One day I'll get a survey come poll provider that works properly on here! Many thanks to everyone who tried and left comments.

I didn't include the 'both' option as that's the ideal - I wanted to know if you had to choose, which you would choose. It's funny, 'cos as a designer I've moved over to charts, but as a knitter I suspect I'd still prefer the written, as I've always found charts (except my own!) confusing and a little intimidating. I totally get why designers prefer them, as you can see everything much clearer. Anyhow's, I will aim to do both still for the book, although some of the lace and colourwork may be chart only - heck if I'm gonna sit and write a Fairisle long-hand ;) If you can, please continue to vote on that one, as it's been very useful and insightful. Most designers prefer charts and stick to just those, whereas the knitter does seem to prefer more of a choice.

Cheers also for the feedback on Cascade 220. It says everywhere how well it felts, yet I won't be so info about handle, stitch definition and so on has been very useful - thank you!

Remember a couple of months back that I posted about the LYS of my youth? The shop that's been there at least 40 years, that hasn't changed an inch since the day it opened? How I used to be greeted in an unfriendly 'what the hell are you doing in here' manner? And how they never seemed to have any decent yarns?

They are closing down.

Having been there soo long and survived booms and recessions, I have no idea why it's closing. But it certainly is the end of an era. My Dad mentioned it to me, and as we were down again at the weekend working on Barp, I had to go in and see what was on offer. I was kinda hoping for some antiquated bargain, and I wasn't disappointed.

When I went in, it was like going back in time literally, as the place was so familiar. Looking at the tall racks of yarn after yarn bought back the many projects and jumpers I knitted as a kid. Rather surprisingly, the only friendly shop assistant back in the day was still working there!

I quickly nabbed her, and asked if they had any pure wool. All I could find was courtelle, acrylic and nylon. Rather surprised by my request, she commented that you sadly don't get much pure wool these days. Eh?! I didn't have the heart to tell her that you can get buffalo, possum, angora and much more, as well as a multitude of breeds of sheep wool. The poor woman must be in her seventies and I doubt she's ever been anywhere near John Lewis at Bluewater, let alone the strange thing they call the internet.

Anyhow, she explained that she may have a few odd balls left, and proceeded to climb up a ladder to sort them out for me. There was pure wool, discontinued yarns, and I had them. Oh yes!
12 lots of different colours, each in 100g (2x50g) quantities. The closing down sale meant that all yarns were half marked price, and being as most of the said marked prices hadn't changed since the day those yarns entered the shop, I was getting more than a bargain. Ended up getting each ball for a ridiculous 60p each. Less than £15 for all 12 lots!

Here we have Sirdar Majestic, a machine washable pure wool, and Sirdar Panorama which is slightly more textured, pure wool again. Both are long since discontinued but at least it proves that Sirdar did once know what real sheep are. None of these are faded or mothy, but they will stay in quarantine for a while. If any readers hail from sunny Essex, do go check out 'Violets' in Corringham town centre, even if you just fancy a museum visit.

Even though I've never been fond of the shop, it is very sad to see it close.

As for Barp news, she's coming along!Still need a bit more foam for the back cushions, and then all of it will be covered in this cool gun metal velour come suedette fabric we've got (sounds nasty but it's not, I promise) All under the seating is storage for my stash and there's a LOT of space man! We still haven't done the water and gas plumbing or the electrics... we'll need to soon for Glastonbury. Otherwise, there's more shelving, the shower and another cupboard to fit, then we'll be on to laying the floor and finishing the cupboards. Wahoo! More photos in the gallery.

She's got her MOT this morning and I'm a bit scared... have no idea what to expect, being as I've not put anything larger than a 1.3 Ford Escort in for a test. Mechanically she should be perfect but they have strange criteria for motor homes so we're not sure what the outcome will be.

Wish Barp luck!

AuthorWoolly Wormhead