Scheepjes Yarn – Folk Issue

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in New Products | Posted on 14-11-2018

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Take a look through the latest Scheepjes Yarn Bookazine – Folk issue with me. I hadn’t flicked through even a single page of the book before I did this video. I wanted to share my excitement with you. There are some stunning designs featured in the book that I will definitely be adding to my wish list.

Handmade Christmas 2018

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 09-11-2018

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Now that Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone it’s time to have a moment…..and then step into Christmas (in the words of Elton John). We are talking Christmas knitting, crochet and cross stitching. Many of you probably feel that November is a little late to be starting a Christmas project. We aren’t talking Christmas jumpers here or poster sized cross stitch scenes. More like small makes that will add a personalised touch to your gifts this year. Projects that will take one evening and ones that might take a couple of days. Mini projects are always handy to have on the go as in between projects or alongside a serious make. If you are crocheting a blanket or knitting a fair isle jumper, there are days when you just aren’t feeling it and need a change of scenery. Take a look at our selection and see what takes your fancy. No one needs to know if you end up keeping your handmade Christmas make for yourself!

Handmade Christmas

Winter Dolls by Annaboo’s House – back in 2013 we asked a group of bloggers to come up with Christmas decorations. Annaboo’s House came up with these three festive characters, Pip, Nat and Baby Mo. Crocheted in Rico Creative Cotton Aran they make for the sweetest Christmas ornaments. The patterns are still available for free from our free patterns page on the website. When you click through to the free patterns page narrow down your search on the left hand column to select ‘Christmas’. It will make it easier for you to find them, plus some more great decoration patterns.

Handmade Christmas | Winter Dolls by Annaboo's House

James C Brett Chinchilla snood – Who can resist a spot of faux fur in winter? In winter months you want to be cosy and comfortable, wrapped up in gentle layers of warm fabrics. Soft and furry yarns fit that feeling perfectly. James C Brett Chinchilla is a beautifully soft, faux fur yarn for the season ahead. Knit a cowl with just two balls or how about a headband with one ball. This pattern features a cape and shoulder cover too. The cape would look opulent over an evening dress or an outfit for a winter wedding.

Xmas Bear Card Kit by Bothy Threads – Bothy have brought out a series of 3 Christmas card designs, that come with a card and envelope. They are all fun and modern designs it will leave you wondering which one to make first. We have picked out the bear to share, with a jolly red scarf.

Handmade Christmas | Xmas Bear Card Kit

Pompom Wreath – grab an embroidery hoop, a selection of yarns and a pompom maker to make this festive delight. We suggest a variety of textured yarns and maybe a colour theme as seen in our how to video below – Sirdar Temptation, Sirdar Snowflake Dk, Stylecraft Wondersoft Stardust, King Cole Shine, King Cole Tinsel and James C Brett Harmony DK.

Festive Teacosies – Knit either a snowman or a reindeer with this Christmas pattern from Sirdar. Popped on top of a teapot, a tea cosy would make a jolly gift for a friend this year or an addition to your festive decor. Enjoy a mince pie and a cup of tea out of your glammed up teapot.

Handmade Christmas | 8219 Festive Tea Cosies

Christmas Baubles – Arne and Carlos love Christmas time and they have made just the book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit to add a splash of Fair Isle to your tree. There are 55 variations of knitted bauble to make from this book. Last year we had some knitted up for display in store.

Handmade Christmas | 55 Christmas Balls to Knit

Quick and Easy Knitted Hat in super chunky yarn – This knitted hat is a super quick knit. You will need a 100g ball of super chunky to knit this little treat. Depending on yardage you may or may not have enough to make a pompom. The yarn shown in the video is no longer available, however we have a selection of rather yummy super chunky yarns to choose from. Sirdar Tundra would make a nice multi coloured hat or perhaps Sublime Lola.

Tinsel I-cord – Grab two double pointed needles and a ball of mega glitzy King Cole Tinsel yarn. It’s so simple and becomes quite addictive, knitting and then sliding your 3 stitches and knitting again. Use this to make garlands to decorate around your house or even as a delicate tinsel to drape on the tree.

