At last! Beautiful, contemporary crochet patterns.

One of the comments we often hear is that our crochet-loving customers wish there were more contemporary crochet patterns on the market. As Joanne Scrace of The Crochet Project put it, “often crochet has been viewed as “best for homewares and novelties” and has struggled to lose the reputation created in the 1970s of ill-fitting granny square jackets.”

The Crochet Project have been working hard to completely transform the market and we are really pleased to be stocking two of their recently published books here at Spin A Yarn.

Everyday Wearables harnesses Joanne’s in-depth understanding of how crochet fabric is created, the need for drape and takes fit and construction lessons from both knitwear and dressmaking. A world away from the lumpy garments so many people associate with crochet, she has created pieces that fit well and look great.

Everyday Wearables collage

The book is filled with extremely detailed and helpful photo tutorials, so it’s far more than the 8 patterns it contains – it would be a perfect gift for a novice to crochet who wants to start branching out into making garments.

The Crochet Project are also known for their beautiful shawl collections. We have the fourth Shawl Project book in stock – this time they have focused on designs which make colour-shifting gradient yarns really sing.

We have a huge selection of these yarns in stock – Schoppel Zauberball would be a perfect choice with their long gradients of colour throughout each ball.

 

Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball

Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball

Or what about playing with one of our new Devon Indie-dyed Lilypond Yarns?

 

Mulberry Pie

Mulberry Pie

 

You can find both these book in our shop or read more about them on our website here:

Everyday Wearables by Joanne Scrace of The Crochet Project

The Shawl Project Book 4 by The Crochet Project

Welcoming Wool and the Gang Yarns to our Shelves

If you visit the shop you may notice an exciting new addition to our shelves – we now stock Wool and the Gang Yarns.

 

Wool and the Gang Yarns

Wool and the Gang Yarns

For those of you who aren’t already familiar with them, Wool and the Gang are on a mission to help people embrace the caring face of fashion and re-connection to their creative selves.

Founders Jade Harwood and Aurelie Popper met while studying Textile Design at Central Saint Martins in London. After school they gained experience together at Alexander McQueen and Balmain in Paris. That’s when they were discovered by former model, world traveller and yarn lover Elisabeth Sabrier. Together they founded Wool and the Gang.

The company has a strong ecological focus, with natural fibres such as wool and alpaca being prioritised as renewable and biodegradable, and also working with fashion factories to repurpose their fashion waste into new yarns to reduce landfill.

Billie Jean, one of the yarns we are now stocking, is made from 100% upcycled pre-consumer denim waste. By using no chemicals and no dyes, they manage to save 20,000 litres of water per kilogram of upcycled material! Billie Jean knits to an aran weight.

 

We also have a selection of Feeling Good Yarn – a kitten-soft, chunky-weight alpaca which knits up light as a feather, and Crazy Sexy Wool – a super-chunky, 100% peruvian wool yarn, which comes in a range of shades which are perfectly on-trend for fashionable chunky knits.

 

There are a selection of free patterns available for these yarns, or get creative and use them to knit up your favourite aran, chunky or super-chunky pattern! We can always help you find the right pattern if you pop into the shop.

To read much more about them or to send an enquiry to buy some, just head over to our website HERE.

Come and stock up in our amazing new sale

The business handover is finally complete and Trish is celebrating by throwing an unprecedented sale! This will also help make way for some lovely new Autumn yarns.

We will have up to 50% off many of your favorite lines, including: Debbie Bliss, Louisa Harding, Rare Yarns, Discontinued Rowan, Manos Del Urugauy, Lorna’s Laces, Lotus Yarns and Navia.

 

The sale runs from Thursday 23rd – Saturday 25th August and includes many patterns, buttons and haberdashery items too. We even have some patterns and magazines going free!

The discounts are only available in the shop on in-stock yarn…we’re anticipating that with such exciting discounts these yarns will not hang around for long so if you want to get the best bargains do come in sooner rather than later. We should add that due to the amazing discounts there won’t be any further discount on sale items for Loyalty Card Holders.

Breezy Summer Lace Knitting

Well, after all that snow this Spring the sunshine has finally arrived here in Bovey Tracey!

But does that mean we stop knitting? Of course not! It just means that we get to enjoy working on airy, openwork lace projects and using the lovely cool cotton and linen yarns which are available to use this year.

To help inspire you we have rounded up a selection of our favourite patterns and yarns to keep you going through what we hope will be a delightfully warm and sunny spring and summer!

Don’t forget, if these patterns catch your eye but you don’t know how to do this style of knitting, we have Anniken’s Easy Lace Knitting workshop on Wednesday 9th May – it still has spaces on so just call 01626 836203 to book.

Anniken Allis has a new pattern available in The Knitter Magazine, Tor Grass, which uses Rowan’s new Fine Denim Lace yarn – a recycled denim yarn which gives a delicate stitch definition, perfect for showing off the intricate shapes of Anniken’s pattern.


Not only is Denim Lace a great choice for summer knits due to the high cotton content and fine, lightweight spin, Rowan also have a booklet of 4 designs available which is FREE when you buy the yarn!

Anniken was sporting the perfect summer garment when she came in to teach a workshop the other day – her lace poncho, Mist on the Moor.

Knitted in Schoppel Zauberball with added beading, this would be an ideal accessory to throw on when the sun goes down and you need a little warmth on your shoulders.

And of course, we are still enjoying the new WYS Florist Collection – these British-spin sock yarns are available in a delicate palette inspired by flowers – perfect if you’ve been spending time in your garden and are loving the colours.

