#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.

Tartan crochet

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 26-03-2014

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Catherine’s #WIPWednesday transformed into a completed tartan crochet face cloth as if by magic! She soon had this mini project completed. After sharing it as our #WIPWednesday on Facebook last week, it was all done and dusted by Friday. Catherine mentioned the crochet tartan face cloth to me early last week (this sounded interesting!). I asked if I could be nosey and share her progress with everyone. She had picked up the pattern whilst browsing Ravelry, designed by ‘Happy Berry’.

Here are the fresh blue & turquoise shades of yarn she chose, including Rico Essentials Cotton Dk and Patons 100% Cotton Dk. Not forgetting the crochet hook, one from the KnitPro Waves set Catherine can’t get enough of!


These type of in between projects are fun and satisfying to do. When setting out you know the scale, and more or less know the complexity. It is just a matter of picking up your hook / needles and cracking on with your favourite past time. No daunting prospects of  another sleeve to make after that one or a whole garment to sew up or even a button band to pick up. From time to time it is nice to just enjoy crafting without any added extras so to speak. If you are part way through a big project sometimes you need that little break to refresh your knitting mind – I know I do!

I was quite fascinated how this piece of crochet would be created. This photo is showing the progress as Catherine has started adding the tartan stripe.


Here you can see the stripes she has crocheted on the left with the ones waiting to be completed on the right.


The finished tartan crochet face cloth! Just a few ends to sew in.


Catherine loves using hand crocheted face cloths and plans to try making another one in King Cole Cotton Soft Dk very soon.

Celebrate Chinese New Year with a FREE pattern

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns | Posted on 31-01-2014



Today is Chinese New Year and we have the perfect pattern to celebrate the year of the horse. This Patons horse is a free pattern that can be downloaded from our website. He is a cheery chap knitted in Patons 100% Cotton 4ply yarn. The pattern also comes with a matching sweater for babies up to 18 months.  He doesn’t have to just be for babies though!


Customer projects……..

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 20-09-2013

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I have a mixture of projects to share with you today, all from our customers. Some knitted, some crocheted as always a varied selection of colour and inspiration.

On Wednesday evening at the Sirdar event Helen called me over to a lady who was wearing the most delicate fair isle beret. An incredible work of art, knitted in Rowan Felted Tweed. She had followed a pattern by Kate Davies. Isn’t it fab? Accessorising her beautiful ‘sheep’ fair isle cardigan with an intricate lace scarf. The cardigan had been knitted in the round and ‘steeking‘ had taken place. Since discovering this technique I knew exactly what this involved.



A customer brought in her crocheted star blanket as a work in progress. Wow! What a work in progress this is! She was on the hunt for more shades to complete this yummy, rainbow creation. All of the yarn used is Rico Creative Cotton Aran and the pattern is available on Ravelry. I am hoping when the final blanket is made I will get to see it complete. This may just have to go on the potential project list. It has been a while since this is been added to, so it is only fair to keep it going, don’t you think?


Another Craft Barn customer called Susan, brought in an incredible crocheted blanket, made from Patons Diploma Gold Dk yarn. The scale of this blanket was HUGE! How she had the patientce to crochet this, I don’t know. I hope you can tell from the photos the immense scale of this project, a beautiful blanket for a double bed.



Doll Knitting

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 05-08-2013



We love a knitted character or two here at Black Sheep Wools – not just knitted crocheted too. I am still contemplating knitting the super cute ‘Thread bear’. Have you knitted him yet?

Heather is quite a fan of her knitted creatures too, recently completing a sherbet green rabbit for Toni’s baby. Inspiring her mum to knit the lovely Patons doll for a friends little girl. She is the perfect doll for a little one to traipse around with, you can just imagine her long legs dangling, trailing the floor behind! As you may already know, a work in progress (WIP) photo is a must here at the Black Sheep. There is something interesting about seeing a project on the needles or in mysterious, mishaped pieces laid out together. I find it a good way to gather my thoughts and work out how everything will all fit together in the end.


The doll is knitted in Patons Smoothie Dk yarn. Doesn’t she look lovely knitted up. The pattern also comes with a matching cardigan for a little girl.


Catherine’s Crochet Top

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 19-06-2013

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I think I can say (and she won’t mind me saying) that Catherine is the worst culprit amongst staff for starting new projects. I know that I am very often lured in by beautiful new yarns and patterns, but Catherine always seems to be starting a new project (or two!). Back in January, when many of the Black Sheep ladies openly shared their New Years resolutions here on the blog, Catherine had 24 projects on the go. Admittedly, she isn’t completely sure any of the said projects have been finished since then. Last week she came in with a gorgeous piece of crochet in a rather sunny shade of Patons Mirage Dk. A new project! But this time Catherine was determined to get it completed ready for the sunshine and her forthcoming holiday.


