Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Happy New Year!

So, that's Christmas out of the way! And new at Three Bags Full for early 2012 will be a couple of brilliant Adriafil yarns - Voila, which is a lovely soft scarf yarn (to augment our current scarfy favourites: Loopy and Can Can) and Knitcol. I was especially keen to offer the Knitcol as it's a variegated double knitting and so far all the variegated yarns we've stocked have been chunkies, arans or 4 plys, so this extends the range. Plus it's just gorgeous. More details once we're back in the shop from Friday onwards - both yarns will be going on the website as soon as Mike can take the photographs.

For now tho', enjoy your new year celebrations.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Merry Christmas!

The Three Bags Full Piece Hall shop will be closed from Christmas Eve until Friday 30th December, altho' we'll still send parcels out as soon as possible after online orders are received throughout the holiday period. In the meantime, we'd like to thank everyone for your custom this last year and wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Lovely new stuff and a new way to buy

Isn't that lovely? And what a great Christmas present for your yarn-loving friends. It's one colourway in a new range of skein of yarn necklaces by the very clever Max Alexander. They'll be on the Threebagsfulluk website by the end of the day.

Also new in are additional shades in scarf yarns, Loopy and Can Can, and a whole load of wintery Rico patterns - ponchos, scarves, headbands, jumpers - you name it...

I'm not sure if the Rico stock will make it online, but if you'd like to check if we have something in the shop that's not showing on the website (this is often simply because stocks are quite low) just email or ring and we'll check. We now have a Special Orders section on the site that makes the process easier. It works like this: you ring or email to see if we have what you want; if it's available we tot up what it'll cost and post the order (without your personal details) online; you pay via the website; we post the parcel. Simples.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Christmas opening times

Three Bags Full will be closed on Friday 16th Dec and closing at 2pm on Saturday 17th due to a family commitment. Sorry, I hope this doesn't inconvenience anyone.
Apart from that, times will be as normal until Christmas.

After the Christmas period, we'll re-open for business as usual from Friday 30th Dec.

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas, with lots of beautiful yarny presents, and a great 2012.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

More good stuff on the website

Well, this time of year it seems to be all about getting products on the website and I hope you're going to like these Three Bags Full knitting kits we've come up with - they'd make a brilliant present for the avid knitter. There's a whole range of them but if you don't see anything just right online, get in touch and we can custom create one according to your taste and your budget. If it'll fit in the tray we're happy to kit it up!
So, this is just a sample really of a kit that's suitable for a novice knitter: beautiful Mini Mochi, bamboo needles and pattern in a reuseable wicker tray, all for £13.50.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Look what I've got!

A whole Wise Hilda Basic Ribbed sock.

It's my first grown-up sock and there's a bit of nonsense under the sole where I inadvertently went a bit free-spirited and started working all the right stitches but not necessarily in the right order, but otherwise it's cosy, it fits and it's in every way perfectly sock-like.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Charlie's Ark

These very well-priced Charlie's Ark cross-stitch kits are fresh on the website today and would make a great Christmas present for a crafty friend or young person. Or a treat for yourself...

They were £8.80 and are now in the clearance section for £6.50. Grab them while you can. Spud, Emm and Zeep are on the site so far, but there's at least one more ark animal to photograph and upload.

(Your guess is as good as mine as to why the website home page can't cope with apostrophes - just can't bring myself to leave them out!)

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Done all your Christmas shopping?

No, of course you haven't - it's not even December yet. Maybe you'd like to pop down to the Piece Hall and enjoy a browse round the loovely shops here - not just Three Bags Full, but the other shops too with beautiful glassware, pagan stuff, collectables, books, you name it, we've pretty much got it covered. Oh, and we've got brass bands most weekend days this December and you can't beat a brass band playing carols to get you in the festive mood.

So...Three Bags Full present ideas. Last year one enterrpising and lovely customer brought her family in, made a few encouraging noises in the vicinty of various yarns and then discreetly disappeared while they bought what they'd surmised she'd like! Others went the more direct route of 'That's what I'd like...' However subtle or unsubtle the hints you like to drop, you could take the risk out of the operation by requesting Three bags Full gift vouchers. They start from £5 and don't have an expiry date so if we're still here in 2035 you'll be able to use them then, should you so wish.

A few things for younger knitters might be the knitting kits (just £5), or you could team up the children's needles (£1.20) with a ball of Crilly (£1.50) for an inexpensive and long-lasting gift. We also have some very dignified and high quality soft toy sheep for sale (£8.75), plus a few of the tiny lambs (£2.45) left.

