Knitted socks and blankets

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 24-04-2014

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Quite an unusual combination of customer projects to share today – knitted socks and crocheted blankets. These are some of the projects the ladies of our knit and natter group brought in to share. Socks are quite a popular choice amongst the group. I guess smaller WIP’s (Works in Progress) are always handy to have on the go for an occasion like knitting group, a project that travels well is key. Although if one of the needles dropped out, then problems may well arise.

One of the ladies, Carole had never knitted a pair of socks before and with the help and patience from Joan (another member of the group) she knitted her first ever pair. She even brought in a second pair, that have already hopped onto her double pointed needles. This restores my faith in the thought of ever venturing into the world of sock knitting. I always fear that I would fall down to ‘single sock syndrome’.

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Her new pair are knitted in Regia Design Line 

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Jacky has knitted a pair of socks for her grand-daughter. She specifically asked for a pair of yellow socks so Jacky kindly knitted her a pair. The yellow yarn is My First Regia 4ply.

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Jacky has also finished her beautiful crochet blanket. This was a mystery crochet-a-long from Inside Crochet magazine. If you like the look of it back issues are available digitally on Inside Crochet magazines website.

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And finally a knitted blanket this time from Mary. She has knitted this from a pattern in a special issue of Crochet Today magazine. This has been knitted in a selection of shades from the Sirdar Supersoft Aran range.

butterfly_blanket

Knitted William Shakespeare

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Knitting | Posted on 23-04-2014

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I received an email, only last week with a fabulous project attached. Not any knitted character; this is a knitted William Shakespeare! I thought it was quite apt to share it today, as it is after all William Shakespeare’s birthday. A customer called Sandy sent in the photo to share her latest project, knitted in yarn purchased from Black Sheep Wools. The pattern for this character is featured in ‘Best of Britain’ knitting book.

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He wouldn’t be complete without his feather quill. Look at his jacket too, so much detail in the design!

Have you knitted any fun characters recently? Any celebrities or famous faces from the past maybe? We would love to share your latest knitted (or crocheted) projects here on the blog. Please email any pictures to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Happy Easter everyone!

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Crochet | Posted on 17-04-2014

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Have you seen the adorable bunny pattern Curly Girl Coop‘s Leah Cooper designed for us? The bunnies needed names ready for Easter. We held a competition and Leah (designer of bunny) chose the winning names as Bertie and Betsy.

Barbara took up the challenge of making a Bertie over a weekend. Here he is! I want to keep him safe on my desk forever, but I have a feeling that someone will take him before too long. He is just so sweet, crocheted in Sirdar Cotton Dk shade 505. Barbara is currently crocheting a Bessie so we have the complete pair!

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Download the pattern for free here!

What have you been knitting?

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 16-04-2014

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What have you been knitting? Well, not just knitting – crocheting and stitching too. Do you have a project you would like to share? I enjoy receiving an email with photos of your latest project attached. Sharing your crafty project is often so inspiring and can spark many a new idea for others and sometimes yourself. Casting off and sewing up leaves your mind free to think of the next project or two that are just itching to hop onto your needles.

Here are some of the projects knitted and crocheted by our lovely Black Sheep Wools customers. I have received photos via email and also taken photos of customers popping into store.

Yvonne came into the Craft Barn wearing her cosy jacket knitted in the marshmallow like Rowan Tumble yarn. The way she has styled it with a contrast brown, leather belt looks really effective. Yvonne did say that the pattern (from Tumble by Rowan book) has turned out a little bigger than expected, and if she were to knit it again she would choose to knit a size smaller. Although I remember seeing the sample garment of this jacket in the navy shade and it was quite oversized, a good garment to snuggle in during the winter months.

This is one of Yvonne’s first garments too! She has done a fabulous job, don’t you think?

tumble_jacket_yvonne

Sarah emailed in a photo of an adorable teddy bear knitted in Sirdar Baby Crofter Dk. She is new to knitting and wanted to make something for her son. He has been named Bob the bear, but Sarah likes to call him wobbly Bob.

crofter_bear

Anne Marie enjoys visiting the Craft Barn for her latest yarn fix. Every time she comes in there seems to be a new project on the go. She emailed a photo of her latest scarf – a ‘Kwoosh‘ by Kat Mcab on Ravelry. Anne Marie opted for the luxurious SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Color, currently on special offer at £2.49 a ball. The scarf has already been promised to her friend. Anne Marie said she will definitely be making herself one very soon. The bead detail at each point adds a nice finish.

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Catherine sent in a photo of a pretty blanket crocheted in a combination of Patons Mirage Dk and a plain cream yarn. This is going to be a beautiful baby blanket for a close friend.

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Catherine is now wondering how best to edge it. What do you think?

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If you have a project to share please email amy@blacksheepwools.com with photos and your knitting / crochet story.

