New yarns for your stash

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 25-05-2018

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Do you ever have a knitting or crochet lull? When you pick up a ball of yarn from your stash and just think, no, you’re not inspiring me today. Then you have a little route around your bespoke yarn cupboards (aka wardrobes and drawers where yarn fits into any available slither of space where clothes aren’t) to discover a bag of yarn that’s just not floating your boat either. It is time for a refresh. It’s not to say the yarn in your stash is redundant, far from it, it’s day will come, just not today.
If you are prepared to be tempted then do continue to read this blog post. We have had some scrumptious yarn arrivals at Black Sheep Wools over the past couple of months. Not only new spring summer launches from much loved brands, we have also taken in a new brand and yarns that we feel were missing from our selection.

Take a look at our snapshot of new yarns for your stash and tell us what you think. Share photos on social media if you have already started making something in these yarns. Either tag Black Sheep Wools in an image or use the hashtag #blacksheepwools they we can share your knitting or crochet journey with you.

Introducing CoopKnits Socks Yeah! in both 4ply and DK. CoopKnits is a yarn brand created in collaboration with the yarn company Fyberspates. Rachel Coopey is a knitwear designer who specialises in sock knitting. She worked with Fyberspates to produce a range of yarns suitable for sock knitting. Although they don’t have to be restricted to socks. So this is a new yarn for us, but quite possibly one you have been working with for a while. We are very excited to have all of these beautiful hanks at our finger tips!

New yarns for your stash | CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 4ply

New yarns for your stash | CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 4ply

Stylecraft Linen Drape is next up with 8 muted summer shades to choose from. Linen has popped up in quite a few yarns for spring summer 2018. It is a fibre synonymous with summer, why not wear a knitted jumper with your favourite linen trousers or skirt.

New yarns for your stash | Stylecraft Linen Drape

Not one for warm summer days – Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork is made from 100% British Wool. Even though it is the sunnier season in the UK, it is winter somewhere in the world. These handy 25g balls are ideal for knitting fair isle or intarsia projects.

New yarn for your stash | Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork

For those who love to crochet with a fine cotton, Scheepjes Sweet Treat is a must. The range boasts a whopping 87 shades! This is a new yarn that we have added to our ever growing Scheepjes selection.

New yarns for your stash | Scheepjes Sweet Treat

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Luxury Baby DK and 4ply have made their way into our range of baby yarns. A yarn that is made up of the purest Falkland Island wool and the finest nylon. It washes too which is a huge bonus, especially for a luxury baby yarn.

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Dk

West Yorkshire Spinners Luxury Bo Peep 4ply

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep 4ply

Rowan have come up with a fab new yarn as part of their Rowan Selects. The ‘Selects’ yarns are limited edition,  available for just one season, when they are gone, they are gone. Rowan Denim Lace is originally sourced from recycled denim. It is presented on cones, which makes this delight stand out on the shelves. Beautifully soft it knits up a treat. A customer recently popped in with a lace shawl knitted in the Harbour Fog shade. Take a look on our Instagram at the pics.

New yarn for your stash | Rowan Denim Lace

If you are looking for a silkier feel yarn, then take a look at Sirdar Summer Linen DK. New for this summer, the yarn is so silky soft (with no silk content) and has a magnificent sheen.

New yarns for your stash | Sirdar Summer Linen

One more yarn to share…..Rico Creative Melange Lace. A lovely colour effect on this yarn, it is so striking. When you spot this one, you instantly want to pick it up and take a closer look. Rico always have really nice colour palettes for their yarns. This shade range is no exception.

Rico Creative Melange Lace | Black Sheep Wools

Hopefully after taking a peek at some new yarns you will no longer feel in a yarny pickle. The answer may well lie within this very blog post 😉 Happy knitting and crocheting!

Keep up to date with all the latest yarns and goings on at Black Sheep Wools on our Facebook and Instagram, or why not sign up to our newsletter?

 

Pantone Colour of the Year 2018

Posted by Amy | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 16-02-2018

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Quite a few blog posts have fell into the miscellaneous category of late. I wasn’t sure where talking about Pantone Colour of the Year should fit? Perhaps a “colour” category is what is missing from our category list?

