Monday, 31 January 2011

Sunday Morning

Knitwits Yarns

My Sunday morning went like this:

8.00am - alarm - slightly louder than anticipated which gave us a bit of a jump - then FB got up to take T to rugby (due at the rugby club at 9.00),

8.10am - FB - "Get up T",

8.15am - FB - "GET UP T",


8.21am - T - Indistinct grunt,

8.30am - T eats breakfast,

8.35am - FB - "T- do the chickens", sound of door banging and then T returning,

FB - "Did you collect the eggs?"

T - "No"

FB - "What is the point of having chickens ............................"

8.40am - FB - "OK T, are you ready?",

T - "No"

8.43am - FB, "T, are you ready?",


G - Indistinct grunt from beneath the bed clothes


G - (Less indistinct now) - "NOTHING TO DO WITH ME - IT'S YOUR KIT, NOT MINE"

FB - "YOU'RE REALLY LATE NOW T - WHY DIDN'T YOU DO THIS YESTERDAY - THIS HAPPENS EVERY WEEK .............................(etc, etc, etc - you get the picture)

T - IT'S NOT MY FAULT ................................... (etc, etc, etc, - you get the picture)

At about 8.55am the door finally slammed and all was quiet.

Throughout all of this I had remained in bed and quietly knitted on my new tea cosy design. G was quiet (presumably returning to gentle slumber under the bedclothes). All was well.

Then the phone rang. "Sorry if this message is a little late but the match is cancelled due to the frozen pitch" .........................

...........I rang FB on his mobile. Switched off. I rang again. And again. And again. Nothing.

Returned to knitting.

Phone rang again. Another parent asking if we'd got the message. Yes, thanks very much.

Tried FB again. Nothing. Returned to knitting.

After about 3 rows the phone rang again,

T - "Mum - there's no-one here"
Me - "Yes, I know - match is cancelled - where's Dad?"
T - "He's gone home"

Almost at that exact moment I heard the back door slam.

Me - (there may have been a tiny note of sarcasm in my voice, "FB - when you have a mobile it's a really good idea to turn it on ................"

FB - "**$£"£$^&****£$"£%**"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

How was your Sunday morning?

My tea cosy is coming on really well ................

Saturday, 29 January 2011

More Can Can!

Knitwits Yarns

The incredibly popular scarf yarns - Can Can, Triana, Rizos etc seem to be coming in in dribs and drabs at the moment and we've just had a delivery of 3 colours of Can Can. As they're new colours we've actually got some to put on the site as they haven't all sold yet. Buy now to avoid disappointment!

The knitted scarf around these 3 balls is the middle brown one - much prettier than you think it might be!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Another Job They Didn't Tell You About At School

Knitwits Yarns

As promised, today I've inputted the 5 new colours and 12 new patterns in King Cole's Riot and it got us thinking about naming yarns. Not all yarns are named but King Cole do their best to name theirs. If you're having a bad day or just aren't in the mood, this must be a nightmare job. Can you imagine the bosses wanting you to come up with really exotic names for a black yarn and all you can think is, it's black, just call it black.

I think someone was struggling when they named the last lot of Riot yarns. Can you guess what this one's called:

I'm thinking "Rose Garden" or "Sweet Pea" (typed Sweat Pea there for a moment - not the right image to conjour up at all). King Cole call it "Funky". Sorry chaps but bright blues, reds and greens are "funky" - not muted pinks.

This one:

is called "Bling", which I can just about cope with but can't help feeling that "Red Hot Poker" or "Fire" might be more appropriate.

But the best one of all is this:

So, I'm thinking "Lilac Haze" or "Gentle Dreams" or even "Sweet Dreams" (nearly Sweat Dreams again there) but guess what they've called it? ..............

You'll never guess .................

It's called "Hot".

Yup, really.

It really is called "Hot". Is it possible to imagine a less "hot" yarn?

Maybe I'm in the wrong job. Maybe I should advertise my services for naming yarns.

Hot. Seriously.

(Despite all of this it's a really lovely yarn and I can't recommend it highly enough - 14 colours now and loads of patterns - check it out!)

