#ThrowbackThursday Treats

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects, Treasured | Posted on 05-11-2015

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Our Coats representative Jo is an avid crafter. We have witnessed her skills first hand here in the Craft Barn. In just a couple of hours both Jo and Erica whipped up three kimonos, complete with beaded trim. She also loves to knit and has been working with Coats Crafts since the early 1980’s. As you can imagine working for a company who sell knitting yarn for so many years you see lots of new yarns come and old yarns go. It is no surprise that over the years her knitting needles have clicked away on so many different projects.

Last time Jo came over for a visit she mentioned that she had a great jumper she had knitted back in the 80’s, that would perfect for us to share for #throwbackThursday. Instantly my ears pricked up at the mention of a vintage knit. I love looking through old knitting patterns, seeing the different shapes, styles and yarns that were once so popular. Seeing an actual knitted item from a decade gone by, that is even better!

Here is Jo’s cropped jumper knitted in Patons Cascade (no longer manufactured). Cascade had a metallic sheen and was quite a weighty yarn. The Fair Isle design reminds me of an Aztec type print. It is hard to see from the photographs, but the sleeves are actually bat winged (very 1980’s).

Jo's Cascade jumper

The ribbed detail around the neckline, waistband and cuffs highlight the strength and density of the yarn. This brings it all together nicely.

Jo's Cascade jumper #throwbackThursday

Take a look at the beautiful, plunging deep v at the back. This really is a statement piece.

Jo's Cascade jumper - #throwbackthursday

Jo also brought in a pattern she had unearthed from her stash for a delicate pair of crocheted gloves. Jo recalls making these gloves quite a few years back. These gloves remind me of old Hollywood films, so chic and glamorous.

vintage crocheted gloves pattern

If you have any hidden treasures tucked away in your wardrobe please share a photo, we would love to see. Email photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Antique Needle Case

Posted by Amy | Posted in Sewing, Treasured | Posted on 30-01-2015



When Yvonne brings in something to share you know it’s going to be an interesting piece, whether she has been knitting, crocheting or sewing. She will always put her own spin on a knitting pattern or add a little something here and there. As ever she has kept up her reputation with this incredible vintage find. She may not have made it herself, but she has treasured it for many years and it is craft related.

From a distance I saw the plastic tub sat on my desk and through the transparent lid I could see a butterfly. My initial thoughts were, hmmm a butterfly? Eeeek! I suddenly remembered the chrysalis Yvonne has been taking care of over the winter period. Had she really brought in the butterfly? Panic over, the exquisite golden butterfly is in fact made of brass, and is the most beautiful antique needle case. Yvonne remembers being given the needle case when she was a little girl. It dates back to the 1800’s and still has the original needles inside.

vintage butterly needle case

The wings are hinged and move ever so slightly.

vintage butterfly needle case

vintage butterfly needle case

Do you have any hidden sewing treasures like Yvonne? If you would like to share them with us, please email in your photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Knitted Aran Treasures

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 20-12-2012


I received a lovely email from Kate a blog reader from Hertfordshire. Kate sent in 3 different knitted treasures to share. This is what she had to say about all of her gorgeous Aran cardigans.

‘The first plain cream aran cardigan was given to me by my mum who made it before I was born when she was younger than I am now. I absolutely love vintage knits and I wear this all the time as it goes with everything! There seem to be lovely aran and chunky knit cardigans everywhere on the high street now but nothing could compare to this which was made so painstakingly by my mum.
After my mum gave me this I decided I wanted to attempt my own aran that I could treasure and hopefully hand down one day. The second cream aran with the pink and green flecks is my Aran. It took me about 6 months of long evenings deciphering my first charts and constantly losing my cable needles down the side of the sofa. I absolutely love it, including the one cable which wiggles the wrong way (the result of a very long night trying to finish it in time for winter). It is so cosy and I will definitely treasure it forever.
The third picture is another fantastic vintage knit that my mum made when she is pregnant with my older brother about 30 years ago. She lent it to me when I was chilly one Christmas (It’s been in the top of her wardrobe unworn for about 20 years) and I couldn’t bare to part with it. As it was a maternity cardigan it is rather large for me but I love the giant knit feel of it and I have spent many cold nights wrapped up in it.’

Thank you so much for sharing your knitted treasures Kate. It is lovely to hear the stories behind each one. They will all be cherished forever! If you would like to share your treasures please email photos along with the reason why they are so treasured to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Knitted Treasures – Amy

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 12-12-2012



My knitted treasures – well when I came round to locating all of my knitted treasures throughout the house I realised I have many. I guess not all of them are as treasured as others but I feel that everything I knit is treasured in some way. When I first stopped to think of my very first knitted project I remembered a pink garter stitch scarf I made when I was 5 years old. Unfortunately I haven’t managed to find it, but I am sure it is stored away safely somewhere.

