Finished projects

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A quick run down of finished objects and ongoing projects. The photo above is of a beautiful selection of cotton 4ply (available in the shop) which I Prisma‘d.

I very nearly have another sweater finished but its proving to be tricky to ease the blooming thing over the finishing line. It’s this Boxy sweater, and for me this has been a bit of a sprint (it’s taken me about 2 months to knit), but try as I might I just can’t stick a fork in it and call it done.

First there was a moment when I was just knitting up the rib on the second side and I realised that the rib on the first side (and as per instruction) was just too short and the jumper’s hem would inevitably roll. So I had to undo the first side from the bottom (aaarggghhhh – nearly 2 hours of fiddly work) and re-knit it. Then I got to the sleeves  (and was unsure about their length but I thought they ‘would do’), had cast off the first and was about to cast off the second and realised that I’d added a knit 2 purl 2 rib to this sleeve and k1, p1 elsewhere. Drat. Double drat.

So I re-did the ribs and tried on the sweater – not happy with the sleeve length and a bit confounded by the neckline instructions which seemed to suggest that the neck was done as it was. So I picked up a large quantity of stitches around the neck and tried rib – nope – tried garter – nope, opted for a iCord cast off in the end which is fine, but gosh, it takes a while.

Back to the sleeves – now I’m thinking that they’re definitely too short – might be ok if the sweater was silk or linen, but the woolly-ness of the jumper made elbow length sleeves look a bit silly (a bit like – IMHO – boots with holes at the toes, or sleeveless coats or, well you get the picture). So the sleeves got redone and it’s just ready to block*, so I should have a finished object by the end of this week. I wouldn’t bank on it though.

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This is finished though – a cute little jacket designed by the team at a ‘large knitting yarn company which I will not name’ which a couple of customers had complained about and I test-knitted. It was indeed a mare – badly put together and lacking in clarity instruction-wise. I finished it, swearing gently at almost every stage and put it together slowly (having to totally disregard the instructions and wing it). It looks ok but as you can tell by Ted’s expression it’s not a brilliant knit. Oh and don’t even get me started on the amount of ends generated by the multicoloured rib!

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so many ends – so little enthusiasm for sewing them in!

Also on the pile of finished objects – three single socks – my sock mojo is absent at the moment and I’m loving getting started on them, but SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) has really got me in its grip right now

So a rough count leaves something like 3 works in progress (a sweater, three pairs of socks, a crochet shawl), one or two things that are semi-permanently on the naughty step and some progress made in getting stuff finished. So it’s obviously time to look for a new project isn’t it?

 

*blocking – the process whereby with a bit of added water and a million pins your slightly sad looking knit turns into a swan. Its worth the effort honest. See here for instructions

Edinburgh and what not

Sorry it’s been awhile between postings – life has been busy and there’s been a few challenges to consider too.

The last-but-one weekend we went to the Edinburgh Wool Festival. I guess it’s usual to turn out a blog post that’s full of gushing superlatives about the event along with a picture of the goodies I bought. Well, as much as I love yarn, and as lovely as it was to be surrounded by people who adored yarn as much (sometimes more!) than me, I came away feeling a bit glum. The event is very much at the artisan end of knitting and crochet – and there was some gorgeous things to buy. But the entrance fee is 12 pounds and there didn’t seem to be a ball of yarn under 7 quid for 50g. AND THE PLACE WAS RAMMED!  I sell reasonably priced yarns in my shop, and I’ve tried to make a commitment to selling the best quality knitting wool and sometimes I don’t see a soul for ages in my little establishment. I want people to love knitting of course, but I want them to have the chance to buy yarn near their homes at reasonable prices, just like I did when I was younger.

If someone gave me a penny for all the  times I’d been told that ‘knitting is having a moment’ I’d have almost a pound! And maybe it is – but that wouldn’t reflect my experience of sitting in an empty shop worrying about the bills. I guess it’s the internet, or the shift from high-street yarn shops to artisanal craft fairs – or just a lack of ready money to spend on hobbies, but it’s sometimes a struggle. To that end I am reducing my hours again – this time to 4 days a week – Tuesday to Friday 11am to 4pm.  This should give me more time to work out how to make a living from the business and make any changes necessary to sustain it in the long run.

I’m sorry to be a bit down-hearted – I still love my little knitting shop and I hate the thought of even losing one day, so I will keep on going until I can’t think of an alternative! Your support is essential of course and a big thanks to all my regular customers.

I’ll leave you with some photos – including the one with the Edinburgh goodies!