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  • December 12, 2015 Sam Conway

    Confessions of a non sewer-upper...

    So I have a confession to make. I’ve never made clothing. Not sewn, crocheted or knitted. Shocking really. It’s not something I’ve ever wanted to do. Because I am lazy primarily. It’s such a faff. All that sewing up. And adult clothing is so BIG. And then when I had the Sconchlet, I was just too BUSY. So no clothing for me.

    Even when I fell in love with the Pineapple top (see left hand side bar!) I got one of my lovely ladies to make it for me:

    Pineapple top...

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  • November 15, 2015 Sam Conway

    Woven Memories...

    It's not often I am left speechless, but this week when I saw one of my customer's makes, I was!

    One of the Sconchlet's nursery teachers, Miss Helen, (those with children will know how hard it is to drop the 'miss' here...) had come into the shop a little while ago with her daughter, Sarah. They were after some gorgeously soft yarn for a baby blanket and chose Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino, which is always a favourite for baby items. These are the colours they decided on:

    Debbie Bliss Cashmerino...

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  • November 12, 2015 Sam Conway

    Fitting it all in...

    Fitting it all in. How do people do it? You know, these super mums who run around with their crazy busy lives, and yet look GLAM. Eugh. I am not one of those. I fit a lot in, don't get me wrong. But glam? I get asked on a daily basis if I am hungover. And I don't think that is because of my well-known love of gin. Yummy-mummy I am not.

    But I do love being busy. Things are even more busy than they used to be. With the Sconchlet at nursery now, my whole life feels like it is driving back and forth to drop her off and pick her up - and she only goes 2 days a week!

    And then there are rehearsals. I'm in the local panto, and not just happy with being in it (principle girl), I volunteered to be the choreographer. Oh and be on the committee. Because I don't have a busy job to do, do I?

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  • October 28, 2015 Sam Conway

    Autumn Daze Pack

    I haven't had a chance to sit and write a blog for a while, as we have been getting ready for the winter rush. All the new yarns have been coming in to the shop, as well as the patterns (eugh, patterns. I know you all love patterns, and need them, but eugh. They are one of my least favourite jobs - scanning, uploading them to the website, sorting them. It takes FOREVER. Which is the main reason there are a lot more patterns in the shop than there are on the website at the moment. We are slowly sifting through the backlog, but EUGH.)

    Anyway, aside from us all going a bit loopy here trying to fit yarn into spaces we don't really have in the shop (no really, THERE IS NO MORE SPACE. Who wants to buy me a new shop?), my blanket is coming along nicely... it doesn't look any different to last time, so I don't have any new pictures of it, as it is the same stripey progression (and, if I am honest, it is at home, and if I don't do this blog post today, it will be another month). However, I'm having trouble deciding what to do with it. It was going to be one big stripey blanket, but then I thought it might look good if I made it a square, then edged two sides with stripes going the opposite way, and then two final sides of edging going the other way - so a bit like a log cabin pattern, but on a larger scale.

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  • September 22, 2015 Sam Conway

    Alpaca my bag for another holiday if I could...

    Ok, so TERRIBLE title, but I have been sitting here thinking of how I could make a clever title with 'alpaca' in it, and that was as good as it got I am afraid.

    This is a bit of a flashback post, as all the photos were actually taken a few months ago...but they were too good to not share. Before the summer hols, I went to a wedding up in the Lake District and the day after, we decided to go on a drive. Do you ever take those crazy drives? The ones where everytime you get to a junction one of you yells left or right? Or is that just us?

    Anyway, as we were trundling down some frankly scary country lanes, I noticed on the good ole sat nav that there was a name pinpointed. The name of one of my independent suppliers. Well, I screeched a little, and smiled nicely, and Mr Sconch turned that way. And right enough, as we pulled up outside this farm house, I saw the name 'Town End Alpacas' on the gate. How wierd is that?

    Town End Alpacas...

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  • August 18, 2015 Sam Conway

    Knitting the Town Red...

    If you are local to the shop, you might have been lucky enough to see the frankly amazing knitted town that has been on display. I was lucky enough to chat to Elaine Pye, the lovely lady behind the knitted town, and find out a bit about it.

