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

Charity Knitting

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 01-06-2018

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Recently we had Helen, from Warrington & Halton Hospital charity in store, talking to our customers about the charity and showing the knitting and crochet projects they are currently collecting donations for. We have supported our local hospital – Warrington Hospital for quite a few years now, along with Liverpool Womens as part of our Premature Baby campaign. Three years on since Lesley set up the Black Sheep Prem Baby campaign and we are still receiving packages of hand knitted baby items generously knitted by our customers. If you do have any spare oddments of yarn and wonder what to make, then please do knit some teeny hats for prem babies or a small blanket and send them to us. Charity knitting is a great way to use up oddments whilst helping a worthy cause. Take a look at our Premature Baby page for a selection of free patterns and more information about what to make. We will post them on to either Warrington or Liverpool Womens who are always very grateful for donations in their neonatal units. Alternatively find out if your local hospital is looking for any hand knitted items and send them on.

Charity Knitting | Black Sheep Wools

Ventilator Hats

Back to Helen’s visit….she brought along an assortment of hand puppets for the Knit for Hal project. Hal is the name of the mini knitted mascot to be teamed up with young patients when they visit the hospital. Find the basic Hal pattern here.
“Knit4Hal appeal gains the support of knitters all over the country who have pledged to join our knitting & crochet team that create hand knitted puppets, our vision is to be able to provide our young patients with a little something special whilst within our care, which can also act as a pleasant distraction from what can sometimes be quite a stressful time. We have received some wonderful feedback from both patients and their families informing us that the puppets have been such a welcomed gift, what a lovely idea!” – quote from the Charity team.

Charity Knitting

Charity Knitting

Charity Knitting

Helen also brought along twiddle lap blankets. These are designed to comfort patients with dementia. You may have heard of twiddle muffs, well the idea of the blanket is the same but in blanket form. It helps to keep the patient warm as well as having textures and other bits and bobs attached to stimulate restless hands. The blankets Helen is holding are roughly 70cm x 30cm in size. All sewn on bits do need to be secure.

Charity Knitting

“Warrington and Halton Hospitals’ Charity, ‘WHH Charity’, raises funds to provide additional comforts, care or experiences for the direct benefit of patients and their families beyond that which the NHS provides. With the support of our wonderful donors and fundraisers we raise money to improve patient environments, fund additional equipment/facilities and provide important complimentary services to enhance our patients’ overall experience.  We can only continue our work by gaining the support of our local communities and our mission is to create as many different ways as possible to forge new partnerships and involve our supporters in ways that best suit them.” – quote from the Charity team.

Find more information about Warrington and Halton Hospital Charity on their website.


Black Sheep Craft Barn Sale

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 21-05-2018



Do you want to know a secret? The Black Sheep Craft Barn famous 10 day SALE starts on Friday 25th May 2018 and is on until 3rd June 2018. We have some amazing treats in store, including super duper price drops on branded yarns, including – Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Sirdar and Stylecraft to name but a few. I can’t share any further details as I don’t even know yet! There will also be discount on all needlecraft and 25% off all fabric too. It is time to clear a date in your diary and gather your crafty friends for a day trip to Black Sheep Wools in Warrington. Every year we have new customers who have travelled from various parts of the UK, Dundee and Coventry are two that spring to mind. It is a sale not to be missed. If you are journeying a little further afield then don’t forget we are just 10 minutes from J22 M6 / J11 M62.
Take a look on our Craft Barn page for more details on what facilities we have to offer.

For those who won’t be able to visit our Craft Barn sale, there are always bargains to be snapped up in our clearance section online.

Black Sheep Craft Barn Sale