We've just had the first of our Summer cottons come in. This one is from Katia and is a cotton/ltencel blend. Called Cotton-Tencel, it is 67% lyocel and 23% cotton. It is very soft and has a slight sheen to it and makes up to most DK patterns. Katia provides pattern support on their website or you can come into the shop and we'll show them to you. The woman's jumper pictured takes nine balls for a medium size and the man's jumper pictured would take 12 for a medium. The yarn retails at £3.95/50g.
Ammonite Yarns and Cows on Tour
We are really excited about a project we are helping with here in South Wales.
Cows on Tour is a group of farmers who are passionate about food and farming. They are taking the farmyard to the schoolyard, talking to schoolchildren about where food comes from.
Abi Reader from Cows on Tour approached Ruth and Jenny at Ammonite Yarns before Christmas to see if they could help with providing knitted or crocheted cows for their campaign. The cows will be given to the schools on the tour and used to promote the campaign. Abi’s initial request was for 50 stuffed toys which Ammonite Yarns just couldn’t provide but instead Jenny has designed a knitted cow (the prototype here is Prudence) which with a bit of tweaking will be the Cows on Tour cow. Prudence started her tour in February at Stitches which is the annual yarn trade fair where she met lots of other stuffed toys!
We thought it really important that the cows should be made of British wool so that they promote sheep farmers as well as dairy.
The yarn is Jacobs Aran from West Yorkshire Spinners and if we can source a CE labelled fleece then the stuffing will be wool too.
What we need now is willing knitters who would be prepared to make the rest of the cows for us. We are being very cheeky and asking knitters to support this campaign by giving their time and knitting skills and we will provide the kits for the cows.
If you would like to help with this then contact email@example.com for more information.
If you’d like to make a cow for yourself then keep an eye on the Ammonite website as we will be launching the kit at Wonderwool Wales at the end of April.
You can find more information about Cows on Tour on their website www.cowsontour.com
Ruth and I made our annual visit to Stitches, the annual UK trade fair for Crafting, Sewing, Haberdashery and Yarn shops. We are generally chauffeured there by my husband, Greg (also known as our Logistics Manager for any yarn related outings) and this year we were also joined by Gaelle, our crochet specialist and Prudence the Prototype cow. We were out of the house by 8.30 am (on a Sunday!) and headed off up to the NEC, Birmingham with notebooks in hand and budgets fixed firmly in our minds ready to meet our suppliers and replenish our shelves ahead of the new Season.
It is so hard to be restrained with so many new lines being shown. The first to arrive (probably by the end of this week) will be Dream Catcher from Stylecraft. This is a new cake yarn in with 10% wool content and will retail at £7.99 for 150g which is really very good value. It is available in six shades and is a beautiful, DK weight mélange of colours in a roving style yarn. The colour change is phased so that the shades shift gradually. The range includes relaxed shape garments and a range of stylish accessories. There is also a beautiful free shawl pattern on each ball band. As well as the garments in the patterns, Stylecraft have also included accessories with exact yarn quantities given so that knitters can weigh their leftover yarn and choose to make the accessory too or download a different one.
West Yorkshire Spinners were launching their new Signature sock colours (designed by Winwick Mum herself, Christine Perry, some new colours and designs in Bo Peep and a new wool range, Colour Lab. WYS haven't forgotten the crocheters in their pattern support and there are some lovely new designs being released to support the yarns. Bo Peep has particularly strong pattern support for knitters and crocheters with super-cute toys to match the garments and mini-garments to fit the toys.
I've only skimmed the surface of the yarns we saw and yearned for -- there will be more information as the different yarns makes their way into the shop. You can also expect a post shortly about the mysterious Prudence and her adventures at Stitches and the forthcoming Wonderwool.
We all love knitting and crochet but not that many of us love sewing up and our projects sit lonely and ignored waiting to be finished. Often though it is the finishing that makes the project. I spend many happy hours knit-picking over the atrocious sewing up of garments in magazines (I may be alone there but I doubt it!) so it's really worth making sure that it's done well. A neat seam and well sewn-on buttons make all the difference and sewing in ends properly will save much angst later on as they won't come undone. Our Sew-Up-Saturdays take the monotony out of finishing off as you can sit with friends and a cup of tea and cake and time will pass more slowly as you sew and snip and finish off those pesky UFOS.
