A free pattern for Friday!

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 31-07-2015



Carol’s leg is now healed, however her quick knit and crochet makes are still being made. She really has got the bug! You may recall a couple of Carol’s projets from a previous blog post earlier in the year. The latest blanket is a juicy array of rainbow colour, crocheted in a simple chevron stitch. This gorgeous colour can be found in shade ‘Starburst’ of Stylecraft Merry Go Round. The other shades are tempting too, featuring beautiful tonal colours perfect for little ones. To make the blanket you will need just two balls of this lovely yarn.

free baby blanket pattern

Download the pattern for free from our free patterns page.

free stylecraft merry go round baby blanket pattern



A mixed bag of crafty delights!

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 29-07-2015

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Our lovely customers never fail to impress with their latest finished projects. In recent weeks it has been a pleasure to be treated to these delights. As more and more people get to know that we stock such a gorgeous range of fabrics we are starting to see more fabric based finished projects too.

Anne likes to knit various little dolls and characters. She brought in two teeny meerkats from ‘Knitted Meerkats’ book by Sue Stratford. A punk meerkat and a meerkat dressed up as a Christmas tree. These are a fun make that would make a great gift. Take a look at all of the detail in each one – the punk even has a nose ring!

Punk meerkat

Look at this little cheeky chap hidden away inside a Christmas tree – such intricate knitting.

christmas tree meerkat

After finishing the meerkats Anne made a knitted doll from ‘Babes in Wool’ book using various oddments of yarn. Check out her funky hair!

Babes in wool doll

Scarves and shawls are a versatile knit – easy to transport when knitting (especially on circular needles), can be worn all year round (depending on the thickness), perfect for all levels of knitter (plenty of choice, basic to advanced).

Isabelle took on the Rowan Starry Starry Night shawl an exclusive free download from Black Sheep Wools designed by Sarah Hazell. The shawl uses a ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Stripe and Rowan Fine Lace. I have seen a few different variations in the past, but not this particular colour combination. The grey / blue shades look lovely worked together.

starry starry night shawl

starry starry night shawl

Leona brought in three patchwork cushions she had made using floral Coats fabrics, including Nel Whatmore Memory Lane and Tanya Whelan Petal. Can you believe this was her very first time taking on a patchwork project? Leona attended the Basics of Patchwork workshop a couple of months back. She soon got the hang of it!

leona's patchwork cushions

A customer called Delyse brought in this gigantic throw she had knitted. The blanket is knitted in a variety of Sirdar Country Style Dk yarns and a selection of oddments Delyse had in her stash. The squares were joined together using a 3 needle bind off method. Each large log cabin square has been created by picking up the stitches along the side of the centre shape and continuing round for the colour change.

log cabin knitted blanket

log cabin knitted blanket



Little Things Blogged – Free Patterns

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 27-07-2015

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I have two special summer treats to share today. The lovely Tanya at Little Things Blogged has created two patterns just for you, our Black Sheep Wools customers. Tanya has used the Hayfield Fiesta Dk in both designs, yet they are completely different. Seeing the yarn used in a different context makes you realise how creative you can be with yarn and a hook or pair of knitting needles. One design is crocheted and one is knitted. Tanya has gone for a pretty crocheted shawl and a simple knitted pillow cover. Both designs are perfect for beginners and will be made up in no time at all. There are 8 different shades to choose from in the Hayfield Fiesta Dk range including neutral creams and beige, then vibrant exotic shades of orange and pink. The yarn really is a dream to work with too.

little things blogged crochet shawl

Tanya also suggests that the crochet shawl could be worn as a sarong. If you get your crochet hook working at record speed it could be ready to pop in your suitcase next week! Here’s Tanya modelling the shawl.

little things blogged - free pattern

For the knitted pillow Tanya has worked two shades (Yumyum Yellow & Flamenco) together. This creates a tropical effect that really shows off the colours. A simple yet effective design. Think of all the different colour combinations you could make……take a look here at the Hayfield Fiesta Dk.

little things blogged - free pattern

Download both patterns from our free patterns page.

little things blogged - free pattern

Stuart Hillard Evening

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Patchwork & Quilting | Posted on 24-07-2015



A couple of weeks back we had the wonderful Stuart Hillard here at the Craft Barn for two full day workshops and an evening lecture – we really did keep him busy! It is lovely to see the passion and enthusiasm Stuart has for his craft. This enthusiasm is reflected in his magnificent quilts and patchwork designs.

On the evening everyone enjoyed a glass of bubbly and canapés whilst perusing the Craft Barn, before gathering in the fabric room and settling down to listening to Stuart and witness his phenomenal designs. Take a look below at some of Stuart’s quilts he brought along to share. He really doesn’t do things by halves, those quilts are enormous!

stuart hillard evening

stuart hillard quilt

stuart hillard quilt

stuart hillard quilt

stuart hillard

stuart hillard quilt

stuart hillard quilt

stuart hillard wall hanging

stuart hillard quilt

stuart hillard quilt

September Workshops 2015

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Company News | Posted on 22-07-2015

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Wait until you see all of the exciting workshops we have lined up for this autumn. There are plenty of new additions, plus many favourites back by popular demand. We are always looking to add new workshops to our repertoire, so if there are any that you would like to see held at the Craft Barn please get in touch and we will see what we can do – email: amy@blacksheepwools.com.

