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.

Free crochet pattern – Cherry Heart

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 26-01-2015

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Back in August we featured Cherry Heart as our blogger of the month. Ever since then we have been ooohing and ahhhing at all of her blog posts. Her designs are beautiful and she always chooses colours that go together so harmoniously. After reading her blog you will instantly feel inspired and raring to go. When we asked if she would like to create a pattern just for us we knew it would immediately be added to our crochet to do list. With Rico Creative Twist Super Chunky yarn as the chosen yarn, the lovely Sandra (Cherry Heart) went off and got her crochet hook whizzing away on our exclusive project.

Inspired by the snuggly and bouncy nature of the yarn, Sandra decided on designing a hot water bottle cover. Take a look – what do you think?

free crochet pattern hot water bottle cover

Sandra used oddments of Dk yarn to add a Cherry Heart finishing touch. The border stitch gives a nice defined edge to the shape.

free crochet pattern hot water bottle cover

A bold cross stitched heart adds a quirky detail that personalises the design. Why not choose to add more or less hearts? Making your hot water bottle cover unique to you. Download our exclusive free crochet pattern here on our free patterns page.

Sandra came down to the Craft Barn for a visit and to show us her hot water bottle cover in the flesh. Whilst she was here we took the opportunity for a quick video and interview with Sara. Make sure you watch the video to the end where you will find a rather helpful tutorial on how to do the cross stitch onto your crocheted fabric.

A mixed bag of knitting and crochet 2

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 05-01-2015

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Happy New Year everyone! This post has been brewing for a while now. Part one was posted all the way back in 2014 (December) and since then more projects have popped up to be added. In fact this blog post will probably feature even more customer projects than the first!  I can’t wait to share even more customer projects in 2015. Start as you mean to go on and choose January as the month to clear out your clutter and finish off any works in progress. Who knows by February you will have that many FO (Finished Object) photos to share it will take one mega blog post to share them all. Take a look at what everyone has been up to below. Where patterns and yarn are available links are including. Some patterns are from deep down in the dark depths of people’s stash, so I apologise now if you are unable to locate them.

First up is Joan wearing her beautiful coral coloured cardigan knitted in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran. Joan knitted the cardigan from a pattern in a magazine (more info to follow).

joan_soft_merino_aran

Sue sent in a photo of herself wearing her latest sweater. This is Sirdar pattern 9672 and is knitted in Sirdar Big Bamboo.

sirdar big bamboo 9672

I spotted Judy crocheting the finest most delicate piece of crochet. Once this piece is complete it will be a beautiful tablecloth.

judy_fine_crochet2

judy_fine_crochet

Amanda was half way through crocheting Christmas ornaments. These little angels were ready just in time. The pattern was featured in an issue of Let’s Get Crafting magazine.

christmas crochet angel

amanda_angels2

There are two ladies called Joan in our knit and natter group. This Joan who has been crocheting a scarf for her grand-daughter is a different Joan to the one at the beginning of the blog post. Phew, that was a lot to get out in one go! Anyway, here is the start of Joan’s scarf in Rico Creative Melange Glitz Chunky.

crochet rico creative melange glitz

Jacky has crocheted a gigantic blanket in various aran yarns. A similar design can be found in Granny Squares by Search Press book.

jacky_crochet_blanket

Kay brought in a jacket she had just finished knitting in Rowan Original Denim. The jacket pattern is from Denim The Next Generation book and is called Pembroke jacket. So much cabling and detail in this incredible work of art.

kay_denim_jacket

There was some weight in this jacket. It took approximately 35 balls to knit! After Kay had finished knitting the garment she washed it in the machine to soften and shrink the denim yarn.

kay_denim_jacket2

Alison who attends yarn in the barn brought in this pretty green top knitted in Rowan Panama. The pattern is from Simple Shapes Panama book.

alison_panama_top

And finally another HUGE blanket knitted in Hayfield Bonus Aran. The pattern is a combination of an old book Sandra had in her stash and some tweaking here and there.

sandra_bonus_aran_blanket1

Sandra added the aran sweater to one of the squares, putting her own stamp on the design.

sandra_bonus_aran_blanket2

All of the different cables and textures look really effective knitted in the one solid colour.sandra_bonus_aran_blanket4

Here is the book Sandra found the pattern in. It also looks fabulous in cream. There are so many possibilities with a square block pattern like this.

sandra_blanket_pattern

 

 

Rico Creative Melange Chunky – #TryitTuesday

Posted by Amy | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 25-11-2014

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This week’s #tryitTuesday is one rather popular poncho. Four of the lovely Black Sheep ladies have happily joined in with the #tryitTuesday spirit. They have all been trying on a poncho (pattern 266), knitted in Rico Creative Melange Chunky. The pattern also features an alternative design – a tie front jacket, which includes the same ladder stitch technique and cable panels. The poncho will be an ideal layering piece to keep out the chill on a winter’s day. Why not wear it with a thin belt? A nice way to accesorise and  nip the poncho in at the waist.

Stacey

rico creative melange chunky poncho

Emma

poncho_emma

Barbara

rico creative melange chunky poncho

Lesley

rico creative melange chunky poncho