Valentine Craft Ideas

Posted by Amy | Posted in Crochet, Knitting | Posted on 14-02-2017

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This Valentine’s Day why not break with tradition and give yourself a gift of love. We are thinking a crafty gift, whether you knit, crochet or cross stitch why not put aside your current project for a day or two and make yourself a Valentine themed treat. Some of the mini projects make great stash busters too, so there are no limits when it comes to colour choice. No need to stick to traditional pinks and red for these Valentine craft ideas. You are making a little something for you, so go and have a rummage through your stash or treat yourself to a new ball of your favourite shade of yarn.

Valentine Craft Ideas

Mini Crochet Hearts

These teeny crochet delights are a quick and easy make. Why not attach a loop of crocheted chains and add to a key ring? Make lots and lots of mini crochet hearts and thread onto a pretty ribbon to make a Valentine garland. Share your pics with #blacksheepwools on Instagram or tag @blacksheepwools. We will keep an eye out to see what creative ideas you come up with.

Knitted Love Heart

This knitted love heart can fit in the palm of your hand. It is once again a mini make that requires just a small amount of DK yarn and toy stuffing. If you wanted to make a bigger version you could adjust the needle size accordingly and use a chunky or super chunky weight yarn.
Wondering what you would do with a knitted love heart? Why not pop a spot of dried lavender into the stuffing before sewing up, attach a loop of ribbon to the finished heart and hang it in over a coat hanger in your wardrobe.

Heart Dishcloth

Black Sheep Lucy came up with this fun dishcloth pattern shaped like a Valentine love heart. The crochet pattern is easy to follow and can be made up in soft cotton yarn such as Rico Creative Cotton Aran.

Cherry Heart’s Valentine Hottie

Sandra Paul aka Cherry Heart designed this exclusive Valentine’s hottie for us a couple of years ago. It is still a fun make and with a warm hot water bottle inside you can snuggle up and stay cosy this winter. Make it in the shades of Rico Creative Twist Super Chunky as seen here.

Live Laugh Love Cross Stitch Kit

Live Laugh Love cross stitch by Historical Sampler Company is a modern take on a sampler cross stitch design.  Stitched in a vibrant shade of aqua this kit will light up any room in your house with a cheery message.


Designer Q & A’s – Mr X Stitch

Posted by Amy | Posted in Designer Q&A's | Posted on 15-09-2015



We are very excited to be hosting an event with Jamie Chalmers aka Mr X Stitch at the Craft Barn in October. Jamie will be hosting two workshops and one presentation on Saturday 24th October. Take a look on our website for more information. There are places available on the AM workshop and PM workshop. It is set to be a day full of fun and cross stitch!

To coincide with the event we asked Jamie a few questions to find out more about his cross stitching and being Mr X Stitch.

mr x stitch grey

How long have you been cross stitching?

About twelve years. I was late getting into it, but I’m glad I found cross stitch in the end!

What inspired you to get into the craft?

I was looking for a pastime for a long-haul flight, found an art nouveau cross stitch kit in a shop and thought it would be funny to try such a traditionally “old lady” craft. As it turns out, it’s a brilliant thing to do and I fell in love with it – the rest, as they say, is history.

Where is your favourite place to cross stitch?

My lounge at home is definitely up there, as are Florence and New York, but more often than not I’ll end up stitching on planes and trains – cross stitch is an ideal craft for travelling and as long as your scissor blade length is under 4cm, there’s no bother with airport security.

What is the last project you finished?

The irony is that I’m so busy being Mr X Stitch that I don’t get a lot of time to do stitching. I recently finished a cross stitched version of the Nirvana album cover, which took quite a while to do – there’s a lot of blue stitching in there!

nirvana Mr X Stitch

Do you listen to music or watch TV whilst stitching? If so, what?

I like stitching while watching the TV, as I feel like I’m slightly wasting my time otherwise. Recently I’ve stitched my way through the latest series of Orange is the New Black, which was ace. Pretty much any telly is good for stitching, unless there’s subtitles..!

Are there any other crafts that you enjoy?

I’ve tried my hand at a fair few crafts, and enjoyed carpentry while I was doing it. I get a lot of enjoyment from cooking, and that’s something I’m definitely trying to improve on.

What is the most unusual design you have ever stitched?

I did a cross stitch of one of my ninja cats, stitching a black animal on black canvas. It was pretty tricky to see at times but I’m glad with the results.


If you could give us one crafty tip what would it be?

Make sure you’ve got good light! Eyesight is important, so don’t abuse it!

Whose work / designs do you admire?

There are loads of great needlework designers, but one that immediately springs to mind is Hannah Bass, whose needlepoint designs of city maps are really fresh with great colours.

Where do you find inspiration for your designs?

I’m in an enviable position to have seen thousands of pictures of embroidery over the seven years I’ve been Mr X Stitch, so I’m never short of inspiration. Trying to find an original idea when I see people doing such amazing work, now that’s the challenge!

Do you have a piece of work that you will treasure for ever? What is it?

I’ve been lucky to have collected some great embroideries over the years, swapping with people and buying the odd piece. One of my favourites is a needle felted tentacle that I got from Zoe Williams, an amazing artist from New York. It lives in my lounge and I love it.


Christmas in August?

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 07-08-2015

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Christmas in August? What do you think? Is it too soon to be preparing for the festive season? For many crafters August may even be cutting it a bit fine to get everything made in time. If you are planning on a handmade Christmas it could be time to get your making skates on!

We have been sprinkled with festive spirit in recent weeks with the arrival of new shades of the super duper Christmassy, aptly named – Tinsel Chunky by King Cole. These latest additions to the range could quite possibly be even more festive than the original palette. One shade even has the name ‘Christmas’, can you guess which shade it is?