Blogger of the month – March

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Blogger of the Month | Posted on 15-04-2014

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This month we are pleased to announce ‘Knitting Konrad‘ as our Blogger of the month. An interesting blog for knitters and crocheters, where Konrad enjoys sharing such intricate and precious knits using some luxurious yarns. As ever if you have a favourite blog you would like to share please fill out our nomination form.

I sent over the blogger questions to Konrad so we could find out a little bit more behind the blog. Konrad kindly answered along with lots of photos! Here is what he had to say………..

konrad

How long have you been blogging? What made you decide to write a blog?

My blog has been running since November 2012 and I try to write articles on a regular basis. One reason to run a blog is to improve my skills in reading and writing English. It is funny, because if I talk about knitting it is easier for me to do that in English than in German. I don’t know why, but I guess I’ve read too many knitting books written in English and so English has become my ‘knitting language’.

What is your latest WIP (Work in progress)? Do you have a photo?

Well, actually I have 4 WIP’s. 3 knitting projects and one crochet project are on my needles. This is really unusual for me, because I’m not really fond of having more than 2 WIP’s.
The knitting projects are: Mossdale a design by Martin Storey, knitted in Rowan Lima and 2 Sheknits/Heknits KAL projects with my dear friend Kristen using Rowan Pure Linen and Rowan Truesilk. We are knitting the same pattern, but are changing it to fit for us.

mossdale wip

And I’m part of Jane Crowfoot’s Crochet Club 2014. This week the third set of patterns has arrived and I hope I will find soon some time to crochet on.

quant flower jane crowfoot crochet club 2014

Who taught you to crochet?

I was taught to crochet at primary school. It was part of our lesson plan.

Do you watch TV or listen to music while you knit / crochet? 

Yes I do! I do watch TV. I love to see movies and detective series. I love old movies with Betty Davies and I love Dame Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple. A preferred knitting series nowadays is also Inspector Barnaby.

Where do you find inspiration for a new project? 

Inspirations for new projects may be found on different, sometimes unusual places. They can be spotted at the theatre or in movies watching at the costumes, online f. e. on Pinterest or Flickr, in nature or architecture and of course in books and magazines.
I usually choose pattern first and afterwards I’m looking for the yarn I want to use for it.

What is your favourite yarn to work with? Is there a particular brand?

My favourite yarns are DK and finer yarns. I like to do knit lace, so I have a lot of lace-weight yarns in my stash. Most of the time I knit with Rowan Yarns but I also knit with Jamison & Smith, Jamieson’s of Shetland, Lana Grossa and Filatura di Crosa.

cameo shaw

When yarn shopping are you always drawn to a certain colour?

In fact I am. I do love all shades of green. But I avoid to knit all my projects in green shades.

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On your blog you have so many lovely designs. Do you have a favourite project?

One of my favourite projects is “Maria in the Valley”. I designed and knitted it as a birthday gift for my dear friend Maria. It is a shawl knitted in a traditional Estonian pattern from Haapsalu. I have had a lot of fun designing and knitting it. It is also a free download at my Ravelry store.

Maria in the Valley detail

Maria in the Valley total

Do you follow other blogs? 

Yes I do! I’m following the blogs of Kate Davies, Knitted Bliss, Knitionary, Life Lackadaisical, Never not Knitting, Nottingham Knitter, Knitpurlandgarden, PurlOne, Knit and Stitch blog, MonsterYarns, Peacefully Knitting and so on. Every blog is inspiration for me.

Do you read any craft magazines? If so do you have a favourite?

Yes I do read a lot of craft magazines on a regular basis. I’m subscribed to The Knitter magazine, Interweave Knits, Knitting Magazine, Knitting Traditions, Piecework, Knitscene and Jane Austen Knits. I love them all, but I really wait to see The Knitter magazine.

Here are a selection of the many projects Konrad has recently completed.

quilt

‘Quilt’ from Rowan Pioneer book knitted in Rowan Creative Focus Worsted.

diamond cushion for rowan

Diamond cushion designed for Rowan. Knitted in Rowan Pure Wool Worsted.

kaffe fasset x-diamont blanket

A variety of beautifully knitted socks.

socks

 

An evening with Debbie Bliss

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Company News | Posted on 11-04-2014

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The Craft Barn has been the place to be in the past week. We have had not one but two celebrities from the craft world. Yesterday we held an evening with Debbie Bliss here at Black Sheep Wools. An absolutely fabulous evening organised where we all left feeling fuelled with inspiration. Debbie arrived late afternoon with her daughter Nell, Managing Director of Designer Yarns – David Watt and Ian Watt – Sales Director. Giving us just enough time to squeeze in a quick Q & A session before the masses arrived at 6pm. An exclusive for everyone who couldn’t make it to Debbie’s evening. Those of you who live a little further a field, bringing Debbie to you via a YouTube video. Watch Sara and Debbie chatting away in the video on our YouTube page.

