:

and, on my way to work, (I didn't cycle) a rare sighting of a black pheasant in the snow:

When it's cold like this, there's only one thing to do - keep calm and carry on knitting!

Friday, 26 November 2010

K T Tunstall

Knitwits Yarns

Here at Cornish Organic Wool Towers life has been phenomenally busy over the past few weeks with a multitude of different orders for different clients - on Tuesday night I counted no less than 20kgs of glorious coloured wool drying in front of the Aga - purple, copper, green, black - the full rainbow. It means that getting to the Aga or, indeed, the fridge is a challenge but, hey, we all need to lose some weight before Christmas (FB's solution of getting fish and chips last night isn't really helping though).

One client, very excitingly, is KT Tunstall. Wool from these sheep:

farmed by the lovely James:

has been spun and blended with 25% alpaca in Scotland. It then comes back to us and is dyed by FB:

and then goes to Rachael on the Isle of Wight, who turns it into these:

Tiger hats for KT's Tiger Suit Tour!

If you would like to buy one you can get them here:

KT only wears organic clothing, apparently - which is a sentiment we totally endorse and it's been a really nice, straightforward project and her "people" are lovely and easy to deal with and it's great to see our wool being sold as the finished project.

Today FB has to put labels on a further 10kgs for another client - onward and upward!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010


Knitwits Yarns

This morning - at 6.30 - FB cracked and TURNED THE CENTRAL HEATING ON - for precisely one hour. Now you know it's cold.

I would have waited until it was actually snowing but, oh, it was so lovely to get out of the shower into a warm bathroom so I forgave him.

Monday, 22 November 2010


Knitwits Yarns

For the past few weeks are Sunday walk schedule has been interrupted by a combination of work and weather. Yesterday, we broke our duck and headed off once more - one of those lovely, crisp chilly late autumn/early winter afternoons. We walked straight from the house and up the hill behind:

then on to Greenbarrow Mine:

where, bizarrely, someone had left a child's bike - littering, yes, strange, yes, but also rather strangely photogenic!:

We then headed across the moor to Men an Tol:

Men an Tol, literally, means "holed stone" and, despite being a popular and significant monument its exact purpose is unknown. There was a belief that a person with rickets would be cured by being passed through the hole and even the belief that going through the hole would increase fertility. There is, presumably, no proof for either of these theories but, in any event, I stood next to it rather than risking going through!:

I also managed a bit of yarn bombing but it was getting cold so I'm afraid I didn't leave the hat there but put it back on my head!:

We then headed around the Moor to Nine Maidens:

with FB getting a little arty en route:

then back down the hill to home:

One of those walks where hot tea, buttered crumpets and fruit cake would have been the perfect ending. Sadly, I don't drink tea and we had neither crumpets or fruit cake in the house so I satisfied myself by make a rather delicious spiced apple crumble instead (which, even if I say so myself, was blooming good).

Walks like that are really good to remind us why we live here.