Yarn Shop Day 2018

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 18-05-2018

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We had a magnificent day at the Craft Barn on Saturday for Let’s Knit Yarn Shop Day 2018. There was all sorts going on in store. Emma Varnam was surrounded by colourful crocheted delights teaching mini crochet classes, Christine Perry (Winwick Mum) shared her top tips on sock knitting, Melanie Boocock (our Rowan Consultant) taught customers to knit and Debbie Tomkies filled the workshop room with a rainbow of colour showcasing her dyeing skills. Thank you so much to all of our special guests for making the day so fabulous!

If you couldn’t make it to the Craft Barn, we hope you managed to visit your local yarn store. There aren’t as many of us around these days and that’s what is so good about Yarn Shop Day, showing the love for your local bricks and mortar yarn store.
There is something so wonderful about entering the Craft Barn full to the brim of irresistible squishy balls of yarn. Your creative juices are ignited and your yarn stash wish list begins to increase before your very eyes. It is a place to meet fellow knitters and crocheters, chat to our super talented staff who are able help out with planning your next project or solving a knit or crochet puzzle and generally immerse yourself with inspiration from every angle.

On the day Emma Varnam and Christine Perry took over our Instagram account to share Yarn Shop Day through their eyes. Here are some of the photos below. There was a glass of Prosecco for everyone, Stylecraft goody bags and fab raffle prizes too.

Yarn Shop Day 2018 | Black Sheep Craft Barn

Emma Varnam brought in all of her Cute Crocheted Animals to visit for the day.

Winwick Mum ready for sock knitting!

Debbie Tomkies brought an array of fabulous hand dyed hanks to showcase the incredible shades you can create.

Yarn Shop Day 2018

I hope you don’t mind Christine, but I have taken this shot from your blog. A great photo of Melanie in action teaching a group of ladies how to get started knitting.

Pop on over to Emma’s blog to read her run down of the day and Winwick Mum‘s too. They have both written lovely posts about their day.

We hope to see you again next year!

Hand – Dyeing Workshops with Debbie Tomkies

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 11-05-2017

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Have you ever dreamed about creating your own yarn? What colours would it be? What weight would you go for? All of your wishes can come true at one of Debbie Tomkies Hand – Dyeing Workshops at the Craft Barn.
Debbie is a textile designer with over 25 years experience. She runs workshops at various locations working with both yarn and fabric. Debbie also runs a social enterprise called ‘Making Futures’, working with colleges and community groups, doing creative activities to help build confidence and self-esteem. Not only that, Debbie is also an author of three books.

This summer Debbie Tomkies will be teaching two different hand – dyeing workshops, one using natural dye extracts and the other using synthetic dyes. A great excuse to have a day of fun playing with colour. Each participant will be given a 100g hank of yarn to dye. Debbie will bring a selection of Merino, Bluefaced Leicester and wool blends in either sock (4ply), laceweight or DK. As part of the workshop Debbie will also give everyone one of her pattern designs, so that you can get started knitting or crocheting your hank of beautifully dyed yarn as soon as you get home.

I asked Debbie for a run down of the difference between the two workshops –

“In terms of the differences between the synthetic and natural dyes, I would say that the synthetics are more repeatable and give more reliable repeatability between batches. It is also easier to predict the final colour as the dyes look on a test paper much the same as they will look on the final yarn. The synthetic dyes give the full range of colours from very bright to soft, muted tones and pastels (they needn’t all be eye-popping brights!). Synthetic dyes are very consistent in terms of strength and it is relatively easy to predict how much dye to use to give a desired depth of colour. Synthetic dyes are ideally suited to a wide range of techniques, including immersion, handpaints, rainbow dyeing, gradient dyeing, speckling and all kinds of fun projects. They are also suitable for fibres, fabrics and other natural materials.

The natural dyes, on the other hand, have more tonal qualities as they often contain numerous different colour components within the plant itself. This gives a subtle toning to natural dyes that is harder to achieve with synthetics. The natural dyes can certainly be rich in shade and give deep colours but tend not to be on the ‘neon-bright’ end of the spectrum! Natural dyes are a little harder to predict as the powders tend to look quite different and often the colour only really blossoms once the dyeing is in progress. Of course that is part of the magic! Natural dyes are also sensitive to other factors. Colours can be changed by adjusting water pH or by adding ‘colour modifiers’ (for example, citric acid, iron sulphate or sodium carbonate). This really extends the colour palette and makes for interesting combinations. Natural dyes can be used for handpainting and other techniques but this does take a little more mastering than with synthetics. Like synthetics they can be used on virtually any natural fibre, yarn, fabric or other material.”

Hand-Dyeing wih Synthetic Dyes

Introduction to Hand – Dyeing with Synthetic Dyes is taking place on Saturday 20th May. This is a full day workshop that costs £65, which includes all materials, a delicious finger buffet lunch and a tea break in the afternoon with homemade cake. You will have a gorgeous hank of yarn to take home and one of Debbie Tomkies’ patterns.

Hand – Dyeing with Natural Dye Extracts

The Introduction to Hand – Dyeing with Natural Dye Extracts workshop is taking place on Friday 2nd June and cost £65 for the full day.. Natural dye extracts are so versatile and easy to use. There are so many beautiful colours that can be created mixing the powders. The same applies for the natural dye extract workshop to the synthetic, all materials are provided (including a pinny) and your choice of 100g hank of yarn to dye.

We are always updating our workshops listings online. If hand-dyeing doesn’t take your fancy, then take a look at the many other workshops that we offer.