Last Chance to Buy Some Rowan Favourites!

rowan logo

Rowan are making room for some exciting new yarns and limited edition collections! Their new streamlined range means that some old favourites are sadly being discontinued.

Last chance to buy...

As we know our customers are huge Rowan fans, we though we’d let you know which yarns will be going, and give you the opportunity to stock up at a 10% discount (20% for Loyalty Card holders!).

We’re only able to offer what we have available in the shop, so if there are any from the list below that you want to stock up on, just pop in, email us or give us a call with what you need and we’ll see what we have for you! 

And don’t worry, Rowan are continuing to produce many other long-standing wonderful yarns such as Felted Tweed and Kidsilk Haze. If you have a Rowan pattern you’d like to knit which uses any of the discontinued yarns, we’ll be more than happy to help you find a substitute yarn from the many stocked in our shop.

Rowan Yarns being discontinued: 

Big Wool Silk
Superfine Merino DK & Aran
Pure Wool 4-ply
Kidsilk Haze Stripe
Mohair Haze
Wool Cotton
Rowan Finest
Rowan Tweed
Fine Art & Fine Art Aran
Alpaca Colour
Tetra Cotton
Cotton Lustre
Panama
Revive
Pure Linen
All Seasons Cotton
Soft Knit Cotton
Truesilk
Lima & Lima Colour
Fazed Tweed
Colourspun
Thick n Thin
Alpaca Chunky
British Sheep Breeds
Creative Focus Worsted
Chenille
Big Wool Colour

It’s not too late to join our Workshops!

We still have a few workshops with spaces available this Spring/Summer – these are fascinating workshops, taught by some truly excellent teachers (who are authors and designers in their own right!)

Knit Diff Directions

Have a browse of the list below and if there’s any you fancy joining us for, give us a call on 01626 836203 to secure your place. All the workshops listed below cost £49 for the day which includes a delicious home cooked lunch.

Any questions about the workshops themselves? Just give us a call or email us!

April

22nd April: Fair Isle and Intarsia with Claire Crompton
Learn how to use Fair Isle and Intarsia together with slip stitch patterns and simple stripes to add colour to your knitting. In the workshop you will learn the basics of each technique, knitting samples of each. We will also explore some basic colour theory so you can be confident about putting colours together and altering a pattern into another colourway.

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Examples of Fair-Isle Knitting

26th April: St Aubin’s Bay Shawl with Anniken Allis
St Aubin’s Bay is an elegant crescent shaped shawl worked from the top down with an eyelet garter stitch pattern. Two short row wedges and a beaded picot cast/ bind off add interest to a fun accessory. In the morning we’ll practice the techniques used to knit this shawl including short rows, adding beads using a crochet hook, picot cast-off and how to shape the shawl. In the afternoon you will start your own St Aubin’s Bay shawl.

St Aubin's Bay Shawl

St Aubin’s Bay Shawl

May

20th May: Knitting in Different Directions with Claire Crompton
Progress from making garments and accessories in rows and circular knitting, to knitting them in different directions. Join squares or circles, worked from the centre out or from the outer edge inwards to make pieces of knitted fabric. Learn how to construct garments from diagonal (bias) knitting and how to use short rows. In the workshop we will experiment with the techniques and you will be able to take away information and ideas for your own designs.

modular

Knitting in Different Directions

24th May: Knitting the Mar Menor and Daisy Shawl with Anniken Allis
The Daisy and Mar Menor shawls are both fun shawlettes featuring unusual stitch patterns and the most popular shawls in the Shop! In this class you’ll learn the elongated and crossed stitch patterns used in these two shawls as well as how to add beads using a crochet hook, how to work a beaded picot cast off and how to shape both shawls.

Close up of Mar Menor Shawlette

Close up of Mar Menor Shawlette

June

2nd June: The Magical Moebius Cowl with Alison Crowther Smith
Using the cast-on made famous by Cat Bordhi, Alison will show you how to knit a lovely yet simple Moebius cowl using DK yarns and edged in Kidsilk Haze. The morning will be spent learning this cast-on and how to establish the Moebius, which once started, is easy basic knitting and purling. In the afternoon you will start your own cowl.

