Sewing, knitting & crochet!

Posted by Amy | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 22-12-2014

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In the lead up to Christmas we have all been eager to get our WIP’s (works in progress) and Christmas gifts finished ready for a fresh start in 2015. It may have been wishful thinking to completely blitz every project that’s patiently waiting on needles and hooks around the house. Finishing even a small majority can however be very satisfying and leave you feeling quite clear of WIP overload. Obviously Christmas gifts have to be a priority, if you hope to have them wrapped in time. I hope you are reading this with a cup of tea in hand and not a single knitted / crocheted present to be in sight, just lots of neatly wrapped presents ready and waiting to be unwrapped on Christmas day. In the past few weeks members of staff here at Black Sheep Wools have been bringing in finished projects.

Emma has been knitting a longline cardigan (Hayfield 9699) in James C Brett Chinky with Merino. She chose this yarn as she had heard so many good reviews from our customers. It also washes in the washing machine which is always an added bonus, especially with the cardigan being the type of style that you can easily wear with any outfit, so it will probably be worn over and over again.

longline knitted cardigan

Not only has Emma finished knitting her chunky cardigan she has also been doing a spot of sewing. This pattern is a Tilly and the Buttons design. Emma has added covered button fastenings and fancy stitch detail on the cuffs. The fabric Emma chose is one of her favourites in the Coats range, by Dena Designs – Fox Playground in grey.

dena designs fabric blouse

Beth has crocheted a blanket using 3 strands of yarn together. A combination of SMC Cassiopeia in pink with two shades of James C Brett Chunky with Merino. The true size of the blanket is difficult to show. It is actually quite larger, the size of a single bed. Beth said as the blanket gradually grew bigger, the weight of the blanket also increased. I guess with something this size it can keep your legs warm as you go along.

chunky crochet blanket

Take a look at the texture created with all the yarns combined. Beth used a whopping 20mm crochet hook!

chunky crochet blanket - 3 strands

Stacey has been extremely busy making Christmas presents for family and friends. Crocheted slippers have been a favourite choice. This is a pattern Stacey has adapted from various crochet slipper patterns. The first pair are crocheted in Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky Undyed. Modelled by Jayne in her glitzy tights.


The red and grey pair are in Debbie Bliss Winter Garden. The grey pair have an edging and bow in Katia Fiesta.


Stacey has also been playing around with Sirdar Snuggly Bubbly and Sirdar Ophelia, knitting the two strands together.


The two different textures create a bouncy, squishy fabric with a flicker of sparkle where the Ophelia bursts through.


Here is the finished scarf, complete with Rico fake fur pompoms.


Lesley has a knitted hats and snoods this Christmas. The hats are in Rico Creative Twist Super Chunky following Rico pattern 126 and the basket stitch snood in Rowan All Seasons Chunky.

hats and snoods

She is also making a scarf following Stacey’s King Cole Cosmos & Opium scarf. This is a free pattern download on our website. The scarf is knitted with one strand of King Cole Opium and one strand of King Cole Cosmos at the same time.


Do you have any recent projects to share? Have you taken photos of Christmas knits before wrapping? Email in any photos to

More projects from Yarn in the Barn – Part 1

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 30-05-2014

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I have been collecting projects from our Yarn in the Barn group for quite a few weeks now. So it has come the time to share these lovely projects with you all. Today I will share part one and part two will follow next week. It is great to see many of these projects grow on a weekly basis. Many of the ladies who attend our knit and natter group (Yarn in the Barn) tend to bring along a specific project that they can make whilst also having a little chat too.

Debbie brought in the most amazing sweater she had knitted in Rowan Colourspun and James C Brett Double Knitting with Merino yarn. The pattern is actually for a men’s sweater. Debbie liked the fairisle design so much she amended the pattern to fit herself. She also altered the collar design. Here is the original design…….


And then Debbie’s sweater, modelled by the lady herself. The pattern is from Rowan Magazine 52 and is called Tiree.


Ann has knitted a cardigan in King Cole Country Tweed Dk, a versatile style from King Cole Shine Dk pattern 3846.


Liz has been making knitted necklaces in Sirdar Firefly for her local church to sell for charity.


Cathy loves to crochet and always has something new on the go. A couple of weeks ago I saw the start of an ‘Elise shawl‘ (Ravelry pattern) crocheted in Araucania Botany Lace. Then this week Cathy had a gorgeous shawl, finished off with Debbie Abrahams beads.




Brenda has knitted a pretty cable top in a vibrant shade of Debbie Bliss Bella, following a pattern from the book Bella. Brenda did add that the pattern came up a little bigger than expected so she knitted a size smaller.


Edna’s latest finished project is a cardigan (pattern 2416) knitted in Sirdar Cotton Dk. She has kindly made this for Tina’s (another member of Yarn in the Barn) grand-daughter. There are 18 shades to choose from in the Sirdar Cotton Dk range, so you can have lots of fun with colour on this design!


Sally has knitted the beautiful Debbie Bliss Luxury Silk Dk chevron scarf in shade ‘geranium’. The colours remind me of sweets! Download the pattern for free from our website.


And last but not least Sue’s cardigan (or waistcoat at the moment), following Sirdar pattern 9810, knitted in SMC Extra Soft Merino yarn. Sue wasn’t too keen on the cabling and has decided not to include this on her cardigan. Looking good so far!


