Cityknits is a family run online business, which also has a retail outlet in Bournville, called “Christine’s”, which has been trading for nearly 40 years. The online shop stocks a good variety of wool and knitting supplies, with great brands such as Debbie Bliss, and one of my favourite value yarns, Stylecraft. The website is really user friendly and set out in such a way that it is truly easy to select the supplies you need for your next project.
My little parcel arrived neatly packed and included a pattern, 2 balls of Katia merino, and 7 tiny little buttons.
I’ve not used Katia yarns before but am always eager to give new brands a go. The wool is nice and tightly spun, which gives a good finish to the knitting, and the quality is exceptional, which means the finished item has a luxuriously soft feel. The only minor disappointment I had with the yarn was that both of the balls I used had been loosely wound so the ball basically fell apart as I knitted from it.
I normally knit with the ball of wool in a basket at my feet, tugging at it to release the required yarn as I go. I wasn’t able to do this with the Katia yarn, and instead had the ball beside me, gently unwinding as I went. That said, I will definitely use Katia again as the quality and finish really outweigh the minor hiccup I had.
As for the pattern I received, I was asked to knit a little baby jacket, and since my beautiful sister-in-law and her husband welcomed their first baby into the world just after Christmas, the timing couldn’t have been better.
I started on the jacket in mid November but with Christmas approaching, I couldn’t give it my full attention and so popped it in a drawer until New Year’s Eve. After the slog and stress of getting knitting finished for Christmas presents, it was lovely to rattle along with a pattern which was relatively small, because it meant the garment knitted up nice and quickly.
Worked on No.10’s, and with the DK yarn, the little jacket only took a total of 20 hours to knit (yes, I did time it!). The little short sleeves were less than an hour a piece, with the back coming together in an evening, the sides the same. The most time consuming bit, which is so often the case, was the making up and finishing. I always slip the first stitch in a row, and knit into the back of the last, which means I have a very definite line of stitches on every piece to sew it all together.
I had a slight problem with the finished item in that I ran out of wool! I checked my tension before I started, and made sure I measured correctly, but I simply didn’t have enough wool, by about 10 yards, and that was really infuriating. The pattern should have had tiny pockets, finished with little buttons, but they couldn’t be done, and it should also have had one cable pattern running up each side, but the only way I could finish the front was to make it k2, p2 rib on the fronts instead.
Although not finished as it should have been, I am still really happy with it. The design is really pretty, and the little bit of cable is a nice detail. :o)
It’s a chunky little knitted, which will provide much needed warmth this winter, and it has already been posted and is winging its way to the new mum and dad.
With so many independent craft and wool shops closing, online shopping is the way to go. City Knits’ prices are incredibly competitive, they stock a great range of products, and offer a brilliant, personal service; I cannot recommend them enough. Their very user friendly website can be found here, or you can follow the link on my sidebar. And even better, from now until Sunday, they have 25% off all online orders using the code NEWYR at checkout!
Happy shopping :o) x