Monday, 29 April 2013

A Memory.

May I introduce you to this one little pattern from King Cole that I haven't even knitted yet? Yes? Thanks:

I've come across this pattern before, I'm sure you have too. It's very old fashioned and all the more lovely because of it. You knit it in squares, starting in the corner, increase at the edges until it's the width that it needs to be from corner to corner and then decrease again popping in a leaf and some garter ridges along the way (in this version, I'm not sure I've ever seen the garter ridges before). Then you sew them together so that the leaves fall together and the garter ridges together. Dead simple, dead effective and just enough 'knitting' to make it feel like you're doing something

We've had the pattern in the shop for a few weeks at least but it's been at the back of the shop waiting to be put onto the internet because I've been caught up in the SkillMeOnline lessons (still not completed btw but I'll get there...). I've just come back to get this pile cleared so that I can clear that part of the shop and I discovered it anew. 

At almost exactly the same time I was rediscovering it, a customer walked in and rediscovered it herself. She told us a story that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Her mum had made this pattern time and time again in 4ply for smaller versions and DK for larger for all of the family. When she was dying and wanted something to do she started another version. It never got finished and as my customer was clearing out her mum's stuff she found the half knitted blanket and finished it off for her niece so that this little baby could have something made for the grandma she'd never see. 

Oh god. Is it getting too sickly in here?!? Sweet little story. There's only so much you can do with sticks and string so things are always going to come back. Lots of knitters and crocheters tell me about specific connection with history - one day maybe I'll have my own sweet little story. It might even start with me knitting one of these 3703 blankets!

Back to work, 

Love Eleanor. x

Friday, 26 April 2013

On the Camera

I'm taking inspiration from another of my favourite blogs - Little Tin Bird (who also now has a facebook group) and doing an 'on the camera' post because it's just getting ridiculous. I've had to delete one of my horoscope apps because there are too many bloody photos - how am I going to know how to live my life now!?

Anyway - this is the customer edition because I have over 200 on my phone and there's enough for at least a 'what I've been up to knit-wise' and (if I feel like it) a little 'Eleanor's personal edition'. We'll see how I feel...

This is an epic blanket crocheted by Sue in all sorts of cottons including the Bamboo Cotton and Cottonsoft. She was inspired by the blog Little Cotton Rabbits (as far as I can remember - I bet this photo was taken last summer...). I would call it gypsy-chic. 

This is a really bloody cute teddy knitted in the Comfort DK by.... I can't remember her name and I feel terrible because every year she makes me a little miniature Christmas decoration stuffed with some sort of chocolate. Good woman!

This is Vezza in her first top down raglan (hand movements included. If that makes no sense to you then just ignore me...). It was in the King Cole Merino Aran that she won with her second full loyalty card. One thing you can say about that girl, she's loyal. :)

The lovely Debbie and her Christmas table runner. I honestly can't remember what yarn we chose in the end - it took so long and was swapped but it was either the Bamboo Cotton or the Patons Cotton 4ply. She held a thread of lurex along with it for an extra sparkly touch and it looks seriously stunning doesn't it!?

Some beeeeeeeeyootiful socks in the Regia Sock. I don't even remember who knitted these never mind her name but I am well jel - aren't they great!?

Talking about Regia Sock - here's Dee's darning in my favourite colourway of the yarn - Istanbul Mosaic. I was horrified that she was using the Regia for darning but really, yarn is there to be used and enjoyed isn't it? She she smiled every time she looked down at it so brill! 

And speaking of Dee... here's some of her special yarn knitted into a fabulous hat. I can't remember the bloke's name (nothing personal, it's v. rare for me to remember names...) but he's a brill knitter and I'm trying to persuade him to design a fairisle in some mohair yarn he picked up in India. 

A gorgeous yellow baby shawl in the Truly Wool Rich 4ply. I've never known this lady's name so I don't feel guilty but she simply wouldn't believe me when I told her this was perfect so hopefully she reads this one day - it's perfect!

