Thursday, 6 December 2012

Pre-Christmas New Yarns

Knitwits Yarns

Just because Christmas is just around the corner doesn't mean we're resting on our laurels here in Penzance!  In fact, it's just as busy as ever and - with today's cold weather - it's the perfect time to be knitting!

We have - yet another - new scarf yarn - Poodle from Stylecraft!  Can we ever have too many scarf yarns?  No!!  This one knits with just 3 stitches - yes, you read that right - so the whole scarf knits up in about half an hour - perfect for very speedy last minute presents!  This is how it knits up (so you can see the subtle colour changes):

and this is how it looks in the ball:

at just £7.99 that's an ideal and very quick present!

Next we have another new sparkly yarn - and, again, can we ever have too many sparkles?  No!  Twilight is a black yarn with a different coloured sparkly strand running through - from left to right turquoise, amethyst, gold, silver and red:

lovely patterns for evening wear too:

Finally, from Stylecraft, we have a new, standard chunky, multi-coloured yarn called Harlequin:

Loads of great patterns and lots for accessories too - like this snood, leg warmer and wrist warmer combination, which also has two other hat and scarf combinations as well - a really good value pattern!:

and I love this cape, even if it's not hugely practical on a bike!:

and there are patterns for girls too:

I've knitted up a hat and wrist warmers and it's a lovely yarn to work with - very soft and easy to knit.

Finally, finally, we have new Angel Prints from Debbie Bliss.  Angel Prints follows on from the huge success of Angel and is a multi-coloured self-striping version with exactly the same tension so the patterns are totally interchangeable.  Still in the same blend of luxurious 76% Mohair and 24% Silk, this is a truly gorgeous yarn!:

I can feel a cowl coming on!!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Knitwits Yarns

Blogging has gone awry for the past couple of weeks - not because I've been lying in the sun somewhere sipping a genteel G & T (sadly) but because life has been a teensy bit frantic.  A perfect example would be this Wednesday just gone.  My plan for the day was to work in the shop in the morning, inputting a few new patterns from Rico at the same time as serving customers, get home in time for a latish lunch with the much beloved, go for a 3 mile run (delayed from last weekend due to the atrocious weather) and then shuffle some papers around.

The reality was that a HUGE delivery arrived from Stylecraft (somewhat delayed and therefore gratefully received) at about 10.00am and I left the shop at 5.00pm having stock checked everything, put it away, phoned all customers who had requested yarn to be reserved for them, updated the website and put balls of both new yarns aside for photography.  I then took the web orders to the Post Office (just in time) and drove home.

Thanks to the truly appalling weather last weekend our lane (over 1/2 a mile of dirt track) is the worst I've ever seen it in 14 years - the irony being that the contractors who are in the process of repairing and renovating it started work just before the weather descended and have been unable to return since.  Thanks to the deluge that has come from the skies over the past week or so 2 underground springs have been overloaded and have "sprung" up in the middle of the lane in close proximity to each other.  I had been warned and we have a car suitable for such terrain.  Unfortunately, our neighbour hadn't been warned and she drives a low-slung BMW.  She ended up in one of the springs, stuck and immobile with me behind her and another neighbour behind me - in our neck of the woods this constitutes a traffic jam!  The farmer was called and duly came down in his tractor but - because she was stuck almost in a gateway - he couldn't get past her to tow her out.  In the end, he managed to get a rope on her rear axle (thank goodness he did this as he ended up wet and muddy) and yours truly towed her out!  I arrived home - cold, wet and exhausted and 6.00 o'clock!  And this is how life seems to have been for a while.  All the best intentions - and all that!

Today a 32 ton delivery lorry got well and truly stuck in the other spring.  It took 2 tractors to get him out with quite a struggle.  Our lane is now, almost, impassable.  Ironically, the best form of transport on it seems to be bicycle!  Our Tesco weekly food delivery driver witnessed the lorry being dragged out and decided (wisely) to proceed no further so we FB had to drive down and transfer everything into our car at the end of the lane.  Such is the joy of living in the depths of the countryside!

In the meantime, knitting has been progressing apace but very little no photography has been done - yet.  I've knitted this sweater:

which I love, love, love and is the perfect sweater for a bracing winter walk.

Way, way back in September I knitted this jacket:

and even had myself photographed in it:

but don't appear to have ever blogged about it, which is a little bizarre.  It's a really simple knit and the collar is incorporated in the two fronts so - no picking up of stitches, which is a definite boon!

