Ode to Autumn – Spice of Life Blanket

Posted by Amy | Posted in Spice of Life CAL, Staff Projects | Posted on 08-12-2016

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To celebrate the one year anniversary of Sandra Paul’s (aka Cherry Heart) gorgeous Spice of Life crochet along Sara has been crocheting a blanket in a new colour way – Ode to Autumn. Sara has opted for a selection of shades that are not her usual go to colours. Ode to Autumn is made up of rich, warm tones of rust, berries and gold – to name but a few. With an abundance of colour to choose from in the Stylecraft Special Dk it is quite a challenge to pick a winning combination. You will not be disappointed with this beautiful palette.

Watch Sara’s video below where she is talking all about making her Ode to Autumn blanket.

If you are thinking of making a Spice of Life blanket in the Ode to Autumn pack why not follow Sara’s shade sequence, take a look below –

Autumn Colours            Original Colours

Mustard (1823)                       Turquoise
Pomegranate (1083)            Grass
Pistachio (1822)                     Light Green
Tomato (1723)                        Petrol
Boysenberry (1828)             Red
Khaki (1027)                            Vanilla
Claret (1123)                            Cream
Cypress (1824)                       Melon
Gold (1709)                              Purple
Lobelia (1825)                        Ice Blue
Pale Rose (1080)                  Smokey Rose
Stone (1710)                            Jeans
Burgundy (1035)                   Clay

ode to autumn - spice of life blanket
ode_to_autumn_blanket

Sara’s yarn review – Stylecraft Head over Heels

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog, Yarn Reviews | Posted on 15-09-2016

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Watch my latest video on our YouTube channel all about Stylecraft Head over Heels yarn. A brand new sock yarn from Stylecraft that comes in six variegated shades. I have knitted a beret in shade Eiger. Emily and Amy have also been having a play with the yarn, crochet and tunisan crochet.

Here is my hat in shade – Eiger of Head over Heels.

Stylecraft Head over Heels

Amy has been trying out tunisian crochet in shade – Eiger.

stylecraft head over heels

Emily has been crocheting a virus shawl in shade – Kilimanjaro.

stylecraft head over heels

Sara’s Project Update

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog | Posted on 20-05-2016

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Take a look at my latest video blog on our YouTube channel. Below are photographs of the projects up close.

Baby blanket in Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply

rialto_4ply_baby_blanket

Stylecraft Special Dk granny square blanket

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Debbie Bliss Lolli top

lolli_top

Juniper Moon Findley Dappled  and Debbie Abrahams beads

findley_beads

Designer Q & A’s – Susan Pinner

Posted by Amy | Posted in Designer Q&A's | Posted on 27-04-2016

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In the run up to Yarn Shop Day 2016 we caught up with crochet designer, Susan Pinner to ask a few questions about crochet. Susan will be here on Yarn Shop Day sharing all of her crochet treats and doing a book signing between 10.30am and 2.30pm. Along with two books full to the brim of her own fabulous designs – ‘Granny Squares‘ and ‘Granny Squares & Shapes‘, Susan also designs crochet patterns for Stylecraft.

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There will be many more talented crafty folk to see too, including demonstrations of weaving from Beryl Weir, sock knitting with Winwick Mum and even more crochet with Crafternoon Treats! Read our Yarn Shop Day blog post here.

sue_pinner

Who taught you to crochet? What was the first thing you ever made?

My best friend’s Gran when I was about 8 or 9, but I never made anything until my early teens and it was a gold, orange, brown, oatmeal rug in RUG WOOL that someone had given me……very hard going with huge tassels on each corner.

What projects do you have on the go at the moment? Any top secret snippets of crochet you can share?

Nothing TOP SECRET I wouldn’t get paid lol! But I’m doing some felting projects some free form projects and researching some new stitches that always leads to a variation on a new stitch in one way or another.

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crochet_puff

Have you ever made something that you will treasure forever? A project that took a little longer than expected, a labour of love or perhaps a beautiful piece that you just cannot part with. 

