Saturday, 30 October 2010

Stuff We've Been Knitting

Knitwits Yarns

Somehow the planets all aligned today and we had a spare half hour, a bag of garments to photograph, a camera and the sun shining so we shot out into the garden and rattled off some photos of things we've been knitting recently. Turns out I wasn't in the most photogenic of moods (blame the sun in my eyes if you will) but, here goes:

Riot waistcoat sent to us by King Cole - not knitted by us - Tracey would never in a million years allowed that really obvious join on the right front! I like it although we've agreed it doesn't necessarily suit those who are - how shall I put this - more generously endowed than I am. FB likes it as he says it makes me look more generously endowed than I actually am!

The pattern looks like this:

and it seems to suit her! Glad to see she's also having a slightly dodgy hair day.

Second garment is in King Cole Misty:

As you can see - FB cunningly blended this with the plant in the background (these things aren't just thrown together, you know). This sweater is lovely and light and only took 4 balls, which was a real bargain.

Third garment is my personal favourite. We took this pattern in King Cole Haze:

and shortened the sweater so it looks like this:

it only took 2 balls and, because of the ribbing, is very flattering - a good result all round (and, again, makes me look more endowed than I am [or is that just the angle and light?]).

You may remember, back in August when the sun was occasionally shining, I started a pair of socks for my brother for his birthday in Riot. Well - finally - here they are (to be fair, they've been finished for a couple of weeks and sitting in the bag waiting to be photographed):

I did Tracey's 2 needle/sewing up method and have to say, I'll never do it again!! Will stick to 4 needles in future but I'm glad I gave it a go. Am v pleased with the way they jolly nearly match. Bro will have his present just over 2 months late!

FB then had red sheep to photograph:

For some reason they've never been photographed properly before but they have now so you can now buy them (and all their friends) on the site - here.

After all that, Deidre came to see what the fuss was about:

Here he is quite clearly wondering what the h*"l those red things are:

and, quite possibly, debating whether they'd be worth eating.

Have a good weekend - extra hour in bed tonight - oh yes!

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Rizos Is On The Site!!

Knitwits Yarns

For once I've actually kept my promise and the new scarf yarn, Rizos, is on the site! It's another one of these fab trendy scarves and is sure to sell out ridiculously fast so buy now to avoid disappointment - no, really - do! I expect it will all be gone by Monday. It looks like this when knitted:

I got my new varifocal glasses today - very weird - and have realised that FB's new, fab computer screen is too wide for the glasses so the edges are out of focus - have to move my head to read from one side to the other - am concerned I might look a tad stupid but at least there's no-one else in the office to see! Can't decide whether to cycle in them tomorrow or not - could be a bit dodgy.

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

New Patterns!

Knitwits Yarns

We've been busy, busy, busy again today but, in between serving customers, I managed to update some patterns on the site. Two new patterns for babies and small children in King Cole's wonderful Bamboo Cotton:

two for children in the incredibly popular Splash:

and a load of patterns in the new yarn "Twist" - some for children:

some for ladies:

and even one for men!:

I've also uploaded the new Debbie Bliss magazine, which is full of fairisle and flying out of the shop - so get your copy now if you want one:

and the latest edition of Inside Crochet (which includes a pattern for mittens in Cornish Organic Wool!:

Tomorrow I'll be inputting the latest scarf yarn from Katia - Rizos - which is flying out just as fast as the Can Can and Triana. By the time I got Triana onto the system, I think we only had 6 balls left - sorry! We'll get more in soon and I'll let you know when it's here - it knits up like Can Can and looks like this:

Rizos costs just £8.49 and one ball knits a scarf. These new yarns are brilliant and look fantastic and are really easy to knit. You'll need to order as soon as they're on the system though as I reckon they'll all be gone by Monday!

Weather was grim today so I didn't cycle but still had a slice of rich chocolate birthday cake when I came home - very naughty! Forecast is better for tomorrow so I'll work it off on my trusty velocipede. Never forget - a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips!

