Easter Gift Ideas

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch, Free Patterns | Posted on 24-03-2015

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Can you believe Easter is only a couple of weeks away? Time has certainly flown by and the first signs of spring are already here. The journey to work has brightened with daffodils springing up here and there. Working in an old potato barn means we are surrounded by fields and farm land. Over the past week or so I have caught the sight of many little lambs bobbing around, snuggling up to their mothers in the fields nearby. Nature really does provide us with lots of fresh inspiration for new projects – the flora, fauna and blue skies (fingers crossed for that one).

Have you thought of giving an Easter gift? How about a change from a chocolate egg this year? With the theme of Easter in mind we have brought together 10 patterns to help with Easter gift ideas and inspiration. Many of the patterns are free downloads too!

Rowan Rabbit Beanie

A cute knitted Rabbit Beanie in Rowan Fine Boucle. This pattern is a free download from KnitRowan.com.

dmc natura cotton family of chicks

Crochet a family of ‘Easter’ chicks in DMC Natura Cotton yarn.

cherry heart garden curtain ties

Cherry Heart has this free pattern for ‘Garden Curtain Ties’ available to download from her blog. A lovely way to spruce up your home and add a sprinkle of spring.

cherry heart garden curtain ties

Hope over to Cross-stitching.com where you will find an Easter bunny card design.

cross stitch Easter card

Keeping with the rabbit theme. How about Bobby the Bunny by Emma Varnam? He is an adorable free pattern to download.

bobby bunny by emma varnam

Why not knit someone a whole bunch of daffodils? A gift that will stay in bloom year after year. There are many more patterns in the Sirdar book Knit Pretty!

Knit Pretty Book by Sirdar

A fresh, spring blanket and cushion in Stylecraft Malabar Aran.

Stylecraft Malabar 9147

Touch of Spring is a free cross stitch design featuring daffodils. This is a free download from Make It Coats.


Knit a ‘Bunny Jar Topper‘ and combine two gifts in one. Fill a jar full of yummy sweets and add the bunny on top for an extra gift.


Annaboo’s House crocheted flowers caught my eye as a fun spring make. They would look fab joined together to make a pretty garland or added to a hair clip.

annaboos house flowers

There you have it our 10 Easter gift ideas. If you have made any gifts for Easter please share your photos and email amy@blacksheepwools.com. It would be great to share them here on the blog!

Cross Stitch Birth Samplers

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch | Posted on 30-07-2014


The arrival of a new little one is a joyous occassion. Why not celebrate and welcome them into the world with a beautiful hand stitched birth sampler? Birth samplers come in various styles, designs and complexity levels. There are lots to choose from on our website including the selection shown below. We have taken a look through and picked out different kits, showing the variety we stock in our birth sampler range. There are kits perfect for both boys and girls.

Always a firm favourite from Anchor’s Elliot & Buttons range – ‘New Baby Birth Sampler‘ – £6.99 RRP £16.99.

baby birth sampler

Tatty Ted – ‘Teddy Birth Sampler‘ – £16.99 RRP £21.99.

TT220 baby birth sampler

A pretty pink themed cross stitch for a baby girl. Anchor kit ‘Girl Birth‘ – £16.99 RRP £21.99.


Bothy Threads ‘Two by Two‘ – £23.99 RRP £29.99.

XJA6-Two-by-Two birth sampler

If you prefer embroidery rather than cross stitch then ‘Birth‘ Freestyle embroidery kit from Anchor could be for you – £12.99 RRP £16.99.

PE703 birth sampler

Historical Sampler Company ‘Two by Two Birth Sampler‘ – £17.99 RRP £19.99.

Two_by_Two_hsco birth sampler


Wedding Samplers

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch | Posted on 16-06-2014


The ‘stitch’ part of the Knit & Stitch blog has been a tad neglected of late. With wedding season in full swing we thought it would be nice to sprinkle a little stitching inspiration your way.

