Friday, 19 August 2016

Three blankets and 60,000,000 trebles

Three blankets in various yarns, and at various stages of completeness, for the Sixty Million Trebles project. If you don't already know, the 60,000,000 trebles represent the number of refugees in the world, so it's an awareness raising project, and also a world record attempt. All the 36" blankets put together will make the biggest blanket ever (they hope!) ands will then be taken apart to make smaller blankets for charities/refugees
.

Here's the facebook group if you'd like to investigate further:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1012887892161823/

Monday, 15 August 2016

Grab a bargain...

Okay, I admit it: I love sock yarn. When we opened the shop I barely knew what a sock yarn mix was and had less intention of ever knitting socks - why ever would you knit your own socks ?? - than of climbing Everest or taking the advanced driving test.
But over time all that changed. From the beautifully dyed Araucania Ranco to the very soft, self-striping Crystal Palace Mini Mochi, I've tried virtually all the sock yarns we've ever stocked. And the newish Debbie Bliss Rialto Luxuy Sock is a bit special among them. And extra great, because it's not over-expensive either. RRP is £9.95, but on the website for just one week (till Mon 22nd) we're offering it at £8.00. So far we've only had four colours delivered,
with more on the way. But they're four winners. Take a look if you'd like to.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Fair isle

I don't do much fair isle these days, but I do still love a colourful, but tastefully understated, jumper in muted shades, maybe with just a touch of patterning rather than completely covered in it. A yoke or a little around the cuffs maybe - enough to say: Doesn't this look fab? or possibly: See, I could do more of this if I wanted, I just don't choose to.

This is an all over pattern of course - I must have had more time in those days - and, I'm guessing, from circa 1974. I used to wear it with Levi 501s and think I looked the bees knees.

I found it by chance in the Fancy Dress Party Possibilities box under the bed.

PS If this is stranded colourwork rather than fair isle, please don't let me know. I'm okay with getting them mixed up.

Friday, 1 July 2016

An eight hour jumper?

I'm having a bet with myself that I can knit this jumper in eight hours. What do you think? It's short; it's simple; it's superchunky on 10mm needles...is it doable? Well, whatever - it's a lovely Debbie Bliss Paloma pattern  from the Winter Brights booklet. If you need a new jumper for your trip to the Arctic next weekend this might be just the one to make.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

All change!

Well, that's been a busy few days. Our Old Bank shop is now officially closed and the rooms are empty. Strange how spacious rooms look without furniture. Our house, meanwhile, looks swamped by the influx of desks, tables, shelves and what feels like several tons of yarn. We're currently filling online orders while not being entirely sure where anything is - even the pens and sellotape seem to be hiding away and my trusty shoulder bag disappeared for about a week, which was a bit of a worry...

Anyway, enough rambling! Saturday the 4th June - that's this weekend - will be the first time we'll be selling our wool from the foyer table in The Old Bank. We'll have limited ability to transport stock so please let us know if there's something in particular you'd like to see. We will definitely be bringing along the Cygnet Grousemoor Chunky which will be the day's special offer at £1.95 for a 100g ball (25% wool) and we'll also have with us our new line the Wendy Merino, a soft and lovely 100% merino 4 ply, which will be £3.75 for a 50g ball (rrp £4.10).

Would be great to see you!

Friday, 6 May 2016

What happened to April?

Sorry, it's been so, so long - like a short, late winter/early spring hibernation, but here we are again with some new plans and up to date info...

Firstly, we can't go back to the Piece Hall - there are currently brief notes on the situation on three posters in our Old Bank shop window. We've been well and truly stitched up, but we don't want to dwell on that anymore. Onward and upward!

Our lease at The Old Bank is coming to an end, so we've closed the bricks and mortar shop. Serendipity and Maria's Stamps are still operating from the building, but our section at the back was so cold and so devoid of adequate wool-shop-type light, that we decided to call it a day. When we moved in we were imagining it as a place to just keep the business ticking over till our return to the Piece Hall and, with that boat having sailed, we decided to go in a different direction.

Tomorrow, 7th May, we're having a big sale in the foyer - there's only so much wool I can stuff into our spare bedroom - the Debbie Bliss Riva, Paloma, Rialtos and Cashmerino Aran will be in there amongst lots of other great yarns. We sorted out most of it today and had to draw a halt as we were running out of containers. Do come along if you can - I promise it'll be worth your while. Oh, and there's a Prize Draw for a full 500g pack of beautiful pale blue Sierra Andina 100% alpaca - £1.00 a go and the prize is worth over £60. Prize draw proceeds will go to The Mayfield Trust.

And this is the thing: we'll be having a table in the foyer of the Old Bank the first Saturday of each month for the foreseeable future. If there's something you'd especially like me to bring down one Saturday just let me know and I'll do my best. And every month we'll try to have an especially good bargain or two just for that day.

And, we'll be keeping the website going and re-vamping the stock, getting in some new lines, getting rid of some yarns that have gone stale on us and adding some extra bargains to the clearance section.

I did float the idea on facebook of selling wool by party plan locally without too much response, so I'm going to wait and re-suggest that nearer peak wool-buying time when it gets colder again and see if anyone fancies it - I think it could be fun. Not that I'm good with fun, you understand.

So, that's about it for now. Just need to work out now if I've forgotten anything for tomorrow...

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Everybody's Knitting

Every so often someone will bring into the shop a lovely, old book on knitting, usually something A4 and wonderful featuring intricate shawls and fair isle patterns and assorted ganseys. Proper, serious knitting. It's probably symbolic of something or other that whenever these lovely books turn up, my thoughts turn to this little Penguin Handbook from 1977  which makes knitting seem like the most carefree, fun thing in the world. I'm not saying there's a lot in there that I'd want to make, and probably nothing at all that I'd atually wear, but just looking at the pictures gladdens the heart.

From my point of view, apart from the brightly coloured tank tops and swimming costumes - it's very much of its time - it endorses the idea of the backstitch as a good way to make a seam, (which alone would make me love it) and it has instructions like: 'If you know how, double crochet an edge round the neck and armholes, but it's not really necessary.' That so works with my 'it'll do' grain. It's a joyous little book filled with smiling faces and floppy hats and a knitting-makes-you-happy kind of vibe.

If you think knitting should be fun and that there's room in the world for very many drop-shouldered, patterned jumpers with multiple motifs and very little shaping, see if you can get hold of a copy. Amazon has secondhand copies from 43pence (or, if you're very particular and/or very rich, new ones from £999.10).