Yarn Shop Day 2019

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 10-04-2019

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With Easter only a week away, we thought it was about time we shared full details on Yarn Shop Day 2019! This year Yarn Shop day will be taking place on Saturday 27th April. Yarn Shop Day is a super idea thought up by the lovely folks at Let’s Knit magazine. A day to support your local bricks and mortar yarn shop. We have taken part since the very first year, way back in 2014. If you can’t make it to the Craft Barn in Warringon (find our location here), be sure to support your local yarn shop on the day and see what plans they have up their sleeve.

We have a 3 fabulous guests coming to make the day extra special. Drum roll please…….

Jem Weston – author of The Knitted Nursery Collection and Cute Comfort Knits will be with us for the day. Jem will be sharing her workshop tutor expertise hosting Jem Weston‘s Finishing School for knitters. A variety of drop in sessions to help perfect that professional finish on all your future knitting projects. There will be a few pairs of knitting needles and yarn to borrow, but feel free to bring your own.

10am – 11am | Shaping, covering increases and decreases
11.30am – 12.30pm | Mattress Stitch – if you wish to take part in this session please bring along 2 knitted stocking stitch squares approx 10cm x 10cm.
1.30pm – 2.30pm | Picking up stitches
2.30pm – 3.30pm | Sewing up drop-in clinic

Cathy Wright will be on her spinning wheel in the shop. Demonstrating the transformation from fleece to beautiful hanks of yarn. Have a go yourself and try a new skill!

Emma Varnam – crochet designer and award winning blogger will be joining us from 10am – 2pm. She will be holding amigurumi drop-in sessions at her table. Sharing her top tips on crocheting characters, including how to know where to stitch on eyes and nose! Have you seen Emma’s latest book Crocheted Succulents? We hoping she will be bringing one or two of those prickly creations with her too!

Melanie Boocock (our Rowan Consultant) – will be teaching how to crochet a heart brooch in Rowan Super Fine Merino 4ply. Melanie will be holding drop in sessions from 10 – 2pm.

Yarn Shop Day 2019 | Black Sheep Wools

See you there for Yarn Shop Day 2019!

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!

Betwixtmas Shawl Make-A-Long 2018

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Company News | Posted on 11-12-2018

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Betwixtmas, a phrase I heard a friend use a couple of years ago to describe those days between Christmas & New Year. It’s a funny time, Christmas has been and gone, the days go by in a bit of a haze. You eat trifle for breakfast (well I do!) and leftovers for lunch. The one tradition I have during this time is that I make myself something beautiful to wear. For the last few years it’s a been a shawl in a hank of something lovely, a real treat to myself. I don’t make anything too complicated, trifle for breakfast can have an impact on my brain, it’s not the time of year to be challenged! This year I want to share this tradition with you.

Betwixtmas Shawl Make-A-Long 2018 | Black Sheep Wools

Betwixtmas Shawl 2018 | Black Sheep Wools

Please welcome the Black Sheep Betwixtmas Shawl. A beautiful free pattern designed exclusively for Black Sheep Wools by the fabulous Bronagh Miskelly.  This design is so inclusive regardless of your knitting level. You start off with soothing stocking stitch, allowing your mind to get to grips with the construction of a shawl. Then Bronagh takes us on to a simple lace eyelet pattern, not too much counting and easy to keep track of. The best bit is you get the whole shawl out of one hank of yarn. So it’s an affordable piece of luxury at an expensive time of year.

Betwixtmas Shawl Make-A-Long 2018

The pattern was designed using the latest luxury yarn to hit our shelves, Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply. A stunning 100g hank of superwash merino available in 30 stunning colours. The most difficult thing about this project is choosing your colour. Should I do my usual blue, or maybe an emerald green. I never knit with yellow yarn, it really isn’t me. Yet the yellow in this range is utterly gorgeous!

Betwixtmas Shawl | Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply

Now we want this to be a completely inclusive project. You can make it in any yarn you like, we’d suggest a 4ply to get the correct tension but it’s entirely up to you. The pattern is completely free to download from our website and we will be showing you our progress on the Black Sheep Wools Makealong group on Facebook. We’d love to see your makealong too!

#betwixtmas #betwixtmasmal2018

Watch the video below where I share all of the shades and you can see the beautiful Betwixtmas shawl.


The British Craft Awards 2019

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 23-11-2018



It’s time to cast your vote in the British Craft Awards 2019. Eeeeek 2019,It’s hard to believe that we are nearly at the end of 2018.

The British Craft Awards are organised by Immediate Media who publish popular craft magazines including The Knitter, Simply Crochet and Simply Knitting. There are six categories to vote in covering a wide variety of crafts. We are very pleased to share that we have been nominated for ‘Retailer of the Year’ in the following categories – Crochet, Knitting and Cross Stitch.

As a small independent retailer we are always pretty chuffed to hear that we have been nominated when it come to awards such as these. It would mean so much if you would take the time to vote for all of your favourites, including us! If you live in the UK then you will have the opportunity to enter the British Craft Awards prize draw and win one of 6 £100 Amazon vouchers.