Once you have brushed the cobwebs off your hat and found the perfect outfit you are almost ready to go. The next thing to think is – what can I give as the perfect gift? Being a crafty person, why not give the bride and groom a gift they can treasure forever? How about a wedding sampler? A gift made with love for the happy couple. Whether you will be attending a traditional wedding or it will be more of a quirky affair, we have wedding samplers to suit everyone. The personality of the bride and groom will be echoed in the beautiful gift you create.

Here is our guide through the world of wedding samplers. We will begin the journey with traditional examples. There are many more available in the wedding samplers section of our website too. If you see a kit that you like click on the text below where you can find out more information including dimensions and fabric count.

cherished wedding sampler

Cherished Wedding Sampler‘ by Janlynn – £15.99 RRP £19.99

rose bouquet wedding sampler

Rose Bouquet Wedding Sampler‘ by Anchor – £18.99 RRP £24.99

love's promise wedding sampler

Love’s Promise‘ by Design Works – £14.99 RRP £17.99

Moving on to examples of cute wedding samplers. Featuring many well known characters including Forever Friends and Tatty Ted.

the big day wedding sampler

The Big Day‘ by Anchor Forever Friends Collection – £4.99 RRP £18.99

wedding heart sampler

Wedding Heart Sampler‘ by Anchor Me to You Collection – £14.99 RRP £19.99

the wedding sampler

The Wedding‘ by Anchor Country Companions Collection – £22.99 RRP £29.99

From cute to fun & quirky examples of wedding samplers.

wedding abc sampler

Wedding ABC Sampler‘ by Design works – £26.99 RRP £32.99

just meeried

Just Meeried‘ by Heritage Crafts – £15.99 RRP £19.99

wedding celebration sampler

Wedding Celebration‘ by Bothy Threads – £19.99 RRP £24.99

And finally a selection of modern wedding samplers.

wedding bouquet sampler

Wedding Bouquet‘ by Vervaco – £25.19 RRP £26.99

to_have_and_to_hold wedding sampler

To Have and to Hold Wedding Sampler‘ by Vervaco – £19.99 RRP £26.99

i do wedding sampler

I Do Wedding Sampler‘ by Historical Sampler Company – £20.99 RRP £23.49


Flower Cross Stitch Chart

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch, Free Patterns, How to....... | Posted on 20-03-2014


A cross stitch flower would make a beautiful card decoration for Mother’s Day or any greetings card really, maybe for a friend or for a thank you. This flower motif design has kindly been created for us by Michelle of ShellStitching.com. It is a simple design that would also look pretty as a repeat design or even in a different colourway.

Find the design available as a pdf print out on our free patterns page.


A work in progress……..

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch, Staff Projects | Posted on 31-07-2013


On a Wednesday we like to share our latest ‘WIP’ – Work in Progress. I know that Jo who works here at Black Sheep Wools picking and packing is an avid cross stitcher. The only problem is, you can’t catch a work in progress very easily. Jo gets on with her projects very quickly, there isn’t often chance to get in there for a progress report. Her cross stitch collection must be pretty extensive, as each time a new kit arrives in store, she will be the first to check it out. Jo also enjoys reading all of the cross stitch magazines. I am not sure if there is one out there that she doesn’t subscribe to!

Anyway, today I got the chance to take a photo of a couple of the kits Jo has been stitching. Not a stitcher myself I am intrigued how you go about knowing where to start and then changing colour? Do you just do everything that is to be stitched in one colour first? say ‘light blue’, then move on to the next? Jo informs me that this would get too messy and would be difficult to plan out, probably ending in disaster. I guess you learn something new every day, don’t you? If I ever do decide to take up cross stitch Jo would be my go to girl.

Here are Jo’s latest Bothy Threads projects – ‘I love my cat


Vintage‘ by Bothy Threads


Take a look at all the detail in the stitching!


