Rowan Flagship Launch Day

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 26-09-2017

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This Saturday we have an amazing event taking place in store. Open to everyone and free to attend! We will be hosting a special launch event to celebrate being THE Rowan Flagship store of the North of England. Two of Rowan’s finest designers, Martin Storey and Lisa Richardson will be with us for the day to share their passion and expertise. There will be lots going on in our Rowan area all day, Martin Storey & Lisa Richardson will be in store from 10am – 3pm!
There will be goody bags for the first 20 customers who spend £30 or more on Rowan, a charity raffle, glasses of bubbly and lots of yarn to squish and admire! This event is free to attend and will be taking place in the Craft Barn on Saturday 30th September 2017. We’d love you to join us.

 

 

Meet our Rowan Consultant – Melanie Boocock

Posted by Amy | Posted in Meet the team | Posted on 18-08-2017

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We are still very excited about the Black Sheep Craft Barn becoming Rowan’s Flagship Store of the North of England. Our Rowan area is just delightful, we can’t stop talking about it! This week I interviewed our Rowan Consultant, Melanie Boocock to find out a bit more about her love of knitting and crochet. Melanie is in store every Wednesday and Saturday on hand to help with all of your Rowan queries, offering advise to help choose your next Rowan project. Next time you are visiting why not pop over and say hello.

On Wednesday 23rd August we are having a mini celebration in store for the arrival of new season Rowan yarns and books. Why not pop in for a glass of bubbly and chat to Melanie from 11am – 2pm to discover what’s new from Rowan.

Let’s go back to the very beginning….when did you learn to crochet / knit? Who taught you?

I learned the basics when I was very young from my Mum and my Nanna. My Nanna and Great Nanna were always knitting and crocheting. I wasn’t very interested then. I wish I’d taken more notice. I didn’t take it up again until much, much later. I then became totally addicted to knitting first, then added crochet.

Can you remember the very first thing that you made?

Not really. I do remember knitting with really big, wooden needles and chunky blue yarn. I think it was probably destined to be a dolls blanket. I don’t remember what happened to the knitting but I still have the needles.

We have enjoyed having you here at the Craft Barn teaching Rowan workshops, it was great to hear the news that you were going to be our Rowan Consultant. How are you finding your new role?

It was very exciting for me too. I love it. Who wouldn’t enjoy working in such a beautiful environment, surrounded by so much inspiration?

What does your role as Rowan Consultant involve? What do you have planned for Black Sheep Craft Barn customers?

I’ll be available to help choose projects, select yarn and put colours together. I will offer tips and advice about knitting and crochet techniques. I’ve taught Professional Finishing for years so I can help with seams, picking up stitches etc. If you fancy trying out a new technique I can help you get started and answer any pattern queries. Look out for events and demonstrations in the future. I am hosting some sessions for the Lisa Richardson Crochet along throw which started on 3rd August. Join me at the Craft Barn on 16th and 26th Aug between 10.30-12 (more dates will follow).

Difficult question, but if you had to pick just one which would you say is your favourite Rowan yarn?

Too hard. I really love Summerlite 4ply. It’s a beautiful, soft cotton yarn.  My favourite cardigan is Armandier by Martin Storey. I wear it a lot. My favourite techniques are fairisle and lace. For those I couldn’t live without our gorgeous Felted Tweed or really luxurious Kidsilk Haze. For crochet I really love Cotton Glacé.

Do you have a colour that you are always attracted to in yarn?

I love colour, in particular blues, pinks and purples. That could be jewel tones or pastels and everything in between.

What is your top knitting tip and top crochet tip?

It has to be take the time to make a tension swatch. This will make sure you have a fabric you are happy with and a finished item that fits.

You have already seen the new yarns and pattern books coming up for autumn winter 2017. Can you give us an idea of the things that we can expect to see? 

There are beautiful, jewel tones and softer blues and neutrals. The collection for Autumn/Winter showcases some very luxurious fibres. Techniques include fabulous cables, gorgeous colour work, pretty lace and beads. I particular like the styling in Rowan Magazine No. 62 and a collection of designs for men by Martin Storey. There are some lovely patterns for accessories too, perfect for gift knitting. Look out for Georgia Farrell. I think her designs are stunning. There’s also a cute collection by Jem Weston to look forward to.

What projects do you already have on your to-do list for autumn?

I will be doing the Lisa Richardson Crochet along throw in Felted Tweed. I also plan to knit a lovely little cardigan, designed by Martin Storey, in one of our select yarns. I have my eye on a long cardigan using Kid Classic. Crochet, with Felted Tweed and Kidsilk Haze held together, may also feature. In Autumn I start my present making. There are some accessories that will be perfect. That’s probably enough to be going on with………

Where is your favourite place to knit or crochet?

