Friday, 28 August 2015

You Wait Three Weeks for a Blog Post

And two come along at once.

Really, I'm just aware that I need to get back into the swing of things so I think you deserve an update. This will be a little bit personal-ly though so feel free to switch off. No offers or new wool or patterns around here. That will have to wait until the party (and October apparently when everything's being released - don't they know I have a party to stock for?!).

Anyway, I've been very much in my own belly button of late. The shop has been so busy in the day and I haven't really been expecting it given the time of year and the weather so I've been tootling back home and not doing much. Also, Toni moved in to Chris's house so we're spending more time socialising (in a relaxed, hanging around knitting in our pj's kind of way) when usually me and Chris would be doing our own thing but near eachother. Does that make sense?

So, I'll start with the garden.

I think I mentioned that Chris and his dad spent some time redoing the roof on the outhouse at the end of his garden a few weeks ago? The whole thing was falling apart and leaking and ugh which meant that we couldn't paint that end and because we couldn't paint we couldn't do anything else and the whole end of that garden was just a bit..... blurgh. So I was really pleased that they did it:

But, can you see all the mess in the rest of the garden? Well, that was there for like a week and a half and my tomatoes were overrun! The one thing I know about gardening is that you're supposed to take off the shoots on your tomatoes that don't have flowers or fruit on them so that's what I do. Every day when I'm there I have a right good root through. But I couldn't get to them which meant they overran everything including my aubergine which really suffered and I don't think it will get better. Still. Better a small aubergine than no aubergine at all. That's what they say isn't it?

My sweetcorn is coming on a pace!

That's the photo I took of the top of the sweetcorn when I was sure that that's where the corn was coming from. Turns out it comes from the sides like little off shooty things but I still haven't got a photo of it. There's one big stick of a plant and then a slightly smaller one and they each have two sweetcorn things on. Ha. How good am I at gardening?!

You'll be pleased to know that my pumpkins are coming through? I would have thought they'd have started earlier but they're only starting to pop out little gobstopper looking pumpkins right about now and none of them have flowers on so I can't do my usual sex-you-you-up-with-an-ear-bud thing that I do. You'll also be pleased to know that one of the 'pumpkins' was actually a MARROW! I got my marrow afterall! I was going to save it for an entry into the country fair/show thing I'm going to be a judge at in Radcliffe-on-Trent (you'll be relieved to know it's in the knitting category, not gardening) but then some plants that I thought weren't tomatoes turned out to be tomatoes when I actually looked at them so they needed sorting out - taking off the shoots and supporting them and the whole thing was a mess and I couldn't get in because the marrow plant and the beautiful marrow was in the way so I picked it all and put that into the compost so I could deal with the tomatoes... Which led to the compost being overrun:

 And that's the story of my garden so far. Lots of tomatoes to come hopefully so I'm sure there'll be more thrilling installments.

Separately from this, I am a domestic goddess, making delicious and intricate cakes such as: 

 Rice crispie crunch. The best thing is, I was inspired to make this by GBBO. Haha. Who watches GBBO and then thinks, 'I can do that! I can make delicious and difficult cakes! I'm gonna melt some chocolate and pour some rice crispies in!'?! Haha. I do apparently. It was a mix of milk and dark chocolate though (because that's all we had in) so I suppose that's something?

In other domestic goddess news:
 Two delicious crumbles. Two because, not really being a domestic goddess, the cupboard was too much of a mess for me to be bothered to find the right size tray.... What a prat. But it was delicious. And that was made out of the blackberries left over from this: 

Which I've made super big so you can see it. That is blackberry sauce for my BLACKBERRY WINE! OH YEAH! Last year I made marrow rum which was delicious but not boozey enough so this time I am going to get booze boozey boozey with my blackberries. It looks and smells delicious but I've got a few months to work out whether it will taste delicious.

And that segways nicely into this beautiful selfie:

Which was us collecting blackberries the other day. We got LOADS on the first bush and then less and less and less and had to go miles to get a reasonable amount. Chris was pleased about this and I wasn't. Can you tell? 