For adults and children alike we have some knitted up Loopy scarves - these are £5.50 for the small adult/child version and £12.50 for the adult. Also neckwarmers, cravats and headbands at a variety of prices. These have all been knitted in best quality wools and wool/alpaca mixes.

There are knitting kits (starting at £12.50) for beginners and more experienced knitters. I can make these up with whatever yarns and needles etc you'd like or alternatively can make up kits for your crocheting friends.

And don't forget the fun and lovely Max Alexander woolly jewellery - prices range from £6.50 to £10. We have the non-sparkly versions in the shop and the sparkly ones online, and will soon be stocking Max's new design.

Not a knitter? Okay, well, we have some great sheepy notelets for £3.50!

Lots more - come and look, or browse at And don't forget for avid knitters the ideal present can be just simply a hank of exquisite yarn that they maybe wouldn't treat themselves to.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Have heard of Barenaked Ladies...

(...and I'm guessing you have too, but just in case: they're a Canadian rock band)but bare naked men? On Friday night we had a Three Bags Full table at a Cedar Court fundraising event in aid of the Forget Me Not Hospice. And when I say a table, I mean a table to sell stuff rather than (sadly) a table at which to dine. Anyway, a little perk which came our way was the continual circling with complimentary glasses of something or other - I mean, they were naked; who noticed what they were carrying? - of the aforesaid bare naked men. I'd post a photo, but I'm not sure their mothers knew what they were up to that night and would hate it to fall into the wrong hands.

It was a great idea for a fundraiser - Sex in the City evening with shopping and dining intermingled - but for us it wasn't a huge success. The atmosphere and clientele were more girls' night out than cosy woolies and crochet kits, but it's all experience. Think we'll get more into this craft fair type stuff after Christmas.

Don't forget the November offers in the shop (reduced prices on Paloma and Hipp kits and possibly other stuff I'e forgotten) end on Thursday.

Thursday, 17 November 2011


If you love beautiful lace yarns, you might like to take a look at where we presently have some lovely Fyberspates lace at reduced prices. These are really gorgeous yarns which we can't get hold of on a wholesale basis anymore so we thought we'd streamline stock, clear out these various lace yarns, and expand instead the Fyberspates Scrumptious range. Several excellent bargains, if lace is your thing!

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Great new crochet kits!

Just in time for the Christmas rush we've taken delivery of a dozen wonderful Hipp crochet shoulder bag kits. We've picked the black and 'denim grey' versions for you and they crochet up so fast you'll have your bag in no time, along with a satisfying sense of achievement.

The kit consists of a cone of yarn, crochet hook, pattern and button, all lovingly housed in a special, pretty Hipp box.

As an added bonus, while rrp is £24.99, during November only Three Bags Full price is £20.75.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Today I proudly present...

...the Debbie Bliss Cable and Teddybear Jacket.

Cute, huh?

It's from the original Baby Cashmerino pattern book. I was nervous about embroidering the teddies' faces - I was pretty certain that a misplaced thread would lead to several looking glum or angry or comical, but in the end, while one or two of them went a little awry, for the most part they look okay.

Yeah, cute.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Prize draw!

Anyone want the chance to win 50g of Austermann's Natura in a gorgeous deep purple? Or a 100g hank Manos's Silk Blend in Candy Floss shade?

All you have to do is visit our website: and then email us at to let us know how we can make it more attractive, whether in terms of content or appearance. The only thing we already know people don't like, but which we have to retain, is the need to register before ordering. We know it's a pain, but it serves some useful purpose that escapes me right now. (We don't cynically harvest the email addresses or use them for any pupose unconnected with the specific order.)

We'll be taking comments by email until the 15th November and then we'll hold the draw and post on ravelry the names of the lucky winners!

Sunday, 30 October 2011

A jacket for Barbie

I know, I know, posts deserve wittier titles, but it's Sunday morning...

Anyway, I thought I'd share with you my pattern for a jacket for Barbie. At one time I was disturbed that Barbie even existed, but a daughter who loved her soon put paid to that. And she does have her good side - for a start she's unlikely to complain about the colour or the fit or ask if you could just make the cables a shade less standy-outy, or check if her bum looks big in this. Barbie's bum doesn't look big in anything.

