I Knit London Tweets

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Designer Knitting

Designer Knitting arrived in the shop today and is packed full of brilliant patterns as usual. There's lots of big (dare I say - easy looking) shawls and wraps. Some of them are almost blankets but being lace, they are perfect for Spring.

There is a small article on the KNIFTAs which was a nice surprise. It's sets us up for planning the 2nd annual awards...

The online shop is still pending but all telephone orders are simple and easy.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Just as the newsletter gone out the zauberball arrived.
I love this yarn.

I'm not a huge fan of variegated yarns, especially socks but it can get a little annoying doing a whole sock or glove in a single colour. I really like the self striping yarns, for ease and my favorites are the huge stripes, like the zauberball. Its a single, which makes me love it more. It's a 4ply weight so perfect for socks and gloves and anything else small, like baby clothes, to keep the stripe. It's 75% wool, 25% nylon so machine washable - even better!

We only got 1 kilo so I doubt that will last long, Vanessa had already pocketed some and come up with 15 patterns to make things as sample for the shop.

Hayley has also made sure to stake her claim so they are reserved but that still leaves loads and more has been ordered.

We also moved the shop around a little at the weekend. We moved the sheep, again, and covered it with colinette point five. It looks great, I think you'll agree.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

NZ knitters and Sox Stix

It was a relaxing evening at the knitting group last night. Easter holidays have started so there was little more room than usual. If you're thinking of coming down tonight then you might be in luck with a bit more elbow room. We'll be closing tomorrow (Good Friday) and also on Easter Monday but if you need a knit-fix over the weekend come and see us on Saturday when we'll be open as normal (we might me shifting some furniture around but just step over us!).

One of the best things about the knitting group, and actually about having a shop in London, is the visitors. We love our regular family but there's always someone just in town for a few days who has looked us up and come along to check us out. It always feels like we have some kind of reputation to uphold, in these days of the internet you can read so much about us before you get here that we have a lot to live up to! Last night's international contingent was Amy from New Zealand (by way of Alabama), who was expecting a knitting megastore and found our little shop! But it's quality not quantity that counts I suppose. Amy runs her own knitting shop in Christchurch (The Loop Knittery) and we gassed for a while about everything from the price of Noro in NZ (shocking!), to the joys (or not) of acrylic. Look at her go with her two-socks-at-the-same-time shenanigans. I bored her with the I Knit story (which I am apt to do once I get started, sorry folks). It was nice to have time to chat and get out from behind the counter for once.

As I was telling the whole history of I Knit it reminded me of the days when we'd cycle across town with backpacks full of alpaca to do our Sunday market stall at Spitalfields. I was talking to Amy about how we'd grown from then but I realised that the links we made then are still going strong. We had only a couple of yarns (Artesano Alpaca and Colinette Point 5) and needles from Brittany and Lantern Moon, with a spattering of the odd sari silk or sock yarn. We still stock them all now. I remember when we first ordered Lantern Moon needles (for those uninitiated these are the mystical ebony, rosewood and palmwood needles, handcrafted in Vietnam and selling for just less than the price of your most treasured possession - but they could easily become your most treasured possession if you get your hands on a pair). When we first stocked them I remember the company were worried that a market stall in London wasn't quite the most suitable outlet for their lovely needles, but we talked them around. We haven't had them in a while but yesterday they came back into stock, as lovely as shiny as ever, including the Sox Sticks - five rosewood DPNs in their own little bag. Cute. Some people might baulk at £16 for a set of needles but these sort of things are what lift your knitting from a craft to a hobby - you don't really need to have rosewood needles, or gemstone stitch markers, or hand-dyed fibre from the arctic muskox...but it makes life much nicer and more interesting when you do!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Cryptic conundrums

We all know that knitting stimulates bits of the brain which supposedly means all of us knitters are brainier than anyone else. Or something like that. Well, maybe some of you could help out...

I have a penchant for the crossword of the cryptic kind. Every Saturday I have a bash at The Times and The Guardian with various degrees of success, but even if I don't finish it passes the time and de-stresses at the same time. Last weekend though I came upon the nonsense that is The Times' Listener Crossword. Now don't get me wrong, I'm no egghead but this was way beyond human comprehension!

Here is the introduction. That's right, the introduction! Never mind that you then have to work out the answers to the clues after you've tried to work out just what the heck the rules are! In the first place, you have to get past this:

"In the contest between solver and setter it is generally to be hoped that the solver will prevail. Here, however, the setter has concluded this will not happen.
Solvers must enter single digits in a region of 36 cells, using A=1, B=2,...Z=26; where letters from crossing answers conflict, enter the difference. A three by three region is key. In each of three additional cells a two-digit number is required which exceeds the letter-value or difference by a multiple of 26. In each of two special cells the same appropriate outline shape is indicated as the entry, although in different sizes; for each clue affecting these two cells, the number in parentheses does not match the answer's length.
A portion of the grid shows the outcome as predicted by the setter just before the solver's final effort, which the setter has deemed unlikely to succeed. Solvers must draw a curved arrow through letters forming an appropriate word and relocate one of the shapes; they will then be entitled to adjust the numbers in two cells (and must do so), thereby proving the setter wrong. The Chambers Dictionary (2008) is the primary reference, but one clue answer is defined in the context of the puzzle."



Sunday, April 05, 2009

The recent Facebook debacle...(and Ravelry too)

Over the past few weeks I have been sorting out the number of websites I subscribe to. It was all getting a bit much there for a while and I wanted to take stock and clear out the virtual clutter! You know sometimes when you feel like there's too much going on in your head to cope with? It was bit like that....too much to do, too many log-ins to remember, too many places to go and update profiles, too many message boards and too much time spent in front of a computer!

So, while I was taking stock I left a number of sites, including Ravelry and Facebook. Ravelry was too all-consuming for my liking and after a couple of upsetting spats in the message boards (where, recently, the levels of personal attacks and bitchiness seems to have reached fever pitch) I've decided not to use it any longer. I'm a sensitive soul. The I Knit Ravelry group is still going strong with almost 1500 members, and Gerard is still an avid user, but I haven't been on the site for a month now and it's amazing (and a little sad) how much better I feel for it. I still have my log-in to update anything in the group if need be, but I'm prone to taking things personally and I can do without having to worry about where the next sideswipe is coming from when we've got enough on our plate at the moment as it is.

One of the side effects of leaving Facebook, temporarily, as I sorted some things out was that our Facebook Group was taken over by someone else. With a complete deletion of all of our information, events and message boards, the group is now under the control of someone called Birol Metin and is now an anti-Guantanamo Bay group. Even if you agree with the sentiment, you can't agree with the wholesale hijack of a group with 850 members. If you are in the group please use the 'report this group' link to do so then leave....and join our new Facebook Page instead!

There's little chance of the group being restored. Contacting Facebook in itself was a trial which took about 10 days and I have just had the response that, basically, it's not their problem, the group wasn't hijacked; I left so it's fair game for anyone to come along and message all of our members and change anything they like. You'd think that after the recent debacle over Facebook's change of terms and the backlash they had they would be a little more helpful and responsive. I'm amazed they think it instils any kind of confidence in using the site at all. I'm staying on there as I do find it entertaining and useful to keep up-to-date with friends etc but I'm deleting any photos and personal info as I simply don't trust them to protect it.

It's been a bit of a rant today, but it's better out than in my head. I need all my headspace to remember my online passwords and PIN numbers.