Talking about colour when it comes to yarn is a fun subject to write about. Whether you knit, crochet or weave, colour always plays a huge part in what you create. The combination of various colours you put together or the one colour you choose for a project can make such a difference to the finished outcome. If you knit a jumper and only realise once it is all sewn up, actually it really doesn’t suit me, it can be so disheartening and disappointing. The good thing is, if you are making a blanket or cushion you won’t be wearing it so you can play with colour til your heart’s content. I find choosing a colour for a project lots of fun. It’s not like going into a clothing or homeware store and only having the options in front of you. The options are endless! I enjoy playing with colours, lining up balls of yarn and eliminating ones that aren’t quite right until I reach the perfect combination.

Pantone Colour of the Year - Black Sheep Wools

Every year Pantone release their Pantone colour of the year. This year it is Ultra Violet. Pantone share the colour trend forecast for the year ahead for designers and brands to follow in their work.

A description of Ultra Violet taken from the Pantone website
“A dramatically provocative and thoughtful purple shade, PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet communicates originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking that points us toward the future.” 

I went on a hunt around the Craft Barn to find a selection of yarns on the Ultra Violet shade spectrum. These included Scheepjes River Washed in Yarra, Sirdar Wild in Luxe, Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky in Ultramarine, Vinni’s Nikkim in Dark Purple, King Cole Tinsel in Sparkler and Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK in Pip Squeak Purple.

Pantone Colour of Year - Ultra Violet

Ultra Violet is a great base to build a strong colour palette around. It is surprising what colours can be combined once you start trying different options. I started with a strong purple / ultra violet shade of Rico Essentials Cotton DK and tried out the following.

Pastel shades – Peach 52 and Jade Green 47

Jewel shades – Dark Green 67 and Royal Blue 36

Pantone Colour of the year

Earthy shades – Olive Grey 81 and 53

Pantone Colour of the year

If you prefer a tonal gradient then why not combine both Scheepjes Softfun and Scheepjes Softfun Denim for a blast of the Pantone colour of the year.

There are endless possibilities with ultra violet, a colour that is both wearable and perfect for homeware items. Will you be choosing it for your next knitting or crochet project?
Pantone Colour of the year - Scheepjes Softfun

 

 

Customer Projects Round Up 2017

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 05-01-2018

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At the start of a new year it is nice to reflect and celebrate your favourite craft projects of the year just ended. Over the year we have collected a variety of knitted, crocheted and stitched projects customers have shared in store or via email. If you follow us on Instagram you may recognise some of the finished makes below. As I gathered together all of the images and yarn / pattern info I noticed that crochet seems to be the most common craft. I guess it could be that a lot of crochet projects, such as scarves and shawls are easy to transport, either in a bag or in the case of a shawl quickly whipped off your neck for a photo. I know customers do regularly come in store wearing a knitted garment, but don’t want to be photographed, so there are still plenty of knitters out there. Without further ado I shall share a selection of customer projects from 2017. We can’t wait to see what you will be making in 2018!

A customer called Sheila sent in a photo of the blanket she had knitted in Sirdar Snuggly Dk (pattern- 4749). Sheila opted for the shades as seen on the pattern, a lovely colour combination.

Andrea was shopping in store wearing a ‘Lost in Time‘ shawl crocheted in Scheepjes Whirl – Blueberry Bambam. Look how beautifully the colours flow! She used an extra ball of Scheepjes Catona for the edging.

Marcia knitted a cute cardigan for her grandson in Sirdar Snuggly DK and King Cole Cherish DK, following Rico pattern 089.

One for the summer months – a beach dress crocheted in Scheepjes Cotton 8 by a customer called Jan. This pattern is from Scheepjes ‘The Sea Issue‘ bookazine.

Onto a knitted item using Scheepjes Secret Garden knitted by Jackie . This beautiful rainbow shawl knits up with just 6 balls. It is called Shawl of Secrets.

Elizabeth sent in a photo of her blanket knitted in a selection of shades of Sirdar Colourwheel DK. A fantastic use of this variegated yarn in a Kaffe Fassett blanket design. The pattern is from a book in Elizabeth’s stash – Knitting with the Color Guys.