Which leads me to talk a little more about my bike: 

This was the first set up for my first solo bike ride. I was going from Chris's house to the QMC and back which I would say is about 4 miles round? Maybe 5? Involves no hills, and very few roads and I did it much quicker than I thought so it's a good thing I took my knitting and a snack with me. And if you remember my operation from just after Christmas? WELL I NO LONGER HAVE A HOLE IN MY EAR! Boom! Apparently my eardrum looks very strange and delicate so I have to treat it as if it still has a hole in it and it might never be right but at least I can go swimming! Boom! Although now I've started cycling I'm not so excited about swimming. But I will go, maybe I'll ride my bike to the pool. Mwahaha.

And that picture, with plenty of knitting, takes us to the onesies. The dreaded bloody onesies. This is all Toni's fault. She decided that she wanted a onesie whilst spending the day in the shop a couple of weeks ago so I decided I'd do one too. Why? Nobody knows. Anyway, we're two weeks and three days in and I've just about finished the legs, arms and button bands and now I have the bumflap to deal with. I'm planning to do that fairisle and because I'm ahead of Toni I'm going to take my time working out what I want to do - maybe my name??? Toni has the legs and a sleeve done and is maybe half way down the second sleeve and she did a random button band. She's away at the moment so I'm not entirely sure. But anyway, here they were a few days ago:

Toni's. If you've met her you'll know how much smaller she is than me and how well and fast she knits so I've been really kept on my toes over this!

And mine. That is not my pants!

And finalllllllllllly. I've discovered the best ice lolly evah.
Solero mojito ice lollies with real booze. I'm about to have one when I've clicked publish on here and sorted the till out which I've been avoiding all day. Wish me luck.

Love Eleanor. xxxxx

P.s. I've got no simple knitting on the go and without it I can't stomach reading my own writing so you'll have to coco with spelling mistakes etc. Sorry!

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Oh my goodness!

Where do I start?!

I can't even begin to understand why I haven't been here. The shop has been busy. I've been trying to do accounts. I've got sucked in to a knitting competition. I've been tidying. The garden has needed me. Baking. Rediscovering bike riding means that all of my spare time at home is spent pootling around and not doing stuff that adds to the shop in any way apart from making me happier. I've been on the radio and tv a fair bit and I've had a few doctor's appointments. All in all, the blog (and vlog) have just slipped past me. Including Pattern of the Week which is saaaaaaaaaad. I will get back on that but I doubt it'll be this week and then the next week is our birthday party so I'll be drunk and not writing blog posts. That's what I'll write about first I think...


I love our parties! This year is out fifth birthday party and I am so excited just to have a nice relaxed (kind of - it does get ridiculously busy) open day where everybody can come and catch up and get excited for winter knitting/crochet projects! It's been a strange summer hasn't it? A mix of ridiculously hot, I'm thinking of the Wednesday where we got into the 30s and I couldn't do anything to ridiculously rainy and damp and blah (I'm thinking of my bloody holiday, haha) so I know a lot of  people have been starting and stopping and doing little things which is strange. But this is our time people. Our time. Winter woolies will soon be out on display and living lives as they should be.

Everybody is invited! We start at 10.30am on Saturday the 5th of September and finish at 6.30.... ish... It's always busy right at the beginning, then there's a lull around 12 and then it gets boozier from about 2/3pm onwards. So fit yourself in where you feel best and we'll welcome you all. Be prepared for me to be stressed and busy! Haha.

You can read more about our birthday parties here, and here, and here, and finally here (which is mainly a video that I'm so embarrassed about I can't actually watch it. I got as far as talking about Rico yarn and the order I made with them that never turned up! I totally forgot about that! I wonder how different the shop would look if it had have turned up... food for thought).

I feel like I need a photo here but I can't find one that sums up the parties - they're really hard to explain - so I'm going to put this one in because this sums up events for Knit Nottingham.

I have now put an event up on facebook so you can let your friends know that you're coming - just click here.

I'm really very excited about this. It feels pretty major. Five whole years! I think I may have to do a soppy post - I haven't done one of them for ages. But I haven't the time at the moment. I spent this morning tidying and it looked great:

However, since then, there have been many many customers. Hmmmm. I'd better get to it.

I will be back! I haven't forgotten about you. I have plans to talk a little more in depth about the onesie, although I'm almost certainly going to do a pattern of the week about that. And I need to do once last push for the British Knitting Awards! I think the last day to vote is the 5th of September which just happens to be the day of the birthday party. Serendipity. Is that the word? Hmmm.

