Category Archives: enabling

Dizzy Sheep!

In my last post, you may have noticed some cute little guys on the table. I was delighted to be able to offer Dizzy Sheep spinning kits at Kendal at the weekend. In fact they proved so popular that my initial stock had sold out by lunchtime! Luckily my amazing friend Mandy dropped some more off on Sunday and I’ve now uploaded the remaining stock into the shop.

Dizzy Sheep spinner
Dizzy Sheep spinner
Dizzy Sheep Spinner
Dizzy Sheep Spinner

At last! A simple kit that allows you to separate out the steps involved in spinning. The Dizzy Sheep is great for beginners and experienced spinners alike, allowing you to spin on the go. Small and compact, Dizzy Sheep can be popped into a pencil case to take out and about. As you draft horizontally, it’s easy to spin sitting down with Dizzy. He even tells you which way to twizzle to spin or to ply!

We’re delighted to offer Dizzy Sheep, designed by Crafts From The Dungeon, for £16 or as a kit put together especially for Yarns From The Plain for £20.

The kit comes with everything you need to get spinning:

•One Dizzy Sheep raring to go
•50g of hand dyed British fibre
•Detailed photo tutorial.

They are currently available in 5 different hand dyed shades of Cheviot from here.

Dizzy Sheep Spinner kit
Dizzy Sheep Spinner kit

Dizzy Sheep spinning kut
Dizzy Sheep spinning kut

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Painted Woolly Toppers

Anyone who knows me knows I love Woolly Wormhead – the woman is nothing short of a genius! With that in mind then, I am shamefaced to say that she very kindly gave me a copy of her latest book some time ago to review and, due to the ongoing technical do-dahs that is thwarting the podcast I haven’t done it. I know, I know. I’m crap.

Painted Woolly Toppers Cover
Painted Woolly Toppers Cover

However, the other weekend saw me at a show that was a little… quiet… shall we say, so I took the opportunity to cast on a new hat, as a stand sample. I used a skein of my Mobberley Aran, in one of my favourite colourways, Bewitched:

Mobberley Aran in Bewitched
Mobberley Aran in Bewitched

I have an e-copy, which is never quite as easy to slip through as a hard copy, but as ever, it’s a Woolly book, so it’s a feast for the eyes. The photographs are as usual, very strong. I like Woolly’s aesthetic, and enjoy seeing models that one would perhaps not see elsewhere; in this case, real women full of sass! As a sometime glasses-wearer whose bodytyoe does not conform to a societal norm, I love these models and a particularly like the urban background in these shots to. There are at least two shots of each of the ten hats and they allow you to see how the hand-painted yarns are used within the designs. Woolly has specifically designed this collection to use those gorgeous skeins that we fall in love with, buy and then stare at because we don’t know what to do about them. she has also designed it to celebrate the joy of indy dyers, and of course, that’s something I can get behind!

The designs themselves each feature garter stitch somewhere, which I really like for hand painted yarns. They also have strong structures (but I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Woolly pattern) and a variety of styles. My personal favourites (at the moment!) are Helical, Jetty and Lamitra, although I also love Cornice. It’s not a style that would suit me, but it makes me grin!

Helical
Helical
Jetty
Jetty
Lamitra
Lamitra
Cornice
Cornice

All the patterns are available in at least three sizes (and most in four or five) and the instructions are clearly expressed. I happen to know that Woolly takes time to ensure her patterns are tech edited, copy edited and test knitted thoroughly, so it is rare to find any errors in them. This book also comes with clear tutorials you may not be familiar with, such as garter stitch Kitchener and a provisional cast on using a crochet hook.

I cast on for Helical, but really it is more for a DK weight yarn (I foolishly grabbed the Mobberley Aran instead of the Mobberley DK!) and I didn’t like the way it was pooling. However this is the joy of this book – if your yarns doesn’t work with one pattern, you are bound to find another where it does. A few days after I cast I on, I ripped out and started Jetty instead, which is a much better combination of pattern and yarn. No photos yet as I’ve only done the brim so far, but I will photograph it when I’ve finished it. I’m currently away on holiday, so hopefully I’ll be able to get a wiggle on!

