Rainbow Yarn

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 05-07-2017

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Recently I noticed our Instagram looked like a rainbow, an illuminating array of rainbow colour. Seeing this has inspired me to write this blog post and share what delights there are in the world of yarn. Not just self striping, multi – coloured hanks, individual balls of colour too, that you can create your own rainbow with.

Over the past couple of months we have taken in a new brand – Caron. The first yarn to join us was Caron Simply Soft, with over 50 shades to choose from. This one really is an incredible rainbow of colour. With so many colours to choose from this yarn is a must for anyone who enjoys making colour palettes. The way the yarn has been displayed in the Craft Barn flowing through the colour spectrum is just too tempting. There is something quite therapeutic when methodically arranging yarns in according to their hue.

Eve is a Saturday girl at the Craft Barn, her Grandma has crocheted a rainbow blanket in Caron Simply Soft for her to take to Leeds festival this summer.

Then Caron Cakes arrived. A swirl of colour wound temptingly into one large cake of yarn. Now cake and yarn are two of our favourite things, so combining the two is amazing! The colour combinations in these beauties are gorgeous. There are 18 shades to choose from, some tonal, others complimenting colour combinations. If you are looking for rainbow yarn then look no further than the shade ‘Rainbow Sprinkles’.

Debbie Bliss always has a good colour range and Rialto DK does not disappoint. A sophisticated shade range to entice your knitting needles or crochet hook to venture into a new project. Choosing colours is part of the process and very much a fun task it is.

Now who couldn’t resist a rainbow yarn sock? These cheery colour combinations from West Yorkshire Spinners are sure to make you smile. Their Signature 4ply is very popular amongst sock knitters. There are one shade, striped and bird inspired options to choose from. However, if it is rainbow yarn you are after then ‘Rum Paradise’ is the one, or feeling more pastel – ‘Sherbet Fizz’.

Debbie Bliss has recently taken Botany Lace under her yarn umbrella. Take a look at the shade ‘Ronda’, a gorgeous rainbow yarn.

Sirdar’s cake yarn – Colourwheel DK has a fantastic aptly named yarn called ‘Follow the Rainbow’. As you can see it does echo its name quite accurately.

If we’re talking a rainbow of yarn then you can’t miss out Stylecraft Special DK. All those shades to choose from to make your bespoke rainbow. How about Sue Stratford’s Rainbow Blanket crochet kit?

It’s not just yarn, we also have fabrics that are bursting with a rainbow of colour. The Freespirit Designer Solids range has all the colours you need to make a vibrant quilt.

Knitted Elf on the Shelf

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 30-12-2016

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This Christmas we have had a little visitor in store. He has been springing up here and there around the Craft Barn sometimes wreaking havoc in the tea shop. This cheeky monkey is our Elf on the Shelf. He arrived at the beginning of December when Lucy and Barbara finished knitting him from the Hayfield Christmas Elves pattern. Lucy knitted and Barbara joined all the pieces together and finished him off, a Black Sheep team effort.

We have been putting updates of the elf’s where abouts on our Instagram throughout December. Take a look below at some of the photos! It has been fun guessing where he is hiding in a morning. Did you spot him on a recent visit?

elf_fabric

Browsing the fat quarters in the Craft Barn.

elf_yankee

Climbing up the Yankee candle stand.

elf_teashop

Sitting with the knitted cakes in the tea shop.

elf_welly

Taking a dip in the Regia sock yarn.

elf_knittingbag

Taking a break on a knitting bag.

elf_firehorn

Looking after fire safety in the tea shop.

elf_yarnunwind

Making a mess of the WYS Signature 4ply yarn.

elf_cake

Eating a slice of cake in the tea shop.

elf_tree

Waving farewell to the Christmas tree….until next year.

Zenbroidery – Guest Blog Post

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products, Staff Projects | Posted on 31-08-2016

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Sophie has written a guest blog post all about getting back into crafts and discovering Zenbroidery. Read her post below and then enjoy watching her stitching in action, on our short Zenbroidery video –

Having come back to Black Sheep Wools (a postgraduate this time- hooray!) for a short but sweet period before heading off to teach English in Vietnam, it did not surprise me that within my first week of working life I was starting a new project. I blame the ladies in the office.

In my childhood years, I was always keeping myself busy creatively; whether drawing, painting or baking. My grandmother encouraged me to try cross stitching and I was really taken by the mindless comfort it provided. You can, therefore, imagine my delight in stumbling across Zenbroidery whilst putting new products on the website. Somewhat distracted from the task at hand, I ventured into the craft barn to see what kits we had to peruse through. I opted for Garden as I’m often drawn to anything floral and thought it would be good to refresh my stitching techniques over a slightly more minimal design. I found confidence in the concept that, due to the beauty of free-form, any mistakes would be irrelevant!