I knit or crochet anywhere and everywhere. At home I sit on my sofa or in the garden. I knit in cafés, on trains, buses and boats. I was once knitting in a beautiful café in the Museum of Scotland, in Edinburgh. I got up to go and tell my husband something. I took my knitting with me. Unfortunately I left the ball of yarn behind. I managed to wrap yarn around various tables and people in the café. Long car journeys are very productive. I knit in parks, alongside the canal, on the beach but my all time favourite place to take my knitting/crochet is Whitby Abbey. I can always find a peaceful corner and the views are spectacular.

Melanie wearing her ‘William’ jumper knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed

Melanie at Whitby Abbey

How many WIP’s do you have on the go at once? Are you very methodical with your projects?

I have a number of projects on the go at once, both knitting and crochet. At the moment I have 3 active WIPs and a couple that have been on the go for a while. I once challenged myself to work on one project at a time. I kept that up for a year. I made much less that year than I normally do. I like the variety I get from having a few things on the go at once.

Jampa by Marie Wallin in Rowan Softyak Dk & Fenay by Ann Kingstone in Fine Lace

Rowan Flagship Store

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 27-07-2017

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Black Sheep Wools are proud to announce that our award winning Craft Barn in Warrington is now THE Rowan Flagship store of the North West. We have a dazzling display of all Rowan yarns and books nestled within the Craft Barn. Enjoy snuggling up on our sofa in the cosy corner and soak up inspiration for your next project. If you can’t make it to the Craft Barn, the good news is that all of the Rowan products can be found virtually on our website too.

Another new addition will be our instore Rowan Consultant, Melanie Boocock. Melanie has been a Rowan workshop tutor for many years and we are delighted that she has joined us as our Rowan Consultant.  Melanie will be in store two days a week – Wednesday’s and Saturday’s to advise and help with all your Rowan queries. If you have fallen in love with a Rowan yarn, but don’t know where to begin in finding the perfect pattern, Melanie is your lady. With exciting plans for drop in sessions and crochet support for the new crochet along, Melanie will always keep you up to date on all things Rowan. She has recently set up an Instagram account @rowanatblacksheep where you can take a peek at the delights in our Rowan area from a far. Keep an eye out for an interview with Melanie on the blog, coming soon.

New Rowan autumn winter yarns, shades and pattern books will be released in August and to celebrate we will be having a day celebrating over in the Rowan area. On Wednesday 23rd August enjoy a glass of Prosecco (while stocks last) while you peruse the delectable latest additions.

On 30th September we will be hosting a special launch event to celebrate becoming a Flagship store. Two of Rowan’s finest designers, Martin Storey and Lisa Richardson will join us for the day to share their passion and expertise. There will be goody bags for the first 20 customers, a charity raffle, glasses of bubbly, and lots of yarn to squish and admire! We’d love you to join us, pop the date in your diary today.

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.

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

yvonne_fancy_stitch_jumper_close

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.

yvonne_hat2

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

stacey_weave

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

janet_shark

Embrace by Kim Hargreaves – #tryitTuesday

Posted by Amy | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 05-04-2016

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The change of seasons is often a tricky one when it comes to knitwear. When is it time to tuck away those cosy winter knits and swop them for light and carefree cotton? These days, in the UK a waterproof yarn would probably be our best option, to help keep us dry from all the rain showers we encounter. Currently no such yarn exists in the hand knit market, so we will have to continue wearing our knits underneath a waterproof jacket. When the weather is slowly shifting from winter to spring it is nice to have that in between jumper. Easy to wear on a slightly warmer day, but also enough to keep you warm.

The knitted top we have chosen for #tryitTuesday is from Kim Hargreaves Embrace book. This could be just the top you need for the transition to spring. Knitted in the lightweight, baby alpaca blend of Rowan Lima, this yarn feels so soft against your skin.

embrace_leah

The top is called ‘Leah’ from Embrace.

Colette went for a more casual style wearing the top slightly off the shoulder.

colette_embrace_leah

Lesley tried the top with a white vest underneath, also going for a slight off the shoulder look.

lesley_embrace_leah

There are 21 designs in the Embrace book, all with a 70’s vibe. A great selection of tops, cardigans and sweaters to choose from, knitted in beautiful Rowan yarns.

