Stylecraft Batik Swirl – Yarn Review

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog, Yarn Reviews | Posted on 13-09-2018

Tags:

0

Like icing on top of a cake – Stylecraft Batik Swirl is a yarn cake that comes in 200g balls. There are 4 new shades that we wanted to share. I have crocheted with this yarn previously and really enjoyed working with it. Now these new shades are here I fancy using it again. The only problem is I can’t decide which one to choose.

Watch the video below to take a closer look.

Stylecraft Batik Swirl DK

Highland – 3735

Stylecraft Batik Swirl DK

Meadow – 3736

Stylecraft Batik Swirl DK

Forest – 3737

Knitting and Crochet Projects By Black Sheep Customers

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 07-09-2018

Tags: , , , ,

0

We get treated to the delights of our talented customers every day. Whether it is in store at the Craft Barn or online. Knitters and crocheters are a sharing bunch. We all enjoy admiring the work of others and finding out what has been made with all those balls of yarn. It can inspire a future project for yourself or spur you on to finish a WIP (work in progress).
In store all of the Black Sheep ladies are interested when you tell them about your plans for the basket of yarn in your clutch. It is nice when customers pop in wearing a garment they had been discussing making with a member of staff, or even seeking help for a tricky part of the pattern. If you are happy to have you photo taken then we will do. We do try our best to share them all on social media and if not on here.
Online we love to see photos pop up on social media – Twitter, Facebook, tagged on Instagram or using #blacksheepwools. Did you know we now have a dedicated Facebook group? Black Sheep Wool Make-A-Long where you can share your latest makes and chat about your work in progress.

Here is a selection of finished projects by customers in recent months.

A customer called Carol, came in store with her grandson and a very cute elephant in tow. This friendly chap is from The Knitted Nursery book by Jem Weston. Carol’ grandson chose a different colour combination of Rowan Cotton Glace to be England colours in the World Cup.

The Knitted Nursery Collection by Jem Weston

Karen shared her photo on our Facebook page. A colourful shawl crocheted in Stylecraft Batik Swirl – Rainbow. Following a pattern from Ravelry – Secret Paths by Johanna Lindahl. It took one and a half balls of yarn.

Secret Paths Shawl in Stylecraft Batik Swirl

Lillian crocheted an Into the Sunset blanket and now her daughter’s want one each too! Crocheted using the colour pack of Scheepjes Catona yarn. Lillian chose to share her project on our Facebook Make-A-Long group.

Joanne chose a gorgeous shade of mustard Rowan Summerlite DK to knit the ‘Glimpse’ cardigan from Kim Hargreaves Haze book. She shared her finished photo on our Facebook page. Thanking our Rowan Consultant, Melanie for helping her choose the shade.

Haze by Kim Hargreaves

Leona came in store with an exquisite knitted Christening shawl. Knitted for her first great grandchild in Sirdar Snuggly 3ply, this magnificent piece of knitting is sure to be an heirloom that will be treasured. The pattern was from Woman’s Weekly magazine for the Royal Baby. We found a similar one on our website in Snuggly 4ply (4741).

Helen made this top just in time for the sunshine this summer. Crocheted in Scheepjes Whirl, the pattern is called Spiderdream by Alina Dalichau on Ravelry. The shade looks like it could be Red Velvet Sunrise.

Scheepjes Whirl Crocheted Top

Barbara enjoys crocheting blankets and sharing them with the Craft Barn ladies. Her latest one is crocheted in the beautiful Sublime Baby Cashmere Silk Merino DK.

Sandra’s granddaughter found a cosy spot to snuggle under. The Rock and Roll blanket has been a very popular colour pack this summer. An easy to knit garter stitch design made from Scheepjes Stone Washed XL & and River Washed XL mini balls.

Sue crocheted a Little River Blanket and loved making it. She shared her photo on our Facebook page. This is a colour pack consisting of a Scheepjes Stone Washed and River Washed mini ball pack and a few full size balls of moonstone in Stone Washed.