If fine yarns aren’t your thing, we have a silky new linen-blend yarn in a DK weight from Sirdar.

Made with 10% linen and 90% lycocell, a natural, man made fibre made with wood pulp from sustainable tree farms, this yarn is incredibly soft, drapey and breathable, with a gorgeous sheen.

So, don’t put those needles away just yet – pop in and have a play with our summer yarns, a browse through our patterns, and find a project to see you through the heatwave!

 

 

 

 

Beautiful British Yarns from West Yorkshire Spinners this Spring

West Yorkshire Spinners continue to be an exciting British brand to watch, constantly working to produce new and excellent quality yarns at a really affordable price.

We were delighted with our most recent delivery from ‘up North’.

Firstly, their stunning new Florist Collection in Signature 4ply. This range of shades has been inspired by the delicate, natural shades of flowers – from Peony to Cornflower, in a range of solids and variegated colourways.

There is also a very pretty collection of patterns WYS have produced to support these yarns.

The collection features six designs by Juliana Yeo, are a combination of sock and shawl patterns, inspired by a delicate floral palette. The stunning shawl designs are both elegant and eye-catching, making them perfect for all seasons. A touch of fun is brought to the collection with the addition of three striking sock designs that complement the intricate prints of the Florist range.

Here are a few of our favourites!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Florabella, the pink crochet shawl above by Anna Nikipirowicz, is actually available separately)

WYS Signature 4ply costs £7.20 for 400m which is great value!

Next we have WYS Illustrious Naturals.
A luxurious blend of 70% Falkland Wool and 30% British Alpaca, this DK weight yarn is a great example of just how soft and warm British yarns can be. The Falkland Wool gives bouncy and crisp stitch definition, whilst the British Alpaca adds softness and lightness. WYS have made the most of the natural colour palette in this collection – did you know that undyed yarns are often softer than dyed yarns due to the fact that they go through less processing?

WYS Illustrious Naturals costs £10.95 per 100g hank and we stock it in 4 lovely undyed shades.

If you’re popping in, do ask to see the new yarns and have a browse through the patterns!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring/Summer 2018 Rowan Yarns have Arrived!

The new Rowan yarns have now been delivered…who wants to find out a little more about them?

First up we have Rowan Denim Lace. This is an exquisitely fine laceweight/2ply yarn made from recycled denim, in a range of 6 versatile shades – from faded denim to jewel-like teal.

The exciting news is that Rowan have made 4 patterns designed for Denim Lace available for download on their website. We particularly love this airy lace shawl and classic cabled raglan jumper. 

 

Next we have Rowan Cotton Cashmere. This new DK yarn offers the best of both words – the softness of cashmere with the crisp stitch definition and breathability of cotton.

It is available in a range of soft shades which will be perfect for summer throwovers and accessories.

If you need pattern inspiration there is a new collection from Sarah Hatton, filled with delicate and elegant summer knits.

 

We have all these plus the new Rowan Magazine in the shop currently, so do pop in to have a play. The Denim Lace is a limited edition yarn, so don’t delay a visit if you particularly fancy that!

 

 

“Islands of Gossamer Thread” – the Wonders of Shetland Lace

As we have a Shetland Lace Shawl workshop coming up soon (with a few spaces left!) on the 24th January, we thought it was high time we put together a blog post all about this very special tradition.

The official Shetland website shetland.org is an excellent source of information and describes the Shetland Isles up in the North Atlantic Ocean as ‘Islands of Gossamer Thread’, which is a wonderful way to describe them. Here’s a little bit of history:

By the time lace garments saw a resurgence of popularity in the early 19th century, Shetlanders had been knitting for several hundred years. We know knitting probably came to these shores around the year 1500, as knitting is documented in Faroe and Norway at that time. Knitting quickly caught on in Shetland: it was portable, required few tools, and garments could be readily sold to fishermen and merchants on passing ships. The craft was lucrative, helping to supplement the fragile local economy and the incomes of ordinary working people.

With the reign of Queen Victoria in 1837, it became fashionable for women to wear more dress accessories, especially lace mantles, stoles and shawls. Shetland knitters may have been introduced to the idea of knitting openwork patterns by prominent travellers to Shetland, who brought with them similar garments as gifts. Eliza Edmondston, wife of an Unst laird, is thought to have encouraged knitters on Shetland’s most northerly island to take up lace knitting following a slump in the trade for knitted stockings. Within a few months of Victoria’s coronation, Arthur Anderson, founder of P&O shipping and a native of Shetland, presented the Queen with examples of Shetland lace knitting. She immediately ordered 12 pairs of lace stockings, and within the decade, Shetland lace knitting could be bought in many London shops.

Recent years have seen a huge resurgence of interest in Shetland knitting. Bloggers and designers such as Kate Davies, Gudrun Johnston, and our friend and teacher Anniken Allis have been inspired by the tradition to create their own beautiful shawls.

Hansel by Gudrun Johnston

 

Somerled by Kate Davies

Jade by Anniken Allis

Whilst traditionally knitted in yarns so fine that the large finished shawl could be pulled through a wedding ring, recent designers have been able to take advantage of all the beautiful new fibre blends and dye effects available to today’s knitters to really take their shawls to the next level.

If you’d like to learn more about Shetland Lace knitting, and start your own lace shawl project, there’s still time to book onto Anniken’s Shetland Shawl workshop on Weds 24th January. Just call 01626 836203 to get your place.

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