Zenbroidery by Sophie

The next three weeks I spent my evenings stitching contently, avoiding the stresses of organising for my ever-looming departure. The idea in mind being that I’d give the finished piece as a gift to my partner’s Mum before leaving. An intention I soon realised was slightly ambitious.
A Christmas gift instead, perhaps?

Picking Nikkim

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 17-08-2016

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Every time I walk past the Vinni’s Colour Nikkim I have to stop and have a play selecting various colour options. It is just too tempting, with 80 shades to choose from you can see why. There’s a whole rainbow of colour to inspire your next project. There are neutral, earthy tones, many shades of green, blue, purple, red and more.
Choosing what colour to work with is all part of the fun when starting something new. Vinni’s Colour Nikkim will have you swirling in colour for hours. Last week I asked members of staff to choose a restricted palette of four colours to share on the blog. The decision was tough to narrow it down to just four. This is what everyone came up with –

As you can see the options are endless. I know I would choose a different combination of four nearly every time. It depends what colours you are coveting at the time. What would you choose?
picking vinni's colour nikkim

Lucy
Nomvula’s Tangerine | Natural | Chestnut | Peacock

picking Vinni's colour nikkim

Sara
Blue Canard | Pale Khaki | Lilac | Raspberry

picking vinni's colour nikkim
Sally
White | Apple Green | Blue Red | Black

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Emily
Kingfisher | Pacific Blue | Blue Canard | Teals Mix

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Me (Amy)
Steel Grey | Washed Denim | Pale Sage | Purple Pink

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Julie
Ruby Grapefruit | Peach | Blue Red | Pink

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Barbara
Sunshine | Lime | Orange | Baby Yellow

picking vinni's colour nikkim
Janet
Greens Mix | Bright Green | Avocado | Fern

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Sophie
Deep Blue | Cappucino | Bottle Green | Purple Blue

West Yorkshire Spinners Yarns

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 21-07-2016

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We have recently welcomed a new addition to our yarn family – West Yorkshire Spinners. The shelves (and virtual shelves too) have been stocked with two of their sort after yarns, Signature 4ply and Illustrious Dk. Each and every shade from both ranges is available to purchase here at Black Sheep Wools, alongside a multitude of delectable patterns.

West Yorkshire Spinners are proud to produce British yarns that are developed and manufactured at their factory here in the UK. Their brand ethos is ‘reared, sheared & spun in Britain’ which truly represents the luxurious yarns they produce. West Yorkshire Spinners have spun commission yarn for many years. It was only recently in 2012 that their own brand was launched.

west yorkshire spinners logo

 

One thing you will notice is the abundance of colour across the brand. From zesty brights to dusky heather shades, it is apparent from first glance that their colour choice is absolutely stunning. The Signature 4ply in particular has been grouped into various different colour palettes, such as the ‘Country Birds’ and ‘Cocktails’. Signature 4ply is a combination of wool and nylon, making it ideal for sock knitting.

wys_signature_4ply

West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply | Birds

Signature 4ply – Country Birds

West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply | Cocktails

Signature 4ply – Cocktails

The colour palette for Illustrious Dk is so beautiful, the shades sit together harmoniously. This was something that WYS focussed on when choosing shades. They wanted to ensure that all of the shades were strong as an individual, but also complemented each other – especially good for colour work.
We currently have one pattern book to support this yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners. All of the patterns have been designed by talented, young designer Emma Wright. The patterns are housed in a beautifully executed book, with inspirational photography and an almost tactile layout showing the yarns, design development, patterns and more. A really inspirational book that you will enjoy perusing endlessly. Did I mention it has ring binder too? So handy for when you are working on a pattern and want to keep the page open without creasing your book, or the risk of it pinging back on you when you are up to a crucial part of the pattern.

West Yorkshire Spinners Illustrious Dk

West Yorkshire Spinners Illustrious Dk

What will you make with the West Yorkshire Spinners yarns? We would love to see! Please feel free to send in photos of your makes to social@blacksheepwools.com.