 

Introducing Lykke Needles and Hooks

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 31-08-2018

Tags:

0

Say hello to our latest knitting needle and crochet hook brand…..Lykke. Lykke needles and hooks have been on our radar for a while now, when Sara visited the International Craft Fair in Cologne earlier this year she was given a few samples. When she showed them to everyone in the office and Craft Barn they were met with very positive feedback. The samples were soon snapped up and being used with great adulation. If we all fell in love with them as avid knitters and crocheters, we knew that they just had to be stocked on our shelves.

What is so different about these needles and crochet hooks, you ask? Well, they are hand crafted from strong birch wood, which makes them super smooth (no yarn snagging here) and light weight to hold. The sizes are etched onto the needles, as opposed to being printed. Both metric and US sizes are on the needles, which is super handy if you are using a US pattern and don’t have a conversion chart to hand.
We have the single point needles, interchangeables, fixed circulars, crochet hooks and the most beautiful gift packs to choose from.

The name Lykke means ‘happiness’ in Danish. All members of staff who have had a go with these beauties have definitely enjoyed working with them.

Unboxing Ubuntu

Posted by Amy | Posted in Crochet | Posted on 23-08-2018

0

Sara takes you through each of the Scheepjes Ubuntu Crochet Along kits as she unboxes each of the three different sizes one by one. Will you choose Scheepjes Cotton 8 – Small, Scheepjes Stone Washed – Medium or Scheepjes Stone Washed XL & River Washed XL – Large?

Find out more about the Scheepjes Ubuntu CAL on a recent blog post.

Autumn Events at the Craft Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 17-08-2018

Tags: , , , ,

0

A few dates for your diary folks! When you see what we have planned for the autumn, you will want to cancel all of your plans and gather your crafty friends for a trip to the Craft Barn in Warrington. Without further ado…..

Rowan Yarn Tasting Day
Saturday 1st September 2018 | 9am – 5pm | Free to attend

On Saturday 1st September we will be holding a Rowan yarn tasting day in our fabulous Rowan Flagship area in store. Celebrating all of the new yarns and publications for autumn winter, come along and try the yarns, have a glass of bubbly and a natter to our Rowan Consultant Melanie about the new launches. There will be 10% off Rowan yarns on the day (in store only).

Scheepjes Day – Ubuntu Launch Party!
Saturday 8th September 2018 | 9am – 5pm | Free to attend

We are having an Ubuntu Launch Party! Come along to Black Sheep Wools on Saturday 8th September and meet two of Scheepjes most inspirational bloggers, Look At What I Have Made & Lilla Bjorn. Have a glass of bubbly and help us celebrate the launch of the new Scheepjes crochet along, the Ubuntu CAL. Make a friendship bracelet at our drop-in craft table and leave it for a new friend on our friendship tree, all to celebrate Ubuntu! The first 50 customers to spend over £25 will receive a Scheepjes goody bag!

Pop – Up Shop with Siobhan’s Crafts
Saturday 15th  and Sunday 16th September 2018 | 9am – 5pm

Indie yarn dyer Siobhan’s Crafts will be back with her colourful wares for sale in store. Find delicious hand dyed hanks of wonder! Take a look at her Instagram to tickle your taste buds.

*There will be more pop-up shops from other indie dyers coming up this autumn too. Watch this space!

Rowan 40th Anniversary Party + Special Guests
Saturday 6th October 2018 | 11.30am – 4pm | Free to attend

World famous Scandinavian knitting superstars Arne and Carlos will be at the Craft Barn to celebrate Rowan’s 40th anniversary on Saturday 6th October. It is set to be a fun-filled birthday party with cake, yarn and balloons galore! Join us for a fabulous fashion show celebrating the history of Rowan in its 40th anniversary year. From its very earliest beginnings all the way up to present day, there are garments from every era to delight and inspire the Rowan fans who have loyally supported the brand for the last 40 years. More details on fashion show times to follow on here soon.

