Upcoming Events at the Craft Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 15-02-2019

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If you are picking a date to make a trip out to the Craft Barn, then be sure to check out the events below before you set out. We have lots of events coming up very soon.

Crochet & Natter Afternoon Tea with Lilla Bjorn
Friday 1st March 2019 2pm – 4pm | £19.95 Book Online

Crochet designer and Scheepjes blogger, Tatsiana of Lilla Bjorn will be here for afternoon tea. Bring along your crochet and join her for a relaxed natter.

Meet & Greet with Lilla Bjorn
Saturday 2nd March 2019 | 9.30am – 11.30am | Free to attend

Meet the designer behind the blog Lilla Bjorn, Tatsiana. She will be in store for the morning sharing her crochet expertise.

Rowan New Season Launch
Saturday 2nd March 2019 | 10am – 3.30pm | Free to attend

Join us for our Rowan new season launch day in our fabulous Rowan Flagship area in store. Take a look at all of the new yarns and publications for summer, come along and try out the yarns, have a glass of bubbly and a natter to our Rowan Consultant Melanie about the new launches. Plus, there will be 10% off all Rowan yarns!

Attic24 at the Craft Barn
Saturday 16th March 2019 | 10am – 4pm | Free to attend

Black Sheep Wools are delighted to announce that World famous crochet designer Attic 24 will be joining us in the Craft Barn on Saturday 16th March 10am – 4pm. Come along and meet Lucy, be inspired by her beautiful designs and incredible use of colour. It promises to be a fabulous day of crochet and chat. There will even be some Yorkshire inspired treats and a raffle of some of Lucy’s most famous kits.

James McIntosh Knitting & Mindfulness
Saturday 23rd March 2019 | 10am – 4pm | £5 per ticket (donated to MIND)

James McIntosh will be at the Craft Barn giving two talks on ‘Knititation’. Hear first hand how knitting saved his life when he was suffering from a severe depression. James promises you a day of laughter, love and anecdotes.  Dr Thomas Ernst FRCP will finish the talk with a mindfulness practise, explaining how being present (while knitting and when not knitting) leads to wellness.
Tickets for the morning talk are now sold out.
Book a ticket for the afternoon here – Knitting & Mindfulness Talk
James is the author of the book ‘Knit and Nibble‘. This book features knitting patterns, cake recipes and information on knititation: a mindfulness practice developed by Dr Thomas A. Ernst FRCP.
All ticket sales will be donated to the mental health charity MIND.

On the day we will also have Lynne Rowe in store sharing her top tips on mindful knitting and crochet. Come along and chat to Lynne, she will demonstrate how to knit and crochet in a mindful way. Pick up a leaflet to take away full of advice. Lynne practices mindful techniques when crafting and she also teaches workshops on the subject. Book a place on Mindful Crochet at the Craft Barn this May.

Yarn Shop Day
Saturday 27th April 2019 | 10am  – 4pm | Free to attend

Join Jem Weston‘s ‘Finishing School’ for a drop-in session. Jem will be covering various knitting finishing techniques throughout the day.
10am – 11am | Shaping, covering increases and decreases
11.30am – 12.30pm | Mattress Stitch
1.30pm – 2.30pm | Picking up stitches
2.30pm – 3.30pm | Sewing up drop-in clinic

Cathy Wright will be in store for the day spinning. Demonstrating how to spin yarn from fleece using a spinning wheel.

Emma Varnam, crochet designer and award winning blogger will be joining us from 10am – 2pm. She will be holding amigurmi drop-in sessions at her table. Sharing her top tips on crocheting characters, including how to know where to stitch on eyes and nose!

Rowan Magazine 65

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 03-02-2019

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On a cold winter’s day take a look inside the spring summer – Rowan Magazine 65 with Sara. She takes you through the magazine page by page looking at all of the pattern photography. Enjoy planning your wish list as you watch.

