Wednesday, 17 October 2012

New Pattern from Cornish Organic Wool!

Knitwits Yarns

Many, many years ago I designed a 4ply stole for Cornish Organic Wool, which featured in "Knitting" magazine:

and was kindly modelled by our good friend Jules on a blustery day on the moor behind our house.

A couple of years ago I re-modelled this and re-knit it with the inclusion of beads.  It was/is fabulous but I used big silver beads on black wool and they turned out to be very heavy (and expensive) and pulled the garment terribly when worn.  Disheartened, it has sat on the back of my bedroom chair for the past two years.

This summer, when discussing a new pattern for Cornish Organic, FB said, "well, you've already got one pattern done - you just need to re-knit it".  And, of course, he was right.

I chose a different colour and different (lighter and cheaper!) beads and re-knitted it.  And here it is:

It uses 2 different methods for applying the beads - the strung on version for the first and last rows but then the crochet hook version for the rest so there's no need to string 1,500 beads on to your yarn - hoorah, I hear you cry.  (Full instructions for both methods are included in the pattern.)  However, it is important to ensure that the beads you choose have a big enough hole for a small crochet hook!

I got my beads from our local bead shop - G J Beads - and the ones I used are reference LMA-455-10.

It's an easy knit and perfect for evenings out now that the weather is turning more wintry!  I hope you like it - it's been nearly 3 years in the making!!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

More New Things!

Knitwits Yarns

As many of you will know, as well as having Knit Wits shop FB and I also have our own brand of wool - Cornish Organic - so we are fully aware of the problems and pitfalls of wool production!  Up until now Cornish Organic (or COW as we prefer to call it) has provided its wool in 100g skeins which have all been lovingly hand dyed by FB in the small dye house attached to our kitchen and dried around the Aga.  Amazingly, neither of our cats has a fondness for wool which is a huge relief given that, at any time, we could have up to 10kgs of wool around said Aga!

It goes without saying that hand dyeing large quantities of wool is extremely time consuming so (some time ago) we decided to see if we could get it dyed elsewhere.  A simple enough job you would have thought.  But no.  We needed a dye house that was Soil Association certified and big enough to do the job economically.  Two years later we had finally persuaded a dye house in Yorkshire to take on the challenge and two weeks ago our first batch of machine dyed wool, wound into 50g balls arrived at our house - all 140kgs of it!! 

So, now, finally we have COW in 50g balls and here are the colours:

They are slightly different from our old colours and - for any of you currently using the old 100g DK skeins those colours will no longer be being replicated.  For the time being 4ply, Aran and Chunky will still be sold in 100g skeins (and will continue to be hand dyed by FB!) but this will change, in time, as we spin up more wool.

Producing wool is a long and time consuming process, particularly when you are complying with very strict Soil Association standards but we think you'll agree that the new wool and the new colours are fab!  They can all be found here.

Last weekend we went away for a few days (more of which in a moment) but, before we went, I managed to upload the new Pure Merino book from Jenny Watson.  This book is made up entirely of accessories patterns and you get a whole load for your money.  From scarves, hats and gloves:

through cushions:

bed socks:


and a bag:

this little book is sure to inspire (and is perfect for knitted Christmas gifts!):

Finally - for now - as I mentioned - I went away this weekend!  When my darling eldest boy disappeared to the other end of the world for a whole year, leaving me somewhat bereft, my dearest friend (the one who runs marathons for "fun") booked me into a 10km run at Blenheim Palace to take my mind off things and give me something else to worry about.  Never having run any kind of anything before, I printed off an 8 week training schedule from Uncle Google and stuck to it rigidly.  About 10 days before the event I strained a tendon or ligament in my left foot, which restricted final training somewhat but, despite everything, I found myself at the start line of my first ever run on Sunday morning.  The day was glorious, with the early morning mist burning off in time for our start:

the Palace is, of course, simply spectacular (if a little over the top for one family to live in):

I was ready (although still suffering with my sore foot):

and, lo, we were off:

Never having done this before I found it really hard to judge my pace and found myself over-taking quite a lot of people which worried me as I thought I might blow out.  As it happened I ended in exactly the time I was aiming for (1 hour 2 minutes) which meant that I was running exactly 10 minute miles. 

I am happy, very sore, limping badly and now planning my next event!!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

More New Yarns from James Brett!

Knitwits Yarns

Wow - 2 days on the trot with new yarns!  A couple of baby yarns and 2 new colours in 400g Aran today.

Firstly, we have new colours in the ever-popular Baby Marble:

and some really sweet patterns to go with them.  Here is a small selection:

Then we have new colours in Baby Magi-Knit.  These I, personally, find a little confusing.  Initially Brett had a lovely yarn called "Bliss" which  they've now re-branded under the Magi-Knit name but it doesn't knit like magi-knit (which knits into fairisle) but knits into bands of colour.  I think it's a bit confusing but, nonetheless, it's a lovely yarn!!:

And finally, for today, 2 new colours in the 400g Rustic Aran:


with their corresponding patterns - I am very tempted by this sweater:

Tomorrow - a new book from Jenny Watson to go with her Pure Merino wool and, maybe, more!!

Monday, 1 October 2012

New Yarns From James Brett!

Knitwits Yarns

A couple of days later than planned - but that's only because we've been so busy - which is great - thanks to one and all!

Finally, today, I've got the new James Brett Rustic Mega Chunky on the site.  This is a really super, duper chunky yarn - knitted on 10mm and 12mm needles - so is really thick, warm and quick to knit!!  Colours are great:

and so are the patterns.  I'm currently knitting this sweater and it should be finished within the couple of days so look out for me wearing it!:

Other patterns are bang on trend too - poncho:


and hoodie, amongst others:

I've also uploaded 2 new colours in the lovely Aran weight yarn, Monsoon:

and lovely patterns to go with them (patterns can be found down the left hand side of the yarn pages as well as via the pattern search function):

2 new colours in the gorgeous chunky yarn, Passion:

and 2 patterns:

and, finally, for now - 4 new colours in Marble Chunky:

and 3 new patterns - which you can see down the left hand side when you click this link!

And still there's more!!  Hopefully on site tomorrow but I'm not making any guarantees!!