When I was younger I obviously had the same over ambitious project ideas I have now. Ones that are good in theory yet once you begin you realise pretty quickly – I am never going to finish this! I was going to make a knitted blanket out of tiny squares using scraps of yarn. All of which are varying sizes due to yarn thickness and my uneven tension when I was little. It was only this summer that I rediscovered it hidden away in a cupboard, a knitted treasure. I will try and find it to show you how random it actually is! I remember thinking I would make it really quickly and it would be a lovely blanket  – to this day it is still incomplete. Maybe this could be a UFO (unfinished object) for the future.

The first knitted treasure I have to share is one that I didn’t actually knit. An absolutely gorgeous top my mum knitted for herself when she was my age. This is a treasured piece that I could never part with. I just love wearing it, so delicate, the detail in the design makes for a perfect fit, with the ribbed waist band and intricate lace. A timeless garment. The yarn is extremely fine, possibly 3ply or even 2ply. My mum still likes to knit with fine yarns. I on the other hand am more of a chunky or super chunky girl. As you can see from my other treasured piece below……….

This is the first ever garment I made using Rowan Big Wool. I realised the other day that it was 10 years ago that I knitted this! Which is quite scary because I feel like it wasn’t that long ago at all! Also I haven’t worn it as much as I would have hoped. I don’t think winters were as cold as they have been of late. In the past couple of years I have managed to wear it quite a few times. That is what is so great about jumpers like this they are still fashionable and wearable even 10 years later. I remember saving up and going to buy the yarn and 15mm needles. I had never used this size before – seemed so big! They have been used many times since, for all sorts of super chunky knitting. I really do love this jumper and will treasure it forever.


Treasured Object

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 10-12-2012


A blog follower called Lizz sent in a photograph of the most amazing knitted blanket! If you have watched the Harry Potter films you may recognise the blanket as Ron Weasley’s. With so many different designs and colours as Lizz said on her email it really is a work of art. I imagine this will be treasured forever and ever. Here is what Lizz had to say.

‘This is a new heirloom, made for our youngest daughter, Poppy, who has gone to Sunderland Uni. It is A replica of Ron Weasley’s blanket from the Harry Potter Films, and took 5 months to make – there are 80 7 x 7 inch squares( its bed sized). It was a labour of love and felt never ending at times, but was enjoyable to do. I even had to go to one of the schools I work in, to the crochet club teacher to learn how to crochet the edges (my Mum tried to teach me but never managed- I have now forgotten how to do it !!)

The pattern was from ravelry by Penguineer- she had taken 2 years of watching films and going to the touring exhibition to work it out.’

Take a look at the detail in the squares. Thank you for sharing your treasured heirloom with everyone Lizz.


Stitched Treasure

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 04-12-2012


Today I have a stitched treasure to share from a Knit & Stitch blog follower called Theresa.

Theresa stitched this beautiful piece in her first year at grammar school, aged 11. Here is what she had to say on her email.

‘All my classmates were allowed to make up their own design, but not me! Because my primary school teacher had reported on my passion for needlework, I was given the most complex design to do – and I had to complete four panels where everyone else only had to do one or two! At the time I was quite needled about this (sorry!!!!), but now I’m so grateful that I was pushed to do something like this. It took me a whole year of weekly needlework lessons to complete it.

I think the technique is called ‘pulled thread embroidery’ or maybe ‘cut thread embroidery’, because threads are cut and pulled from the fabric, with the ends being woven back in to create a selvedge, and the embroidery is then worked on the remaining threads – actually this is weaving, rather than embroidery as such. The close up image shows this selvedge in one corner of the design.’
Look at the detail and bright colours complimenting each other beautifully in the stitching. To look at this piece you could imagine it being a cushion cover design today, quite a modern design. Theresa said that she has never actually used the cover, just kept it safe fro 50 years. This is a fantastic treasured piece, with a lovely story behind it. Thank you so much for sharing this with us Theresa.

Knitted Treasures

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 29-11-2012



It is lovely to be able to share everyone’s knitted or stitched treasures here on the blog. I like hearing the story behind something, who it was for? where it has travelled to? do you love it or hate it?

Today I have two treasures from blog readers………

A blog reader called Janet sent in a photo of a beautiful blanket she knitted for her son just before he was born. Janet said that her little boy was overdue and as time went on waiting for him to arrive her blanket continued to grow bigger and bigger.