I probably shouldn't show you this because it's the last vestiges of the Heritage DK which was beauts! Dawn MADE THIS PATTERN UP! Well, pieced it together like a beautiful Frankenstein's monster. I love most that you can see the pattern on the inside of it - so neat. 

Lindsey's dog! I can't remember (or tell for that matter...) what breed it is but it caused some right heartache so I'm sure she'll tell us! She used a pattern but pretty much ripped that up for the colourwork - made her own little chart and everything. Very impressive! the yarn was the Cygnet Aran.

Another of Debbie's creations - the one with the Christmas runner. If I remember correctly this was one of her first crochet creations. She'd booked on a crochet lesson but couldn't wait any longer so she taught herself on the internet, with books and scanning her brain for vague memories from childhood and used the credit from the cancelled lesson to buy more yarn. Love that woman - so clever! It's the Bamboo Cotton in the beautiful damson colourway. 

And this is our friend Davina in her jumper from the first run of the Sweater Club. It's in the Haze DK and a pattern that we're not stocking anymore but I love how well it suits her and her smug faces on these photos - every right to be smug ey!?  I also like how she moves in her own way - Davina hates sewing in ends so she chops them off. I can't condone this sort of behaviour but really, knitting shouldn't be a slog - do it as you please. :)

Lastly, but not leastly, is a WIP that we're really excited about here and KN! It's not me or June (funnily enough) but I'm not going to say anymore.
How's about that ey!?

Love Eleanor. :)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Done done done done done and done!

You don't know how pleased I am to write that I am done. And done. And done. Kinda. I still need to write and send an invoice and finish off some of the patterns ready for distribution but the filming and therefore the knitting and crochet are DONE!

We took a lot less photos this time because we meant BUSINESS. We were on the train for 7.30am again on Monday but we decided to stay over with Mary, whose house we were filming in, so that we could start out early on the Tuesday. It worked well and we were comfortable and happy in her loverly house.

I'm going to start this sordid tale on Sunday because that's when the stress really began. Let's bear in mind that I needed to design a blanket, cardi and mug cosie, write the patterns for those, make some spare parts for each and help Masa make some spare parts for her versions. That's 36 knitted squares, two blankets to sew an edge, three cardi's and the beginnings of two cardis, some samples from within that pattern, two full mug cosies and two full mug cosies not sewn together. Honestly, I didn't get them all done. We were frantically knitting on Monday and Tuesday night.

On Sunday, Jem Weston brought together a few of us from Knit Club to do a photo shop at the White Rabbit Tea Rooms in the city centre to take some photos to promote her gorgeous book Cute Little Knits. I really didn't think I could go but because of all of this work and stress I haven't gone to knit club for weeks so I decided to take the opportunity and all of my work with me and - bugger it - knit in the company of my lovely friends. I bloody loved it and got loads done!!!

Steph took the proper photos on her v. posh camera and she's posted the ones that Jem didn't want to her very own blog. I'm stealing this one because I love it!

Really very rare to find a photo that I genuinely like of myself but don't we both look happy!? :):):) You should definitely click here to check out her blog post though, and the rest of her blog because it's one that I LOVE to read - she has a lovely prim way of writing that suits her personality very well. I only wish she could write more - maybe give up the day job and write blogs just for me Steph? 

We took up most of the tea rooms and moved things around to suit us but we did all have coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cakes, scones and sandwiches so they did very well out of us! Once we'd been a little bit twee we decided to be a whole lot more twee and headed over the to Cath Kidston shop and spent a good hour in there looking around. I ummed and ahhed about going but decided to go ahead in the end whilst knitting - must have looked a right tit walking and knitting but only I knew how much work there still was to be done. 

At some point I decided to go home to work work work and ended up with this little mess: 

In the end I got my mum and Masa working like slaves to finish the blankets off and we ended up with two beauties: 

We were sewing on buttons, sewing in ends, packing bags and washing our hair until 1.30am on Monday morning - we had to get up at 5.30am. Ugh. My sister calls this shat-knacked. 

