I've recently gone off socks...not because I have so many (which I do; they are SO toasty, I wear almost exclusively hand knitted socks now) but because a new wool shop has opened in town.
Knotty Knits and Kreative Krafts is a lovely shop just outside of the town centre which not only has a huge range of lovely wool, they also offer gifts and crafting courses. I've been all enthused again for knitting bigger projects, although I have to be careful that knitting doesn't take over too much from the writing...
In recent weeks, I've knitted myself a sequinned shrug and almost finished a rainbow gilet. I say almost finished, because the rainbow wool I used has proven so popular, the supplier is struggling to keep up with demand...
Anyway, saw a pattern for a poncho and some beautiful self-striping wool so I've rather naughtily started a new project before finishing the old one. (That used to be how my mum got us to finish a project in the past; we could buy some of the wool for what we wanted to knit next, but we weren't allowed to start it until we'd finished the one we were working on. Certainly used to get my needles clicking even faster...)
Can't wait to get going on this...and to see what it's like to wear a poncho!
The weird thing is that this new shop brings back so many memories of The Wool Shop and Boons, the places I bought my wool from in my early years of knitting.
Mrs Matthews ran The Wool Shop with her sister. It was a tiny place, probably only about 8' square, with a counter running round two sides of the room and a window that let hardly any light in because like every other wall, it was full of cubbyholes stuffed with wool. The counter was a glass one, with drawers, so you could see everything in them. There was a massive stack of pattern books, too, which we'd spend ages leafing through. The best moment was when you'd finally decided what you wanted and she would have to open one of the new big bags of wool to take out the however many balls of 25g you needed and wrote your name on the turned-round label to save the lot until you'd got further into your pattern. Hours, I spent in that shop, choosing the wools and patterns. I was devastated when it closed.
Boons, on the other hand, was a long, thin shop at the other end of town, with the longest counter I've ever seen. Downstairs was ladies tights and extendable bra straps and buttons and threads and stuff like that, but upstairs...wool. And knitted examples of jumpers and cardies stapled to the wall as you went up the stairs. They had a sort of landing area at the top of the stairs where all the pattern books were, and a couple of chairs so you could take your time. I didn't go there often, out of loyalty to Mrs Matthews...but I do remember going there for mohair wool for my rainbow jumper. I needed nine different colours, and it was a bit hit and miss trying to work out quantities because I was adapting a pattern that only needed a single colour...
|Squidgeling J, dressed up for an 80's|
themed day in said jumper!
But even Boons shut, eventually.
I could still buy wool, of course. There are a couple of stalls on our market that sell a limited range, and one shop - although they tend to be known more for their wonderful fabrics than wool. But nowhere in the years since has ever really caught that 'wool shop' feel until now. I am so tempted every time I go into Knotty Knits, I am going to have to get a bigger wardrobe to store all my new jumpers, especially as on my visit today, I was shown a few of the summer patterns that are coming in, and the cottons that they can be knitted in... I really hope Knotty Knits are here to stay.
My fingers are itching. I'm off to knit a few rows!