Saturday, 28 September 2013

You never forget your first knit

What was your first knit? Mine was an aran jumper. I seem to remember someone suggesting a few dishcloths first, but I'm not a great one for dishcloths even now, and I thought how difficult can a few variations on knit and purl be? And so I went ahead with the aran. It came out fine and lasted several decades.

So I just had to show you this gorgeous beret, which was the first knit of Stephanie, who runs the lovely teddy bear shop, Serendipity, across the Piece Hall courtyard.

Wow! was my reaction...

Monday, 23 September 2013

This vegan thing

I'm not a vegan, okay? I'm a vegetarian who tries to avoid dairy products as far as possible. I eat eggs because, as far as I can see, if they're unfertilised, they're a waste product. If we're out and the place everyone else wants to eat at only goes so far down the no-meat route as to offer vegetarian food in a creamy sauce, well, I'll eat it. I think animals should be treated nicely, but me starving myself and making the rest of my family feel awkward isn't going to help a single newborn calf. And while I wouldn't wear fur - you have to kill the animal to use it, for goodness sake - I don't have a problem with wool; I don't believe sheep are usually distressed by being shorn.

Is using wool really exploitation of the sheep as some - true vegans - would have us believe? Or is the fleece a happy by-product of the shearing that's necessary to keep the sheep comfortable through the warmer months? Would it be exploitation if you just gathered the wool left behind on fences and tree trunks? Is it exploitation to use a cocker spaniel as a companion? Or a collie as a working farm dog?

It makes my head hurt a bit, but -  allowing that anyone else's, possibly opposing, views are just as valid as mine - it seems to me that a vegetarian-who-tries-to-avoid-dairy running a wool shop is fine and dandy, ethically-speaking. Not conflicting in any way.

Glad we sorted that out.

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Springtime baby cardi

I need lots of shop samples just now for various yarns, so I'm knuckling down to some very serious knitting. Here's my first garment - Springtime Baby Cardi, designed by Kaity von Rader - simple and quick baby knit. You can find the pattern for free on the internet.

And it's knitted in our new Cristallo sparkly aran - very soft, very lovely. Would be perfect for scarves and hats. It's not too early to think about Christmas presents...

Thursday, 5 September 2013


I seem to have gone a bit overboard on accessories knitting of late. Especially hats, which are such a satisfying knit. Round and round you go with nary a worry, till you get to the decreases and even those aren't that challenging so long as you can count to 9.

So, while the hat-fever's still upon me, I'm going to be starting a beanie today for, which have a branch in our nearest city, meaning we can deliver our goods direct rather than paying out for postage. Yay! Big plus in my estimation. And it's nice to focus on the local now and again anyway.

Our other current charity knitgroup project is knitting heart bags for Ruth and Belinda's joint venture with Kids' Company, and we now have a goodly pile. A fantastic idea, this - it's possible to make some very pretty bags with some very small oddments of yarn. They wanted about a million and a half of these by next Feb so we'll be knitting a few more yet.

And some people - better crocheters than me - have been producing granny squares to support the Mencap/Country Living project.  How worthwhile is that? And how pretty? And how useful for practising your crocheting skills? Go on, you know you want to have a go...