January 26, 10 am till 1 pm will is the first Sew Up Saturday of the year this weekend so tidy up all of those projects that have been sitting in baskets since before Christmas, bring them along to the shop and start sewing!
It sounds musical but Thrumming has nothing to do with stringed instruments. It has to do with string of a sort -- the wool variety! Thrumming a knitted item involves incorporating roving (unspun fleece) into a piece of knitting to make a lovely cosy fabric.
Originally 'thrum' referred to short bits yarn leftover from weaving. Weavers would use the thrums for stuffing items like pillows and later for making hats and mittens warmer. These thrums caught and frayed quite easily though so knitters evolved the technique to use roving instead to make lovely cosy items like hats, gloves and, for the more ambitious, jackets or even blankets.
We will be running a workshop on Saturday 2 February to teach knitters how to thrum. We will provide the materials to make a thrummed mug cosy with materials and patterns available to buy to make bigger projects.
The workshops runs from 10.30 am till 1 pm and costs £35.00 including materials for the cosy. Just click on the picture to link to the booking page.
I can't believe I haven't written a proper blog since December -- life has been busy!
It's difficult to get away from Brexit at the moment but it did mean that BBC Wales came into the shop this Monday to talk about the effect of Brexit on small businesses. Nick Servini also took the opportunity to have a chat with some of our knitters and crocheters. How exciting and terrifying was that! If you missed our five seconds of fame it is on BBC i-player,https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b0by2nt8/bbc-wales-today-evening-news-15012019.
If Brexit is getting you down, the mental health benefits of knitting and crochet are well known, so pop down to your now famous Local Yarn Shop and pick up a new project to see you through the political plotting.
Our lovely local yarn dyer Michelle is hosting a knit-a-long on her Woollywumpkins Ravelry page. It starts on December 27th and is aimed at getting us through the post festive slump and relaxing us into the new year. We have the patterns in stock together with lots of lovely Woolly Wumpkins hand-dyed yarn. Stitches used in the pattern include knit, purl, yarnover, cast on and cast off so it is simple enough for everyone to enjoy. Pop in before 1 pm on Saturday and you'll be able to have the pattern and yarn for Christmas!
Cwtch Me Close pattern
Whether you are buying for a newbie or a dedicated knitter or crocheter we can help in the quest for a present you know they will appreciate and enjoy. From yarn to needles to accessories, we will help you find something to enhance their hobby.
We can put together a yarn kit with needles or hooks and a pretty project bag or you could select your own and make the kit up yourself. Our handmade cotton project bags are £20.00 each and come in a range of designs -- there is a particularly cute one with reindeer on the front pocket sitting in the window right now. Yarns start at £2.25 each for the amazing array of colours available in Stylecraft Special and go up to £26.00 for 50g of silk and cashmere from Lotus Yarns. We have blanket kits made up ready to go in the Stylecraft special (starting at £35.00) and the cashmere is just begging to be made into a lace shawl or scarf so would need one or two hanks. For a present that won't be seen anywhere else, we have hand-dyed yarns from Woolly Wumpkins as £16.00/hank -- the colours are just luscious.
Your knitter or crocheter may already have a stash that will take them several lifetimes to use so instead how about a lovely handmade silver shawl pin or a set of knitting pins or crochet hooks.
Why not drop in or visit our online shop and if inspiration eludes you we can provide personalised gift vouchers so crafters can come in and choose for themselves!
Our Christmas Crochet workshops will get you in just the right mood for Christmas. We only have spaces left in the stocking workshop so if you want to come along, click the link and book now!
Saturday 1 December 10 till 1 £35.00 including yarn. You could come and make stockings and then go along to the Christmas Fair at the Athletics Club.Saturday Crochet Workshops
One of the favourite topics on one of the knitting and crochet facebook groups I am on is words -- generally the difference between UK English and the rest of the World's version of our wonderful language. So do you say 'jumper', 'sweater' or 'pullover'?
i Make jumpers and it is definitely jumper weather today. With the weather set for cold (well it is November) maybe you all need to be making a nice warm and woolly jumper. We have lots of lovely yarns and patterns in stock to choose from and we are always ready to help if you need it, so why not make this winter the one where you make your own. it doesn't have to be as ornate as the octopus jumper shown but it will be just as unique.
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.