King Cole Tinsel Chunky

If that wasn’t enough festive sparkle, King Cole have also released a new shade of Glitz Dk, that looks like swirls of candy cane wound on the ball.


Did you make a Tinsel Chunky hedgehog? They have been a very popular knitted character of choice here at the Craft Barn. For Christmas you can choose from a whole host of cheery, festive characters.


Tinsel chunky snowmen


Tinsel Chunky santas

Mr & Mrs Christmas and an elf…..


We are now stocking the Anchor Artiste Metallic yarn. There are 26 sparkling shades to choose from!

anchor artiste metallic

Last year Patons held a competition to design a Christmas jumper. The winning pattern has now been published and is available to download for free from the Make It Coats website. Here it is – a snowy scene with lots of cute robins, designed by Ange Smith.

Make It Coats robin jumper: Image source Make It Coats website

 If you enjoy cross stitch perhaps the new collection from DMC might be what you are looking for. The kits are designed to look like Christmas postcards which is a nice touch.

Building a snowman by DMC

Building a Snowman

Santa is coming by DMC

Santa is Coming

Have you decided to start Christmas in August? Share your photos on social media or email


Glitz, sparkle & dancing

Posted by Amy | Posted in Miscellaneous | Posted on 18-12-2014

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It’s the final of Strictly Come Dancing this weekend and we are all getting very excited here at HQ. Every week there is a so much glitz and glamour to behold, not to mention impressive dance moves. We thought it would be nice to celebrate with our top ‘seven’ (or as Len Goodman would say, severrrrrrn) dance themed products. Take a look below and add a sprinkle of sparkle to your day with our strictly treats.

Let’s kick things off with the dazzling King Cole Cosmos

king cole cosmos

Could this be your favourite dance? A dancing cross stitch kit from Heritage by John Clayton – American Smooth


What glamourous dress would be without an elegant wrap? Knitted in the luxuriously soft Sublime Lace yarn the Heroine wrap will keep you warm.

sublime lace wrap

There’s lots of glitz in Louisa Harding Simonetta!

louisa harding simonetta

This looks like it could be a moody argentine tango, what do you think? Midnight Dance cross stitch kit by Dimensions.

midnight dance cross stitch

A lace skirt in Juniper Moon Farm Findley to whirl around while practicing your dance moves.

lace skirt

And finally a smattering of beads to add that finishing touch. Debbie Abrahams does the most exquisite selection.

debbie abrahams beads

Black Sheep Wools Creative Christmas

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Creative Christmas | Posted on 07-11-2013

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It’s not long now until Christmas, in fact it was 7 weeks yesterday, eeek! Feeling rather festive and getting into the Christmas spirit, this got us thinking about decorations and the beauty of handmade decorations and ornaments. There are so many possibilities knitted, crocheted or even stitched.

Every year we have a beautifully decorated tree standing proudly in our Craft Barn. However, this only usually boasts a handful of knitted treats. This year we would like your help to adorn our tree with crafty and creative decorations. There will be prizes for the best decorations. Click on the video below to find out all about our ‘Creative Christmas‘.

Don’t forget to check out our free patterns page where we have a fabulous selection of NEW festive patterns available to inspire all designed by bloggers. Keep an eye out for more on this over the coming weeks.

If you don’t fancy making a decoration but would like to join in with the fun please post photos on Facebook or Twitter with the hashtag #BSWcreativechristmas

Please send your decoration to the address below. We can’t wait to see them!

Creative Christmas Competition
Black Sheep Wools
Warehouse Studios
Glaziers Lane

Yarn in the Barn – October catch up

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 29-10-2013

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It has been a busy month at Tuesday yarn in the barn group. What with our fabulous PicKnit, pompom making, lots of new faces and more and more projects being made. Here are a few projects that I have taken a photo of throughout the month October. What a fine way to round up the month.

Jacky has nearly finished another crochet blanket. This time she has gone for a star design, I am hoping one day soon I will see Jacky’s beautiful granny square blanket complete. 🙂 The star design is a pattern that is readily available on Ravelry for free. Jacky has chosen a selection of gorgeous colours from the Rico Baby Classic Dk range.



Mary has finished her Sirdar Simply Recycled Aran sweater. I featured this as a WIP back in August. It looks lovely now it is complete.



I apologise to the lady who was stitching this cross stitch piece as I don’t have your name to credit you. The colourful, floral design stands out beautifully on the black background.


Edna has more or less completed a hooded cardigan for her grand daughter. The pattern is a King Cole Riot Dk pattern, colours were chosen and Edna opted for alternative yarns to fit the colour palette. A shade of petrol blue in Sirdar Snuggly Dk and a bit of glitz with Rico Galaxy Dk.




Have you made anything new recently and would like to share it here on the blog? Please email photos to it’s always good to share.

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.


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.

A Cross Stitch For Your Valentine?

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Cross Stitch | Posted on 02-02-2012



It is not long now until Valentines Day, only 12 days to go. If you haven’t already thought of what to buy for your Valentine this year why not make them a gift? Cross stitch, maybe? Take a look at a few ‘love’ inspired designs we have selected from our extensive range of cross stitch kits.

Boofle kit (bl1005/68) Made with 100% Love and Cuddles is only £11.99

Anchor Me to You ‘Love You’ (tt04) only £8.99

Anchor Forever Friends ‘For You’ (FRC221) only £7.99


Vervaco Cushion Kits

Posted by Amy | Posted in Cross Stitch, New Products | Posted on 21-12-2011



Have you you seen these cute cross stitch cushion kits by Vervaco?

There are 3 different kits to buy to complete the tractor and trailer set. The kits are available to buy from The Black Sheep priced at just £21.99 each. Take a look at the cushion kits here!