Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Regia Mix It Color Sock!

It feels like an age since I last introduced a yarn to you so I'm v. excited. (In fact, I've just looked back and I think it might have been the Opium in January???). Also, this one has sort of come in dribs and drabs so it's actually been hanging around the shop for a while. I'm going to be brutally honest, the only reason I bought it is because (the lovely) Jem offered me a knit print umbrella and some see through wellies for free. Look:

That's bloody brill ain't it!? Haha. It won't let me review the video and I've apparently deleted it from my computer so I've had to embed it from facebook and it looks like it might be massive so apologies.

And these:

Yeeeeeeah, they don't fit my chubby legs. Ha. 

The actual yarn arrived a bit earlier than I expected and there wasn't an umbrella or wellies and my heart sank. Just a massive poster that I can't fit anywhere in our tiny space. :( And then Jem told me that the wellies that they'd ordered stank and were causing allergies so we might not be able to actually have the wellies and that was a bit of a bugger. But they did source some because everybody got up in arms, so now we have wellies that don't fit that come from a company called 'Rampant Sports' or something or other. Ha. They also smell a bit rubbery if you know what I mean. And it looks terrible when I put the socks that came with the package in them: 

And I've tried stuffing them with all sorts. Ugh. But it does give me a use for the sock base I paid through the nose for and then never got round to knitting a sock for... :)

So, you can hopefully see that the colours are a bit brash and it creates it's own little 'fair isle' pattern (I usually refer to this as fauxisle so as not to confuse anybody). It's 75% virgin wool and 25% polyamide and there's 420m on a ball so it's a really standard sock yarn but obviously Regia is brilliant quality and there's a ten year guarantee (apparently nobody reads the ball band. But I did tell some customers today that they bring defective yarn back to me... you dont. You go here and find an address though I can't find it so maybe if it comes to it and you can't either then get back in contact with me and I'll shout at Jem. :) ). 

What I noticed in particular about this selection of yarn is how much bluuuuuuue there is. I think this is brill because, I hate to stereotype, but seriously - men don't want ridiculous coloured socks (with a few, brilliant exceptions). I've been absolutely shocked at the amount of silly-coloured-sock-hatred there is in the XY world. Seriously. To be fair, these aren't the most tame of colourways but they are blue and that seems to be acceptable. 

Soooooo, without further ado: 

In full and complete honesty, one of the blues in missing from that photo and I can't work out what it is. Ha. The differences are much more apparent in the balls. I'll make it easy - just click here to see the colours non-smudged. (And for the google rankings, this is the Regia Mix It Color Sock.)

I definitely wanted to show that there is a booklet to go with it though because as far as I can see it's bloody brill! It's a short row pattern heel (that they call a boomerang heel) and there are photos and illustrations to help you out with the tricky bits and it comes in three sizes which is lovely. That's available here. The socks are knee length so for the adult sizes you'll need either two balls or to knit them a bit shorter. 

But I want to give you all a gift if you've got this far because I'm nice like that. Soooooo: 

I've set up a discount code that I'll only promote here on this very blog! It is MixIt10 (I don't know if the capital letters count but you might aswell do it) and you'll get 10% off the yarn until the 9th of August (next Friday). Not available in the shop because of this next bit: 

I have five booklets to give away!!! I can make this much fairer if everything goes through the internet because then I'm not trying to keep up with who's bought what where and when. 

Soooo, if you want 10% off your socks and a free booklet then order over t'interwebs and if you want to come to the shop then just buy over the internet select the 'collect at shop' option and you won't be charged postage. Brill yeah? 

AND I have something else to give away! Blimey! See these little blighters: 

Well, they're tags to sew into your finished items. CUTE! I've no idea how many I have, or whether you'll want one for each sock or one per pair, but I'm going to give away two per ball until they're all gone so it's first come, first served. 

I also want to point out that it's now five (FIVE) months to Christmas and socks make bloody brill presents!

And I also want to tell you that there are some brill men in the world. Well, at least one. Look at what Robin bought me to cheer me up!!!!!!!

That's Sports Direct < 3 branded Tuppaware. Seriously. What a man! And he knits! It did cheer me right up. :) :) :) :)

Right, time to check e-mails and head home. 