Moebius Cowl

Moebius Cowl

10th June: Starlight Fingerless Mitts with Anniken Allis
The Starlight fingerless mitts feature a beaded lace pattern and are worked in the round. In the morning we’ll practice the techniques used to knit these mitts including how to knit lace, how to read a lace chart, how to add beads using the crochet hook method and how to knit in the round on double pointed needles and circular needles using the magic loop method. In the afternoon you will start your own Starlight mitts.

Starlight Mitts

Starlight Mitts



22nd June: Hairpin Crochet with Di Stewart
Hairpin Crochet is an easy and rhythmical technique of wrapping and crocheting around a small loom pin, forming rows of loops which can be used in many ways. In this workshop you will learn the basic techniques of Hairpin Crochet and how to join, gather and crochet around the loops, using basic crochet stitches. It will also include how to make Hairpin Flowers and how to join them to make a Hairpin Flower shawl, with written instructions and a free pattern for the shawl.

Hairpin Crochet

Hairpin Crochet

24th June: Crochet in Different Directions with Claire Crompton
Explore motifs, spirals, flowers, fabric, three dimensional forms and loads of other ways to work crochet in different directions. In the workshop we will explore all these techniques and you will be able to take away information and ideas for your own creations.

Crochet_Shell_Necklace_detail_medium2

Crochet shells

July

26th July: Persephone Shawl with Anniken Allis
Persephone is a crescent shawl worked from the top down. Multiple yarn overs used in the edging create a big impact. In the morning we’ll practice the techniques used to knit this shawl including how to read a lace chart, how to work large yarn overs and how to shape the shawl. In the afternoon you will start your own Persephone shawl.

Persephone Shawl

Persephone Shawl

Terri’s Wonderful ‘Spinning Around the World’ Adventure

Friends of the shop and regulars at our Knit Clubs will know of the amazingly creative and perfectly eccentric Terri Bate, who usually teaches our Spinning Workshops. Having recently retired from her job as a local midwife (including having delivered the babies of several staff and customers!) she has just embarked on an amazing adventure – Spinning Around the World.

terri cycle picture

Terri’s plan is to cycle solo to her sister who lives on Kangaroo Island, Australia (and possibly back again – she has 18 months to complete the journey in!), exploring textiles along the way.

kangaroo-island

She says:  “I want to live a simple life, getting up and going to bed with the sun, journaling, sketching, being in the moment and appreciating the big, wide world without the rush of trying to meet the many (more often than not) self imposed deadlines. Travelling slowly, meeting people – exploring inner and outer worlds and learning to live with less ‘stuff’.

 

I have the gear, the bike, the panniers etc – I have had all the vaccinations and I have pored over maps in anticipation.  I have even taken a couple of bicycle maintenance classes (not my forte, you understand).

terri bike

In no way am I setting a precedent – there are many, many, other solo cyclists who have laid the trail – from Dervla Murphy to Al Humphries, from Annie Londonderry to Anne Mustoe and Josie Dew, from Louise Sutherland to Rubina Soorty and Anne Wilson (I could go on) – that’s a deep wheel rut to follow.

I, too, will do this solo (I think I will meet more people if I’m on my own) though, hopefully, friends and family will come visit en route. I plan to use hospitality sites like CouchSurfing, WarmShowers for accommodation, or camp (have tent, sleeping bag, trangia stove etc).  I will take my knitting  – of course – I knit EVERYWHERE and am a complete geek!  Although I’m getting rid of ALL my stash apart from the teeny weeny bit I can carry with me. Deciding what to take will be a tough decision – but I can start hoarding again when I get back.

Many people have asked me if I’m ‘doing it for charity’, and I really hadn’t intended to, but then I changed my mind because that’s a woman’s prerogative apparently.  And P/Hop is the knitters’ charity (thanks to Natalie Fergie at Yarn Yard for starting it off – see http://www.p-hop.co.uk for a full explanation) so yeah, why not?

