I’m Back!

Hello my lovelies, did you miss me?! It was very strange going for so long without talking to you – in fact for much of last week I didn’t have internet access at all, which meant no blogs, no Ravelry, no email…… it was quite terrible!!

So, I’ve got lots to tell you. First, the holiday. Cornwall is pretty (although in my biased viewpoint, not quite as pretty as Pembrokeshire) and the estate we were staying on was just gorgeous. It was an old country house, with extensive grounds, and really luxurious lodges scattered throughout the grounds. There was a lake, and woodland, and the daffodils were already blossoming beneath the trees (in December!), and an old gazebo, so very picturesque. I was going to take lots of photos to show you, but didn’t quite manage it….. more on that later……

The first morning we woke up to a scrabbling, scraping, chattering, and opened the curtains to find this little cutiepie tapping on the door for breakfast.

Once he discovered the delights of roasted corn (no salt, don’t worry!) he must have told all his family, because by the next day there were five squirrels waiting for us to wake up, not to mention dozens of birds. Delightful.

Most of our time was spend lazily enjoying the rest, Tony vegging out in front of the TV, me knitting and reading. I finished the Wool Peddler’s Shawl – hurrah! – more on that tomorrow. But we dragged ourselves out on the Wednesday for a trip to the Eden Project. What an amazing place, and how sorry I am that we live so far from it, because I’d love to see it in summer. I did get slightly distracted in the Tropical Biodome though, by a rather nice Scandinavian sweater (my lens steamed up, but you can still see the details).

And of course there were gorgeous plants to look at too, even in winter.

Now comes the slightly embarrassing part of our holiday story. It was Wednesday night, we were sitting waiting for The Old Curiosity Shop to come on, and all of a sudden a great wave of homesickness washed over us both, and we decided to come home early. Yes, I know, crazy. But those of you who adore your animals as much as we do may understand. So we came home a couple of days early, and enjoyed the rest of the holiday at home. Hence no more photos.

It was a glorious break, just what we needed, although after the insane scramble of last night’s sale (every scrap of yarn gone within 30 minutes!!) I think I could use another break! No, really, it’s good to be back. Thank you all so much for your lovely emails and comments, it’s so nice to know that you see us as the friends that we see you as…. if you follow me!

So, back to work, lots of parcels to pack, and this week’s yarn to dye. We’ve got some goodies for you over the next few weeks, to smooth over the post-holiday blues, so look out for those. And if the shawl dries today (its blocking) I can show you that tomorrow.

Au Revoir

Well, the last post is out, our bags are packed, and we’re almost ready to take off. But before we go, I wanted to thank you all so much for your support of Posh Yarn over the last year. It’s rare that a day goes by when we don’t remind each other how fortunate we are to have such a wonderful business, to be able to work together, to do something that we love and that gives us job satisfaction. And it’s all thanks to you, our lovely, lovely customers.

Thank you for your emails, your comments, the photographs of finished Posh projects, the mentions of us on your blogs, the recommendations on discussion groups and forums. Thank you for coming along each Sunday, and joining us in our crazy yarn parties! Thank you for your friendship and support in the difficult times, and the way you rejoice with us when things are going well. Thank you for being there, and for making it a pleasure to start work each morning. We’re going to miss you over the holidays, and I’m especially going to get some blog withdrawal pangs! So take good care of yourselves, and whatever you’re doing, be as happy as you possibly can, because you deserve it.

Mwah. 

2007 Review

I thought I’d do a little end of year knitting meme – feel free to join in if you’d like!

Favourite yarn

Sophia 2ply. I know, I’m biased, but knitting with this yarn is like knitting with spun clouds. It’s a pleasure to work with.

Favourite needles

My rosewood circulars, a delicious treat from Robynn. They made shawl knitting a pleasure. In 2008 I might treat myself to some rosewood dpns for sock knitting.

Favourite new pattern

Irtfa’a Faroese Lace Shawl, by Anne Hanson at Knitspot. Isn’t it gorgeous? This is top of my must knit list for 2008.

Favourite project

The Forest Canopy shawl (pictured below). This was my first real lace project, and I enjoyed it so much. It got me hooked on shawl knitting. It’s a beautifully written pattern, so easy to follow.

Favourite knitting blog

All Stitched Up. Jacqui is so inspiring, both in her personal life and in her knitting, and I always feel uplifted by her posts. Plus, she’s the shawl queen!

Favourite new technique

Toe up socks. I can’t tell you how clever I felt when I mastered that first toe!

Favourite knitting website

Three guesses…… Ravelry! I spend so much time on that website its embarrassing. When it first launched, and I got my invite (I was one of the lucky early ones, thanks to the sweet Sarah) I thought it was pretty cool, but I didn’t really get it. Now, I get it. It’s an amazing resource for knitters, and I can’t imagine how we managed without it!

Favourite knitting book 

The Best of Vogue Knitting Magazine: 25 Years of Articles, Techniques, and Expert Advice. I want to dive into this book and never surface.  

Favourite knitting spot

Sitting in my big armchair next to the woodstove, a little Oscar Peterson playing the background, a pot of tea by my side. Ah…..

Favourite knitting partner

Ems, my best friend, who only started knitting about 2 months ago, and has already produced a startling number of finished items. She’s got all the enthusiasm and blithe confidence of the new knitter, and its a lot of fun to see her discovering the delights of the knitting world.

Reflecting….

Do you ever think about how lucky we are, as knitters? I do. There couldn’t be a better time to take up knitting (or start again after many years of non-knitting), because we have an amazing world of fibre and equipment and inspiration and design out there, just waiting for us to join in. Look at what we’ve got: a superb range of yarns, for every budget, for every type of knitting, for every taste. Hand dyed, hand spun, art yarn, recycled yarn, cobweb to super chunky, in every shade of the rainbow (often in the same skein!). Allergic to wool? No problem, because there’s yarn out there made from practically every substance known to man, from shellfish to soy to steel. And look at our equipment, luxurious rosewood needles, sets of interchangeables, clever yarn swifts for winding, handmade stitchmarkers, glow in the dark needles, handcrafted knitting bags.

And inspiration? We’ve got that by the bucketload! Never has there been so many designers debuting knitting patterns, so many knitting magazines (free, web based, print, subscription), so many fabulous books. If you’re a lace knitter, a sock knitter, a colourwork knitter, a cable knitter, a scarf knitter, an entrelac knitter, a freeform knitter, whatever, there’s a range of designs out there to make your head whirl.

And look at the community we’ve got, a global knitting family, exchanging advice and inspiration and support. Blogs, knitting forums, Ravelry! RAVELRY! Lord, I practically live on that site. If you aren’t part of Ravelry yet, I do apologise for the gratuitous rubbing-in, but its the best thing ever to hit the Internet. Just wait and see for yourself.

I can’t wait to see what 2008 brings to the knitting world, because this peak shows no signs of dropping. We all thought 2007 was going to be a big year for knitters, but I suspect that 2008 will be more exciting still. Have you noticed how many of your friends and family have either taken up knitting again, started knitting for the first time, or are showing distinct leanings in that direction? I counted mine up yesterday, and 8 of my friends/family have started knitting in the last 6 months, and I’ve got my beady eye on another 10 or so. Knitting is huge, people!!

I’m just so excited to be part of it all, and grateful too. Aren’t you?