Saturday, 24 December 2011

Happy Christmas!!

Knitwits Yarns

Happy Christmas and New Year to all our customers!

I probably won't blog again until next year but, until then, for those of you dreaming of warmer months (or lucky enough to be going on a winter cruise) I've just uploaded the new Bamboo Cotton Prints range and patterns from King Cole:

so you can start planning!

In the meantime, thank you to all our customers for supporting us through this (difficult) year and here's to a great Christmas and 2012.

Make sure you all make time for some peaceful knitting over the festive period!

Friday, 16 December 2011

Voila - the wonder scarf

Knitwits Yarns

First things first - mugs are back in stock and everyone who pre-ordered had theirs sent out, first class, today. Also, apparently, last posting day is - in fact - Tuesday so you still have time!

Next - and most importantly - Voila the wonder scarf!

Voila (pronounced the French way but I can't get the accent on the "a" on this programme) comes as a tape-type yarn - a bit like Can Can but it's woollier (43% wool) and comes as a tube. You "knit" it by doing a simple crochet along one end and then up the main length and then across the second end and tie off - et, voila, you have a curly scarf!

It is unbelievably simple and I've put together a very simple instruction sheet which comes free with every ball and there's also an excellent video on You Tube by Adriafil.

This is the yarn that EVERYONE needs in their stash this Christmas. Picture the scene - presents round the tree - you've agreed with Auntie Olive that you won't do presents this year but she then produces one for you. Normally you would panic, blush and stammer. This year you excuse yourself - say you've eaten a dodgy prawn or something or even go to check on the turkey. Grab your ball of Voila and a crochet hook and - Voila - in 10 minutes you have a pressie for Auntie Olive. Panic over. All is well.

Alternatively, your pre-Christmas knitting plan has gone awry - those socks you promised everyone just aren't going to be finished in time. You're trying to fool yourselves but deep, deep down you know it just isn't going to happen. Get yourself a couple of balls of Voila as a back up and bung them in the stash. Christmas Eve (or even Christmas morning) grab your crochet hook and save the day. Brilliant.

And it's very reasonably priced and lovely and soft and, what's more, looks great too!!

Perfect - well done Adriafil!

PS: If I look cold in the picture - I was! No improvement in the weather here but not as bad as the rest of the country, I think. A good knitting weekend!

Last Deliveries Before Christmas

Knitwits Yarns

Most wool companies close for the entire festive period so they're all working frantically to get last orders out before then. We had, possibly, our last 2 deliveries yesterday so worked on late to get them away and the site updated last night - the first was Stylecraft and we had loads of our most popular-selling standard yarn "Life" in - we had Life in 4ply, DK, Aran and Chunky and, at £3.30 for 100g, it's a brilliant yarn at a brilliant price. We also had loads of the big 400g Aran balls in - very, very popular at the moment.

We then had a small "top up" delivery from Italian firm, Adriafil. We had top ups in the beautiful 4ply alpaca, Sierra Andina, the lovely DK, Knitcol and the very popular Super Chunky, Monello. They're all on the site now so check them out for a pre-Christmas treat - obviously we all need lovely wool to knit over the festive season when we're all stuffed with chocolate and there's nothing on the telly!

There are also, unbelievably, a few new yarns!! New colours in Stylecraft Extra Special and a fantastic new 15 minute wonder scarf. So - if you haven't finished all your pressies and you're running out of time, tune back in later for the quickest scarf ever - seriously, I made one last night in 10 minutes!! I'm now off to photograph it. Stand by!!

PS: Mugs coming back in today as well.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

My Moment

Knitwits Yarns

I had a moment this morning - one of those moments to savour and cherish and possibly even do a small dance over. The cause of this moment? I emptied the wash basket. Pause and reflect, if you will, on the enormity of this. There was nothing in the wash basket - nil, nada, not even a sock.

It didn't last long - obviously. FB came back from the gym. G cleared a small passageway through his bedroom and - lo - the moment was gone. But it was there. For about half an hour it was there. My moment!

Obviously gee'd up by this moment I carried it with me and entered a few new patterns on the site this morning. Children's patterns in Marble Chunky (which everyone's been asking for) - here is a sample:

and this hooded waistcoat:

I then added one new pattern in Passion which didn't come into stock last time:

and four in Marble DK:

Today I have the car (even FB lets me off cycling when the weather is this horrendous) so am now off to M&S to do some last bits of Christmas shopping. It's my first trip to M&S in Hayle (which has probably been there for about 5 years now) and I'm pathetically excited!

Monday, 12 December 2011


Knitwits Yarns

For those of you who fondly think of Cornwall as blue sky, sun and sandy beaches then I'm sorry to disappoint you but today has been absolutely foul!! We get the best and we certainly get the worst - gale force winds, horizontal lashing rain and that grim, damp cold that chills your very bones. Absolutely the only thing to do is light the fire and knit in front of it. We have our Christmas "do" a week on Thursday and I've still got the sleeves to knit on my festive sweater - there's a sweepstake on as to whether I can finish in time or not. (There's no collar though so no picking up stitches so I may be in with a fighting chance.)