Designer Q & A’s – Martin Storey

Posted by Amy | Posted in Designer Q&A's | Posted on 29-01-2016

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Yesterday saw the launch of the very first pattern of Martin Storey’s second Rowan Knit Along (KAL). Martin Storey’s first Knit Along took place in 2014 and was a huge success. Patterns were released over a period of weeks a square at a time. With the final pattern released being the sewing up instructions to guide how to join the beautiful jig-saw of squares together. Sara enjoyed taking part in the KAL too and took her blanket on display at the many craft shows we attend throughout the country. Many of our customers enjoyed taking part including a lady called Chris who’s blanket can be seen in the photo below.

chris_martin_storey_kal

Martin has gone for a different look this time round with 4 colour ways to choose from all in tonal shades, still using the Rowan Pure Wool Worsted yarn, exploring the many different shades there are on offer. The colour packs are available to order on the website already made up for you.

martin-storey-kal-colours

We are lucky enough to have the 2016 KAL blanket up on display in the Craft Barn at the moment. It really is a fantastic blanket that has had so many positive comments, both the design and choice of yarn. If  you are taking part in the knit along please do share your progress with us on social media or on email amy@blacksheepwools.com.

martin_kal_2016

To coincide with the start of the Martin Storey knit along 2016 I got the chance to ask Martin a few questions about his life as a designer and working on his second KAL.

martin_storey_pic

When did you first pick up a pair of knitting needles and get the knitting bug?

I first got the knitting bug around the age of 5 or 6. I was taught to knit by my infant teacher, the wonderful Mrs Cross. Mrs Cross felt it important that both boys and girls learnt the basic skills of knitting, sewing and cooking. I still remember the plastic pink and yellow needles we learnt to knit with!

What was your first ever knitting project?

One of my first projects was a very badly knitted scarf, sweater and pair of trousers for Sindy’s boyfriend ‘Paul’ – at the time [the early 1960’s], a very popular fashion, teen-doll. I still have ‘Paul’ dressed in his original knitted outfit.

What / who influenced you to take the next step and pursue knitting as a career?

Around the late 1970’s, friend of a friend introduced me to the fabulous and at the time, quite ground-breaking handknit designs of Patricia Roberts. I just loved her early work and it was probably her design influence that got me thinking about a career in knitwear.

Your first knit along one was a huge success. We can’t wait for your second Rowan knit along to begin. This time you have gone for a tonal colour palette, what inspired the colour choice and overall design?

For my KAL 2 in the Pure Wool Superwash Worsted, I looked to the motifs, textures and colours of our North Europe, knitting traditions. The knitted textures and colourwork patterns of the Shetland Isles; the Faeroe Isles, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Iceland. A look which is currently very popular in interior fabric, wallpaper and fashion design. Unlike my first KAL, the knitter can now choose from four, classic tonal palettes, chosen to fit in with the most popular, interior colour schemes. A very soft and natural palette: a calming, blue palette; a fresh green and a zingy, spice palette. Whichever colour suits your mood and interior.

Can a beginner knitter join in with the KAL? What sort of stitches will feature?

Once again this KAL has been designed with the beginner knitter in mind. In the first KAL we explored simple texture created by knit & purl stitches, together with simple lace and cable techniques. Having gained those skills, I’ve developed them a stage further and in this blanket we start to create more recognisable motifs in both one colour and two colour squares. Delicate heart motifs in simple texture, lace and with a further option that introduces the beginner knitter to a simple bead technique; Nordic tree motifs in texture and eyelet stitches; A fun, moss stitch spots square. Linking all these motif squares together and introducing a brand new ‘colourwork’ skill for this KAL, I have designed three squares in two colours and without the ‘fairisle-headache’ of stranding or weaving the yarns at the wrong side of work. These colourwork squares are all achieved by working two or four rows in each colour [as if you were working a stripe] and the colour-effect gained by simply slipping stitches.

How do you begin the design process? What comes first a knitted swatch or a sketch of the design?

Before I even put pen to paper or yarn to needles! I begin with lots & lots of research from all sources. I buy all the best fashion magazines every month [a must for keeping up with knitting trends], I have a huge collection of vintage knitting patterns, old cross stitch & embroidery books [great for colour work inspiration]. I trawl antique fairs for interesting fabrics, charity shops, people wearing interesting knits on the street, the internet, on holiday, films, watching the tv! Then, once I’ve compiled all my research, I start to refine ideas into groups and that’s when my actual designing process begins. From this point it’s normally a swatch first and when I’m happy with the look of the swatch, I start to sketch out the ideas into a knit-shape.

What excites you about knitting? The 3D fabric it creates, the variety of stitches, yarn or the endless possibilities?

