Staff Makes

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 21-04-2016

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Black Sheep Wools staff are always busy making one thing or another. If we aren’t making something, we also enjoy thinking of what we could be making. So many projects get planned and changed during a day at work. No matter what part of the company you work in, whether you are packing an order, putting new stock on the shelves in store, adding new products to the website, you really can’t hide from the continuous flow of temptation that catches our eye on a daily basis.

I have gathered together a selection of projects made by our talented staff. These are really only a snippet of the projects that do get made; many are eagerly given to the recipient before having a photograph.

Yvonne has been knitting away for her super cute grandchildren. Here is her grand-daughter wearing a cabled jacket, knitted in Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky using Hayfield pattern 4534.

yvonne_4534_rialto_chunky

Yvonne has also knitted a jumper for her grandson using Schachenmayr Extra Merino. She spotted this stitch pattern being used on a different design and adapted it to a trusty pattern she had in her collection.

yvonne_fancy_stitch_jumper

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Yvonne’s flower decorations are a great stash buster. She has been crocheting pretty flowers from Search Press Crochet Flowers book to adorn straw sun hats for her granddaughter.

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yvonne_hat1

Lesley has been making lots of crocheted hats for new born babies. The photo below is of her friend’s little one, sporting his new hat in Hayfield Baby Chunky, complete with a huge pompom.

lesley baby hat

Sally loves to crochet and couldn’t wait for Jane Crowfoot’s Frida’s Flowers crochet along to begin. She had her hook poised and ready for the pattern release from Stylecraft. It only took her one evening to do the first two pieces. Sally opted for the Stylecraft Classique Cotton dk colour pack.

sally_fridas

In preparation for the CAL, Crafternoon Treats blogger Kathryn designed a ‘Frida’s Flowers’ inspired project bag. This pattern is available as a free download and you can find the colour pack at Black Sheep Wools. Sally chose to crochet her bag with a variety of oddments, including shades of Stylecraft Special Dk that she has used double to create a chunky yarn.

sally_bagalong

Although Maria no longer works at Black Sheep Wools she will always be an honorary  member of the team, often popping in for the knit and natter group and to stock up on new yarns. After attending the Arne & Carlos workshop, Maria went on to make a second pair of mitts using another of their patterns. She chose a lovely selection of yarns from her stash. Find the free pattern on Arne & Carlos website.

maria_pastel_wristwarmers

Emily has finished her Spice of Life Croceht Along blanket, using a selection of Rico Baby Classic Dk and Sirdar Snuggly Dk. A gorgeous colour combination!

emily_cal

Lucy had been searching for the perfect pattern for a double knit yarn for a while. When she spotted the new Rowan Summerlite Dk book she could not resist, so many beautiful patterns all in one book. Lucy is using a forest green shade of Schachenmayr Extra Merino, following the ‘Bronte‘ cardigan pattern. She also took on the task of adapting the pattern so that she can knit it in the round, eeeek! The cuff of the cardigan is so pretty with the cable detailing.

lucy_summerlite_pattern

Stacey attended the weaving workshop at the Craft Barn last week and has truly fallen for the craft. She bought a loom and was off making a pretty woven scarf.

stacey_weave_scarf

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Finally, take a peek at Janet’s latest project. There will be a fabulous pattern for this one coming very soon!

janet_shark

Little Things Blogged – Free Patterns

Posted by Amy | 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

What is your favourite yarn? – Part 1

Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 03-06-2015

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Earlier this year we put out a series of questions on our Facebook page, asking our followers to choose their favourite yarns. Rather than leaving the question open ended we offered four options to choose from in each yarn category. It was interesting to see which yarns came out as the overall favourites, there were lots of positive comments too. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for similar posts popping up over the next couple of weeks.

We started with super chunky yarns, offering the the following options –

Super Chunky

super chunky yarns

The favourite is……….A – Rowan Tumble

Baby

baby yarns

The favourite is………..C – Sirdar Snuggly Dk

Lace

lace yarns

The favourite is………..Araucania Botany Lace

Aran

aran yarns

The favourite is………..Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran

Free knitted baby blanket pattern

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 01-06-2015

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Carol may have had a broken leg, but it sure hasn’t stopped her knitting needles from clicking away. The good news is she is now on the mend and no longer has a plaster cast. All this enforced rest has re-ignited Carol’s thirst for knitting, and now, crochet too. Prior to breaking her leg she had done very little crochet and is now on the way to making her very first hexagon, crochet blanket.

In between making blankets Carol also knits yarn swatches for display in the Craft Barn. After being handed a ball of Hayfield Baby Sparkle Dk to knit a swatch Carol had an idea – with 2 balls I could probably make a baby blanket. Off she went with her needles and yarn in hand to give it a go……. a week or so later – et voila! One beautiful basket weave blanket, with a textured moss stitch border.

hayfield baby sparkle dk free pattern

Download the pattern for free from our free patterns page.

hayfield baby sparkle dk free pattern

The basket weave stitch is really easy to follow, just a mix of knit and purl stitches.

hayfield baby sparkle dk free pattern

There are 7 shades to choose from in the Hayfield Baby Sparkle Dk range, including the 4 shown below. Which shade will you choose?

hayfield baby sparkle dk

Sewing, knitting & crochet!

