Friday, 31 December 2010

Can Can!

Yay! At last the coloured Can Can has arrived. At present I've only got five balls of the rich purply-bluey-black mix and five of the gentler greeny-blue, so if you're one of the people who've been in in recent weeks to seek out colours other than the white, please grab your chance while you can...

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Did you get lots of nice knittery things for Christmas? Was your stocking bulging with bamboo needles and long-coveted yarns? I do hope so!

I was really happy to find these among my presents...

They're chock full of wonderful stitch suggestions and the kind of fitted jumper patterns that were popular in the 1940s. I can see me trying out several in the new year.

Don't you just love an inspirational present? A present that has the potential to continue giving pleasure for months and possibly years? I bet 'Jennifer' - who received one of these books as a present 'with Mummy's love' in 1943 - never thought they'd still be in use more than sixty years later.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Boo! Hiss!

Pantomime baddie of the weekend was allegedly the Markets Manager who, I'm told, decided at short notice that the market should be held in a town centre street instead of the Piece Hall courtyard. This was a shame and there was consequently a huge difference in visitor numbers between Saturday (brilliant entertainment, no market) and Sunday (same entertainment, plus market). Of course I got into the spirit and dressed up one day, but by Sunday decided it was just too cold for a re-run of the Laura Ashley Victorian cotton shirt - pie crust collar or no - and opted for a sensible aran and jeans.

So, Christmas soon! Hope you all have a great time. After Christmas we'll hold our first Three Bags Full January sale. After January...well, I'm incubating a couple of other ideas...and then, well, roll on spring eh?

Thursday, 16 December 2010

A spot of dressing up...

We have Victorian weekend coming up at the Piece Hall and the traders will be dressing up. Have never known a group of people embrace the idea of fancy dress with quite so much enthusiasm...

And be honest, will they be dressing up at Meadowhall? The Trafford Centre? or even at Junction 32? No, they won't. So come along and have a laugh at...I mean, enjoy a unique shopping experience.

(Plus, y'know I'm pretty certain there's no one selling gorgeous Fyberspates Scrumptious at Meadowhall. Or sock yarn enhanced by aloe vera and jojoba oil. Or beautiful Blue Faced Leicester in gentle pinks and blues. Or...well, you get the picture. Those big shopping centres so don't cut the yarn lover's mustard.)

Monday, 6 December 2010

Brrr...Christmas opening hours

How pretty is this? What with the tree and the lights and the snow, The Piece Hall's looking pretty good these wintery days. And there were a fair few intrepid souls who braved the conditions yesterday to come down and support the Christmas market. I love the Sunday afternoon markets in the run up to Christmas and those muffins I bought were delicious... Wonder where the brass band is this year tho' and the carol singers? Nothing like live music for a bit of festive atmosphere.

Anyway, not having taken my coat off in Three Bags Full for several days (and wearing handwarmers and a scarf to boot most days - I wonder if Father Christmas will bring me a more powerful heater for Christmas?) and looking forward to getting cosy at home for a few days, it seems a good time to let you know the opening hours over Christmas.

Okay: we'll be open till 7.30 on the 23rd December (last of the late night Thursdays), then closed from 24th Dec till 30th December inclusive. I don't know about you but Christmas Eve's my favourite day of the whole holiday and we always try to have all our shopping done before then, so I've awarded myself the day off and will be sitting at home with hot chocolate or red wine, depending on the temperature. I'll be back in the shop from 10am till 4pm on the 31st Dec 2010 and 1st Jan 2011, then we'll be closed the 2nd and 3rd, and back to normal on the 4th.

Just a reminder: we have Three Bags Full gift vouchers available at £5 each. They make a great present for knitting/crocheting friends or a great suggestion to your nearest and dearest if you'd like to receive a knittery present but can't trust them to choose on your behalf!

Thursday, 25 November 2010

What is it about counting up to seven that I'm finding so difficult?

There were only three of us at knitting group this afternoon so I thought I'd be safe attempting part of the aran jumper I'm knitting a friend. I like aran, but what with conversations to keep up with and the dark grey wool camouflaging the pattern, I made a couple of daft mistakes and decided it'd be better kept for when I'm in the shop alone and would find concentrating easier.

