Shop Update 24.04.15

This week we’re introducing the fourth of our charity yarns. Bobbie and I wanted a theme for these which would run throughout 2015, and it’s fair to say that Bobbie has found an amazing source of inspiration for this.

The theme for the 2015 charity yarns will be Tribes.

The images which inspire this yarn come from a blog which details the travel adventures of Jimmy Nelson.

The tribe which inspired the April yarn is the Vanuatu Tribe.

This is Bobbie’s watercolour to tell me what colours I needed to get from the dye pots.

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The April yarn is called Vanuatu and is available as both a self striping and variegated sock yarn.

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Self Striping Vanuatu sock yarn

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Self Striping Vanuatu Britsock

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Vanuatu sock yarn

We’ll be donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of these yarns to the three charities chosen by the Knitting Goddesses (and Gods). These are the Alzheimer’s Society, the Stoke Association and Mind.

Each of these colourways is limited, and once they’ve sold there won’t be any more of these colours.

Next up is a brand new yarn for us – a 100% silk cobweb weight yarn. We’re selling these in 10 gram skeins – and each 10 grams has 300 meters of yarn. Each skein will cost £4.00, so it’s a great way to get the right amount of yarn for your project.

Being silk, the colours glow – it’s been such a pleasure winding these into little skeins.

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red

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orange

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copper

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dark violet

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silver

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magenta

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violet

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bitter chocolate

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blue

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chartreuse

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black

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electric blue

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heather

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jade

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olive

Then onto more familiar territory with 4ply British wool and nylon sock yarn

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semi solid cream

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semi solid silver cloud

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semi solid sandstone

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semi solid antique silver

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semi solid steel

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semi solid slate

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semi solid heather

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semi solid turquoise

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semi solid teal

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berry swirl

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agapanthus leaf

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orange frog – this is based on a pinterest picture which I love – an orange frog with vivid blue and black eyes

Finally for this week’s update there are mini skeins

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A restock of shades of turquoise

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Blossom

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Variegated Blossom

The yarn shown above will be in the shop at 1900 on Friday 24th April.

If you’d like to see our yarns in person Rachel Coopey will have some sock yarn and mini skein sets on her stall at Wonderwool Wales this weekend. You’ll find her on stand b4 which is just on left of the main door in hall 1.

Happy shopping. What will you make?

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Giostra Hat

Sometimes knitting seems hard. It doesn’t work out quite how you hoped. It does odd things. The pattern seems baffling.

And sometimes you come across gems like the Giostra hat from Woolly Wormhead and you remember why knitting is such an absolute joy.

I’d set aside a skein of Blue Faced Leicester chunky roving for this design, thinking that I could play with the needle sizes if I needed to to get the right gauge – but the needles specified worked perfectly. It’s the ocean colourway, and more is scheduled for the dye pots in time for this Friday’s shop update.

So on Saturday afternoon I sat down with this.IMG_1089

A couple of hours later I had this

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giostra2

As with all of Woolly’s designs, the instructions are blissfully clear. This hat features a cabled cast on, and the explanation and line drawings made it a breeze. I made the 20 inch size and used 62 grams of my skein, so there’s plenty of yarn to knit even the largest size.

The design is included in Painted Woolly Toppers. You can order the e-book now – all of the details can be found here.

I’m off to look for some more yarn so I can cast on hat number 2.

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Taking It Easy

My original plan with the clubs was to knit vanilla socks with the seaside yarns and to make the actual club patterns with the semi solid socks.

That got off to a good start in January when I breezed through Abricot socks – and then fell to bits when I had fit issues with the All Aboard socks. Just one of those things – and always a possibility with designs with unusual construction.

So when I wound up the March yarns I decided I’d whizz through 2 pairs of plain socks, then get onto pattern. Sometimes it feels like I make plans so I can look back and wonder what I was thinking. We ended up doing quite a bit of travelling at the start of April and I needed something I could knit without needing a pattern. I’d already realised I needed tiny needles (1.5mm – yes really) for the heel flap of The Sciemce club design so I decided to preserve my sanity and give myself some easy knitting.

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Vanilla socks, slip stitch heel flap. Mindless pleasure.

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I have however cast on the Toria sock design from Rachel Coopey so there will be one patterned sock done – and in May I’m hoping to get both patterned socks knitted.

