Knitting a ZickZack Scarf

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting | Posted on 22-03-2019

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When Black Sheep Sara started knitting a ZickZack scarf earlier this year, she caused quite a stir on our Black Sheep Make-A-Long Facebook page. Sara had spotted this stylish scarf on a friends Instagram post and just had to cast it on the needles herself. Straight away she knew which yarn she fancied trying out on this zig zag striped scarf design. It had to be Stylecraft Head Over Heels All Stars yarn. Sara chose the shades Red Pots and Splash, quite the contrasting colour combination, but when knitted together they work beautifully.

Knitting a ZickZack scarf in Stylecraft Head Over Heels All Stars | Black Sheep Wools

The ZickZack scarf pattern is designed by Christy Kamm and is available free from Ravelry. It was published on Ravelry in 2014 so it has been around for many years and you could well be reading this having knitted one or two yourself.

Sara enjoyed knitting her ZickZack scarf and found the pattern really easy to follow. It was a great project to pick up and just know what comes next without having to concentrate too much. Watch Sara talking about knitting the scarf in the video below.

We shared a photo of Sara’s ZickZack scarf on our newsletter and Sara got lots of great comments from everyone. It wasn’t long before many knitters in our Facebook group had cast on too. Many people are half way through their ZickZack scarf, but we asked if anyone wanted to share a photo for this blog post. Take a look at how different this scarf can look when you combine varying stripey or plain yarns together.

ZickZack Scarf | Black Sheep Wools

Sara’s ZickZack scarf in Red Pots and Splash.

ZickZack scarf | BlackSheep Wools

Brenda – Stylecraft Head Over Heels All Stars – Worldgate & Saltaire.

ZickZack scarf | Black Sheep Wools

Jean – Fyberspates – Peach Bellini and Peak District yarn for the contrast.

ZickZack scarf | Black Sheep Wools

Jean – Stylecraft Head Over Heels – Red Pots and another shade which Jean didn’t keep the ball band.

Knitting a ZickZack scarf | Black Sheep Wools

Karen – Sirdar Baby Crofter 4ply.

Knitting a ZickZack scarf | Black Sheep Wools

Brenda – second scarf in Stylecraft Head Over Heels All Stars – Pool and Ossie.

Knitting a ZickZack scarf | Black Sheep Wools

Rosa – Sirdar Heart & Sole 4ply – yellow/green and pink/purple.

Have you knitted a ZickZack scarf? What yarns did you use?

Designer Q & A – Attic24

Posted by Amy | Posted in Crochet | Posted on 15-03-2019

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We are so excited for our special guest visiting the Craft Barn tomorrow. It’s only Lucy, from Attic24 blog! How fantastic is that? Lucy will be joined tomorrow by fellow knitting and crochet buddies, Emma Varnam and Winwick Mum. Pop in store and say hello, the gang will be here from 10am – 4pm. In anticipation for her visit we sent over a few (maybe more than a few) questions to delve a little deeper into the creative world of Attic24. Lucy kindly responded with some great answers. Enjoy having a read of our Attic24 interview, it is really interesting to learn more about her crochet journey.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

When did you begin crocheting?
Before I had my children, I was a self employed designer-maker working with textiles and embroidery. I ran my little handmade business from home, making brightly coloured textile pictures and a range of embroidered greetings cards. I packed up my textile business when I had my first child in 2002, thinking that eventually I would come back to it.
Fast forward to 2007 and I was very busy being a full time Mum to my two young children aged 3 and 4 then. I loved that time in my life, but I found myself starting to miss my old creative work and began to look for a way to balance out the needs of my young family with my need to do something creative for myself again.
It was a friend who suggested I try crocheting – she knew of my arts and textile background, and thought that crochet would appeal to me as she had just learnt herself and was finding it very therapeutic. We agreed that yarn crafts were far more child friendly than sewing, being that you can sit on the sofa amongst the chaos of family life and pick up a crochet project far more easily than you can get out a sewing machine and ironing board!
So I decided to give it a go, borrowing a crochet hook and ball of yarn from my friend and getting her to teach me the basics of crocheting a chain. I bought a small beginners crochet book from a local yarn shop and over the next few days I taught myself the basic stitches and learnt how to make a simple granny square. I knew straight away that I wanted to crochet blankets, and those very first granny squares eventually became my very first blanket.
That was over eleven years ago now, and I can honestly say that learning to crochet changed the course of my life. I still have that first blanket draped over the back of my sofa and it’s one of my most treasured things.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Embroidery | Black Sheep Wools