So then I moved on to a simple little cardigan for another friend's granddaughter. I have higher standards for knitting I do for other people than for knitting I do for myself, so I wanted it right. But can I count completed rows in garter stitch? - nope! So I was counting as I went along. In retrospect, I should've written each row down as I completed it, but they were just knit rows - surely I could remember how many of those I'd done...

I pulled it back towards the end of knitting group as I couldn't be sure whether I'd done seven, six, five or, indeed, four rows. Then I started again, on my own, concentrating and counting ALOUD. I got up to...ooh, was it six or seven? can't remember, but Mike and Maddie came in to give me a lift home, started talking and once again, I was lost...

I'm going to find a Very Quiet Place, preferably with a lockable door, and I'm going to start again. I may just do one row a day. I may even use an abacus. Because I'm going to get it right if it kills me.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Bad taste jumpers

At Three Bags Full we responded to a plea by two local women for bad taste jumpers and other items to send to soldiers in Afghanistan for Christmas. (Well, I did anyway - Mike's not hot on the knitting front.) In the three or four weeks available, I managed a less than spectacular jumper and an elegant posing pouch:

I think the posing pouch in particular amply satisfies the bad taste critera...

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Open All Hours

(Photo courtesy

Okay, a little note to say that in a couple of weeks time, Three Bags Full be open Sundays till Christmas. That's from the 28th Nov onwards; hours will be 11am till 3pm. We'll be opening Thursday evenings too, along with several of the other Piece Hall traders, till 7.30pm throughout December.

And don't forget you can get loads of lovely stuff in the various shops. Why not see how many of your presents you can buy from the Piece Hall traders this year? If it snows, you'll be under cover on the colonnades, you can take time out for a coffee and cake, and the Piece Hall has a much better variety of individual shops than your average town centre or mall. Quirky and quality are what we specialise in!

Remember to get all your knitting needs provided for tho' before Christmas Eve as Three Bags Full will then be shut for the whole of Christmas week. I know, I'm sorry.

Will you be entering the competition? Just guess or count the number of lines we have on sale for a fiver or under and you could win two hanks of Noro Yuzen. I think I'll extend the duration of this so we encompass some of the new opening times. So, we'll make the new closing date mid-December - the 15th - then the prize will be like an early Christmas present for the lucky winner...

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

It's only November...

...and yet the icy temperatures of the Piece Hall are making my toes tingle even tho' I'm wearing three layers and I've had two heaters on at full this morning. Wonder what it'll be like in January?? Will have to knit lots of heavy duty fingerless gloves - might look a bit Bob Cratchetty but probably preferable to frostbite.(I know, do I never stop bleating about the cold??)

So, the luceting workshop - it's dawning on me that I really should've waited till after Christmas, but of course I wanted to do it NOW. Not that I'm usually all about instant gratification... Are you sure you don't want to come along? It'll be fun, honest!

BOOKS FOR LOAN! When TBF started up I bought a fair few knitting books and brought a selection down to the shop. These are for loan. The problem is that there's no sign up and I've never told anyone. This demonstrates perfectly the level of my marketing skills. Anyway, if you can't otherwise find a pattern you like and would like to borrow a book, just say.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Learn to lucet...

Well, there's a hot Halloween meal bubbling away on the cooker and just enough time for a quick update on a few things. Excuse the messy miscellany, but here goes:

The Lucet Workshop is organised for November 15th at the library in Halifax. I'm so looking forward to this and I'm sure you'll enjoy it too if you're a crafty sort, which I'm sure you are. Just give me a ring on 07941133155 or leave a comment on here if you'd like a place saving. Just £22.50 for the whole day.

We're handing over the prem baby clothes to the hospital tomorrow - we reached the grand total of 70 hats plus 4 blankets and lots more cardiagns, mittens and bootees. So proud of everyone for doing all this work - those things are so cute and they'll be really appreciated by the parents and hospital staff. Thanks!

Not sure if you'll all have seen the recent, local appeal for 'bad taste' Christmas jumpers for soldiers? Four weeks might be a bit of a push for some people to make a mansize, patterned jumper but the women requesting the jumpers have said they'll also be grateful for hats, scarves, etc with a Christmas theme. Details are posted on Lucy Lamb at present but if you're not calling in the shop for a while just email me and I'll give you the lowdown.

Okay, finally, it's Halloween! Anyone else left cold by it? No? Just me then? I'm such a Halloween party pooper! But I must say the other Piece Hall traders looked fantastic dressed up yesterday. So much so that I wasn't always sure who was really who...