Tracey has knitted this:

and, in the process, we translated the Italian/English translation into an English translation that English knitters could actually understand - the garment is gorgeous, the yarn is gorgeous, but the English translation was not gorgeous!

We have designed - and Tracey has knitted - a new blanket in Riot DK.

I have knitted this scarf:

in red - which is very festive and really lovely.

Tracey has knitted a scarf in this colour of Dakota:

and it is really funky!

We've designed, and knitted, 2 snoods in Liesl:

Tracey has knitted a number of private commissions and I've almost finished a slash neck sweater in this lovely Reflection yarn - the pattern for which was/is one which I'm due to next put on the site.

So - as you can see, we haven't been resting on our laurels.  In fact, I can't quite believe how much we've been doing - and quite how little we've managed to photograph!  Stick with us - photographs will be along in due course - all we need is a dry day - ha ha!!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

NEW - Superba Tweed Sock Yarn!

Knitwits Yarns

Amazingly - as promised - the new sock yarn from Rico's Superba Tweed range is now up on the site!  6 new, tweedy colours - perfect for those Christmas socks which I know are now being frantically knitted!:

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

MORE New Yarns!!

Knitwits Yarns

Sincere apologies for the long delay in blogging but I've been away!  We decided that, following our non-existent summer, some hot sun was required before the onset of winter so we shot off for half term in the Cape Verde islands.  Now, I love hot weather but this was HOT - almost too hot for me (and that's saying something).  But it was a lovely break and coincided with the first lot of really cold weather here in the UK so we were lucky and had one heck of a shock when we got back to Heathrow in our summer clothes!

Just before we left (literally the day before) we had a big delivery in from King Cole, which included 2 new yarns and loads of new patterns.  I've been working away like a dervish and they're all now on the site - hoorah!

The first yarn is Galaxy Chunky:

which is the fantastic yarn WITH SEQUINS!  Perfect for cheering you (and others) up as winter draws along this warm cosy yarn sparkles as you move!  We've had Galaxy DK (and there are 4 new colours in that - the black and white have gold sequins):

 for some time now and Galaxy Chunky is a welcome addition to the fold.  I've rattled up a lacy scarf in it (currently blocking on the Aga) so watch out for piccies of that in the coming days (in festive red, of course!).

The second new yarn is brand new Candystripe:

which is a self-striping baby yarn.  Comes with a load of gorgeous patterns.  Here is a sample:

(how cute is that?!!)

There are also new patterns in Galaxy DK, Riot DK, Bamboo Cotton, Bamboo Cotton Prints, Cottonsoft, Cuddles, Riot DK and Splash - so, you see, I've been quite busy!! (Click on the links and the patterns all appear down the left hand side of the page - click on each pattern for details.)

Tomorrow - new sock yarn from Rico!!

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

New Pattern from Cornish Organic Wool!

Knitwits Yarns

Many, many years ago I designed a 4ply stole for Cornish Organic Wool, which featured in "Knitting" magazine:

and was kindly modelled by our good friend Jules on a blustery day on the moor behind our house.

A couple of years ago I re-modelled this and re-knit it with the inclusion of beads.  It was/is fabulous but I used big silver beads on black wool and they turned out to be very heavy (and expensive) and pulled the garment terribly when worn.  Disheartened, it has sat on the back of my bedroom chair for the past two years.

This summer, when discussing a new pattern for Cornish Organic, FB said, "well, you've already got one pattern done - you just need to re-knit it".  And, of course, he was right.

I chose a different colour and different (lighter and cheaper!) beads and re-knitted it.  And here it is:

It uses 2 different methods for applying the beads - the strung on version for the first and last rows but then the crochet hook version for the rest so there's no need to string 1,500 beads on to your yarn - hoorah, I hear you cry.  (Full instructions for both methods are included in the pattern.)  However, it is important to ensure that the beads you choose have a big enough hole for a small crochet hook!

I got my beads from our local bead shop - G J Beads - and the ones I used are reference LMA-455-10.

It's an easy knit and perfect for evenings out now that the weather is turning more wintry!  I hope you like it - it's been nearly 3 years in the making!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

More New Things!

Knitwits Yarns

As many of you will know, as well as having Knit Wits shop FB and I also have our own brand of wool - Cornish Organic - so we are fully aware of the problems and pitfalls of wool production!  Up until now Cornish Organic (or COW as we prefer to call it) has provided its wool in 100g skeins which have all been lovingly hand dyed by FB in the small dye house attached to our kitchen and dried around the Aga.  Amazingly, neither of our cats has a fondness for wool which is a huge relief given that, at any time, we could have up to 10kgs of wool around said Aga!

