Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Happy Leap Year's Day!

Knitwits Yarns

Today is the 6th anniversary of FB's and my engagement - as we rapidly approach our 24th Wedding Anniversary! This means that 24 years ago I was in New Zealand and thought I'd better to check to see if I was coming home to FB or not - evidently I was (he met me at Heathrow with a dozen red roses) and we were married a few months later.

We should, of course, be spending a romantic evening together tonight but - instead - FB is going to a meeting, I am having an early supper with girlfriends, G is home alone and T is en route to Toronto for a "Geography" "Field Trip". I put the "Geography" in speech marks as I think "Geography" and "Field Trip" and "Canada" roughly translates into "skive from normal lessons, jolly good time with good fun teachers, trip to Ice Hockey match and visit to Niagara Falls" and, possibly, "first experience of jet lag" when he returns on Monday. Am I jealous? Damn right, I am. When I was at school we went to Dorset for our Geography Field Trip and were very happy with that!

So - prior to early supper with girlfriends I've put a couple of new things on the site - both from Debbie Bliss. Firstly, her latest magazine:

Packed with 30 patterns featuring such yarns as ecobaby, Rialto 4ply, Bella, Baby Cashmerino and new Rialto Lace it's incredibly good value at just £4.95.

Secondly, I have Debbie's first ever Crochet book! Now, I know loads of people are bemoaning the lack of crochet patterns so here is a whole book of them! Again, various items done in yarns such as Rialto 4ply, Baby Cashmerino and Rialto Lace, this book is sure to attract the crocheters amongst you:

Here is a sample of some of the patterns:


A few of you have been asking about my knitted seagull - he is done and is in the process of photography and will be here soon - along with an explanation as to why on earth I knitted him!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Dawn and Al

Knitwits Yarns

I've often said on this blog how nice it is to meet knitters from all over the world and, every now and then, knitters who we know virtually who then turn up "in the flesh".

Last Thursday I met Dawn and Al (she is the knitter, he is her husband) from Canada (living in the USA) who were/are really remarkable. I had the good fortune to meet them the day before they started walking from Land's End to John O'Groats. Some of you may remember that we End-to-Ended back in 2010 (go back to July 2010 in the blog if you want to refresh yourselves of the details) - the boys cycled and I drove the backup campervan and - guys - it's about 1,000 miles!

Dawn and Al are walking it and - fortunately for all of us - they're keeping a daily blog. It's going to take them about 84 days (that's just short of 3 months) and, being the keen planners that they clearly are, they have pre-booked every night's accommodation along the route.

Dawn is going to attempt to do some knitting but she's only carrying a small pack (with good reason) so the knitting is limited but I'm sure they'd love some other knitters along for the ride! I'm already hooked on their site and check it out every morning. I can't wait to see how they get on.

The site is: (I am mentioned in last Thursday's post, with a couple of pics too!)
and Dawn is dawnvOR on Ravelry.

Let's make sure the knitters of the UK give them the support they deserve as they make their way north!!

Talking of Ravelry - my page is coming on slowly - I've added some Finished Objects and some more patterns to my Designer page {Julia Hopson} (which had already appeared without me knowing thanks to a couple of designs in some magazines) and we now have a Knit Wits group - imaginatively called Knit Wits Penzance - please feel free to join and/or become a friend! It's taken me a while to get round to it but I'm really enjoying uploading all my finished items and patterns - suddenly makes me realise how much I've really done!

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Rialto Lace

Knitwits Yarns

Very quick note to let you know that 2 new colours have come in in Debbie Bliss's Rialto Lace - cream, which is always useful and popular and the lovely blue shade shown on this design:

I am currently knitting this design (but not in this colour) but the going is slow - in fact it has stopped completely at the moment as I've been interrupted by the need to knit a seagull. Of which you will hear (and see) more in about 10 days time. As I sew his legs on tonight I might be wondering why I do these things (again).

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Loads of New Yarns from Rico

Knitwits Yarns

Last week I mentioned our huge delivery from Rico and now - less than 5 days later - I'm pleased to say they're all online and selling already!

