#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.

Antique Needle Case

Posted by Amy | Posted in Sewing, Treasured | Posted on 30-01-2015



When Yvonne brings in something to share you know it’s going to be an interesting piece, whether she has been knitting, crocheting or sewing. She will always put her own spin on a knitting pattern or add a little something here and there. As ever she has kept up her reputation with this incredible vintage find. She may not have made it herself, but she has treasured it for many years and it is craft related.

From a distance I saw the plastic tub sat on my desk and through the transparent lid I could see a butterfly. My initial thoughts were, hmmm a butterfly? Eeeek! I suddenly remembered the chrysalis Yvonne has been taking care of over the winter period. Had she really brought in the butterfly? Panic over, the exquisite golden butterfly is in fact made of brass, and is the most beautiful antique needle case. Yvonne remembers being given the needle case when she was a little girl. It dates back to the 1800’s and still has the original needles inside.

vintage butterly needle case

The wings are hinged and move ever so slightly.

vintage butterfly needle case

vintage butterfly needle case

Do you have any hidden sewing treasures like Yvonne? If you would like to share them with us, please email in your photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.

#ThrowBackThursday on a Monday!

Posted by Amy | Posted in Knitting | Posted on 23-09-2013

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If you follow Black Sheep Wools on Twitter and Facebook┬áthen you will have probably spotted many of our #throwbackThursday posts. For those of you who don’t follow us, I thought it would be nice to share some of the vintage delights here.

I have been shouted at for calling the ’90s’ vintage by many members of staff. I do apologise, from now on I will go with ‘retro’ for 90’s items. We have all enjoyed browsing through and trying to guess dates. Here are a selection of some of the patterns many staff and customers have un-earthed in the past couple of months. Including some actual garments.


Here is a photo of Emma and her mum back in the mid 1980’s wearing matching spider jumpers. How cool would they be for halloween?


Yvonne brought in a precious old book – ‘Knit with Norbury’. We guessed that this was from around the 40’s, so I can safely say this is vintage. Both the photo above and below this text are from the book. They are knitted in delicate 3ply fingering weight. Flicking through the book I can see that most are knitted in 3ply or even 2ply! No chunky yarns in the 1940’s.


Move forward a few years to 1983, when Knit One – by Angela King was published. This cardigan is knitted with sequins. The pattern requires 15 strings of 1,000 knitting sequins!


This one has got to be the 80’s (going off hair styles at least).


Izzy brought in a gorgeous hand knitted sweater that her mum wore skiing in 1983. A lovely chunky knit that I would quite happily wear now.


A flash back to the 70’s for this one don’t you think?


A customer sent in a photo of this pattern. Over on Facebook people were debating either late 60’s or early 70’s for this one. Keeping dolls cosy and chic in their knitted garments too!


This pattern was a good one from Janet. I some how don’t think many of these will be knitted today. It is hard to believe that knitted items were worn to swim in. How in the world did they stay up? This has to be from the 1920’s or 30’s.


Finally the ‘retro’ pattern from 1994. This patchwork jumper sparked many memories with staff and customers, who had knitted many like the one shown here, on the cover of Sandra magazine. This magazine had plenty of oversized 90’s styles that could easily be in a magazine today.


If you would like to share your retro patterns please do send an email over with photos to amy@blacksheepwools.com.