Love! xx

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Holiday Catchup Times

So it's been... uh... like three weeks since I last posted. Wow. I am a terrible blogger! In all honesty, as I told you last year, this time of year doesn't really happen for me. The shop's slow, I'm hot, my birthday happens and I just want to sleep and forget about everything until the cold weather comes. I think I may be acclimatising to the heat though (or it's got significantly cooler which is most likely - I'm avoiding weather forecasts btw, too depressing).

This is my first day back after a week or so's holiday and I'm loving seeing everybody again and I forgot (how could I!?) about Pride so it's been a colourful morning so far. I have tidying to do. So. Much. Tidying. I'm just waiting for the sun to move so the shop doesn't feel like a greenhouse. In the meantime, I'll tell you about my week off and holiday in the sun. :)

So, it all started badly to be frank. at the end of last week I had a boozing session and woke up with a throat infection (before you ask there was no kissing men - we were playing dominoes in my back garden). It got slowly worse over the week despite lots of Soothers and co-codamol. I knew it was a throat infection but when I rang 111 they told me that it was viral and there was no way they'd give me antibiotics. So I sucked it up and me and my sister got on the coach to the Isle of Wight.

We booked a holiday without knowing where we were going because it was cheap. To be frank, we knew we were going to the Isle of Wight but where within the Isle of Wight was a mystery. It was a good £40 cheaper! More money for booze! We were hoping to go to Shanklin because we had vague memories of going there as children but to be honest, we just wanted a beach and some pubs. The bus was a little late, but we were straight on the bus to the Isle of Wight so we didn't have to change over which left more time for medicinal ice cream at the services whilst everybody else swapped coaches.

I didn't knit for the whole nine hour coach drive.

I'm going to put that in it's own little paragraph because seriously!? I didn't knit! (Or crochet - no cheating!). That's how ill I was.

When we got there we had dinner straight away and headed down to the beach. We spent a good hour and a half, maybe two, in the sea. It was beautiful. Such a hot day. Such a cool sea. There was a patch of stoney bits as you walked into the sea that was soooo painful for our little feet but as we were finally getting out the Tridess (female version of the Trident. Made up) sent some massive waves to get us over the hurdle and we ended up like beached whales at the other side of the rocks - like funny looking mermaids. It set us up for a holiday-long Tridess joke. Dead good.

Me at the beach looking dead impressed. 

We wandered around for a bit, found an Irish bar, played some pool, had another medicinal ice cream. At the side of one of the bars was a red room with some really plush sofas so we sat down (and left little puddles of sand...). It had a massive open window onto the seafront and it was lovely. Two of the ladies from the coach trip walked past the window and amiably told us we looked like prostitutes. Another good joke. 

Then we headed back the the hotel fairly early. Caroline fell right asleep and I barely slept a wink. It was a horrid night. Horrid. So at five in the morning I rang back the 111 service and got this really lovely woman who sorted me out with a bus timetable to get me to the hospital in Newport. She said that I had to get there in six hours which I class as an emergency. Another joke was born - rushed to hospital on a bus. Two buses actually. I set off straight away more or less, trundled into town, got on the bus, got on another bus, got to the hospital an hour early, sat about with no knitting, got in the queue, was examined by a lovely but sarcastic doctor and got my drugs. Thank god! I rang my mum and she told me to take two at first, a fat dose, to help it kick in quicker (she's a nurse not just making it up...) so I did and I trundled back to the hotel again. 

On the way home I found a Sports Direct < 3 : 

Where I bought some more dominoes because we'd forgotten them. 

And when I got back into Shanklin I took a wrong turning because it was hot and the street was busy and I was in pain. And low and behold, I found a bloody wool shop!!!!

It looks like it appeared from heaven doesn't it!? Strictly Knitting.

The ladies were lovely. I wasn't on top form, I usually end up in an hours conversation with other LYSO's - there's just so much to talk about! But I wasn't feeling it this time and it wasn't their fault, they were knowledgeable and friendly and the shop was stunning. Properly tidy! IMAGINE! And posh. I did think I'd write a whole blog post about them but I didn't take enough photos and I didn't speak to them enough to get much of a story so I'll leave it be. 