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Back From Liverpool

Knitwits Yarns

Sadly I can't say much about Liverpool at this stage, except to say that the journey went:- Penzance-Gloucester = 1 Can Can Scarf, Gloucester-Liverpool = the leg of one sock plus some map reading. Liverpool back to Penzance = half driving, half sleeping due to total exhaustion. It's now Tuesday evening and I'm just about recovering but, trust me, it's a long way to go for a weekend!

We seem to have a huge amount of stock at the moment so I'm being restrained on the ordering front. However, some new yarns seem to have slipped under the razor wire and today's new one is an Extra Special from Stylecraft. We don't actually stock the normal "Special" (if that isn't an oxymoron) but the Extra Special is rather lovely:

It's a pure acrylic but even I, every now and again, don't have a problem with that as the marls are great and it feels lovely too. There are some good patterns as well:

and even some hoodies for girls:

and at just £2.15 for 100g it's not going to break the January/February bank either.

Coming soon - new colours in King Cole's Riot!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Cars ....And Things

Knitwits Yarns

Today is a somewhat momentous day in the Hopson household as eldest son - G - passed his driving test this morning - at the first time of taking!! He, obviously is ecstatic and, on many levels so am I - we save approximately £30 per week on driving lessons for a start. So why, oh why do I also have an impending sense of doom and gloom?

Perhaps it's because I can foresee the long and tedious arguments that are inevitably forthcoming about, yes, we understand his desire for a car but, no, we can't afford another one. Yes, there are some journeys he could definitely do for us but, no, they don't justify the expense of a second car. Yes, he could drive himself to and from rugby training but, no, that doesn't justify a second car.

You can see where this is going .............

We have one car, and because we only have one car it's quite a big one. The road tax is extortionate, petrol/diesel (hey, let's not go there shall we? - or perhaps we could have a whole blog just about the cost of filling a car - £74 this week for us), the MOT is now annual and the spare parts need a second mortgage. And the insurance for G to drive it?? Lowest quote today - £8,000!!!!! So - no - he won't be driving it!!!!!!!

Is it me?! I didn't get my first car until I was 21 and I'd been working since I was 18. When I say "working", I don't just mean working part time. I worked full time, had my own flat, paid my own rent and bills and I rode a bike. 25 years later I'm still working, full time, we have a house now, we pay our own bills and I still ride a bike (most of the time).

So - why do all 17 year olds think that their parents have magicked away a slush fund just so they can buy a car the moment they pass their test? Perhaps it's this generation? I don't know - all I know is there are arguments ahead!

Talking of driving - tomorrow we are off to Liverpool for a knitting promotional type event which is being filmed and is all a bit secret. The giant knitting needles are on the roof of the car (another reason we need a big car!) and the boys are currently washing said car (not much point in having your company's name down the side of your car if it's totally covered in mud).

Penzance to Liverpool is a very long way and we return on Sunday (shattered, no doubt). I have packed:
- my sock for next week's sock lesson (need to get down to the heel, have just finished the rib);
- a random ball of Can Can which a customer ripped apart to see if there were any knots and then, when she discovered there were, brought it back and demanded a refund. Despite our protestations that you can knit round knots and they won't show she wouldn't have it. (You can knit round knots and they won't show, by the way, - I've done it several times)
- some Cornish Organic Peruk which has meant to be a tea cosy for about a year now. I have the pattern, wool and needles but no tea cosy - yet.

The critical thing is - is that enough knitting for 2 very long journeys?

Am I the only person who packs the knitting first?

Monday, 17 January 2011


Knitwits Yarns

Sometimes this blog is very useful as it turns out that FB had read my entry about the missing birthday shelf(ves) so I got home on Saturday to find a long shelf-like-looking piece of wood downstairs. Much excitement. The shelf, rather sweetly, had a label on it which read "Not just a shelf, but a library". I stroked my shelf lovingly and told it that it "wasn't just a library, but a wool book library", which - I'm sure you'll agree - is a whole lot better if you happen to be a shelf.

Yesterday, I went next door to the M-in-L's whilst the shelf(ves) was/were being fitted and we were swiftly joined by T, who couldn't stand the swearing the cursing any longer. We waited for news (much like having a baby, only quicker). And, eventually, lo - my shelves were born:

and the angels in the firmaments sang and all was well. Well - nearly well - as can be seen from this next picture, the back shelf wasn't exactly what you'd call level but, hey, it's good enough for my magazines:

(Yes, that was taken whilst sitting on shelf number 2!).