If you would like your own copy of Painted Woolly Toppers, it is available as a Ravelry download for £10. Print copies are available from MagCloud for $25 (which is around £17 at present).

All photographs from Painted Woolly Toppers are ©Woolly Wormhead and used with permission to accompany the review. My copy was provided for review by Woolly Wormhead, but all views expressed are my own.

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Harbour Yarns Trunk Show, Saturday 3rd October

harbour yarns

Hello all,
Hope you are all well, and enjoying this last little blast of warm weather. It was pleasant enough to sit outside for lunch today!

I just wanted to take the opportunity to remind you that the beautiful and bijou Harbour Yarns is hosting a Yarns From The Plain trunk show on Saturday 3rd October. Harbour Yarns is nestled into a lovely row of shops at Seaham Marina, County Durham and stocks a delicious selection of yarn, including West Yorkshire Spinners, Fyberspates and Adriafil. There is also a great range of books and notions and the smiliest owner and staff I think I’ve ever met! There is a café and also a lovely ice cream shop in the row, too, so make sure you make time to enjoy the refreshment opportunities whilst you are there!

I’ll have a wide selection of 4ply with me, along with some DK and aran weight yarn as well. I’ll also have a selection of hand-dyed fibre too, plus I’m excited to have some spinning kits available as well. If you want to make a start with spinning on a small scale, I’ll be happy to show you how!

If you are in the North East at all, it would be great to see you next Saturday between 10am and 4pm. Come and say hi!

Harbour Yarns
Unit 6
Waterside
Seaham Harbour Marina
Seaham
County Durham
SR7 7EE

TTFN
Nic

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Shop Update and Cover Girl Status!

Today’s update is all about the DK – Mobberley DK, that is! I popped into the big newsagent in town today, on the hunt for Inside Crochet Magazine, issue 69. I have to be honest, I don’t really buy knitting, sewing or crochet magazines at the moment as I have so many back copies of so many different titles. I had a reason to seek this one out though:

2015-08-21 15.00.46

Valerie Bracegirdle, aka Agrarian Artisan, has designed a scarf which is featured on the front cover, and it is designed in one of my yarns! I am so excited by this, I can barely squeak! She used a skein of Mobberley DK in the Malted Chocolate colourway, which is now in stock in the shop. Mobberley DK is a custom blend of 70% Exmoor Blueface and 30% British Alpaca, spun in Devon form local fibre sources and dyed here in Cheshire. It is a truly British product and a yarn that I love to work with. I’ve not crocheted anything with the Mobberley yet, so I can’t wait to make an autumn Beaches scarf of my own. My problem is I just can’t decide which colour!

© Lucy Williams | Inside Crochet
© Lucy Williams | Inside Crochet

To mark this pattern publication, this week’s update is all Mobberley DK. Here are a selection of the colours now available:

Mobberley DK in Libby
Mobberley DK in Libby
Mobberley DK in Greengage
Mobberley DK in Greengage
Mobberley DK in Sweeties
Mobberley DK in Sweeties
Mobberley DK in Roseanne
Mobberley DK in Roseanne
Mobberley DK in Mediterranean Blue
Mobberley DK in Mediterranean Blue
Mobberley DK in Malted Chocolate
Mobberley DK in Malted Chocolate

There are other colours avaialable. The skeins are 100g, 250m and cost £13 each. I hope you’ll find something you like!

TTFN,
Nic x

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New Shop Launch! T-12 hours and counting…

Wowsers! this weekend has passed in a blur of yarn winding, labelling and uploading to the new shop, which will launch tomorrow morning – woot woot! There are now only 2 items left in the Etsy shop, but I’ve uploaded over 13 kg of yarn alone to the new shop, so I sincerely hope you will be able to find something you like!