Okay, so you need some scraps of 4 ply and some single point 3mm and 3.25mm needles. (The latter mostly still referred to by Three Bags Full customers as 10s.)


tk - knit the second stitch on the left hand needle (keeping it on the needle) then knit the first stitch on the left hand needle and let them both drop off the needle together.
c6b - put the next 3 stitches onto a cable needle and hold to the back of the work. Knit the next 3 stitches on the left hand needle, then knit the three from the cable needle.
co - cast off

Back and fronts together:
Using 3mm needles, cast on 42 stitches.
Work 4 rows of 2x2 rib
Change to 3.25mm needles and proceed as follows:
Row 1: k2, p2, tk, p2, tk, p4, tk, p2, c6b, p2, tk, p4, tk, p2, tk, p2, k2
Row 2: p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k4, p2, k2, p6, k2, p2, k4, p2, k2, p2, k2, p2
Row 3: Work as row 1, except for the central 6, where you should knit 6
Row 4: Work as row 2

Repeat these 4 rows a further 4 times.

Next row, divide at armholes: pattern 9 stitches, co2, pattern 19 (20 on needle since last cast off), co2, pattern to end

Continue to work on first 9 stitches (left front) only for a further 10 rows, without shaping, in pattern as set
Next row: co2 at start of row
Next row: k2 together at end of row
Next row: co remaining 6 stitches

Rejoin yarn to next set of 20 stitches (the back) and work on these only, working pattern rows 2-4, then 2 full 4-row patterns, then row 1.
Next row: co6 at beginning of this row
Next row: co6 at beginning of this row

Rejoin yarn to last set of stitches (right front) and work these to match the left front, but work 9 rows without shaping rather than 10.

Armhole edging: with 3 mm needles, pick up 20 stitches around each armhole and work 3 rows of 1x1 rib. Cast off.

Front edging: Pick up 22 stitches down each front.
Left side: work 4 rows 1x1 rib.
Right side: work 2 rows 1x1 rib.
Next row: work in 1x1 rib, making a buttonhole by casting off 2 stitch in a fairly central position (it's not crucial where - Barbie's not going to whinge about it.)
Next row: work in 1x1 rib, casting on one stitch where you cast it off on the previous row
Next row: work in 1x1 rib
Cast off.

Sew up the shoulder seams and ribbing around the armholes.

Collar: with right side facing, pick up 28 stitches along the top of the front ribbing, front piece, back piece, second front, then the top of the ribbing at the other side. Work 12 rows 1x1 rib, then cast off.

Sew on a button to correspond with the position of the buttonhole, and sew in all ends.

Headband: you could doubtless work this out for yourself...cast on 28 stitches, work 2 rows of 2x2 rib, then cast off and sew up. Easiest thing ever, but it finishes off the outfit nicely.

I'm hoping there aren't any mistakes in this but if there are, please let me know. And if you make it successfully and would like to send me a photo I'd love to see your version.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Debbie Bliss Paloma

I'm loving the new super chunky yarns this winter and this one, Debbie Bliss's Paloma, is one of my favourites. It's soft, it's light and it comes in great colours. What more could you ask?

Ok, you could ask for a good price, I suppose. Recommended retail price is £6.50 per 50g hank, but at Three Bags Full, both online and in the shop, we're offering it for £5.50 till December. That gives you lots of time to knit up a few luxury scarves for Christmas presents.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Gorgeous new stitchmarkers

Have just uploaded lots of lovely, locally made stitchmarkers to the 'special stuff' section of the website. They range from the very beautiful to the extremely cute - a great present for your knitting friends, or for you if you love useful things that are also pretty.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Artesano Superchunky

Since this arrived two or three weeks ago I keep picking up the odd hank and knitting with it, simply because it's so gorgeously substantial and warm. And the good news is that we've now added it to the website:

We have seven colours available, plus the great little A5 booklet that Artesano have produced. And Three Bags Full price for the superchunky is £8.25, as opposed to rrp of £8.75. That's not just for a week or two, or while you've got a coupon available to you, or whatever. That's for the forseeable future.

And, don't forget, there's free carriage to UK mainland addresses for orders over £15.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Chirpy, chirpy, cheap, cheap

A couple more bargains on the website...

Mondial Merino Sport - a great value 100% wool yarn in bold colours. We've decided to reduce this because to be honest we need the space in the shop for the new superchunkies...

Mirasol K'Acha - a high end mix of merino, alpaca and silk. Anything with silk in is gorgeous and anything with alpaca in it is extra warm so how could you lose with this one? No idea why Mirasol have discontinued it, but their loss is your gain.

I've also added a one-off purchase of worsted-spun Woodland Whiteface 4ply,which will be great for your dyeing and felting needs and is a super value price. The Woodland Whiteface sheep is native to the South Pennines so it's great to have this particular wool available, if only for a short time.