Almost everything I make…I find hard to part with. Two of my favourites are these and old, old freeform flowers on stripes, a felted hat that made it to Knitting Vogue Knitting magazine anything I do from real life like the primsoes and the Chunky Monkey CAL I did last year.

felt_hat

SILVER LACE BLACK PRIMROSE

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When designing something new, where do you begin? Is it a sketch, with a colour palette or sampling?

How long is a piece of string? Sometimes from a sketch, sometimes from a colour combo, a new stitch or a new yarn. When working with yarn companies you have to be able to adapt your style to their wants and new yarns and sometimes restricted colours

This one was from a sketch…

flower_diagram

You now have two books full of your designs – Granny Squares and Granny Squares & Shapes, plus you do lots of fabulous crochet designs for Stylecraft. Do you have a favourite design?

The latest designs are usually favourites but if you push me to pick one for Stylecraft…..the new Tartan blanket and cushion.

tartan

And the bead and bezel I did for Stylecraft blog tour…I’ve made them up in lots of colour combo’s since.

crochet_necklace

Your books are full of really lovely designs, are they suitable for a beginner? Are there any designs in particular you would suggest?

This daisy pattern so versatile, easy to make and can be made in so many colour combo’s and sizes from 3ply sock yarn to Aran, this picture is from a 1950’s colour chart as a box cushion for our 1975 camper.

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And the blanket motif…again its versatile.

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Do you do any other crafts?  

Not really, these days crochet fills my time, a bit of paper crafting especially at Christmas time.

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If my crochet time was my own I would do far more free form crochet, I have  bags of crochet circle waiting for me to join them together and tapestry crochet too, like this one.

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Do you have a favourite place to crochet?

My craft room the light is fabulous and I have a double sofa unit like a bed in there, but any where that’s comfy, the sofa, in bed…lots of space to spread out all the yarn and 4 cats and bury myself…..a tidy moment doesn’t look like this often!

crochet_display

What have you been knitting & crocheting?

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 24-03-2016

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I have gathered together quite a varied selection of projects that many of you, our talented customers, have been making. These have been collected and photographed over many weeks, so if you came in the shop a couple of months ago to share your makes with us, they may well be somewhere in amongst these treats today.

A customer called Hilary brightened up a dull winter’s day with her citrus shaded crochet blanket. Hilary has used a selection of Stylecraft Special Dk yarns to make this colourful delight.

hilary_yellow_blanket

Cathy who attends Knit & Natter brought in Jane Crowfoot’s Nordnorge Fair Isle bag she has knitted in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Dk adorned with Debbie Abraham’s beads. Cathy opted for a slight variation on the shades suggested in the pattern and also chose a different bead colour.

cathy_fairisle_bag1

cathy_fairisle_bag2

A lady called Jane brought in a shawl knitted in Sirdar Montana Dk. The pattern is a design Jane came across on Ravlery ‘No-fuss shade loving shawl‘. The self striping effect of Montana Dk matches perfectly with the shawl design.

jane_montana_shawl

Susan knitted this hat for her grandson, he wore it to go and watch the new Star Wars film at the cinema. Apparently he had said it was ‘awesome’! When giving a knitted gift you couldn’t ask for much more. The pattern is a free pattern Susan found on Ravelry – The Force Awakens Hat.

susan_star_wars_hat

Ann has got creative with Sirdar Smiley Stripes making a rainbow blanket, with a mixture of one colour yarns added in too. This looks fantastic the multi-coloured border is such a good idea. A border like this would make a nice finishing touch to a plain blanket, adding a splash of rainbow.

smiley_blanket_ann

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Sue brought in a mini mermaid tail she had knitted for her 6 month old grand-daughter. She followed Yvonne’s mermaid tail pattern exactly, using double knitting yarn rather than chunky. To make it extra special with sparkle Sue used King Cole Gltz Dk. The tail measures approximately 65cm in length.

sue_mermaid1

sue_mermaid2

Not only has Sue been making a mermaid tail, she has also been knitting the Rowan Shaun the Sheep blanket. Rather than using Rowan yarn Sue matched up shades in Stylecraft Special Dk.