Monday, 25 October 2010

Happy Birthday T!!

Knitwits Yarns

Today my baby - T - is 16. Old enough to procreate (Lord help us - fortunately, he's far too sensible for any of that nonsense) and old enough to buy a lottery ticket (which he's just gone and done) but another year before he can learn to drive - thank heavens.

I usually write a bit about my boys on their birthdays but the sharp eyed amongst you will have noticed that I didn't for T last year - not because I didn't care (obviously) but because he spent most of his last birthday in hospital, with the lovely nurses desperately trying to get him home for birthday tea (which they did and he slept for the rest of the day) so it didn't really feel like much of a birthday for him.

Those of you who read this regularly will know that T has never let hospitalisations and the consequent tests and stress get in the way of living life to the full. In the last year he has represented the south-west schools at triple jump, came 2nd in the School's 7.5 mile cross country run (behind his brother - watch out this year as G isn't there any more!), played rugby for School and the Penzance Pirates, came 2nd in the Penwith Cross Country Championships and is captain of his local boxing club (even though he isn't allowed to fight - which is a rare achievement), he lead his team to a phenomenal time in the 35 mile Ten Tors Challenge and, of course, cycled from John O'Groats to Land's End for Help For Heroes. He is - even if I say so myself - a remarkable young man and a role model for us and his compatriots.

There is absolutely no doubt that he's going to go on and do great things.

In the meantime, this year we're all going out for a meal to the restaurant/pub of his choice - steak and chips at The Turk's Head - and we'll raise a glass to "our" remarkable young man.

Happy Birthday T.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Is This The Effect of The Recession?

Knitwits Yarns

As all of our customers know, we do try and go the extra mile and help whenever we can. To this end we offer a layby service (where customers can buy their wool a bit at a time over the course of a month) and we do take back unused balls which are re-saleable (ie we don't accept really scruffy ones or ones that smell of smoke or yarns which we don't stock any more and we don't give refunds but do give credits against future purchases).

Incidentally - as an aside - do you know that the layby system started during the last War when wool was rationed? Yes, wool was such a rare and previous commodity that it was rationed along with your butter, eggs and meat. In this day and age of acrylics and polyamides, it's an amazing thought.

Anyhoo - I digress. As I said, we will accept unused balls and, in fact, sometimes it can be really useful as we may have a customer desperate for a bit more of a particular dye batch and on numerous occasions we've managed to marry the returned ball with the desperate customer and everyone's very happy.

Well we - and at least one other local shop I know of - have been having a spate of balls returned which have been partly used. Presumably the knitter has only needed to knit a row or two of a new ball and has cast off so they've thought, "well, I'll re-wind this really carefully and no-one will know". I had a case on Monday where I was fiddling with the returned ball and I wasn't happy and thought it didn't feel right but I didn't have electronic scales in the shop so I couldn't prove absolutely that the ball was underweight. Took it home and weighed it and the 50g ball weighted 41g. 9g had been used. I can't re-sell the ball but I've already credited the customer as she bought more wool at the time.

I've now brought the electronic scales into the shop and have put up a big notice to say we will weigh returned balls if they feel underweight. The reaction from customers has been unanimously one of shock that fellow knitters would steal off a wool shop like that - for that is what it is - stealing.

Am I being naive here - is this a common problem? - or does everyone else out there in cyber space agree that it's outrageous theft?

Is this the effect of the recession?

Monday, 18 October 2010

Yummy New Yarns

Knitwits Yarns

Once again it appears to have been a week since my last meanderings - if someone could work out how the time goes so fast and how we could slow it down and/or how I could fit more things in per day, I'd really appreciate it. One option would be to give up work but I don't think the bank manager would take too kindly to that and, having met and chatted to several recent retirees they all say they don't know how they had time to work, they're so busy so, clearly, that isn't the answer.