We have a selection of knitting, crochet, patchwork and sewing workshops aimed at all levels of crafter. They aren’t just for those picking up a new skill, oh no – we have workshops for the well-seasoned  crafter to advance their skills further too. There are a mixture of both full and half day mini workshops to choose from taught by either Rowan tutors or our highly talented members of staff.


Our very own Barbara will be teaching her very popular ‘Basics of Patchwork‘ workshop on Thursday 3rd September. This is a great 2½ hour workshop to help kick start your love of patchwork.

basics of patchwork workshop


Rowan tutor Jem Weston will be sharing her love of toy knitting and cute creatures in her brand new workshop ‘Toy Knitting‘ on Friday 4th September.

toy knitting workshop


Rowan tutor Melanie Boocock will be teaching the first patchwork workshop of the new season ‘Patchwork Bag‘ on Saturday 5th September. This workshop is perfect for those who are new to patchwork or those who wish to brush up on their skills.

patchwork bag workshop

patchwork bag workshop


Black Sheep Yvonne has had fabulous reviews about her 4 week ‘Intro to Sewing‘ workshop. Over the 4 weeks Yvonne will guide you through to begin your sewing journey. The course will be held on consecutive Thursday mornings starting with Thursday 10th September and ending on Thursday 1st October.

intro to sewing workshop


Jane Crowfoot will be back for two workshops on Friday 11th September and Saturday 12th September. On Friday she will be teaching ‘Fair Isle & Intarsia knitting‘ then ‘Professional Finishing‘ on Saturday 12th.

fair isle and intarsia knitting workshop


Rowan tutor Carol Meldrum has a brand new workshop for autumn – ‘Brioche and Tuck Stitch Knitting‘ on Friday 18th September. This would be a great technique to learn for making gorgeous scarves and snoods this winter. On the day you will start making a cowl.

brioche and tuck workshop

brioche and tuck knitting workshop


Carol will also be teaching ‘Learn to Crochet‘ the following day on Saturday 19th September.

learn to crochet workshop


Betsan Corkhill will be holding a unique workshop based around her book – ‘Therapeutic Knitting‘ on Saturday 26th September.

therapeutic knitting workshop


All of our workshops are held in our fantastic workshop room within the Craft Barn in Warrington. Julie or Jayne will look after you throughout the day keeping you fed and watered with a delicious lunch, mouth-watering cakes and fresh pots of tea.

There are many more workshops taking place throughout October, November and December. Take a look here on our workshops page for more information.

Rowan Tetra Cotton Sweater – #tryittuesday

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 21-07-2015

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We have just two glamorous Black Sheep Wools models today. I think everyone scarpered and found somewhere to hide beneath all of our yarn when I went on the hunt for a #tryittuesday. This week the garment of choice is a sweater knitted in Rowan Tetra Cotton yarn. This is a new addition for summer joining the extensive collection of luxurious yarns in the Rowan range. The construction of this yarn is quite spectacular and rather unique – a chainette featuring multiple shades within the one strand. The yarn is a smooth consistency and creates a lovely soft fabric when knitted.


The design is called ‘Nilgiri’ and can be found in the accompanying pattern book by Rowan called Tetra Cotton.

Tetra Cotton Book

Lesley tried on the sweater wearing a black vest top underneath. It is a slightly shorter design, so could easily be worn layered in this way. Alternatively, it could work really well worn with a pair of trousers or a skirt with a higher waist line, to balance out the shorter length. There is also another option of adding in a little extra length when knitting. As always with handmade items the options are endless!

rowan tetra cotton sweater - Nilgiri

Colette popped the sweater on with a high waisted skirt. The blue looked lovely off-set with the charcoal grey of Colette’s skirt.

rowan tetra cotton sweater - nilgiri

Rowan Yarns Crochet Along – Finished

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 15-07-2015

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Back in April I shared the beginning of Barbara’s journey on the Rowan spring Crochet Along. Barbara kept up with the fortnightly pattern installment for the whole eight weeks. She was like a crochet machine – I do wonder if she even slept! There were seven different hexagon designs with the final week being the joining instructions.

Barbara had originally set out with the idea of making the shawl. However, as she progressed the blanket took over as her item of choice. The quantity of hexagons varies depending on the final piece, but luckily for Barbara both the shawl and blanket needed the same amount.

