Friday, 18 October 2013

Debbie Bliss Milano

Knitwits Yarns

We have been holding back from launching this fabulous new yarn from Debbie Bliss until we had all the colours in stock.  Deliveries have been haphazard - to say the least - but it is all now in stock, on display in the shop and online - hoorah!

Milano is an Aran weight yarn with a slightly tweedy, textured feel which knits into a firm fabric - perfect for structured garments and jackets and coats.  Due to the vagaries of the deliveries I have had time to knit a jacket and we were also given a sample garment so we've got two samples in two different colours to help customers with their choice of garment and colour!

There are 12 colours:

Here is a slightly more detailed picture of one of the colours so you can see the nubbly tweedy bits:

There is one pattern book:

and there are also 5 patterns in Debbie's latest magazine (Fall/Winter 2013):

so I have inputted all the patterns from the book and the magazine onto the site to help you choose!

Our sample garment from the book was the hour glass sweater:

in jade green:

Here I am wearing it:

but the jacket I knitted was the gorgeous Peplum Jacket on the front of the magazine:

It's a really lovely fitted jacket and is very flattering to wear!  The pattern was well written and very easy to follow and the yarn softened and relaxed noticeably after blocking.  This is definitely going to be a firm favourite over the winter and it's incredibly warm as well, which is a bonus!

At £6.95 Milano is definitely not a cheap yarn to buy but you know what they say - you should knit with the most expensive yarn you can afford!  This is a lovely yarn to knit with and it produces a firm, textured fabric which feels very classy indeed and is a joy to wear - a great indulgence over the coming wet, cold, dreary months!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Guy's University Blanket

Knitwits Yarns

Those of you who have been reading this for a while may remember the day I sorted my stash a couple of years ago:

The first thing I knitted from it was a "Stashbusting Jacket", which - much as I love it - barely touched the surface of the problem:

A bigger project was called for - so I started to crochet (my first ever crochet project) a blanket for our double bed - here with the lovely Deidre, who is sadly no longer with us:

and here a couple of months later on our bed:

The bedspread is now even bigger than this, which is a clear indicator that a) I need to take more photographs of it and b) I need to finish it!

Whilst this massive project did touch the sides of the stash it only really used up the whole (or nearly whole balls).  The crochet pattern is two rows of each colour (there and back) so large(ish) quantities of each colour are required.  This left lots of small balls, some too small for this project and others the left overs from this project.  Clearly another bigish project was required.

I've had Knit Wits for over 8 years now and I know that most students get cold at some point at University and, from what I've seen, those with mothers who knit end up asking for a knitted blanket to warm them as they finish their dissertations through the wee small hours.  And thus, the stash problem and the blanket problem were resolved simultaneously.  I give you, Guy's University Blanket:

I was conscious that it couldn't be too pink (and it transpires that I have quite a lot of pink in my stash!).  As you can see, each strip was knitted on the diagonal (up to 40 stitches) then straight and the strips were sewn together to create a zig zag effect.

Eric the Three Legged Cat seems to approve (and Guy is smiling so I take that to be approval!):

I knitted most of it whilst he was away so it was a big surprise:

Having sewn it all together, I crocheted an edge:

It is now on his bed at Uni and, apparently, some of the girls have commented on it - though what on earth girls are doing in his room I have no idea .....

The stash is now smaller but there's still enough for Tom's blanket next year - watch this space .....

Monday, 14 October 2013

Knitted Cornish Pasty

Knitwits Yarns

This is a message for Caroline - who emailed the shop about our pattern for knitted Cornish pasties, which she'd seen on this blog - but whose email address is incorrect so I can't reply!!  The pattern came from "Knitted Fast Food" by "Susie Johns", which is readily available on Amazon.

That's all for now, folks.  Tomorrow - all being well - some knitting!!

Thursday, 10 October 2013

We've Been Away!! - Part 2! - Snowdonia

Knitwits Yarns

So - after 3 wonderful days in Chester, in which we did a remarkable amount of shopping for people who don't really shop (no - the irony that we own a shop has not passed us by) we headed to the hills to do what we really do love to do.