If you have any stitching projects you would like to share please email pictures – amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Yarn in the Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Cross Stitch, Knitting | Posted on 10-04-2013


Yesterday was the first meeting of the Black Sheep craft group – ‘Yarn in the Barn’. We had a great turn out with 10 ladies attending. There were plenty of fabulous projects on the go, some of which in their early stages, others very close to the finish line. I could see a good mixture of knitting, stitching and crochet taking place. Hopefully I will be able to share many a UFO (Unfinished object) or a completed project with you in the coming weeks. For those in the group we had an offer of a hot drink and a yummy slice of cake for £2.50 from ‘Tea bags full’, along with a selection of biscuits on the tables. A sweet treat is always handy fuel to keep you going on your latest craft project, even if it does lead to the odd crumb needing to be dusted off at the end.

If you would like to come along next week the group will be meeting every Tuesday here in the Craft Barn 10.30 – 12.30pm. Please call the Craft Barn on 01925 764231 or email amy@blacksheepwools.com to be added to the list.


‘Yarn in the Barn’ busy chatting and working away.


A cross stitch project based on ‘The Killing’. It looks very impressive up to now.


This is the beginning of a cross stitch wedding sampler. The chart that is being followed is a vintage chart. Looking forward to seeing this progress next week.

Easter Inspiration

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Cross Stitch, Free Patterns, Knitting | Posted on 22-03-2013


Would you like to make a gift for someone this Easter? Whether you would like to knit, stitch or crochet a small treat, I am sure that there will be something here that will take your fancy!

Easter Inspiration: Idea 1 – FREE download from The Making Spot blog, a pretty daffodil.


Easter Inspiration: Idea 2 – FREE download from Pom Pom Emporium blog. A cute Easter chick to hold a creme egg.


Easter Inspiration: Idea 3 – A baby sweater knitted in the lovely Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK from the NEW Rowan Studio 30 book.


Easter Inspiration: Idea 4 – Knit a cute egg cosy in a Sirdar DK yarn. Either an Easter egg or a little chick from Sirdar Pretty Knits book.


Easter Inspiration: Idea 5 – A FREE pattern of teeny, tiny bunny rabbits from Mochi Mochi Land blog.


Easter Inspiration: Idea 6 – A FREE download from Rowan Edmund the Easter Bunny by Jemma Weston. This cute bunny can be knitted with one ball of Rowan Revive yarn. Download the pattern here.




DMC Ollie Owl

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch, Free Patterns | Posted on 23-05-2012

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This Ollie Owl design is available to download for free from DMC’s website. The chart and DMC thread information is all included on the download. Ollie Owl is a character from the Woodland Folk collection, take a look at more of the designs available to order from the Black Sheep here. All you need are your DMC embroidery threads and 14 count Aida fabric.


Owl Cross Stitching

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch, Staff Projects | Posted on 13-04-2012



Take a look at Jo’s latest cross stitching projects………

The Owl design below is from a past issue of  World of Cross Stitch magazine (issue 167). Jo plans to make the stitched design into a cushion for her Living Room. What beautiful pastel colours in contrast with the coffee colour and deeper shades. She is now deciding on the colour for her backing fabric. Looking forward to seeing the finished cushion.

Jo’s second cross stitch project is this cute Bothy Threads kit ‘Owl Fun’ (bt xjr10) with all the little owls balancing on the branch.

Something I have noticed with Jo’s pieces is how immaculately tidy the back of her fabric is! There are no loose ends or messy knots. The design could nearly be displayed back to front. Next time she brings in a finished project I will take a photograph of the back to show you!

I am not sure what Jo’s plans are for this piece, maybe another cushion?

What are you stitching?

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch, Staff Projects | Posted on 14-02-2012



This is the question I asked Jo who works here at the Black Sheep picking and packing. Jo always has a new stitching project on the go so I thought it would be great to see what she has been up to recently. This piece is her current project a decorative heart design. The heart chart is featured in Crossstitcher magazine issue 249 February 2012 this is perfect for Valentine’s day.  Jo has chosen to stitch it in a different colourway of golden shades. She plans to make a cushion with beading added to the design and finishing it with a tassel trim. This will be beautiful, enhancing the decorative feel. Keep an eye out for the finished cushion………..

As you can see from the front cover of CrossStitcher below the cushion is stitched in a red colourway.