Dee Hardwicke Designer Trunk Show
Friday 23rd November 2018 | 3pm – 5pm | Free to attend

Meet the artist, designer and author, Dee Hardwicke, as Dee celebrates the publication of her latest book, Colourwork Knits: 12 Hand Knit Designs Inspired by Nature. The book features Dee’s debut knitwear collection, and follows on from the success of Dee’s previous book, A Story in Yarn: How to Design and Knit an Intarsia Heirloom Quilt. Dee will be signing copies of both books, and this event will be a unique opportunity to see some of the original watercolour sketches, templates and knitted swatches behind Dee’s beautiful designs. Dee will also be on-hand to talk about her inspiration and to help you select palettes for your own quilt or knitwear projects based on the stunning collection of Rowan yarns to be found at Black Sheep Wools. You’re bound to feel completely inspired to pick up your knitting needles!

 

 

Autumn Workshops 2018

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 09-08-2018

Tags:

0

This autumn we have some treats in store when it comes to our workshop calendar. Every season we try to introduce something new and we are always ready to bring back an old favourite. Workshops are all held in our fabulous workshop room at the Craft Barn in Warrington. It is such a joy to see many customers returning for a second, third or even tenth workshop! This is something we are very proud of at Black Sheep Wools, that we are able to introduce workshop goers to learn a new skill, technique or even meet a new friend. Many people attend a workshop as an individual who loves their yarny hobbies, you don’t have to come with a friend. It is a lovely way to spend a day / half day joining fellow crafters who share your passion.
All full day workshops include a delicious finger buffet lunch and a slice of homemade cake and pot of tea in the afternoon. This is served by our lovely tea shop ladies Julie and Jayne.

Whether you are looking for knitting, crochet or even dyeing, there are a great variety of workshops coming up from September to November. Take a look on our workshops page on our website for full details about each class. Below I have plucked out a selection of autumn workshops that may catch your eye. If you are wondering where our Craft Barn shop is based then take a look on our Craft Barn page for address details. Should you fancy a trip to Warrington from a little further a field then do not hesitate to get in touch and we can suggest a local hotel. Although we have lots of squishy yarn at Black Sheep Wools, it isn’t really suitable as a bed for the night!

Autumn Workshop - Anatomy of a Shawl

Anatomy of Knitted Shawls with Heike Gittens – Friday 28th September 2018Fair Isle Knitting Afternoon

Fair Isle Knitting Afternoon with Graeme Knowles-Miller – Saturday 15th September 

Hand Dyeing with Natural Dyes

Hand Dyeing with Natural Dye Extracts – Friday 21st September

Mindful Knitting Afternoon Workshop

Mindful Knitting Afternoon with Lynne Rowe – Friday 14th September

Professional Finishing

Professional Finishing with Sarah Hatton – Saturday 22nd September

Tapestry Crochet

Tapestry Crochet with Carol Meldrum Friday 19th October

Brioche Knitting

Brioche Knitting with Juliet Bernard – Saturday 3rd November 

 

Ubuntu – Scheepjes CAL 2018

Posted by Amy | Posted in Crochet | Posted on 02-08-2018

Tags:

0

We had all been waiting excitedly for the announcement of the Scheepjes Crochet Along 2018. It was wonderful news to hear that Dedri Uys – Look at what I made blogger would be this years designer. If you are an avid crocheter you may have made / heard of her spectacular crochet along, Sophie’s Universe. Dedri creates designs that showcase crochet at its best. You will not be disappointed when you cast your eye at the images below of Dedri’s design ‘Ubuntu’ the Scheepjes CAL 2018. There are 3 different sizes of the blanket, each made in a different Scheepjes yarn. Small – Cotton 8, Medium – Stone Washed and Large – Stone Washed XL & River Washed XL.
Meet Dedri Uys at our shop, the Craft Barn on Saturday 8th September when we will be celebrating all things Scheepjes. We are hoping that she will bring along the Ubuntu blanket, so we can all have look and gaze in awe at the wonder that is this years Scheepjes CAL.

Scheepjes Ubuntu Large Blanket

Scheepjes Ubuntu – Large

The name Ubuntu means “humanity towards others” or “I am because we are”. Read Dedri’s blog post to find more information behind the decision on the name and theme.
It is interesting to see where the inspiration came from for this hexagonal design. Dedri talks in more detail in her reveal blog post.