We're sure that we saw Carol Ann Duffy  at Nottingham Train Station. She was carrying a guitar. We'd been talking about her the night before for some reason. Brill. 

I saw not one, not two but three customers on our train journey didn't I?!? Mental knitters up at 7.30am. I'd be in bed if I could help it. We ate chocolate crispie cakes: 

And from there on in Monday goes dark. We were so busy that we didn't get any photos. I took one as we were outside in the evening here: 

That's the city in the background. Beautiful. 

In the morning I took a photo from our bedroom window: 

Not much to say about that. It's stunning isn't it!? 

Masa fell in love with the cat called Milo who was a right little bugger. He kept coming in and messing with the wires and yarn so we ended up locking him out in the end. Then when we went outside for lunch and left the door slightly open he made a mad dash from the other side of the garden and we all shouted at Masa to shut the door and she did but nearly chopped him in half but she didn't and argggggghghghgh... stress. He was lovely lovely lovely though. Doesn't she look tired?

This was on the second night which we weren't meant to be staying but the filming went over so we did. No photos from the filming on Tuesday or Wednesday though just a few as we were tidying up: 

Isn't Mary's house beautiful?! And lovely to see Joe from On Point Productions doing some work. Ha. That's a lie. He was a bloody trooper. Especially after he deleted most of the footage from the second day and he had to work out how to recover it. I felt so bad for him, we were all so tired. But he fixed it. Super Joe!!!

Masa had to leave earlier on Wednesday so we stayed behind and finished up the filming and we were SO RELIEVED when it finished. What a marathon! Joe had to go to work soonish and June had agreed to do the shop but we couldn't both get in the same car so I stayed behind in Mary's lovely house and sat in the sun with Milo:

Then I watched Loose Women for the first time in months whilst eating mini-sausages: 

Then I wandered around the garden and took photos from different angles: 

Such fabulous garden and house. We loved it! Such a good house! Such a good garden. Love. 

On the train I started recrocheting the scarf that I started on the crochet course but hadn't had time to do anything with in Vezza's yarn. It's not a scarf anymore because I got drunk last night and ambitious. I'll regret that because I have a HOLIDAY booked on the 6th of May. I will tell you about it soon but I ought to actually get some work done ey? 

Love Eleanor!!!!


P.s. shop is too busy to check this so I hope it's not too terribly written. Maybe later. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013


I have just been looking through my photos for the last two days and I am MOST excited again! It has been a wonderful and exhausting couple of days and we're not done yet!!!

I've been teaching some lessons for and we were filming the crochet lessons this week. I won't go too far into the wheres and whatevers because you can read about that here and here. Suffice to say it's been bloody hard work but I'm so glad that I did it because it really paid off in the filming!

I'll start on Monday. The lovely June said she could cover the shop and I'm so glad she did because I would not have been ready. I had to nip to Verity's to get her fabulous Orbits dress to dress the mannequin in - as I have a much bigger waist than most mannequins so only a few of my crocheted items would have looked good. She fed me lots!!!! I played with little Alf! I bought some of her hand dyed yarn. It was then that I realised I'd lost my purse!!!!

I bought a new purse at Daphne's Handbag at the same time as I bought some new chairs for the shop:

I actually got the purse for free but I would have paid a lot - look!!!!!

Gorge ey?

I'd left it on the bus on the way to V's and not realised until I came to pay. I rang the bus company and they'd found it but I wasn't going to be able to collect it until 9am the next day but we were getting the train at 7.30am and I needed the cards in it to get the tickets from the machine. ARGH! The lovely lady on the phone arranged for me to meet the very same bus to collect it from the driver but I had to rush rush rush rush to get there. So I did. Obvs I smoked as I ran. Health conscious. 

Anyway, the rest of the day went swimmingly - I sorted all of my yarn into suitcases: 

Top coated my shiny nice new nails!