I appear to have misplaced the name of the customer who brought this quilt topper in (sorry :(). An incredible explosion of colour using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Joan knitted a cowl in Caron Simply Soft following a free pattern ‘Snakes and Ladders‘. There is a link next to the yarn to download the pattern.

Liz came in store wearing a jacket knitted in Stylecraft Jeanie Aran. She popped it on a mannequin for a quick snap.

Sally brought in a knitted cat in Sirdar Touch.

Jessica visited the Craft Barn wearing this beautiful delight. A Lost in Time shawl by Johanna Lindahl crocheted in Scheepjes Catona.

Christina knitted a Paddington inspired duffle hooded jacket for her grandson in Hayfield Chunky Tweed yarn.

Su was busy knitting this dragon in the tea shop. The pattern is actually for King Cole Tinsel, but Sue went for a different look using King Cole Galaxy.

Just before Christmas Margaret came in store with her husband and son. They were wearing matching Christmas jumpers she had knitted for them in King Cole Shine – Christmas.

 

Time to share customer projects

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 15-12-2016

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With Christmas just over a week away I wanted to start the celebrations early, celebrating all of the wonderful work from our customers. This blog post has been gathering new projects for a couple of months now, so please bear with me as I talk you through each crafty make. I have a vast selection of treats to share – knitting, crochet and sewing. These are all projects that have been snapped in our Craft Barn.

First up is Natalie, wearing a delicate camisole top she has knitted in Juniper Moon Farm Findley. On the pattern image the straps are a chunky ribbon, Natalie opted for two fine ribbons instead. This is the beauty of making your own garments from the colour you choose, right down to the finishing details, it’s all your choice. Natalie was planning to make a second top in a different shade as this one is so lovely. As you can probably guess this photograph wasn’t taken in the last few days (brrrr!).

Juniper moon farm findley - Speedwell

Now this project was a challenge to photograph – a few extra pairs of hands were needed. Ann un-wrapped this gigantic granny square blanket to share with everyone in the Craft Barn. Large enough to fit a King size bed, Ann has crocheted lots and lots of granny squares with many variations on colour and design. The yarn she has used is Rico Baby so Soft Dk, fantastic for crochet as it glides easily through your hook. Plus a good yarn for making accessories for the home as it is anti-pilling. Ann couldn’t tell me the exact number of balls used as she kept buying them as she went along. What would you guess?
giant granny square blanket
Kay came into the Craft Barn to do a spot of shopping wearing her latest make. A super cosy cardigan, knitted in Rowan Softyak Dk (shade 239), following a pattern by Jo Storie – ‘Chloe‘. Rowan Softyak comprises of a cotton, yak and nylon blend. This is a stylish cardigan that can easily be worn with many outfits.
Rowan softyak dk cardigan
Michelle brought in an adorable baby jacket and matching hat crocheted in Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply (pattern DB011). The pattern is one I have enjoyed crocheting myself for a friends little one so it was nice to see how someone else had got on with the pattern. Michelle opted for a dusky pink shade of Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply. 
debbie bliss rilato 4ply jacket
When we had a sample garment on display of this next cardigan, there were many members of staff lusting after it here at Black Sheep Wools. The cardigan that you swoon over every time you pass it by and secretly hope some kind knitting elves will make for you. Sandra who attends our knit and natter group couldn’t resist and made herself this gorgeous Fair Isle cardigan.
The design is called Orkney and can be found in Rowan Magazine 52, knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed.
Orkney cardigan - Rowan Felted Tweed
Orkney in Rowan Felted Tweed
A delightful pastel treat from Janet to share now. Janet has crocheted a fabulous Jane Crowfoot Persian Tiles blanket using DMC Natura Cotton. As this is a 4ply weight Janet adjusted her hook size accordingly. Her colour palette is so serene and pretty, such a contrast to the beautiful bold, jewel tones of Jane Crowfoot’s original colourway. What a lovely gift for her daughter!
Jane Crowfoot persian tiles blanket
Susan had brought her almost finished Spice of Life blanket into the Craft Barn to ask advice on what shades to choose for her border. Decisions, decisions….with so many lovely colours of Stylecraft special dk in a blanket it can be tricky making a decision on which two to pluck out. With some helpful advice from Stacey, Susan made her choices (a grey and berry) whilst I took a quick photo.
spice of life cal
A group of ladies from a sewing group brought in a selection of sewing projects they had recently completed. I am not sure who exactly made each item but I do know all of the ladies names – Jacqueline, Elizabeth, Lilian and Amy are quite a talented bunch.
A quilt, can you spot the Kaffe Fassett fabric?
A fabric box in Kaffe Fassett fabrics.
And lots of colourful windmill bags. This pattern is available to download for free from our website.
windmill bags
Sue has knitted a mystical dragon in King Cole Tinsel. This chap is quite large, as you can see compared to a ball of yarn. The wings have pipe cleaners in to keep the structure, he even has a beady dragon eye.
King Cole Tinsel dragon
For this snuggly throw, Jo has crocheted squares in James C Brett Marble Chunky – shade MC63. She has followed a stitch pattern of front post trebles, a very effective stitch that has created a lovely texture which lends itself to the multi-coloured yarn.
Jean made an adapted version of Ewe-Jean the sheep (renamed for Jean). This version is without the loops, she looks like a little spring lamb. The original pattern is a free pattern by Happy Crocheting.
Last but not least is Evie’s detailed patchwork quilt, an incredible project that must have taken many hours of patient stitching. Evie hand stitched each of the designs, traced from images she found online of Hello Kitty. She then pieced it all together to create a spectacular patchwork quilt.
hello kitty embroidered quilt
hello kitty quilt
Thank you to everyone who has shared their projects with us over the past few months. I look forward to seeing more projects in the New Year.

