Sunday, 22 January 2012

another slice of history

One of my friends has a special word for me , apparently I'm a Clutter Monkey and I think he is quite right about this. Tidiness and organisation are most definitely NOT two of my strong points. I always claim the excuse of being so creative that I don't have time or inclination to tidy away every little thing. The out come of this is that I periodically have to clear out my workroom and try and prevent too much of my stuff overtaking the next room as well. Obviously I have to store the tools of my trade somewhere but a passion for textiles has resulted in several hundred books, two (sometimes three) spinning wheels, five sewing machines, one embellisher and several small looms, not to mention nine lace pillow although some of these are out on loan.
So, today was a sort out day ( needed to see the floor even if only for a few hours) and I uncovered this...

I suspect it dates from the 60's but I am open to suggestions and features many sewing aids that I am still using today!! but I've picked out a few knitting related items just to compare prices.
Blog 2012 105
Priced at £3.00 seems quite a bargain!!!

Now we all like to have a ball winder and they are getting to be quite an expensive item ( I jointly own one with a friend, an old knitmaster cone winder) invaluable asset for any spinner!!

Blog 2012 107

This isn't really a knitting item but I inherited one.................................

Blog 2012 106

                                      ..................... and use it as a blocking board

Most of these item are by a company called Dritz and many of the sewing products can be found in my work room even today .

More from me later..........................Guzzisue xx

Friday, 20 January 2012


What a day! What hideous weather! It just about tops off this week. Everything was going well and then I was bamboozled out of money. It's a scam I'd been warned of and when the man came in I knew what he was doing - I just knew it - and I kept thinking to myself, 'well done, Eleanor. Just keep your head, you know what you're doing'. And as he left he said to me 'I bet you wish I never come back' and I said 'no, if you keep spending money you're welcome'. I thought I'd done really well. Then, when I was cashing up, I realised we were ten pounds down and it all came upon me. What a hideous man, what a hideous thing to do and I hope he dies of an overdose with drugs bought from my ten pounds. Ugh.

So, I'm going to cheer myself up with yarn. Probably the Bamboo Cotton DK and probably in the navy. Last week I went out of Friday and didn't get in until.... maybe... 4am? 5am? Something like that... Consummate professional that I am I managed to get in on time and run the shop wonderfully and one of my lovely customers bought a colour combination that nearly brought tears to my eyes:

It's the cream, ice and oyster (one of the new colours). 

It could well have been the booze, it probably was, but I just think this is the best combination ever. Could it be made better by the inclusion of my new favourite colour in the whole entire world?!

Only time will tell. 

The other thing is - is it ridiculous for me to do yet another ripple blanket? It would be my third. But to be fair, I've never done one in DK before. That makes a difference, right?

Now I'm off to do a s**t load of work to make myself feel better about being such an idiot and losing that ten pounds. 

Love Eleanor. 

Thursday, 5 January 2012

New Thing

I was going to call this 'New Things', and technically, there are two new things but really, it's one product and it's all I want to talk about (apart from a quick request at the end...).

Let me introduce you to our new product - Hand Dyed Yarn! Oh me, oh my I'm excited!

It's been something we've been thinking about since the beginning - I have in my heart a hankering for the perfect, deep, forest green. The sort of green that Robin Hood would purchase should he pop into the shop. The shop colours are supposed to be lots of different types of green but we're not great at that 'branding' side of marketing, preferring to actually speak to you all than blind you with our colour scheme...

The handspun yarn has been a run away success in the shop and we know that you regulars love to support the local artisans and that holidaymakers want a little bit of Nottingham to take away with you. But, we're all struggling aren't we? Times are hard, the economy's gone down the pan, and so on and so on. We know that you want to support our lovely makers and pay them a fair price but that paying your rent is probably more important to you... So, we present to you, something in the middle.

Now, Guzzi Sue is a manic dyer - you'll know that from her posts I'm sure. She enjoys finding new colour combinations and making a mess and coming up with something beautiful. And she does it well I'm sure you'll agree:

I'm really glad she likes it because I can't stand it! Too fiddly, too much hard work, too much clearing up afterwards. 

So, without further ado - here's our offering! It's 100g of Merino Superwash DK (the base is out truly scrumptious Cygnet Merino Superwash DK) in gorgeous greens and yellows. You can buy 50g or both it's up to you but remember 100g is enough for a hat, a cowl, gloves - all the good stuff in life!

Guzzi Sue's Hand Dyed - 100% Merino, 50g, 104m, wash at 40 degrees (but we recommend handwashing). Love!

Love Eleanor. :)

P.s. The request! I forgot! We'll be on the radio on the 13th of January talking about knitting and crochet and how wonderful it is! They've asked us to bring along some of our customers who've been on our courses and if anybody who's free on that Friday afternoon would come along we'd be most grateful. We'll get you there and back from and to the shop so it won't cost you anything and it'll be fun, you could be famous and we'll get some free publicity!! :)

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Oh Wow.