We started with a new scarf yarn - Liesl - which is very, very chunky (knitted on 12mm needles) and has a very subtle sparkle running through it. I knitted up our sample in one evening so it's great for a quick and warm scarf - which is just what we need at the moment with the freezing cold weather we're having (not sure about you but down here the thermometer is deceptive as the wind-chill factor is terrible). So - 5 colours in Liesl:

and our knitted sample (14 sts, 12mm needles, 1x1 rib, 1 evening):

From a scarf yarn we now move onto summer yarns - time to get organised and have faith that summer is going to come! The first is called Micro and is made from microfibre and is a standard DK in glorious bright multicolours:


I think this is my favourite:

And then we have the Cotton Soft DK, which is exactly the same make-up as the discontinued Kon Tiki by Stylecraft - 50% Cotton, 50% Acrylic. Kon Tiki sold really well for us but, evidently, not so well elsewhere and it was eventually, sadly discontinued. It's always a pity when this happens but we know from experience that some yarns that sell well for us don't work elsewhere and vice versa - I'm not sure if it's because we're slightly warmer down here (allegedly) or, perhaps, knitters who buy from us are inspired by the artistic atmosphere of Penzance and West Penwith and like slightly more "different" yarns. Either way - we're delighted that Cotton Soft is going to replace Kon Tiki and we're delighted to be stocking it. There are plain colours:

and multi colours:

so there's a really good choice.

Time to start planning your summer knits!!

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Joy of Owning Chickens

Knitwits Yarns

All of these eggs were laid on the same day (Friday) by our chickens.

You don't get that down the supermarket, do you?!!

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Ribbed Collar

Knitwits Yarns

As promised, my latest design is on the site today. This pattern was inspired by a gift given to my Mother as is absolutely perfect for the cold weather we're all having at the moment:

The collar is knitted in Stylecraft's Pure Luxury Merino, which is wonderfully warm and soft, and takes just 2 balls. The top is folded over to give added warmth around the neck so the buttonhole is double thickness. This pattern is FREE when you buy 2 balls of Stylecraft's Pure Luxury Merino wool.

I can confirm that it's fantastic when riding a bike!!

It's a satisfyingly quick and easy knit and a really useful addition to any wardrobe.

That may be my last original pattern for a while as I'm currently rattling on with Debbie Bliss's Rialto Lace (which is really wonderful to work with, by the way) but it certainly won't be my last post for a while - in fact, I can confidently predict there will be another post on Monday (or even tomorrow).

Friday, 10 February 2012

Celebrating Family

Knitwits Yarns

I had meant to blog yesterday about the latest book on the site but we then had a big - and slightly unexpected - delivery in. Deliveries bring a mixture of excitement and dread and this one was interesting in that we'd kind-of forgotten what we'd ordered. Sometimes when you open the boxes/sacks you sit there for a while wondering a) whether you ordered that particular item and sometimes b) why you ordered that particular item. Yesterday was a bit like that but then we opened the boxes and we remembered exactly why we'd ordered these yarns - because they're GORGEOUS!!

They are from Rico and make us think of lovely summer knits and summer days and they're in the photo booth e'en as I type so I can get them on the site asap.

The other problem with deliveries is that sometimes (and yesterday was one of those days) you really aren't sure where they're going to fit - both on the shelves and in the stock room. (For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to visit is in person I'll just say that - unlike some wool shops - we only display one ball of each yarn on the shelves and the rest is stored away - we have far, far, far too much wool to have it all out on display - and we then write on the ballband how many balls of each yarn we have in stock - this, combined with our online stock control system, means that 99% of the time our stock levels are right and we know exactly what we've got {the 1% error is purely human!}).