Rowan Moordale

Posted by Amy | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 18-01-2019

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Rowan Moordale is a brand new yarn to join the Rowan collection for 2019. It comes in luxurious 100g hanks of 70% wool and 30% alpaca yarn. Made from the finest premium British fibres, it is a yarn to covet on a dull January day. Take your pick from 12 rich shades of colour – earthy and bold.
Martin Storey has designed the pattern book for Moordale. A selection of knitted designs for men and women, really wearable pieces, ones that will be a pleasure to knit and a joy to wear year after year. Find hats, sweaters, snoods and cardigans with lots of textured stitch patterns. Watch Sara reviewing the yarn and browsing the pattern book in our video below.  

Black Sheep Barbara has knitted a ‘Buckler’ hat from the Rowan Moordale book with just one hank of the yarn. A textured stitch that works well with the twist of the yarn. A lover of natural fibres and beautiful hanks of yarn, Barbara was the perfect yarn taster. I asked Barbara how she found working with it –

“It’s really, really lovely. Beautiful stitch definition and so soft. The look of a pure wool yarn with the added softness of alpaca. It makes the perfect pompom too.”

Rowan Moordlale | Buckler Hat | Black Sheep Wools

Rowan have shared a behind the scenes video of the book photo shoot. It’s great when brands give you a little sneak peek at how they bring a collection together. It gives you more of a feel for the designs and colour palette inspiration. The phenomenal depth of colour that can be found in the countryside, heathers, tree bark and so many intense shades of green.

A second video from Rowan, that is well worth a watch is their ‘Making of Moordale’. It is interesting to watch the process that takes place to go from initial fibres to hanks of yarn. So much winding and spinning, it’s quite hypnotic!

Don’t forget you can also see all of the magnificent Rowan yarns at the Craft Barn too. Did you know we are a Rowan Flagship store? We stock all of the Rowan range including the seasonal Selects yarns. Every Wednesday and Saturday you will find our in store Rowan Consultant, Melanie in the Rowan corner. We always have a great selection of sample garments to catch your eye.
Melanie is smitten with the new Rowan Moordale yarn. She is currently working on a project in a combination of shades. Keep an eye out on Instagram for a photo popping up soon.

Melanie says –

“It’s beautifully soft to the touch. There is a nice stitch definition. Best of all it’s a British yarn with a gorgeous palette of colours. My favourites are Turmeric, Gooseberry and Blue Moor. I love the pattern collection by Martin Storey. Tussock is my favourite.”

Celebrating 40 Years of Rowan Yarns

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News, Guest Blog | Posted on 12-10-2018

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On Saturday we had a party at the Craft Barn. An all-day event to celebrate 40 years of Rowan yarns. And what a spectacular day it was. We had our favourite Scandinavian knitwear designers in store for the day – Arne and Carlos. Now, this duo are such talented knitwear designers and sooo lovely too. They will always ignite your creativity with ideas and inspiration. Happy to chat away with customers and we even had them compering our Rowan fashion show, which was so much fun! We had members of staff modelling and Paul & Carol (who set up Black Sheep Wools many years ago). Take a look at our Instagram Stories highlights to see more snippets from the fashion show.

Our Rowan Consultant, Melanie has written a guest blog post about the day –

Melanie’s Blog Post

“Our 40th Anniversary party for Rowan Yarns was loads of fun. We celebrated Rowan past and present. Our fashion shows were full of fabulous vintage garments and stunning designs by Arne and Carlos. They were also full of fun and laughter, with expert modelling throughout. Arne and Carlos told us all about their design inspiration for their beautiful New Nordic collection. My particular favourites are Tuva and Embla.

Carmen wearing the ‘Tuva’ sweater from New Nordic book.

‘Embla’ in Kid Silk Haze and ‘Olava’ in Felted Tweed and Kid Silk Haze.

Sara and Carol wearing garments from Arne and Carlos – New Nordic book.

Stacey wearing ‘Monty’ from Rowan 40 Years book.

Paul is wearing a vintage Rowan sweater with a fabulous trellis effect textured stitch.