Full details at

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

To twitter or not to twitter

My daughter says twitter's for following celebs and for young people, which she feels rules me very well out. My friend says she's seen a boost in her ratings since she started using it to promote her business. Google tells me that users use software programmes to follow and unfollow tweeters and, to be honest, if people aren't really interested in what you're saying - they're just pretending to follow you so you'll pretend to follow them - well, what's the point?

I much prefer wool and needles and making things to all this promotional stuff, but you do need the promotional side to run a business. Our aim is for the shop to be friendly, helpful, and offer great yarns at good prices. At present I don't think that's coming across...but would twitter help? Who knows?

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Super Superchunky

The Artesano Superchunky is one of my favourites of the new chunky yarns we have in stock - the other one I really like is Debbie Bliss's Paloma. Anyway, Artesano have brought a good little pattern book out with several small project ideas that take three or four hanks. But I decided that maybe people would like something that they could make out of just one hank. And so here we have the One hour One Hank Neckwarmer. I can't deny it's heavily inspired by Danielle Landes's Hubby Approved Neckwarmer, but clearly the benefit is that it knits up much faster as it's in a much thicker yarn.

If you'd like to make one of your own:

Using 12mm needles, cast on 11 stitches.
Work 46 rows in single rib, while working the first stitch of each row as a
s1p and the last stitch of every row as a k1tbl.
After 46 rows, make a button hole by casting off the middle stitch on the 47th row, then on the 48th row, casting one on to cover the gap.
Work 6 more rows as before.
Cast off in rib.
Sew on button (I use big, vintage buttons.Buttons are fast becoming a passion.)

If you have a problem at all, email me and I'll send you the proper, written-out-in-detail pattern instructions.

You should find that this works for one hank with just a few yards of yarn to spare, so I can't guarantee you'd manage it with a different superchunky!

Even if you're making this for someone else's Christmas present, try it on once it's finished. You'll be amazed how soft and warm it is. I'm not a neckwarmer type of person generally, but I might make an exception in this case.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

On my needles...

This is the Debbie Bliss Cable and Teddybear Jacket from the first Baby Cashmerino pattern book, and it's lovely. But annoying. Seems like a showy-offy pattern to me, but maybe that's just because I'm not a big fan of fashioning cables that need not one, but two, cable needles. I'm not big on referring back to earlier rows: I don't want to work it like row whatever, I want you to tell me what to do! And I'm not thrilled with having to endlessly shift about between a series of pages with charts and long lists of abbreviations.

But still, I like a challenge and it's going to be so gorgeous when it's finished...

Monday, 12 September 2011

A great time of year...

I know, the nights are drawing in, the weather's turning blustery and cold, but still for knitters this must be the best time of year. All those long evenings to fill with knitting, crochet and other crafts; all those great things to make.

The shop's getting busier - people are planning their winter woolies and Christmas presents for knitworthy friends and relatives. And in response, we've got loads of new stock - lots of lovely patterns, plus Patons brilliant and soft Colour Works Aran and Louisa Harding's Grace. For anyone intending to make small project presents, the Three Graces pattern booklet has some lovely ideas. We've got the standard Grace and are awaiting delivery of the gorgeous and classy Beaded Grace. And there's colours of the Artesano superwash double knitting are in stock, two new superchunkies from Debbie Bliss and Artesano are on order and I'm hoping to order a variegated DK weight this week. Wonder how quickly we can get these on the website?

Who needs summer?

(PS Don't forget the Food and Drink Festival at the Piece Hall this weekend. Three days of celebrity chefs and local delicacies.)

Sunday, 4 September 2011

British Wool Weekend

Well, we've spent a couple of lovely hours this afternoon mooching round the first British Wool Weekend in Harrogate - lovely and relaxed atmosphere with gorgeous yarn, buttons and other fibrery stuff on sale for very reasonable prices. But honestly, someone needs to slap me round the head now and then and remind me I have a wool shop, because can I resist buying yet more wool for myself? No, of course I can't! I'm now the proud new owner of some lovely buttons, 200g of pretty silk bouclé and 400g of unspun beauty, which is going to necessitate me indulging myself further with a drop spindle. It's either that or begging someone else to spin it for me, but I fancy going down the drop spindle route first. I like a challenge.

Congratulations to June, who organised the whole thing. Looking forward to next year's already.

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Never Not Knitting

To augment the selection of Patons pattern booklets, Debbie Bliss booklets and the lovely Fingertips glove designs, I've spent this morning uploading to the website eleven beautiful patterns from United States designer, Alana Dakos, who designs as Never Not Knitting. Do have a look because they're something a bit special: each one is a four-sided, colour-co-ordinated work of art giving detailed instructions for making tops, dresses and accessories for women and little girls. Just lovely!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

What do you look for... an online shop?