I don't usually talk about customers but today is a bit of a red letter day as we had an order in (by phone) from Tristan Da Cunha. Where the Christmas Cracker is that, I hear you ask. Well, indeed, you may wonder - as did I - so I googled it. Tristan Da Cunha, it transpires, is the most remote, inhabited island in the world - 1,750 miles from South Africa and 2,088 miles from South America - Wow! - and some Katia scarf yarn is on its way there, with needles. Our customer is going to email with requests for more wool so I'm going to ask her all sorts of questions - like what she's doing there!

As I sit at home tonight cracking on with my two sleeves I'll spare a thought for the most remote island in the world - I think it might take a while for our wool to get there ...

Friday, 9 December 2011

Mugs and other Christmas Treats

Knitwits Yarns

Wow! We've been busy over the past couple of weeks - loads of you obviously knitting hats, scarves, gloves etc for Christmas and the occasional big sweater too. Mind you, with the current weather what's better than cosying up in the evening, keeping warm and knitting?

Our "Keep Calm and Carry on Knitting" range is proving incredibly popular for pressies as well (or perhaps you're all treating yourselves?). So popular, in fact, that I ordered more mugs at the beginning of December. They are due for delivery to us a week today (16th) and will be despatched on that day too. I've checked with our Post Office and last posting date for Christmas is the 20th so we'll be in good time for that.

So - keep ordering mugs but don't expect them to land on your doorstep until about the 19th/20th. We've become dab hands at wrapping them up safely so no need to worry about breakages either! Mugs will be despatched on a "first come, first served" basis but I've got over 100 coming in so you should be fine.

I love the idea of knitters around the country waking up on Christmas morning and drinking their coffee/tea/hot chocolate/egg nog/champagne out of our mugs!

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

New Poncho Pattern

Knitwits Yarns

Unusually for me, I do actually have a new pattern for you today - unusually because it's rare for me to actually get things done on time. This pattern was produced as a result of many requests for poncho patterns. Ponchos came and went about 2/3 years ago and have now come back somewhat earlier than expected (these fashion trends usually take about 20 years to return but this one is back after just the blink of an eye). The knitting companies seem to have missed this one too so we (when I say "we" I mean "I") rattled up this poncho (if by "rattled" you understand me to mean that I knitted it once, checked the tension and size, pulled the whole dratted thing back [not to be recommended with an Astrakan yarn], re-checked my tension and then re-knitted it].

We had some Katia Astrakan yarn which we thought would lend itself perfect to a poncho pattern with no shaping (shaping with Astrakan can be fiddly) and would also be perfect for small girls. What small girl can resist a bubbly, cosy poncho?:

You can, of course, add stitches around the neck for a collar or tassels around the bottom but we just decorated ours with pretty little buttons:

The pattern can be found here and comes in sizes from a 2 year old up to a small adult. Pattern is free when you buy the yarn (the pattern is showing at £3.00 but we'll deduct that if you order the Astrakan). Pattern on its own is £3.00 (if that makes sense). Astrakan is a funny tension so, although you could fiddle and calculate for a different yarn we do, as always, recommend the yarn its knitted in.

And you've just got enough time to knit one (or two) in time for Christmas!

Monday, 28 November 2011

You Know It's Been a Busy Day When....

Knitwits Yarns

..... FB has to take the post in a sack (and the sack is full);

it gets to 4 o'clock and you think, "mmmm - lunch time"

Yesterday we made the most of the good weather and photographed a few garments which have been in the "to do" list for some time.

Remember the disastrous start to my Noro 4ply sweater (knitted [and pulled back] in France)? Well it finally got finished a few weeks ago, has been in the window and is now available for all to see:

I really love it! I love the colours and I love the shape and I love the 2 combined. I did work hard to get the colours on the front shoulders and the sleeves to match (call me anal if you like - many do) but I think it works and I'm very pleased with it (especially after its inauspicious start).

Some time ago I also knitted up some Noro socks and we'd feared that the colourway was discontinued; however, it's back and back in stock - shade 188 - hoorah!:

(and, yes, the socks match - sorry!). Actually a first for me in sock knitting as most of my pairs are knitted "as they come". These "came" in a pair!

Finally, Tracey rattled up an Icelandic knit in our new Lopi yarn - really yummy and perfect for our current cold snap:

Tomorrow - all being well - another new design of ours - never let it be said there's a dull moment here at Knit Wits!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Van Gogh

Knitwits Yarns

Today is the day we turn our Christmas lights on in Penzance and all the traders have been working hard to make it a great day for our customers. We've had bands playing in the street all day, plus the fab Samba band and loads of stalls and other goodies and it's all been a bit manic but fun - could do with it being a bit colder though to get us all in the mood.