Cast on 3 sts.
Knit.
Slide stitches to other end of needle and knit. Continue to knit 3 and slide until desired length of icord is knitted.
It magically creates a tube of knitting!

 

Introducing Lykke Needles and Hooks

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

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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.

Sara says – “to have a wooden needle that is so smooth is amazing. Great value!”

New yarns for your stash

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 25-05-2018

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Do you ever have a knitting or crochet lull? When you pick up a ball of yarn from your stash and just think, no, you’re not inspiring me today. Then you have a little route around your bespoke yarn cupboards (aka wardrobes and drawers where yarn fits into any available slither of space where clothes aren’t) to discover a bag of yarn that’s just not floating your boat either. It is time for a refresh. It’s not to say the yarn in your stash is redundant, far from it, it’s day will come, just not today.
If you are prepared to be tempted then do continue to read this blog post. We have had some scrumptious yarn arrivals at Black Sheep Wools over the past couple of months. Not only new spring summer launches from much loved brands, we have also taken in a new brand and yarns that we feel were missing from our selection.

Take a look at our snapshot of new yarns for your stash and tell us what you think. Share photos on social media if you have already started making something in these yarns. Either tag Black Sheep Wools in an image or use the hashtag #blacksheepwools they we can share your knitting or crochet journey with you.

Introducing CoopKnits Socks Yeah! in both 4ply and DK. CoopKnits is a yarn brand created in collaboration with the yarn company Fyberspates. Rachel Coopey is a knitwear designer who specialises in sock knitting. She worked with Fyberspates to produce a range of yarns suitable for sock knitting. Although they don’t have to be restricted to socks. So this is a new yarn for us, but quite possibly one you have been working with for a while. We are very excited to have all of these beautiful hanks at our finger tips!

New yarns for your stash | CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 4ply

New yarns for your stash | CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 4ply

Stylecraft Linen Drape is next up with 8 muted summer shades to choose from. Linen has popped up in quite a few yarns for spring summer 2018. It is a fibre synonymous with summer, why not wear a knitted jumper with your favourite linen trousers or skirt.

New yarns for your stash | Stylecraft Linen Drape

Not one for warm summer days – Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork is made from 100% British Wool. Even though it is the sunnier season in the UK, it is winter somewhere in the world. These handy 25g balls are ideal for knitting fair isle or intarsia projects.

New yarn for your stash | Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork

For those who love to crochet with a fine cotton, Scheepjes Sweet Treat is a must. The range boasts a whopping 87 shades! This is a new yarn that we have added to our ever growing Scheepjes selection.

New yarns for your stash | Scheepjes Sweet Treat

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Luxury Baby DK and 4ply have made their way into our range of baby yarns. A yarn that is made up of the purest Falkland Island wool and the finest nylon. It washes too which is a huge bonus, especially for a luxury baby yarn.

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Dk

West Yorkshire Spinners Luxury Bo Peep 4ply

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep 4ply

Rowan have come up with a fab new yarn as part of their Rowan Selects. The ‘Selects’ yarns are limited edition,  available for just one season, when they are gone, they are gone. Rowan Denim Lace is originally sourced from recycled denim. It is presented on cones, which makes this delight stand out on the shelves. Beautifully soft it knits up a treat. A customer recently popped in with a lace shawl knitted in the Harbour Fog shade. Take a look on our Instagram at the pics.

New yarn for your stash | Rowan Denim Lace

If you are looking for a silkier feel yarn, then take a look at Sirdar Summer Linen DK. New for this summer, the yarn is so silky soft (with no silk content) and has a magnificent sheen.

New yarns for your stash | Sirdar Summer Linen

One more yarn to share…..Rico Creative Melange Lace. A lovely colour effect on this yarn, it is so striking. When you spot this one, you instantly want to pick it up and take a closer look. Rico always have really nice colour palettes for their yarns. This shade range is no exception.

Rico Creative Melange Lace | Black Sheep Wools

Hopefully after taking a peek at some new yarns you will no longer feel in a yarny pickle. The answer may well lie within this very blog post 😉 Happy knitting and crocheting!