Okay, it's probably a rhetorical question if blogger's blocking comments again, but anyway, I ask because I'm watching with interest and frustration the rise and rise of one particular online yarn retailer whose customer service is said to be excellent and whose stock is huge, but whose prices are...well, quite high really. Well over rrp, in some cases. And yet customers are lining up to testify how great they are.

How do they do that? It seems to be the result of simply very aggressive marketing. For eample, adverts paid for on websites which find the lowest priced products give an impression of good value/low prices even though the company might actually be the most expensive. Very clever.

Well, I'm inclined to hope that if you offer a good product at a reasonable price coupled with your own excellent customer support, eventually people will notice and come to appreciate your service and quality. Or maybe they won't! Time will tell. But yesterday we received our first, lovely, unsolicited note thanking us for 'first class service'. It's a start.

Happy yarn buying, y'all!

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Just off the needles

Quite some time ago it seemed like a great idea to knit a scarf which looked like a row of dominoes for my niece who runs a fund-raising project - The Knock On Effect - which has a domino as its symbol. Several months and lots of reversible knitting later, I was wondering whether she'd also think it was a good idea or whether it was just plain daft...

Here it is anyway!

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Those silly sheep

They get everywhere. These ones are being rounded up on the roundabout between Filey and Bridlington. Cute, huh?

Saturday, 23 July 2011

British Wool Weekend

Just a little plug for British Wool Weekend, which is taking place in Hall 2 of the Event Centre at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate over the first weekend of September. I love British wool - we have several types at Three Bags Full, including Blue Faced Leicester DK, Wensleydale and Jacob arans and Whitefaced Woodland 4 ply - and here's a show aimed at promoting it and supporting the farmers who produce it (okay, the sheep have a part to play there too...) and the craftspeople who use it.

If this sounds like your sort of thing, take a look at: for more details or ring organiser June Onigbanjo on 07790 391142.

See you there!

Friday, 15 July 2011

Celebrating sock yarn

I like to think we have a pretty good selection of sock wools at Three Bags Full,so here's a run down of what we have on offer...and don't forget, all these little beauties can be used for general 4 ply purposes as well as for socks.

Up first, we have the fantabulous Araucania Ranco. Hand-dyed and heathery, it comes in a multitude of semi-solids and multis, and it knits up a dream. This is just a small sample.

Then there's Austermann Step - beautifully soft and self-striping, infused with aloe vera and jojoba oil. Each colourway cleverly knits up into a slightly different pattern.

And now, a more traditional sock yarn: Cygnet Truly Wool Rich 4ply. Wonderful quality, great prices, a mix of pretty pinks and blues alongside more conservative school or office greys and sages. I've knitted with this one myself on small projects and am incubating a more long-term plan to knit myself a vintage close-fitting sweater in it. Lana Turner eat your heart out.

And finally, for your delectation and delight...Mini Mochi. Gorgeous colour changes reminiscent of fireworks, retro sweets and rainbows.

These are all available from the website:, except the Mini Mochi, altho' we'll also offer mail order on that one if you ring or email us.

Phew, hard sell over. Did I do okay?

Sunday, 10 July 2011

All decked up!

Here's the Piece Hall in all its knitted frilly and flounciness for the Festival.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Time to stop vining

A couple of the leafy, flowery vines I've made for the knitted graffiti project. Can't stop yet tho' - have got another two similar to these to make. The i-cord's all done, thanks to my super-quick french knitting mill, so I just need a few more flowers and leaves, and then we're all set for decking up next Friday evening.

Lots of lovely knitted decorations have already been handed in at Square Chapel, so come along from the 9th July onwards to see what we've done to the Piece Hall and Woolshops - should look pretty good.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Shortbread sheep anyone?

Anniversary day today, so we brought in home-made lamby biscuits for anyone craving a sugar buzz. I did initially try to ice them but even though that didn't work out, they still tasted pretty good. (No sheep were harmed in the making of these biscuits...)

This lovely fellow meanwhile was made by Suzanne, who runs the local knitting group at The Sportsman Inn and was an anniversary gift. Thank you!

It was a lovely day of meeting up with people I haven't seen for years and greeting a few new customers and selling a few of the quiz sheets in aid of local charity, The Mayfield Trust. Not much knitting done, but that's what evenings are for, right?

Thanks to everyone who came - hope we see you again.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Saturday 25th June

I can't believe we've been open a whole year! This Saturday marks our one-year anniversary - well, one year and 2 or 3 weeks as the original official opening was after we'd been open a little while. So, what's occurring? Well...