Hannah is wearing matching hat and sweater from New Nordic book.

I’d asked people to bring or wear their own Rowan knits, I wasn’t disappointed there were some stunners.

Sarah our Rowan rep, wearing the ‘Fowberry’ cardigan from Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 64. This cardigan is knitted in Rowan Alpaca Classic.

Gina showing off her vintage Rowan sweater. What a detailed Fair Isle design!

We had balloons, bubbly and birthday CAKE. I know loads of people bought yarn for their next projects. I can’t wait to see the results.

Yummy birthday cake!

Carlos cutting the delightful Red Velvet birthday cake.

As our 40th Anniversary season progresses I’ve been planning my own projects. At this time of year I am making gifts for my family and friends. With that in mind I’ve made lots of beautiful Rowan kits for hats and scarves. I also have a free pattern for Fingerless Mitts with each purchase of Rowan Brushed Fleece. With gifts in mind have you seen the Rowan At Home collection by Martin Storey. I love the Oswald Owl cushion. I’m also choosing which shade of Softyak to choose to make Mullion by Sarah Hatton. It’s in the New Vintage DK book.”

Stay up to date with Melanie on her Instagram, where you will find a variety of snaps of delicious Rowan yarns and the odd pic of her cute dog, Milo.
Melanie will also be teaching a mini knitting class in store on Saturday 1st December. Enjoy making a Christmas decoration using beautiful Rowan yarns. Pop over to our workshops page to book a place.

Knitting and Crochet Projects By Black Sheep Customers

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 07-09-2018

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We get treated to the delights of our talented customers every day. Whether it is in store at the Craft Barn or online. Knitters and crocheters are a sharing bunch. We all enjoy admiring the work of others and finding out what has been made with all those balls of yarn. It can inspire a future project for yourself or spur you on to finish a WIP (work in progress).
In store all of the Black Sheep ladies are interested when you tell them about your plans for the basket of yarn in your clutch. It is nice when customers pop in wearing a garment they had been discussing making with a member of staff, or even seeking help for a tricky part of the pattern. If you are happy to have you photo taken then we will do. We do try our best to share them all on social media and if not on here.
Online we love to see photos pop up on social media – Twitter, Facebook, tagged on Instagram or using #blacksheepwools. Did you know we now have a dedicated Facebook group? Black Sheep Wool Make-A-Long where you can share your latest makes and chat about your work in progress.

Here is a selection of finished projects by customers in recent months.

A customer called Carol, came in store with her grandson and a very cute elephant in tow. This friendly chap is from The Knitted Nursery book by Jem Weston. Carol’ grandson chose a different colour combination of Rowan Cotton Glace to be England colours in the World Cup.

The Knitted Nursery Collection by Jem Weston

Karen shared her photo on our Facebook page. A colourful shawl crocheted in Stylecraft Batik Swirl – Rainbow. Following a pattern from Ravelry – Secret Paths by Johanna Lindahl. It took one and a half balls of yarn.

Secret Paths Shawl in Stylecraft Batik Swirl

Lillian crocheted an Into the Sunset blanket and now her daughter’s want one each too! Crocheted using the colour pack of Scheepjes Catona yarn. Lillian chose to share her project on our Facebook Make-A-Long group.

Joanne chose a gorgeous shade of mustard Rowan Summerlite DK to knit the ‘Glimpse’ cardigan from Kim Hargreaves Haze book. She shared her finished photo on our Facebook page. Thanking our Rowan Consultant, Melanie for helping her choose the shade.

Haze by Kim Hargreaves

Leona came in store with an exquisite knitted Christening shawl. Knitted for her first great grandchild in Sirdar Snuggly 3ply, this magnificent piece of knitting is sure to be an heirloom that will be treasured. The pattern was from Woman’s Weekly magazine for the Royal Baby. We found a similar one on our website in Snuggly 4ply (4741).

