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.