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 22-12-2014

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In the lead up to Christmas we have all been eager to get our WIP’s (works in progress) and Christmas gifts finished ready for a fresh start in 2015. It may have been wishful thinking to completely blitz every project that’s patiently waiting on needles and hooks around the house. Finishing even a small majority can however be very satisfying and leave you feeling quite clear of WIP overload. Obviously Christmas gifts have to be a priority, if you hope to have them wrapped in time. I hope you are reading this with a cup of tea in hand and not a single knitted / crocheted present to be in sight, just lots of neatly wrapped presents ready and waiting to be unwrapped on Christmas day. In the past few weeks members of staff here at Black Sheep Wools have been bringing in finished projects.

Emma has been knitting a longline cardigan (Hayfield 9699) in James C Brett Chinky with Merino. She chose this yarn as she had heard so many good reviews from our customers. It also washes in the washing machine which is always an added bonus, especially with the cardigan being the type of style that you can easily wear with any outfit, so it will probably be worn over and over again.

longline knitted cardigan

Not only has Emma finished knitting her chunky cardigan she has also been doing a spot of sewing. This pattern is a Tilly and the Buttons design. Emma has added covered button fastenings and fancy stitch detail on the cuffs. The fabric Emma chose is one of her favourites in the Coats range, by Dena Designs – Fox Playground in grey.

dena designs fabric blouse

Beth has crocheted a blanket using 3 strands of yarn together. A combination of SMC Cassiopeia in pink with two shades of James C Brett Chunky with Merino. The true size of the blanket is difficult to show. It is actually quite larger, the size of a single bed. Beth said as the blanket gradually grew bigger, the weight of the blanket also increased. I guess with something this size it can keep your legs warm as you go along.

chunky crochet blanket

Take a look at the texture created with all the yarns combined. Beth used a whopping 20mm crochet hook!

chunky crochet blanket - 3 strands

Stacey has been extremely busy making Christmas presents for family and friends. Crocheted slippers have been a favourite choice. This is a pattern Stacey has adapted from various crochet slipper patterns. The first pair are crocheted in Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky Undyed. Modelled by Jayne in her glitzy tights.

chunky_slippers

The red and grey pair are in Debbie Bliss Winter Garden. The grey pair have an edging and bow in Katia Fiesta.

stacey_slippers

Stacey has also been playing around with Sirdar Snuggly Bubbly and Sirdar Ophelia, knitting the two strands together.

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The two different textures create a bouncy, squishy fabric with a flicker of sparkle where the Ophelia bursts through.

ophelia_bubbly

Here is the finished scarf, complete with Rico fake fur pompoms.

stacey_ophelia_bubbly

Lesley has a knitted hats and snoods this Christmas. The hats are in Rico Creative Twist Super Chunky following Rico pattern 126 and the basket stitch snood in Rowan All Seasons Chunky.

hats and snoods

She is also making a scarf following Stacey’s King Cole Cosmos & Opium scarf. This is a free pattern download on our website. The scarf is knitted with one strand of King Cole Opium and one strand of King Cole Cosmos at the same time.

lesley_opium_scarf

Do you have any recent projects to share? Have you taken photos of Christmas knits before wrapping? Email in any photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed Sweater – #TryitTuesday

Posted by Amy | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 11-11-2014

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As we are celebrating Steve turning the big 5 – 0 this week, I thought it was only fair to include him in this week’s #tryitTuesday. Before you pack up your suitcase and head to sunny Warrington be warned, these photos were taken on a warm and sunny day back in September, not like the grey, drizzly day it is today.

The garment of choice for #tryitTuesday is a traditional aran sweater knitted in Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed. Steve tried on the Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed cabled sweater with his father Paul and eldest son Tom. If you attend many of the craft shows up and down the country, more often than not these are the faces you will see.

The sweater can be knitted for both men and women, with two different neck line options – either a stand up collar or a round neck, as shown in the #tryitTuesday photos.

Steve is up first.

hayfield bonus aran tweed

On to Tom.

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And finally Paul.

bonus_aran_paul

Who do you think wears it best? Have you knitted this pattern before? Please leave your comments below.

Hayfield Ripple Super Chunky – #TryitTuesday

Posted by Amy | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 07-10-2014

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We are back indoors for #TryitTuesday. The rain has been falling steadily all day here at HQ, so it was into the Craft Barn for a quick photo shoot. The ladies have been trying on a jacket knitted in Hayfield Ripple Super Chunky. This is a new yarn that only arrived in stock a couple of weeks ago. It is an ultra soft acrylic and polyester blend that feels silky soft to the touch. Knitted up the garment has quite a relaxed quality and easy to wear feel. It is the kind of jacket you could throw on with any outfit, perfect with jeans and a t-shirt for simple autumn layering. The pattern can also comes with a waistcoat option, which you could knit up on no time at all.

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Both Collette and Jayne have been trying on the jacket with their Black Sheep blouses.

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jayne_ripple