For the lovers of twist style yarns, we have our DK BFL/Masham blend, Wilmslow:

Wilmslow DK: This Charming Man
Wilmslow DK: This Charming Man

and also our HT 4ply, Nether Alderley:

Nether Alderley in "Coming Through The Rye"
Nether Alderley in “Coming Through The Rye”

We also have a number of colours in the workhorse BFL/nylon blend Chelford:

Chelford in "Orkney Sunrise"
Chelford in “Orkney Sunrise”

Finally, we have limited colours in my current favourite bases, Mobberley, the custom spun 70/30 Exmoor Blueface/British Alpaca blend:

Mobberley 4ply in "Royal Wishes"
Mobberley 4ply in “Royal Wishes”

There is also some fibre for the spinners amongst you, mainly Cheviot and Shropshire, but I am hoping to add some more fibre within the next coupke of weeks. To keep up-to-date with the news and updates, sign up for the Yarns From The Plain newsletter on the main website front page, here.

As a little thank you for signing up, there will be a time-limited offer code for 15% off purchases, valid until 13th July 2015.

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A Revolution in Online Yarn Shopping?

I am delighted to share with you the news that today, a brand new online yarn shop has opened, called BritYarn.

Brit Yarn

It has been set up by Isla Davison, who I have “known” through Twitter for a long time and who shares many of the same passions for British Wool as I do. BritYarn is a company that does exactly what it says on the tin – selling British yarns and pattern support. On the website, Isla explains the ideas and driving force behind the formation of BritYarn:

“Friends and family suggested I open a wool shop knowing my passion for wool and knitting. Having shrugged off their suggestions, I never imagined myself running a business but life changing circumstances presented life changing opportunities and, in late 2014, the idea of BritYarn started to develop.

I have been knitting for several years and have become really interested in where the wool or fibre comes from. However, as a knitter, I was becoming increasing frustrated when it was either not clear where the wool originated from or was simply labelled as manufactured in Britain. This desire to understand the provenance of my wool has developed into BritYarn and our woolly principles.”

I love the idea of BritYarn’s Woolly Principles, and many of them chime with the ideas and vision I had when I set up Yarns From The Plain. I wanted to celebrate and support the British Wool Industry through sourcing the fibre and where possible through all stages of processing (not always easy!)

BritYarn’s Woolly Principles

  • First and foremost, BritYarn must love it if we’re going to stock it. We believe in using materials and patterns we love, to create beautiful, long-lasting items.
  • BritYarn embraces provenance. It’s hugely important to us to know, as far as possible, the origins of our products and to share these details with our customers. BritYarn will clearly outline where the wool was spun and dyed; some wool may be spun or dyed outside of Britain, and if it is, we’ll tell you. It’s all about being able to trace the journey of the product and make informed choices.
  • BritYarn’s definition of “British” includes British Overseas Territories (e.g. The Falkland Islands). 
  • BritYarn celebrates the British Wool industry. Wool content in a yarn must be 100% British grown.  Any natural fibres (where present) in a blend, e.g. linen, will comprise a maximum of 50% of the total content.  Synthetic material (where present) in a blend, e.g. nylon will comprise a maximum of 25% of the total content.
  • BritYarn supports British businesses. Wool, patterns and accessories as well as business support will be sourced exclusively from British suppliers. We believe in shopping local and helping to sustain British businesses.

 

A set of principles to be proud of there I am sure you will agree, and as you will have realised, close to my heart and vision for Yarns From The Plain.

With that in mind, I am delighted to say that I have dyed a set of exclusive colourways on my gorgeous Mobberley 4ply base, just for BritYarn. Isla and I thought it would be fun to link the colours to British landmarks, so we had a fine old time bouncing possible ideas around. I really wanted to capture a combination of both the natural and industrial beauty of Britain (no, really, some of our industrial heritage is just stunning!), plus we thought it would be fun to have a colourway inspired by the BritYarn logo. I took individual photos of the colourways, but this photo is one Isla took, showing all 6 colours together.

2015-06-02 07.44.27

From the top left, going clockwise, we have Blackpool Illuminations, (variegated), Bridge over the Forth (semi-solid russett), Usk Valley (semi-solid green), Heather on The Moors (tonal purples), BritYarn (variegated) and Ironbridge (tonal greys).

Remember, these colourways will only ever be available from BritYarn, so if you want them, you need to nip over there quickly. In fact, several had sold before 7 this morning!

 

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