Anyway, love and misses,

Eleanor. xxxxxxxx

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Eleanor's Pattern of the Weeeeeeeeeek - 3528

I've had two weeks off pattern of the week! Two whole weeks! One week because I was on holiday and the next week because I was catching up from my holiday, I was too busy in the shop and I couldn't think of what to so. I still kinda can't think what to do because I haven't got the best photos of this one and I haven't got a yoga pose but I wanted to redress the crochet/knit imbalance so I'm settling for this and some timed selfies. Beautiful. I'm talking about 3528.

I've always loved this little t-shirt. If you know me you know I love a knitted t-shirt. They're an easy way of looking a bit smarter than a general t-shirt but still cool and comfortable to wear on days like this. For the longest time I couldn't work out what yarn to make it with. You know I love the Bamboo Cotton more than life itself but I've made so much stuff with that it sometimes feel a bit like a cop out. Not that long ago the lovely Jean came and took the Crimson (actually a beautiful, deep, Mexican-y type orange - stupid King Cole) to make herself a version. And seeing the photos and then the thing in real life made me need to cast it on.

Jean is a fabulously fearless knitter. I love it when she comes in because if she loves it, she'll do it, no messing. She was half way through this and wanting to start it again in the Opium which I just thought was the best idea evah. I wouldn't have done a year ago, it wasn't until the newer patterns (from 4178 onwards) for the Opium came in that I realised that patterning - cables and lace - looks great in the Opium. So I wasn't fearless then. There's a balance though isn't there? Doing something a bit out there and fabulous could turn out brill or terrible so you have to work out how much work/money it will be and whether that's something that would be worth the chance of it turning out like a nightmare. Yeah?

Anyway, Jean chose the Cobalt for her Opium which is very her. But before we settled on the final thing we'd been through the Purple and the Peacock so they were all on the table just hanging around looking FIT! It was also the week that I'd practiced putting the tent together to prove to Chris it could be done in 15 minutes so apparently that colour combo was on my mind. Camouflaged knitting photo:


Now, if you remember from the holiday blog post I wrote, I went sincerely wrong with this pattern. The problem is that I'm a cocky sod who thinks I know what I'm doing. So, if you've been following the Pattern of the Week blog posts from the beginning you'll remember right back at the beginning I was talking about leaf shaped lace patterns and how they always come back to one number and are offset by another leaf getting fatter then the first leaf gets smaller. This one is something different. Slightly. One set of the leaves goes back to one stitch and one set goes back to two stitches. Which means that at the end of each leaf, you have to know whether you're working the leaves that end on two or one stitch. Not a problem if you're not a cocky bogger - I on the other hand 'fixed' the problems numerous times only realising that they didn't need to be 'fixed' when I got to the end of the next leaf and the were the opposite kind. Gah! So this top tip comes back to, read the pattern!

My other top tip is, feel free to make garments written to be made on the flat in the round. That's what I did. I popped a marker in to denote the beginning of the round and the half way point and got on with my life. Much less purling (although I don't hate purling and everybody should just learn to suck it up because it's like yin and yang, booze and fags). You need to think about whether it's appropriate - if you're making a big old cabled thing, or something in something very slippery like silk or bamboo then you might not want to do this - the seam there can provide some much needed support. But for me, in this top which is lacy and in a light weight cottonish thing with no sleeves and very little yarn, I went straight ahead and knitted it in the round. Only stopping when the arm openings happened when I split the stitches into half, left half of them on hold and followed the pattern as it was written before casting off and doing the other half.

I doubt you'll be wondering, but if you are, I lost the pattern at about half way up the sleeves so I did my own thing at the top which was my favourite and ridiculously bloody easy slash neck which is basically just cast off straight and then when you're ready sew the shoulders together from the outside in so you can try it on and work out if the neck works for you. It does work for me.

One day I might get a proper photo or two done. But not today. I have the shop to tidy - can you tell?

And again, if you're wondering, and I doubt you are, the two t-shirts have met and they like eachother.


I hope that's enough of a pattern of the week post. I'm hoping for something a bit different next week but I haven't got very far on it so maybe not. We'll see.

Love Eleanor. xxxxx

P.s. I'm trying to proof read this (as much as I ever do) but I haven't got anything that's easy enough to knit/crochet and read so tough tits, have my spelling/grammar mistakes.