What is your favourite yarn? – Part 2

Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 15-06-2015

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Last week I shared our Facebook followers yarn favourites – part 1. This week I am back with the round up for part 2. Four more yarn categories have been put up to the vote. Along with carefully counting numbers it has been interesting reading the comments people have left to support their choices. I have included some of this feedback below. To read more take a look on our Facebook page.

Fashion

fashion yarns

The favourite is………A – King Cole Opium Palette

Janine says – ‘I’ve just finished a wrap for my holidays and it looks stunning even though it’s only garter stitch!’

Lyndsay – ‘I’ve just started my first King Cole Opium project and I’m loving it!’

Chunky

chunky yarns

The favourite is……….B – Rico Creative Melange Glitz Chunky, closely followed by Sirdar Faroe Chunky.

Double Knitting

double knitting yarn

The favourite is……….Rowan Wool Cotton

Cotton

cotton yarns

The favourite is………King Cole Cottonsoft Dk

Lyn says – ‘Washes and tumble dries beautifully. Lovely and soft.’

Helen says – ‘King Cole Cottonsoft  I too am part of the wonderful Knitted Knockers UK group that make 100% cotton prosthesis for women who have had mastectomies …king Cole Cotton soft is the softest and comes in the prettiest colours.’

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

Spring cleaning

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 27-05-2015

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Is it too late for spring cleaning? We are still in May, and spring hasn’t really been in the air, too many chilly days and rain to suggest summer is here. So, let’s decide there is still time. I am not talking about the dusting and cleaning type of ‘spring cleaning’ though. More like a spring clean of the old project bag. What WIP’s do you have unfinished that could do with being moved off the needles to make way for a pretty summer knit? Here at Black Sheep Wools we have decided to have a little spring clean of our project bags to see what lies beneath. I have collected photos of a selection of projects finished by staff so far. Up to now there only seems to be one project that was started many moons ago, mine.

Janet was super organised for her holiday, she soon had two crisp white cardigans knitted. Her knitting is incredibly neat and it only took her a week to make one cardigan! Janet opted for white Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton Dk, following Sirdar pattern 7084. She was attracted to the diagonal, rib like, stitch detail on the side and back of the design. Not only does this detail look pretty it is also really flattering.

janet wendy supreme cotton dk

Take a look at the back panel detail too. Notice how the rib section extends from the waistband.

janet wensy supreme cotton dk cardigan

Janet’s second cardigan is a gorgeously soft cardigan knitted in Sirdar Raffaella Dk. The pattern is a Sirdar Soukie Dk pattern – 7090.