I suppose I particularly enjoy designing for men, usually with myself in mind, so I know that I can get something I wanted knitted! Anything textured or cabled is my signature handknit design – though I am rediscovering the joy of designing handknits in fairisle or intarsia colourwork. Pattern and colour are once again, very popular in hand knitting.

Does the yarn you are using influence your design?

Yes, for example if I was working on a cable or texture design then I tend to go for the more traditional ‘pure wool’ yarns that in my opinion always show cables to their best effect. For colourwork my ‘go-to’ yarn is Felted Tweed. The Felted Tweed colour palette is sumptuous and the yarn gives colourwork pattern a real vintage and timeless feel. I used Felted Tweed in my recent, ‘Easy Fairisle Knits’ book.

Which other designers do you admire?

Oh, a difficult one to answer. I’ve always admired all my fellow Rowan designers:- Kim Hargreaves, Marie Wallin, Lisa Richardson and Sarah Hatton. Also, I very much like Jared Flood’s, ‘Brooklyn Tweed’ range of designs and the uniqueness of Steven West – I particularly admire his bright choice of colours and the originality of his knit designs.

What is your favourite yarn to knit with?

I love working with Felted Tweed. The colour palette is sumptuous and the yarn gives pattern and texture a real vintage and timeless feel. I used Felted Tweed for my recent book ‘Easy Fairisle Knits’. The sequel ‘More Easy Fairisle Knits’ is due to be launched this summer 2016.

Do you enjoy knitting for yourself? If so what do you make?

These days, I don’t tend to knit much for myself. My knitting time is usually spent on swatch ideas or experimenting with stitches. I recently started knitting myself a shawl collar jacket. I got the back knitted up quite quickly and put it aside to concentrate on design. Six months later it’s still sitting there, waiting to be completed….!

Do you have a knitted treasure? A piece that you could never part with, a gift or maybe something you have made yourself?

Yes, my Patricia Roberts grapes and cherries slipover. It was my first challenging knit that I made way back in the early 1980’s. I took it along to my interview for a place at Art School, where it was much admired and I believe the reason I was offered a place on the course.

If you could give us just one knitting tip, what would it be?

When slipping stitches, always slip the stitch purlwise unless otherwise stated on the pattern. This will help to prevent your stitch from twisting. This is how I would advise to slip the stitches on my new KAL.

With a new year ahead of you what knitting plans do you have for 2016? Are there any projects you can share?

Design-wise, 2016 is going to be a busy year for me! The sequel to ‘Easy Fairisle Knits’, ‘More Easy Fairisle Knits’ is due to be published this summer. Also, two new books in the pipeline for autumn 2016 – a sequel to ‘Nordic Knits’ and a book featuring Afghan throws, blankets and cushions for the home. In the meantime, I will continue to contribute designs for the Rowan Magazine and their seasonal brochures.

 

 

A few staff projects

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 22-12-2015

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It has been a while since I showed off the talents of our wonderful staff. We have most crafts covered really with the number of different bits and bobs everyone enjoys doing in their spare time. Being surrounded by so much temptation on a daily basis could possibly have something to do with it.

Janet has been busy knitting for her baby grand-daughter. This little bundle of joy is going to be inundated with gorgeous gifts from a super proud Grandma. She is all kitted out for the festive season with a cute reindeer hat and a matching reindeer jumper.

king cole baby Christmas jumper

Rudolph the red nosed reindeer jumper pattern is designed by King Cole pattern number 3804 kc. You can even knit a reindeer tail on the reverse of the Christmas jumper. Janet decided to knit the red nose and sew it on rather than using a mini pompom.

Janet's reindeer baby hat

Janet has used a selection of oddments to knit this reindeer baby hat.

King Cole tinsel centipede

Janet couldn’t resist the King Cole Tinsel centipede. She chose colours to make him look like the Hungry Caterpillar.

King Cole Baby dress in Glitz

One more from Janet, a festive baby dress knitted in King Cole Glitz Dk.

Conway + Bliss Elektra jumper

Yvonne has knitted this cosy jumper by Conway + Bliss in Debbie Bliss Elektra.

Conway + Bliss Elektra

Look at the way the colours change so perfectly, creating an ombre effect.

teepee

Yvonne has also been sewing and doing some applique making tepees for her grandchildren.

Colette's Swarovski bead bracelets

Colette has been crocheting beaded bracelets using Swarovski crystals.

Lucy's bauble

Lucy has made a bauble as a gift for a crafty friend, following the Designer Yarns Bauble Along pattern. She has used a teeny circular needle to knit the bauble in the round.

