Monday, 28 May 2012

Jubilee Knitting, Amongst Other Things

Knitwits Yarns

As promised in my last post, Jubilee knitting has continued .... not content with just Jubilee socks, I have knitted Jubilee bunting (which is proving difficult to photograph as it's in the shop window but we'll continue our efforts) and a Jubilee Tea Cosy:

You may recognise this tea cosy as an adaptation of one I made last year out of Cornish Organic's Peruk DK - that had 2 colours, this - clearly, has 3!  It's a very straightforward knit but you pull the stitches at the back to give the ruffled effect and I found it quite exhausting - which is pathetic!

I have now moved on to the matching hot water bottle cover - watch this space!

In other knitting, Tracey knitted up the lovely Stylecraft, Phases pattern 8564 in Life Chunky Prints.  The pattern looks like this:

the yarn looks like this:

and our finished garment looks like this:

Ooh - I do love it when a plan comes together!  Dont' you just love those buttons?!

Friday, 25 May 2012

Finished Items!

Knitwits Yarns

As previously mentioned, knitting has been continuing apace down here at Knit Wits but time and weather has worked against us on the photography front.  Last week - after the Olympic Torch excitement - time and weather came together and we managed to get out into the garden and take some pics.

You may remember that I was knitting with Jenny Watson's gorgeous Pure Merino Wool :

well - I knitted this:

in blue:

I will not lie to you - at times it drove me insane!  Trying to get everything to line up properly when you're decreasing at both ends of the row can be infuriating but it was worth it!  The stitch detail is wonderful as the wool is full and bouncy and really lovely to work with:

If you're looking for a pure wool, reasonably priced and with a lovely, soft yet bouncy texture then this one is definitely for you!

In between other things, I have also been knitting socks (I always have a pair of socks on the needles for car journeys etc):

On my right leg we have Superba Tweed by Rico and on my left leg we have "Jubilee" in Zigzag by King Cole - how appropriate!  The Superba Tweed sock does now have a pair; the Jubilee does not!

I've also knitted up a baby blanket for a dear friend's new baby - it worked so well that it's now being knitted again with more attention being paid to yarn quantities etc so it can be turned into a pattern.  For a sneak preview of my next new pattern - here's the prototype blanket:

I really like it and hope that baby Katie will too!

I'm currently knitting more Jubilee related things - watch this space!

In the meantime, here is a relaxing picture of a beautiful iris in my garden and another (slightly randomly) of Eric:

Yes - your eyes don't deceive you - he only has 3 legs (and he's getting very bleached in the sun!).

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Olypmic Flame In Penzance Part 2

Knitwits Yarns

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, FB did a "screengrab" from the BBC coverage yesterday.  Our very own correspondent, G, was seen very briefly.  Third person from the left (in cycling gear) being pointed at by a mysterious pink arrow:

That's my boy!!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Olympic Flame Arrives in Penzance!

Knitwits Yarns

Unless you've been on the planet zog for the past couple of days, you'll have noticed that the Olympic flame arrived in England yesterday - in the very far west, in fact, not far from Penzance and, this morning, the flame came through town (although, sadly, not past my shop!).

There has been some debate in the Hopson household about whether to get up and see the flame or not - lie-in or get up was what it, basically, came down to.  In the end 3 of us lay in and good old G got up and on his bike and represented us all.  He said he's never seen town to busy, which is amazing considering it was 8 o'clock on a Saturday morning!

First came the (gold?) police car with cheery waving copper inside:

then the official (gold) bus:

then the various sponsors' buses (this is Lloyd's Bank):

and this is Samsung (with a huge telly on the side)

and then the Metropolitan Police outriders (all the way from London!):

and then another official truck of some sort:

and, then, finally a small lady in a white tracksuit carrying a flame and flanked by "flame security" in grey:

At the top of the street the flame was then passed from one torch to the next:

and then it was gone .........................
(and flying over the top all the while was the Coca Cola helicopter!!)

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

5-Ply Guernsey Wool (and Cornish Patterns) Now Available at Knit Wits!

Knitwits Yarns

As some of you have already discovered, we are very pleased now to be offering 5-ply Guernsey wool (or Gansey, if you prefer) here at Knit Wits and Mary Wright's book, Cornish Guernseys and Knit Frocks.