Spring at Black Sheep Wools

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 04-04-2016

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Spring is in the air at Black Sheep Wools, especially in the Craft Barn. Lots of new yarns and fabrics have arrived in store (they are online too) to inspire those new season makes. Fabrics are draped alongside complimenting yarns, decorating the Craft Barn with bright and breezy spring cheer.

craft_barn1

The new Brassica fabric range from Philip Jacobs is such a detailed print design (shown here in ‘yellow’). It comes in six different colourways, which would look so impactful all in the one patchwork project.

touch

This fuzzy, cloud like yarn is Sirdar Touch. Don’t the new shades remind you of candyfloss or those coconut sprinkled marshmallow biscuits? With just one ball you can make a super squishy snood.

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A spring themed wreath adorned with mini pompoms, flora and a sleepy Stylecraft bunny.

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Bright and zingy shades of Sirdar Cotton 4ply are lovely new additions to the range.

daffodil

Daffodils are adding a splash of spring to the tea shop – can you spot the odd one out? It’s a knitted daffodil from Sirdar Knit Pretty book.

jolly

A new Sirdar yarn for spring is Sirdar Jolly Dk. There’s lots of colour bursting from this yarn, perfect for babies and children.

All of these beautiful things are only a snippet of what’s new in store and online. There is so much more to be discovered! If you would like to see what’s new online be sure to head on over to our new page.

Limited Edition Stylecraft Pack

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 21-10-2015

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If you are an avid follower of Stylecraft and can’t resist their already popular Special Dk, then you may have heard about the limited edition 50g pack. Earlier in the year Stylecraft launched a competition to set out on the quest to find a new shade to add to their Special Dk palette. Knitting and crochet enthusiasts a like sent in their swatches of colour to Stylecraft and this pack of 10 shades were the final 10 colours to make the cut. The overall winner was the duck egg shade (as seen in the centre of the image), which has now been made into a full size ball.

To celebrate the 10 finalists Stylecraft decided to create this amazing limited edition pack, which we are selling for only £10.99. As you can see below the shades work together quite nicely. We have also thrown in an added bonus, courtesy of Black Sheep Sara. She has designed a V- Stitch crochet blanket using all 10, 50g balls. The blanket design is an exclusive treat included with every limited edition pack.

limited edition stylecraft special dk - Image from Jane Crowfoot's website janiecrow.co.uk

The blanket measures 72cm x 100cm including the border edge.

Sara's v stitch blanket

It is a great stitch to use when experimenting with new colours!

sara's v stitch blanket

Favourite autumn / winter yarn 2015

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 21-08-2015

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Sometimes a new yarn instantly catches your eye and that’s it, you can’t think of anything else, it’s love at first sight. Before you have even considered what you could make with it, you know it has to be yours. Whether it’s the colour that caught your eye, the texture or the fibre, there is definitely a place for it in your stash.

As you can imagine this happens on a regular basis here at Black Sheep Wools. We all tend to flitter and flutter from one yarn to the next. The arrival of new autumn / winter yarns is a particularly chaotic time for all of our wish lists. On a daily basis our new ‘yarn love’ can arrive. To share our excitement and give you a glimpse at what’s I asked some of the Black Sheep ladies what their favourite autumn / winter yarn was for 2015. For some it was extremely difficult to choose just one. No decisions have been made on projects, just purely the instant attraction to the yarn. Read below the reason why we have each selected our favourite yarn.

Lesley 

Sublime Extra Fine Merino Worsted
‘The shade selection is fresh, bright and juicy and the yarn feels so cosy and soft to touch.’

Sublime Extra Fine Merino Worsted

Stacey

Conway + Bliss for Debbie Bliss Elektra
The yarn is soft and as light as air! The colours are just delicious, add a splash of colour to brighten up in autumn. Ideal for quick, easy projects and one ball will go a long way.’

Conway + Bliss for Debbie Bliss Elektra

Sara

Lotus Yarns Tibetan Cloud Fingering
‘It’s an amazing and fascinating yarn, something so cattle like, yet so soft!’

Lotus Yarns Tibetan Cloud Fingering

Barbara

Araucania Huasco Dk
‘It feels gorgeous and I love the colour blends. I am thinking a cosy jumper to snuggle in for the autumn…..’

Araucania Huasco

Yvonne

Louisa Harding Amitola Grande
‘Not as bulky as some winter yarns, with a good meterage of 250m on the one ball. Made from silk and wool, no acrylic! The touch of silk gives a slight sheen and shows off the fantastic colour blends, from autumnal shades to brighter pinks and purple.’

Louisa Harding Amitola Grande

Amy

Anchor Artiste Metallic
‘Gorgeous selection of colours, in fact I am spoilt for choice. My initial favourite was the copper colour, but then that vivid purple is lovely too!’

Anchor Artiste Metallic

Emily 

Sirdar Bouffle
‘The texture and colour of the maroon shade jumped out me. It looks so cosy for the winter.’