I’ll be raising money for Medeçins Sans Frontieres and have set up the Justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Terri-Bate

I will be funding the travelling with part of my NHS pension (got to leave a bit for the other half to pay what’s left of the mortgage- him indoors, who is keeping the home fires burning) – but also selling the journal sketches for the price of a couple cups of coffee or pints of beer and sending them as postcards from wherever I am to the purchaser (donating a third of what I raise to MSF).

terri drawing 2

Terri set off yesterday, and we’re looking forward to following her adventures from here in the shop – we’re going to have a map in the shop to track her travels! If you’d like to follow her progress and (digitally) keep her company, her blog is http://www.tutleymutleytextiles.com/blog.

terri travels 1

Bon Voyage, Terri!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anniken’s Lace Workshops

We’re very lucky here at Spin A Yarn to count one of the current top lace designers of the knitting world, Anniken Allis, as a great friend and well established workshop teacher.

Anniken AllisAnniken at SaY Fashion Show

vogue knitting anniken cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hailing from Norway, knitting is in Anniken’s blood – having learnt Continental knitting from a young age, she started designing patterns in her early 30s and her love affair with designing beautiful lace accessories and garments began. Now a published author (of Beaded Lace Knitting) and having had her work featured on the front of the highly respected US Vogue Knitting, we are thrilled that she regularly travels up from her home in beautiful Cornwall to continue teaching workshops with us – on everything from how to knit Continental style, to Norwegian ‘Selbu’ style mittens.

Lang Vinter Votter 1

Selbu Mittens

Candace Pattern by Anniken Allis

Candace Shawl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anniken’s delicate and glamorous shawls feature novel stitch techniques, unusual cast-offs (and sometimes cast-ons!), and often beading… she teaches all of these techniques and more on her dedicated workshops for each pattern. In the morning you learn the techniques required, and in the afternoon you start your own project, choosing from the wide selection of beautiful yarns we stock here at Spin A Yarn (workshop attendees get an extra discount voucher on the day!).

Violetta Shawl

Violetta Shawl

We have a few spaces left on each of these workshops, so if you’d like to embark on making a gorgeous accessory with Anniken’s help and advice, do give us a call on 01626 836203 to secure your place. These workshops cost £49 each, run from 10am to 4pm, and include a copy of the pattern plus Joyce’s home-cooked lunch and tea-time treats. They are suitable for confident novice or intermediate knitters, or confident knitters who just want to enjoy knitting a new pattern in good company!

St Aubin’s Bay Shawl – Tuesday 26th April

St Aubin's Bay Shawl

St Aubin’s Bay Shawl

An elegant crescent shaped shawl worked from the top-down with an eyelet garter stitch pattern. Two short row wedges and a beaded picot cast-off add interest to a fun accessory. In the morning you’ll practice the techniques used to knit this shawl including short rows, adding beads using a crochet hook, picot cast-off, and how to shape the shawl. In the afternoon you will start your own St Aubin’s Bay shawl with the 4-ply/sock yarn and beads of your choice.

 

 

Knitting the Mar Menor and Daisy Shawl – Tuesday 24th May

Mar Menor Shawlette

Mar Menor Shawlette

Daisy Shawl

Daisy Shawl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Daisy and Mar Menor shawls are both fun shawlettes featuring unusual stitch patterns and are some of the most popular in the shop! In this class you’ll learn the elongated and crossed stitch patterns used in these two shawls, as well as how to add beads using a crochet hook, how to work a beaded picot cast-off, and how to shape both shawls. In the afternoon you’ll be able to start your own Daisy or Mar Menor shawl with the 4-ply/sock yarn and beads of your choice.

Persephone Shawl – Tuesday 26th July

Persephone Shawl

Persephone Shawl

An eye-catching crescent shawl worked from the top down, with multiple yarn overs used in the edging to create a big impact. In the morning you’ll practice the techniques used to knit this shawl, including how to read a lace chart, how to work large yarn overs, and how to shape the shawl. In the afternoon you’ll start your own Persephone shawl, with the 4-ply/sock yarn of your choice – enjoy choosing two contrasting or gently complementary colours.

 

 

 

 

 

Exclusive interview with Iris Schreier of ArtYarns

Spin a Yarn talks to...

Our long-awaited delivery of ArtYarns skeins from the US has now arrived! Opening the box is always like opening a treasure chest full of silky and soft yarn, hand painted in jewel tones, sparkling with sequins and murano glass beads.

Art Yarns Group Shot

Who are ArtYarns?

The company is the brainchild of designer and author Iris Schreier, who started the company in 2002.
We were lucky enough to be able to ask Iris some questions recently – and her answers are fascinating.