sue_shaun_sheep

Jane is knitting a whole host of animals for a knitted Noah’s Ark. Her grand-children will love this, all of the animals two by two. Here are the ones she brought along with her to match up whilst shopping. Jane has used a variety of textured yarns including Sirdar Funky Fox. Some of the patterns can be found in Knitted Noah’s Ark book.

noahs_ark

Angela brought in a selection of baby knits – an all in one suit in James C Brett Flutterby and a teddy bear all in one suit in Sirdar Snowflake Chunky.

angela_snowflake

angela_flutterby

Last but not least Susan wearing a cardigan crocheted with two balls of James C Brett Marble Chunky. Susan made the pattern up, based on a large granny square.

susan_marble_chunky

Thank you to everyone who kindly shared their projects with us. If you have made anything recently with your purchases from Black Sheep Wools please email in a pic to social@blacksheepwools.com.

Frida’s Flowers Afternoon Tea with Jane Crowfoot

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 11-03-2016

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Today is an exciting day as the Frida’s Flowers, Stylecraft yarn packs have been released on sale. It was all very hush, hush until today, about the colour choices Jane Crowfoot made for her latest crochet along with Stylecraft. Carol and Les have been beavering away making yarn packs of all the shades used. Find the original Stylecraft Classique Cotton Dk pack along with the Life Dk and Special Dk packs on our dedicated Frida’s Flowers page.

carol_fridas_flowers

The first pattern won’t be released until 5th April 2016, which means there is plenty of time for everyone to get their yarn in preparation for the big day. During pattern launch week we have a special treat in store. On Thursday 7th April 2016 we will be hosting afternoon tea with Jane Crowfoot here at the Craft Barn in Warrington. Jane will be talking all about the Frida’s Flowers blanket and her life as a knit & crochet designer. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon eating a delicious selection of sandwiches and cakes prepared by the lovely ladies in our tea shop. Tickets are selling fast for this event and numbers are limited.

fridas flowers

The first pattern will be available to download on 5th April 2016 from Stylecraft’s website.

Lesley’s Spice of Life CAL

Posted by Amy | Posted in Spice of Life CAL | Posted on 18-12-2015

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Lesley has finally finished her Spice of Life Crochet Along blanket. She may have gotten a little side tracked along the way but it was worth the wait. A rainbow burst of colour that reminds me of a crisp paper bag filled with sugary, sweet pick n mix.

Lesley has used shades of Stylecraft Special Dk, choosing to edge the blanket in shade – Pomegranate 1083. This was quite a big decision as Lesley hadn’t followed the original colour sequence. She chose her colour order section by section, opting to use the same shades for the first and last section of the blanket.

Lesley's spice of life cal

Lesley's spice of life cal

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.

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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

Limited Edition Stylecraft Pack

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

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

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

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

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

Sara's v stitch blanket

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

sara's v stitch blanket

Stylecraft Carnival Sweater – #tryittuesday

Posted by Amy | Posted in #TryitTuesday | Posted on 22-09-2015

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Stylecraft Carnival Chunky is a new addition to the Black Sheep Wools yarn portfolio. We are gradually increasing our Stylecraft stock and this yarn is not one to disappoint. The yarn is 100% premium acrylic with a soft texture similar to other premium acrylic yarns in the Stylecraft range. We have 8 different kaleidoscope shades to choose from all named after a colourful carnival from around the world, with names such as Rio and Notting Hill. The pattern is 9087.

stylcraft carnival chunky

This week I was lucky to have four of our glam Black Sheep ladies ready to try on the Carnival sweater. It had lots of positive comments from customers shopping in the Craft Barn too. An easy to wear shape that will knit up in no time at all on 6mm needles.

carnival_lesley

Lesley was up first trying on the sweater with her blue blouse underneath, which works quite well, with the contrast in colour.

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On to Barbra who I caught quickly whilst she was cutting fabric!

carnival_collette

Collette liked the snuggly feel of the sweater.

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Stacey already has some of the yarn clicking away on her knitting needles. She tried on the sweater layered over a long sleeve t-shirt.