So the rest of yesterday was spent scouring the house for all my books, sorting the mountains of magazines (I actually woke up this morning remembering where there was a whole pile which I'd missed yesterday) and putting them into chronological order - oh, yes - this wool wardrobe is, at the very least, going to start with some semblance of order (if you ignore the piles of wool, random needles and WIPs). And today, I have this:

Books on the left, magazines at the back. Yes, that's a heck of a lot of magazines, I know but - being in the bizz one needs to keep on the pulse. OK? (Is that back shelf starting to bend already or is it me?)

For those of you who are interested - and I know you are - here is a glimpse at my book piles:

I was quite surprised there weren't more and then I remembered the pile of patterns and pattern books in one of the crates in said wardrobe, which I've yet to sort. That'll happen when I finally tackle my stash busting jacket which, in case you were wondering, still on the list of jobs to do and is, at the moment, actually approaching the top - wow!

This is my basket of easy to reach needles (forgetting the basket and tub in the bedroom and the pile at the bottom of the above-mentioned crate which also holds patterns):

Here is my box of circular needles (which is an almighty number of circular needles for someone who rarely knits on circulars). Some of them, you will note, are freebies from magazines - I do love a freebie needle:

and this is a tiny proportion of my stash. When I finally start the stash-busting jacket you will see my stash in its full glory/horror:

So - there you go folks - the guided tour of my new look knitting wardrobe. I am very happy - which, in itself is pathetically sad as all it took was 2 shelves (and one of them is very definitely not level) to make this knitting girl very happy. The perfect birthday pressie!

Saturday, 15 January 2011


Knitwits Yarns

Having just checked on my last entry I see that I mentioned new knitting classes starting in May. In fact - rather rashly given my current workload and (still) lack of start on the COW end of year accounts - I've decided to start the next lessons on February 1st. That, you will see, is a Tuesday - again from 5.30-7.30 and, again, running for 6 weeks. Do get in touch if you'd like to join - either by phoning the shop on (01736) 367069 or by dropping me an email. You can also book online - look under "Workshops".

The sock knitting class was, I hope, entertaining. Casting on socks on 4 needles and the first few rows are always fiddly. I'd forgotten just how fiddly. There were a few muddles. But, in the end everyone got going - of a fashion. It was really interesting to see both our left handed knitters automatically started knitting the wrong way round so they were, in effect, knitting with the inside of the sock towards them. It's hard to explain but, in any event, it was the wrong way round. Vicky seemed to have got the hang of it by the end but our own dear Tracey struggled and has now pulled everything off the needles and I see this morning has left the wool and needles here in the shop. So - there you go everyone - even the most expert knitters still have things to learn! Tracey is doing battle with a delayed and very complicated fairisle cardigan for a customer but has promised me faithfully that she will return to the sock and knit down to the heel before the next lesson. (She's also said that this one sock may be the one and only she ever knits on 4 needles and, if so, she's going to frame it!)

Yesterday we had a vast delivery in from Stylecraft which was very welcome and I have to confess I was very glad I was working from home and left Tracey and Marie to its challenges! This morning I've updated everything on the site and we've realised that at least one sack and most of the patterns haven't come yet. Putting away 8 sacks of wool, checking dye batches and then updating all the stock levels is an incredibly long and tedious business but, at this very moment, I think it's all present and correct.

We also have the first new yarns of the year so - watch this space!

This week was my birthday and all I really asked for was a shelf in my wool wardrobe/cupboard on the landing so I can put all my reference books in one place (instead of having them dotted around the kitchen, sitting room, office and bedroom and driving everyone [and me] insane). I've not been promised anything but I have reason to believe that measuring and calculating were going on when I came in so - fingers crossed! Having checked out all my books, though, I'm concerned I may need 2 shelves - don't tell FB yet, OK?

PS: I did get other lovely birthday presents as well and had a really nice birthday supper en famille so please don't think I was deprived and am sadly waiting for a shelf!

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Learn To Knit

Knitwits Yarns

The shop has been deadly quiet this week - I think the Christmas excesses, VAT rise and truly atrocious weather (certainly down here) have taken their toll but - on the upside - I've nearly caught up with all my jobs (wildly ignoring the end of year accounts for Cornish Organic Wool which aren't even started yet - let's just gently gloss over those, shall we?) and have managed to organise the dates for our next Learn To Knit Course.