Knowing that we wouldn't have internet in the depths of Snowdonia where we were staying we checked the weather in advance and, lo, the best day was our first day so we were up bright and early and heading off to climb Snowdon.  When I mentioned to a friend recently that we were going to Snowdonia because I'd never climbed Snowdon her response was, "who has"?!  Well, she may have a point but - given that I spent a lot of my childhood in the Lake District so have covered Helvellyn and Scafell Pike many times, I've tramped many of the glorious paths of New Zealand and have even trekked to Everest Base Camp - Snowdon is a major hole in my list of achievements.

Snowdon was interesting.  We started up the Miner's Track - the beginning of which could have been a walk in a National Trust park - tarmac and gravel anyone?:

and then, as we got higher, it turned into one giant slate and rock staircase.  I guess it's the shear number of visitors that make this a necessity but, good lord, it's hard to walk on and very hard on the knees:

As you can see, there were also lots of people up there - which is something I'm definitely not used to.  The summit kept appearing and then disappearing into the cloud (you can just about make out the people on the top and one person walking along the ridge - which is wider than it looks!):

but the views were glorious and worth the effort:

In this photo you can make out or path wiggling up:

At the top, of course, you meet the railway line (!) - which wasn't running any trains that day - probably a good thing, there were enough of us up there without a train as well!:

It was also incredibly windy so here I am struggling on all fours up to the trig point which marks the very top:

On the way down my favourite, lovely walking boots gave up the ghost when the sole started coming away from the boot which made the whole process slightly hairier than was strictly necessary:

but I've had them for 20 years and they've done a good few miles so I can't really complain.  We stuck them together with strong glue so hopefully I'll still be able to do small, dry walks with them - I also bought some lovely new Berghaus boots but I haven't told the old ones in case they get upset!

The rest of the week passed with steam trains, smaller walks and two trips to Anglesey - here are the highlights:

The cottage with the big picture windows and wicker chairs is ours:

The Aberglaslyn Pass in the wet and with fallen leaves is not to be recommended(!) - slightly hairy in places!:

And, finally, who knew that Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is in Anglesey - we didn't - so we went there:

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

We've Been Away!! - Part 1!

Knitwits Yarns

So the time finally came to take Guy to University - please will someone tell me where the last 20 years have gone?! - and we decided that we couldn't bear to just come straight home to an empty house so we went on to nearby Chester and then to Snowdonia for a week's walking.

I'd never been to Chester before and it is a truly beautiful city (and this from someone who isn't really a "city" person).  We stayed by the racecourse, which was so convenient and meant we could walk everywhere - in fact we didn't move the car for the whole time we were there.  First thing was a walk round the walls (about 2.5 miles apparently) to get our bearings.  The racecourse:

(there were races on the Saturday so they were preparing for the corporate entertainment!).  The castle:

The old bridge over the river (the weir is the point at which the river ceases to be tidal) - over the bridge takes you to Wales:

One of the lovely old backstreets (still with their old "outhouses") which reminded me of the opening credits for Coronation Street:

The Roman Gardens:

The wonderful shopping streets with shops on two levels:

The beautiful walls themselves:

and the fabulous Cathedral, whose interior blew our minds:

The incredible angel choir, with its amazing carvings:

and extraordinary floor - inspiration for a knitting pattern methinks .........:

and incredible ceiling:

and this is for my brother - whose full name is Richard Ambrose - how extraordinary to find two saints windows so named next to each other in the cloisters:

After three happy days, we moved on to Snowdon - of which more tomorrow .....

PS: Now that we are home alone a deux and feeling decidedly middle aged, FB and I play the "You Know You're Middle Aged When ........" game.  When you go to Chester you know you're middle aged when one of the shops you really want to visit is Lakeland (as in the kitchen appliances, not the clothes!).  Yes, we found it and yes, we bought things!