Have a good week. And don't forget the Lucet Workshop would be a great you-time day before the madness of Christmas begins for real.

Saturday, 23 October 2010

A little competition's a good thing, right?

Okay, so here's a little competition...

What I've done - and I like to think this was pretty darn clever - is to tap into the Totally Locally Fiver Fest promotion. So, what I want you to do is either count up, or just guess, the number of lines we stock in the shop which cost five pounds or less. You don't need to count each individual greetings card, but different types of yarn need to be included separately - some cost less than a fiver and some cost more.

When you have your total, email it to me at:
or just write it down with your contact details and hand it in at the shop. You don't need to include what you've counted - just the final number will be fine.

The competition ends on the last day of November and it'll be that day's total lines I'll be taking as the definitive answer. I'll notify the winner the following week.

The prize is two hanks of the gorgeous Noro Yuzen, which is 34% silk and knits up beautifully, so don't forget to enter!

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Don't mention the C word

I know what you're thinking...Christmas. But no, not that C word. The one I'm thinking of is Copyright. If you want the ins and outs of copyright, you'd need to go onto ravelry to check out the numerous long and depressing debates there have been on the rights and wrongs of the situation, allowing all the while for the fact that the relevant laws vary from country to country. (You'll need to set aside at least three weeks because the debates are long, convoluted, often ill-humoured and tend to go round in circles.)

In the meantime, all I can say, sorry, I'd love to be able to photocopy patterns for you, particularly when they're only made available in collections that cost nearly £10, but it's illegal and it would also deprive the original designer of the cash they're due from the sale of their work. So I can't.


Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Ready for a quiet week now...

Well, we had a great time over the two days of the 15th and 16th, altho' sitting in a chair knitting for several hours each day was surprisingly exhausting! Thank you to all those people who took part, all who brought along 'one (or more) they'd made earlier' and those who took yarn home with them on Saturday with the intention of finishing something to drop into the shop sometime this week, not forgetting those who donated wool, drinks and biscuits. Phew.

Because items are still dribbling in I can't be sure of the final tally, but so far there are 48 hats in various styles and sizes, about 15 little cardigans, 6 or 7 sets of mittens and bootees, and finally 2 blankets. (I'm halfway through a third one myself so will have to get a shift on to finish that this week.)

Not sure when or how the handover will take place - low key or fanfare? Can't decide...

In the meantime tho' I think we've decided that the knitathon should be an annual event. Mark it in your diaries for next October! Here are just a few of this year's goodies...

Sunday, 10 October 2010

What am I like??

I forgot to tell you that anyone taking part in the Knitathon next Friday and Saturday will get 10% off any purchases made while they're taking part! Which means, of course, that you can do your bit for a good cause and grab a bargain at the same time...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Charity Knitathon

I really need to learn how to add a few bells, whistles and tricks for this blog - otherwise I won't sufficiently grab your attention with news of...THE THREE BAGS FULL KNITATHON!!

All knitters and crocheters are warmly invited to join us at the shop knitting clothes for premature babies over the two day period: 15th to 16th October. If you can offer maybe half an hour or an hour while you're shopping in town that would be brilliant. Seems like baby clothes for prem babies are always in demand - presumably when baby goes home the clothes do too, so the hospitals need a never-ending supply. The clothes we make will be handed over or sent along to our local hospital, Calderdale Royal. (Altho' they don't know it yet!)

We have some baby wool (altho' if you have some spare baby acrylic, please bring it along) and we have patterns for both knitting and crochet, but if you could remember needles and hooks that would be great.

Alongside our Knitathon, on the 15th - which is towards the end of Knitting Week, Wool Week and Mental Health Week - Refresh Café in the Piece Hall is also hosting a big one-off knitting group to publicise the mental and physical health benefits of knitting and other crafts. So you could spend a little time with us and a little time with them. One stone; two birds. Besides I've tasted the Refresh chocolate cake and it's pretty good.

Sunday, 12 September 2010

The hard sell...

...doesn't come naturally to me. When people buy enough wool for a jumper I have to stop myself from saying 'Are you sure you want all that?'. It's not a good trait in a shop owner. So, I'm acting all out of character here and mentioning two or three non-yarny things in the shop which I particularly like, in the hope you might like them too.

