Saturday, 17 October 2015

The Piece Hall - what we don't know

Mini rant...

Every day customers ask whether Three Bags Full will be returning to The Piece Hall when the refurbishment is complete. The truthful answer is that we don't know, but the signs are that TPTB don't want us back. Mainly I'm assuming this from the fact that there has been virtually no communication from the people in charge of the refurb, or from the council, regarding the position of former tenants. No updates on the particular units we'd had allotted to us. In fact, no sign that those unofficial allocations will be honoured. They weren't confirmed in writing, but we were all asked what square footage we'd like and where we'd like our shops to be situated. There was no special tour arranged for former tenants; in contrast, I think all the recent tours were arranged during times when you'd expect little specialist shops like ours to be open and therefore the shop owners  - well, Mike and I certainly - were unable to attend. The obligation - which is in writing - for former tenants to be offered a unit in the refurbished Piece Hall, appears not to have been shared with the people who are arranging the new lets. Indeed, while we all spent many hours in meetings about this, and while the offer of a unit in the revamped building was very important at the time to all of us, it's now clear that it wasn't actually important to anyone on the other side of the table. How could the council not tell those letting the units that we have a prior claim? Did those hours of meetings count for so little?

It's now mid-October and the building should be ready for occupation by next summer. We don't know whether it's on track. We don't know how many retail units will be available. We don't know whether they'll be ground floor or first floor. We don't know how the trustees will square the need to make money from the building with the needs of retail customers (the disastrous Food and Drink Festival of a few years ago springs to mind regarding conflicting needs). We don't know what the terms and conditions for tenancy will be, nor the projected length of tenancy, nor the possible service charge, nor...well, anything else really. Because those in charge aren't communicating with us. Emails to relevant people go unanswered. To his credit, Cllr Tim Swift does answer emails but in July he said we'd all be contacted by the team 'in the near future'. Well, we're almost in the run up to Christmas and there's been no word. No communication; no courtesy; no interest.

Our tenancy at The Old Bank finishes at the end of May next year, so I need to be making some decisions. I don't know what any of the other former PH shop owners want - I suspect several have done better outside the Piece Hall than in, and that they're glad to be free of council control - but the refurb team should at least show a little thought for those of us who were willing to believe the council was acting in good faith two years ago and who would like to possibly take up the option of a return.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Here's another one

Again, really simple! I made this because there weren't initially (or ever?) any small projects for the gorgeous Debbie Bliss Paloma yarn and local people were baulking at the idea of paying £130 to knit themselves a cardigan (Can't think why...!) So here's my own small project Paloma idea. The red one I made was more attractive, but I can't find it right now to photograph it.

Three Button Cowl

A really simple but appealing cowl that can be worn long and loose or wound twice round the neck for extra warmth.

Four hanks Debbie Bliss Paloma
One pair of 7.5mm needles
3 large buttons

Cast on 26 stitches
Row 1 k3 *p2, k2* rpt to last 3 stitches, p2, k1
Row 2 k3 *p2, k2* to last 3 sts, p2 k1
Row 3 k1, *p2, k2* to last st, k1
Row 4 k1, *p2, k2* to last st, k1
These four rows form pattern. Rpt pattern rows until cowl measures approx. 45”
Change to k2, p2 rib: and work the following two rows, three times:
Row 1, k2, *p2, k2* to end
Row 2 k1, p1, k2,* p2, k2* to last 2 sts, p1, k1
Buttonhole row 1: k2, p2, cast off 2, p1, k2, p2, cast off 2, p1, k2, p2, cast off 2, p1, k2
Buttonhole row 2: k1, p1, k2, cast on 2, k2, p2, k2, cast on 2, k2, p2, k2, cast on 2, k2, p1, k1
Next row: work stitches as presented, but work into back of cast on stitches.
Work one more row, then cast off, sew in end and sew on buttons to match buttonhole placings.
A little reminder also, that if you like the pattern and think it's worth a small donation to The Knock On Effect, my late niece's fundraising project for those affected by cancer, then please go to:
where you can scroll down to the donate button. But just if you'd like; there's no obligation.

Friday, 2 October 2015

The missing pattern! In very big print!

Okay, here it is (finally...):

Chunky two colour cowl
Knit in the round version
1 ball each of two contrasting colours in Adriafil Mistero chunky – I used shades 32 and 26
Circular needle 6.5mm x 40cm
17stitches and 21 rows to 4 inches – it’s not crucial to have it exact, but somewhere near would be good.
a = main colour
b = contrast colour
Using your main colour, loosely cast on 96 stitches.
Join your stitches into a round, making sure they aren’t twisted, and marking the start of the round with a coloured thread or stitch marker.
Work 6 rounds of k1, p1 rib, starting with a k1.
Then start working in pattern as follows:
Pattern round 1: (k3a, k1b) repeat to marker
Pattern round 2: (k1b, k1a, k2b) repeat to marker
Work 28 pattern rounds in total.
Break off contrast colour.
Work 5 rounds of k1, p1 rib, starting with a k1, in main colour, then cast off in rib. Break thread, remove marker and sew in ends.
I wear my cowl upside down as I think it looks better that way!

Knitted flat version
1 ball each of two contrasting colours of Cygnet Grousemoor Chunky – I used shades 194 and 288
Pair straight needles 5.5mm
a = main colour
b = contrast colour
16 stitches and 19 rows to 4 inches – it’s not crucial to have it exact but somewhere near would be good.
Using main colour, loosely cast on 97 stitches, and work 6 rows of k1, p1 rib in main colour.
Then work 2-colour pattern as follows:
Pattern row 1: k2a, k1b, *k3a, k1b, rpt from * to last 2 sts, k2a
Pattern row 2: k1a, * p3b, p1a, rpt from * to last 4 sts, p3b, k1a
Repeat these two rows until 28 rows have been worked. Break off colour b.
Work 5 rows of k1, p1 rib in main colour.
Cast off loosely in rib.
With right sides together sew side seam using a simple overstitch.
Sew in ends.