10% off everything all day.

Brilliant bran tub - I know everyone who had a go at this last year was very pleased with their prizes. Every prize is worth at least the entry charge of £1 and most are worth considerably more.

Charity quiz - support the Mayfield Trust (formerly known as Calderdale Mencap) by taking part in our charity quiz. Just 50p a go and you could end up winning a TBF gift voucher.

Free sheepy biscuits for those who arrive early enough.

Interested? We'll be open as usual 10am-4pm and would love to see you.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Some people can wear shawls

(picture credit: the Kate Middletons of this world, for example. And some can't. Having been through the whole shawl thing back in the early seventies, I'm now firmly in the latter camp. Wearing a shawl, I look like I'm either off to the opera or attempting a fey, hippie, flower-child look that wouldn't have succeeded even back in the day.

And yet...just recently, a lovely customer called in to show me a gorgeous, green shawl she'd made from soft alpaca 4 ply. She'd wrapped it firmly around her shoulders and fastened it with a scarf pin. She looked exquisite and all I could think was: 'Wow, I wouldn't have thought to use alpaca. Or 4 ply. Or dark green. But it looks sensational!'

So, I'm going to give a shawl a go. Or, at any rate, I'm going to add it to my list.

Meanwhile, here are a few of my flowers for the knitting graffiti. Not brilliant or perfectly executed, but jolly and colourful and that's probably all that's needed.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

The photo's not the best, due to a breakdown in communication between the person who commissioned it (me) and the person who took it (Mike). Still, it serves to illustrate the fact that, for this week only, we have a small selection of tasteful and lovely Father's Day presents in the shop, starting at the pocket money price of £2! If the dad in question likes his real ale, then he'll love these things - lovely prints of Halifax pubs old and new, and other beer-related artistry. We also have a small range of handmade Father's Day cards. Come and take a look! Just if you'd like to...

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Three Bags Full online shop!!

We have a website! At last! (And way too many exclamation marks!)

Okay, deep breaths...

The Three Bags Full website and online shop is now open and ready for your visit. I'd love to hear what people think of the site, although there are still one or two bits of things that need tweaking...some photos and text to add. And I'll be adding more stock as time goes on.

If you have time, please take a look at:


Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Knitting in public - just do it

There was a short discussion on ravelry recently after a member expressed her ‘immediate annoyance’ at a blog entry on I’ll save you the trouble of reading it by telling you it’s basically an ex-knitter saying that there are no situations in which knitting in public is appropriate. And furthermore, there’s no way to look cool when you’re knitting unless you’re Sarah Jessica Parker.

Hmmmn, what do you think? It doesn’t strike me as anything to get immediately annoyed about. Unless you’re a knitter and the blog writer’s your mother. But I don’t really get this thing of being annoyed – immediately or otherwise - by the opinions of some random person on the internet that you’re never going to meet and who has no influence over what you do. What a waste of energy. Like one poster said, there are people whose opinions you should care about but this lady isn’t one of them. Plus, she was obviously trying to be funny and she’s hardly in Frankie Boyle’s league for causing offence while in pursuit of humour, is she? I wonder if she’s at all worried about making random ravellers annoyed – probably not. I reckon it’s ratcheted up her blog visitor stats nicely.

Anyway, knitting in public...have to admit - and this is a biggie for a wool shop owner - I’m not a big fan of Worldwide Knit in Public Day. My plans for an event locally fell apart, but I was only ever planning something because I felt I should, and that’s never a good reason for doing anything. The way I see it tho’, I knit in public anyway, so I’m already living it. And I can’t be doing with the ‘look at me, I’m knitting’ aspect. The only way we’ll get knitting in public to be seen as normal is to just do it. Not to do it while proclaiming about it, which in itself makes it something special. Well, that’s how it seems to me anyway. Please don’t be immediately annoyed with me.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Well, it all went exceedingly well at the Rag Market, despite the in-two-minds-about-it-all look on my face in the picture above. Lots of great stalls to browse, lots of friendly people around and lots of tea and cake. Not a bad way to spend Sunday afternoon. When can we do it again?

In other news, I'd have liked to put in a link to the Woodland Trust's site encouraging knitters to knit native bluebells, but blogger's not up for that tonight. Anyway, is where it's at. Try to ignore the slightly gynaecological look to the knitted bluebell. It's a cute idea and if I wasn't up to my eyes in knitting flowers for the yarn bombing, I'd give it a go. I might visit some woods tho', just to show willing.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

A benign kind of bombing

(photo credit: Mike Hodgson)

Is the use of the terms graffiti and bombing in relation to yarn aimed at making knitters sound edgy? Definitely sounds edgier than I generally am. But no matter the terminology, the effect is generally colourful and lovely. ('Lovely'- now there's a good knitters' word. I know, I know, stereotyping! I should just speak for myself...)