Spin A Yarn: Where did the inspiration to start ArtYarns come from?
Iris: I was working on my first book Exquisite Little Knits, and I couldn’t find certain yarns that I wanted to knit with, so I created them myself. Examples: a lightweight silk that would be perfect for scarf designs without being too heavy knitted up—this became Regal Silk; a hand-dyed cashmere that was carefully dyed in sophisticated colors—this became Artyarns Cashmere 5; A beaded yarn that would not have any synthetic in it—this became Beaded Silk Light. Stores because interested in these yarns I developed, and Artyarns was born.

Exquisite Little Knits by Iris Schreier

Exquisite Little Knits by Iris Schreier

Spin A Yarn: What is your favourite source of inspiration for the beautiful hand-painted colourways?
Iris: I mostly approach color ways as a designer—I think I am inspired to design certain pieces and develop colors that will work with my designs.  Our latest collection of Cosmic Colors inspired by the randomness of the constellations, helped me develop one of my favorite new pieces the Swirl Tee, which needed a fun, bright, multicolored yarn that would not pool and interfere with the pattern.

ArtYarns Shades

Spin A Yarn: Our favourite ArtYarn blends are Beaded Silk Sequins Light and Beaded Mohair & Sequins, do you have any favourite patterns which you think showcase these yarns particularly well?
Iris: Both these yarns are embellished and knit up like lovely jewelry.  We have put huge collections of patterns free on the yarn label, mostly 1-skein projects.  Look at the Beaded Silk & Sequins Light Collection of 10 patterns, free on the Beaded Silk & Sequins Light yarn label—I love the Silk Bouquet Scarf.  Also refer to the Beaded Mohair & Sequins Collection, free on the Beaded Mohair & Sequins yarn label—this contains 6 lovely patterns, including the Raspberry Stitch Mini Shawl designed by a very talented designer in South Korea.

Beaded Silk and Sequins Light Patterns

Spin A Yarn: How long does it take to produce a batch of hand-painted yarn?
Iris: We have a group of dyers working all day every work day, and we can produce several hundred skeins per week.  Some colors are more complicated than others and take longer.  We have a video of how we actually do the dyeing of certain multis – please click here to watch the delicate process by which the skeins are hand-painted: Shade 501 Hand-Dyeing Process.

ArtYarns SSL Shade 501

And here’s what the finished yarn looks like!

Spin A Yarn: We’re always impressed by your dedication to sharing your work and helpful hints on social media – what do you most enjoy about relating to other ‘yarn addicts’ online?
Iris: I love testing yarn colors by posting them and getting reactions, and also the encouragement of my peers when I show designs in progress.  It helps me focus on those projects that will be most appealing, at the same time including our social media fans in the process of our development, what we produce and what we design. Nothing is more appealing than seeing others’ photos of what they have created using my yarns and designs.  Therefore, I constantly run knitalongs, where we knit as a group.  You can find out about these on my Ravelry Knitalongs group here: ArtYarns Knitalongs

ArtYarns Knit-a-longs on Ravelry

Join ArtYarns Knit-a-longs on Ravelry

You can reach Iris through Facebook, Ravelry or Instagram. She also has a Craftsy class in Modular Knitting, click here for a the link to sign up and receive $20 off coupon

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Iris!

You can find her yarns on our website here: ArtYarns available at Spin A Yarn, or pop into the shop and ask Joyce to show you the ‘treasure chest’ of skeins! We can help you find suitable patterns and provide you with the beautiful free patterns which come with the yarn when you buy it.

Introducing…Malabrigo Hand-Dyed Yarns to Spin A Yarn

malabrigo yarns

When Joyce was looking for new and beautiful yarn brands to stock in our shop, one of the most frequently requested was Malabrigo.

If you’re not already lusting after their yarns, here’s a bit of information about them…

A small family business

Malabrigo started small, when two brothers-in-law started dyeing wool in a kitchen back in 2005. After achieving some good results, they started selling a few skeins to the US and before they knew it they had quickly grown to other countries in Europe and the rest of the world. To keep up with this growth, they opened a mill in Montevideo, Uruguay, where yarns are dyed and packed in large rooms with natural light. They employ mostly women of all ages, and always try to give job opportunities to people that have fewer opportunities than the average.

