One of our friends and customers, Giselle has just come back from running a crochet retreat at Number 63 by London's Kensington Gardens. The weekend was a real success for her and enjoyable for all involved and makes us all the more excited about our forthcoming knitting retreat at the same location in January.
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Giselle designed a crochet throw especially for the weekend and it is now available to buy in the shop or from our online store. Called 'From Sea to Land', the blanket incorporates some really interesting techniques and uses one each of seven different colours of Stylecraft Special DK. We have packs available from Saturday 29 June and will be adding the pattern to Ravelry next week.
We have a sample of the blanket in the shop, so why not drop in for a sneaky squish and pick up a pack and pattern to make one for yourself.
Before I start (and I'm sure most of you understand) this blog is about dyeing not dying. It's only one letter but that 'e' makes all the difference!
Last Wednesday Michelle from Woolly Wumpkins spent the day at the show helping me to dye some yarn I had bought in April. While at the Wonderwool, Michelle showed me a variety of different dyes and I chose the colour I wanted. It took us a while to recuperate from the show but last week we were finally ready to dye!
We didn't use quite the same process as Michelle would normally use as there isn't a hob in the shop but by dint of lots of kettles of boiling water and a microwave we got there. It is absolutely fascinating to watch the alchemy of dyeing. Well technically it's chemistry, not alchemy, but it appears almost magical so I think alchemy fits better.
The yarn I had to dye was shetland aran weight which I had bought ready spun and hanked but still with a little oil. If I'd just knitted it, it would have needed the oil removed but it was fine for dyeing. I began by soaking half in warm water with a little fairy liquid to get it ready for the dye bath and then we were off. The yarn was transferred one hank at a time into a dye bath containing citric acid and the woad coloured dye. It was soaked until I liked the colour and then transferred to a second dye bath to give it a little bit a difference in tone from one end of the hank to the other. As I want to make the yarn into a cable patterned garment, Michelle and I decided not to go for an obvious tonal effect, opting instead for more subtlety. After dyeing, the yarn was rinsed in the sink with a little hair conditioner and then hung out to dry.
The process of dyeing yarn is quite simple but I couldn't have achieved such a lovely batch of yarn without Michelle's help. Her eye for colour and experience at yarn dyeing means the colour take-up is pretty uniform across the hanks, something that a beginner wouldn't achieve any where near as easily.
I now have to keep telling myself that I don't have time to take up dyeing yarn in earnest and instead cast and knit myself a rather lovely jumper.
Ruth blogged yesterday about how knitting and crochet tends to be put on to the back burner in Summer. Our Saturday specials will help you to keep your hobby going over the Summer and cheer you up during this unseasonable bad weather.
This Saturday we will be dropping the price of all of cake yarns. Katia Silver Paint, Katia Spring Rainbow, Katia Azteca Degrade and Stylecraft Dreamcatcher will all be priced at £5.00* which is a saving of more than a third of the previous shop price and for some for some of them it is less than half of the recommended retail price. Stock is limited so make sure you come in on Saturday and grab a bargain.
* No further discounts apply.
A huge thank you to our customers who have nominated us for Best Local Independent Yarn Store in the Wales region for the second year running. We know that we have all had to go to the polling booths a bit too often in the past few years but this one can be done from the comfort of your own computer and is much more uplifting than Brexit! Voting is now open so if you would like to help make us Let's Knit's Best Local Independent Store in Wales, just follow this link.
With the arrival of summer (hopefully imminent!), many crocheters and knitters find their crafting drops down the priorities list. The weather warms up, the garden, beach or children keep us busy and we don't seem to have time to sit quietly and work with yarn.
Many people tell us they miss the calming effect of crafts in the warmer months so to encourage you to keep it in mind, we are going to be putting selected yarns on sale in the shop on Saturdays.
Each Thursday, we will announce on our website and Facebook page which yarns are involved. Then during normal shop hours on the following Saturday (9am to 1pm) those yarns will have at least 20% off. Sale prices are only available in the shop (not online) on that day so you'll have to call in and see us to take advantage of the offers.
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.