Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What We've Been Knitting

Knitwits Yarns

Owning a wool shop obviously means that I do a lot of knitting - mostly samples for the shop but they are, generally, knitted to my size - which is nice and means I get to wear them.  Although I do knit a lot I do have a lot of help!  Tracey is a whizz - fast, accurate and neat (even if she does sometimes ask me to do the sewing up!!).  This next project turned from a quick little bolero into something of a nightmare which we then resolved to ensure others don't have the same problem.  Little bolero from Adriafil:

which looks pretty straightforward - EXCEPT - the pattern is written in (badly) translated Italian which took the two of us some time to work out and more than once involved ripping back - which in a furry yarn is no fun at all.

SO - to ensure our customers didn't suffer the same fate as us, we re-wrote the pattern - in proper, easy to understand English and printed it on the back of the Italian/English version.  So, if you would like to knit this very pretty (and warm) little bolero it'll be an absolute cinch for you!  And you can thank us with every stitch that you knit!  Here is our version:

Also knitted up (by me) is this lovely lacey scarf in Galaxy Chunky (the one with the sequins):

this hat and wrist warmers in Stylecraft's Harlequin using fisherman's rib:

and this little cowl in Debbie Bliss's Angel Prints:

And now I'm knitting up another little summer top in the vain hope that the weather will get warmer sometime soon!

My next post will be about some new Cornish Organic Wool kits, which we've also been designing, knitting up and - finally - photographing.  Never let it be said that we have a dull moment or rest on our laurels!!

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Margarita from Adriafil

Knitwits Yarns

During the last few tumultuous weeks (2 funerals in the last 2 weeks and 1 more on Friday - and, no, sadly I am not joking) knitting has been a source of calm and peace.  What do people who don't knit do in these circumstances?  There is increasing research into the calming effects of the repetitive nature of activities such as knitting but all of us who knit know that no research is required - we simply know that we'd go insane without it!

So yesterday morning the sun came out briefly and we rushed out and photographed some of the things we've been knitting here at Knit Wits.  I'm not going to write about them all at once because that would make a very long entry so, for today, I'll just talk about Margarita from Adriafil.  You may remember that, when I last wrote about it, I said it reminded me of colours on the sand so, inevitably, a garment had to be made.

The tension is not quite a standard Aran - not critical for some garments but I wanted to knit a little summer top for an impending (hot) holiday.  After some research I found that it very closely matched Rowan's now discontinued All Seasons Cotton.  For those of you who haven't discovered this yet, you can visit Rowan's website and become a member (for free) and, suddenly, a whole heap of FREE patterns are available to you - some old and some new.  Amongst them are All Seasons Cotton patterns and, lo, there was the perfect pattern for me - Pagan - which comes in both a crew neck, v neck and cap sleeved version - perfect!

I needed to change the needle sizes to get the right tension so knitted on 4mm and 4.5mm instead of the 4.5 and 5.00mm on the pattern and I went up a size and it worked perfectly and knitted up in no time at all.  Please excuse my post-winter scarily white arms in this photo (!):

and here is the stitch detail so you can see what I mean about grains of sand:

I used 6 balls of Margarita knitting the medium size v-neck vest - which is exactly the same quantity as All Seasons Cotton.

Now I just need a beach and some sun and to be as slim and young as the Rowan model!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

New Patterns!!

Knitwits Yarns

Two posts in as many days - this could be some kind of record.  As promised, I have spent a large part of today uploading new patterns to go with some of our new glorious yarns (and some to go with some of our older glorious yarns). 

To start, we had a bunch in Bamboo Cotton.  As I might have said before, this is one of our most popular yarns - in winter and summer - so we can never have too many patterns (although it is a standard DK so will knit to any DK patterns).  I won't show them all but one or two caught my eye to go into the "favourites" or "ooh, must knit that" category.  I think this is a very pretty summer sweater:

and Tracey is currently knitting me up this in bright, vibrant, cheery colours:

I think the colours on the pattern itself are gorgeous but we thought we'd play around for a different look.  Tracey has promised me she'll sew it up tonight (what fun with all those stripes!) so photography will take place just as soon as it's warm enough!