Punta del Este

Punta del Este, along the coast from Montevideo, Uruguay

 

Happy sheep, fewer chemicals

In 2010 the factory added a flat-plate thermal heating system to decrease the environmental footprint. Using the power of the sun, the water tanks are heated for the various processes to make their wonderful yarns. The company employs environmentally safe practices using as little water and as few chemicals as possible. As part of their ongoing effort to build a greener business, their Superwash manufacturing process now meets Oeko-Tex standards. This means the yarn is free from a range of harmful substances often found in manufacturing.

Sheep from the flock owned by Malabrigo in Uruguay

Sheep from the flock owned by Malabrigo in Uruguay

Malabrigo also now own a flock of Merino and Corriedale sheep, who live on a ranch near their headquarters. They are now able to have a direct hand in wool production from the very first step, and to ensure the humane, high-quality care of happy little sheep.

Here’s a video showing you around beautiful Piedras de Afilar and demonstrating the process by which they shear their sheep and harvest the beautiful fleece that becomes Malabrigo yarn. They strive to use sustainable and humane farming practices with their ranch and flock, saying a happy sheep makes the best wool. We couldn’t agree more!

The wonderful fibres

Most Malabrigo yarns are made with 100% Uruguayan Merino wool. Uruguay has one of the biggest wool supplies in the world, and a very, very good wool with regards to softness. Their wool is 100% produced by Uruguayan farms that allow their sheep to go free-range through the hills and are herded by traditional-style shepherds. Having felt the yarn in the shop we can vouch for the softness and extra fine quality of the yarn.

Show me some projects!

If you want to see what the subtly variegated colours look like when knitted or crocheted up, check out the Malabrigo Blog. It’s full of inspiration and pattern ideas too. You can also follow them on Instagram for lots of tempting photos @malabrigoyarn.

Malabrigo blog

The Malabrigo blog

We’ve just added their yarns to our website www.spinayarndevon.co.uk, so please do have a browse and if there’s any you’d like to buy, either pop into the shop or pop us an email.

We stock...malabrigo

Malabrigo yarns stocked at Spin A Yarn

With thanks to Malabrigo for their beautiful and highly informative website 🙂

 

 

 

Arctic Qiviut – an Alaskan Treasure

Did you know that Spin A Yarn is one of the few shops in the UK which sells Arctic Qiviut? What is this mysterious rare yarn, you might ask?

Well, as we get a lot of questions about this elusive fibre, we thought we’d do a blog post about it. Thanks to our Qiviut Yarn suppliers, Arctic Qiviut, for providing this fascinating information!

Qiviut

Origins
Qiviut is truly an amazing fiber. It is the delicate underwool of the Arctic muskox. It is one of the most sought after fibers in the world because of its rarity, softness and warmth.

Alaskan Muskox

Alaskan Muskox

The muskox is not an ox; this large hairy mammal dates back to the last Ice Age, and is most closely related to sheep and goats. The Inuit name for muskox is “Umingmak” meaning the bearded one. They have been an integral part of the Inuit lifestyle for centuries as an animal that provides a great amount of nutritious meat, warm hides and soft insulating underwool known as Qiviut to knit into clothing.

Muskox shed the Qiviut naturally in the springtime. Known as the “golden fleece of the Arctic”, it commands a high price due to it’s rarity, softness, warmth and light weight. Qiviut grows from every part of the muskox including the face, belly, ears, hooves and under the horns, and unlike sheep, are not sheared to harvest their fleece. After processing, 6 to 8 pounds of muskox fleece raw fiber will yield about 2 to 3 pounds of cleaned Qiviut fiber that is ready for spinning into yarn. Muskox grow a new layer of Qiviut in the autumn.

Alaska

Alaska

Qiviut from farmed muskox is combed out in large sheets. Qiviut from wild muskox falls off in clumps or is rubbed off by muskox on the ground or bushes. Qiviut found on the ground or bushes from wild muskox is hand collected. After the qiviut fleece is removed or collected it is cleaned by hand or machine cleaned to remove vegetation and foreign matter and then dehaired of all guard hairs. Then it is carded and ready to spin into yarn. Qiviut production is extremely limited because muskox herds are few in number and are usually very remote and isolated. Unlike in Canada and Greenland, where qiviut is a by-product of government-controlled hunting, Alaska is one of the very few places in the world where you can get hand-combed qiviut.

