Yarn Shop Day 2016
It was Yarn Shop Day on Saturday and after the fun of last year, I was really looking forward to being part of the celebrations at Black Sheep Wools. This is the third Yarn Shop Day event that’s been organised by Let’s Knit magazine, and even more yarn shops up and down the country got involved which is brilliant news for the shop side of the yarn industry.
I arrived early to set my table up. It might look a bit bare at the moment (especially when you see some of the other photos coming up); in fact you can see how calm it was as I even had time for a cup of tea – but within the hour the shop was very busy and most people stopped to have a look at what was going on as they made their way through (it was difficult not to, really, as I was right by the door and pounced on unsuspecting knitters as they approached!) and it wasn’t long before the table was covered with balls of yarn, packets of needles, sock samples being knitted and pairs of socks which people had brought in.
That’s always my favourite bit – seeing the socks that people have knitted. I saw them on feet, on needles, in bags and even tipped out across the table. Lots and lots of socks! What always makes me smile is the way that people tell me how addictive socks are – I blame the yarn designers and manufacturers for that as it’s so easy to do “just one more round” to see how the next colour is going to come out of the ball!
I did like these clear wellies that Black Sheep Wools had found for displaying their yarn. I even saw a pair of clear boots being worn with fabulous pink hand-knits being shown off inside them!
It wasn’t just me at Yarn Shop Day (which would be very boring for those people who don’t want to knit socks!). Sue Pinner, who designs for Stylecraft, was there with her books of granny squares and some of her blankets. They’re very colourful and in a range of different yarns too – I always forget that Stylecraft make more than just the Special DK which I’ve crocheted with!
Look how pretty these flowers are in these colours. This is Stylecraft Life DK which has a wool content and feels very different to my Special DK blanket.
Here’s Sue during a quiet moment. We had lunch together and she told me that she produces 3-4 patterns a month for Stylecraft (a month?!) which is quite a hefty workload. There’s certainly no shortage of choice if you’re looking for a crochet project though!
In the back room was Beryl Weir who was doing weaving demonstrations. She had brought all kinds of clothing samples with her, from scarves to jackets, and they all looked stunning.
What I liked was that the weave is often irregular and might look quite rustic but the combinations of colours and fibres give it a modern flavour. There were certainly lots of people trying the clothes on, so I can’t have been the only who thought that!
You can see here the combination of colours and textures – I would never think of putting chenille yarn through a piece of woven fabric but it looked amazing.
There was an opportunity to have a go for yourself too – there was quite a queue to try out the looms at one point. Beryl regularly holds weaving workshops at Black Sheep so anybody can go along and learn how to produce fabric for themselves.
Here’s Beryl on the left. She’s chatting to Fay Dashper-Hughes who, with her friend Lynne Rowe were at Black Sheep to record a podcast for their new crochet podcast called The Crochet Circle. I first met Fay when she came to one of my sock workshops, and Lynne at the Arne and Carlos workshop held at Black Sheep Wools in February; they’re lovely people and I hope their new venture does very well. (Don’t you just love photos of people in conversation? I took a lot of pictures of Beryl and Fay and this was the only one where their facial expressions were fit to post!)
This is Kathryn from Crafternoon Treats surrounded by just a few of the bags that she’s created with her Bagalong. I’d only met her briefly at Yarndale last year so it was nice to spend a bit more time chatting with her – especially as she’s on a mission to create a crochet sock pattern. Sara at Black Sheep asked if that meant we were now rivals, but I don’t see it like that at all. I think it’s more important to get a handmade sock on your foot, to feel the achievement and to enjoy the fabulous range of socks yarns and whilst I am never going to give up my passion for knitted socks, for those who really feel they can’t knit, it’s good to have other options.
There were some lovely bags on display – it just shows how the designs have come on since the 1970s when crochet bags were in fashion the first time round!
What a great day it was. It was the perfect opportunity for yarn squishing, pattern perusing and seeing a couple of impromptu knit n natter sessions set up around the shop. I thoroughly enjoyed getting the chance to catch up with other crafters too. And eat lemon cake. Why would you not want to support your local yarn shop? J
With many thanks to Black Sheep Wools for inviting me back to their Yarn Shop Day celebrations and keeping me fed and watered J