Yesterday's delivery - being mostly summer cotton blends - threw the shelf displays into complete disarray so Tracey and I moved quite a lot of things around to get the display right. This takes time - as you can imagine. We have to calculate how many "holes" in the shelves we need and then shuffle everything else around, up, down or - even - into the oddball basket (yes, we have one of those too). By the end (5pm) we were happy and we now have a "Debbie Bliss" section for all of her "fashion" non-standard weights such as Rialto Lace, Baby Cashmerino, Angel etc and we have a DK cotton section which includes Memphis, Bamboo Cotton, Duo Plus, Degrade and Degrade Sun and our lovely new arrivals.

We like it! And for those of you who do visit us frequently, we hope you do too! Perhaps I should take some piccies?

So - finally, back to the new book on the site - Debbie Bliss's "Celebrating Family" which features two of her non-standard weight yarns - Baby Cashmerino and ecobaby. These 2 yarns are totally interchangeable so you can knit any of these patterns in either yarn - for a warmer feel her Baby Cashmerino and for summer her ecobaby organic cotton. And there are patterns for mummies as well as children!:

and for babies, too - how cute is this?!:

First job this morning was to type up ANOTHER new pattern - on the site tomorrow - see you then!

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Paper Chain Cowl

Knitwits Yarns

At last, at last, at last I've finally got my latest design onto the site - my Paper Chain Cowl. The inspiration came from Christmas paper chains which we used to make as children (and, indeed, small children still do make them, which is reassuring). 8 different colours and 8 different stitches all linked together to make a bright, warm and cosy cowl - perfect for the current cold snap we're experiencing.

The great thing about is (apart from the fact that you get to practice lots of stitches and techniques) is that you can turn it round to suit whatever coat/jacket you're wearing. I would be lying if I said it was easy to design - getting the stitch numbers right was tricky in parts but I've now done all the hard work so you don't have to and the knitting part is really very straightforward. So - here are the 8 different chains:

and here is is worn (by me) on the balcony in Falmouth with a couple of different colour showing to give you an idea of the possibilities:

I think it's fun and it's turned out exactly as I'd hoped - I hope you like it too.

The pattern is FREE when you buy the 8 balls of Debbie Bliss "Bella" to knit it and you can change the colours it's in if you'd like to.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Birthday Treat

Knitwits Yarns

About a month ago it was my birthday and my brother and s-in-l gave me/us a voucher for a champagne cream tea at a The Greenbank Hotel in Falmouth (I think they think/know we need to get out more!) and when we checked the hotel's website it transpired that they had a BOGOF offer on for rooms until the end of February. There and then we booked ourselves a weekend away and it was this weekend. What a treat! The Hotel was lovely:

(picture taken from their website, sadly the weather wasn't quite that good!) - this was the real view from our room:

and this was the room although this picture was also taken from their website as we have the unbelievable knack of destroying a perfect bedroom in about 30 seconds - newspapers, clothes, shoes, magazines and knitting appear from nowhere as soon as we walk in.)

Sadly it poured with rain on Saturday so our proposed yomp was cancelled and instead we did a bit of shopping (sooooo unlike us) and then there was the small matter of a couple of rugby matches to watch and a fantastic cream tea to devour:

I also managed some knitting:

which may not look much but is Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace on 3mm needles so - trust me - there's a LOT of knitting there!

It was such a lovely break and I'd forgotten how lovely and relaxing two day weekends are - we've vowed to have more mini-breaks (especially if we can find more BOGOF offers!).

PS: We also managed some photos of my latest TWO designs - first one coming up tomorrow, when I've finished writing up the pattern.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Stylecraft Vision

Knitwits Yarns

Stylecraft "Vision" is the latest addition to the Stylecraft stable - a 20% wool, 80% acrylic blend it's perfect for spring knits and economical to boot - not only is it not expensive it also goes a long way so patterns use, an average, just 4-5 balls. Just 6 colours to start:

and 10 patterns.

Although I'm not normally a fan of lacy sweaters or cardigans I do really like this one (just 4 balls in my size!):

which has now been added to the "things which must be knitted" list. I also love the green colour and realise that I don't have many clothes in green so perhaps it's just meant to be? Examples of other patterns are:


and, for girls:

Today is - allegedly - my half day here in the shop so I'm off home shortly to finish a project - watch this space!