Keep up to date with all the latest yarns and goings on at Black Sheep Wools on our Facebook and Instagram, or why not sign up to our newsletter?

 

Christmas Gift Inspiration

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 09-11-2017

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Is it too early to talk about Christmas? Our Sirdar elf on the shelf is already wreaking havoc in the Craft Barn, getting up to all sorts of mischief. The shop ladies don’t know where they are going to find him when it’s time to open up in the morning. We are sharing pics of the elf on our Instagram, along with all of the usual bits and bobs. Take a look and join in the fun.

Now I have mentioned Christmas and Christmas elves it is time to talk gift inspiration. I am sure many of you are super-duper organised and already have boxes full of handmade gifts ready to wrap. If like me you still quite like the idea of giving a knitted, crocheted or stitched gift then there is still time. We have put together a festive selection of smaller makes, which could also work as a gift just as they are for a fellow crafter.

Juliet Bernard has designed a collection of exclusive knitted hat kits just for Black Sheep Wools. One of our favourite designs is the Torshavn design in Debbie Bliss Falkland Aran. An exquisite fair isle pattern that creates a star effect at the crown. The kit includes 2 hanks of yarn and the exclusive pattern.

Scheepjes Frosted Whirl is the latest addition to the Whirl family. A thousand metres of yarn in one delicious ball, all wound up in a swirl of tonal colour blending seamlessly as you go. The frosted balls come with an iridescent thread running throughout.

Prepare yourself for a cuteness overload….meet Sue Jobson’s latest knitted character Rudolph the Reindeer knitted in Sirdar Touch. You might have good intentions to knit this for someone, but once you have finished this squishy bundle you won’t want to part with him. Don’t say I didn’t tell you so! There is a paper pattern and digital pattern available for this design.

Rico Creative Bubble has a soft tinsel feel to it with a spongey bounce, lots of glitz in this yarn. New festive shades have just been added along with festive patterns. The yarn has been created with the idea of washing in mind – body and dishes. With its sponge like texture you could crochet a great exfoliating mitt for the shower or a sponge to clean your pots and pans. There are even some funky Christmas baubles that would look good on the tree.

Scandi Tree by Bothy Threads features traditional Scandinavian trinkets on the tree. A very sweet cross stitch kit that would make a lovely gift for a fellow crafter to stitch.

Socks make a fabulous Christmas gift and a hand-knitted pair, well, now that would be a luxury treat for a loved one. Debbie Bliss has come up with a great range of patterns for her delightful Rialto Luxury Sock yarn. These slouchy spiral socks could be just what you are looking for.

Take a look at this scrumptious treat from Rowan Selects. A limited edition hank of Rowan Sultano, consisting of silk, mohair and cashmere would be a lovely surprise to discover in your Christmas stocking.

West Yorkshire Spinners have come up with a wonder shade of Signature 4ply, it is Christmas in a ball of yarn – Candy Cane. This festive ball of 4ply makes a snuggly pair of socks that look like something a Christmas elf would wear. When you purchase the Candy Cane shade you will receive a free sock pattern designed by Winwick Mum, while stocks last.

This is only really a snippet of all the beautiful treats we have to share for the knitters, crocheters and stitchers in your life. It is just to take a look at some new additions every now and then. Take a look at our Christmas section for more Christmas gift inspiration. Don’t forget we have gift cards too!

 

Rainbow Yarn

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 05-07-2017

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Recently I noticed our Instagram looked like a rainbow, an illuminating array of rainbow colour. Seeing this has inspired me to write this blog post about rainbow yarn and share what delights are out there. Not just self striping, multi – coloured hanks, individual balls of colour too, that you can create your own rainbow with.

Over the past couple of months we have taken in a new brand – Caron. The first yarn to join us was Caron Simply Soft, with over 50 shades to choose from. This one really is an incredible rainbow of colour. With so many colours to choose from this yarn is a must for anyone who enjoys making colour palettes. The way the yarn has been displayed in the Craft Barn flowing through the colour spectrum is just too tempting. There is something quite therapeutic when methodically arranging yarns in according to their hue.

