Friday, 31 January 2014

Parties and Duckies

A few weeks ago I was trying to come up with a theme for The Knitting Hut's 8th Birthday party. I was chatting with a friend of mine about various ideas when she mentioned an article she had seen in Yarnmarket News, an online magazine for the yarn trade in America. The article was mostly about using social media to best effect - how to promote, advertise and market your store, and one of the ideas a lady had come up with was a 'hook a duck' game. Each duck had an offer or discount on the bottom of it valid for the day of the event. I thought it was such a great idea - fun and games and a treat for my lovely customers too!
Of course this all got my mind turning over and as the theme idea for the party started to take shape, a brand new kit idea also started to ruminate and . . .  Hutty Ducky was born! It took quite a few attempts to get him to look just right, and my first few attempts ended in me ripping back and starting again. I really wanted him to look like a small version of a bathtime duck and he had to look cheerful.
I'm very pleased with how he looks now and with the addition of a party hat he looks ready to celebrate! This small, but perfectly formed Ducky will be joined by some brothers and sisters in the crocheted paddling pool for our 'Hook a Hutty Ducky' game for the party at the shop next Saturday 8th February.
I couldn't stop there though, as I knew that this super cute duck would be great as a kit so that anyone coming along to help us celebrate can knit their own Party Ducky too. He will available exclusively at The Knitting Hut party or you can always get him online the week after for a £4.99.
This little ducky will be popping up from time to time throughout the year with a different theme each time so watch out for him!

Friday, 24 January 2014

Sip and Sew

Last October I was lucky enough to be asked to run a Saturday Session for The Sip and Sew Society in Stony Stratford. Sip and Sew is run by two lovely girls, Anna and Caroline who have created a beautiful space to learn a new skill, whether it be sewing, knitting, or even making your own fascinator. The idea is that The Sip and Sew Society is a meeting place for friends old and new to have a cup of tea, some cake, share skills and go home with something beautiful - who could turn that down!

I went along to join them on Saturday for a morning of making dishcloths - yes, I know it doesn’t sound that interesting . . . but it provides the opportunity to learn how to knit, purl, cast on, and cast off - all in three hours! The morning was such a success that the ladies were all keen to go home and start making another dishcloth with their remaining yarn.
As you can see from the pictures the classes are held in a lovely room and I can vouch for the delicious cake yum!
I am running two Saturday Sessions for Anna and Caroline in the next few months. The first of these is on Saturday 22nd February from 10-1pm. Called ‘Moving on’ ,knitters will learn how to increase, decrease, read a pattern to knit a cute little mousie similar to the mouse in Mini Christmas Knits. Head on over here to sign up.
The second class is learning how to use colour in your knitting. We will make a pincushion using Fairisle and Intarsia and then decorate it with swiss darning (duplicate stitching). This workshop takes place on 10th May from 10-1pm.
Teaching these classes is always incredibly rewarding for me. I love sharing what I have learnt over the years with others and there is nothing better than watching someone discover a new skill and revelling in the sheer joy of it! 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

How Knitting came to The Hut

People often ask me if I always wanted to open a Wool Shop but the answer is no! I came up with the idea after visiting other shops and, as well as not finding what I was looking for, experiencing bad customer service which made me really cross.

After visiting The Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate with a friend of mine and discussing all the way there and back (four hours each way) how I could do it the thought just wouldn’t leave my head.

A week later I mentioned this to another friend who said there was an empty shop on The High Street in Woburn Sands and so I rang up the owner, looked at it the following day and agreed to rent it!  That was at the beginning of December and after a lot of hard work renovating the shop I opened on Saturday 11th February 2006.

As you can see from the first photograph, there was a lot of work to do and I spent most of the Christmas period working on getting the shop stripped back and repaired.  It is just as well my wall filling skills are hidden by the wallpaper and behind the dresser top - that definitely was not my forte!

If you are wondering who is in the pram that Andrea is looking after, it's my now ten year old daughter, who has also modelled for the Merry Christmas Sweaters book. In the second picture Alix is chatting to Jenny on our newly installed second settee after our makeover in May.

Choosing the yarns for the shop was the fun bit but how do you choose? Which yarns, what colours? A very big learning curve and I would say eight years on I am still learning.