I hope 2017 is going swimmingly so far (three weeks in already! How?) That your Christmas knitting was gifted on time and that you’re keeping warm.
One of my things for 2017 is not going to be losing weight or getting fit or learning to spin (well, we’ll see…)
It’s going to be hats. Mini hats to be precise. Hundreds of them. Fancy helping me?
You’ve probably seen them before, on the bottle tops of the Innocent smoothies, filling up the fridges of various supermarkets. These hats have been appearing in Sainers and Tescos et al since before Wool opened in 2010 but this year we hope it’s going to be the best year for mini hats EVER.
Innocent donate 25p for every hat that’s knitted by us and ends up on a bottle (have a scout on www.thebigknit.co.uk for details) and so far they have raised £1.9m.
My lovely sissy works for Age UK in Bath (some of you already know this) and she has been helping me get all the kit and caboodle together to make it easy for our little shop to contribute as much as poss. And I’m hoping you might want to help too.
So you could knit this…..
Which takes about 8 minutes!
Or if you fancy it you can knit some of these beauties…
I’m a huge fan of Crimble. More so now I have two tinies of my own. The sheer wonder of it all is magnified ten-fold when you see a little face light up.
At Wool we have gone all out with Christmas in our window thanks to the amazing guys at Wild and Wool (www.wildandwool.com) . Our window has been incredible up to now but the additions of Christmassy mice and snow and snowballs and sparkly decs has pushed it into a whole new stratosphere. It really has to be seen to be believed. If you can come and see it I really recommend you do and if you can’t here’s a glimpse of the stunning little window dudes.
The little mice need a bit of a spotlight too. They are literally about 10cm high so you can imagine how incredible the tiny details really are…
So I think you’ll agree; the best window we’ve ever had! What on earth will we do next year???
On a completely different seasonal note I thought I ought to let you all know our opening times over the Christmas period. We’re only closed for a couple of extra days but just so you know which days (and can plan your visit accordingly…) they are as follows
Christmas Eve 9.30-4.00
Christmas Day CLOSED
Boxing Day CLOSED
Tuesday 27th CLOSED
Wednesday 28th 9.30-5.30
Thursday 29th 9.30-5.30
Friday 30th 9.30-5.30
New Year’s Eve 9.30-4.00
New Year’s Day CLOSED
Monday 2nd CLOSED
and then all back to normal!
In other exciting news 2017 brings us a new member of the team. (I know- there’s six of us now!!!???) I’ll fill you in in early Jan but her name is Catherine and SHE IS ACE! So exciting!
There’s nothing left now but to wish you all a fabulous Christmas surrounded by love and laughter (and maybe some prosecco?) and a healthy and happy New Year.
With loads of love and heartfelt thanks for all your woolly love
It’s a bit of a weird feeling on the first morning it all feels a bit “autumnal”. Everything that I don’t like about autumn has an equally happy reason to love this particular season change. Darker nights means we can fire up the wood-burning stove. End of the heatwave means no more sweaty top lip. And the best reason of all: colder days means knitwear!
In this blog I’m going to show you, not my knitwear but, the knitwear of a few cute creatures in my life…
These are the beauties from the clever ladies at Wild and Wool (www.wildandwool.co.uk), Katrina and Susie.
Susie and I started chatting one day as she was browsing the shelves at Wool. There was a particular British yarn made of Masham that Susie was in love with and, when I found out it was for a mouse’s scarf, I couldn’t wait to find out more.
After many a yarn-squeeze Susie asked whether we would be interested in collaborating and making a fantastic, one-off window display using her creatures and our wool. I jumped at the chance!
Last winter Wild and Wool were responsible for the incredible Fox windows in all the London branches of Oddbins. These metre high dapper foxes were then auctioned off for charity.
So, after convincing the very talented Ellie from The Bolt Tree (www.thebolttree.com) to get on board we knew we were about the create something special.
After hours of knitting, sewing and needlefelting work from all of us (and my mama too) the Friday of the window installation rolled around.
First the clever W&Wers set the scene for our autumnal gang…
We then got the troops together to work out who would go where…
And then the woodland dudes were positioned in situ. And they. Look. Sooooo. Amazing
There are some incredible details
The window will be in place until January with a winter addition coming soon; if you follow @wildandwool in Instagram you’ll have seen a sneak peek of what’s (or should I say who’s) on its way.
Please come and see these special creatures. They are so beautiful it’s hard to do them justice here.
They will all be for sale after the season so if you’re interested please let us know in store or, better still, email the Wild &Wool guys for details.
See you soooooon
Ps knitted garments are made in the following yarns
It’s a lovely thing to open our little family up to adding a newbie. Everybody who comes in loves wool of course. Most of them love Wool too (and if it’s their first time, hopefully they love us by the time they leave!)
But being able to add someone into the mix who is able to come and work with us every week is a real pleasure; especially if that person is as nutty about yarn as we are.
So who is our newbie?
He/she is hopefully a great knitter. Nobody knows everything but a reasonable amount of knitting know-how is really important. There’s a lot of yarn and pattern excitement but there’s also a lot of sorting problems, working out alternatives and deciphering abbreviations. A fair knowledge of crochet is fantastic too.
We don’t expect you to know everything and hopefully you’ll enjoy learning new stuff as well as sharing your knowledge.
We have a certain way of doing things so an amount of flexibility to fit in with “how we do it” is key. That said we never think things can’t be improved upon so a keenness to keep on getting better, and to share that with us, would be aces.
A successful Wool-y will have to be physically able to stay on their feet all day. It’s pretty full on in the autumn and winter and we walk miles! There are stairs too and a fair bit of lifting and carrying so please take that into consideration. I can, however, promise lots of tea and a fair-few KITKATS!
