New Workshop Schedule Coming – our Greatest Hits!

We’re doing something a little different for our next Workshop Schedule. It’ll be a slightly shorter schedule – running from January until the end of March.

We’re planning a selection of some of our most popular workshops from favourite teachers including Claire Crompton, Anniken Allis and Alison Crowther Smith.

This is your opportunity to suggest workshops you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance! Just email us at customerservices@spinayarndevon.co.uk or let us know on Facebook. If you need some ideas then either grab your Autumn 2017 Programme or have a look through the calendar on the Workshops page of our website.

Do make sure you’re on our mailing list so that we can keep you updated with all the news about future plans for the summer and onwards…

 

 

 

Celebrating the Wonders of Wool

Every year the Campaign for Wool organise a week of events designed to educate, inspire and promote the benefits of wool.

We’ll be having our usual sale as part of those events, but thought we’d contribute to the celebrations with a post all about the properties of this amazing fibre.

 

Using only grass and water as it’s raw materials, unlike synthetics which are mainly derived from plastics and requiring fossil fuel (oil), wool is one of the most versatile, sustainable and natural resources we have. As if that wasn’t enough reason in itself to wear wool, it’s properties far outstrip most of the rival fibres on the market. Among it’s many features are:

Breathability: wool fibres are crimped, and when tightly packed together, form millions of tiny pockets of air. This unique structure allows it to absorb and release moisture—either in the atmosphere or perspiration from the wearer—without compromising its thermal efficiency. Wool has a large capacity to absorb moisture vapour (up to 30 per cent of its own weight) next to the skin, making it extremely breathable.

Resilience: wool fibres resist tearing and are able to be bent back on themselves over 20,000 times without breaking. Due to its crimped structure, wool is also naturally elastic, and so wool garments have the ability to stretch comfortably with the wearer, but are then able to return to their natural shape, making them resistant to wrinkling and sagging. Wool therefore maintains its appearance in the longer term, adding value to the product and its lifespan. Wool is also hydrophillic—it is highly absorbent, and retains liquids—and so dyes richly while remaining colourfast, without the use of chemicals.

Suitable for all climates: thanks to its hygroscopic abilities, wool constantly reacts to changes in body temperature, maintaining its wearer’s thermophysical comfort in both cold and warm weather.

Safe: it is not known to cause allergies and does not promote the growth of bacteria. Thanks to its high water and nitrogen content, wool is naturally flame-retardant, and has a far higher ignition threshold than many other fibres, will not melt and stick to the skin causing burns, and produces less noxious fumes that cause death in fire situations. Finally, wool also has a naturally high level of UV protection, which is much higher than most synthetics and cotton.

(Thanks to The Campaign for Wool for the science there!)

We know from our experience here at Spin A Yarn that the wool garments that our customers bring in – sometimes decades old – with the correct care, remain vibrant, soft and warm – often handed down from generation to generation. We have even seen historic gansey jumpers and heirloom christening blankets – all cherished and ready to serve a new owner.

Fishermen wearing traditional gansey style jumpers. These were knitted with the sheep’s natural oils left in the yarn, which afforded waterproofing in all weathers.

If you’ve always thought ‘wool is too itchy for me’ or ‘wool is too hard to care for’ then never fear. Our customers are often surprised at how incredibly soft and smooth some of our merino yarns are – virtually as non-prickly as cotton, perfect for the most sensitive necks or small babies. Plus there are now a huge array of yarns which can be machine washed – and even tumble dried! – due to new processing methods. Our experienced staff can talk you through your concerns.

If you’re still in any doubt, pop in to the shop and ask to try some of our many pre-made samples up – once you move to natural fibres, we’ve found it’s hard to go back!

 

 

Soft new shades and elegant patterns in Rowan Cocoon

We were delighted to see some new shades in one of Rowan’s most classic yarns Cocoon, and with them a book full of elegant, feminine patterns.

