Designer Q & A – Attic24

Posted by Amy | Posted in Designer Q&A's | Posted on 15-03-2019

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We are so excited for our special guest visiting the Craft Barn tomorrow. It’s only Lucy, from Attic24 blog! How fantastic is that? Lucy will be joined tomorrow by fellow knitting and crochet buddies, Emma Varnam and Winwick Mum. Pop in store and say hello, the gang will be here from 10am – 4pm. In anticipation for her visit we sent over a few (maybe more than a few) questions to delve a little deeper into the creative world of Attic24. Lucy kindly responded with some great answers. Enjoy having a read of our Attic24 interview, it is really interesting to learn more about her crochet journey.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

When did you begin crocheting?
Before I had my children, I was a self employed designer-maker working with textiles and embroidery. I ran my little handmade business from home, making brightly coloured textile pictures and a range of embroidered greetings cards. I packed up my textile business when I had my first child in 2002, thinking that eventually I would come back to it.
Fast forward to 2007 and I was very busy being a full time Mum to my two young children aged 3 and 4 then. I loved that time in my life, but I found myself starting to miss my old creative work and began to look for a way to balance out the needs of my young family with my need to do something creative for myself again.
It was a friend who suggested I try crocheting – she knew of my arts and textile background, and thought that crochet would appeal to me as she had just learnt herself and was finding it very therapeutic. We agreed that yarn crafts were far more child friendly than sewing, being that you can sit on the sofa amongst the chaos of family life and pick up a crochet project far more easily than you can get out a sewing machine and ironing board!
So I decided to give it a go, borrowing a crochet hook and ball of yarn from my friend and getting her to teach me the basics of crocheting a chain. I bought a small beginners crochet book from a local yarn shop and over the next few days I taught myself the basic stitches and learnt how to make a simple granny square. I knew straight away that I wanted to crochet blankets, and those very first granny squares eventually became my very first blanket.
That was over eleven years ago now, and I can honestly say that learning to crochet changed the course of my life. I still have that first blanket draped over the back of my sofa and it’s one of my most treasured things.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Embroidery | Black Sheep Wools

Attic24 Embroidery

Designer Q & A Attic24 | First Blanket | Black Sheep Wools

First crocheted blanket Attic24

What sparked your love with this wonderful craft?
I fell in love with crochet primarily because of the ease of it. As a mum of young children, it was something I could very easily fit into the small pockets of time I had throughout my busy days. I would keep my yarn handy and I would pick up my granny squares whenever I had a chance. Even if it was just a few stitches here and there, I loved that I was doing something creative just for me, for my own pleasure and satisfaction.
And of course, there was the colour therapy too. When I first walked into a yarn shop to purchase a few balls to make granny squares, I was hit by the sight of so much beautiful colour on those shelves that I knew I had found something that would bring me a huge amount of happiness. I had always loved bright colours when I worked with fabric and stitch, and finding out that yarns could give me the same sort of colour-fix was such a great surprise.

Granny Squares Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

What inspired you to begin writing a blog?
Around about the same time that I learnt to crochet, I also discovered the online world of creative blogs. Blogging was still relatively new back in 2007, but I began following a few blogs that really resonated with me – ladies who were sharing snippets of their daily lives, their homes, gardens and creative projects which I found hugely inspirational. I had already begun sharing some of my photos and projects on Flickr (remember this was back in the day before Pinterest and Instagram existed, I know, how did we ever manage?!) and I found that I really enjoyed being a part of a creative online community. It was like suddenly finding my tribe when I had been living in solitary for so long! Writing a blog and joining in with the community I had discovered was the next logical step, although it took me almost a year to pluck up the courage to do it. I had recently relocated and moved to a new town so was feeling a little lost at the time. My youngest had just started mornings at nursery, so for the first time in many years I had some precious child free hours at my disposal. I had always loved writing (I was an avid penpal in my teenage years, writing letters to friends all over the world), and taking photographs to go with my words became a newly discovered passion. There was no end goal, just a desire to share and connect with others, and to be able to fill my free time with a new and exciting hobby.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

Your blog is so popular, how does it feel to know there are people all around the world reading your blog and making your designs?
Honest answer???? It feels FANTASTIC!!! I The community which surrounds Attic24 is absolutely wonderful and I truly value the friendship and connections that it brings to my life. That sense of belonging is very precious to me, especially as I spent so many years feeling quite alone with my creativity and my quirky way of looking at life. Mind you, having said that, I find that even after all these years I still very much write my blog and create my designs for my own personal pleasure and need.