Every few weeks Barbara would bring in her gigantic lunch box (aka the CAL box) it was always exciting to see how the hexagons had multiplied since the last time. The pastel shades of Rowan Summerlite 4ply look so pretty worked together.

crochet along progress

When Barbara had completed all of her hexagons I couldn’t resist placing a selection side by side for a photograph.

rowan crochet along

rowan crochet along

Here are some of the hexagons being crocheted together on their way to becoming a beautiful blanket.

rowan crochet along progress

The finished blanket!

lisa richardson rowan crochet along blanket

It’s one of those designs that you keep wanting to look at, so ,uch work in each design!

lisa richardson crochet along

rowan crochet along

Did you join in with the Rowan spring Crochet Along? What colourway did you choose to crochet with?

What have you been sewing?

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 13-07-2015

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Sewing fever has hit Black Sheep Wools recently. It’s great to see all of the projects you have been making – from garments to patchwork quilts, we really have had a varied selection.

When you walk into our fabric room you are greeted with so much colour and inspiration, it really is difficult to know where to start sometimes. Plucking out a bolt of fabric or two (or maybe 10) and lying them side by side or even piling them high is often the best way to get a feel for the colour and print combinations you are hoping to achieve in your desired design.

Lots od thought and consideration has gone into the fabric choices of our customers. Take a look below at their projects below. If you would like to share a project you have made with fabric purchased from Black Sheep Wools we would love to see. Send your photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Yvonne spotted Catherine on a shopping trip in the Craft Barn wearing this outfit made entirely from Coats fabrics. The top is made in Tula Pink Foxfield – Serpentine and the trousers in Freespirit Designer solids – aqua. Catherine purchased another gorgeous fabric combo whilst she was in store. Hopefully she will pop in one day again wearing her new outfit!

tula pink foxfield - serpentine

Sally from our knit and natter group brought in a huge quilt she had made in memory of her son who passed away. One side of the quilt is made up of a patchwork design using different pieces of t-shirts and tops then the reverse is an array of juicy shades of Kaffe Fassett fabrics.



Amy visited the Craft Barn to share her first ever sewing projects. She made a cushion using Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Bouquet and a red piping, finishing it off with a shell button in the centre. The pattern is from Stuart Hillard’s book – Sew Fabulous.



Cathy from our knit and natter group had her latest crochet project tucked away in this adorable pouch, made from Kaffe Fassett Sateen Belle Epoch.


Lisa has hand sewn this entire patchwork quilt. She has used a selection of fabrics from her stash and also some Craft Cotton fat quarters. Once this quilt is finished Lisa plans to make another one for her other daughter.



Next up we have Michelle’s pretty applique cushions. Michelle has used Denyse Schmidt fabrics and highlighted the leaf design for her appliqued centre design.



Finally we have a fab beach bag made for Jayne (who works in the tea shop) by her mother-in-law. Jayne took this fab on her holiday; with all its pockets and drawstring fasten it was perfect for a day at the beach. The fabric is all from the Nel Whatmore Merry Go Round range.



Sewing Bee Winner!

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Patchwork & Quilting | Posted on 09-07-2015


The votes were counted across all social media and the winner is………….Jo from Jozart, with her brightly coloured windmill bag. There was some lovely feedback about all entries, Jo’s included. One comment read – ‘Gorgeous happy bag’. I think this sums up Jo’s design perfectly. The combination of plain and patterned, vibrant fabrics create an abundance of colour all brought together in one patchwork bag.

Jo has kindly put the pattern down on paper for us. Keep an eye out for the pattern popping up on our free patterns page in the next couple of weeks. It will be one to add to your to do list. The only thing is you won’t know where to begin when choosing your fabrics!

jo jozart windmill bag

jo jozart sewing bee

jo jozart windmill bag

jo jozart sewing bee winner

Stylecraft Malabar Aran Cardigan – #tryittuesday

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 07-07-2015


It’s baaack! Try it Tuesday is here once again. It’s hard to believe that it was way back in January that we shared our last #tryittuesday post. So many scrumptious new yarns have landed on the shelves since then along with some gorgeous sample garments. Summertime seemed like a good time to revive #tryittuesday. It was just a matter of getting the trusty Black Sheep Wools models back on board to kindly strike a pose for the camera. There are three familiar faces below who didn’t take too much coaxing to try on the cardigan. Everyone commented on how lovely the purple shade of Stylecraft Malabar Aran was – Jayne didn’t want to take it off. I think she was fancying a new addition to her uniform! The Stylecraft Malabar Aran yarn is a smooth combination of silk and cotton fibres which create a knit with a good drape and nice weight to it. Find the cardigan pattern here pattern number 9140.

Jayne was impressed with the style and colour of the cardigan.

Stylecraft Malabar Aran Cardigan

Lesley tried the cardigan on with a simple black vest top. A bright colour always works well with black or white basics.

stylecraft malabar aran cardigan

Stacey was having a purple day today with her matching purle watch! You can see the eyelet detail meandering down the edge of the cardigan against the light blue shirt.

Stylecraft Malabar Aran Cardigan

Would you knit the Stylecraft Malabar Aran cardigan? Have you knitted the cadigan? We would love to see your #tryittuesday photos too. Feel free to share away on social media or email your photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.