Attic24 Embroidery

Designer Q & A Attic24 | First Blanket | Black Sheep Wools

First crocheted blanket Attic24

What sparked your love with this wonderful craft?
I fell in love with crochet primarily because of the ease of it. As a mum of young children, it was something I could very easily fit into the small pockets of time I had throughout my busy days. I would keep my yarn handy and I would pick up my granny squares whenever I had a chance. Even if it was just a few stitches here and there, I loved that I was doing something creative just for me, for my own pleasure and satisfaction.
And of course, there was the colour therapy too. When I first walked into a yarn shop to purchase a few balls to make granny squares, I was hit by the sight of so much beautiful colour on those shelves that I knew I had found something that would bring me a huge amount of happiness. I had always loved bright colours when I worked with fabric and stitch, and finding out that yarns could give me the same sort of colour-fix was such a great surprise.

Granny Squares Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

What inspired you to begin writing a blog?
Around about the same time that I learnt to crochet, I also discovered the online world of creative blogs. Blogging was still relatively new back in 2007, but I began following a few blogs that really resonated with me – ladies who were sharing snippets of their daily lives, their homes, gardens and creative projects which I found hugely inspirational. I had already begun sharing some of my photos and projects on Flickr (remember this was back in the day before Pinterest and Instagram existed, I know, how did we ever manage?!) and I found that I really enjoyed being a part of a creative online community. It was like suddenly finding my tribe when I had been living in solitary for so long! Writing a blog and joining in with the community I had discovered was the next logical step, although it took me almost a year to pluck up the courage to do it. I had recently relocated and moved to a new town so was feeling a little lost at the time. My youngest had just started mornings at nursery, so for the first time in many years I had some precious child free hours at my disposal. I had always loved writing (I was an avid penpal in my teenage years, writing letters to friends all over the world), and taking photographs to go with my words became a newly discovered passion. There was no end goal, just a desire to share and connect with others, and to be able to fill my free time with a new and exciting hobby.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

Your blog is so popular, how does it feel to know there are people all around the world reading your blog and making your designs?
Honest answer???? It feels FANTASTIC!!! I The community which surrounds Attic24 is absolutely wonderful and I truly value the friendship and connections that it brings to my life. That sense of belonging is very precious to me, especially as I spent so many years feeling quite alone with my creativity and my quirky way of looking at life. Mind you, having said that, I find that even after all these years I still very much write my blog and create my designs for my own personal pleasure and need.

You design beautiful blankets. For someone who has never seen any of your fabulous makes before, which would be your top 3 to begin their Attic24 journey?
I mainly design my blankets with new crocheters in mind, keeping the stitches pretty basic and creating full photo-heavy tutorials to help with pattern reading. The simplicity of my designs also makes my blankets into perfect projects for those who want to indulge in some therapeutic hooky time where you can lose yourself in the rhythmic stitches without having anything too complex to concentrate on. For those who are very new to crochet, I would suggest blankets that have repeating rows with very little counting involved – the Granny Stripe, the Hydgrangea Stripe or the Sweet Pea.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

Photography is a huge part of your blog and has been from the very beginning. Would you say that photography is an important part of your creative process? Do you take inspiration from what you have snapped?
Yes, yes, yes, I would absolutely say that photography is at the very heart of everything I do. Each and every one of my blog posts tells a story through photographs, and I always begin a post by uploading all the images in an order which makes sense to the inner dialogue running through my mind. The narrative comes afterwards.
My camera is one of my most valuable tools, allowing me to capture and record all sorts of things which may end up inspiring new designs or colour palettes. In fact most of my recent blanket designs have been inspired by nature, and it’s my photographs and visual observations which spark these creative ideas.

