I came in after the weekend yesterday to a flurry of online orders. It's good to know that our customers are supporting small businesses and that they are still knitting and crocheting.
As we all know, crafting is a great way to relax and in these stressful times it is more important than ever to look after our mental health. If you've ever wondered why Ruth and I are so laid back, it's because we spend a lot of our time surrounded by yarn. It's amazing how even the most tedious of jobs (weekly accounts for example) can be cheered up by just looking around the room at the wonderful colours of yarn on show. Sadly we don't generally get that much time to knit or crochet when we are in the shop as there are lots of other things to do but it doesn't stop us from working on our projects at home.
I have seen a few posts on the online forums though where people are finding the current situation so overwhelming that they can't focus on their crafting. Perhaps if you feel like that, you could just cast on and knit or crochet blindly for a while. Use the time to focus on the process of how the stitches work and take note of how they work together to create a whole. It doesn't matter that you are not making 'something' , just use it as a way to chill out. You could even come over all philosophical and see those interlinked stitches as a metaphor for how people are working together to get through the current crisis!
It's very strange not seeing our usual customers face to face and at our drop-ins but although we may all be may be physically isolated, we don't have to be socially isolated so we'll add a blog or a facebook page a couple of times a week to keep in touch.
We are now closed until advised that we can re-open.
The online shop remains open.
We are really sad to have to close the shop until further advice is received from government. We hoped that we would be able to offer shorter opening hours but it's not to be. Our online shop is open and will remain so unless otherwise advised by government.
In the meantime, we don't want to twiddle our thumbs so there will be much knitting and crocheting going on! Ruth is putting together lots of craft packs based around her Fibretastic Kids Club classes. We'll get them onto the website just as soon as we can. Although they originated in the kids club (and so they fulfil Key Stage 2 Learning Objectives) they are fab for anybody that wants a little something to be going on with. So far we have a crochet project and a sewing one and they have just been added to the website. There are already kits online for our Sustainable Swaps packs (making felted soaps will definitely work as well as hand sanitizer!) and yarn packs for various blankets. If you fancy a bigger project the patterns for the new Bamboo Cotton are in the online shop together with the yarn and there are several crochet blanket packs available too.
Changes to opening hours
Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 10am:
Reserved for customers who are in a vulnerable group or caring for people who are vulnerable.
During this hour, please knock on the inner door and wait to be admitted. Please be patient as we will be cleaning between customers.
Tuesday to Friday 10am to 3pm:
Open to all customers.
Tuesday only 6pm to 7pm:
Open to all customers, particularly those who cannot come during normal hours. Also open for collection of phone or online orders.
Tuesday to Friday, 3pm to 4pm:
Open for collection of phone or online orders. Please order by 2pm for same day collection. Other collection times are possible by prior arrangement.
Saturday 9am to 1pm with the first hour reserved as during the week.
Drop-ins and Classes
Drop-in groups are cancelled until further notice to protect our more vulnerable customers. All of Gaelle’s crochet courses and workshops are postponed. All other classes will be assessed on an ongoing basis and postponed as necessary.
We are happy to give yarn and pattern advice over the phone or using a video call service such as Skype.
Our online shop remains open (www.ammoniteyarns.co.uk) and we can also take orders by phone (01443 520200). Your order can be collected from the shop or it can be delivered by Royal Mail. If you are local to the shop, we may be able to drop your order off to you – please ask.
If either Jenny or Ruth or our immediate family become unwell, we will be closing the shop for the designated quarantine period.
During this unprecedented crisis, we will do our best to remain open and serve our customers. Please let us know if there is anything else we can do to help you carry on knitting and crocheting.
Thank you for your support and we look forward to getting back to normal in due course.
Ruth & Jenny
You might all remember that back in June, Michelle from Woolly Wumpkins spent the day in the shop patiently helping me dye a batch of shetland aran yarn.
We didn't use quite the same process as Michelle would normally use as there isn't a hob in the shop but we did achieve a gorgeous blue for the yarn by using lots of kettles of boiling water and a microwave.
I finally cast the yarn on on August 8 (after a lot of faffing about what to make with it) and exactly six months later I've cast it off. I made the neckline different to the original as it was a bit overwhelming for me and the it should keep me lovely and warm in the arctic like conditions in the cowsheds at Wonderwool!
Janie Crow is well known for her wonderful crochet designs like Persian Tiles, Mystical Lanterns and Bohemian Blooms and we are delighted to be able to announce that she will be here at Ammonite Yarns on 19th May to teach a workshop and introduce customers to her latest Crochet Along, The Fruit Garden.
The Fruit Garden CAL is based on the intricate embroideries of Arts and Crafts Designer May MorrisI which can be seen at her countryside home, Kelmscott Manor in Oxfordshire. The CAL includes floral and fruit motifs and the workshop shows how to work through one of the motifs and turn it into a pretty hanging mandala.
Full Day Workshop 10 am till 4 pm £60.00
Janie will show how to use basic crochet techniques together with tips and techniques to ensure everything stays neat, how to change colours and how to add beads.
Participants need to be able to read a written crochet pattern, understand UK crochet terminology, and be able to work common crochet stitches such as dc, htr, tr and dtr.
A project pack is provided including yarns, embroidery hoop and beads but you will need to bring with you hooks (sizes 3.5mm 4mm & 4.5mm) locking stitch markers, knitters sewing needle, find needle and thread for threading beads, scissors, paper and pen/pencil (you can add these to your order below and collect it on the day if you wish).
There are only 10 spaces for the full day which includes the Mandala workshop from 10 till 1 pm, lunch and then from 2pm till 3pm Janie will talk about her inspiration for the new Cal, showing her design process and talking through yarn usage and show the yarns used. For the last hour, Janie will chat informally and if you would like to you can bring along your versions of any of her projects you have made to show and any books/patterns you would like to have signed. The afternoon session will include tea and cakes.
Afternoon Only 2 pm till 4 pm £10.00
In addition to the ten full day places we are also offering ten spaces for just the afternoon (2 pm till 4 pm). This is a great opportunity to meet Janie and find out about her design processes. Please note that there is no teaching involved in this session.
All attendees will receive a £5.00 voucher redeemable against any purchase on the day of over £30.00.
We are very sorry but no Fibonacci discounts apply to the workshops or purchases.
Don't wait as places are limited. Book here with a deposit or in full or come into the shop and book in person.
We like to crochet here at Ammonite Yarns and as well as our usual Learn to Crochet classes we have a few treats coming up.
Our next Beginner's crochet course is already full but you can book the Intermediates sessions here and we will list new dates for courses as soon as Gaelle can schedule them.
On 4 April, our good friend Giselle will be teaching a half day workshop based around her From Sea to Land blanket. Giselle designed this blanket for her crochet retreat last year and is now offering a stand alone workshop to include the following techniques:
and Standing Trebles
The class will run from 10 am till 1 pm and costs £50.00 including Stylecraft Special DK yarn pack and refreshments. The yarn pack comes in two colours, Atlantic or Pacific but you can, of course, choose your own colours. Book your place by clicking here
Finally, look out for our Janie Crow workshop in May -- you can't book it yet but it will link with Janie's new Crochet Along which launches at the end of April. There will be a maximum of 12 places and which I think will quickly be taken. We'll advertise on social media as soon with links to book as soon as all the details are finalised but in the meantime there's a little teaser in the pictures below to tempt you. Can't wait!
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.