janet soukie dk cardigan knitted in Raffaella

Janet couldn’t resist adding a bit of sparkle with a scattering of beads delicately sewn along the cardigan edging. She has used Debbie Abrahams beads clear size 6.

janet sirdar raffaella dk

Emma has finished her knitted monkey from Cute Little Knits by Jem Weston, knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed. The fair isle scarf took nearly as long as the whole monkey body to make!

cute little knits monkey

I have eventually finished my crochet, chevron cushion in Rico Creative Cotton Aran. It has been one of those projects that I have picked up and done a couple of rows and then tucked away for months on end. I was so pleased to finally be crocheting it together!

crochet cushion in rico creative cotton aran

Yvonne’s grand-daughter loves to wear a hat to match every outfit. She recently got a new coat, so with this in mind Yvonne instantly got out her crochet hook. The hat below is crocheted in King Cole Smooth Multi Dk with the flowers made from yarn oddments.

King Cole smoothie multi dk hat

Her second hat is crocheted in a cotton yarn, which Yvonne then adorned with pretty flowers.

crochet hat

The final project to be finished off in the ‘spring clean’ is Lesley’s giant granny square blanket, crocheted in Stylecraft Special Dk. The blanket pattern can be downloaded for free from our website.

giant granny square blanket

Meet the team – Lesley

Posted by Amy | Posted in Meet the team | Posted on 15-05-2015

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meet the team lesley

Name: Lesley

Skills:

– Knitting
– Crochet

Favourite yarn: Rico Baby So Soft Dk

Favourite colour: Coral

Favourite season: Summer

Tell us a little bit more about yourself…….

I have a daughter who loves to craft
I love all things digital
I love holidays!

What is your favourite craft and why?

Crochet, because it’s a lot quicker than knitting.

What’s the one craft accessory you could not live without and why?

Thread snips. No matter what you are doing you always need them.

When did you catch the crafting bug?

When I started working at Black Sheep Wools.

What’s in your project bag?

Knitted hats for babies and a giant granny square blanket for my daughter. This is now a free download on our website.

lesley_icecream blanket

What type of maker are you? Do you have lots of WIP’s or do you like to finish a project before starting a new one?

I like to finish a project before starting another.

Which designer inspires you the most?

Sarah Hatton.

Do you have any top tips to share?

Crochet your ends in as you go!

Carol’s Broken Leg Projects

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 26-03-2015

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Those of you who read our newsletter or have watched Sara’s Mother’s Day video blog may already know that Carol (Black Sheep) has broken her leg. She popped in for a quick visit today with her latest ‘broken leg’ projects. She has been knitting all sorts of lovely yarn samples for the shop and has also taken on the task of Sara’s crochet hexagon throw.

Last week’s project was a fab baby blanket knitted in the popular yarn – Rico Pompon. This was simply knitted on 4mm needles with just two balls. A pattern will follow next week. Keep an eye out on our free patterns page.

rico pompon blanket

 

Here are her first selection of hexagons. Stacey showed Carol how to crochet in a morning and she soon had a few hexagons made, a natural crocheter.

 

crochet hexagons

 

These were the hexagons she brought in today! Lots and lots of hexagons ready to be crocheted together. Stacey is going to show Carol this technique tomorrow. Watch this space for a beautiful throw next week! This is crocheted in shades of Stylecraft Special Dk.

hexagon_throw

 

 

Mollie Makes Issue 51 – Rico Loopy Rug

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 17-03-2015

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Have you picked up issue 51 of Mollie Makes? Turn to page 61 where you will find a fabulous free pattern from Rico. This stunning, statement rug is crocheted in Rico Loopy yarn. It really is an incredible piece, with a diameter of approximately 200cm! The 8 colours are a combination of neutral and brights which, along with the chunky crochet stitch, create a dramatic and bold effect. The rug design is featured in a Rico book called Let’s crochet Again! A modern crochet book with lots of quirky designs for the home.

rico loopy rug

Inside the magazine you will find an exclusive special treat off us (Black Sheep Wools) – 10% off all Rico Loopy yarn and 10% off Let’s Crochet Again! book.

rico loopy

If you do crochet this fantastic rug we would love to see a photo of it lay in situ in your home. Please email your pics to amy@blacksheepwools.com.