Wool is a 6 day-a-week business and, although you won’t be asked to work every weekend, a successful candidate will be available for both week and weekend shifts. We don’t open on sundays or bank holidays but Saturdays are a key trading day and you will be asked to work a share of them.
We hope that the Newbie will have some retail or hospitality experience. At Wool we pride ourselves on super service and a background in customer service is a must. We love feeling the glow beaming off another happy customer and the drive to please is a top attribute for all our team members.
Training will be given of course! But a smiley welcoming face is far more valuable than product info. It’s your personality people feel when they walk into store and its key that you’re as passionate about our customers as we are.
Toby love is also important! This soppy lab is a regular fixture and as much a part of the furniture as the sofa: a tummy rub will be a non-negotiable part of your duties.
Look at that face!!!
So does that sound like you? If so then you might want some more info…
*it’s a temporary contract with a view to permanent after April 2017
*it’s one to two days a week. There are no set days and flexibility is key. All days will be pre-arranged with your agreement well in advance of working.
*we are committed to paying the National Living Wage.
*there are a few perks of the job including a small discount on yarn (yay!)
If you’d like to apply then please do. We’d love to hear from you. Closing date for applications is 17.09.16
Please email your cv/application to me: email@example.com or drop it off in-store.
It’s like everything in the 21st century: a finite number of hours in our busy busy day means those hours are precious. They must be organized and we must NOT waste them. So, for us lot who are makers, the question “how long will it take to make this quilt/soufflé/crochet blanket?” is super important to how we decide what’s squeeze-in-able.
The answer varies from knitter to knitter, garment to garment.
My latest finished object is the inspiration for this post. It’s a four ply tweed cardi that I started in 2013.
That’s over three and a half years ago. And there are still ends to sew in as you can see.
When I chose it, Rowan’s Fine Tweed was a new and exciting addition to the collection; bobbly and tactile, with a colour range to die for. I loved the green and chose the other colours to compliment.
I took it on the plane to New York and knitted two rows before I realized I’d forgotten the pale pink. So I (foolishly, impatiently) decided to repeat the burgundy in its place and carry on knitting. I simply couldn’t bear the idea of 7 hours on a flight with no wool. This was the beginning of the falling out between me and the cardigan…the outcome was inevitable.
Then, in April, I found out I was Preggo! Joy of joys I was going to be a mama! The thing I’d hoped for and longed for was on its way and, what was to become little Joey, made me fat and happy and very uninterested in knitting (let’s blame the pesky hormones!)
I had the back and half a sleeve finished and, basically, I shoved it in the back of a cupboard.
So I think I also need to tell you at this point that I had completely fallen out of love with my colour choices. This, added to the fat belly, then the subsequent little person, meant I was happy to forget about the sad little beginnings of a cardi.
Ted followed quickly and the knitting mojo was well and truly comatose. I knew it was always going to return and sure enough, as long as it was garter stitch, the love for the knitting came back at full force.
In January I decided to finish everything half done. This included the dreaded, small-needled, bad-colour-choice, old-fashioned-looking four ply cardi.
While I finished it off I went through all sorts of emotions; nostalgia at the thought of knitting pre kids. Boredom and dislike at the colour choices I’d made.
But also, slowly, a new respect and appreciation for the beautiful yarn and classic simplicity of the garment I was knitting.
Wait a sec…. I think I quite like this cardi!
So, here it is. Finished. Loved. The Buttons are on, a few ends left to hide and I love it again.
The buttons are adorable and I’m all of a sudden so proud of this hand-knitted beaut.
So, in answer to the question, it takes as long as it takes. It can take four weeks; it can take four years. There is a journey each and every garment will take you on and there’s no way of knowing which way your new project will travel.
I have to start this post with a massive thanks for your online patience over the last year (or maybe more…?)
Anyone who knows me will be aware that I am COMPLETELY rubbish at all things tech. I was definitely born a few decades too late- for fashion as well as technology reasons- but hey ho.
I really must say a massive thank you to the clever Lyndsey at www.lyndseymahew.com who knew exactly what I wanted (and what I could work with!!) You have been marvelous.
The new website is much simpler and easier to use. Better for your smartphone and much less faff.
There’s no more Webshop either. We couldn’t keep up with the ever changing stock, colour ranges and discontinuations so, instead, we are sharing all of the colour charts for the brands we stock.
What this means is, although we may not have it in for immediate dispatch, you know exactly what’s available from our suppliers and what we can order in especially for you.
We are firm believers in the touchy-feely nature of what we sell. We all know the pleasure of a great wooly squish! And if you can’t get in to our lovely little shop we’re at the end of a phone to explain (in the most passionate and knowledgeable way) what we think might be perfect for you.
The other great change is that I will be able to easily update the blog now. The last blog was when Ted was born (!!!???) and now he looks like this…
I PROMISE I will blog with annoying regularity now: There is so much news to come in the next few weeks. Yay!
Also, if you don’t already, follow us on Instagram. It’s my favorite online community and is full of so much positivity and loveliness it works beautifully for us. We are @woolbath
I have finally managed to get to the computer to let you know about my newest love.
Ted was born on Tuesday 19th May and is an absolute darling. He’s just like his brother, Joe, but also different in loads of ways which is wonderful.
Joe already loves his brother and thinks he’s brilliant (I cry every time Joe gently kisses little Ted.) but poor Toby is not so impressed!
Here’s a pic of the little dude….
I’d love to take a moment to say thank you for all the kind thoughts and wishes (and generous gifts!!) from my wonderful customers. I am so touched by the love. More proof that knitters and crocheters are the best!
In other news the new workshop schedule is up on the website. It’s booked in up to December so plenty of time to organise.