You design beautiful blankets. For someone who has never seen any of your fabulous makes before, which would be your top 3 to begin their Attic24 journey?
I mainly design my blankets with new crocheters in mind, keeping the stitches pretty basic and creating full photo-heavy tutorials to help with pattern reading. The simplicity of my designs also makes my blankets into perfect projects for those who want to indulge in some therapeutic hooky time where you can lose yourself in the rhythmic stitches without having anything too complex to concentrate on. For those who are very new to crochet, I would suggest blankets that have repeating rows with very little counting involved – the Granny Stripe, the Hydgrangea Stripe or the Sweet Pea.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

Photography is a huge part of your blog and has been from the very beginning. Would you say that photography is an important part of your creative process? Do you take inspiration from what you have snapped?
Yes, yes, yes, I would absolutely say that photography is at the very heart of everything I do. Each and every one of my blog posts tells a story through photographs, and I always begin a post by uploading all the images in an order which makes sense to the inner dialogue running through my mind. The narrative comes afterwards.
My camera is one of my most valuable tools, allowing me to capture and record all sorts of things which may end up inspiring new designs or colour palettes. In fact most of my recent blanket designs have been inspired by nature, and it’s my photographs and visual observations which spark these creative ideas.

It’s always lovely to see your captivating photos of nature and the great outdoors. What is your favourite season?
Summer is my best favourite time of year, without a shadow of a doubt. I especially love very early summer (late May here in my patch) when we have those gloriously long, light days and all the greenery is back in the woods. Also flowers – summer flowers are a true delight and never fail to inspire me.

Floral Inspiration | Designer Q & A Attic24

Woodland Inspiration Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

When you aren’t crocheting what other crafts / hobbies do you enjoy doing?
I learnt to knit as a child but hadn’t done much until a few years ago when I learnt to knit socks. I love having a pair of socks on the go alongside my crochet, it’s a different kind of a challenge for me and I get huge satisfaction from wearing socks that I’ve made myself. Plus self striping sock yarns are an addiction that I’m totally on board with!
I discovered the pleasure of modern cross stitch designs last year and that feels like a true hobby for me. I like being able to sit quietly and stitch without any other agenda, it’s just a beautiful way to relax and spend time.

Colour plays a huge part in your crochet, how do you settle on a colour palette?
When I was first crocheting, I would choose my colour palette by first selecting a yarn type, then going into a local yarn shop to gather together all the colours that made me happy. It was always a quick, simple, instinctive process and not something I ever gave a great deal of thought to.
These days I really enjoy having a story behind my colour palettes, and spend a long time thinking about the bigger picture and choosing colours that describe a particular season or place. Once I’ve decided on the theme, I visit and research, taking photographs and collecting natural materials (eg summer flowers, or autumn leaves and berries) which I use as my starting point for selecting colours. I then pull out my yarn pegs (simple wooden clothes pegs wrapped with yarn) to build up groups of colours which tell the story, arranging them and playing with them over many weeks until I’m happy with the overall balance. I then begin sampling, which often leads me to make one or two final adjustments with my colour choices – sometimes a collection of colours just doesn’t play out as you expect it to once you begin working up a pattern. I find I make emotional decisions about colours just as much as visual ones – I really do like to “feel” the colours somehow and always know when I’ve created a great colour palette because I feel like I want to cry (it sounds soppy, but it really is that intense!)

What inspires a new design? Colour or crochet stitch? What is your creative process?
This is a really interesting question, and I’ve talked a little bit about my creative process of choosing colours in the question above.
It’s always the colour choices which come first for me, although I’ve often got a vague idea of a stitch pattern at by the time I come to select the colours. I try and think about my story and what I’m attempting to convey with my colours, and then think about a crochet stitch or pattern that will work best to do the job. For example, in my Moorland blanket, I chose the colours to describe the feeling of walking across the high Yorkshire moors in Summer when the heather is blooming. I immediately thought of using a wave stitch to describe the gentle undulations of a long distance landscape, with very successful results.