Sirdar Bouffle

Emma

Rowan Super Fine Merino Dk
‘My favourite yarn usually is Rowan Wool Cotton; I think this could quite possibly take over. A great range of colours dark, pastel and bright, looks like it will give good stitch definition too. I want to knit something with the bright lime green shade ‘Zing’.’

Rowan Super Fine Merino Dk

Christmas in August?

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 07-08-2015

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Christmas in August? What do you think? Is it too soon to be preparing for the festive season? For many crafters August may even be cutting it a bit fine to get everything made in time. If you are planning on a handmade Christmas it could be time to get your making skates on!

We have been sprinkled with festive spirit in recent weeks with the arrival of new shades of the super duper Christmassy, aptly named – Tinsel Chunky by King Cole. These latest additions to the range could quite possibly be even more festive than the original palette. One shade even has the name ‘Christmas’, can you guess which shade it is?

King Cole Tinsel Chunky

If that wasn’t enough festive sparkle, King Cole have also released a new shade of Glitz Dk, that looks like swirls of candy cane wound on the ball.

1698_glitz_dk

Did you make a Tinsel Chunky hedgehog? They have been a very popular knitted character of choice here at the Craft Barn. For Christmas you can choose from a whole host of cheery, festive characters.

Snowmen….

Tinsel chunky snowmen

Santas…..

Tinsel Chunky santas

Mr & Mrs Christmas and an elf…..

9029_kc

We are now stocking the Anchor Artiste Metallic yarn. There are 26 sparkling shades to choose from!

anchor artiste metallic

Last year Patons held a competition to design a Christmas jumper. The winning pattern has now been published and is available to download for free from the Make It Coats website. Here it is – a snowy scene with lots of cute robins, designed by Ange Smith.

Make It Coats robin jumper: Image source Make It Coats website

 If you enjoy cross stitch perhaps the new collection from DMC might be what you are looking for. The kits are designed to look like Christmas postcards which is a nice touch.

Building a snowman by DMC

Building a Snowman

Santa is coming by DMC

Santa is Coming

Have you decided to start Christmas in August? Share your photos on social media or email amy@blacksheepwools.com.

 

New Rowan yarns for Spring Summer 2015

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 12-03-2015

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Fresh, crisp and fabulous, just a few words to describe the new spring summer yarns from Rowan, epitomized in the photos below.

On one side you have the soft pastel tones, including sherbert and sugary pink.

rowan spring summer

Through to a strong, earthy palette with a bold dash of azure blue and orange. Many shades can jump between the two and will work harmoniously together.

rowan spring summer yarns

There are three new additions to the Rowan range – Rowan Cotton Lustre, Rowan Tetra Cotton and Rowan Summerlite 4ply. Each yarn has unique qualities that set it apart from the others. They are all share a feeling of summer. In fact they all contain some amount of cotton, both Tetra Cotton and Summerlite 4ply are 100% cotton! Each yarn comes with an array of designs from Rowan in individual books.

Without further ado let’s introduce the yarns one by one……….

cotton_lustre_logo

Rowan Cotton Lustre is a tape yarn that knits on 6mm needles. Choose a summer project to knit in this yarn and it will be made up in no time at all! Find a good mix of casual tops, sweaters and cardigans in the Cotton Lustre book. Notice how many designs are taking advantage of the wonderful drape created in the knitted fabric, ‘Kaneshon’ – waterfall cardigan is an example.

rowan cotton lustre

rowan tetra cotton

Each shade of Rowan Tetra Cotton is made up of four different colours, creating a subtle multi tonal effect when knitted.  The photography for the book has been shot on a beach. All of the texture and earthy tones found on a rugged rock surface and pebbled, seaweed covered shoreline are echoed in the colour palette of Tetra Cotton yarn.

rowan tetra cotton

rowan Summerlite 4ply

Rowan Summerlite 4ply is a incredibly soft yarn with a matt finish. The shade palette takes you through subtle pastels to bold, muted teal and grey. This yarn comes with an accompanying pattern book bursting with exquisite, delicate designs, the type of cardigans that would be the finishing touch to a summer wedding outfit or holiday dress. Summerlite 4ply would also work beautifully crocheted. It is no surprise Rowan have chosen this for their Crochet Along with Lisa Richardson. The first pattern is to be released on 25th March, find more details on the Rowan website.

rowan summerlite 4ply

Which Rowan yarn will you choose to knit or crochet with this spring summer? We would love to see what you make. Please email photos of your progress or finished projects to amy@blacksheepwools.com.