Super Chunky Super Cowl

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What is one to do with this long expanse of time with frequent and “urgent” interruptions? Garter stitch, of course. In these dire circumstances, no patterns can be followed, no stitches counted and nothing complicated done.

You’ve guessed it – Defying all laws of time and motion, it is still the summer holidays!

So, here it is, my super-chunky neck warmer. My first foray into the world of 12mm needles. This chunky neck warmer can also double up as a head warmer slash shoulder warmer, so a result there. It’s in boring old garter stitch, but feels really springy and soft so I shall let it slide just this once. Thanks to ttwcreative blogspot for the pattern and inspiration.

As ever, a moment of calm please…drum roll – behold the photo montage of its creation:

Stage 1 – A couple of balls of mega chunky wool

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Stage 2 – A few minutes later, ta dah!

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Stage 3 – Garter stitch all the way

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Stage 4 – Super fast, super chunky

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Be strong reader, images of the completed item are yet to be posted. My options were poor. Option 1, a “selfie” portrait. Option 2, getting Boy #1 to try taking a shot (perhaps more able than Boy #2, but ultimately neither would give David Bailey a run for his money).

I have decided to opt for option 3, waiting for Mr KnitWit to return (under cover of darkness it would seem) and take a few shots for me. Hurray!

KnitWit

The Great Yarn Tour (Part 3)

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I will admit it, yarn fatigue was starting to set in by this point. Many little yarn shops had been visited, but most had either roughly the same selection, stuff I had, or stuff I could get at home.

Mr LouBug was boggled the first time I walked out of a shop empty-handed, but relieved that my crazy yarn lady streak did have some limits. What I didn’t tell him was that I was saving myself for the motherload. I have online shopped at Get Knitted a few times (incidentally, it was where I bought my interchangeable knit pros), so I was well aware that it had a good selection.

Unbeknown to Mr LouBug, this was the real reason behind turning down other shops. Unbeknown to Mr LouBug, I had mentally allocated my woolly pounds elsewhere. Bwahahaha!

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Get Knitted isn’t located in central Bristol, it is just outside of it in Brislington. I think the shop unit used to be a “ma and pop” style supermarket. Huge, airy, well laid out and incredibly well stocked, it also included the (now necessary) sofa for Mr LouBug. There is a good selection of needles and notions (which I stocked up on).

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Can I just move in? Seriously? I won’t take up much space, I don’t need a bed, I can just curl up in a pile of merino, please?

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And they most definitely had sock yarn (this photo shows only one side of an L-shaped back to back shelf, with the top area and baskets on side tables).

It is rare that I go to a yarn shop that shames my stash. A stash which may or may not have achieved SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy). I felt like someone who had just finished the Race for Life having a chat with someone who has finished the London Marathon.

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For four 100g balls of good quality sock yarn – £20??!?!?!! And everyone a winner! Happily they had about 6 different colourways, in various combinations, and it didn’t take me long to settle on the best combo.

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This is JillyBean sock yarn (local to Get Knitted), say hello to the sparkles! I’m not sure if you can see them in the picture, but there is a sparkle thread woven in. I have used sparkle yarn on socks with no comfort problems, but given that even the best cared for socks will wear out, I feel that this has to be something more fancy. Sock yarn shawl anyone?

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After applying the kind if self-restraint that defines Saints (I’m not joking, the till point had a sign offering black bags to those whose purchases wouldn’t fit into a regular bag), I settled on this pile of goodies.

Double rainbow joy came when I asked if the Ravelry discount offer was only for online purchases, and found out it also covered the shop. That effectively gave me the dark purple yarn for free! I’ll be in my bunk!

LouBug

The Great Yarn Tour (Part 2)

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From here to the city of Wells, a mere 10 minutes from the village we stayed in. And yes, I did visit the Book Barn (1 million books…), and no, I didn’t run up and down the aisles skipping. Well, maybe a little bit.

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And to Mandy’s Wool Shop. Do not be fooled, this place is a TARDIS. I will admit that I did not expect much from the outside, but by the time I walked in my jaw dropped as is just kept going back and back. I got the impression that they had secretly tunnelled into next door (or possibly another dimension) and had got away with it!

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They had a good selection of Opal sock yarn and I had to limit myself to just two (I could have easily bought about six). I am trying to wean myself off buying as much stripy sock yarn as I can’t do lace patterns, but it is just so pretty! The heart wants what the heart wants.

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The main part of the shop was ridiculously well stocked and I had to do a good three of four sweeps through each room to make sure that I hadn’t missed anything. Basically, that is what I want my future stash room/walk in yarn wardrobe to be like! Shelves of carefully sorted yarn all neatly packed into bags.

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So here is my haul. The Opal is charmingly called ‘Sweet and Spicey’ and had some very tempting green colourways (I held firm, I hope you are proud!). The staff are lovely in there and were very helpful with the blue yarn (no band but £1 a skein!) and helped me narrow down likely fibre and weight. I figure I will make mittens as they feel like DK wool and I should be able to stripe in some leftovers to make up the weight.