First up:

These are Knock On Effect shoulder bags sold through the shop to raise money for - you guessed it - The Knock On Effect, which is a fund-raising project started by my teenage niece, Rosie. They're good value (just £6), environmentally friendly, they raise money for cancer relief charities and they look good. Be honest, what more could you ask for?

Then we have:

Yes, these are buttons. It'd be hard to show you on a blog the brilliant selection of buttons we have at the shop, but we have duck buttons, smiley face buttons, shell buttons, wood buttons, modern ones, classic ones, big ones, little ones, buttons like cars, flowers, DIY tools, dogs...well, we just have loads of buttons. And every one is gorgeously gorgeous. The main range costs £4.25 a card and the number of buttons on the card depends on their size. Others start from £1 for 5.

And finally:

How cute is he? Four inches tall and safe for children from 12 months, £2.45 each. You can't resist, can you?

I don't have a website yet but send me an email ( if you want anything, or just need some info.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Ho hum

I should have a website - of course, I should! I have a blog; I have a ravelry presence; I'm planning a newsletter. But what I need is a website. Because - and this frustrates me no end - people assume buying from a website will be cheaper than buying from a shop. Particularly those people who walk past my shop, muttering: 'It's expensive in there!'
I want to drag them in by the scruff and make them look at the show them the print outs of websites quoting more than Three Bags Full for various point out the ebay advert offering one yarn at lots more than we're charging, plus postage on top.

But what's a shop owner to do?

Get a website, that's what.

I'm working on it.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

An accidental cup holder

I know what you're thinking...what's an accidental cup?

What I was trying to 'design' was a sampler scarf to use in lessons for beginner knitters - the quotes are because I'm not sure just how much designing most people would feel a scarf requires. Anyway, I knitted up a scale model in this icky spare yarn I bought about thirty years ago, looked at my paper cup of hot tea and - bingo! - in my mind it became a cup holder. Accidentally.

Monday, 23 August 2010

How We Used to Live and a Fund-Raising Quiz

Okay, next week we have Bank Holiday Monday and vintage day in The Piece Hall - a celebration of the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, under the title How We Used to Live. In a weak moment I promised to wear my sixties mini, which might have been a mistake - I think I was about fifteen years younger last time I wore it - so I'm hoping I'm not going to be the only one making a fool of myself (sorry, I mean dressing the part).

Anyway, at Three Bags Full we're having a Retro Knitting Quiz based on those old sepia-tinted A5 size patterns everyone's mum used to use. I might even find a few to display on the day. Proceeds will go to The Mayfield Trust, which used to be known as Calderdale Mencap.

Here are the questions in case you'd like to give them some thought in advance...

1. Back in the days when 4ply was the most popular knitting yarn for children’s clothes, what kind of weight was Quickerknit?

2. Wool used to be sold in ounce balls. How many would you need to knit a scarf taking 300g?

3. In the old days we knitted on needle sizes such as 9s and 7s or 10s and 8s. If a 1960s pattern requires one pair of size 11s and one pair of size 9s, which modern needle sizes would you use?

4. What did the abbreviation ‘P & B’ refer to?

5. What was an angel top?

6. If a pattern cost 6d in 1959, what was the price in decimal money?

7. What might a pram set have consisted of?

8. Can you remember what was made under the Queen Bee brand?

9. What does the abbreviation ‘w.f.’ mean?

10. Which wool company made Majestic 4 ply?

Not too difficult, eh? There's a 100g hank of Fyberspates Scrumptious DK for the winner.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

On the go

Well, I'm preening myself just a little. After I've been wondering whether I'm actually a good enough knitter to teach anyone else, a visitor to the shop this afternoon spent a few minutes marvelling at the speed at which I knit 1x1 rib and told her friend it was a 'terrifically efficient' way of doing it. (I knit the northern way, one needle clamped under my arm, but I'm not convinced I'm particularly speedy.) Anyway, it gave me a warm glow for a while because I'd thought she was going to tell me I was doing something wrong. I spend my life thinking someone's going to tell me I'm doing something wrong.

Ongoing many projects do you have on the go at once? I have six I think: two at home and four at work. Above are the four work-based ones. At the front we have - I can hardly believe it myself - a dishcloth. Dishcloth-knitting seems big business in the US so I gave it a go just so I could say that I had.

The other items are:

a baby bolero which will be a sample garment in the shop

a girl's jumper from an authentic 50s/60s pattern in readiness for the vintage day taking place at The Piece Hall on Bank Holiday Monday

a pair of baby socks, just because I could really. I mean how cute are baby socks? And I need the four needle practice.