It is so interesting to hear all of Debbie’s stories and on the evening Debbie and David did the talk together. They make the perfect combination David, a mind full of technical fibre and yarn knowledge. Alongside Debbie an amazingly talented hand knitting designer.

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On arrival everyone received a goodie bag and a glass of bubbly.

Debbie Bliss evening

The girls were handing out tasty snacks to accompany the glass of fizz.

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Everyone gathered in the back room to listen to Debbie and ask her all their knitting questions. I think her and David could have chatted with the ladies all night.

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Lots of beautiful yarn on display including Baby Cashmerino, Juliet and Blue Faced Leicester Aran.

Debbie Bliss yarn

A gorgeous men’s cricket tank top in the new Debbie Bliss Mia.

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A very pretty ladies double breasted cardigan in Debbie Bliss Juliet.

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Thank you to Debbie Bliss and Designer Yarns for taking the time out of their busy schedule, to inspire and entertain everyone for the evening.

Easter Bunny

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Crochet | Posted on 10-04-2014

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Curly Girl Coop blogger Leah, has kindly designed an exclusive Easter pattern for us. The pattern is for a crocheted Easter bunny which is available to download from our website for free. The bunnies have been crocheted in shades of Sirdar Cotton Dk.

spring_bunny

To coincide with the release of this pattern we have a little competition. Name our Easter Bunnies and you could be in with the chance of winning a prize. The prize includes – yarn, stuffing, safety eyes and a crochet hook. Basically everything you need to make your own Easter bunny. Simply click through to our competition page and fill out the form with your suggested names.

If you make your own bunny we would love to see a photo. Either share away on Twitter or Facebook or even send an email through to amy@blacksheepwools.com. It would be great if we could create a blog post featuring everyone’s individual bunnies!

Competition closes at 4pm on Friday 11th April BST.

Fabric Room Now Officially Open

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Company News | Posted on 08-04-2014

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On Saturday morning we had the wonderful Stuart Hillard here at the Craft Barn to declare our fabric room now officially open. It was very exciting for both staff and customers to have the opportunity to meet Stuart. He is so passionate about his craft. From the moment you speak to him you are captured with an enthusiasm that exudes from him. Someone who has never done any sort of sewing what so ever, could quite easily be convinced by Stuart. Although, our beautiful fabric room could quite well be a fabulous source of inspiration for anyone just starting out. Even without Stuart in it! Don’t you think?

Whilst we were declaring the fabric room now officially open, it had to be done properly with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a couple of bottles of fizz (we can always manage to find an excuse!). Here is a video of Sara introducing Stuart Hillard.

Hopefully this will be the first of many visits Stuart makes to the Craft Barn. I will let you in on a little secret. We are currently working out dates for Stuart to teach some of his workshops here. Keep an eye out on our workshops page as they will be up on there as soon as all the dates are confirmed. So exciting!

Fabric room

Here are just some of the fabrics we stock.

Stuart Hillard with Sarah Hatton and Sara

Sarah Hatton happened to be teaching a workshop and arrived as Stuart was about to cut the ribbon. It only seemed right to get a quick photo!

Fabric Room

Lots to see in the new fabric room.

A spot of bubbly

A spot of bubbly being handed out while everyone gathered together.

Stuart with customers

Stuart busy chatting away to customers.

Fabric room

Sara’s yarn review – Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk Dk

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 07-04-2014

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Sara has enjoyed knitting with Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk Dk yarn so much, that she has decided to do a yarn review. Watch the video below to and hear what she has to say.

Knitted Christening Jacket

Posted by Amy Dagger | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 03-04-2014

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Yvonne had her eye on this beautiful knitted pattern from the moment she knew she was to be a Grandma, the perfect Christening outfit. Whilst perusing the book sat alongside Janet one lunch time, Yvonne pointed out the jacket and mentioned how it would be perfect for a Christening knitted in a delicate shade of white. Seeing the pattern Janet said that she would happily make this for Yvonne. Not long after agreeing to make this beautiful gift Yvonne found out that her daughter was having a little boy! So the pretty jacket was to be no longer needed.

Fast forward a couple of years and Yvonne’s daughter now has a new addition to the family – a little girl. Janet very kindly kept her promise and knitted this exquisite outfit for Isla. Yvonne was thrilled with the jacket and couldn’t wait to share it with everyone here on the blog.

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Each of the flowers are hand knitted and sewn on individually.

Knitted baby Christening jacket

Janet even added beads. To ensure they didn’t come loose Janet threaded them onto the yarn prior to knitting.

Knitted Christening jacket

It is hard to capture on camera how much the beads really make the jacket so special and precious.

knitted baby headband

The jacket was knitted following a pattern from Sublime book 648 using Debbie Bliss Prima yarn. The beads are clear by Debbie Abrahams. The Christening took place only a week or so ago and Isla’s oufit was greatly admired.