Rowan Timeless Cocoon pattern book

Our favourite of the new shades is this dusty pink. It’s flattering on so many different people, and yet soft enough to almost act as a neutral with stronger colours.

Rowan Cocoon Misty Rose

Cocoon is a chunky weight roving yarn – meaning it’s a single ply, loosely spun yarn – with a blend of 80% merino wool and 20% kid mohair. The mohair gives it body and warmth, and enough stitch definition to still let cables and other details pop, and the kid mohair lends a gentle halo to the finished knitting.

Rowan Timeless Cocoon Scarf

We particularly love this jumper pattern with delicate slipped stitch cabling – and anticipate it’s going to be very popular in the shop!

Rowan Timeless Cocoon Jumper

The Timeless Cocoon pattern collection has been put together by Rowan favourites such as Lisa Richardson, Brandon Mably and Sarah Hatton.

Rowan Timeless Cocoon Patterns

What do you think of the new collection?

Rowan Cocoon Shades

 

New super-squishy alpaca chunky in for Winter

We have a gorgeous new arrival here at Spin A Yarn…King Cole Superfine Alpaca Chunky.

This sumptuous natural Alpaca yarn comes in 5 soft neutral shades, Fawn, Koala, Camel, Charcoal and Grey. We know our customers love natural shades, and we find undyed yarn has a special softness all of it’s own. If you’re planning a trip to the shop, make sure you pick it up and give it a squeeze!

The yarn is supported by a beautiful book full patterns – from Socks, Hats & Scarves to Vest tops and shawls. With most projects only requiring 1 to 2 balls, this book is a fantastic cost-effective way of adding some luxurious natural fibre to your wardrobe. Click here to view the yarn on our site – as usual to order, pop in, email an enquiry through or just give us a call!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

King Cole Alpaca Chunky basket

The cutest Adriafil dress pattern – free with yarn!

When Adriafil made their new patterns available to us recently, we just knew that we had to have a sample of this sweet little dress made up immediately.

Adriafil dress with pattern

Adriafil Knitcol is one of our all-time favourite yarns here at Spin A Yarn. It’s a self-patterning yarn, which means that the manufacturers have cleverly dyed the yarn in such a way that when knitted up it makes a lovely pattern, giving the impression that you’ve spent hours knitting complicated fair-isle patterns, when you’ve actually just knitted straight stocking-stitch!

Adriafil KnitCol with dress

DK weight, 100% merino and machine washable, our customers have always loved it for children’s knits as well as bright and fun accessories. As you can see, it looks quite different in the ball than it does knitted up.

Adriafil KnitCol shelf

Fortunately Adriafil provided us with a helpful swatch chart which shows how all the different shades look when knitted.

Adriafil Knitcol Shade Card

Aren’t they clever?

The dress pattern is free from Spin A Yarn when buying the yarn from us to make it – just ask one of our friendly staff members if you’re interested in making it.

Rowan Softyak – Special End of Season Offer

Being a British yarn brand, Rowan Yarns know all about the unpredictability of our weather and the importance of having ‘transitional’ items in a wardrobe – those cardis, jumpers and cowls which are just right for an unseasonably cool Spring/Summer day, and also perfect for a sunny winter’s day.

It feels like that kind of weather is on it’s way now, so we’re offering

10% off all in-stock Rowan Softyak!

Click here to view the yarn on our website, or read on to learn more about it.Softyak yarn

We were intrigued when Rowan introduced Softyak, an exciting new blend – 76% cotton, 15% yak and 9% nylon. Whilst yak might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Rowan, the fibres are beautifully soft and give the yarn a lovely mottled look.

Tibetan Yak

The yarn is a chainette construction which, as we know from Rowan Lima and Alpaca Merino, results in a bouncy, loft yarn which is warm yet breathable. And even better – the yarn is static resistant and anti-microbial!

Naturally there are some beautiful patterns to accompany Softyak. Rowan Magazine 61 particularly features some gorgeous patterns which really make use of the subtle colours and crisp stitch definition.