Helen made this top just in time for the sunshine this summer. Crocheted in Scheepjes Whirl, the pattern is called Spiderdream by Alina Dalichau on Ravelry. The shade looks like it could be Red Velvet Sunrise.

Scheepjes Whirl Crocheted Top

Barbara enjoys crocheting blankets and sharing them with the Craft Barn ladies. Her latest one is crocheted in the beautiful Sublime Baby Cashmere Silk Merino DK.

Sandra’s granddaughter found a cosy spot to snuggle under. The Rock and Roll blanket has been a very popular colour pack this summer. An easy to knit garter stitch design made from Scheepjes Stone Washed XL & and River Washed XL mini balls.

Sue crocheted a Little River Blanket and loved making it. She shared her photo on our Facebook page. This is a colour pack consisting of a Scheepjes Stone Washed and River Washed mini ball pack and a few full size balls of moonstone in Stone Washed.

 

Autumn Events at the Craft Barn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Company News | Posted on 17-08-2018

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A few dates for your diary folks! When you see what we have planned for the autumn, you will want to cancel all of your plans and gather your crafty friends for a trip to the Craft Barn in Warrington. Without further ado…..

Rowan Yarn Tasting Day
Saturday 1st September 2018 | 9am – 5pm | Free to attend

On Saturday 1st September we will be holding a Rowan yarn tasting day in our fabulous Rowan Flagship area in store. Celebrating all of the new yarns and publications for autumn winter, come along and try the yarns, have a glass of bubbly and a natter to our Rowan Consultant Melanie about the new launches. There will be 10% off Rowan yarns on the day (in store only).

Scheepjes Day – Ubuntu Launch Party!
Saturday 8th September 2018 | 9am – 5pm | Free to attend

We are having an Ubuntu Launch Party! Come along to Black Sheep Wools on Saturday 8th September and meet two of Scheepjes most inspirational bloggers, Look At What I Have Made & Lilla Bjorn. Have a glass of bubbly and help us celebrate the launch of the new Scheepjes crochet along, the Ubuntu CAL. Make a friendship bracelet at our drop-in craft table and leave it for a new friend on our friendship tree, all to celebrate Ubuntu! The first 50 customers to spend over £25 will receive a Scheepjes goody bag!

Pop – Up Shop with Siobhan’s Crafts
Saturday 15th  and Sunday 16th September 2018 | 9am – 5pm

Indie yarn dyer Siobhan’s Crafts will be back with her colourful wares for sale in store. Find delicious hand dyed hanks of wonder! Take a look at her Instagram to tickle your taste buds.

*There will be more pop-up shops from other indie dyers coming up this autumn too. Watch this space!

Rowan 40th Anniversary Party + Special Guests
Saturday 6th October 2018 | 11.30am – 4pm | Free to attend

World famous Scandinavian knitting superstars Arne and Carlos will be at the Craft Barn to celebrate Rowan’s 40th anniversary on Saturday 6th October. It is set to be a fun-filled birthday party with cake, yarn and balloons galore! Join us for a fabulous fashion show celebrating the history of Rowan in its 40th anniversary year. From its very earliest beginnings all the way up to present day, there are garments from every era to delight and inspire the Rowan fans who have loyally supported the brand for the last 40 years. More details on fashion show times to follow on here soon.

Dee Hardwicke Designer Trunk Show
Friday 23rd November 2018 | 3pm – 5pm | Free to attend

Meet the artist, designer and author, Dee Hardwicke, as Dee celebrates the publication of her latest book, Colourwork Knits: 12 Hand Knit Designs Inspired by Nature. The book features Dee’s debut knitwear collection, and follows on from the success of Dee’s previous book, A Story in Yarn: How to Design and Knit an Intarsia Heirloom Quilt. Dee will be signing copies of both books, and this event will be a unique opportunity to see some of the original watercolour sketches, templates and knitted swatches behind Dee’s beautiful designs. Dee will also be on-hand to talk about her inspiration and to help you select palettes for your own quilt or knitwear projects based on the stunning collection of Rowan yarns to be found at Black Sheep Wools. You’re bound to feel completely inspired to pick up your knitting needles!