I've changed the day to Tuesday, just because it's easier for me (sorry if that rules anyone out) and they start on February 1st, from 5.30pm - 7.30 in the shop. If anyone would like to book, please give us a ring on (01736) 367069 or you can book online - see under "Workshops". Classes are limited to 8 to ensure everyone gets maximum attention. (If there are 8 people then Tracey will be there full time to help as well.)

We start the course with casting on - which may sound like stating the obvious but, in fact, you'd be amazed how many people never learn to cast on as someone (their teacher) always did it for them. The first project (and homework) is a simple garter stitch scarf:

and we then move on to a simple shrug (which covers the purl stitch, rib, stocking stitch, simple increasing and decreasing, simple pattern reading and sewing up):

and then a simple cable bag (which covers - surprise, surprise - simple cabling and more sewing up and pattern reading):

On the 7th week I open the shop late exclusively for the pupils to choose their first pattern and wool for their first own project. The classes are very informal and (hopefully) fun. If you're interested, please do give us a ring or drop me an email.

Last term's group are so keen that we're meeting tomorrow evening for learning to knit socks, part the I. They asked for it so they're getting it!! (and Tracey's coming too as, amazingly - shock horror - she can't/won't knit on 4 needles - cables - a doddle, fairisle - a cinch - 4 needles - noooooooooooo!) I'll let you know how she gets on! In 2 weeks time we'll be meeting for learning to knit socks part the II (turning the heel) so you see I've been kind and given them 2 weeks to knit down to the heel!

The next classes after this will probably start in May - email me if you're interested -

The other job I've managed to do is format a new Cornish Organic pattern from FB's step-mum - she doesn't feel like a step-mum, more like a good friend so we'll just call her Jackie. She's a fantastic knitter and crocheter and we throw wool at her every now and again and she comes up with wonderful concoctions. Remember this:

yup - that's one of Jackie's. And this is her latest:

One skein of 4ply makes these mittens/wristwarmers and scarf/belt. J's been playing with double sided cables so, on the scarf, you have 3 cables on one side and 2 on the other - dead clever - see the inside (and outside) of the scarf here:

The pattern is now for sale under Cornish Organic Wool 4ply (and, yes, it is still cold enough to be knitting mittens and scarves!).

I'm now off to finish a sock so the needles are empty for tomorrow's class - never let it be said that I'm disorganised and/or take it to the wire!

PS: Other knitting on my needles is all rather secretive but will be revealed ere long and shortly.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

The World Is Definitely Insane

Knitwits Yarns

I have a brief update on yesterday's blog:-

The lad who can drive a car, father children (although not marry the mother without parental consent), defend and, indeed, die for his country but cannot - at the tender age of 17 - buy plastic knives and forks from a well known supermarket - remember him? - well he gave G a quick update yesterday.

On the same shopping trip when he wasn't allowed to buy plastic knives and forks for a party, he was allowed to buy the barbecue coal and firelighters. Clearly, arson isn't considered a problem for our teenage population.

As our cousins across the pond would say - go figure ................................

Trying to work out what exactly they think he's going to do with the plastic knives and forks is almost giving me sleepless nights.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

An Outbreak of Political Correctness

Knitwits Yarns

I was torn between calling this post "An Outbreak of Politial Correctness" or "Has the World Now Completely Lost All Its Senses". I chose the former - please let me know if I got it wrong.

Chez Hopson we've been suffering from a Christmas outbreak of Political Correctness which defies belief - let me elaborate:

The MinL's birthday is exactly one week before Christmas and the SinL came down to celebrate and took her beloved nephews (G&T) shopping for pressies. As per the Hopson family tradition they visited a well known store where all items cost £1 (the shop name starts with Pound and ends with something to do with terra firma - you know the one). G decided to buy Granny a box of Liqueur Chocolates (for £1) but, when he got to the till, was asked his age. He, honestly, replied "17" and was told he wasn't allowed to buy them as he was "underage". Auntie (who is 49) stepped in and said she would buy them but was told she couldn't as she was obviously buying them for an underage nephew. The Manager was called. He agreed that, under the circumstances, auntie could buy the chocolates and everyone could go home happy.