Our favourite is Periwinkle by Martin Storey, a cropped cardi which looks great on all ages – we have a sample of this one in the shop if you want to try it.

Softyak Periwinkle

Clovelly is a relaxed and slouchy jumper with more cables than you can shake a stick at – more classic Martin Storey!

Softyak Clovelly

Rockling is exactly the type of cosy card which can be thrown on in all weathers:

Rockling Softyak

And Bommie combines traditional fair-isle motifs with geometric designs for a contemporary twist.

The discount is only while stocks last, so pop into the shop and ask to see the Softyak samples if you want see how it knits up.

 

New Rowan Yarns coming this Autumn

Blackberries are already ripening, and whilst we are still having some sunny days, there’s already a slight hint of Autumn in the air…which means that we’re getting very excited about the launch of some lovely new Rowan yarns and pattern books!

Rowan Design Collections 2017-18

First up we will be getting Valley Tweed in. Rowan are returning to their roots with this traditional 100% wool 4ply tweed, made in Yorkshire.

You really get a feel from it from this footage of the Valley Tweed photoshoot:

It will be accompanied by a book of 7 designs by Lisa Richardson, and we think this pretty moss-stitch jacket will be particularly popular.

Valley Tweed - Braden

Braden Jacket by Lisa Richardson

Next up is Cashmere Tweed, made with extrafine merino and a luxurious 20% cashmere. Very exciting – there’ll be a collection of 7 Scandinavian and Icelandic inspired knits by Martin Storey to accompany it. Isn’t this hat and scarf combo perfect!

Rowan Cashmere Tweed Wilkie Hat

Wilkie Hat and Scarf by Martin Storey

We think these yarns and their pattern collections are going to usher in a return to what we know and love Rowan best for – wonderful quality yarns, soft and flattering colours, and superb patterns.

Lastly, Rowan have released a new pattern book for Brushed Fleece and Joyce is ordering in lots of the new colours in this versatile yarn. Brushed Fleece Knits features 8 designs from Quail Studio – classics with a contemporary twist. Brushed Fleece is a yarn which looks heavy but is actually incredibly light and warm!

Rowan Brushed Fleece Knits

Rowan Brushed Fleece Knits

The new Rowan Magazine 62 has already arrived at the shop. There are too many lovely patterns to choose from but we love this eye-catching Alpaca Merino Jacket by Lisa Richardson.

Rowan Magazine 62 - Marr

Rowan Magazine 62 – Marr

And as usual there are cables and fair-isle galore!

Rowan Magazine 62 - Fumbar, Farnley and Sykes

Rowan Magazine 62 – Fumbar, Farnley and Sykes

To order Mag 62 or to put your name down for a copy of the others, just give us a call on 01626 836203 or email customerservices@spinayarndevon.co.uk.

September Workshops

Our Autumn 2017 workshop schedules have now landed with most customers and they’re booking up fast!

However here are some September workshops which still have space – to book just call 01626 836203.

Professional Finishing with Claire Crompton – 15th September.
Do you have half-finished garments languishing in your knitting bag, waiting to be sewn up? Have you attempted a few garments but been disappointed by the way they ended up looking because the finishing was so tricky? This is one of our all-time best selling workshops, and for very good reasons! Claire – author of The Knitter’s Bible and many other knitting technique books – draws on her huge wealth of knowledge and experience to help you overcome any fears about finishing and get a crisp, professional look to your garments. You will learn how easy it is to sew using mattress stitch, how to block and press your pieces, shaping to make sewing up easier, picking up stitches, buttonholes and more.
£50 including home-cooked lunch and tea-time treats.

