It's so nice to feel as if things are getting back to normal and seeing trade reps is part of that process for us. Yesterday our King Cole rep came by with their August launches. We've been looking for a wool mix aran weight yarn to complement the wool arans we already stock and King Cole has just the thing -- their new recyled aran. King Cole have used spinning waster and recycled sweaters for the wool content and recycled plastic bottles for the synthetic content. The total mix is 35% wool, 20% acrylic, 20% polyamide and 25% viscose. The yarn is named Forest and each of the lovely, slightly tweedy shades are named after British forests. Ten colours gives plenty of choice and there pattern support offers garments and accessories (although any pattern for aran or worsted weight should work provided you check tension!) With 300m/100g ball and a £3.50 price tag the yarn is a great value and sustainable too. It's on our website to pre-order and will be in the shop by the end of next week.
And now for a teaser -- keep an eye out too for the new offering from West Yorkshire Spinners which is due mid-August!
As things get back to some sort of normal, we are becoming more hopeful that our Autumn workshops will be able to go ahead. I'll be adding more information about class sizes and times this week but in the meantime, why not skip over to our classes page and see what we have planned.Workshops
Last week saw a visit from my sister delivering more of her Hand Made Project Bags. Ranging from pretty little bags for small projects to a lovely large padded bag for bigger items they are just right to carry your knitting or crochet around. Go on ... treat yourselves!
Do any of you have any projects that have been on the needles or hook for a long time?
Some projects just feel as though they have been in progress forever I have a jumper, for example, that has only been knitted off and on for a fortnight but it is in garter stitch so seems to have stretched time and space. But I mean, actually in progress forever. Again I am guilty. I have a traditional gansey that bought the yarn for at Wonderwool in 2017. It's a lovely project in Frangipane 5-ply guernsey yarn bought from Propagansey at said show. Originally ganseys were knitted as working jumpers most commonly for the fishermen of the late 19th century fishing fleets and have a fascinating history, My pattern is from a much loved old knitting book on traditional knitting and will be amazing when it is finished. It is knitted in traditional gansey style in one piece in the round up to the armholes. Gussets are added under the arms and it is then split to do the front and back yoke. Sleeves are picked up and knitted from the top down. All of this on 2.75mm needles.
The jumper has taken this long because pretty much every row is different to the previous one so I have to have paper and book in front of me all the time. I have just finished the front yoke which was 178 rows with each row different! It is definitely a labour of love and quite hard on the hands as the yarn is tightly spun and knitted on smaller than usual needles so that the jumper acts as a windbreak should I ever go out on a fishing boat (which isn't likely as I haven't been on a dinghy since a school trip when I was 14). I've done bits and pieces of this gansey and then put it away to do other projects but over lockdown I've picked it up again and plan to try and finish the back yoke before having another rest and doing the sleeves. I think it's beaten my previous longest work in progress which was a shetland cobweb shawl which took two years off and on.
Let us know what projects you have that have waited a long time to be finished -- you can post pictures in our facebook group Yarnmanglers -- we'd love to see them.
The shop has been open again for almost a fortnight and it is wonderful to see everyone again. I know some of our customers are limited by the five mile guidance in Wales but that will end soon so then we can see them again too. Being closed for so long has really made us appreciate what a community a yarn shop is and how we all support one another both in crafty doings and in the rest of our lives. We really miss our drop-in groups (although we are seeing some of you on Zoom on Tuesday evenings) and our workshops and sadly can't see these re-opening until September at the earliest but just being open is a start. Just a quick reminder that our opening hours are reduced over the Summer (Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 11am till 3pm and Saturday 11am till 1pm but our online shop is always open if you can't get to see us in person.
It’s always nice to be able to re-open with a yarn launch. We will be celebrating the relaxation of lockdown with some new Welsh yarn from The Naked Spinner in Criccieth.
The yarn is a mixture of 71% wool from Crugan Farm and 29% alpaca from the Naked Spinner. The fibres were prepared and spun by Curlew Weavers from Rhydlewis in Ceredigion so this is a truly Welsh yarn.
The DK yarn comes in two different greys, a mink and a natural white and is £14.00 for approximately 100g. Initially, we only have a small amount of each colour in stock but can easily order more from The Naked Spinner should you need it.
You can find the yarn here on our website.
Mark Drakeford has announced the latest relaxation of the Covid lock-down today which means we can re-open next week.
As we are usually closed on Mondays we will open our doors again on Tuesday 23 June with some guidance in place to keep our customers safe:
Guidance many be modified in line with government advice.
For more details check our here.
Revised Opening Hours:
Initially our hours are:
Tuesday ...................................... 11 am till 3 pm
Wednesday .................................. 11 am till 3 pm
Friday ......................................... 11 am till 3 pm
Saturday ..................................... 11 am till 1 pm
Drop-ins, classes and longer opening hours will resume later in the Autumn
Opening times may be subject to change – please keep an eye on our website and facebook pages.
Do any others find it hard to relate to life after lockdown? It seems that the lockdown has been here for ever and this surreal state of affairs will never end. It is particularly weird if you have relatives and friends in one of the other UK countries where the relaxation of lockdown is taking place at a different pace to Wales. Ruth and I are on a facebook group for local yarn shop owners in the UK and the talk is about re-opening (in England) next week. While we have never closed online, we won't be opening the physical shop for a while yet -- the Welsh Government hasn't given any clues to re-opening dates for retail so we will see how our neighbours manage and learn from them.
In the meantime, let's look forward. Lockdown will end and things will get back to normal so we have planned our Autumn dates for classes, workshops and drop-ins and are looking forward to getting back to helping more people to learn new crafts.
You can find all of our new dates for knitting, spinning and crochet workshops here but do bear in mind that dates may have to change if guidelines change.
As you may have noticed, our website looks a little different. We are updating it and hope that when we've finished you like the result and that you'll all find it easier to navigate and find all the lovely yarney items you are looking for. It's a work in progress so it may take a few more days before the work is done but the shop pages are fully functional so you can still buy any yarn or accessories that you need.
I like to be a glass half full person and If nothing else, the Coronavirus lockdown has forced us to come to terms with tech (I can see my kids rolling their eyes at this!) and here at Ammonite Yarns we are embracing Zoom. We have been running our Tuesday evening drop-in using the platform and it's been a lifesaver. When I say, 'we have' what I mean is that Martyn, one of our Tuesday evening crafters has set it up and runs it for us, but we are still becoming more tech-savvy. My Wednesday evening ballet class is also running via Zoom so I'm almost blase about using it.
Obviously being part of any kind of remote meeting can be problematic -- sound not always working, ropy internet connections and you can really only hold one conversation at a time, unlike the drop-ins where we are often all talking at once (we also don't have biscuits or cake provided!). I don't think the world will move wholeheartedly to working remotely because we are very social animals but these past few months have proved that working from home, at least part-time, is not impossible and in future it might help to change our work/life balance to a life/work balance, and ultimately make life easier for many.
Our next plan is to master You Tube videos for teaching techniques -- you have been warned!
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.