Wednesday, 26 June 2013

We've been prettified

The last shot of the shop I posted was a snowy one  - makes me shudder just thinking about it. So it's time for something a bit more summery: hanging baskets, lovely contented sheep on the car magnets - I'm sure that sheep's smiling - and colourful cottons in the windows for all your warm weather knitting needs!

Tuesday, 11 June 2013


This is the little cutie I made as a sample garment with the new Bergere Cherie aran acrylic/cotton/silk mix. In knitting, it's surprisingly substantial and makes a soft, lush fabric, just right for a little jacket.
I was sucked in initially by the lovely ice creamy shades and the silk running alongside the coloured strands. Very pretty. Love these summery yarns...

Monday, 10 June 2013

Well, we had a lovely, sunny time yesterday for our Worldwide Knit in Public gathering. We set up just outside the shop but, as the sun moved further over, so did the chairs. At one point I was in the shop for a few minutes and returned to find everyone was several yards away in a cobbled patch of sunlight. Coolish, but bright. Probably the best you're going to get in a UK June.

It kind of developed into a WWKIP picnic - coffee, squash, biscuits, plus gorgeous scones (with clotted cream and jam) made by the lovely Rachel, and a delicious pear and cinnamon cake made by the equally lovely Sarah. Many thanks to you both!

Of course, I forgot to take pictures, so imagine: strawberry jam and cream piled up on scones and dripping onto paper plates, the sun high in the sky, much laughter and swopping of knittery tales, needles clicking, happy faces - all against the lovely Piece Hall backdrop. That's the romanticised version, but it was pretty good anyway. Thanks to all who came along.

Monday, 3 June 2013

Hebden Bridge

My work-life balance hasn't been up to scratch lately so I'm making a big effort to do stuff other than sit in the shop and knit. And that's how we ended up going for a walk here:
I didn't even mind ending up walking about six miles when I'd expected four, because it was sunny and pretty and the feelgood factor was massive.

And then we got home and I started knitting almost immediately. Work-life balance: a work in progress.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Magic mattress

New customer: I need to pick your brains.

Me (cautiously, because I know how unworthy my brains are of being picked): Okay...

New customer: I'm a new knitter but I'm rubbish at sewing up. How do I do it?

What would you say? I told her the truth as I know it: that about 90% of the knitters I know sew up using a back seam. And it's perfectly adequate. But at the same time, the 'correct' way is to use mattress stitch. Bear in mind, this was a knitter who'd been using a bulky overstitch - probably anything was going to be an improvement.


What's backstitch got going for it? Well, it's quick, easy, it's secure and it looks okay on the right side.

And mattress? It more or less disappears on the right side and it's very easy to undo if you find you've veered off the line you're meant to be following.

The cons of backstitch? It's a bit bulkier on the wrong side and especially under the arms where seams converge and it's very difficult to unpick without accidentally snipping the wrong bit of yarn.

And mattress? You need exactly the same number of rows for it to work just right, it's (I find anyway) a much slower process and difficult to do well with your knitting in your lap.

We hosted a Finishing Techniques workshop recently at Three Bags Full - it was great to learn the different techniques for joining that make for a neater, more professional finish. But just because you might know them, you don't have to use them all the time. Don't feel pressured to discount anything. Mattress is great for that special gift - just like a wonderful yarn is great. But if you're happy with backstitch most of the time or want to use a mix of the two - that's fine too. That's my feeling anyway. But maybe I'm just pretty slack!