Designer Q & A Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

Do you have a favourite shade of Stylecraft Special DK? If so, what is it?
My favourite shades of SSDK are the blue/green ones, echoes of sea and sky. Duck Egg, Cloud Blue, Storm Blue, Sage and Lincoln. I adore these shades and am naturally drawn to include them in my blankets whenever I can.
Interestingly, the colour which is used the most in my blankets is Meadow – I don’t think it’s a beautiful green on it’s own, but it’s wonderful as a mid tone green amongst other colours, especially those ones which are inspired by nature.

What is your go to crochet stitch pattern?
I don’t think I really have a go-to stitch, but I do really love creating stripes. I’ve been drawn back to the ripple stitch many times over the years (I think I’ve made 7 ripples blankets in total) so maybe that would be the one.

Brights or pastels?
I would have to say brights as I am instinctively drawn to them. Bright, vibrant colours make me feel good and I love to use them in my designs.
I’m discovering a new love for softer colours though, and my next project uses quite a muted colour palette (inspired by nature) which is unusual for me. I’ll be interested to see what everyone makes of it!

Do you have a favourite place to crochet?
I pretty much crochet wherever I am and am used to taking my crochet out and about with me. I adore crocheting outside in the Summer when I’ve got a beautiful view to gaze at (crocheting on the beach is a favourite). But I also love to cosy up beside our open fire in the cold months of the year.

Attic24 | Black Sheep Wools

What are your crochet plans for 2019? Are there any cryptic clues you can share?
I don’t tend to plan all that far ahead, but I can tell you some of the things that I’ve got lined up. I’m working on a new blanket right now which will be ready to share in the Spring. I’ve chosen the colours and am in the sampling stage for the stitch pattern – I’m very excited to begin on a new blanket journey.
I’m thrilled to be heading abroad in April and May to teach on two Stitchtopia crochet retreats in the French Alps. The retreats will be focusing on circles of colour – I’ll be creating some new mandala designs as a way of teaching some yarn-based colour theory, including how to find inspiration for colour palettes and how to use them for crochet projects.
Beyond that I’m not sure what I’ll be working on – I’ve always got lots of ideas bubbling for smaller projects, oh and in July I’ll be planning and choosing colours for my next annual crochet-a-long blanket…….I’ve already got an idea for a theme, but I can’t tell you just yet!

What direction do you see crochet going in the next 5 to 10 years?
Do you know what, I would be so, so happy if my own personal direction didn’t change too much in the next decade as I’m enjoying myself so much right now. I love the balance of my creative life, getting to crochet, design and write at a pace which suits me. I am very much a “go with the flow” type of person and don’t tend to plan much or have any great ambitions for the future. I love the luxury of living in the moment wherever possible, enjoying each day as it comes.
As for the direction of crochet in general, I hope that the increase in popularity continues. I’ve seen a massive change in the decade since I started, and I think this is mainly down to the huge variety of yarns (and colours) that we now have at our fingertips. I would love to see more affordable natural yarns (wool, cotton, linen, bamboo) coming in a large range of beautiful colours – it would be amazing to crochet a gloriously colourful natural fibre blanket in a yarn that doesn’t break the bank!

We can’t wait for you to visit the Craft Barn on 16th March. Are you looking forward to coming and spending time with us in store?
Yes, I really am looking forward to it, I can’t wait to experience the famous Craft Barn! I don’t get out that much you know, spending most of my days working alone either at home or in my studio. So it’s always exciting to tiptoe out of my Attic every so often and meet with other like minded people. And if there is yarn to stroke and cake to eat, well I consider that a very, very good day out indeed!

Read Attic24 blog here.

