Tuesday, 22 December 2009


Where has December gone?

It's hard to believe it is nearly Christmas eve. We have vowed to start our Christmas knitting in February next year to avoid the panic knitting in December. However everything is made and wrapped and we are looking forward to our 2 hours in the shop om Christmas eve. We have really enjoyed the sparkly yarns in the shop and despite my grumbles, I will miss the extra lights.

Maxine's cushions have been popular and we could have sold them a dozen times, she refuses to sell them however, I might try to sneak them past her on Christmas eve, they would look good on my sofa.

Remember Charlotte and the dolls with their knitted outfits? Well, she also made this beautiful fairy which we had perched at the top of our tree for a few weeks. I was sad to say goodbye to her and the top of the tree is really bare.

We hope you have all finished your knitted presents and are going to indulge yourselves over Christmas and knit or crochet something special.
See you in the New Year.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009


Every time I post something I promise myself that it won't be as long before I do another update but things always conspire against me and weeks pass by. This time it was my computer which tried very hard to die. Luckily a fantastic computer surgeon saved it and all the files; amazing!

Now December has arrived and there are so many things I want to show you. I ran down to the shop today with the camera and quickly snapped a few of the Christmas decorations and the stockings which were entered in our competition however, running and quickly snapping are not conducive to producing good pictures so I will definitely have to do this in 2 parts (or more)

So here are the things which I managed to photograph with no wobble or silly angles:

The wreath on the front door, there are miles of garter stitch involved and it took a lot longer than anticipated :

One of my favourites, the Alan Dart Christmas advent tree, complete with decorations and knitted by one of our wonderful customers in aid of Help for Heroes:

and a small part of the window featuring Maxines amazing Christmas Pudding alongside our Noro coffee cosy and you can just see the edge of a pom-pom wreath with Mary and Joseph beside it.

Our window was highly commended in the Chamber of Commerce Christmas window competition and I will try to post an in focus picture soon. I have to admit that being surrounded by Christmas all day in the shop is fun and I am really glad it is December now so I can start to get a few decorations out at home... I said a FEW.

More soon (I hope).

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Madness, Mayhem and Mochi

We always knew this was a seasonal business and lucky for us we took over the shop in the quiet season. We are now in full flood knitting season and happily, most days the shop is bursting at the seams. I always take some knitting with me to work but can't remember the last time I had a minute to do a row!
We survived half term, Maxine had her first holiday since we opened and brought back some Crystal Palace Mini Mochi for us to play with.

True to form, Maxine now has a pair of fingerless mittens and mine is stashed waiting to be socks, probably in time for my 50th birthday. However, we are so pleased with the wool we have decided to stock some and now have 5 colours. These fingerless mittens/wristwarmers are wonderful and can be made with any wool, a great stash buster and Christmas present ....(sshh don't mention Christmas)

While away Maxine also managed to whizz up a beautiful Kureyon hood, so simple but very effective and cosy.

This has started a Noro love affair and even the cafetiere has a Kureyon cosy. This only takes one ball and dare I say, another great present.

This brings me back to the painful truth that I have to face, not only am I now in retail where Christmas starts in October (silent scream), my business partner thinks this is great and wants to do everything with extra lights and more glitter, I have already hoovered up bits of tinsel from trees that are lined up waiting to make an appearance. I am taking lots of deep breaths and trying to get in the mood.

We have a lovely customer who has kindly brought us some festive coloured cotton from America. Our first thought was to make some Christmas bunting in the style above but if any of you creative bloggers have better ideas we would love to hear them.

I am off to knit a Christmas present. Teeth are gritted...

Monday, 12 October 2009

Having Kittens.

My favourite comment this month came from a customer who looked at the Kidsilk Haze and declared 'Oooh it's like a basket of multicoloured kittens!' I love the stuff even more now. Our subsequent customers fall into 2 camps when I tell them this story; those who agree and go all misty eyed and start stroking the individual balls and those who stare and seem to be resisting the urge to run from the shop muttering 'nutters!' under their breath.

We have completed our first 'Learn to Knit' class and embarked on the 2nd 'Learn to Crochet' class which we are hoping will go as well as the first one. We had a crochet get together with our graduated crochet group, who are all now better at crochet than we are. Everyone brought along amazing things including this fabulous blanket, it has such a vintage feel to it.