Then we had a bunch of new patterns in Galaxy DK (the one with sequins, remember?).  Some patterns are shown on a lady and some on a child but all the patterns are sized up for both.  It can be hard, sometimes, to imagine a garment shown on a child on an adult but Tracey has her eye on this one:

and I really, really like this one:

There's also a really simple scarf pattern, which has sizings for both Galaxy DK and Chunky.  The DK uses just 1 ball and the chunky uses 2.  It's shown being worn 6 different ways and with beads sewn on the ends too - clever - and inspirational:

Who couldn't use a scarf like that? - especially as we have another cold snap forecast.

Next we have some Galaxy Chunky patterns and, again, all patterns are sized from child to adult:

And, finally, we have 2 patterns in Riot Chunky (as with all King Cole patterns you actually get 2 patterns on each sheet so, in fact, it's 4 new patterns).  Unlike the others, these are just for girls:

When I put it like that it really doesn't seem like a lot of patterns but, trust me, it is - and there are more on each of the pages (patterns are shown down the left hand side of the yarn pages).

Tomorrow I have a "paperwork" day which will bring me unbridled joy but, with a fair wind, I may get some more patterns on here on Saturday.

Then, unbelievably, I have to go to Oxford for the second funeral/memorial service this week but, never fear, Marie and Tracey will take good care of you.  I credit my sanity throughout this ghastly period of our lives entirely to the fact that I knit - far healthier (and less fattening) than booze (or cake)!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

New Yarns from Adriafil (and others)!

Knitwits Yarns

Sincere apologies for radio/blog silence over the past month. 

Without going into too many distressing details, we've had a pretty torrid time and grief on a scale never before experienced by our boys, let alone us, has not left me inclined to blog about the wonders of yarn - although I think we'd all agree that knitting can be a restful, soothing rhythm when life goes off kilter in a searingly, shocking way. 

Our eldest boy has returned home (early) from his gap year and, whilst it's truly wonderful to have him back home, I only wish it had not had to be so and he could currently be enjoying the joys that Australia has to give - which is where he ought to be.  In time, as some kind of peace returns to our lives, he will re-launch his gap year in Asia and poor Tom will have to undertake some seriously grueling exams.  In the meantime, we are all trying to soothe ourselves into that kind of peace.  Our lives will never be the same but the one we have loved and lost will remain in our hearts for ever.

And so, finally, the new yarn that has been piling up in our office has been collated and photographed and - at last - uploaded onto the site.  There is a lot of it so I make no apology for brevity of words - let the pictures speak!  To brighten our lives we had a big and glorious delivery from Adriafil (wondrous Italian yarns of which one can never have too much).

We needed a pure wool Aran weight yarn - and now we have one.  Stella Alpina (and it's machine washable!):

We didn't need Margarita but, boy, did we want it!  Cotton, aran weight, which reminds me of glistening colours in the sand:

Strictly speaking, we didn't need new colours in our fabulously soft and luscious pure alpaca 4ply, Sierra Andina, either (but how could we resist adding these colours to one of our best selling yarns?):

And as for DK pure cotton - who could resist Poema?:

And, finally from Adriafil, one new glorious colour in our Egyptian cotton, Memphis - simply the best, crispest cotton you could ever want - how about this for a terracotta orange?:

From King Cole we had 5 delicious new colours in the always incredibly popular Bamboo Cotton:

(Do you know that we currently have 27 colours of Bamboo Cotton in stock?  It's one of our most popular yarns - even through long, wet, cold, dark winters!).

King Cole have also introduced 4 new, fabulous, striping colours of Galaxy DK (that's the one with sequins in it in case you don't know - if you don't know, where have you been and why haven't you knitted with it yet?!):

We have 2 new colours in Rico's Reflection:

and last, but by no means least, one new Zig Zag sock yarn colour:

Actually, that isn't all - we had a delivery in from Rico in Germany today and that wool has gone back to the office at home to be photographed in due course.

Many of these new yarns have patterns and poor old FB has scanned and formatted them today (no mean task) so the uploading of them will begin tomorrow.  I'll keep you updated and I'll do my best but, hey, if it's a choice between uploading a pattern and giving a strapping 19 year old lad a much needed hug - you know which way I'll be going ..............