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5 more reasons to knit socks

My first 10 reasons are here

Here are 5 more

1. Sock yarn isn’t stash. Therefore it does not count in any calculations about yarn diets.
2. Vanilla socks are the perfect knitting mediatation.
3. You’ll end up with socks that money just can’t buy. Custom fit socks that hug and cherish your feet. Bliss.
4. There’s a yarn for every sock and a sock for every yarn. Herdwick for hiking socks. Cashmere for bed socks.
5. Cold feet are miserable. Anything which prevents this is a good thing.

Why do you knit socks?

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Shop Update 17.04.15

This week is all about 2 news yarns which were spun for us by John Arbon.

I blogged about the different sheep wools in these yarns yesterday, so today is all about the colour.

First up is the 4ply British wool and Alpaca. It’s a blend of 50% Polworth, 40% Alpaca and 10% Zwartables – and it’s the Zwartables which gives it it’s lovely heathered silver appearance. This is a gorgeously soft yarn which I’d be happy to have next to my skin, and I’m already looking at colours for a sweater. We’re going to be offering the undyed yarn too, so you’ve got the option of a gorgeous neutral to build colours against.

Each skein is 100g / 400m and costs £15. The undyed skeins are £10.

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violet

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blue

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slate

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orange

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red

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raspberry

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brown

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olive

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lime

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gold

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undyed

Then yarn number 2 – this time a 100% British wool. The yarn is a blend of 50% Polworth and 50% Wensleydale, so it has an amazing combination of softness and shine. This yarn really grans dye, so it lends itself to glowingly bright colours.

Each skein is 100g / 400m and costs £15. The undyed skeins are £10.

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charcoal

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gold

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orange

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raspberry

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violet

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jade

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lime

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navy

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electric blue

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blue

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undyed

The yarns above will be available in the shop from 1900 on Friday.

Make sure you keep up to date and receive special subscriber only offers by signing up for our newsletter.

Happy shopping. What will you make?

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Sheep

On Friday there will be two new custom spun yarns in the shop, both featuring British wools.

It seemed like the perfect chance to look at the sheep breeds which feature in these yarns and to talk about why we’ve used these particular yarns.

Yarn one is a blend of 50% Polwarth, 40% Alpaca and 10% Zwartables.

Polwarth sheep were developed in Australia in the 1880s. They’re a mix of two breeds – the well known merino and the less well known Lincoln. Polwarths are roughly 3/4 merino – so there’s all the softness that you’d expect from merino fleece. Adding some Lincoln into the blend make the sheep hardier and better suited to harsh conditions. The Polwarth in our yarn is British. It’s there for it’s softness and bounce.

The other wool in this blend is Zwartables. I was very sceptical about this fleece having been the unlucky recipient of some at a spinner guild meeting. Let’s just say it could have been used for Brillo pads. However I knew that anything that John and Juliet were prepared to put into a blend would be goo, and having squished some samples at Yarndale I was convinced.

Here’s what John has to say about Zwartbales

“Our Zwartbles yarn uses local Devon farmed wool. The Zwartbles sheep originates from Holland but is now widely farmed across Exmoor and the fibre, once shorn, is graded at our local South Molton Devon & Cornwall wool board.Once spun the Zwartbles produces a beautiful, voluminous, bouncy yarn that is hard to resist.”

Combining these two wools with alpaca gives a softly heathered grey yarn.

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Our second new yarn is a blend of 50% Polwarth and 50% Wensleydale. Wensleydale fleece is amazing stuff – it’s like shiny, silky ringlets. Combined with the Polwarth it gives a yarn which has bounce, shine and softness. Sheepy bliss.

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Visit the blog tomorrow to see the two new yarns in all of their multicoloured glory.

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I’m calling this progress……

Sewing time has been in very short supply round here.

I have a pile of fabric which I have plans for.

I have the patterns.

I even have the thread.

So given some sun which has allowed us to get things out on the washing line to dry, I managed to get some fabric ready to cut out. Well almost ready, as it could use ironing first.

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Aren’t these gorgeous? The three fabric are all Indian cottons which I picked up from Unravel in Denby Dale. I know Mary Holt (the owner) has been away on another buying trip so I’m trying to resist another visit, but it’s such a treasure trove of a shop that I’m unlikely to stay away for long.

There’s something very soothing about ironing lengths of fabric, so that should get done soon, and then I can make some better progress.

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