Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Record Wool Sales Reports UK Department Store

Yesterday the BBC announced that John Lewis, one the UK's biggest department store chains has reported record sales of wool. Much of the interest is attributed to celebrity endorsement of knitting as a funky past-time. Read the BBC's article.

PS. We're still trying to give a more balanced view of knitting news in Europe, especially Switzerland. Unfortunately there is no Swiss national knitting association, although the friendly people at strickmeisterschaften, organisers of the Swiss speed-knitting championships, said they may be setting one up next year. Watch this space.

More About...Swiss Speed-Knitting Championships

For those of you interested in the Swiss Knitting Championships that took place a couple of weeks ago, I translated the articles available in the Swiss press. Links to the organiser are below, and they also have news of a similar competition in 2006.

"A woman has won the first Swiss knitting championships which were held in Kirchberg, Switzerland on November 20th, 2005. The competition was organised by the Swiss knitting championship association, Strickmeisterschaften.

In just one hour, Mrs. Helen Rehmann managed to knit the front of a jumper. In the men’s group, however, the fastest male knitter knitted a piece the size of a large handkerchief.

Having knit 5904 stitches in 60 minutes (equal to more than one and a half stitches per second) Helen Rehmann took home the title of fastest Swiss Champion. Hans-Rudolf Wahl, winner in the men’s group, managed 3777 stitches in the same time.

The aim of the competition was to cast on 40 stitches and knit as many rows as possible in 60 minutes. Needles were clicking away at a "hair-raising speed", commented the organizers.

Seventy-three people, of which seven were men, participated in the final. In the run up to the championship, 16 qualifying regional competitions had attracted interested from over 500 fans."

For more information about the competition, visit strickmeisterscaften.ch

Monday, December 05, 2005

Mmm…Monday morning is not quite as difficult when you’ve had a wonderful wool-themed weekend like mine! Yes it had all the right ingredients – stumbling across a sale in a wool shop (Bergere de France) - granted, its not for not for wool purists, as most of their products are wool mix, but who cares at 2 euros a ball? Secondly, my non-driver status meant I could happily knit away in the car whilst being safely driven to and fro my destination…a bit like the queen. And then, whilst sifting through the daily round of knitting news this morning, I stumbled across knitcases, a UK-based company who take luxury knitting to another level with their kits of gorgeous Italian wools, mother-of-pearl buttons and bamboo needles.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Spreading the Word

Great news - the British Hand Knitting Confederation (BHKC) have added us to their list of knitting groups. View our listing (at the foot of the page) and check out UK groups. The BHKC are the definitive guide to what's going on around the UK in terms of knitting, and also organise events, such as the Speed Knitting and Crocheting Championships, which will take place at Alexandra Palace next October. One for us to attend, perhaps?!