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I also did a quick fabric shop at Mille Moon, it reminded me of a cake shop as every time I settled on my squares, three more caught my eye. I was reasonably good, but I shall definitely be okay for bag fabric for a bit.

LouBug

Woolly Snood – Just in Time…

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For, err, August! I probably won’t get to wear this yarny yummy for a few months, but look at its great beauty! It is about half the size of the super beast one I did a while ago in way-too-chunky-unsuitable yarn, so it looks different even though it is from the same Speedy Cabled Cowl pattern.

Massive Crazy Version

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Smaller, Normal-Sized Version

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KnitWit

The Great Yarn Tour (Part One)

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In an effort to re-live Mr LouBug’s student days, we built in a two day stay in Bath into our trip to the Wild West. Now, Bath has always been a lovely city, but I last visited five years ago and it did seem to be missing rather a vital element on its journey to perfection. All those sheep seen on the hills, and not a scrap of yarn to be had in the whole city.

Luckily Mr LouBug’s campaign to get us to buy a millionaire’s mansion in Bath may be on an up-swing, as Bath is now home to a rather lovely yarn shop.

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In a classic Bath moment, it was at the bottom of a little side road (Old Orchard Street) and peeked out at you as you rounded the corner. You kept expecting to see a bonnet shop with Miss Bennett in it nextdoor!

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It reminded me of one of those old fashion sweetshops, or a deli, basically shelves full of scrummy things all for the knitting. It even had a nice sofa to allow Mr LouBug to wait with saint-like patience in comfort.

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I also had a little look at the notions and treated myself to some cute scissors and Hiya stitch markers.

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A fantastic range of high-quality yarns (KnitWit, do notice the good use of baskets for storage, not quite Tupperware but nicer looking). If I wasn’t travelling I would have seriously investigated the jumper yarn, but the golden rule to a happy life is don’t buy jumper yarn if you can’t pop back for more, so I focused mainly on lace and socks.

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And here is my (modest) haul, some vibrant green lace yarn and some sock yarn (because I obviously have none at home…). I am thinking either some kind of leaf motif or maybe Estonian lace for the green.

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While I was in Bath I also visited Makey Makey, it is a fabric shop and I treated myself to some more fat quarters and buttons. A cute little shop handily located next to a pub! So Mr LouBug could re-enact his student life while I pottered about.

LouBug

A Strange Parallel Universe

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It is a strange thing, but I think KnitWit borrowed my life as well as my house last week! There she was knocking out two complete hats and here I am coming home having barely finished a row. Obviously it is the proximity to my (actually quite tidy) craft room that has motivated KnitWit (it certainly seems to have got her buying books – hee hee, so it begins!).

Similarly it must have been my distance from my stash (and the small matter of being on holiday) that cut into my knitting time.

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But I’m back! And with a little help from series 3 of Downton Abby (I am nothing if not bang on trend) I have now finished my Araucania merino yarn shawl (from the lovely Sock-yarn Shawls: 15 Lacy Knitted Shawl Patterns by Jen Lucas).

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I am really pleased how it has come out, but as it is worked on the long edge, I do have to admit that working 300 stitch rows did cut into my motivation as it was hard to see it progressing. Happily I finished the main lace panel and then it switched to short row increases and it then seemed to fly off the needles.

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Obviously no trip to the West Country is complete without a few yarn shops, and I think I will give a post each to the main three we visited. I was reasonably restrained with all the goodies on display, but the combination of being on holiday and being weak-willed may or may not have led to dipping into the Ally Pally fund early.

Next problem is, where can I hide it?

LouBug

Stitch ‘n Bitch Book Craze

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Work is still in progress for Paulina Chin’s super speedy neck warmer. I picked up this soft chunky yarn at Franklin’s in Colchester, quite liking the colour. Now it is partially knitted I LOVE the colour. It is starting to look like a crazy dragonfly or something.

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I have high hopes for this cabled cowl and hope to finish it by the end of the week.

In the mean time, slightly over-excited at browsing through LouBug’s knitting library, I have gone crazy on Amazon. I’ve got it into my brain that I am a mere hop away from being able to design my own hat (especially after the grand success of the animal hats). I just need a teeeeny bit of assistance – which is where these pieces of great knitting literature come in. The following should be winging their way to me in the next day or two for some light bed-time reading:

Debbie Stoller Stitch ‘n Bitch Nation by Debbie Stoller

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Stitch ‘n Bitch Handbook: Instructions, Patterns, and Advice for a New Generation of Knitters by Debbie Stoller

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Stitch ‘n Bitch Superstar Knitting: Go Beyond the Basics by Debbie Stoller

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LouBug rates these books very highly – anyone else love these Stitch ‘n Bitch books?

KnitWit

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