On the other hand - it could just be that I'm so busy as we're still getting lots of lovely new yarns in and trying to fit them into the shop and then on to the web is time consuming but, oh, so much fun! There was a time when we had so much yarn in the shop we had a sack "stored" on top of the loo and we had to move it every time we needed to "go". We haven't resorted to that tactic again yet so - obviously - there's still room for more loveliness!

And the only reason we have all this loveliness is thanks to our wonderful customers who keep on buying it - so, thank you - and keep on buying so we can this nasty recession that we don't care and we're going to knit our way through it!

We had some amazing and lush new 4ply sock yarns in from Rico - Mexico and Santa Fe - and only £5.99 per 100g ball - brilliant! Check out these colours to give you a taste:

We also had some amazing new felting wool in from Rico. It's designed to be knitted on 8mm needles and then felted down and, what's more, it knits into fairisle - perfect for slippers and booties and handbags and ..................... Check out these colours:

We also had a delivery in from King Cole so there's loads of stock of the lovely Mirage, Splash and Bamboo Cotton.

Last week - as you know - was Wool Week and we offered a whopping 20% off Cornish Organic Wool. It was so successful that FB is now dyeing wool to fulfil some of the orders and we've decided to have a sale every week from now until at least the start of 2011. So - every Monday from now until January, something new will be on sale. This week it's Jaeger. Sadly, Jaeger has now closed it's wool producing department and we have some last remaining balls left over. We have gorgeous Extra Fine Merino Chunky in 4 colours, which for some inexplicable reason never sold well (being Merino, it's lovely and soft, of course), we have Ascot (which has suddenly started selling in the last few weeks so there must be some patterns of it somewhere - or maybe it's mentioned on Ravelry?) and we have a few other bits and pieces as well. Check them all out here. Prices have already been reduced so the price showing is the sale price.

We've actually had another delivery of more loveliness so I'll thrash/cajole FB into getting it photographed so I can get it to you as soon as .......... watch this space!

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Savile Row

Knitwits Yarns

I never, in a million year of blogging, thought I'd have the title "Savile Row" on one of my entries but - who'd have thought it - here we are!

But first, of course, we had to get there and I can happily report that the little table on the back of the seat in front of you on the train service between Penzance and Paddington is just big enough for 5 balls of wool for your tri-colour scarf:

I knitted all the way and was very grateful for the comments of two students who were on their way to Reading:

Him (slightly hushed voice), "have you seen what that lady's knitting?"
Her, "I know, it's really cool"!!

Clearly, this doesn't indicate that I am in any way, shape or form "cool" but my knitting is. Chuffed to bits.

On Monday, we walked from Marylebone to Savile Row and there were a few shops on Oxford Street making a good effort for Wool Week:

Close up:

and then on to:

where there were, indeed, plenty of :

How, unbelievably cool is that?!! Savile Row, turfed and full of sheep - and their sheep dogs, obviously:

I felt slightly self-conscious standing there for a photograph:

but I really shouldn't have worried. This is what one of the main photographers was wearing:

(Actually, he turned out to be a really nice guy [called Guy] and he took photographs of "our" wool but his get up was a little incongruous in the centre of London!).

Our wool was in Norton & Sons:

You can't really see it in that picture but I think the reflection is just fantastic. Here are some close ups:

If you look closely, you'll see that this wool comes from The Prince of Wales' farm at Highgrove in Gloucestershire. Here are some socks, made by Wendy Keith Designs, made from it, for sale at Norton's:

and here is me knitting a sock, in the round, in Norton's:

Many thanks to Alex and Gina at Norton & Son's for making us so welcome and accepting the intrusion with such good humour!

At the end of the day we went for a wander, en route to a reception at Selfridge's (don't you know), via various shops with woolly, sheepy things in the windows:

Socks in Holland & Holland:

and then, in Selfridge's, before we'd even consumed a sip of champagne we met these chaps:

Utterly bizarre:

Clearly the dresser in this department is a knitter! Good on him/her!!

And so we staggered home and, for me, this image sums up the feel of the whole day. Sheep happily grazing outside Hardy Amies, the Queen's couturier - what could be better?