Be Patient, My Dear…

I’m still quite new to crafting but I’ve come to realise that really good projects take a bit of planning.  I can browse Ravelry for hours, saving favourites and researching yarn choices.  I pop to the Knit Club, have a cup of tea, a chat and a stroke of the yarn.  I do the maths for how many balls I’d need and what the cost would be.  Finally, a choice is made and I’m ready to buy.

BUT!  Choose a popular colour and there might not be enough left in the shop.  Maybe someone got there before you and bought the last ball.  Maybe the perfect yarn isn’t stocked at your favourite yarn shop and needs to be ordered through other means.  You have to be patient until it comes.

Patience.  Not a great skill of mine.  I want it NOW!  I want to get started on the projects I have taken ages to settle on.  NOW!

I currently have two orders in – one with The Knit Club and one from an internet stockist.  One will bring a phone call and one will arrive with the postman.  I’m waiting patiently.  No, honestly, I am.  I’m not at all fidgety fingered in anticipation of my new projects. Not me.  Uh-huh.

The benefit of waiting is that it has pushed me into finishing a project that I’d stalled on.  Letters have been cut and sewn and pennants have been joined.  Silver linings and all that.

So, I’ll have more to share with you another time.  In the meantime, I’ll just be here by the letterbox (with the phone in my hand).  Waiting.

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by Claire

A Knitted Meadow of Hope

“A host of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.” William Wordsworth

On Saturday 5th of May, we will be hosting our first ever charity event – a Marie Curie Bloomin’ Great Tea Party.

There will be various things to get involved in (a cake sale and knitted tea cosy competition amongst other) but details will be divulged nearer to the date – in the mean time, we’re calling all knitters to help create the best window display we’ve ever had.

We will be putting together a “Knitted Meadow of Hope”, which will consist of as many knitted daffodils as we can get our hands on and a lovely knitted blanket of greenery to place beneath them.

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Knitted Daffodil Kits are on sale in the shop right now! They cost £1.50 each, and £1 from each kit will be donated to Marie Curie Cancer Care.

In each kit there is a label, as each daffodil can be dedicated to someone special and the daffodil is yours after we’ve displayed it.

We hope you’ll come and get your kit soon!

Happy knitting,

Louise

Not just a knitted scarf…

I have a lovely customer who recently revisited her knitting days, and found that it brought her much enjoyment. And, like a lot of us who have rediscovered our love of the craft, wanted to get stuck into her first project in years.

She invested in some lovely alpaca yarn, some 4mm needles and spent some time putting together a stripe combination. It was a rib stitch scarf, so took a bit of time to complete but the yarn felt so lush and warm that we all agreed it would be a very worthwhile project.

Every week, my cheery customer would pop in and show off her progress. I have to say, a personal highlight of my job, is to watch people’s projects come together and to see the pride on their faces as their work comes together. And she was so thrilled with her growing scarf, that I felt really happy for her.

The finished item was absolutely beautiful – soft, warm and the tension was perfect!

A few weeks later, when it was ridiculously snowy and cold, I was absolutely gutted to hear that some loser had gone into her handbag and taken the scarf when she wasn’t looking. A lowly and terrible thing to do in any case, but just the fact that it had been her beautiful hand-knitted scarf!! And not just that, but it had been her very first project and a good accomplishment.

You can easily replace a scarf, but you can’t easily replace a hand knitted scarf. Knitting, amongst the other crafts that are seeing a revival, isn’t just about the end product. It’s a lovely way to create, perfect and construct something that is different and beautiful. The amount of time, money and effort that goes into knitted items varies – but the thought and meaning behind knitted wares is always priceless!

I do think the majority of people, in fact almost everyone I meet in the shop, understands this and appreciates a great knit – I just hope karma comes back to bite this knit thief in the bum!

n.b. Writing this piece had made me want to give my customer some new alpaca wool for a new and even better scarf. Hope she pops in again soon.

by Louise

Why Crochet is Better than Sudoku…

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I’ve never been very goodat sitting still.

Once the children are in bed, dinner’s been had and tidied up after and the TV is on, I get twitchy hands.  I’ve surfed the internet, completed jigsaws and solved a serious quantity of Sudoku puzzles in a bid to keep my hands and mind busy.  In May last year, I decided I need something new. I like learning but what to choose?  Going out in the evenings is difficult so it need to be something to do at home.  A few friends on an internet forum crocheted.  Young people.  People like me.  I liked what they produced but have never considered myself a “crafty” person and didn’t think I’d be much good at it.  Nonetheless, I decided to give it a whirl.

I reserved a book at the library, bought a 3.5mm hook and some double knitting yarn and set to it with my book, advice from crocheting friends and some YouTube tutorials.  It was hard to get started: the yarn needed holding a certain way; the hook had to go in this gap, not that one and the finished swatch was, well, wonky.  But soon I got the hang of it and I was hooked (pun intended!).

What have I got to show for my new crochet habit?  Blankets, hats (lots), toddler jumpers, scarves, snowflakes, apples, pears, a pumpkin, a mug cosy, crab and octopus finger puppets and a fried egg.  Oh, and a cupboard full of yarn and some pretty, shiny hooks!  What have I got to show for my old Sudoku habit?  Completed grids of numbers and an average time of just over 7 minutes on the expert level of my phone app.

People are nice about my crochet.  They show an interest in what I’m doing and what I’ve done.  They touch and examine what I’ve made and say nice things about it.  It makes me smile.  People care and it’s great.

I still do Sudoku from time to time but no one’s bothered when you’ve completed a Sudoku puzzle – not even the REALLY hard one on the very back page!

By Claire