This is such a pretty blanket, the heart detail with a reverse stocking stitch gives a subtle embossed look. A piece that Janet will treasure forever.

The second is a recently finished project from a Facebook follower called Daisy.

Daisy said on her email that she just had to have the Sirdar snowman jumper when she saw it advertised on our website. This is her first ever intarsia project, which is hard to believe when you look at all of the colour changes perfect shaping in the snowman. Very impressive Daisy! She said that she was determined to finish it franticly knitting it in just 3 weeks, ready to wear over Christmas, this year and every year for the rest of her life. It is great to think that Daisy already knows this will become her knitted treasure.

Thank you to Janet and Daisy for sharing there treasures. If reading this has got you thinking and inspired you to go searching through your wardrobes and drawers for those tucked away treasures please do share a photo – amy@blacksheepwools.com.

Treasured – Catherine

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 21-11-2012


Catherine was very enthusiastic at the prospect of sharing her knitted treasures. When I asked her she knew exactly what (or should I say who) she wanted to bring in – a Humpty Dumpty teddy knitted by her mum when she was born. Today is Catherine’s birthday, I am sure she won’t mind me telling you, it’s her 40th. Which makes it Humpty Dumpty’s 40th birthday too! Catherine remembers taking him everywhere with her when she was younger, even using him as a pillow. You can see from the photo below he has been loved and has had a few repairs over the years, but he is still going strong. Catherine plans to give him a bit of a make over this year including adding a new ribbon and a nose.

Catherine’s second treasured piece is a cable aran sweater she knitted whilst out at sea during her time in the navy on HMS Coventry – slightly different work place to being surrounded by yarn everyday. This is a gorgeous traditional aran sweater, such intricate detail in the cabling. Catherine said that everyone wanted to borrow the sweater to keep warm when they were on the bridge for night watch. Even the men borrowed it! That is what is so great about a traditional cream aran sweater the design is so versatile and can easily be worn by men or women. What a lovely treasured knit to share. Something not only Catherine has treasured but also others too.


Stitched Treasures

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 20-11-2012


It was great to receive an email so soon after putting the post out about knitted treasures. A blog reader called Kelly sent in photographs of blankets she had stitched; one for each of her 3 daughters when they were born. Kelly said that they are something she could never part with and are most certainly treasured projects. All of her daughters still have them today, her eldest daughter is now 14.

There is so much detail in each of the designs, you can tell a lot of love and care has gone into making these hand stitched blankets.

When Kelly had sent in the blanket images she also mentioned treasured pieces her daughters themselves had stitched. They each designed and stitched a cross stitch for their grandma’s 60th birthday. It is always good to see craft skills being passed on to younger people. What a fantastic job they have all done too! To think Kelly’s youngest daughter was only 6 when she did this. I imagine their grandma was very proud to receive such thoughtful gifts. It is lovely to be able to give a hand crafted gift that someone else will treasure as much as you cherish the memories of making it.

Eloise, 14

Freyja, 8

Imogen, 6

Treasured – Sara

Posted by Amy | Posted in Treasured | Posted on 16-11-2012


I am very pleased to be able to share with you two treasured and cherished pieces from Sara. When the treasured project idea first came about, Sara immediately thought of the crocheted ‘snuggle’ blanket her mum (Black Sheep Carol) made her when she was a little girl. The ‘blanket’ so to speak is, how can I put this, no longer a complete blanket maybe more like a single granny square or crochet sample. This definitely ticks the box of something that you can never part with that is well and truly treasured. Sara has taken the blanket every where with her over the years. She remembers being little coming home from school on many occasions and the blanket would be washed and much smaller than before. This was when her mum had cut away any pieces that were falling off due to it being a tiny bit over loved. The photo below is the last piece of the blanket which Sara still treasures today. In fact this was Sara’s something old when she got married, safely tucked away in her hand bag. It is so nice to think that you could give someone a gift – like a blanket that means even more to them all those years later.

As you can see the blanket has been repaired and stitched back together on many occasions.

The second treasured piece from Sara is the very first thing she ever knitted, a garter stitch scarf made for her dad (Black Sheep Paul). It is hard to believe this was the first thing she ever made, so neat and with no dropped stitches. Fantastic! Sara knitted this when she was about 6 or 7 years old. Paul must have been proud of the scarf as he has kept it safe all these years. When Sara mentioned it to him he knew exactly where he had it stored and brought it in the next day for a photograph. Below is a photograph of Paul wearing his scarf.

If you would like to share your treasured knitted / crocheted or stitched projects please send them to amy@blacksheepwools.com with a photo or two and the story behind it.