Arctic Qiviut have recently opened the first commercial yarn mill in Alaska! Hopefully we will be seeing many more shipments of yarn from this new mill.

Arctic Qiviut being processed at their mill in Alaska

Arctic Qiviut being processed at their mill in Alaska

Arctic Qiviut being processed at their mill in Alaska

Qiviut yarn is eight times warmer than wool and is softer and more valuable than cashmere. Qiviut yarn and qiviut yarn blends are a knitters, crocheters and weavers dream to use to create their yarnwear.

Properties

Qiviut is softer than cashmere and is light as a feather. It’s an insulating fiber and is comfortable to wear in any climate. Eight times warmer than sheep wool, pure qiviut is non-shrinkable, non-felting and is often safe for people who suffer from sheep wool allergies. Unlike some wool breeds, qiviut is not scratchy. The more you handle and wash qiviut, the softer it feels. We have noticed this as we handle the skeins in the shop!

Qiviut stack

Some of the many shades of qiviut yarn available at Spin A Yarn

Qiviut yarn might seem expensive but an item knitted in this fiber is an heirloom that can be treasured for generations. Think of it as a unique gift for yourself or that special person. We sell pure qiviut and qiviut blends – Arctic Qiviut use only use the highest grade, finest quality German angora, cashmere, baby alpaca, silk, superwash merino, and nylon in their blends.

Teacher and expert lace designer, Anniken Allis, has designed a stunning cowl pattern exclusively for Arctic Qiviut which takes just one of the smaller skeins to make – this pattern can be included free of charge for any purchase of Qiviut from Spin A Yarn!

You can view our range available here on our website – Arctic Qiviut Yarn.

Arctic Circle Cowl by Anniken Allis

Arctic Circle Cowl by Anniken Allis

January Sale Dates

Sale time is approaching! Our traditional New Year Sale starts on the 12th January and runs for a week. 10% off all in-stock yarn and accessories, and a whopping 20% off for Loyalty Card Holders. Time to come in and buy your yarn for all those projects you’ve been planning over the Christmas break!

Online customers, if you see something you’d like on www.spinayarndevon.co.uk just drop us an email or give us a call and see what we’ve got available as the sale applies to in-stock only yarns. Hopefully we’ll have just what you want!

January Sale Starts 12th Jan

Free Pattern – Rowan Beaded Shawl

Rowan Free Shawl Pattern

To celebrate our Spring 2016 Newsletter, Rowan have shared with us a beautiful and very glamorous shawl pattern designed by Jennie Atkinson in one of our favourite yarns, Kidsilk Haze. It features all over lace and a crochet trim making it suitable for the more experienced knitter.

This design uses only 1 ball of Kidsilk Haze and 1 pack of 6mm Swarovski Aquamarine Selection Beads. This pattern has been translated into French, German & Swedish – you need only print the pages you need after downloading.

Rowan Free Shawl Pattern

Rowan Free Shawl Pattern

Click here to download: Rowan Swarovski Shawl by Jennie Atkinson

Make sure you share your photos with us if you make one!

Free Patterns – Simple Boucle Shawl

Touch Boucle Shawl - Free Pattern

This simple, elegant shawl pattern is as much part of Spin A Yarn history as the beautiful skeins of Touch Yarn hanging behind it! The perfect way to ease yourself into knitting triangular shawls, it uses 1.25 skeins of New Zealand Touch Boucle yarn which we stock in an amazing array of hand-dyed colours. If you’re buying the yarn for a shawl, we’re very happy to wind off the additional 0.25 skein for you – just ask.

Materials

Yarn: 125 grams of Touch Boucle OR 150 grams Rare yarns Boucle

Needles: 12mm

Note: Before knitting prepare for fringe by cutting 128 lengths at 10 inches long.

Pattern

Cast on 12 stitches

Next Row and Every Row: Increase at each end of every row until there are 140 stitches on the needle.
(If using Rare Boucle continue increasing for another 4 more rows).

Attach evenly the 64 fringes along the 2 bottom edges.

To download a PDF of this pattern for easy printing, please click here.