Lucy's bauble

Topped off with a length of i-cord to fasten onto the tree.

Barbara Virus shawl

Barbara has crocheted a Virus shawl using Louisa Harding Amitola.

Barbara Virus shawl

Rowan Brushed Fleece Poncho – #tryittuesday

Posted by Amy | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 24-11-2015

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How fast can you knit? If the answer is super fast or you are willing to take on a challenge, this poncho from Rowan could place a big tick against someone on your Christmas list. The poncho is knitted in Rowan Brushed Fleece – a yarn that is so light and airy, with a soft fleecy texture. A huge plus point of this design is that the pattern is a free download from the Rowan website (Geometric Weave Poncho). The blocks are made up of garter stitch, so no complicated stitches to throw you.

The design is extremely versatile and can be worn in many different ways. It could quite easily double up as a very luxurious blanket too!

brushed_fleece_stacey

Stacey said that she would love to wear it nipped in at the waist with a belt. She opted to pull the poncho in tight to mimick a belt.

brushed_fleece_colette

Colette wrapped the poncho over her shoulder for a relaxed look. A nice brooch or shawl pin wouldn’t go amiss to keep the poncho in place.

brushed_fleece_lesley

Lesley wasn’t sure which way she preferred to wear the poncho. After a few takes she went for loosely wrapped.

What do you think? Could you see yourself wearing / making this poncho? It might be the item you can’t stop wearing throughout the chilly winter days. Go on….you will have it knitted up in no time! 🙂

 

What have our customer’s been making?

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 13-11-2015

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I have accumulated quite a few customer projects recently that are just bursting to escape from the camera and make their way here, onto the blog. If you need that extra push to get a project finished you may well be inspired after reading this post. Seeing finished projects always makes me feel enthusiastic about digging out those unfinished projects. After completing a project you really do feel a fantastic sense of achievement. It is lovely when our customers bring them along to show us in the Craft Barn.

Young Alfie came to the Craft Barn with his mum for a shopping trip. His outfit of choice…..a beautifully knitted jumper, made in Sirdar Baby Crofter Dk. Alfie chose the shade himself – shade 185. The pattern for this snuggly jumper can be found in Sirdar book 377.

alfie_baby_crofter_jumper

This sweater is good to compare with the baby jumper above. Mary from Knit & Natter brought in a sweater she had knitted for herself in Sirdar Baby Crofter. The mock Fair Isle effect has been elongated and slightly distorted due to the width of the knitting. It has created an interesting stripe pattern.

mary_9133_crofter_jumper

Alison who attends Knit & Natter at the Craft Barn couldn’t wait to share her latest project. We hadn’t had Stylecraft Carnival Chunky in stock very long before Alison popped in with a finished waistcoat. She is looking forward to wearing the waistcoat with a long sleeved top this winter.

alison_carnival_chunky_cardigan

Although we don’t have a pattern for this Aran jumper (it was an old favourite from Jackie’s stash), it is still nice to share the hard work that has gone into knitting such a detailed cable, Aran jumper.

jackie_aran_jumper

Have you ever tried knitting mitred corner squares? Kym brought in a completed blanket that she had knitted using a variety of 4ply yarns; many of which she purchased at the Craft Barn including Regia Angora Merino. The squares are built up and joined as you knit.

kym_mitred_corner_blanket

Kym also had a second blanket which she is part way through. Knitted predominantly in Sirdar Heart & Sole Sock 4ply.

kym_mitred_blanket_heart_sole

Wendy came shopping wearing her latest project. She has crocheted a cardigan in King Cole Shine Dk.

wendy_shine_cardigan

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Cathy brought in her latest knitted project to Knit & Natter. When Cathy first started coming to Knit & Natter a couple of years ago she generally only crocheted. Since then she has made various knitted projects and recently brought in this cardigan to share. Her first ever project knitted in the round! Cathy enjoyed taking on the challenge of a cardigan knitted in the round. The best part of all, no seams. The pattern is called Frosty and can be found in Rowan Magazine 58, knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed.

cathy_felted_tweed_cardigan

Pretty cable detailing around the neckline and button band.

cathy_felted_tweed_cardigan2

Eileen brought along her latest project especially to show Yvonne in the Craft Barn. Yvonne had helped her to cut the back piece of fabric, so that the butterfly design was precisely central with perfect symmetry either side of the zip.

tim holtz eclectic elements melange

Eileen has used a Butterick pattern and Tim Holtz Eclectic Elements Melange fabric.

tim holtz eclectic elements melange