There is a fascinating history to Gansey knitting which is found along much of England's coastline where fishing was a dominant industry - and the parallels between Cornwall and East Yorkshire are extraordinary.  Cornish fishing villages very often had their own patterns over the yoke of the gansey so a fisherman's body washed overboard could be identified by the gansey long after the body was unidentifiable (a bit gruesome but true!).  Mary Wright wrote her definitive guide to Cornish Ganseys back in 1979 after having been asked to copy a Guernsey for a Women's Institute display at The Royal Cornwall Show and her book contains 21 of these patterns, along with full instructions on knitting your gansey and a full history of Cornish Gansey knitting.

Ganseys are a real labour of love - knitted on tiny needles in the round (so no sewing up!) - they are knitted in one piece so there are no seams (considered to be the weakest point of a garment).  I took a few years to knit mine:

mainly because, in the middle of it, I bought a wool shop!

One of the great things about Gansey construction is that you can try them on whilst you're knitting them - here I am trying to remember where I'd got to before I abandoned my knitting:

and here is the stitch details on my yoke:

I love my Gansey - it's the sweater I always put on when the weather turns really cold and grim and it keeps me warm and cosy and dry - every knitter should definitely have one (or two!).

We sell 5-ply in both 500g cones and 100g balls - however we would always recommend that you knit a Gansey from cones so there are no ends to join in!  100g balls are very useful for smaller projects (hats etc) and repairs.

Friday, 11 May 2012

I AM still here and AM still knitting!

Knitwits Yarns

Here in Hopson family land we are in the throes of G's final IB exams and whilst, in theory, this shouldn't affect us all - it does!  Our entire aim seems to be to keep life, the house, the animals and even the washing as calm and quiet and serene as we can in order that poor G can concentrate on nothing except his ghastly exams.  On the surface all is calm, underneath we're all paddling like fury to give the impression that all is calm!

Fling into this melee the need for a radical website overhaul (all the behind-the-scenes "gubbins" - nothing will be noticeable to any of you [unless you're my bank manager, in which case you'll see a dip in finances as the website people get paid] - thanks Post Office for increasing your charges without a care in the world for all website owners), the annual End-Of-Year Accounts saga and howling gales and lashing rain bad enough to send even the most stalwart to the travel agent for some sun and you can see how life has been here in wet, cold, stressed Cornwall!

But throughout it all I HAVE kept knitting - just haven't had any decent weather to photograph it.  A dear friend has had a baby so I knitted up a blanket for her using some odds and ends and liked the result so much that I'm now transferring it to a "proper" pattern - for which I need to knit up another blanket to double-check quantities etc!  I am also finishing off socks for a present, knitting jubilee bunting for the shop and, although I did finally finish the Jenny Watson Pure Merino, it's now in the window and hasn't been photographed yet - although many of you will have seen it (it's gorgeous!).

FB and I managed one small (4 mile) walk last weekend but forgot the camera!  Actually - we were only going to the local shop but we took a very pretty scenic route and the bluebells were absolutely stunning.

The forecast for Sunday is good so, maybe, pics next week!  And G now has a whole week to revise for his final exams, which end on Tuesday week - phew!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Cotton Yarn Overview

Knitwits Yarns

Well - somewhat unbelievably - here I am and here is our new cotton yarn (to be followed by a brief overview of all cotton yarns here at Knit Wits so you can prepare yourselves for summer which, surely, must be on its way?).

Our new pure cotton yarn is from King Cole and is called Cottonsoft and is - as the name suggests - really amazingly soft.  It also comes in a soft colour palette:

and comes with 12 accompanying patterns (6 pattern sheets - King Cole, very generously, always give you 2 patterns per sheet).  Furthermore, 2 of these pattern are CROCHETED - for all of you who are struggling to find crochet patterns.  Here is a selection:


So - for those of you looking for cotton yarns for your summer knits, here is a brief overview of cotton at Knit Wits.  As well as King Cole's Cottonsoft in pure cotton we have Adriafil's Memphis, pure Egyptian cotton - this is slightly mercerised and comes in a wide range of bright colours:

and we have Katia's Degrade and Degrade Sun, whose colours fade up and down:

Next we have the continuously, amazingly popular Bamboo Cotton from King Cole which is (as the name suggests) a 50/50 blend of Cotton and Bamboo (yes, really, bamboo as in the plant).  This yarn combination gives a really lovely soft drape to any garment and is popular for babies, children and adults.  It comes in plain colours:

and Prints:

Next we have Rico's Cotton Soft which is a blend of 50% cotton and 50% acrylic and, again, it comes in plain colours:

and prints:

and - finally we have Adriafil's Duo Plus, which is a cotton/wool blend (which you might think is a slightly odd combination but, in fact, it gives a lovely warm feel and drape) and it comes in lovely mixed colours:

So - there you have it - cotton at Knit Wits - don't say I don't spoil you!