Another customer popped in with their King Cole cushion, it is even better in real life than on the pattern.

However, this pair of immaculately dressed dolls have been causing the most fuss. Their outfits are perfect, complete with school ties, wee shoes and the boys cap. They both have satchels with buttons and the reason they are causing a stir? They were knitted by a 10 year old girl! She brought them into the shop in a double buggy and we have had them on display ever since. I am sure we have a future knitwear designer.

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Sticky Position

Guess what?
We were runners up! I was thrilled 'til I realised we don't know how many entrants there were.........2?
But look at our trophy and we get a photo in the paper, well worth 200 hours of knitting and 5 minutes dusting.

More exciting than that we proudly introduce our very own, organic, hand dyed, double knit wool in a range of jam and preserve colours : Chutney, Blueberry, Greengage, Damson, Sloeberry, Raspberry and of course Clotted Cream to top it off.

These are available in the shop or by mail order; telephone or e-mail through our website.

Friday, 18 September 2009

Autumn Glory

Frome has been a very busy town since the children have gone back to school. Last Saturday was the Cheese Show, there is a lot more there than just cheese and the kids liked this future woolly jumper.

On Thursday we had the start of the 6th stage of the Tour of Britain, we had a very exciting evening on Wednesday which included a race up the cobbles of Catherine Hill. Then we had the privilege of seeing all these young cyclists in lycra, there was even a 'marmalade' team.

We have been busy in the shop too and had our first crochet get together and are now running our first ever 'Learn to Knit' class which is fun.
Maxine has been knitting her fingers to the bone and asking all passers by to help in order to get our autumn/carnival window ready for judging this Sunday.
Barbie has been kitted out in her Halloween jumper:

The glorious King Cole sunflower wall hanging has been created:

Various fruit and veg and a bag have been knitted and crocheted:

Seasonal teacosies:

and above them all some mittens and pumpkins hanging on the washing line!
We hope the judges are impressed.
My contribution? I dusted the windowsill and said WOW!

Monday, 31 August 2009

Gogos in the wool.....

Here are the lovely Coldharbour Aran colours, we love having locally produced wool in stock ; we have more plans in that area...........

As promised before here are a few of the wonderful projects brought in by our talented customers. I should have had more photos but I reluctantly relinquished the camera to the rest of my family when they were on trips this summer, so a few amazing projects appeared that couldn't be photographed but I was pleased to have the camera when this perfect baby cardigan appeared, the toggles are just right:
Then there were these 2 crocheted beauties, the hat is wonderful

and this is the bag from a recent magazine, although I have forgotten which one..

Then, I was almost speechless when this beautiful 'marmalade' kidsilk haze scarf appeared, it was breathtaking and has been made as a Christmas present for a very lucky lady.
You will be pleased to hear I finished the boottees which have been shipped off to my cousin despite them still looking like 2 left shoes!
We have been inundated with our Winter orders, although there is more to come. We adore Crofter and the newly introduced Crofter Chunky. We couldn't believe our luck when this display garment arrived, I have to stop myself from taking it home at the weekend.
Our Cashmerino shelves are full to bursting baby, dk and aran, all in mouthwatering colours. You can imagine how hard it is to get on with the mundane tasks when you could be restacking the soft, warm, delicious cashmerino...............
but then there is the tweedy chunky:

or the Sirdar click dk OR chunky which is divine, I should show you the tea cosy.

I have alluded to the fact that I have not been very artful in my childcare arrangements and have therefore ended up with a very bored 6 year old boy mooching around the wool for a couple of days. We have at least 25 colours of Diploma Gold and when I was checking the stock I had a wee surprise.....................

Back to school this week so no more Gogos in the wool, I can't help feeling a bit sad

Sunday, 23 August 2009


First, I have to thank all our fantastic customers who have brought in their projects and had them photographed for this blog, then apologise as due to a technical hitch and a holiday they are all still waiting to be published which will be very soon so please come back again soon to see the talent show.
Meanwhile, I have been socialising in Falkirk while Maxine has been working hard. However, despite our fatigue (Maxine's work induced, mine pleasure induced) we both dragged ourselves out of bed at a very unreasonable time for a Sunday and drove to Coldharbour Mill in Devon for Fibrefest.....................................
and it was worth it!
Once there, our heads cleared and we dived into the trade tent forgetting our caffeine cravings for the rest of the morning.
At the very first stand we met the lovely Sasha Kagan and admired her beautiful designs. We even went back later on with an 80's book we found on a charity stall....