Hellllllllo Folks!

It has been a literally age! I have not spoken to you since... last bloody year! HA! Oh how I've missed you and oh how busy I've been!

Obviously the shop was a bit of a nightmare before Christmas - thanks! Last minute Christmas presents and then trying to get some big projects sorted for in between Christmas and new year meant that I didn't have a moment's peace and I loved it! On Christmas eve I sold a whole lot of the Pure British Wool Aran to make this little stunner. I don't know why I'm telling you this except, if I get everything I want to get done today and manage to make it to knit club then I'll see how far it's got and I'm excited!

I finished all of my Christmas presents on the night before Christmas eve. And by finished I mean, literally, ends sewn in and all wrapped up! It's never happened to me. 

I didn't manage to get photos of all of them. I thought the wrapping and giving were more important in the end but here's a terrible photo of the finished ripple blanket:

It wasn't the design I had in mind, the animals turned out to big to march top to tail along the top and bottom of the blanket so they were spread out which was a bit weird but it's good, I promise you that. Funny though, he seemed to prefer this little stunner:

him and Gruffalo careered down the hallway at every chance they got like some sort of suffragette having just discovered that she can use her bike to spread the word. (Notice his pyjamas - they're old man pyjamas but the pattern on there is skulls!).

Anyway, it's over now. You had your own Christmas, I'm sure you don't need to hear about mine apart from to perhaps rejoice in the fact that I bloody knitted a jumper didn't I!?

It was my present to myself and it took a lot longer than it should have done but it was still only just over a week. Pleased!

So, shop...

Well, you're going to have to bear with us a bit. Stock is slightly low because of Christmas, it's all on order but when that will turn up is anybody's guess (and mine would be between tomorrow and the end of the week). Everybody who needs to know does though, and we still have plenty here so don't let it stop you coming in!

Especially not since WE HAVE A SAAAAAAAAAALE! I've moved the whole shop around today and it still looks a bit of a mess to be honest, but all of the sale stuff is together and once that's gone I have an idea for next stock that I think will tickle your fancy. So come down and spend so that I can get some space and money for something a bit lovely.

Not everything's on the website yet I'm afraid. That's a job for tomorrow *fingers crossed*. We also have books, patterns, crochet cotton and felting yarn in the sale.

And now, I want to put some resolution type statements on here. If you read the blog you'll know that I read  Little Tin Bird and I think she's just lovely and her latest blog post was an update of her list of intentions last year. Which I think it just lovely. So, I'm doing it myself and playing the long game. A year today I promise a post that updates you on what we've done from here.

1). Get a printer for the shop. Alright, that's a bit of a cheat I bought one today and it's a beaut!

2). Tidy more consistently.
          Anybody that knows me knows I'm not tidy and I'm even more busy here than I am at home but it's no excuse for the shop and I aim to set aside half an hour a day to tidy and clean (I'm hoping that will do, it'll certainly be a near 100% improvement on what I do do...).

3). Restock the shelves every day.
          It's another lazy thing I'm afraid. Especially when I have commissions on, I get obsessive over my knitting/crocheting which is a good thing for a LYSO but a bad thing for a shop keeper so I must improve.

4). Keep up to date with my figures.
          Wouldn't it be lovely if I could just update them every evening and actually have a day off a week!

5). Make many many more shop samples.
          I enjoy doing it and I even have a lady to help me. Why wouldn't I? Should I aim for one a month?

6). Write some patterns.
          For my own benefit really but wouldn't it be lovely to have lots of local patterns for the yarn in our shop. I have ideas in my head that would blow yours and my minds both if I could get the needles clicking!

Right - that's enough. Or I'll never stick to anything. But I've just thought, have we let you down this year? Can you think of a resolution for us? Send us an e-mail to knit AT knitnottingham DOT co DOT uk and we'll put it right.

Love you all! Thanks for waiting patiently.

I also promise more regular blogging.

Love Eleanor. :)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Things my mother didn't teach me..Jiffy Lace

Blog 2012 003Blog 2012 005Hi, Sue the spinner here with the first of an occasional series on things to do with yarn, some serious and some just long lost fads. If you want to challenge me to try any unusual technique please feel free to do so. 
Blog 2012 007Blog 2012 006I'm starting with Jiffy lace simply because someone passed me a leaflet of instructions which totally confused me. No idea of the publication date but priced at $1.50 so obviously an import. Now this looks very much like broomstick crochet and I suspect Jiffy Lace is simply an American cover story for it. You use a big needle and a crochet hook to make the stitches, I found it very fiddly to do and certainly not relaxing for me but maybe with practise?? or maybe not!   I mean, I can't see me wearing this...can you?

Blog 2012 008 So I've made three small samples, two in acrylic, one in hand spun and I suspect that may be the end of this experiment unless anyone wants to educate me further? I throw the challenge out to you, the readers.....

Blog 2012 012

Blog 2012 013
Blog 2012 014

So , let me know what you think and I'll stick to the knitting for a little while longer xx