It's that time of year that yarn shop owners hate because all things yarny take a back seat to all things gardeny and beachy. The weather is baking and there's nothing worse when the thermometer starts to climb than having a hot and heavy project in your lap. If this is how you are feeling, then just re-think your wips (WIP = work in progress). I've just cast on a lovely jumper but instead of making it in 4-ply wool (think hot and heavy) I'm making it in 2-ply silk (think cool and floaty). I was stashbusting and have a lot of the aforementioned silk in my collection so, inspired by another knitter on Ravelry, I am transforming it into a jumper. It's knitted from the top down, in the round (so no seams) and will be perfect for the end of Summer when it's too warm for a wool jumper but too cool for a cotton t-shirt. The perfect Summer project!
Handknits are pretty fashionable at the moment both for homewares and clothes, so if you've ever thought you'd like to have a go at making your own, this is the course for you.
Our next course begins on Tuesday 3 July, 6.30 till 8.30 pm and will run over three sessions in which we will take you from the absolute basics to being able to make an item following a pattern.
Courses cost £35.00 and include materials for the class and refreshments.
Even better -- it's nice and cool in the shop!
I'm always on the lookout for new designers and patterns and I've just found this one. The design is called Half Half by Hinterm Stein and I found it on Ravelry. www.ravelry.com/projects/KnitMattersJenny/half-half
It's knitted in doubleknit yarn and I chose West Yorkshire Spinners Essentials (used to be called Aire Valley) which is a 75% wool/25% nylon blend. One of the things that attracted me to the jumper is that the front and back are different colours. This means that if there is a colour that just calls out to you (in my case, mustard yellow) but looks absolutely dreadful on, then you can still use it but have it on the back and then choose a more complementary yarn for the front. I love the way orange and yellow work together to give a look that is fine for Spring and Autumn. The colour scheme would be good for Summer too but the yarn might be a tad warm! You could make it in a cotton yarn though or a lighter wool.
The jumper has quite an unusual construction in that it is knitted from the top down with the back knitted first and then stitches picked up along the side of the front and knitted in as you go (again from the top down). This means that although it is all done in stocking stitch which can be a bit tedious, the construction element stops it from being boring to make. I've whizzed away and got the front, back and part of the sleeve finished in less than a week! One of the reasons for speeding through so quickly is that the pattern is very clear and easy to follow so even if you are a bit of a novice knitter you could make it.
If you fancy having a go at this or any other doubleknit pattern, then pop down to the shop before 5 pm tomorrow and you can buy doubleknit yarn at 20% off (or buy online before midnight).
We'd like to thank our customers for nominating us for the British Knitting & Crochet Awards in the category Best Independent Yarn Shop in Wales.
Clicking on the logo it will take you to the voting page where you can carry on the good work and vote for our shop.
Once again, thank you to those of you who nominated us and thanks in advance for voting for us!
We are starting a new drop-in beginning in June. On the fourth Tuesday afternoon of each month, Eva, our felting tutor, will be here to host an informal drop-in group and give help and advice . If you enjoy felting or would like to try it out, come along and join us.
The drop-in will run from 1 till 2.30 pm beginning on the 26th of June.
£5.00 to include refreshments, felting wool and loan of felting needles.
There's no need to book but it would be useful if you let us know beforehand if you are coming along.
I've been updating the projects page of the website and have added some our our latest projects as well as a few of the amazing creations made by our customers.
Alyson is an inveterate shawl knitter and her latest project is pictured below. It's so pretty and just right as a cover-up if the evenings are chilly. Pat is another experienced knitter and her gorgeous colourwork jumper is her own design.
I've also added a few of our own latest creations -- a pair of socks I knitted for my son's girlfriend which are truly eye-popping and the jumper that was supposed to be finished in time for Wonderwool. It's a shame I didn't get it finished in time as it's lovely and warm and would have been perfect for the arctic-like conditions in the show halls at Builth Wells!
Keep an eye on the project page -- it's always interesting to see what others have made and often triggers some inspiration!
I've just finished adding new courses and workshops to the website so that they are now bookable. We're offering a range of classes for knitters (in addition to Gaelle's crochet workshops) that will attract novices and confident knitters alike. We have a new format for our Beginner's Knitting Course and for those who can already knit we have planned the topics for our Tuesday Techniques sessions. These will all need to be booked and have limited places so don't be tardy or you might miss out.
As always we will be running Sew Up Saturdays and Stashbusters throughout the year so check out the webpage regularly to make sure you haven't missed one.
We've also added in a few more Saturday workshops. These are the knitter's version of a Spa Day -- good company, therapeutic knitting, a nice lunch and yarn and needles to take home to continue your relaxation! it's not for nothing that knitting is listed as one of the best ways to relax and de-stress.
All in all it will be a busy time crafting and relaxing so we look forward to seeing you here.
So it may be Summer (?) outside but Ruth and I are planning Ammonite Yarns' Autumn and Winter season. Our yarn reps are all gearing up to sell us their new ranges but we have a problem -- not enough space! The Solution? Our June Jamboree.
During June we will be putting selected yarns on sale and we'll change them weekly. This way, we'll be able to refresh our ranges and make space for new and our customers will be able to take advantage of some lovely bargains. Win-Win!!!
This is how it works:
We'll announce each week which yarns are on sale.
The selected yarns will be on sale for one week only and will then go back to full price (if there is any left).
Free patterns with some yarns.
Nice big discounts
Limited time and limited quantities so it really is first come, first served!
No set asides or returns (unless faulty) on sale yarn.
We don't plan on doing this very often so it's worth making time to come in or to go on to the website and check out some really good bargains.
The June Jamboree will start on Friday 1 June and the first week will be chunky and aran yarns at 20% off. The chunky and aran will be on sale until the end of Thursday 7th June and the on 8th June the sale yarns will change.
As a yarn shop owner, this time of year makes me a bit despondent! The sun comes out and we have to change the window display almost daily to stop it fading and knitters and crocheters desert us for their gardens. I can understand the desire to be out in the sun as we don't see it too often but we want to see you all too as there are lots of lovely summer projects that you can all make. I suspect big projects are out as having a pile of work in your lap can cause a bit of overheating, so I've been trawling Ravelry and found a few so here are some ideas.
I'm cheating a bit here as the first two are mine and Ruth's newly published shawl and blanket -- Caribbean shawl and Tesselated Tiles but as Ruth knitted most of the former in the Caribbean sunshine it definitely fits the bill!
Breton tops are always a popular summer look and one of my favourite designers, Isabell Kraemer has one in her Raverly store called 'A HInt of Summer'. It's knitted in laceweight or a light 4-ply so won't be too warm to wear during most of a British summer but brings some gallic charm to our sometimes rain-soaked shores.
As festival season approaches you might want to knit or crochet a festival hair garland. This one is by Monika Sirna and would use up any scraps you have lurking in your stash. The little summer bugs are from Summer Garden by Sarah Gasson and could be used on garlands or finger puppets or make as little brooches for children (or you!)
Finally the Bubblewrap Crescent shawl by Kieran Foley is full of the colours of Summer and would make a useful cover-up as it cools down at the end of the day.
Why don't you take a trawl through www.ravelry.com and find more projects to while away those long summer evenings.
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.