It’s always lovely to see your captivating photos of nature and the great outdoors. What is your favourite season?
Summer is my best favourite time of year, without a shadow of a doubt. I especially love very early summer (late May here in my patch) when we have those gloriously long, light days and all the greenery is back in the woods. Also flowers – summer flowers are a true delight and never fail to inspire me.

Floral Inspiration | Designer Q & A Attic24

Woodland Inspiration Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

When you aren’t crocheting what other crafts / hobbies do you enjoy doing?
I learnt to knit as a child but hadn’t done much until a few years ago when I learnt to knit socks. I love having a pair of socks on the go alongside my crochet, it’s a different kind of a challenge for me and I get huge satisfaction from wearing socks that I’ve made myself. Plus self striping sock yarns are an addiction that I’m totally on board with!
I discovered the pleasure of modern cross stitch designs last year and that feels like a true hobby for me. I like being able to sit quietly and stitch without any other agenda, it’s just a beautiful way to relax and spend time.

Colour plays a huge part in your crochet, how do you settle on a colour palette?
When I was first crocheting, I would choose my colour palette by first selecting a yarn type, then going into a local yarn shop to gather together all the colours that made me happy. It was always a quick, simple, instinctive process and not something I ever gave a great deal of thought to.
These days I really enjoy having a story behind my colour palettes, and spend a long time thinking about the bigger picture and choosing colours that describe a particular season or place. Once I’ve decided on the theme, I visit and research, taking photographs and collecting natural materials (eg summer flowers, or autumn leaves and berries) which I use as my starting point for selecting colours. I then pull out my yarn pegs (simple wooden clothes pegs wrapped with yarn) to build up groups of colours which tell the story, arranging them and playing with them over many weeks until I’m happy with the overall balance. I then begin sampling, which often leads me to make one or two final adjustments with my colour choices – sometimes a collection of colours just doesn’t play out as you expect it to once you begin working up a pattern. I find I make emotional decisions about colours just as much as visual ones – I really do like to “feel” the colours somehow and always know when I’ve created a great colour palette because I feel like I want to cry (it sounds soppy, but it really is that intense!)

What inspires a new design? Colour or crochet stitch? What is your creative process?
This is a really interesting question, and I’ve talked a little bit about my creative process of choosing colours in the question above.
It’s always the colour choices which come first for me, although I’ve often got a vague idea of a stitch pattern at by the time I come to select the colours. I try and think about my story and what I’m attempting to convey with my colours, and then think about a crochet stitch or pattern that will work best to do the job. For example, in my Moorland blanket, I chose the colours to describe the feeling of walking across the high Yorkshire moors in Summer when the heather is blooming. I immediately thought of using a wave stitch to describe the gentle undulations of a long distance landscape, with very successful results.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

Do you have a favourite shade of Stylecraft Special DK? If so, what is it?
My favourite shades of SSDK are the blue/green ones, echoes of sea and sky. Duck Egg, Cloud Blue, Storm Blue, Sage and Lincoln. I adore these shades and am naturally drawn to include them in my blankets whenever I can.
Interestingly, the colour which is used the most in my blankets is Meadow – I don’t think it’s a beautiful green on it’s own, but it’s wonderful as a mid tone green amongst other colours, especially those ones which are inspired by nature.

What is your go to crochet stitch pattern?
I don’t think I really have a go-to stitch, but I do really love creating stripes. I’ve been drawn back to the ripple stitch many times over the years (I think I’ve made 7 ripples blankets in total) so maybe that would be the one.

Brights or pastels?
I would have to say brights as I am instinctively drawn to them. Bright, vibrant colours make me feel good and I love to use them in my designs.
I’m discovering a new love for softer colours though, and my next project uses quite a muted colour palette (inspired by nature) which is unusual for me. I’ll be interested to see what everyone makes of it!

Do you have a favourite place to crochet?
I pretty much crochet wherever I am and am used to taking my crochet out and about with me. I adore crocheting outside in the Summer when I’ve got a beautiful view to gaze at (crocheting on the beach is a favourite). But I also love to cosy up beside our open fire in the cold months of the year.

Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

What are your crochet plans for 2019? Are there any cryptic clues you can share?
I don’t tend to plan all that far ahead, but I can tell you some of the things that I’ve got lined up. I’m working on a new blanket right now which will be ready to share in the Spring. I’ve chosen the colours and am in the sampling stage for the stitch pattern – I’m very excited to begin on a new blanket journey.
I’m thrilled to be heading abroad in April and May to teach on two Stitchtopia crochet retreats in the French Alps. The retreats will be focusing on circles of colour – I’ll be creating some new mandala designs as a way of teaching some yarn-based colour theory, including how to find inspiration for colour palettes and how to use them for crochet projects.
Beyond that I’m not sure what I’ll be working on – I’ve always got lots of ideas bubbling for smaller projects, oh and in July I’ll be planning and choosing colours for my next annual crochet-a-long blanket…….I’ve already got an idea for a theme, but I can’t tell you just yet!

What direction do you see crochet going in the next 5 to 10 years?
Do you know what, I would be so, so happy if my own personal direction didn’t change too much in the next decade as I’m enjoying myself so much right now. I love the balance of my creative life, getting to crochet, design and write at a pace which suits me. I am very much a “go with the flow” type of person and don’t tend to plan much or have any great ambitions for the future. I love the luxury of living in the moment wherever possible, enjoying each day as it comes.
As for the direction of crochet in general, I hope that the increase in popularity continues. I’ve seen a massive change in the decade since I started, and I think this is mainly down to the huge variety of yarns (and colours) that we now have at our fingertips. I would love to see more affordable natural yarns (wool, cotton, linen, bamboo) coming in a large range of beautiful colours – it would be amazing to crochet a gloriously colourful natural fibre blanket in a yarn that doesn’t break the bank!

We can’t wait for you to visit the Craft Barn on 16th March. Are you looking forward to coming and spending time with us in store?
Yes, I really am looking forward to it, I can’t wait to experience the famous Craft Barn! I don’t get out that much you know, spending most of my days working alone either at home or in my studio. So it’s always exciting to tiptoe out of my Attic every so often and meet with other like minded people. And if there is yarn to stroke and cake to eat, well I consider that a very, very good day out indeed!

Read Attic24 blog here.

 

Blå Votter Mittens

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 08-03-2019

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It might be early March, but there still may be some mitten wearing days ahead of us here in the UK. Somewhere in the world it will be a mitten wearing day, whatever time of year you happen to be reading this blog post. Get your knitting needles at the ready and be prepared to need these hand warming treats in your life.
Say hello to the ‘Blå Votter’ mittens by Graeme Knowles-Miller. A stylish, colour work design made from Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork yarn. This is a 100% British wool, 4ply yarn that comes in handy 25g balls, which are perfect for knitting fair isle / intarsia designs, plus they are ideal for small projects such as a pair of mittens. Graeme Knowles-Miller is a very talented young designer who focuses much of his work on Fair Isle. Read our Designer Q & A with Graeme on a previous blog post.

Bla Votter | Black Sheep Wools

Small projects are a great in between project or a nice one to carry in your bag as your go to knitting. If you are on the bus or train, or waiting for an appointment. An on the go project is super handy to have. The Blå Votter mittens are available as a kit, that comes with all the yarn you need, pattern and an organza bag. We have three different colourway options to choose from.

We asked Graeme a couple of questions about the Blå Votter mittens –

What is the meaning of Blå Votter? 

Blå Votter is Norwegian for Blue Mittens as the pair were first imagined in dark blue and white, a classic Scandinavian colour combination on a very traditional style of mitten. But being creative allows the knitter to make these in whatever colourful combination they can think of.

Bla Votter | Black Sheep Wools

What was the inspiration behind these beautiful mittens?

Inspired by bold contrasts of the Fjords in winter, these mittens use a simple motif using stranding of two colours to make them perfectly toasty for chilly afternoons or walks in the snow. Sharp blues and crisp whites reflect the harsh beauty of Norway’s coastal landscapes.

Your mittens would make the perfect gift, do you make any handmade gifts?