Stacey’s Snood – Free Pattern

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns, Staff Projects | Posted on 22-10-2012



Stacey has knitted this very handy snood in SMC Elements Mix yarn. To knit it you will need 4 balls (£2.65 a ball) and the best thing  the pattern is available to download on Black Sheep Wools website now for free! Knitted in moss stitch which gives the snood that added texture. The snood would be ideal to keep out the chill on a blustery day like today, it can be worn loose or wrapped once. The Elements Mix is a textural yarn with each shade a stunning mix of colours, including a metallic strand running throughout. I feel quite tempted to add this snood to my never ending project list but I just can not decide on a shade. The ‘Bonfire Mix’ Stacey has chosen would definitely be a possibility.

Winter Yarns

Posted by Amy | Posted in New Products, Staff Projects | Posted on 31-08-2012

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A list……..this has got to be the best option when it comes to deciding on your new season projects. My list is growing by the day and I would imagine come the end of September it will be so ridiculously long, if I were to make everything on the list I’d be busy until Winter 2014 (at least)! I guess this is what happens when you are surrounded by yarn everyday. Whenever I see something that catches my eye – a yarn or new pattern it goes on ‘the list’. There are so many tempting new yarns arriving by the day including……..

At the moment I can’t get enough of the new Rowan Tumble yarn. The shade palette is like an array of sugary sweets, so tempting and delicious. Although we are still in the month of August and the ‘season’ we like to think of as Summer I have already knitted a Winter hat! Completely inappropriate for now but something I look forward to wearing come Winter. It knitted up really quickly with its chunky rib and simple cable. The only thing is I now want to knit my way through whole of the Tumble book.

Emma who works here at the Black Sheep is knitting the hat in the cream shade 560 – Marshmallow. Even the names make the yarn hard to resist.

 SMC Tendance – This is an unusual, wool blend, textured yarn from SMC. I can imagine a loose garter stitch scarf knitted in this yarn showing the tufty texture and bobbles beautifully.

Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester Aran – This is a new yarn from Debbie Bliss and comes in a selection of traditional shades including shade 08 – red which has to be one of my favourites. I like the idea of the ‘shadow cable sweater’ from the accompanying Debbie Bliss book. Knitted in the red shade this would make a fab Christmas sweater.

These are just a few ideas going around my head at the moment. When I do eventually decide and start knitting I will be sure to share any finished projects with you here on the blog. Have you started any Winter knitting yet? Maybe even one of the new yarns. I would love to see any photographs of finished projects. Please email them to and they will go up on the blog. It is always inspiring seeing what everyone has been up to. Possibly making ‘the list’ even longer!

Rico Essentials Cotton Dk and SMC Rosas

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 26-04-2012



One of our regular Craft Barn customers Ashley popped in with her latest knit. This time she has knitted a top in the Rico Essentials Cotton Dk and SMC Rosas yarn. I love the texture that is created with the SMC Rosas yarn – something a bit different!

You can see a different top Ashley knitted in SMC Rosas and SMC Reflect here on a previous blog post.

SMC Select Rosas and SMC Select Reflect

Posted by Amy | Posted in Customer Projects | Posted on 29-03-2012



Thank you to everyone who sent in their suggestions for my crocheted flowers last week. I’m spoilt for choice now, such a variety of lovely ideas. When I do decide and finish what ever it is I eventually make I will make sure I show you. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks…………well I say weeks, maybe a little longer. I plan to start a Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply crocheted skirt very soon.

One of our Craft Barn customers – a lady called Ashley brought in this lovely knitted top she has recently knitted in SMC Select Rosas and Reflect. Ashley did not follow a particular pattern for this garment, she likes to adapt her own patterns experimenting with different yarns. The SMC Reflect (shade 4116) yarn is more or less a double knit and the SMC Rosas (shade 1793) is close to an Aran weight.

Ashley said that she enjoys knitting with the SMC yarns. For her next project she is going to knit another top in a different colour way. This time using the green Rosas yarn.

Knitted Love Heart in SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Opera

Posted by Amy | Posted in Free Patterns, Staff Projects | Posted on 07-02-2012



Catherine has designed and knitted this little love heart in SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Opera yarn. Why not surprise your valentine with a thoughtful knitted gift? or even just make one for yourself! The pattern is easy to follow and from one ball of the SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Opera you can make more than one heart. A ball of Extra Soft Merino Opera is just £4.68. Click here to take a look. The yarn is so soft comprising of 96% merino wool with a beautiful subtle red sparkle.

To knit the love heart you will need –

1 ball of SMC Select Extra Soft Merino Opera

1 pair of 4mm needles

Small amount of stuffing


Cast on 4 stitches.

RS 1. K inc in first and last stitch

      2. P inc in first and last stitch

Repeat these two rows until 34 stitches.

Stocking stitch 8 rows.

P1, P2tog, Purl to last 3 stitches P2tog tbl P1.

Right Lobe

* K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, K10, K2tog, K1 – TURN

1. P1, P2tog, P to last 3 P2tog tbl, P1

2. K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to last 3 K2tog, K1

Repeat 1 & 2 until 6 stitches remain.

P1, P2tog, P2tog tbl, P1

Cast off

Repeat from * for left lobe.

Press each piece if required and sew together leaving a gap.

Stuff and sew up gap.

If you have any questions or need any advice please post a message below.

SMC Frilly Scarf Yarn

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting, New Products | Posted on 28-07-2011

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Only one ball is needed to knit this great new yarn from SMC into a scarf.

It is shown here in shade 84. Priced at only £3.99 a ball! Click here to look at all of the shades available at The Black Sheep.

There is an easy to follow free pattern available to download from Coats Crafts website. Click here for the pattern!

Knitted on 5.5mm needles.