 

Scheepjes Stone Washed & River Washed XL Mini Pack

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting | Posted on 19-04-2018

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Carol is knitting a blanket in Scheepjes Stone Washed XL and River Washed XL 15g mini balls. The pack contains 50 balls, one of each shade and it comes in a fabulous box, complete with handle. There is also a slightly finer 4ply alternative to the aran weight XL, Stone Washed and River Washed colour pack. Sara and Stacey had fun strutting up and down the Craft Barn showing off the latest must have from Scheepjes. Take a look below.

Now I have set the scene with these pretty snazzy colour packs, it’s back to Carol’s blanket. Carol is making an easy knit garter stitch blanket, picking out each shade in colour order and knitting as she goes. Some of the balls do run out mid-way across the blanket, but that adds to the overall colour effect of the blanket. As long as you don’t mind sewing in a few ends this blanket is a must knit. Watch Carol’s video below, where she talks you through her project.

The blanket so far with roughly half of the mini balls used.

Scheepjes Stone Washed XL and River Washed XL Colour Pack

Finished Spicier Life Blankets

Posted by Amy | Posted in Crochet | Posted on 23-02-2018

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In September 2017 we launched the Spicier Life Crochet Along. This spectacular blanket was designed by crochet sensation, Sandra Paul, aka Cherry Heart. A Spicier Life blanket was a follow on blanket to the original Spice of Life. Sandra used new stitches in a sampler style with the idea that the two blankets will look harmonious displayed together. India was the inspiration for her design and rich, evocative colour palettes – Jaipur, Bollywood and Taj Mahal.

Spicier Life CAL Blankets | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Whilst the CAL was running we set up A Spicier Life Crochet Along Facebook group, which now has almost 9,000 members. Soooo if everyone who is in the group has made at least one Spicier Life blanket……. that’s A LOT of blankets. It is safe to say, it is a very popular crochet along project. All of the patterns are still available via our website should your crochet hook be twitching with inspiration after reading this post.

We have gathered together a selection of Spicier Life blankets from the group, ones sent in by customers and staff. It is interesting to see whether people chose one of Sandra’s packs to make the blanket, with yarn from their stash or a colourway of their own.

If you do make a blanket and share it on social media make sure you include #spicierlifecal. It is always a treat to see new blankets popping up.

Black Sheep Lucy enjoyed making the blanket using Debbie Bliss Rialto DKJaipur colour pack with a few shade adjustments to match her living room. The yarn gives lovely stitch definition and is so springy.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

We found this blanket in the group. A crocheter called, Valerie has used left over yarn from her first 2 Spicier Life blankets. Soft, pretty shades with subtle transitions.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Shades of green and purple in this blanket work so well together, this one is by Alexis.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Spotted this one on the group for its vibrant colour combination, by Louise. Made with various yarns from her stash.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

A customer called Hazel has opted for one colour, made in Scheepjes Stonewashed XL. Using just one shade allows the texture to really shine through.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Sharon shared a photo of her Taj Mahal blanket in Stylecraft Special DK.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Steph has used a variety of tonal autumnal shades.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Lisa’s choice of pastels is so striking. All of these shades are Stylecraft Special DK.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Bold blocks of blues in this blanket by Susan.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

Carol took a nice outdoor photo of her Bollywood Spicier Life blanket in Stylecraft Special DK.

Spicier Life CAL Blanket | Black Sheep Wools | Cherry Heart

 

 

 

Sophie’s Universe Blanket Complete

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Crochet, Sara's Blog | Posted on 13-02-2018

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Watch my crochet journey making the Sophie’s Universe blanket in Scheepjes Cotton 8. I really enjoyed making the blanket, using the Cotton 8 yarn for the first time and learning lots.

Sophie’s Universe was originally a crochet along project, designed by Dedri Uys.  The pattern is available on Dedri’s blog – Lookatwhatimade.net. Since the CAL was a huge success, Scheepjes decided to make the pattern into a book. The book is great to follow, with so much detail.

Progress report. It’s beginning to take shape.

Ta da! Take a look at my finished Sophie’s Universe blanket!

