Friday, 29 June 2012

Finally Finished

Knitwits Yarns

Many customers say that finishing their knitted items is the bit they hate the most - the sewing up, the picking up of stitches for collars or buttonbands, the choosing of buttons.  All elements are critical and doing any element badly can ruin all the hours spent knitting to our best ability.

My latest sweater involved a highly unsatisfactory picking-up of stitches around the neck.  The yarn is Stylecraft's Vision and is self striping:

and, by the time I'd dutifully picked up the 153 stitches around the neck the yarn had changed colour so that when I knitted back on the next row the result was half a row of red before a chunk of green.  I thought I could live with it, I knitted a couple of rows of rib, I slept on it, re-assessed it in the cold light of day and then ripped the whole collar out and started again.  Turns out, I couldn't live with it after all!

Sewing up needs to be done slowly and carefully for best results (I nearly always use mattress stitch).  In fact, I would say I always use mattress stitch except when sewing up stripes when the nature of the stitch means it's very hard to get the stripes to match.  I finished my sweater last night and I have to say I'm pleased with it:

(See the collar - now imagine it with a little stripe of red before the green - it wouldn't have worked, would it?).  It's always a worry as to whether stripey yarn and cables/lace are going to work but, in this instance, I think they do.  Here is the picture of the pattern, in a different colourway:

The pattern is absolutely straightforward except for a tiny bit of shaping whilst also knitting lace on the sleeves but this is made easier as the cable panel helps to keep track of where you are.  My only problem would be that I think the yarn quantities may be wrong.  I knitted the smallest size and used very nearly all of the 4 balls.  The next size up also says it takes 4 balls, which I think is highly unlikely.

I have to say I really like it - but perhaps I'm biased!

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Mazey Day Weekend

Knitwits Yarns

Every June Penzance hosts a big cultural/musical/theatrical festival called Golowan, which incorporates Mazey Day, during which the local school children parade through the streets with extraordinarily impressive floats, bands play and we shopkeepers have stalls out on the street and dance as the bands pass by.

This Saturday was my eighth Mazey Day in the shop and the first one where the weather wasn't glorious.  Luckily it didn't rain until the afternoon but the wind was pretty fierce all day - didn't seem to put the Samba band off though:

If she was a little chilly she managed not to show it!  (Note lady in background in jeans and winter jacket, which was more appropriate for the day!)

On Sunday our boys headed off to Ibiza for 10 days in the sun with a bunch of mates (Lord help Ibiza is all I can say!) so, having dropped them off for their journey to the airport we returned to an empty and quiet house and did the only decent thing, which was to go for a walk.  In total contrast to Saturday the weather was glorious - so much so that FB now has a rather red bald patch(!):

the foxgloves in amongst the burnt gorse are glorious

and who can ever tire of this view:

FB was delighted to find this little fellow in the path:

In amongst this little hamlet of houses is where I'm lucky enough to live:

On a day like that, who needs Ibiza?!

In knitting news - I am close to finishing this jumper in Stylecraft's Vision but did a highly unsatisfactory pick up of stitches for the neck last night and took it all out this morning!  Having slept on it I realised I couldn't live with it - not that I'm obsessive or anything!  How often does that happen to you?!

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

New Baby Patterns

Knitwits Yarns

Whilst stock-checking our patterns the other day, I discovered a bunch of baby patterns - knitted in King Cole's Cottonsoft DK - which we'd missed putting on the site - so they're on there now!

Cottonsoft DK - as the name suggests - is a lovely, soft pure cotton in DK weight.  It comes in a range of plain colours and the patterns for ladies have been available for some time.  Somehow we'd missed the baby ones.  Here is a small selection of them:

Sooo sweet!  And, as with all King Cole patterns, you get at least 2 patterns to each sheet so 3513 - for example - includes a blanket pattern and 3517 includes waistcoat and slipover patterns. 

Happy Baby Knitting!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Extreme Knitting For World Wide Knit in Public Day!

Knitwits Yarns

As I'm sure all avid knitters know, we are currently in the midst of the World Wide Knit in Public time of year.  Barbara from Knitcraft in Pool had organised a day at Heartlands - a new regeneration project which, I'll admit, I'd never visited before.  The site is pretty amazing:

a real blast back to Cornwall's mining heritage (something which many beach-loving visitors forget) which - amazingly - with the rise in metal prices may be about to have a revival:

I - slightly rashly - offered to bring my giant needles on the mistaken assumption that the weather would be kind in June.  It wasn't!  Not to be daunted, Barbara organised a stage for me and my unfeasibly large appendages and, once I'd untangled the knot of all knots we were off!:

OK - so I don't usually let my knitting get into this kind of mess!  The last time this piece was worked on was on stage in Liverpool at Britain's Got Talent (which I'd been invited on to) and where I was unceremoniously booed off the stage (quite possibly the most humiliating experience of my life!).  Not surprisingly, after that debacle we'd bunged the piece and the 50 balls of wool back in the box and gone home.  Yesterday, I untangled it all:

and then I knit a row:

For those of you who haven't seen the needles in the shop - they're quite big!:

3.5m long to be precise and they weigh about 7kg each, which makes knitting quite slow - especially with all the chatting that was going on as well!:

As you can see the piece is quite big too!  It's knitting in Help for Heroes colours and we had a donation bucket and the good people of west Cornwall were very kind with their donations - so thanks to one and all.

I only managed a row - but it was enough!:

and what was really, really nice was that no one booed me!! (and the untangled wool looks great!)

Thursday, 7 June 2012

The Queen Makes An Unexpected Visit to Penzance

Knitwits Yarns

It is a little known fact that the Queen made an unexpected and unpublicised visit to Penzance this weekend as part of her Jubilee celebrations.  In fact, her only port of call was to visit us here in Knit Wits.  Here she is knitting happily in our window:

and here she is knitting outside the shop with her beloved corgi by her side:

she looks very happy, don't you think? - and at least it's not raining!

Our celebrations involved a barbecue in the garden:

(I made the rug about 27 years ago!!).  And after the barbecue we all trooped up the hill to light our Jubilee beacon.  It was raining quite well by then and the mist was down but you can just make out St Michael's Mount and one beacon already burning:

our beacon was bigger!:

And then, on Tuesday morning, we awoke to find that little baby Jubilee had been born:

No idea if it's a boy or girl but really don't care as it's very, very sweet indeed.  For an idea of size - just imagine the size of a chick newly hatched out of a regular sized egg - aaaagh!  Mummy sat on 4 eggs and gradually kicked out 3 (clearly knowing they weren't "right") and baby Jubilee was cheeping inside the egg on Monday morning and duly arrived sometime in the night.  (Incidentally, listening to a chicken cheep inside its egg is a really bizarre but thrilling experience).

What a great - long - weekend.  Now back to reality but, hey, it's still raining!

Friday, 1 June 2012

More Jubilee Knitting!

Knitwits Yarns
As promised, the Jubilee hot water bottle cover is now complete and available both in the shop and online:

It's really bright a colourful and, being pure wool, will actually keep your hot water hot!  There is enough wool from the 3 skeins to knit both the hottie cover and the tea cosy so you can really get into the Jubilee spirit:

As I mentioned, I also knitted up some Jubilee bunting, which is now adorning our shop.  It's quite hard to photograph but, here goes:

I also filled the window with red, white and blue wool - here's a peek but do, please, come and see it "in the flesh" if you're in the area over the coming holidays:

Have a great holiday weekend everyone - don't forget to get your in-front-of-the-telly-knitting in time!  We are open on Saturday as usual but closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Happy Holidays!