The British Craft Awards 2019


Celebrating 40 Years of Rowan Yarns

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Guest Blog | Posted on 12-10-2018



On Saturday we had a party at the Craft Barn. An all-day event to celebrate 40 years of Rowan yarns. And what a spectacular day it was. We had our favourite Scandinavian knitwear designers in store for the day – Arne and Carlos. Now, this duo are such talented knitwear designers and sooo lovely too. They will always ignite your creativity with ideas and inspiration. Happy to chat away with customers and we even had them compering our Rowan fashion show, which was so much fun! We had members of staff modelling and Paul & Carol (who set up Black Sheep Wools many years ago). Take a look at our Instagram Stories highlights to see more snippets from the fashion show.

Our Rowan Consultant, Melanie has written a guest blog post about the day –

Melanie’s Blog Post

“Our 40th Anniversary party for Rowan Yarns was loads of fun. We celebrated Rowan past and present. Our fashion shows were full of fabulous vintage garments and stunning designs by Arne and Carlos. They were also full of fun and laughter, with expert modelling throughout. Arne and Carlos told us all about their design inspiration for their beautiful New Nordic collection. My particular favourites are Tuva and Embla.

Carmen wearing the ‘Tuva’ sweater from New Nordic book.

‘Embla’ in Kid Silk Haze and ‘Olava’ in Felted Tweed and Kid Silk Haze.

Sara and Carol wearing garments from Arne and Carlos – New Nordic book.

Stacey wearing ‘Monty’ from Rowan 40 Years book.

Paul is wearing a vintage Rowan sweater with a fabulous trellis effect textured stitch.

Hannah is wearing matching hat and sweater from New Nordic book.

I’d asked people to bring or wear their own Rowan knits, I wasn’t disappointed there were some stunners.

Sarah our Rowan rep, wearing the ‘Fowberry’ cardigan from Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 64. This cardigan is knitted in Rowan Alpaca Classic.

Gina showing off her vintage Rowan sweater. What a detailed Fair Isle design!

We had balloons, bubbly and birthday CAKE. I know loads of people bought yarn for their next projects. I can’t wait to see the results.

Yummy birthday cake!

Carlos cutting the delightful Red Velvet birthday cake.

As our 40th Anniversary season progresses I’ve been planning my own projects. At this time of year I am making gifts for my family and friends. With that in mind I’ve made lots of beautiful Rowan kits for hats and scarves. I also have a free pattern for Fingerless Mitts with each purchase of Rowan Brushed Fleece. With gifts in mind have you seen the Rowan At Home collection by Martin Storey. I love the Oswald Owl cushion. I’m also choosing which shade of Softyak to choose to make Mullion by Sarah Hatton. It’s in the New Vintage DK book.”

Stay up to date with Melanie on her Instagram, where you will find a variety of snaps of delicious Rowan yarns and the odd pic of her cute dog, Milo.
Melanie will also be teaching a mini knitting class in store on Saturday 1st December. Enjoy making a Christmas decoration using beautiful Rowan yarns. Pop over to our workshops page to book a place.

British Knitting and Crochet Awards 2018

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 27-09-2018

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Super duper news to share folks! The results have been announced from Let’s Knit magazine for the British Knitting and Crochet Awards 2018. We have very proud to share that we have won –

Black Sheep Wools also came Highly Commended for Best Crochet Store. What a spectacular set of results! A huge thank you to everyone who voted for us. It really does mean a lot and has us all grinning from ear to ear! We all enjoy sharing our passion for knitting and crochet with you, whether it is in store or online. 

A special thank you must go to Emma Varnam, Christine Perry (Winwick Mum) and Debbie Tomkies for making Yarn Shop Day a massive hit once again. You brought amigurumi crochet, sock knitting and hand dyeing into store for a fun filled day!

British Knitting and Crochet Awards 2018


Autumn Events at the Craft Barn

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

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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



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 


It’s time to VOTE!

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



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.

Bohemian Blooms Along at the Craft Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 21-06-2018



Following on from the success of Jane’s recent workshops at the Craft Barn we wanted to celebrate her fabulous Bohemian Blooms blanket. It is an absolute dream of a blanket. Jane is a master at beading in crochet, just a subtle bead here and there that adds an opulence to her designs. If you have looked at this blanket and think, no way I can’t crochet that! Do not worry, you can and we are here to help.

Join our Rowan Consultant, Melanie Boocock in store for a free weekly drop-in session to guide you through Jane’s Bohemian Blooms crochet blanket pattern. Melanie’s session will be an hour and a half morning 10-11.30am, every Saturday for 5 weeks from 23rd June until 21st July. A helping hand for those who can crochet but are after a little advice on stitches and techniques within this design. Whether you have just bought the pattern book or have completed most of the blanket already, Melanie can guide you through without any mishaps. Enjoy a relaxed morning nestled in our Rowan flagship area in store as you crochet along with fellow Bohemian Blooms crocheters.
You must own a copy of the pattern to attend and bring along your own yarn and hook. Find the pattern on our website or in the Craft Barn.

If you live much further afield than the Craft Barn or can’t make it to the sessions, Jane has filmed a series of videos to help with tricky aspects of the blanket. Find them on Jane Crowfoot’s YouTube channel. We would still love to see how you are getting on so be sure to share snaps with #blacksheepwools

Bohemian Blooms Along