But that got us thinking - if said shop is selling said chocolates only if you're "overage" that presumably implies that they have some alcohol in them and, in that case, said shop should have a liqueur licence (which it doesn't).

We move on a week to Christmas Eve. Same scenario except the chocolates were for me and FB was in attendance. For the avoidance of doubt - FB can be quite loud when he wants to be. G went to the checkout with the chocolates. Was asked his age. Was told he couldn't buy them. Summoned Dad. FB (very loudly) stated that, if G was underage, could he see the shop's liqueur licence please. The queue (which was very long - it was Christmas Eve remember) went silent. The Manager was called. FB was allowed to buy the chocolates for G. Apologised to the staff (very loudly) agreeing that it wasn't their fault but the world has gone mad.

Half an hour later, MinL went into same shop. All Liqueur Chocolates had been removed from the shelves.

Now G posted this all up on his Facebook page and had a raft of replies. The 2 most ridiculous are as follows:

one friend of his (aged 17) went into same shop to buy a screwdriver to do some repairs to his bike and wasn't allowed to buy one as, apparently, you have to be 21 to buy a screwdriver these days;

another friends (also 17) who has passed his driving test (and is, therefore, allowed to drive around our roads in a potentially lethal metal box [he's a very sensible driver but you get my drift]) went into a large well known supermarket (beginning with T - you know the one) and wasn't allowed to buy plastic knives and forks for a party. Apparently he's too young (you have to be 18 to buy plastic knives and forks). This one defies all logic and thought processing for any sensible, reasonably sane adult.

It just makes me wonder if it's the few bad teenagers ruining things for the many or, in fact, are they bad because they have so many ridiculous restrictions put upon them. Let's face it, most teenagers aren't going to go to the park bench and get bladdered on liqueur chocolates, or stab someone with a screwdriver or, indeed, do untold damage to someone or something with a plastic knife and fork.

Is it me?!!

Tuesday, 4 January 2011


Knitwits Yarns

As in all the best traditions, we at Knit Wits have decided to have an unmissable January sale!

We are selling off full packs of yarn (either 10 or 12 balls to the pack)[actually there's one pack of 11 but you get the drift], they are all the same dye batch (obviously) and all have somewhere in the region of 25% off their previous price. You can find them all down the left hand side of the "Brands" under "Sale Packs". To give you a taster we have:

Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Chunky (2 colours) at an unbelievable £29.99 for 10 balls (Jaeger packs also available in Ascot and Roma):

Mirasol Miski (pure llama) at a stupendous £39.50 (Mirasol packs also available in Mirasol Cotanani, Hacho and Sulka):

Rowan Classic Cotton Jeans at a mind boggling £27.50 and (packs also available in RYC Alpaca Soft, Wool Tweed and Cashsoft DK):

Sirdar Click Chunky (2 colours) at an outrageous £18.75 (Sirdar packs also available in Soft Cotton and Escape).

Go and check them out! When they're gone - they're gone!

PS: Please note that prices are for the whole packs and where the site reads "Balls in Stock", it means "Packs in stock".

PPS: I am about to get on my bike and cycle up our massive hill for the first time in over two weeks - think of me!!

Monday, 3 January 2011

Happy New Year!

Knitwits Yarns

Happy New Year to all our customers and readers. Let's hope that 2011 brings us all the gorgeous yarn our hearts desire, no patterns we can't fathom, no more than 3 knots per ball, no finished projects too big, too small or simply "not right" and, most importantly, all the spare time we crave to knit until we drop.

Sadly, of course, the year has started with the VAT rise which has involved something in the region of 15 hours work for Tracey and myself. There may be occasional glitches and some prices shown today may go up a teensy bit more and some may even go down. Please bear with us - we've done our best but, if yarn companies raise their prices to us again, then the prices may go up again - which is kind of out of our control. We think we're right at the moment though!

If only we could charge the powers that be for the time it's taken us - and if you then times that by all the small businesses in the country frantically trying to get their prices right on time well - you begin to wonder if it's all worth it. But then, of course, it's not the powers that be in the shop 'til late changing all the labels, is it?!

Despite that, I've made some time for knitting and eating and watching rubbish on telly and, to be honest, I'm now ready to get back to normal. Back on the bike tomorrow, and there'll be more updates on the site - watch this space!