Toe-Up Socks on Circular Needles using Magic Loop with Anniken Allis – 19th September.
Many knitters prefer to knit socks from the toe-up as this makes it easier to calculate yarn usage. You can also try your socks on as you go to ensure a perfect fit! This workshop will teach you how to work a closed cast on, knit the toe, increase for the gusset, turn the heel and work the heel flap, and how to do a stretchy cast off. In addition you’ll learn how to knit socks on circular needles using the magic loop technique – which in itself is a really useful technique to learn! You can also practice knitting two socks at a time – the perfect solution to the dreaded ‘second sock syndrome’…
£50 including home-cooked lunch and tea-time treats.

 

We also have spaces left on two crochet courses with Di Stewart:

Beginner’s Crochet – afternoons – 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th September
Crochet is a fantastic skill to have under your belt – not only is it perfect for beautiful colorwork blankets, modern garments and accessories, it can also be combined with knitting – for example for adding borders, joining pieces, or adding motifs. Di’s 4 week course will get you started with the techniques you need to know to tackle most crochet patterns.
£50 for the 4 week course.

 

There’s also set of more advanced crochet workshops with Di due to popular demand!
Beyond The Basics of Crochet – afternoons – 5th, 12, 26 October and 2nd November
In these Di will teach you more complex crochet stitches and how to create a crochet garment. You might have taken Di’s beginner workshop, but you don’t have to have – if you’ve learned basic crochet in the past and are ready to take your skills to the next level, this is for you.
£50 for the 4 week course.

Lastly we know there are many of our customers who work full time or look after family during the week and so we are thrilled to announce that up and coming local designer Heather Firby will be running Saturday workshops at Spin A Yarn this autumn.
We have spaces left on:

Learn to Knit in the Round / Magic Loop – morning – Saturday 12th August
Learn the magical Magic Loop technique and never sew up a seam again! We get so many requests from customers wanting to master the Magic Loop technique, it is SO useful. You will learn how to knit in the round to make a hat or cowl with no seams, plus how you would use the techniques to make a whole garment with no seams. You will also be shown how to translate straight knitting patterns to be knitted in the round.
£30 including tea-time treats

Basic Crochet Techniques – morning – 12th August
Here you will learn a variety of different crochet stitches and some of the many ways in which you can use them. You’ll learn how to read crochet patterns step by step, and there will be the opportunity to learn how to crochet amigurimi to create 3D shapes and work in the round.
£30 including tea-time treats

Garment Construction – afternoon – 9th September
You will learn all of the techniques needed to knit and construct a garment, including: shaping, picking up stitches and sewing up invisibly. You will also have the opportunity to learn how to edit parts of a pattern to change the fit or style.
£30 including tea-time treats

There are still places on other workshops – we’ve only listed the September ones here – don’t forget you can always check our website at www.spinayarndevon.co.uk/workshops to check availability and as ever, call 01626 836203 to book.

 

 

Introducing…Sirdar Colourwheel

Sirdar Colourwheel

If you pass our shop window your eye might well be caught by our new yarn, Sirdar Colourwheel. This yarn is fantastic value at £11.00 for approx 520m per ball, which includes this free lacy scarf pattern printed on the ball band!

We can also provide the free pattern which is photographed on the ball band, for a pretty lacy shawlette – just ask when buying:

Sirdar have published a lovely collection of one-ball patterns for this yarn, including many in crochet – a real treat for our crochet fans who don’t usually have such a big choice! The yarn is a very practical 80% acrylic/20% wool blend and thanks to the gorgeous colourways will be absolutely perfect for kids knits and blankets as it is machine washable.

How pretty do the different shades look knitted up?

Sirdar COLOURWHEEL Shades

To buy this yarn just pop into the shop, give us a call on 01626 836203 or to read more online go here: Sirdar Colourwheel.

Free Patterns with Yarn!

Did you know here at Spin A Yarn we have a wide range of patterns that you can receive free when you buy the yarn? We’ve added a small selection here (Free Patterns with Yarn) but will add more in time, and have many more in the shop.

Just mention the name of which pattern you’re interested in when you use our ‘Enquire to Buy’ form and we can either send it to you as a PDF or print it out to send with your yarn.

Free Patterns