To my surprise on Monday I came in to find a completed waistcoat sat waiting on my desk. Catherine had finished it over the weekend! All sewn up, complete with a very neat edging. Isn’t it lovely? Catherine classes herself as a novice crocheter, as she only taught herself last year. If you do fancy trying something different and moving on from a granny square, this could be the pattern for you. She said the yarn was really easy to crochet with and would recommend others to give it a go. Perfect to whip up in time for your summer holidays, or a sunny day at home.


The pattern is from Patons Mirage Dk 3800 book.


Thank you for sharing Catherine. Make sure you keep your eyes peeled for more of Catherine’s projects. Who knows this could be the start of something new………

Delicate Lace Shawl…….

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 07-02-2013



There is something about fine and delicate lace knitting that makes me look on in awe. I always find it so fascinating, the intricate pattern made from basic knitting stitches. Stitches that I am competent in using, yet I rarely venture into the endless possibilities of lace work. Maybe this is an extra (if slightly late) New years knitting resolution – to experiment with lace knitting. I have used Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace before and since seeing the new summer shades arriving in stock I could quite easily be convinced to try a spot of lace knitting.

A customer called Susan has sent in a photograph of her beautiful baby shawl she had just completed. When I asked Susan which pattern she had followed for this delicate piece she sent an image of an old pattern, I think we could call this vintage! Susan said that the pattern actually says the price 4d (in old money). I love seeing old patterns and it is even better if you can still use them today. I know sometimes it can all get a little bit confusing when trying to match old yarns to the tension of modern yarns. The pattern is for 3ply which was good because Susan could easily substitute with Sirdar Snuggly 3ply in white.


Here is a photograph of the very pretty blanket, I especially like the edging.



Knitted Teddy Bear

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 06-02-2013



A lovely, cuddly bear made a visit to the Craft Barn last week. Well a customer called Carol brought him in. Isn’t he adorable in his little jumper too! Carol knitted him using Patons Diploma gold dk yarns. The pattern is actually an old one that Carol had in her stash so unfortunately I am unable to tell you the pattern number.

We do have a selection of cute and cuddly toy patterns available on the website if you fancy knitting one yourself. Take a look here.



Patons Fab Big Neon!

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 17-01-2013



Patons Fab Big in theneon shades seems to be proving very popular here at Black Sheep Wools HQ! The colours are so enticing and on trend. The day it arrived in stock I bought 2 balls – a pink and yellow. At the moment I haven’t started knitted the pink but I do plan to do the snood from the ball band. The yellow – well I decided to knit a scarf and because I fancied it being really, really long I needed an extra ball. I used 1 and a half balls altogether, even with the extreme fringing! So with that extra half I might see if I can manage a hat or maybe a headband. I will be like a bright beacon, you won’t miss me in that!

Lesley has knitted a snood slightly different to the pattern on the ball band. It is very similar and still creates a loose stitched snood. The pattern is as follows –

1 ball Patons Fab Big & 20mm needles

Cast on 15 sts
Knit 1, purl 1
Continue to knit 1, purl 1 every row until snood reaches desired length
Cast off
Join ends to create a snood loop.

The scarf I knitted is a really simple pattern to do and creates a knit heading in a diagonal. The pattern is as follows –

1½ balls Patons Fab Big & 15mm needles

Cast on 15sts
Row 1: knit
Row 2: Increase in first stitch, knit until last 2 stitches, knit 2 together.
Continue following the 2 rows until scarf reaches desired length.
Cast off

Cut 2 pieces of approx 30cm length yarn for each fringe!


 At just £4.99 a ball this is a fantastic yarn. Take a look at more shades here.

UFO – Sara’s Crochet Cushion

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Staff Projects | Posted on 04-07-2012

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When the UFO (Un Finshed Object) idea was initially discussed I felt a little queasy. I suddenly thought of the many projects lurking around  the house at home. Do I ever finish anything? Well I do (sometimes), but some how starting something new is so much more fun than finishing off. The problem is when you start so many new projects others are left behind, waiting patiently to be finished off.

The Black Sheep Hook, Knit and Stitch – a – thon has definitely spurred me on to get finishing those UFO’s. Who knows, I might even end up with a whole new wardrobe, quite possibly both Summer and Winter garments.

First UFO…………………

Sara has brought in the first UFO a gorgeous 4ply cushion cover she is crocheting for her daughter’s bedroom.

This is Sara’s first ever attempt at crochet. All she needs to do to finish is a few more rows on both the front and back pieces, then join it up and also line the cushion cover with fabric. You can see how Sara is progressing here on the blog and over on the Black Sheep Wools Facebook page.