Anyway we're busy knitting graffiti and preparing our yarn bombs in Halifax at present. Woolshops and the Piece Hall will be transformed by all sorts of yarn creations as part of the Halifax Festival in July. Not limited to knitting - can you crochet? weave? plait? - and not limited to straight rectangles to fasten round old stone pillars. Knitted bunting's been mentioned for a start...

If you'd like to take part, contact Festival Organiser Lucy: Or if you'd simply like to see the finished effect, we'll be decorating on the 8th July and I think the graffiti's being left in place for a week or two, weather and other variables permitting.

PS No, I know that tree above's not yarn bombed. Not sure what it was covered in - looked like plasticy foamy stuff, but it was a nice surprise down an otherwise pretty standard shopping street. Nice touch, Hull.

Friday, 13 May 2011

This n' that

Seems to be a lot of illness and general medical problems among the Three Bags Full knitters and their loved ones at the moment, so here's hoping everyone affected gets well very soon. Take care, all of you!

A couple of exciting bits of news...well, exciting for me anyway, and Mike, who's taken about six hundred pictures recently without complaining once. Even when I made him late for the cricket... Anyway, we're hoping that by the end of May the new Three Bags Full website and online shop will be operational - yay! Still inputting at present, but as soon as everything's on we can go live. Have returned to my setting-up-shop state of extreme worry, stress and sleeplessness coupled with I-can't-wait. Will post the address a bit nearer the date.

The other thing we're looking forward to is the Rag Market at Bradshaw Church in Halifax on 22nd May. This'll be the first time we've done anything like this so it'll be very interesting and a learning experience, I'm sure - which generally means a great chance to make loads of mistakes, but hey, it should be fun. Come along!

Thursday, 5 May 2011

So, what do you think of this young man? Pretty handsome, I reckon. He was a little present on Tuesday from a customer (thank you!) who makes lots of soft toys, so now he keeps me company by the desk.

Hmmm, I did try to post also about the Patons 'flower fairies' pattern, which is a recent runaway success, but blogger's not just to say, if you're a knitter of toys and you haven't seen this, check it out. Its official name is something like Four Dolls in Smoothie, which well and truly covers up its appeal. At Three Bags Full we're awaiting new supplies, but most shops will have it, I'm sure - it's too lovely not to stock. A word of caution, if you're inclined to go the ebay route, just watch that the price is right...

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Libraries and wool shops

On 5th April, politician John Redwood wrote a blog entry, the gist of which was reported as: libraries are too middle class and should be shut down. I don't often comment on blogs but I did on this occasion, because it was such a mad thing to suggest coming hot on the heels of the decimation of the sub Post Office network, the slashing of funding for adult ed courses, the closures of pubs, etc, etc. These all offered the chance for the kind of informal contact that can make a huge difference to people's lives - and they're all disappearing. And now he wants to shut libraries too! For goodness sake, libraries are important, not just for their official purposes - borrowing books and using the computer and self-education - they're important as a place where everyone can go. And even if they're mostly used by the middle classes - whoever they might be - are middle-class people never lonely? Never in need of a friendly word or a place to sit and feel like they belong? While the government bangs on about the Big Society, chances for neighbours to get to know each other are rapidly diminishing.

Anyway, I commented to this effect. For a few days my response appeared on my own computer as 'Your comment is being moderated'. Then it was moderated out of existence. Wow, I must've been REALLY controversial.

But fear not, knitters and crocheters! You, at least, can go sit and knit in your local wool shop, feel welcome and chat with like-minded people. Quiet or gregarious, skilled or beginner, come along sometime and put the world to rights while you practise your purls and improve your intarsia.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Loyalty pays off...

Today at Three Bags Full our first customer became eligible for a 40% discount on their next purchase, according to the loyalty scheme we're running till the end of October. Yay! Felt like a milestone. A nice one.

The lace is progressing well, thanks. The knitting in progress or in the pipeline now reads as:

3 scarves - the lace one, one that's reversible and one in alpaca for a Christmas present

the 4 ply gloves - I so want these to be as beautiful as they are on the pattern picture that it's stopping me from getting on with them. I need to get a grip

the waistcoat - meant as a shop sample but it was taking lots of time and lots of wool so in the end I decided I'd just buy the wool myself and keep it for me. Mirasol K'Acha. Beautiful but not a great seller. I wonder why? - maybe I should move stuff round a bit

Debbie Bliss Angel short shrug - this one really is a shop sample. Very pretty.