I'd got them done on the Saturday before at Jaques in Carrington and they were brill. I really liked my nail technician but I forgot to ask her name. 

So, the next day we got up real early - met at the train station at seven. We collected the tickets and walked calmly to the train, got on, sat down, did some make up and read the paper. Not stressful at all! As we got into Leicester there was a poster of Michael Buble who we both really love so that was exciting for us and we got a bit giddy:

Lovely Michael. There was loads of good music following us around. Hear'say, Pink and Destiny's Child! Brill!
When we got there we did a fair bit of messing around whilst the boys were working. That was the flavour of the day really... 

Until shit got serious: 

We did loads of work on the first day but we were still one scene down!!! I must say Masa and I were really pleased to be on the train home with chocolate and a cup of tea. Tired was not the word... 

Masa stayed over betwixt the days so that we could make sure to wake up together and on time. We did our make up on the train and balled up some of Verity's yarn that I bought the other day because I wanted to use it in the scarf lesson. 

I'll show you that in a few weeks once it's finished because it will be stunning!!!

We were much more focused on the Wednesday, probably because we all knew what we were doing a bit more. We got the rest of the squares done pretty quickly: 

But the sewing up and edging lesson took the mick. That was two whole hours to film! TWO HOURS!

After that we had a bit of a rest. Oli and his lovely wife Rehmat fed us super well!!! Pizza on the first day and loads of sanwiches, samosas and flapjacks on the second day. I'm aching for a salad now though - stodge is good to keep you going but now I need some vitamins or something...

Joe, the camera man was lovely. He has a company called On Point Productions and he was dead good, dead professional with all of the equipment and stuff. Snazzy. Towards the end of the day though we realised that the mannequin, Sylvia, had been turned with her back to us for a few scenes - not sure what he was thinking about then... Anyway, here he is: 

Looking a little sheepish I think. 

Masa did some modelling for the sight towards the end of the day and I did some modelling of my own... 

We were trying to show off my mic pack but it looks like some sort of weird glamour model shot apart from the energy drink bottle on the floor... 

Getting on for evening now and we were all tired. We decided to do some slow mo shots of the individual stitches that didn't need to have any sound on them so we had a chat... about feminism. I'm not sure the lads knew what hit them seeing as me and Masa are both lawyers with a bit of a chip on our shoulders but they ought to be happy that my sister wasn't there! 

This was the setup for the last shot of the day. The sun had well and truly gone down and we were all knackered!!! We tried to get the dress done and did a really good start about how to work out what you need to get before you start on a pattern but by the time it came to actually doing the dress we could barely make any sense between us so we thought it best to pack up and sort that in the next days filming. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get that done in time!

I'm dead proud of what we've done. I think we've covered a hell of a lot of material and for the prices that Oli wants to charge I think it's going to be fantastic value. The patterns are exclusive to the site for one year so you'll have to wait to get your grubby mitts on them - or you could buy the lessons! We really covered a hell of a lot - from how to hold your hook to some really pretty wicked lace. I'm hoping we get some really good photos to show off the projects for you. 

Masa was a STAR! She genuinely learned as much crochet in two days as I did in two years - she got tired and stressed in the second day but as soon as the camera was on she was interested and engaged. When I got a bit crabby whilst having to 'sell, sell, sell' for the intro shot she kept me going. I love working with her and haven't for years! Such a good friend! 

Oli and Joe were great too, dead impressed with the setup and really grateful for the opportunity. You lot know that I'm a celebrity (local and national and pillar of the community, obvs) but the rest of the world don't. So this is just one more opportunity to get people engaged in my stardom. ;)

Mary, who owned the house, was wonderful. Dead friendly when she needed to be and out of the way for the rest of it. Perfect and a perfect house too. 

Phew - I think that's everything. I now need to write the knitting lessons in... two days. Shit. 

See you on the other side, 

Eleanor. :)