It goes without saying that hand dyeing large quantities of wool is extremely time consuming so (some time ago) we decided to see if we could get it dyed elsewhere.  A simple enough job you would have thought.  But no.  We needed a dye house that was Soil Association certified and big enough to do the job economically.  Two years later we had finally persuaded a dye house in Yorkshire to take on the challenge and two weeks ago our first batch of machine dyed wool, wound into 50g balls arrived at our house - all 140kgs of it!! 

So, now, finally we have COW in 50g balls and here are the colours:

They are slightly different from our old colours and - for any of you currently using the old 100g DK skeins those colours will no longer be being replicated.  For the time being 4ply, Aran and Chunky will still be sold in 100g skeins (and will continue to be hand dyed by FB!) but this will change, in time, as we spin up more wool.

Producing wool is a long and time consuming process, particularly when you are complying with very strict Soil Association standards but we think you'll agree that the new wool and the new colours are fab!  They can all be found here.

Last weekend we went away for a few days (more of which in a moment) but, before we went, I managed to upload the new Pure Merino book from Jenny Watson.  This book is made up entirely of accessories patterns and you get a whole load for your money.  From scarves, hats and gloves:

through cushions:

bed socks:


and a bag:

this little book is sure to inspire (and is perfect for knitted Christmas gifts!):

Finally - for now - as I mentioned - I went away this weekend!  When my darling eldest boy disappeared to the other end of the world for a whole year, leaving me somewhat bereft, my dearest friend (the one who runs marathons for "fun") booked me into a 10km run at Blenheim Palace to take my mind off things and give me something else to worry about.  Never having run any kind of anything before, I printed off an 8 week training schedule from Uncle Google and stuck to it rigidly.  About 10 days before the event I strained a tendon or ligament in my left foot, which restricted final training somewhat but, despite everything, I found myself at the start line of my first ever run on Sunday morning.  The day was glorious, with the early morning mist burning off in time for our start:

the Palace is, of course, simply spectacular (if a little over the top for one family to live in):

I was ready (although still suffering with my sore foot):

and, lo, we were off:

Never having done this before I found it really hard to judge my pace and found myself over-taking quite a lot of people which worried me as I thought I might blow out.  As it happened I ended in exactly the time I was aiming for (1 hour 2 minutes) which meant that I was running exactly 10 minute miles. 

I am happy, very sore, limping badly and now planning my next event!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

More New Yarns from James Brett!

Knitwits Yarns

Wow - 2 days on the trot with new yarns!  A couple of baby yarns and 2 new colours in 400g Aran today.

Firstly, we have new colours in the ever-popular Baby Marble:

and some really sweet patterns to go with them.  Here is a small selection:

Then we have new colours in Baby Magi-Knit.  These I, personally, find a little confusing.  Initially Brett had a lovely yarn called "Bliss" which  they've now re-branded under the Magi-Knit name but it doesn't knit like magi-knit (which knits into fairisle) but knits into bands of colour.  I think it's a bit confusing but, nonetheless, it's a lovely yarn!!:

And finally, for today, 2 new colours in the 400g Rustic Aran:


with their corresponding patterns - I am very tempted by this sweater:

Tomorrow - a new book from Jenny Watson to go with her Pure Merino wool and, maybe, more!!

Monday, 1 October 2012

New Yarns From James Brett!

Knitwits Yarns

A couple of days later than planned - but that's only because we've been so busy - which is great - thanks to one and all!

Finally, today, I've got the new James Brett Rustic Mega Chunky on the site.  This is a really super, duper chunky yarn - knitted on 10mm and 12mm needles - so is really thick, warm and quick to knit!!  Colours are great:

and so are the patterns.  I'm currently knitting this sweater and it should be finished within the couple of days so look out for me wearing it!:

Other patterns are bang on trend too - poncho:


and hoodie, amongst others:

I've also uploaded 2 new colours in the lovely Aran weight yarn, Monsoon:

and lovely patterns to go with them (patterns can be found down the left hand side of the yarn pages as well as via the pattern search function):

2 new colours in the gorgeous chunky yarn, Passion:

and 2 patterns:

and, finally, for now - 4 new colours in Marble Chunky:

and 3 new patterns - which you can see down the left hand side when you click this link!

And still there's more!!  Hopefully on site tomorrow but I'm not making any guarantees!!