Despite all of that I've managed to get my fantastic new sock yarn onto the site! Inspired by the painting of Vincent Van Gogh all the colours relate to his paintings and have the relevant painting on the ball band. So, for example, we have Sunflowers:

and Starry Night:

and Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles:

plus others!

Great idea, great colours and great for presents!

See them all (and order them) here. Free sock pattern (or glove pattern if you email us requesting it) with every ball ordered.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

James Brett is in!

Knitwits Yarns

It's 8pm, my feet are sore and I'm STARVING and Tracey and I have just finished putting away 10 sacks of James Brett yarn which arrived at lunch time. So - stocks are good in pretty much everything - have a browse through the James Brett section and see what grabs our fancy! Passion Chunky, Rustic Aran, Woodlander and Tints DK are selling particularly well at the moment here in the shop - and, of course, the wonderful Marble Chunky which never stops selling!

Patterns will be updated tomorrow - they need to be sorted, filed away here and stock levels checked and then updated on the site - it all takes time!

Last night I finished the third (and final) Christmas wreath - in pink!

I have no idea how many balls of Can Can and Can Can Glitz that I've demonstrated here in the shop and knitted for friends and family but, about half way through this one I realised I was knitting it the wrong way round (ie with the flat side facing, rather than the curly side).

Whilst I was knitting one of the 2 brain cells I was operating on kept thinking "this doesn't look right" and the other brain cell was saying "just keep going, it'll be fine". Eventually number 1 brain cell thought, "hang on, let's just stop and look at this" and then my (sleeping) 3rd brain cell woke up and said, "doh".

I was calm on the outside as I ripped it all back but the language inside my head was unrepeatable!

You can buy the pink wreath kit here and they'll all be on display in the shop window from tomorrow (Friday).

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Hotch Potch

Knitwits Yarns

Today is going to be a hotch potch of new things added to the site to bring to your attention. First off is the white and silver Christmas Wreath (which I'm very pleased with the took about 5 hours to make in total - 3 hours to knit [if, like me, you're not very quick] and a couple to put together:

Pretty classy - no? You can find it on the site here.

I've also added a new pattern book for Debbie Bliss's Andes yarn - this is an amazingly luxurious blend of alpaca and silk, which is unbelievably soft. Debbie has decided, very sensibly, to add new patterns to existing yarns rather than overload us with more new yarns so we can expect this to be the first in a number of pattern books to back up existing yarns. A couple of samples from the new book are a chevron top:

and a cable edged jacket:

(although Tracey got a bit sniffy about the latter as the cable is knitted in one piece so goes up one side and down the other - Tracey [who is a bit anal about such things] thinks it should be knitted in two pieces so they either both go up or both go down. Whatever floats your boat!! If you too are anal, like Trace, you could {of course} knit the edge in two pieces!)

There are 2 really nice new colours in Stylecraft's Extra Special DK - the popularity of this yarn has, I think, even taken Stylecraft by surprise so new colours and patterns keep on coming (could be something to do with the price - just £2.30 for 100g). New colours are Atlantis:

and Carnation:

From Debbie Bliss we've also, finally, received her new autumn/winter (or "Fall" as it's correctly termed - am I right in thinking we're aiming at the US market here?) magazine:

which is full of loads of patterns and - given the number of patterns - is excellent value for money at just £4.95. There are black, white and grey (it says "gray" on the cover but I just can't bring myself to spell it that way) fairisle patterns and little girls' patterns in the lovely Angel mohair yarn.

Finally - I think - for now we have new colours in Galazy - that wonderful yarn with sequins in it. Check out these beauties:

Having started off in muted blacks, gre(a)ys and cream and mixtures of the 3, we've now gone wild with pink, purple and red - FABULOUS!!

ALSO if you haven't seen it yet, there's a really lovely sweater in this month's Knitting magazine (Christmas Issue, No 97 - don't get confused with the December issue) in Galaxy by Pat Menchini. I'm not going to do it in stripes but I AM going to knit it for Christmas!

But I can't start that until I've knitted one more Christmas wreath. FB wants me to tell you that my assertion yesterday that it'll be on the site for tomorrow is ludicrous as, apparently, I have other work to do and I need to sleep and eat at some point. The next (and final) {pink}wreath will, therefore be here on Thursday. Apparently there is life beyond knitting wreaths - who knew?!

PS: Have just had a delivery of NEW SOCK YARN - be still by beating heart .......

Monday, 21 November 2011

Trying Not To Work On Sunday!

Knitwits Yarns

My New Year's Resolution last year was to not work on Sundays and I've stuck to it pretty religiously - ha!