Lovely, plain V-neck jumper - for a non-knitting friend

Debbie Bliss cardigan with teddies on for my cousin. Cute. She's grateful I'm knitting it; I'm grateful for the chance to try the pattern and Baby Cashmerino, which I've never used before.

Occasionally someone will come in the shop who only ever has one project on the go at once. I haven't quite got the hang of that.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Is lace-weight for the fearless? Are lifelines for cissies?

(Photo courtesy:

I'm not a big follower of the current knitting fashion for making beautiful, intricate, fine lace shawls, shawlettes and stoles. I can appreciate the enormous skill that's gone into them and can see them as the items of true gorgeousness that they are, but it's not an ambition of mine to be able to make one. The ratio of pleasure and potential use v. amount of effort expended would be all out of kilter.

But that was before I bought a vintage dress in pale pistachio from Purple Rabbit. The very item it needed to complete the look was a lacey scarf. Just rectangular, basic lace - nothing too fancy. I'm not a fancy sort of girl. So I chose a simple lace stitch from the stitch directory and some Natural Dye Studio oyster lace silk, and started knitting.

Then I made a mistake and started again. Then I counted up and had the wrong number of stitches, so I started again. In fact, I started over lots of times. Finally, after about eight attempts, I think I've got it. I've reached a stage where I can see when I'm doing the wrong thing in the wrong place and can adjust it to make it right.

Why so slow and stupid? Well…1) my eyesight isn't as good as it used to be, plus 2) I have two cups of coffee first thing, which isn't exactly excessive, but nevertheless it makes me shake ever so slightly - a disaster for lace knitting, and finally… 3) the oyster colour of the yarn is exactly the same shade as the aluminium needles I'm using. Thrice woe.

A lifeline or two seems a good idea, but I like to think I'm a fearless knitter, eschew such sensible precautions and with only a little grouse or two, will start over completely if I go irredeemably wrong. Anyone with 1042 stitches on their needles for a more intricate triangular shawl might feel differently. This is a mere 47 - I know, I'm playing at it, aren't I?

I'll take a photo next time the knitting and the camera are in the same place…for now, imagine something ivory-coloured and simple, where the beauty of the object comes almost entirely from the quality of the wool and the simple stitch pattern, rather than from any skill on the part of the knitter.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

How about a Sing?

I found myself at a Piece Hall events meeting the other night. It was a mistake - I shouldn't have been there, but anyway...

My not-very-well-received suggestion was that we should resurrect the old Halifax Sings from the 19th century. You can find a little information about these on Malcolm Bull's excellent Calderdale Companion site, but basically all the Sunday Schools in the area got together and sang in the Piece Hall at five year intervals over a period of about forty years. The few pictures available show the place heaving with people.

I suppose the big Sunday School era might be over, but people love to sing and if we got a few school choirs involved there'd be automatic interest and attendance from the proud mums and dads. If we got the churches involved there'd be the congregations. (In fact, why don't the churches organise something like this?) If we involved other faiths there'd be an inter-faith element. If we got a brass band or two involved that'd be even better...

It'd be brilliant to see the place full of people singing, even just as a one-off. Not in this case to make money or increase trade, but just to make people happy. There's nothing like a bit of communal singing to make you feel good.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Free sock pattern

Please ask if you'd like a free 2-needle sock pattern to go alongside your purchase of beautiful, hand-dyed Ranco. I've only got about a dozen of the patterns, so don't delay!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Hare or tortoise?

How do you like your knitting? - fast and furious? slowish and relaxed? I like to have a few projects on the go so I can choose to either concentrate or zip along, depending on what else I'm doing at the same time. Anyway, these are two of my recent projects...

Not sure if it's immediately obvious what they have in common:

Yes, I know they're both pink! Apart from that, I mean...

Okay, I'll tell you: they're both yarns that take a bit of getting used to. Rico's Loopy (above) is, if anything, even faster to knit with than its sister yarn, Can Can. And Debbie Bliss's soft mohairy Angel is much hairier than anything I'm used to knittng.

But once you've adjusted your ideas of what knitting wool is - well, they're both lovely. And part of their loveliness is another attribute they share - they're both very forgiving of mistakes. Don't tell anyone, but the Angel shrug I'm knitting as a shop sample has one or two little errors in it, and the Loopy - well, who's going to notice a purl stitch instead of a knit among that lot?

I'm liking them.