There was no end of fantastic stalls to admire

We even met the amazing speed knitter who taught Kirsty Allsopp how to knit, you can see the beach inspired draft excluder on display. She was very friendly and we are hoping to see her again.

I know outside the mill I should be photographing the mill wheel but I couldn't resist this laden pear tree, there were 3 of them and it was all I could do not to start picking them.

We wandered round to the livestock and found some alpscas for sale. Maxine wanted to buy one but we couldn't keep it in the courtyard that floods so we took a photo instead.

Then we found the amazing ladies who made the Gingerbread house and giant Christmas tree. They are working on a Seaside project which will eventually be a walk through tunnel complete with a lighthouse and set for completion next September. I couldn't believe my eyes, already it is an amazing work of art which grows more amazing every minute you spend looking at the detail, I could have filled this blog with photos.....

Then just as I thought we would escape without a photo of the wheel we heard the echo of the saxophonist playing right next to it, bathed in the late afternoon sun.

Tempting as it was to stay, we wanted to rush home and start knitting straight away, I haven't even had time to photograph our purchases and you will have to wait as the next blog will be full of customer talent!
Most exciting of all : we are now stockists of Coldharbour Aran which can be purchased in 4 lovely shades from this Tuesday, while stocks last....

Monday, 20 July 2009

Rowan rainbow and a flood

This week the shop has been fairly quiet however, it is the week of Maxines move so she has been rushed off her feet while I have minded the shop and a selection of her things, she has already chosen colours for her dining room and made this fresh cushion which I am under pain of death not to sell. I spent one quiet morning considering hiding it and telling her I sold it for a tenner but somehow I couldn't bring myself to torture her frayed nerves any further. The beret is from RYC Classic Weekend book and if you look to the right you can see our pitiful selection of Rowan pure wool dk ....

but that was before the arrival of........................

Now, this is only 6 of the fabulous colours. We have 18 gorgeous colours in our pure wool docket and I can happily stack these colours all day. I don't know how I will cope in August when all the other new stock arrives.

Maxine has been getting ready for the arrival of lots of Aran by knitting this lovely Rowan pure wool Aran cardi. Unfortunately she wasn't wearing it this week when Annabelle, our Rowan rep arrived and to make matters worse I was wearing the Sirdar sublime cardi, woops. We continue to have our wonderful customers amazing us with their beautiful projects; this baby shawl is cream baby cashmerino with pure silk contrast stripes, it is sumptious:

Another lucky baby will be wearing this beautiful hacho cardigan and a vast array of other delightful projects which I am sure I will be featuring more of.

We had a bit of a disaster this Tuesday when we arrived to find a swimming pool in the back courtyard seeping through the back door and soaking our beloved carpet. After spending all day taking buckets of water through the shop to tip down the drain at the front a lovely man unblocked the narrow drain in the yard and we didn't have to spend all night at the shop baling out. I did however have to rescue 2 frogs from the wool !
Meanwhile, some projects of mine included this black sheep, I was happier about her 3 bags full than I was with her, the face doesn't seem right and her legs are a bit wobbly.............

I was much happier with the rowan handknit cotton pink elephant which put all other projects on hold while I crocheted her for no other reason than I couldn't resist the pattern.

What I should have been doing was finishing the boottees for my cousins baby who may well be a year old before they are done. I managed to make 2 right shoes (yes, it matters, there is a T bar and button) so as usual when I have a hiccup the whole project stalls and I also have a more tantalizing option....
My new Uk Alpaca blanket, we would love to stock this wool sometime soon, so I thought I would try it out and spent my last job's leaving present (cash for my stash) to buy enough alpaca for a double blanket.Unfortunately you can't buy time and I think I need to make about 300 of these squares but I have to say I am loving every second and don't mind if it takes me 5 years, which it probably will.This week saw the beginning of the much needed summer holidays. I have never worked through the summer so this will be a challenge for the kids and me. Maxine will also be coping with unpacking in a new house. We've survived the first couple of days now it's Saturday night and you know your getting old when you don't think pub or cinema? rather boottees or blanket??