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?

 

Men’s Knitting Patterns

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting | Posted on 23-03-2018

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In amongst so many patterns for ladies and babies, men’s knitting patterns sometimes can be missed. We have plucked out a selection of men’s knitting patterns to share. If you are ever struggling though, we do have the option to narrow down the search depending on who / what you are knitting for. Hover over patterns on our home page and select in the ‘For’ category.

Before you even begin to be tempted to make any of the knitwear below, we must talk about the ‘Boyfriend Sweater Curse’ (unless you are a man knitting for yourself). You may have heard this pop up online or in a knitting magazine over the years. It is a theory that knitting a sweater for your significant other can lead to a break up! Eeeek! A knitted sweater isn’t just whipped up in a couple of hours, as we all know, a lot of time and effort goes into making it. With all the hours put in you are thinking about this person a lot (maybe whether or not they are the one for you) and you really want the person you are knitting for to appreciate it. This can be said for any knitted gift though and I guess this is where the theory came about.

We are obviously very sceptical of this theory and feel that the sweaters and cardigans below are too fabulous not to be knitted. We want knitting to bring you happiness! A good way to know the recipient will like the jumper is to involve them in choosing the pattern and shade. Pick a selection of designs that you would be happy to knit and let them choose from there. If you are going to knit for a new man in your life, maybe start small and go for a scarf or hat – still a lovely gift.

Choose from a v-neck or shawl collar cardigan in this pattern from Hayfield in Bonus Aran Tweed. A versatile knit for any season!

Men's Knitting Patterns | Cardigan in Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed

Rowan Journeyman book has been designed by Martin Storey. An incredible collection of knitwear for men. Out of 12 patterns in the book these are four standout designs.
Clockwise from top left ‘Heston’, a cable design using Rowan Hemp Tweed. ‘Curtis’ is the next one along, a textured design using two shades of Rowan Felted Tweed Aran. ‘Brando’ is a hooded sweater with an all over cable design in Hemp Tweed. ‘Cooper’ is a snuggly sweater knitted in Felted Tweed Aran, a slip stitch design creates a rib like texture. There are many more tempting patterns from this book too.

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

If a double knit yarn is more your thing, how about this raglan sleeve sweater in Stylecraft Life Vintage Look DK and Life DK. The Life Vintage Look yarn is a tweedy sort of yarn that lends itself to men’s knitwear.

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

Knit a round neck sweater or cardigan in a textured diamond stitch in Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed DK.

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

If a chunky knit is called for, why not knit this super cosy cabled sweater in your favourite chunky yarn?

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

Take a look on our Men’s Knitting patterns page on the website to see more patterns.

Sara’s Unfinished Project Update – Part 2

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog | Posted on 13-03-2018

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An update on my UFO’s. I have finished quite a few more things since the last video (and started a few!). Take a look at my video below and let me know what you think. I am so pleased with my crocheted blanket in Scheepjes Whirl, it used just one ball.

I have also found yet another bag of UFO’s. This was a fun video to film, as I genuinely didn’t know what was in there. I even found a necklace and a pair of head phones!

Stylecraft Day at the Craft Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 06-02-2018

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Join us for the Stylecraft showcase day at the Black Sheep Craft Barn in Warrington. Stylecraft Blogstar, Lucia’s Fig Tree will be in store for the day sharing her spectacular designs and her colour expertise. Lucia will be happy to advise on the colour palette and yarn for your next blanket. Discover the new season yarns and patterns too! There will be goody bags for the first 50 customers who spend £25 or more on Stylecraft. Not forgetting a fab raffle prize giveaway.

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

special_blanket

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.

granny_squares

 

granny_squares_shapes

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.

red_felt

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

bright_blanket

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.

Image

And the blanket motif…again its versatile.

granny_squares_book

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.

black_white_crochet

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

smiley_blanket_ann2

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.