Friday, 6 January 2012

A Woolly Yarn

I often go on nostalgia trips in these posts, remembering the ‘good old days’, but this one’s different. I was out with a knitting-loving friend and we popped into the wool shop. I prepared to glaze over but...

Wool has been born again. There were balls containing sequins, balls made of ‘rag rug’ pieces, balls of thick flat yarn that fanned out to create lace scallops. Using needles that resemble frankfurter sausages, a scarf can appear in a single evening. How different from Mum’s fine needles and even finer wool, click clack click clack. Every few months a garment would emerge and next day there’d be different coloured wool and, click clack click clack, she’d be off again.

Life today is all about quick and easy, like the microwave. You can make a delicious steamed pudding in three minutes, no spluttering saucepan with string and cloth covered basin rattling around for hours. Grandma would never have believed it.

And then there’s the computer. Can you remember when you had to type out a manuscript or document with carbon paper for your copy? If you made a mistake near the end of the page you had to type it all over again and it’s not that long ago!

Those who know me well will be amused to hear that I was seduced by that wool shop. I’m knitting a chenille scarf, one of those ‘knit up in an evening’ ones. I’ve been on it for three days now. I’ll let you know if it’s ever completed! 

For those who would like to buy some of this amazing wool, the shop is called Craft Corner Knits. It's at Thoresby Courtyard. Here is the link to their Facebook Page. and this is the link to Thorseby Courtyard.


  1. Knitting is really making a comeback -I have been hooked on it again after many years since starting to knit for my new grandson just over a year ago.

  2. I LOVE knitting! I'm not particularly good at it, but I love having my hands busy with something productive, and having something to show for it at the end. And talk about impressive yarn - you should come to the Sheep & Wool Festival near me - it's totally breathtaking!

  3. I've been knitting up a storm lately. I love the experience of feeling yarn in my fingers, the best yarn is wool and wool blends imho.

  4. This makes me want to knit. The colors are all so beautiful.

  5. I never learned how to knit, but I'm a crocheting fool. My husband says if I had enough wool, I'd cover the whole planet with an afghan.

  6. I have so many half completed scarfs lying around on their needles. I don't know why I keep them. It is definitely those beautiful yarns that tempt and persuade that maybe this time I'll actually finish.
    Good luck with your scarf!

  7. I learned to knit in school. Imagine that. Well, it was a long time ago and my mom had no interest in knitting. I still have the one pair of wool winter socks I knitted back then. I do know how to crochet, though. The yarns are just gorgeous.

  8. My daughter has taught herself to knit and crochet (I certainly couldn't teach her!!) and you're right - the wools are so pretty :)

  9. I think men love technology because we have a collective conscious that makes us realize just how bad and how hard things were years ago and are thankful that we no longer have to use carbon copies, 8 tracks, and heat our food without a microwave.

  10. Hi Libby, it does seem to be a reviving art. I wonder if it’s something to do with the recession, although it certainly isn’t a cheap way of producing a jumper.

    Hi Susanna, the Sheep and Wool Festival sounds fascinating but it might be a bit too far to travel for a ball of wool! Lol

    Hi Karen, I have to admit to enjoying it more than expected… but it’s not finished yet!

    Hi Rubye, and why not. Enjoy!

    Hi Susan, I’ve never managed to get the tension right with my crocheting. A table mat curls up into a bowl shape and a long strip bends like a banana.

    Hi Ruth, You as well, eh! I have a cable knit jacket that’s been in a bag for 20 years waiting for the second sleeve to be knitted.

    Hi Inger, I used to knit in school but it was my Mum who taught me. The wool is indeed gorgeous.

    Hi Jemi, good for your daughter! May she have many years of happy knitting/crocheting.

    Hi Michael, carbon copies were the worst. I used to have to create eight copies of some things in those days. All those little bits of paper and a disc-shaped rubber that never worked. Yuk!

  11. Hi Ros .. we had to knit squares in school for blankets, and then I decided I'd do a jumper .. but at that stage I didn't know I 'hated' wool .. ie I was allergic to it - nor did anyone else ..

    Even now I blanch when I'm around wool - though the colours and ideas are enticing .. just give me arm's length!

    Enjoy - and do let us know when you finish your scarf .. Cheers Hilary

  12. Knitting, quilting, these are great ways to slow down time for a little while and taste life in a good rhythm again. I also really like to create stuff that way! :)

  13. I'd love to learn to knit just to be able to make my own scarves. I hope you'll post a photo of yours when it's done ... I'll bet it would be perfect to wear while immersed in a Snow Read :)

  14. Hi Ros
    I rediscovered knitting last winter with a new baby on the way (not mine LOL) and so many cold evenings. I did a baby jumper and a pram blanket of which I was v. proud. My daughter was impressed too. I notioce out library also has knitting adn sewing evenings, but I think I need a hard frost to make me get the needles out again. Good luck with the scarf!

  15. It's funny that I was looking at wool today.I went to Sainsburys hoping to get a new magazine about quilting, a starter one with free materia lbut they didn't have it and there were so many knitting magazines with free wool.I have a knitting bag with lots of unfinished baby jumpers but my mums not here to help me anymore but you've made me think about trying again.

  16. I can't believe the cool yarns out these days. A lady in the used book section of my library is always knitting with the coolest material. I love it.

    And I remember the carbon paper...and the matching "white out" for each page!

  17. Hi Hilary, I also hate the feel of wool but the chenille that I’m knitting with at the moment doesn’t feel like that at all. It’s like silk and velvet all mixed into one.

    Hi Mariam, I’ve never tried quilting but knitting certainly slows the brain down.

    Hi Joanne, I will post a photo of it if/when I finish it.

    Hi Ali, I haven’t knitted baby clothes for centuries. I think I’ll stick to my scarf for the time being until I get my knitting fingers back on me.

    Hi Cassam, I have exactly the same problem. I’d love to show my mum this half-finished scarf. She’d be pleased with me. She did love knitting. We could start a blogging knitting circles though I’m not sure how it would work.

    Hi Julie, the wool is so exciting. It lures you in. And I also remember the way we used to forget those little bits of paper and carry on typing. I hated that.

  18. Hi Ros .. oh that's good and I sure hope you enjoy the feel - I think the wool knitting I did has put me off for life! Perhaps I'll try again in the distant future ..

    Cheers Hilary

  19. I knit blankets, always in natural undyed wool. 200 stitches and just keep on going. I was amused to see a notice in a local coffee shop advertising KNITTING LESSONS. I love wool shops and also fabric shops and noticed in NZ that some fabric shops have evening classes in sewing. I learnt from my mother, grandmother and aunt.