20 Jul 2017

Daughter to the rescue

I am currently listening to an audiobook by Elizabeth Peters in which the redoubtable lady Egyptologist Amelia Peabody Emerson frequently says "I am the most fortunate of women!" 

Well, I suppose that could be my catch-phrase too. In my last blogpost, I recounted the sorry tale of what happens when a full cup of airline tea soaks into a large amount of cotton-yak yarn. The result, I am sure you can imagine, was not pleasant. 

Under normal circumstances this could have induced a degree of panic — arriving at the start of a long visit with no knitting on hand... However, our first port of call on arriving in the UK was to our daughter, Anna, and she is blessed with a wide and varied yarn stash, filling not just a few boxes but a whole room! 

She listened to my tale of woe and supplied the two things I needed — a fresh cup of tea (I had, after all, spilled the last one!), and a pointer as to where I might find some suitable replacement yarn amongst all her baskets and boxes. I settled on a beautiful combination of greys and by the afternoon was happily swatching for a cowl.

We then went down to a knitting store in Faversham, Kent to purchase some additional supplies. Neither of us had been to this shop before but it was an absolute treasure. 

The store is called The Yarn Dispensary and is right in the middle of this beautiful old town. They were kind enough to allow my husband to take some photos in the store so you can see what a great selection of yarn they have. The building dates from the 13C and used to be an old pharmacy. Now instead of liver pills they dispense yarn therapy! 

The central square of the town is used for a thriving market under the famous Guildhall building, and there are many other wonderful old houses in the area such as the one above which is just around the corner.

The yarn I settled on was a beautiful merino mix from CoopKnits, called Socks Yeah DK and it is a dream to work with. In fact I loved it so much that when I returned to the USA, I ordered some more and am now happily knitting up a storm with this fabulously cozy yarn.

I'll post some information about the first few items from this yarn next time.

And if you'd like to see some of the wonderful items Anna makes with her room-full of yarn, then head over to her new website, www.kikuknits.com.

Until next time — Happy Knitting!


Many thanks again to Tim for his great photos. See more on his Flickr site here.

. 23/12/18 W

13 Jul 2017

Trays tables, wet yarn and difficult decisions

I was faced with a difficult decision recently — shall I allow some scalding-hot tea go over my legs or soak my yarn instead... OK, only a knitter would see that as even a remotely sensible choice to be made, but when you're only one hour into a long international flight it seemed logical at the time.

We were on one of these new Dreamliner planes and had read ahead of time about how uncomfy the seats are so were prepared with extra cushions, shawls and so on. These were carefully stowed into the tiny spaces under the seats along with my knitting yarn and other flight essentials. 

I then unlocked the tray table which came down into place with a loud 'clunk' and a decided list to one side. I tried to make it go flat but when I placed a pencil on the table, it rolled off and went under my neighbour's seat. Not a good start. We retrieved it, had a brief conversation about how to get his overhead light on (not an easy task either) and I put the pencil along with everything else on my lap.

Soon our meal came along and I left my knitting where it was as I couldn't manoeuvre down to place it into a bag. The meal finished and a cup of tea arrived which was scalding hot. I held it on the sloping table for a while and then made the mistake of deciding it might be better if I folded the tray table over so it was slightly more stable.

It was at that point that I discovered that even folded, the table was not flat. This was just after I had let go of the cup. I saw the teacup tipping over and realized I had to make a snap decision as the tea was heading straight for my legs! But if I moved them out of the way it would soak my brand-new cotton-yak yarn, together with my bamboo needles, notes so far and the ill-fated pencil.

Good sense did, I am happy to say, prevail — but it was a close-run thing. The tea duly drenched everything in sight and I briefly looked at the sodden mass, before placing everything into a Ziplok bag and sealing it up. We dealt with as much of the tea as we could with the available paper towels and then I retired, as gracefully as I could, to the bathroom to try to dry my skirt out.

The rest of the journey was spent with a cold, wet skirt clinging to me and keeping me awake. I wouldn't have minded being awake if I had had some knitting, but with nothing to do the time dragged until we arrived at our destination.

Fortunately, my skirt was nicely dried by the time we landed but everything else was in a sorry state. The wood of the bamboo needles was raised and rough and the yarn was beyond saving. I am afraid to say that the combination of aircraft tea and yak yarn was decidedly unpleasant, especially after it had sat in a hot closed plastic bag for 10 hours! So I had to abandon it and come up with another solution for my holiday knitting. 

Fortunately, I found an excellent substitute, but more about that next time...

Until then, Happy Knitting!


Last Blogpost: Welcome to Kiku Knits

. 27/7/18 W

6 Jul 2017

Welcome to Kiku Knits

Have I ever mentioned I like reversible knitting stitches? Well, yes, OK, maybe just once or twice... Or perhaps I should make that three or four times! 

I suppose I am slightly obsessed with reversible patterns, but as I've said before, they just draw me in. I love the way the fabric drapes when you use a reversible stitch, their ease of use, their versatility, their range. 

And I know I'm not the only one who loves this category of stitches, judging from some of the lovely messages that you have been sending us after the publication of our Book, Reversible Knitting Stitches

Both Anna and I have been so pleased to hear your feedback, so many thanks if you have taken the time to write.
Kiku Knits
The book is available as an E-Book, a Print Book and also a Print and E-Book Package. You can read more details about the book on my website and also on Anna's brand new website, www.kikuknits.com

Kiku Knits is a brand new venture for Anna, with both knitting patterns and one-of-a-kind hand-knits for sale.

I am sure you will join me in wishing Anna all the best of luck with her new venture. Please also visit her News page where she is posting some of her wonderful photos from her Instagram feed.

Until next time, 

Happy Reversible Knitting!


Pattern featured at the top of the blog: Scottswood Stole

Anna's Website: www.kikuknits.com

. 27/7/18 W


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