 

 

New yarns for your stash

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products | Posted on 25-05-2018

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Do you ever have a knitting or crochet lull? When you pick up a ball of yarn from your stash and just think, no, you’re not inspiring me today. Then you have a little route around your bespoke yarn cupboards (aka wardrobes and drawers where yarn fits into any available slither of space where clothes aren’t) to discover a bag of yarn that’s just not floating your boat either. It is time for a refresh. It’s not to say the yarn in your stash is redundant, far from it, it’s day will come, just not today.
If you are prepared to be tempted then do continue to read this blog post. We have had some scrumptious yarn arrivals at Black Sheep Wools over the past couple of months. Not only new spring summer launches from much loved brands, we have also taken in a new brand and yarns that we feel were missing from our selection.

Take a look at our snapshot of new yarns for your stash and tell us what you think. Share photos on social media if you have already started making something in these yarns. Either tag Black Sheep Wools in an image or use the hashtag #blacksheepwools they we can share your knitting or crochet journey with you.

Introducing CoopKnits Socks Yeah! in both 4ply and DK. CoopKnits is a yarn brand created in collaboration with the yarn company Fyberspates. Rachel Coopey is a knitwear designer who specialises in sock knitting. She worked with Fyberspates to produce a range of yarns suitable for sock knitting. Although they don’t have to be restricted to socks. So this is a new yarn for us, but quite possibly one you have been working with for a while. We are very excited to have all of these beautiful hanks at our finger tips!

New yarns for your stash | CoopKnits Socks Yeah!

CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 4ply

New yarns for your stash | CoopKnits Socks Yeah! 4ply

Stylecraft Linen Drape is next up with 8 muted summer shades to choose from. Linen has popped up in quite a few yarns for spring summer 2018. It is a fibre synonymous with summer, why not wear a knitted jumper with your favourite linen trousers or skirt.

New yarns for your stash | Stylecraft Linen Drape

Not one for warm summer days – Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork is made from 100% British Wool. Even though it is the sunnier season in the UK, it is winter somewhere in the world. These handy 25g balls are ideal for knitting fair isle or intarsia projects.

New yarn for your stash | Baa Ram Ewe Pip Colourwork

For those who love to crochet with a fine cotton, Scheepjes Sweet Treat is a must. The range boasts a whopping 87 shades! This is a new yarn that we have added to our ever growing Scheepjes selection.

New yarns for your stash | Scheepjes Sweet Treat

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Luxury Baby DK and 4ply have made their way into our range of baby yarns. A yarn that is made up of the purest Falkland Island wool and the finest nylon. It washes too which is a huge bonus, especially for a luxury baby yarn.

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep Dk

West Yorkshire Spinners Luxury Bo Peep 4ply

West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Peep 4ply

Rowan have come up with a fab new yarn as part of their Rowan Selects. The ‘Selects’ yarns are limited edition,  available for just one season, when they are gone, they are gone. Rowan Denim Lace is originally sourced from recycled denim. It is presented on cones, which makes this delight stand out on the shelves. Beautifully soft it knits up a treat. A customer recently popped in with a lace shawl knitted in the Harbour Fog shade. Take a look on our Instagram at the pics.

New yarn for your stash | Rowan Denim Lace

If you are looking for a silkier feel yarn, then take a look at Sirdar Summer Linen DK. New for this summer, the yarn is so silky soft (with no silk content) and has a magnificent sheen.

New yarns for your stash | Sirdar Summer Linen

One more yarn to share…..Rico Creative Melange Lace. A lovely colour effect on this yarn, it is so striking. When you spot this one, you instantly want to pick it up and take a closer look. Rico always have really nice colour palettes for their yarns. This shade range is no exception.

Rico Creative Melange Lace | Black Sheep Wools

Hopefully after taking a peek at some new yarns you will no longer feel in a yarny pickle. The answer may well lie within this very blog post 😉 Happy knitting and crocheting!