Eve is a Saturday girl at the Craft Barn, her Grandma has crocheted a rainbow blanket in Caron Simply Soft for her to take to Leeds festival this summer.

Then Caron Cakes arrived. A swirl of colour wound temptingly into one large cake of yarn. Now cake and yarn are two of our favourite things, so combining the two is amazing! The colour combinations in these beauties are gorgeous. There are 18 shades to choose from, some tonal, others complimenting colour combinations. If you are looking for rainbow yarn then look no further than the shade ‘Rainbow Sprinkles’.

Debbie Bliss always has a good colour range and Rialto DK does not disappoint. A sophisticated shade range to entice your knitting needles or crochet hook to venture into a new project. Choosing colours is part of the process and very much a fun task it is.

Now who couldn’t resist a rainbow yarn sock? These cheery colour combinations from West Yorkshire Spinners are sure to make you smile. Their Signature 4ply is very popular amongst sock knitters. There are one shade, striped and bird inspired options to choose from. However, if it is rainbow yarn you are after then ‘Rum Paradise’ is the one, or feeling more pastel – ‘Sherbet Fizz’.

Debbie Bliss has recently taken Botany Lace under her yarn umbrella. Take a look at the shade ‘Ronda’, a gorgeous rainbow yarn.

Sirdar’s cake yarn – Colourwheel DK has a fantastic aptly named yarn called ‘Follow the Rainbow’. As you can see it does echo its name quite accurately.

If we’re talking a rainbow of yarn then you can’t miss out Stylecraft Special DK. All those shades to choose from to make your bespoke rainbow. How about Sue Stratford’s Rainbow Blanket crochet kit?

It’s not just yarn, we also have fabrics that are bursting with a rainbow of colour. The Freespirit Designer Solids range has all the colours you need to make a vibrant quilt.

Knitted Elf on the Shelf

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 30-12-2016

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This Christmas we have had a little visitor in store. He has been springing up here and there around the Craft Barn sometimes wreaking havoc in the tea shop. This cheeky monkey is our Elf on the Shelf. He arrived at the beginning of December when Lucy and Barbara finished knitting him from the Hayfield Christmas Elves pattern. Lucy knitted and Barbara joined all the pieces together and finished him off, a Black Sheep team effort.

We have been putting updates of the elf’s where abouts on our Instagram throughout December. Take a look below at some of the photos! It has been fun guessing where he is hiding in a morning. Did you spot him on a recent visit?

elf_fabric

Browsing the fat quarters in the Craft Barn.

elf_yankee

Climbing up the Yankee candle stand.

elf_teashop

Sitting with the knitted cakes in the tea shop.

elf_welly

Taking a dip in the Regia sock yarn.

elf_knittingbag

Taking a break on a knitting bag.

elf_firehorn

Looking after fire safety in the tea shop.

elf_yarnunwind

Making a mess of the WYS Signature 4ply yarn.

elf_cake

Eating a slice of cake in the tea shop.

elf_tree

Waving farewell to the Christmas tree….until next year.

Zenbroidery – Guest Blog Post

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products, Staff Projects | Posted on 31-08-2016

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Sophie has written a guest blog post all about getting back into crafts and discovering Zenbroidery. Read her post below and then enjoy watching her stitching in action, on our short Zenbroidery video –

Having come back to Black Sheep Wools (a postgraduate this time- hooray!) for a short but sweet period before heading off to teach English in Vietnam, it did not surprise me that within my first week of working life I was starting a new project. I blame the ladies in the office.

In my childhood years, I was always keeping myself busy creatively; whether drawing, painting or baking. My grandmother encouraged me to try cross stitching and I was really taken by the mindless comfort it provided. You can, therefore, imagine my delight in stumbling across Zenbroidery whilst putting new products on the website. Somewhat distracted from the task at hand, I ventured into the craft barn to see what kits we had to peruse through. I opted for Garden as I’m often drawn to anything floral and thought it would be good to refresh my stitching techniques over a slightly more minimal design. I found confidence in the concept that, due to the beauty of free-form, any mistakes would be irrelevant!