Sophie's Universe Blanket

Customer Projects Round Up 2017

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 05-01-2018

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At the start of a new year it is nice to reflect and celebrate your favourite craft projects of the year just ended. Over the year we have collected a variety of knitted, crocheted and stitched projects customers have shared in store or via email. If you follow us on Instagram you may recognise some of the finished makes below. As I gathered together all of the images and yarn / pattern info I noticed that crochet seems to be the most common craft. I guess it could be that a lot of crochet projects, such as scarves and shawls are easy to transport, either in a bag or in the case of a shawl quickly whipped off your neck for a photo. I know customers do regularly come in store wearing a knitted garment, but don’t want to be photographed, so there are still plenty of knitters out there. Without further ado I shall share a selection of customer projects from 2017. We can’t wait to see what you will be making in 2018!

A customer called Sheila sent in a photo of the blanket she had knitted in Sirdar Snuggly Dk (pattern- 4749). Sheila opted for the shades as seen on the pattern, a lovely colour combination.

Andrea was shopping in store wearing a ‘Lost in Time‘ shawl crocheted in Scheepjes Whirl – Blueberry Bambam. Look how beautifully the colours flow! She used an extra ball of Scheepjes Catona for the edging.

Marcia knitted a cute cardigan for her grandson in Sirdar Snuggly DK and King Cole Cherish DK, following Rico pattern 089.

One for the summer months – a beach dress crocheted in Scheepjes Cotton 8 by a customer called Jan. This pattern is from Scheepjes ‘The Sea Issue‘ bookazine.

Onto a knitted item using Scheepjes Secret Garden knitted by Jackie . This beautiful rainbow shawl knits up with just 6 balls. It is called Shawl of Secrets.

Elizabeth sent in a photo of her blanket knitted in a selection of shades of Sirdar Colourwheel DK. A fantastic use of this variegated yarn in a Kaffe Fassett blanket design. The pattern is from a book in Elizabeth’s stash – Knitting with the Color Guys.

I appear to have misplaced the name of the customer who brought this quilt topper in (sorry :(). An incredible explosion of colour using Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

Joan knitted a cowl in Caron Simply Soft following a free pattern ‘Snakes and Ladders‘. There is a link next to the yarn to download the pattern.

Liz came in store wearing a jacket knitted in Stylecraft Jeanie Aran. She popped it on a mannequin for a quick snap.

Sally brought in a knitted cat in Sirdar Touch.

Jessica visited the Craft Barn wearing this beautiful delight. A Lost in Time shawl by Johanna Lindahl crocheted in Scheepjes Catona.

Christina knitted a Paddington inspired duffle hooded jacket for her grandson in Hayfield Chunky Tweed yarn.

Su was busy knitting this dragon in the tea shop. The pattern is actually for King Cole Tinsel, but Sue went for a different look using King Cole Galaxy.

Just before Christmas Margaret came in store with her husband and son. They were wearing matching Christmas jumpers she had knitted for them in King Cole Shine – Christmas.

 

The Latest Baby Blanket Patterns

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog | Posted on 20-03-2017

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Now you know I love a blanket and it appears I’m not the only one. Sirdar have launched some great new baby blanket designs for the Spring that make me want to find a baby to knit for! My absolute favourite is the Rabbit & the Bear Blanket (4759). Knitted in the smooch Sirdar Snuggly Snowflake DK, these are so great and they would make a perfect present.

There are always lots of designs for crocheted blankets but not so many knitted, well Sirdar are doing their best to change this. They have released one pattern with four completely different knitted baby blankets on them (4749). One features cables, the next is a leaf pattern another has a subtle diamond pattern on it, Last but not least is the square striped blanket, in fresh spring colours. A great design that would be perfect for a relatively new knitter too.

If you want a super easy blanket, take a look at pattern 4758. Knitted in the classic that is Sirdar Baby Crofter Dk, it shows off this yarn beautifully. It would be great to knit in the car (as long as you are not driving). No shaping, no counting – just perfect!

If these baby blanket patterns aren’t what you are looking for, then take a look at more of our latest arrivals from Sirdar.

Ode to Autumn – Spice of Life Blanket

Posted by Amy | Posted in Spice of Life CAL, Staff Projects | Posted on 08-12-2016

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To celebrate the one year anniversary of Sandra Paul’s (aka Cherry Heart) gorgeous Spice of Life crochet along Sara has been crocheting a blanket in a new colour way – Ode to Autumn. Sara has opted for a selection of shades that are not her usual go to colours. Ode to Autumn is made up of rich, warm tones of rust, berries and gold – to name but a few. With an abundance of colour to choose from in the Stylecraft Special Dk it is quite a challenge to pick a winning combination. You will not be disappointed with this beautiful palette.

