The Coronavirus is now affecting most parts of the world and here in the UK people have been told to stay home as much as possible, only going out for work and to buy essential supplies, or to help vulnerable people. Norfolk is a rural county and has been less affected than many areas of the country but we do still have a number of confirmed cases of the virus, although we don't know of any locally.
We sincerely hope that none of our friends and customers have been personally affected by this terrible disease and our sympathies are sent to anyone who has been ill or lost loved ones.
As a result of the restrictions, all of the yarn shows we were due to attend over the next few months have been cancelled. We are still permitted to trade online and our local Post Office is still accepting packages, so we are able to post orders at the moment. We will, however, only be posting once or twice a week when we shop for food. I wear disposable gloves when packing orders in order to reduce the possibility of any contamination and it is unlikely that the virus would survive on our mailing bags, but it is suggested that these are opened carefully on receipt and disposed of immediately, and that you wash your hands thoroughly after handling any package.
Yarn is not an essential supply but it has been shown that crafts and hobbies are important sources of interest and comfort in difficult times, and the gentle, repetitive nature of knitting and crochet in particular can bring benefits to those who are stressed. As with many of our friends in the independent yarn business, we are self-employed and, apart from pensions, this is our only source of income. If you are able to place an order we very much appreciate your custom. We intend to remain in business and will do everything we can to get orders to you safely, even if it takes a little longer than usual. We will keep the website updated regularly with new stocks and special offers, and we have several new designs in the pipeline, so watch this space.
Stay safe, look after yourselves and your loved ones and we will get through this.
Delighted that Anniken Allis, probably the best known shawl designer in the UK, has created a shawl for Issue 127 of The Knitter magazine using one of our yarns. This is Wentwood, made using 100g of our Blue Faced Leicester 4-ply in the Mystic Forest colourway. I've just dyed a couple of skeins of this so it will be in the webstore in the next couple of days.
We do have other colourways available in this yarn, and the design could also be made with most of our other standard 4-plys (400m/100g), particularly the new BFL/Masham, Corriedale and Corriedale Mohair blends.
This is the second design by Anniken in The Knitter to feature one of our yarns. The first was Perranporth, back in Issue 110, which used 100g of our British Alpaca Silk 4-ply.
We'd like to wish a Very Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2018 to all our customers and followers worldwide!
After a little time to ourselves over the Christmas break, we're now facing the New Year with renewed enthusiasm and have lots planned for 2018. New designs, new yarns and new shows to attend - starting with the Craft4Crafters event at Westpoint Centre in Exeter from Thursday 15 to Saturday 17 February. We haven't been to the South West for a while so are really looking forward to that one. We look forward to seeing old friends and making lots of new ones.
We'll have new yarns plus all your favourites, and all our latest designs and kits, including the new Penelope shrug pictured left. This was knitted in our yummy BFL 4-ply in Deep Purple Dreams, but we'll have other British Wools to choose from too.
Later in the spring/summer we'll be returning to some of our favourite events - Wonderwool Wales and Fibre-East - as well as venturing into new areas, particularly Dublin for the new Woollinn event in May.
I realised that we hadn't mentioned two furry additions to our household. Back in May 2016 we adopted two rescue cats, Sooty and Shadow, black-haired brothers with just a speck of white on their tummies. It took a while for them to settle in, and Shadow is still very nervous around strangers, but they are now very much at home and we love them dearly. They hadn't been handled much in their previous existence but have now discovered that laps and beds are wonderful places to snuggle up with their human servants!! They're pretty good around my knitting, although Sooty does enjoy playing with the yarn when he gets the chance. They are, however, banned from the storage areas as skeined yarn and kitties definitely don't mix!
Watch out for more pics and news of their adventures in future posts! In the meantime, happy knitting, crocheting or crafting and we hope to see you soon.
It's been an awfully long time since my last blog post but it's been many months of hard work, with lots of shows attended, hundreds of skeins of yarn dyed and sold, and lots of designing too.
I'm grabbing a few minutes at the end of our first day at the Great Northern Quilt and Needlecraft Fair, which will continue over the weekend at the Harrogate Showground. It's our first time at this particular show - which we decided to try in place of the Harrogate Knit & Stitch we attended for the past two years. Early indicators are good - we had a quiet start but things soon picked up and we had lots of interest in our yarns, patterns and kits. If you're in the area on Saturday or Sunday, why not pop along? There are beautiful quilts to look at, lots of gorgeous fabrics and accessories for quiltmakers and dressmakers, and of course our beautiful yarns. We have nearly the full range on display here, plus all our knitted designs.