What about you? Do you limit yourself to one item at once? Surely not.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

America's Knitting

A lovely lady from ravelry - Mary - offered to feature Three Bags Full on her website, which was very kind of her as the site is really there to promote US wool shops. Anyway, if you're quick, you might just catch the photos and short write-up at:
before it is superseded by a different shop. And, thanks again, Mary!

Friday, 6 August 2010


Okay, so earlier this week I was in Halifax Marks & Spencer, and who's at the next checkout but the lovely Jane Cox who plays Lisa Dingle in Emmerdale. This is quite fruitful Emmerdale-actor-spotting territory. Not M & S particularly, you understand, but the area generally. And she looks lovely and friendly and like she really wouldn't mind if I asked: 'Do you knit?;' Do you shop in the Piece Hall?'; 'Does Eli talk like that in real life?' But of course, I don't! But how cool would that be, if she came into Three Bags Full? Anyway, this is my plan for the autumn: to persuade a major soap that we need a main character to develop a passion for knitting. Would raise knitting's profile no end... And if that character were young and glam then that would broaden the base of the usual knittery clientele...
(Image courtesy of

On a totally different kind of lovely person... On Monday a lady from Wales called in the shop and was telling me how popular cravat scarves are at the moment. I'd not heard of this, but she said she'd send me the pattern and left. I thought no more about it but three days later, the pattern arrived. Isn't that kind? So, I'm trying it to start with in some wool I've had for many years, but I think it's also helped with a design problem I had with a TBF child's scarf I was trying to write a pattern for. Sorted! To Grace in Wales, thanks very much, and God Bless to you too!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Back home!

So, we're home from Rotterdam and I never got to see the one and only wool shop in the city. I'd researched the address, worked out how to get there but instead, we entertained ourselves - well, Joe mostly - with many boat-related activities: boat museums, boat reconstructions, boat rides, working harbours. If I don't see another boat for several months, that'll be fine with me.

But now we're back and I think I'm going to celebrate by lopping 15% or so (just over, but don't ask me to work it out exactly...) off that lovely yarn, Amalfi. Usual selling price is £3.95, but I'm going to reduce it to £3.20 for nearly two weeks - until, and including, Saturday 14th August.

You don't know Amalfi? That's it at the top of the post. It's a Debbie Bliss yarn in ice cream colours. A mix of 70% cotton, 15% viscose, 10% linen and 5% silk. A summery sort of yarn - which is probably completely the wrong thing to say when the rain's been lashing down for the last hour or so.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

Holiday time!

Just a brief note to say Three Bags Full will close this teatime (Friday
23rd) and re-open Saturday 31st.

When we get back I'm hoping to make a start on organising the second knitting group and on setting up some small group, basic knitting lessons. I thought I'd limit the classes to five people so everyone gets lots of personal attention - and so far, without advertising, I have four names on the list! Knitting's definitely on the up!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

I knew I'd forgotten something!

Fyberspates! We have Fyberspates laceweight yarn too! How could I forget that?

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Back to basics

It's such a great job filling a shop with beautiful yarns and we think we've chosen some corkers. If you don't find what you'd like, let me know.

At the moment we have:

Debbie Bliss - huge range of Baby Cashmerino, the Rialtos, Fez and Amalfi
Araucania Ranco sock wool
Cygnet sock wool and Aran (both Truly Wool Rich)
Mirasol K'Acha DK and Akapana aran
Patons wools and cottons - lots!
Artesano - loads of gorgeous alpaca and superwash merino
Yeoman Yarns - a range of cottons and acrylics, mostly on cones - can be used by handknitters and machine knitters alike
Recycled silk and banana fibre yarns - extensive range of 'ethnic' yarns in vibrant colours and at really reasonable prices
Noro - Kureyon aran and Yuzen DK

We're adding to these all the time.

We also have needles (altho' not as many as I'd like at the moment - the needle situation will improve from mid-August onwards), patterns, accessories, cards, tags and gifts. Oh, and gift vouchers. And if the yarn you buy is in hanks, there's a swift and ball winder available for making it into balls/cakes.

Come down and see us and tell us what you think!

Monday, 12 July 2010

Opening time!

I have a shop blog! How exciting is that??
Be back soon with news, offers, links and whatever I can think of...