    Elaine is the vice president of the Dolphin WI, and was inspired to start making a knitted version of Braintree after her sister had come up with the idea of celebrating 900 years of her own village in Hertfordhsire with a knitted replica of the main buildings. As the WI were celebrating its centenary, she felt it was good timing to steal the idea for Braintree!

    Like so many project beginnings, Elaine said she found herself saying out loud that she 'would have a go'. It began with the church, which she felt was a good central point of the town, but soon moved on to making the Library (as a good modern contrast) and then the Town Hall and the Swan Pub. What started off as a small project soon grew and became a much bigger project than she had envisaged.

    Church...

     

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  • August 9, 2015 Sam Conway

    Not enough hours...

    Life. It gets in the way sometimes, doesn't it?

    You'd be forgiven for thinking I'd run away over the past month. I haven't posted much on Social Media in general, and I haven't blogged at all. But between drowning under work, being poorly, a teeny sneaky holiday, and a lack of staff due to holidays, I keep getting to the end of the day having not made a dent in my to do list.

    Or rather I get to the morning on my drive in to the shop and my brain is bombarded with all of the things I was supposed to do the day before. And then I get in to the shop and promptly forget them all.

    I'm beginning to feel a little bit like this headless Happypotamus...

    Headless Happypotamus...
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  • June 30, 2015 Sam Conway

    The Not So Abracadabra Magic Circle...

    One of the things I get asked to explain the most in the shop is the elusive magic circle. The title of this blog post is because it really is not that magic... once you get it, you realise how amazingly simple is. In fact, the hardest thing about it is holding the yarn straight at the very beginning - but a bit of a fiddly stitch never stopped any of us, did it?

    So I thought I would do a quick tutorial for you... if you have any questions, or would like me to clarify anything further, let me know! And remember, this is your blog, so if there is something you want me to write about or show you how to do, leave me a comment!

    Magic circle...

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  • June 24, 2015 Sam Conway

    Night feeds and Duplo...

    People always get a bit het up (and rightly so) around election time, telling you to 'use your vote'. People sacrificed huge amounts so that we all had the right to vote, so we shouldn't waste our opportunities to get our voice heard...

    ...now, whilst for most people, the British Knitting Awards 2015 aren't on *quite* the same level as the general election, for others, they have quite an impact. Yes, that would be the likes of little old me.

    We've been lucky enough to be nominated for Best Independent Yarn Store in the South East of England for the second year running (nope, we didn't win last year *sob*). Nominated by you. And to be honest, that alone is a little overwhelming. But I'd be a bit silly if I let the overwhelming emotions take over so much that I didn't urge you all to go and actually vote for us as well...

    Vote fur us...

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  • June 9, 2015 Sam Conway

    Blanket Planning...

    Blankets. Huge big projects that lots of people find intimidating.  To others, blankets are addictions. I have customers who have 4 or 5 blankets on the go at once! For me, they are oh so therapeutic. That final stretch when you are sewing in your ends and you can see the end in sight... bliss.

    I have decided to start making blankets again, as it has been so long since I have done one.  I ummed and aaahed about what stitch, what colours, what size (no really? I hear you ask - but you are always so decisive? *snort*)

    I have a giant bag of Stylecraft Special DK colours all left over from when we used to sell shade cards and I thought I should really do something with them.  So out they all came for some inspiration. I had an idea in my head of roughly what I wanted it to look like - autumn!

    Blanket planning...

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  • June 2, 2015 Sam Conway

    Ickworth Wool Festival

    Yarn shops.  Yarn festivals.  Craft fairs.  They are a bit of a busman's holiday for us, but I love them.  Mr Sconch despairs that everytime we go somewhere new the first thing I do is look for a wool shop.  'But why?' he always asks.  Cos I love yarn?  Isn't it obvious?!

    Well on Sunday, I dragged us all along to the Ickworth Wool festival.  It is only about 45 mintues from us, held at the beautiful Ickworth Hall.  It is a National Trust property, and is set in pretty grounds.  The fair itself was held outside in the grounds under a marquee and various free standing tents.

    It wasn't as big as I had hoped it would be, but we did have a rather lovely day.  I started off taking lots of photos for you, including of the amazing sheep show.  

    The Sheep Show...

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