Scheepjes Ubuntu Blanket - Medium

Scheepjes Ubuntu – Medium

The first pattern will be released on 12th September and if you can’t wait until then to get involved, we have good news. We now have all three colour packs available on pre-sale. The kits will be desptached on 22nd August, so you will be ready to get started once the first pattern is released!

Scheepjes Ubuntu Blanket - Small

Scheepjes Ubuntu – Small

If you do decide to join in with this super CAL, not only will you be able to download the pattern weekly from the Scheepjes website; you will also find helpful video tutorials being posted by It’s all in a Nutshell blog to guide you along the way.

 

Scheepjes Sweet Treat – Yarn Review

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog, Yarn Reviews | Posted on 26-07-2018

0

Scheepjes Sweet Treat is a lace weight, mercerised, cotton yarn that is ideal for fine lace crochet. The colour range is phenomenal with over 80 shades available and all of the shades are the same as Scheepjes Catona. This is useful to know if you want to mix and match the yarns together. The Scheepjes Sweet Treat would make a pretty, delicate border around the edge of a mandala or blanket.

Watch the video below to see how I got on crocheting with this yarn.

The lovely ladies in the Craft Barn have displayed the Sweet Treat in groups of colour.

Scheepjes Sweet Treat

Soft pastel shades on display in the shop

Scheepjes Sweet Treat

Blues and greens

Scheepjes Sweet Treat

So many shades of Scheepjes Sweet Treat! Oranges and purples.

It’s time to VOTE!

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 19-07-2018

Tags:

1

It’s time to vote folks! You lovely lot have kindly nominated Black Sheep Wools in four categories in the Let’s Knit British Knitting and Crochet Awards 2018 –

• Best Online Shop
• Best Crochet Store
• Favourite Knitting Blog
• Best Local Independent Yarn Shop – North of England

In previous years we have been thrilled to win and come second or third in the various categories. Let’s hope we can do it again this year!

We are super duper happy that you took the time to nominate and get us this far. If you would like to see us win (please say you do) and be in with the chance of winning some pretty fab crafty goodies yourself, then head to Let’s Knit website to vote. Click the link here. Voting closes on 30th August 2018.

P.S. Don’t forget that you can also choose the Best Yarn Shop Day experience. We had such a blast this year with lots of your favourite bloggers and designers in store. Read the blog post to find out more about the day.

How to pick up a dropped stitch

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting Essentials | Posted on 05-07-2018

Tags: , ,

0

Happily knitting away to your heart’s content……..and there it goes, a dropped stitch. Dun, dun, duuuunn! What to do now, you ask yourself? Do I just hide it away in a cupboard and never knit again? Do not worry, we have just the trick (skillful technique) to help you solve the problem, so that you can continue on your merry way with your knitting. Just grab a stitch marker or small safety pin and catch the dropped stitch to prevent it slipping any further down.

How to pick up a dropped stitch | Black Sheep Wools

In this video Carol Meldrum is demonstrating how to pick up a dropped stitch with a crochet hook.
A crochet hook may seem like a bizzare item to carry in your knitting bag, but we would always recommend having one to hand for instances like this. In our Knitting Starter Kit post, a crochet hook was listed in our list of essential items.

This method of picking up a dropped stitch is for a stocking stitch piece of knitting. If you are knitting a lace or cable pattern then please be aware that using a crochet hook in this way will not work.

Use a crochet hook that is slightly smaller than the needle size you are working with to pull the working loop back through the horizontal strands left after the unravelling.

1) With the right-side facing, slip the live loop onto the crochet hook.
2) Insert the hook from front to back under the next horizontal loop directly above the dropped stitch, than pull the horizontal loop through to the front under the loop on the hook.
3) Repeat step 2 until all the horizontal loop have been worked.
4) 
Then slip the live loop from the crochet hook onto the left-hand needle, and continue to knit as given in the pattern.

How do you tackle a dropped stitch? Do you use a different technique? Please share your ideas in the comments below.