Watch Sara’s video below where she is talking all about making her Ode to Autumn blanket.

If you are thinking of making a Spice of Life blanket in the Ode to Autumn pack why not follow Sara’s shade sequence, take a look below –

Autumn Colours            Original Colours

Mustard (1823)                       Turquoise
Pomegranate (1083)            Grass
Pistachio (1822)                     Light Green
Tomato (1723)                        Petrol
Boysenberry (1828)             Red
Khaki (1027)                            Vanilla
Claret (1123)                            Cream
Cypress (1824)                       Melon
Gold (1709)                              Purple
Lobelia (1825)                        Ice Blue
Pale Rose (1080)                  Smokey Rose
Stone (1710)                            Jeans
Burgundy (1035)                   Clay

ode to autumn - spice of life blanket
ode_to_autumn_blanket

What have you been knitting & crocheting?

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 24-03-2016

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I have gathered together quite a varied selection of projects that many of you, our talented customers, have been making. These have been collected and photographed over many weeks, so if you came in the shop a couple of months ago to share your makes with us, they may well be somewhere in amongst these treats today.

A customer called Hilary brightened up a dull winter’s day with her citrus shaded crochet blanket. Hilary has used a selection of Stylecraft Special Dk yarns to make this colourful delight.

hilary_yellow_blanket

Cathy who attends Knit & Natter brought in Jane Crowfoot’s Nordnorge Fair Isle bag she has knitted in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Dk adorned with Debbie Abraham’s beads. Cathy opted for a slight variation on the shades suggested in the pattern and also chose a different bead colour.

cathy_fairisle_bag1

cathy_fairisle_bag2

A lady called Jane brought in a shawl knitted in Sirdar Montana Dk. The pattern is a design Jane came across on Ravlery ‘No-fuss shade loving shawl‘. The self striping effect of Montana Dk matches perfectly with the shawl design.

jane_montana_shawl

Susan knitted this hat for her grandson, he wore it to go and watch the new Star Wars film at the cinema. Apparently he had said it was ‘awesome’! When giving a knitted gift you couldn’t ask for much more. The pattern is a free pattern Susan found on Ravelry – The Force Awakens Hat.

susan_star_wars_hat

Ann has got creative with Sirdar Smiley Stripes making a rainbow blanket, with a mixture of one colour yarns added in too. This looks fantastic the multi-coloured border is such a good idea. A border like this would make a nice finishing touch to a plain blanket, adding a splash of rainbow.

smiley_blanket_ann

smiley_blanket_ann2

Sue brought in a mini mermaid tail she had knitted for her 6 month old grand-daughter. She followed Yvonne’s mermaid tail pattern exactly, using double knitting yarn rather than chunky. To make it extra special with sparkle Sue used King Cole Gltz Dk. The tail measures approximately 65cm in length.

sue_mermaid1

sue_mermaid2

Not only has Sue been making a mermaid tail, she has also been knitting the Rowan Shaun the Sheep blanket. Rather than using Rowan yarn Sue matched up shades in Stylecraft Special Dk.

sue_shaun_sheep

Jane is knitting a whole host of animals for a knitted Noah’s Ark. Her grand-children will love this, all of the animals two by two. Here are the ones she brought along with her to match up whilst shopping. Jane has used a variety of textured yarns including Sirdar Funky Fox. Some of the patterns can be found in Knitted Noah’s Ark book.

noahs_ark

Angela brought in a selection of baby knits – an all in one suit in James C Brett Flutterby and a teddy bear all in one suit in Sirdar Snowflake Chunky.

angela_snowflake

angela_flutterby

Last but not least Susan wearing a cardigan crocheted with two balls of James C Brett Marble Chunky. Susan made the pattern up, based on a large granny square.

susan_marble_chunky

Thank you to everyone who kindly shared their projects with us. If you have made anything recently with your purchases from Black Sheep Wools please email in a pic to social@blacksheepwools.com.