As you know, I always buy something when I go to a wool shop, and here it is: 

I love Araucania yarn, I've had lots of it before and I loved this colourway in the skein but I should have thought more closely about it because there was a beautiful deep red version that would have been stunning as something. This ended up a little wishy-washy for me. But it's made a lovely easy scarf that I promise I will show you at some point. 

When I got back to the hotel, they'd saved my breakfast for me which was brill of them and everybody was really concerned because Caroline had only half heard me saying I was going, as if in a dream, and then I'd had to turn my phone off in the hospital so she had no real idea what was happening. Ha. We sat outside in the sun whilst I slowly ate my breakfast and we played some more dominoes. It was windy and at one point the big umbrella things flew right out of the tables, over the wall and into the road, nearly causing a crash and landing on top of an old bloke on a scooter. I ran out to rescue the situation and felt dead embarrassed but after that I was a ninja, catching two blowing umbrellas before they had chance to get over the wall. HA. 

The afternoon was spent at a lovely cafe on the sea front: 

And then the beach: 

That evening we headed down the seafront to Shanklin Chine. It's a much loved part of our childhood memory bank and we were excited about going there. But alas, and alack, Caroline got into a competition with a Nottingham man at pool (he won, just) and we were too late by the time we got there but I did catch this photo: 

Looks magical doesn't it!? 

We walked back down the esplanade, and traveled up the cliff lift (our companions were thrilled to save 40p because they were old) and wandered back to the hotel. 

When we got back to the hotel I went to bed and Caroline got drunk with the other holidaymakers. She did a real good job of waking me up when she finally came to bed but I know some of her students read this so I won't go into details... 

The next morning we toyed with the idea of heading into Sandown but, being more experienced at beach-side walking than Cazza, I persuaded her that it was too far to go and that we ought to just go to the beach. So in the morning we played dominoes and some cards, headed the opposite way to Sandown and found a gorgeous cafe to have lunch in at the top of a cliff: 

Seriously - look at that!

Dominoes set up. 

Lunch. Cheesy chips and crab sandwiches. Heaven. 

We spent the rest of the day on the beach, preparing ourselves for what we envisaged would be a hard walk in the evening. I can't believe I went on holiday and did nothing of any cultural relevance at all. Whatsoever. I blame the bloody NHS for not giving me drugs sooner. 

In the evening Caroline found her perfect man: 

She looks confused about it. 

And then she beat me at old fashioned bowling. Just. 

We walked down to the beach and the Tridess had given us one last gift: 

A lovely piece of washed up mdf covered in seaweed. We placed it, like an offering, next to a bin. It's what she would want. 

And we finally made it to the chine!!!

It's essentially a gorge that's been planted (naturally or not, we never found out) with all sorts of magical looking plants. It looks like a jungle and it's the kind of place that would be interested in conservation. At night time (it's open 'till 10) it's lit up in lots of different colours. It's definitely the kind of place that fairies would live and I remember discussing it quite seriously with Mum when I was a kid. It isn't really a place for me and Cazza though - no pub and too much walking. Also too many kids and helicopter parents who actually brought a tripod - you what!?!? I think it was worth going though. 

And one last photo because Caroline played a blinder: 

That's the waterfall at the very end. Lovely. 

We went back to the hotel where everybody ordered a beer, apart from me, I ordered milk: 


We... played dominoes... And went to bed. 

The journey back was uneventful, but it was the first time I've ever been able to properly sleep on a coach, probably all the drugs. 

It's horrible being back home in this heat. By the sea there is the breeze and you can go for a swim and there's no work but when I got home all I could do was sleep. So I was feeling a bit down because of the heat and the holiday homecoming etc. etc. and then I got dumped. By a massive moronic bastard who isn't over his ex. Jeez, how exactly do you think you're going to get over your ex when you cancel a date with the new one to see the old one!? What a tit. Who wouldn't want a mad knitter with half a head of hair and a throat infection?! Ha. 

Then it was my birthday which was miserable because of pain and men and my parents forgetting... And  then I went to visit Dee who cheered me right up with a bottle of wine and a toffee pavlova. Such a good woman. 

So that's it. Fully caught up. And no knitting. I know how you lot feel. So looking forward to winter. Seriously cannot wait for some snow. 

Right, tidying time. 

Love Eleanor. xx

Thursday, 4 July 2013


See this?