We launched our latest mystery knitalong on Ravelry back in July, and several knitters have now completed the Eilidh shawl - a celebration of Shetland design in a range of yarns. I knitted four different samples, from a fine 4-ply to my Shetland 1-ply cobweb lace. Two of my samples included beads and were a delight to knit - I really enjoyed designing this one!
We've already had requests for another knitalong, so I'll be working on something over the winter with a view to launching it in the spring - watch our for news of that here and in our newsletter.
I'm also working on a crochet shawl - a result of many requests from those who love working with hooks and are disappointed that all my designs so far have been knitted! It's taking shape, and I hope it will be available in the next few weeks.
We still have another 10 events this year - check out the events page to see if we'll be coming to a venue near you soon.
We've recently launched the first in a collection of mini-skeins in our popular BFL 4-ply yarn - pure British wool with a lovely lustre. I thought they'd be great for Fair Isle, so I've also created a sweet little hat which you can make with just 2 x 20g skeins. Named Catriona to celebrate her Celtic heritage, pattern and kits are now available on the website.
Mum and I have been busy with our charity project for the last few weeks, and now have over two dozen ventilator bonnets ready to post out for Sunrise’s Senior Living’s annual #KnitforWinter campaign. I was given the green yarn to get started with, and we're now adding some other colours from our own stashes to add to the pile. The design is super easy to knit and only takes a few grams in the tiny sizes. You can download patterns and details here: http://www.sunrise-care.co.uk/blog/november-2015/knit-for-winter-first-touch.aspx
If you'd like to help, knit a bonnet or two and help a tiny newborn survive the winter.
Somewhat later than planned, and with many and profuse apologies, we’re finally ready to proceed with the new Mystery Knitalong.Bronwyn’s Bodice is a lacy sleeveless top with ribbed neck and armbands, which can be knitted in a single yarn or two different yarns. The two yarns can be different colours of the same fibre/type, or different types altogether. My original was worked in 100g each of Alpaca Lace and Alpaca Silk Lace in shades of blue, one a little darker than the other. There are also options for adding beads to sections of the body and the lower edge.
The construction is worked in a seamless manner from the top down, with the back and front worked flat to the armholes from a provisional cast-on at the shoulders. The body is joined into the round with the addition of stitches for the underarm panels, and then worked to the hem in the round. To finish, stitches are picked up for neck and armbands. NO SHAPING is required - the design is created without increases or decreases at neck or armholes - making this an ideal garment for those who love to knit lace but are wary of shaping which interferes with the lace pattern. A little shaping is obtained by the use of ribbed sections at the body sides.
Finished measurements for small, medium and large are approximately 34, 38 and 42 inches, or 86, 96 and 107 cm. The top can be worn loose as a layering piece, or a little tighter next to the skin.
Clues will be released as follows:
Clue 1: Monday 30 November
Clue 2: Monday 7 December
Clue 3: Monday 14 December
Clue 4: Monday 21 December
Note: For those signing up by 21 December, the pattern is available at a reduced price of £1.50. After that, the price will increase to £3.50.
As I have a couple of friends and a cousin who've had premature babies, I was delighted to be one of a number of knit bloggers to be asked to take part in Sunrise’s Senior Living’s annual #KnitforWinter campaign. This year Sunrise are supporting First Touch, a premature baby charity who work with St George's Hospital, London, and they’re asking people to knit and donate ventilator bonnets and blankets to help keep tiny babies warm this winter. You can find details of the campaign here: http://www.sunrise-care.co.uk/…/knit-for-winter-first-touch… - along with downloadable patterns and where to send finished items - and more info on First Touch here: http://www.first-touch.org.uk/
I'll be knitting some bonnets very shortly and will post more details in due course.
The autumn show season is already in full swing. This month we've already been to Chelsea and Bristol, and this weekend we visit Skipton for Yarndale. Looking forward to meeting all our lovely customers from Yorkshire and the surrounding counties again, after a very successful show last year.
Early October sees us heading off for our biggest ever event, the Knitting & Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace in London. I've visited Ally Pally as a punter before, so going as an exhibitor will be quite special - although I think after five days on our feet we may need a day or two off to recover!!
Talking of Ally Pally, I have four complimentary tickets for the show which I'm offering to customers and readers.
Please note: although the show is open for 5 days, these tickets are only valid as follows:
Wednesday 7 October from 10.00 am to 5.30 pm, or
Thursday 8 October (evening only) from 3.00 pm to 7.00 pm, or
Sunday 11 October from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm
If anyone is interested, please message me by midnight GMT on Sunday 27 September, letting me know if you’d like one or two tickets - and I’ll draw the winners out of a hat. Tickets will then be posted early next week.
If you’d like to prebook tickets anyway, to get a £2 discount off the full ticket price, book now at www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com and quote code EX15.
Hope to see lots of you there - do come along and introduce yourself :)