Free knitted baby blanket pattern

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 01-06-2015

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Carol may have had a broken leg, but it sure hasn’t stopped her knitting needles from clicking away. The good news is she is now on the mend and no longer has a plaster cast. All this enforced rest has re-ignited Carol’s thirst for knitting, and now, crochet too. Prior to breaking her leg she had done very little crochet and is now on the way to making her very first hexagon, crochet blanket.

In between making blankets Carol also knits yarn swatches for display in the Craft Barn. After being handed a ball of Hayfield Baby Sparkle Dk to knit a swatch Carol had an idea – with 2 balls I could probably make a baby blanket. Off she went with her needles and yarn in hand to give it a go……. a week or so later – et voila! One beautiful basket weave blanket, with a textured moss stitch border.

hayfield baby sparkle dk free pattern

Download the pattern for free from our free patterns page.

hayfield baby sparkle dk free pattern

The basket weave stitch is really easy to follow, just a mix of knit and purl stitches.

hayfield baby sparkle dk free pattern

There are 7 shades to choose from in the Hayfield Baby Sparkle Dk range, including the 4 shown below. Which shade will you choose?

hayfield baby sparkle dk

A mixed bag of knitting and crochet 2

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 05-01-2015

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Happy New Year everyone! This post has been brewing for a while now. Part one was posted all the way back in 2014 (December) and since then more projects have popped up to be added. In fact this blog post will probably feature even more customer projects than the first!  I can’t wait to share even more customer projects in 2015. Start as you mean to go on and choose January as the month to clear out your clutter and finish off any works in progress. Who knows by February you will have that many FO (Finished Object) photos to share it will take one mega blog post to share them all. Take a look at what everyone has been up to below. Where patterns and yarn are available links are including. Some patterns are from deep down in the dark depths of people’s stash, so I apologise now if you are unable to locate them.

First up is Joan wearing her beautiful coral coloured cardigan knitted in Rico Essentials Soft Merino Aran. Joan knitted the cardigan from a pattern in a magazine (more info to follow).

joan_soft_merino_aran

Sue sent in a photo of herself wearing her latest sweater. This is Sirdar pattern 9672 and is knitted in Sirdar Big Bamboo.

sirdar big bamboo 9672

I spotted Judy crocheting the finest most delicate piece of crochet. Once this piece is complete it will be a beautiful tablecloth.

judy_fine_crochet2

judy_fine_crochet

Amanda was half way through crocheting Christmas ornaments. These little angels were ready just in time. The pattern was featured in an issue of Let’s Get Crafting magazine.

christmas crochet angel

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There are two ladies called Joan in our knit and natter group. This Joan who has been crocheting a scarf for her grand-daughter is a different Joan to the one at the beginning of the blog post. Phew, that was a lot to get out in one go! Anyway, here is the start of Joan’s scarf in Rico Creative Melange Glitz Chunky.

crochet rico creative melange glitz

Jacky has crocheted a gigantic blanket in various aran yarns. A similar design can be found in Granny Squares by Search Press book.

jacky_crochet_blanket

Kay brought in a jacket she had just finished knitting in Rowan Original Denim. The jacket pattern is from Denim The Next Generation book and is called Pembroke jacket. So much cabling and detail in this incredible work of art.

kay_denim_jacket

There was some weight in this jacket. It took approximately 35 balls to knit! After Kay had finished knitting the garment she washed it in the machine to soften and shrink the denim yarn.

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Alison who attends yarn in the barn brought in this pretty green top knitted in Rowan Panama. The pattern is from Simple Shapes Panama book.

alison_panama_top

And finally another HUGE blanket knitted in Hayfield Bonus Aran. The pattern is a combination of an old book Sandra had in her stash and some tweaking here and there.

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Sandra added the aran sweater to one of the squares, putting her own stamp on the design.

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All of the different cables and textures look really effective knitted in the one solid colour.sandra_bonus_aran_blanket4

Here is the book Sandra found the pattern in. It also looks fabulous in cream. There are so many possibilities with a square block pattern like this.

sandra_blanket_pattern