Zenbroidery by Sophie

The next three weeks I spent my evenings stitching contently, avoiding the stresses of organising for my ever-looming departure. The idea in mind being that I’d give the finished piece as a gift to my partner’s Mum before leaving. An intention I soon realised was slightly ambitious.
A Christmas gift instead, perhaps?

Picking Nikkim

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 17-08-2016

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Every time I walk past the Vinni’s Colour Nikkim I have to stop and have a play selecting various colour options. It is just too tempting, with 80 shades to choose from you can see why. There’s a whole rainbow of colour to inspire your next project. There are neutral, earthy tones, many shades of green, blue, purple, red and more.
Choosing what colour to work with is all part of the fun when starting something new. Vinni’s Colour Nikkim will have you swirling in colour for hours. Last week I asked members of staff to choose a restricted palette of four colours to share on the blog. The decision was tough to narrow it down to just four. This is what everyone came up with –

As you can see the options are endless. I know I would choose a different combination of four nearly every time. It depends what colours you are coveting at the time. What would you choose?
picking vinni's colour nikkim

Lucy
Nomvula’s Tangerine | Natural | Chestnut | Peacock

picking Vinni's colour nikkim

Sara
Blue Canard | Pale Khaki | Lilac | Raspberry

picking vinni's colour nikkim
Sally
White | Apple Green | Blue Red | Black

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Emily
Kingfisher | Pacific Blue | Blue Canard | Teals Mix

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Me (Amy)
Steel Grey | Washed Denim | Pale Sage | Purple Pink

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Julie
Ruby Grapefruit | Peach | Blue Red | Pink

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Barbara
Sunshine | Lime | Orange | Baby Yellow

picking vinni's colour nikkim
Janet
Greens Mix | Bright Green | Avocado | Fern

picking vinni's colour nikkim

Sophie
Deep Blue | Cappucino | Bottle Green | Purple Blue

West Yorkshire Spinners Yarns

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 21-07-2016

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We have recently welcomed a new addition to our yarn family – West Yorkshire Spinners. The shelves (and virtual shelves too) have been stocked with two of their sort after yarns, Signature 4ply and Illustrious Dk. Each and every shade from both ranges is available to purchase here at Black Sheep Wools, alongside a multitude of delectable patterns.

West Yorkshire Spinners are proud to produce British yarns that are developed and manufactured at their factory here in the UK. Their brand ethos is ‘reared, sheared & spun in Britain’ which truly represents the luxurious yarns they produce. West Yorkshire Spinners have spun commission yarn for many years. It was only recently in 2012 that their own brand was launched.

west yorkshire spinners logo

 

One thing you will notice is the abundance of colour across the brand. From zesty brights to dusky heather shades, it is apparent from first glance that their colour choice is absolutely stunning. The Signature 4ply in particular has been grouped into various different colour palettes, such as the ‘Country Birds’ and ‘Cocktails’. Signature 4ply is a combination of wool and nylon, making it ideal for sock knitting.

wys_signature_4ply

West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply | Birds

Signature 4ply – Country Birds

West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply | Cocktails

Signature 4ply – Cocktails

The colour palette for Illustrious Dk is so beautiful, the shades sit together harmoniously. This was something that WYS focussed on when choosing shades. They wanted to ensure that all of the shades were strong as an individual, but also complemented each other – especially good for colour work.
We currently have one pattern book to support this yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners. All of the patterns have been designed by talented, young designer Emma Wright. The patterns are housed in a beautifully executed book, with inspirational photography and an almost tactile layout showing the yarns, design development, patterns and more. A really inspirational book that you will enjoy perusing endlessly. Did I mention it has ring binder too? So handy for when you are working on a pattern and want to keep the page open without creasing your book, or the risk of it pinging back on you when you are up to a crucial part of the pattern.

West Yorkshire Spinners Illustrious Dk

West Yorkshire Spinners Illustrious Dk

What will you make with the West Yorkshire Spinners yarns? We would love to see! Please feel free to send in photos of your makes to social@blacksheepwools.com.