So the blog update which didn't happen on Saturday night because I got in so late also didn't happen yesterday because I stuck to my principles so now it's Monday and there's just too much to say!

Tracey had an inspired idea last week and I worked on it over the weekend and it's now come to fruition. Please be upstanding for our Christmas Wreath!:

Just what all knitters need to show their knitting passion to the world, this easy to knit Christmas wreath is made from one ball of Can Can Glitz and now comes in a kit, which includes the yarn, wreath frame and 6 Christmas baubles.

We are really, really pleased with how it's worked out so are now making more in other colours - all being well we'll have a white and silver one tomorrow and a pink one by Wednesday (as we know how many people love a pink Christmas).

You can buy them here.

The pattern is incredibly simple and everyone we've showed it to in the shop (and there've been a few, including one rep) has gone "Wow". We're pleased and hope you will be too.

Loads of other things to catch up on but - critically - you need to know that the Debbie Bliss Angel patterns which were in her spring/summer magazine (sold out long ago) are now in a new book - yay! - A Fine Romance. Great name, great yarn!

Friday, 18 November 2011

Life Chunky Prints

Knitwits Yarns

As promised, late yesterday, Life Chunky Prints arrived. This is the latest addition to the "Life" stable and comes after the success of Life Prints DK last year. There are just 5 colours:

and 4 patterns to go with them - all very good, useful and on-trend garments:

Being short, my personal favourite is the plain sweater.

That's all for now, folks!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

MORE new stuff

Knitwits Yarns

My "Wednesday afternoons are for going home and typing up knitting patterns" have, of late, turned into "Wednesday afternoons are for inputting new stuff onto the website". Which is fine - except I have a new cowl still sitting in the bag looking sad which has been in the bag since mid October - that's a whole month and I, very nearly, have a very cute poncho waiting to be written up as well. What to do? Well, there's a choice - either put more hours in each day or put more days in each week - I'll leave someone better than me to sort that one out.

In the meantime, there are more new things on the site! First is a new slightly brushed chunky with a touch of mohair. Remember Brushstrokes Chunky?:

and Brushstrokes DK?:

Well - new Inspiration Chunky - is exactly the same makeup as them (80% acrylic, 10% wool, 10% mohair) but in plain colours:

All the colours are really "now" and at only £3.30 per ball it's a really, really good value yarn. There are some good patterns, too, although it's a standard chunky so will knit up to all your faves - here are some of the new ones (down the left hand side of the yarn page, as always):

and 4 patterns for girls:

Second new yarn for today is new colours in Life Super Chunky. This yarn was new last season and, after a slow start, went mad! I knitted this - remember?:

Well - there are 4 new colours:

and 4 new patterns to go with them - here are 2:

Tomorrow, there will be more. In the meantime, I have a poncho to finish.......

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Sari Silk is Back!!

Knitwits Yarns

The very briefest of updates - SARI SILK IS BACK IN STOCK!! - apologies for the delay for everyone who's been waiting but our supplier had problems getting stock themselves. We've got 50 100g skeins and they're all GORGEOUS!!! and - amazingly - THE PRICE REMAINS THE SAME!! (and that doesn't happen too often these days, does it?) Free pattern for this:

and/or this:

when you order the necessary number of skeins.

And still plenty of time til Christmas!

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Scarves - and more Scarves!

Knitwits Yarns

Radio silence hasn't been caused by the return of the black dog - more a case of not-enough-hours-in-the-day syndrome and a bad case of when-I-get-home-I-just-want-to-veg-in-front-of-the-telly virus. The earliest I left the shop this week was 6.30pm (except Wednesday, my supposed half day, when I left at 5.30). This is, in fact, all good news but now it's 7pm on Saturday and I was up at 6.30 this morning and I'm now lusting after my warm, cosy bed.

Before I crash into the land of nod, I'll update you on all the new goodies which have been occupying us: we had a huge delivery from Stylecraft on Tuesday so stock levels are updated and there are new yarns to follow (on Monday, all being well). Then later on Tuesday we had a big delivery of scarf yarn from Spain. Loads of balls of Triana - these are the new colours:

which has a proper pattern (!) and knits into this:

And also a load of new Triana Lux (Triana with glitz), these are the new colours:

and they knit like this:

and then, also from Katia, we had new colours in Rizos:

which knits like this:

Yesterday we had a whole other delivery from Katia but I think it's a mistake and will have to go back - that's Monday's first job!

We then had a delivery from Rico and had MORE Can Can and NEW Can Can Glitz. This is going down a storm:

Knits like normal Can Can and looks like this:

Just in case you're wondering what Garland looks like - it looks like this:

and this:

So - if you're thinking of scarves for Christmas (and who isn't) I think we've got more than enough to keep you going! And the weather's supposed to be getting colder so there are no more excuses!

PS: T is "under canvas" tonight - think of him!