Keep up to date with all the latest yarns and goings on at Black Sheep Wools on our Facebook and Instagram, or why not sign up to our newsletter?

 

Sara’s yarn review – Rowan Alpaca Soft DK

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Yarn Reviews | Posted on 28-03-2018

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I have been knitting a simple garter stitch scarf with Rowan Alpaca Soft DK. The scarf is just 36 stitches on a pair of 4mm needles. I’ve knitted every row until the end of the ball, using four different shades. This easy- knit idea came from a lady called Pat, who used to be a Rowan Consultant, she was wearing a scarf like this in store.

More shades of Rowan Alpaca Soft DK that would make another great colour combination.

Rowan Alpaca Soft Dk

Men’s Knitting Patterns

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting | Posted on 23-03-2018

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In amongst so many patterns for ladies and babies, men’s knitting patterns sometimes can be missed. We have plucked out a selection of men’s knitting patterns to share. If you are ever struggling though, we do have the option to narrow down the search depending on who / what you are knitting for. Hover over patterns on our home page and select in the ‘For’ category.

Before you even begin to be tempted to make any of the knitwear below, we must talk about the ‘Boyfriend Sweater Curse’ (unless you are a man knitting for yourself). You may have heard this pop up online or in a knitting magazine over the years. It is a theory that knitting a sweater for your significant other can lead to a break up! Eeeek! A knitted sweater isn’t just whipped up in a couple of hours, as we all know, a lot of time and effort goes into making it. With all the hours put in you are thinking about this person a lot (maybe whether or not they are the one for you) and you really want the person you are knitting for to appreciate it. This can be said for any knitted gift though and I guess this is where the theory came about.

We are obviously very sceptical of this theory and feel that the sweaters and cardigans below are too fabulous not to be knitted. We want knitting to bring you happiness! A good way to know the recipient will like the jumper is to involve them in choosing the pattern and shade. Pick a selection of designs that you would be happy to knit and let them choose from there. If you are going to knit for a new man in your life, maybe start small and go for a scarf or hat – still a lovely gift.

Choose from a v-neck or shawl collar cardigan in this pattern from Hayfield in Bonus Aran Tweed. A versatile knit for any season!

Men's Knitting Patterns | Cardigan in Hayfield Bonus Aran Tweed

Rowan Journeyman book has been designed by Martin Storey. An incredible collection of knitwear for men. Out of 12 patterns in the book these are four standout designs.
Clockwise from top left ‘Heston’, a cable design using Rowan Hemp Tweed. ‘Curtis’ is the next one along, a textured design using two shades of Rowan Felted Tweed Aran. ‘Brando’ is a hooded sweater with an all over cable design in Hemp Tweed. ‘Cooper’ is a snuggly sweater knitted in Felted Tweed Aran, a slip stitch design creates a rib like texture. There are many more tempting patterns from this book too.

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

If a double knit yarn is more your thing, how about this raglan sleeve sweater in Stylecraft Life Vintage Look DK and Life DK. The Life Vintage Look yarn is a tweedy sort of yarn that lends itself to men’s knitwear.

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

Knit a round neck sweater or cardigan in a textured diamond stitch in Stylecraft Alpaca Tweed DK.

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

If a chunky knit is called for, why not knit this super cosy cabled sweater in your favourite chunky yarn?

Men's Knitting Patterns | Black Sheep Wools

Take a look on our Men’s Knitting patterns page on the website to see more patterns.

Sara’s Unfinished Project Update – Part 2

Posted by Sara Mulvey | Posted in Sara's Blog | Posted on 13-03-2018

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An update on my UFO’s. I have finished quite a few more things since the last video (and started a few!). Take a look at my video below and let me know what you think. I am so pleased with my crocheted blanket in Scheepjes Whirl, it used just one ball.

I have also found yet another bag of UFO’s. This was a fun video to film, as I genuinely didn’t know what was in there. I even found a necklace and a pair of head phones!