Yes of course! For Christmas I made lovely thick stockings to hang over the fire and plenty of edible goodies to go in them such as Florentines. As with most people I would like to make more but time is always against you. As a designer you’re always looking way in to the future which often means you bypass events like Christmas or peoples birthdays. No matter how hard you try there just aren’t enough hours in the day.

Bla Votter | Black Sheep Wools

Sara crochets a Rainboom MAL

Posted by Amy | Posted in Crochet | Posted on 01-03-2019

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Sara couldn’t resist picking up a playful box of Scheepjes Stone Washed and River Washed cutie pie mini balls when she saw the new Rainboom MAL by Miss Neriss. This project is called a Make A Long (MAL) by Scheepjes, to be a project that everyone can work on together and share their progress as they go. Share your progress in the Official Scheepjes Facebook group.
The box has recently been revamped with 8 new shades added. There are now a total of 58 mini 10g balls in the pack to enjoy. The Rainboom shawl by Miss Neriss is made using every single ball in the pack, complete with a mesmerising fringe using all of the left over pieces.

Watch Sara talking in the video below about starting the crocheted shawl.

Take a peek at the beginning of Sara’s Rainboom MAL shawl. The way the shawl is worked, going through all of the shades is just so pleasing on the eye.

Rainboom MAL by Miss Neriss | Black Sheep Wools

Sara has now completed the shawl and is chatting about her progress in the video below.

Sara’s top tip for making the fringing is to wrap the yarn around the Scheepjes box the mini balls came in. This is approximately 35cm tall and the fringe needs to be between 30cm and 40cm. It is a good way of getting all of your fringe the same length all in one go.

Rainboom MAL | Black Sheep Wools

Here it is, the finished Scheepjes Rainboom shawl by Miss Neriss. Watch Sara as she works out different ways to wear this fabulous shawl!

Take a closer look at the shawl below. It really is a rainbow of colour.

Scheepjes Rainboom MAL | Black Sheep Wools

 

Pantone Colour of the Year 2019

Posted by Amy | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 22-02-2019

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Yarn and colour just go together hand in hand, don’t you think? Whatever shade range catches your eye, when it comes to choosing yarn colour is up there as a BIG (and fun) decision to make when starting something new.

As we are still in the early months of 2019 it made sense to talk about the Pantone colour of the year 2019. You may have heard of pantone colour charts? Pantone create colour charts that are used by various industries, mainly for printing, so that colours are universally matched. Every year they release their colour of the year. This trend forecast will go on to influence fashion, packaging, homeware and many other areas of design. This year it is the juicy shade of ‘Living Coral’. It could even go on to influence our next knitting and crochet projects. What do you think?

A description below taken from the Pantone website
“An animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge”.

After having a peruse of the Craft Barn here are the varying ‘Living Coral’ esq shades that were discovered.

Such a versatile shade that you could add into so many colour palettes. It has got the creative juices flowing and sparked a basket filling frenzy. Once you get started you realise how coral can work well with all sorts of colours.

How about blue and turquoise? Feeling summery with this choice.

Or pinks and purples? Quite a bold mix of strong colours. I like it!

It’s like Rico were already onto Pantone colour of the year 2019 before it was announced. Their Rico Creative Soft Wool Aran comes in a great selection of colours, that all work together harmoniously. With an emphasis on pinks and corals.

Perhaps you could add just a splash of coral into a neutral palette. Grey, nude or beige would work.

You could even go for an autumn feel, mixing in rust and brown.

Finally, a spring fling with denim blue, navy and yellow.

Have a play with adding coral yourself and see what works for you. The options are endless! If you are thinking of making something like a blanket then choosing a yarn with plenty of shades is always something to consider, Stylecraft Special DK or Scheepjes Stone Washed and River Washed would be a good starting point.
When you focus on one colour you will surprised where you will see it popping up. We have also added some ‘Living Coral’ pins to our Colour Inspiration board on Pinterest. There are some really lovely shade cards and imagery out there to inspire your coral themed colour palette.

Upcoming Events at the Craft Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 15-02-2019

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If you are picking a date to make a trip out to the Craft Barn, then be sure to check out the events below before you set out. We have lots of events coming up very soon.