It's a stunning print from Amy Blackwell. She's a local illustrator, big knitter and a friend who works bloody hard. You can buy it by clicking here. 

See this?

It's a copy made by a shower of bastards and available here.

Why on earth anybody thinks it's acceptable to copy somebody, let alone a tiny independent illustrator, is absolutely beyond me. Absolutely. There's even the same number of flowers for pity's sake! 

Amy posted it on facebook just about a minute after I'd watched this: 

It's the official video for the FSB thing that I did. We're all talking about how important local trade is but what I think is missed out is how important the connections between us are. Amy is a customer of mine and if her trade is hit then my trade is hit, and perhaps the Bead Shop and perhaps Stones Hardware up the road or Plava Laguna next door or maybe the Golden Fleece or Lee Rosy's or any other little independent about the place.

It makes me so mad! Not only is it wrong on a legal, moral and personal level but it's just one of my many small ways that little businesses are affected by a bunch of selfish bastards.

/rant over

I'm going to do something productive now.

Love Eleanor.

Tuesday, 2 July 2013


Hopefully. Fingers crossed. With a little help from you lot. :)

All you have to do is click here and vote for us in the best Midlands shop and best internet shop section. We'd be most most most most most grateful!!! And you'll have the joy of shopping in the best yarn shop in the Midlands rather than the third best shop in the UK - that's got to count for something right?

If you're wondering what else to click then obviously King Cole is always the way to go. Otherwise, I have a special inkling for Noro, Patons, Fyberspates and Kate Davies. Baa Ram Ewe have been particularly good to us this year so surely them for the North of England? Get Knitted are brill as is the Yarn Cake in Glasgow.

Don't feel like I'm trying to influence you, these are just the ones that I love myself and I know that if you're not a knitter/crocheter - but somehow have a favourite yarn shop in the Midlands because we're so bloody brill then you'll need some other options to choose because they won't let you fill in just one bit. Does that make sense? Mostly I want to beat Deramores - I'm sure they're lovely people and I know the service is brill but as a tiny independent they just seem like a big megalith who charge far more than we ever would but get the custom because they're so shiny.

So, deffo vote for us and we'll love you forever (partners/husbands/children/parents/cousins/grandparents/greatgrandparents/uncles/aunties/next-door-neighbours are allowed to vote too...). :)

In other news, can you remember when I was searching to find my mum the perfect cross stitch? I wrote about it here. I bought it in the end - had to save up and everything and mum LOVED it. Took her a few days to pluck up the courage to start mind but she did and she's plugged away at it every evening since. And then. And then. And then. We realised that she's done the whole bloody thing the wrong way round so she'll run out of room at the bottom. She gave up for a while. But I have clever and experienced customers! I spoke to Claire who mentioned that if there's a spot where the cross stitch goes all the way across the piece then you can add a new piece of aida and cross stitch it into position. Technically there isn't, but we've found a spot towards the bottom where there is a stitch in all but 10 squares so we're going to design a little flower to plug the hole and hope for the best. As with all of the best crafts there are mistakes all the way through so that little mistake will not look out of place. As Dee often tells me, only Allah is perfect. :)

Here's what it looks like at the exact half way point:

It looks like a painting doesn't it? Amazing. Dead proud. 

In other other news. Yarndale has sold out! As have the lovely crochet hooks!

And I think (can't tell you for definite if this is true without checking) but I think, that this has been our best day ever in terms of sales (certainly if you include the internet). On a Tuesday? In July? What are you lot on!?!?! THANKS!!!!! I've used all of the money to pay King Cole and the lady in accounts smiled (you know how you can sometimes tell over the phone) which is a rarity but v. welcome. I think she likes us. :)

OOOOOH and also - the new Knit Now has hit the shelves it's here: 

Lots of lace. Very lovely. Particularly the one skein book which I know will be useful for a lost of you stashers. 

On the internet here. And if you notice the back issues all have £1.50 off because I'm trying to clear the little pile of one or two issues that haven't been sold. Then we can start again. :)

Right, that's got to be it, I need to tidy for June in the morning, then do some sewing (ugh), then ring some customers, then get to knit club and then text a v. handsome boy that I've been speaking to lately (mwahahahahaha!). 

Love Eleanor. xx