Crochet & Natter Afternoon Tea with Lilla Bjorn
Friday 1st March 2019 2pm – 4pm | £19.95 Book Online

Crochet designer and Scheepjes blogger, Tatsiana of Lilla Bjorn will be here for afternoon tea. Bring along your crochet and join her for a relaxed natter.

Meet & Greet with Lilla Bjorn
Saturday 2nd March 2019 | 9.30am – 11.30am | Free to attend

Meet the designer behind the blog Lilla Bjorn, Tatsiana. She will be in store for the morning sharing her crochet expertise.

Rowan New Season Launch
Saturday 2nd March 2019 | 10am – 3.30pm | Free to attend

Join us for our Rowan new season launch day in our fabulous Rowan Flagship area in store. Take a look at all of the new yarns and publications for summer, come along and try out the yarns, have a glass of bubbly and a natter to our Rowan Consultant Melanie about the new launches. Plus, there will be 10% off all Rowan yarns!

Attic24 at the Craft Barn
Saturday 16th March 2019 | 10am – 4pm | Free to attend

Black Sheep Wools are delighted to announce that World famous crochet designer Attic 24 will be joining us in the Craft Barn on Saturday 16th March 10am – 4pm. Come along and meet Lucy, be inspired by her beautiful designs and incredible use of colour. It promises to be a fabulous day of crochet and chat. There will even be some Yorkshire inspired treats and a raffle of some of Lucy’s most famous kits.

James McIntosh Knitting & Mindfulness
Saturday 23rd March 2019 | 10am – 4pm | £5 per ticket (donated to MIND)

James McIntosh will be at the Craft Barn giving two talks on ‘Knititation’. Hear first hand how knitting saved his life when he was suffering from a severe depression. James promises you a day of laughter, love and anecdotes.  Dr Thomas Ernst FRCP will finish the talk with a mindfulness practise, explaining how being present (while knitting and when not knitting) leads to wellness.
Tickets for the morning talk are now sold out.
Book a ticket for the afternoon here – Knitting & Mindfulness Talk
James is the author of the book ‘Knit and Nibble‘. This book features knitting patterns, cake recipes and information on knititation: a mindfulness practice developed by Dr Thomas A. Ernst FRCP.
All ticket sales will be donated to the mental health charity MIND.

On the day we will also have Lynne Rowe in store sharing her top tips on mindful knitting and crochet. Come along and chat to Lynne, she will demonstrate how to knit and crochet in a mindful way. Pick up a leaflet to take away full of advice. Lynne practices mindful techniques when crafting and she also teaches workshops on the subject. Book a place on Mindful Crochet at the Craft Barn this May.

Yarn Shop Day
Saturday 27th April 2019 | 10am  – 4pm | Free to attend

Join Jem Weston‘s ‘Finishing School’ for a drop-in session. Jem will be covering various knitting finishing techniques throughout the day.
10am – 11am | Shaping, covering increases and decreases
11.30am – 12.30pm | Mattress Stitch
1.30pm – 2.30pm | Picking up stitches
2.30pm – 3.30pm | Sewing up drop-in clinic

Cathy Wright will be in store for the day spinning. Demonstrating how to spin yarn from fleece using a spinning wheel.

Emma Varnam, crochet designer and award winning blogger will be joining us from 10am – 2pm. She will be holding amigurmi drop-in sessions at her table. Sharing her top tips on crocheting characters, including how to know where to stitch on eyes and nose!

Arm Knitting with Black Sheep Wools

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting Essentials | Posted on 08-02-2019

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Arm knitting is a fun and extremely speedy way of knitting a supersized blanket or accessory. Once you have got the hang of it you will want to make everyone you know an arm knitted piece. That is after you have made every item you can possibly think of that can be arm knitted for yourself.

Black Sheep Stacey is a huge fan of arm knitting and has been making accessories using this technique for many years. When the Rico Creative Pom yarn arrived in stock we just knew this was an opportunity for an arm knitting demo. With one ball of this yarn you can make a small baby blanket that would be ideal for a car seat or pram. If you wanted to make a larger blanket then you would probably need 3 to 4 balls.
Another yarn that would be perfect for arm knitting is Rico Creative Cocon. Take a look and see the full shade range.

Arm Knitting

Watch the video below and learn how to cast on, basic knit stitch and casting off. Stacey takes you through slowly and you can always pause it when you need to recap.

Rowan Magazine 65

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 03-02-2019

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On a cold winter’s day take a look inside the spring summer – Rowan Magazine 65 with Sara. She takes you through the magazine page by page looking at all of the pattern photography. Enjoy planning your wish list as you watch.

Temperature Blanket

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting | Posted on 01-02-2019

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What is a temperature blanket?

 

A blanket that you knit or crochet with the shades chosen dependent on the temperature outside each day. Choose a selection of colours and create a key with the shades coordinating to temperatures. Depending on how many shades you want to use it can be a good idea to go up in 2 degree increments, e.g. 5°-6°c. Every day knit or crochet a row in the corresponding colour to the temperature that day. By the end of the year you will have a fabulous, unique blanket!

The idea of a temperature blanket is quite a fun way to crochet or knit. If you love stripes but never know what shade to choose next, then the temperature blanket will choose it for you. Allowing your blanket to evolve with your chosen colour combination. Another option is to make a temperature scarf. This probably wouldn’t last a whole year, but depending on the finished length you wanted and thickness of yarn used then you could do it over a couple of months or take a weekly average. It is completely up to you, you make the rules with a temperature blanket / scarf.

This post was inspired by the lovely Maria, customer and ex-colleague of Black Sheep Wools. Maria was our Customer Services Manager for many years, always on hand to help with queries and an avid knitter and crocheter herself. She posted a photo of her completed temperature blanket for 2018 in our Facebook Make Along group (if you haven’t already, please do join us and share your makes). It was such a beautiful blanket we had to share it on social media. The adulation this blanket was met with sparked the idea for a blog post.
Maria chose a range of blues and purples in Stylecraft Special DK (White, Parchment, Silver, Duck Egg, Storm Blue, Sherbet, Cloud Blue, Bluebell, Wisteria, Parma Violet, Mushroom, Pale Rose, Soft Peach, Apricot, Vintage Peach, Shrimp). This is knitted in garter stitch with 4mm circular needles, 308 stitches.

Temperature Blanket | Black Sheep Wools

If you are planning to make your own (even though we are a month into the year) search on google for temperature blankets and you will see some fine examples. Take a look below at some yarn suggestions that you will have a varied colour choice.

Temperature Scarf Yarn Ideas

Scheepjes Namaste – a chunky yarn that’s a blend of wool and acrylic. A mix of pastel and bright shades to choose from.

Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork – there are 15 shades of this 100% British wool 4ply to choose from.

Rowan Baby Cashsoft Merino – a great selection of shades to make a beautifully soft scarf, with a touch of luxury.

Temperature Blanket Yarn Ideas

Sirdar Snuggly DK – not just for babies this yarn has plenty of shades to opt for. Making a machine washable blanket.

James C Brett Double Knitting with Merino – this yarn doesn’t have a broad range of colours like some of the others, but there is enough to choose from. It is a really cosy yarn and lovely to work with.

Stylecraft Bellissima & Stylecraft Bambino – mix and match with these two treasures from Stylecraft. The composition is the same, which gives you that few more colours to choose from.

 

Craft Show Exhibitions 2019

Posted by Amy | Posted in Shows & Exhibitions | Posted on 22-01-2019

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Have you ever visited the Black Sheep Wools stand at a craft show? It’s like a slice of the Craft Barn served up in your local town or city, minus cake from the tea shop. We would obviously love to bring some of our delicious cakes with us, but it would get messy! Our van gets packed full to the brim of yarn, patterns, blankets and needlecraft, all to be displayed on sale at a craft show around the UK. This year we have a calendar full of dates and it all begins next week at Sandown in Surrey. We look forward to seeing you at one of the venues throughout the year! From time to time we do get free tickets to the shows which we will giveaway on our Instagram. Pop on over and follow us, we do enjoy sharing lots of yarnylicious photos too.

Take a look below at all of the shows we will be at up until summer. Keep an eye out on our Exhibitions page on our website for any updates for autumn 2019.