Hello! We’ve been super busy this summer from attending Woolfest to our more recent show in York at The British Wool Show. It was a delight to meet friends old and new and buy all the yarn things, I even picked up a spinning wheel, something that I have had a few of in the past but I haven’t used one for a good 3/4 years. I wanted to pick it up again as I found a beautiful wool tops from Doulton Border Leicester, which I vat dyed and also painted a few lengths by hand too.
As you can see it was quite a successful first spin, though I would like to spin something a bit finer too. It’s currently on my needles as a woolly hat in the making.
Heres my hand knitted pair of socks that are in the post to Winwick mum for the Yarndale sock line. I used my own gobstopper self striping yarn on the Merino Base.
The Whamageddon KAL is all in the process of getting produced, a little sneaky look at the illustration my partner Alex (@wouwouandthewormling) has created for things to come. The Yarn Base is all in the studio and my plans are to get it through the pot in the next couple of weeks, Im obviously in the process of getting other things produced too.
Recent finished objects include socks 2 shawls the rainbow one is yarn from Cuddlebums the red/green one is yarn from HeyJay. I knit my first shortie sock thanks to @Loulabella.knits Timperley pattern. The skein is my finished hand spun and next to it a sock tube off the CSM hand cranked machine, which I’m planning on some charity work with.
Happy knitting or crocheting!
We are so happy to welcome you to our brand new online shop at www.theyarnbadger.com as well as all the most recent self striping yarns we’ve added a couple of brand new lines still being stocked up which include the Alpaca yarns and the organic yarns which have been naturally dyed. A couple of products that have returned but are due for a restock soon are the 20g mini skeins and the popular sock duos. It’s such a big step for us to branch out on our own but in the midst of such a wonderful community of makers I don’t really feel that alone.
The week before the web shop launch we were stood in the Cockermouth auction mart at 2019 Woolfest. I had an absolutely wonderful time meeting Sock Knitters and stall holders I took home a few skeins for my own personal stash too. The rare sheep breeds and alpacas were great to see and learn about, I was eager to see the Doulton Border Leicester sheep and stall as they are a slaughter free flock. I bought some of their carded tops to dye and spin which you will see appear soon. Here are some photos from the show:
As I mentioned earlier I’ve been adding organic yarns into the shop and to keep them organic I’ve been using natural dyes including eucalyptus leaves, walnut, madder and rhubarb root in the photos below are more recently dyed with organic rooibos tea;
June for us is show time! We started off with a warm up at our local farmers market at Fox Valley, we met lots of lovely people and had a great excuse to talk about my favourite subject knitting, of course. I must admit though I spent quite a bit of money on a cheese and marmite loaf (so nice!) and I had a vegan Scotch Egg as well as some fruit and veggies. We had a great time and I was able to find out that my (PayPal Here) card reader wasn’t working anymore so I’ve opted for a different brand in the hopes it will see me through more than 2 events. As I write this I’m dyeing yarn in the studio getting ready for The Wool Monty on the 15/16th of June and then Woolfest the week after. I’m taking it one step at a time and enjoying myself and my knitting projects too! This last few weeks have seen an increase in price on Etsy due to ever increasing fees so I will be opening up my own Shopify after Woolfest in order to bring prices back to normal. I’ve also started ordering new yarn bases, I’ve said goodbye to the sparkle yarn and instead I’m now adding 100% biodegradable BFL/Merino with Bamboo eco sock yarn. It’s soooo silky! I’ve also bought an Organic DK merino which I’m in the process of natural dyeing. Here’s the apple bark and apple leaves pot:
Time is so precious and there’s many of us working more than one job or caring or helping others. I think we need to give ourselves the gift of time every day. If it’s 10 minutes meditating, playing an instrument or knitting I think that time is central to our wellbeing. Reminding ourselves that we’re more than just our jobs or the work we do for ourselves or others.
It’s mental health awareness week and I wanted to share these thoughts as I myself feel low energy prepping for festivals at this time of year. Lately I have found taking walks around local reservoirs in woodlands a great source of rejuvenation as well as listening to soothing music (piano, singing bowls, hang pan, meditative music) and eating well (lots of pea shoots and even smoothies) all contribute to a boost in energy for me. I’m going to try switching off once a day, stepping away from screens and taking deep breaths, gifting myself some time.
The sewing machine is out and I currently have more fabric cut than I do stabiliser but I’m really enjoying designing and putting together a collection of project bags for this years shows. They’re a perfect accompaniment for a sock knitting project!
I announced the winner drawn for my £50 giveaway I love giving back to my knitting community and I can’t wait to make this a lovely little package!
Very recently I ran a survey as I like to make sure I’m offering my customers exactly what they need. I was considering changing my yarns from skeins to pre-wound cakes but it’s quite evenly split so I have instead decided to off a free winding service for anyone who prefers to receive a pre-wound yarn cake. I have ordered small cardboard boxes for them to ship in so they don’t get squashed out of shape/into a mess.
More spring lamb spotting at our local community farm too this week it looked like one ewe was also preparing to give birth that day.
We visited a local farmers market at the weekend at Elsecar and I saw this! It’s a Badger take-over. It was a wonderful market with lots of tasty treats!
Spring has at last arrived and it’s my favourite time of year all the flowers are showing themselves once more and the fields are full of lambs. Everything is rejuvenating itself after the cold winter days. We’ve had some great news these past couple of months: we’re going to Woolfest 2019 for the first time and we’re also showing again at Yarndale! I enjoyed it immensely last year so I’m so happy to be returning. This past week has seen the new self striping colourway ‘A Slice of Rainbow’ land in the Etsy shop and with it I included 5 ltd Ed sets that featured project bag/enamel pin/stitch marker all rainbow themed! I’m currently busy at my sewing machine this weekend putting together a few project bags for the shows plus a few new sparkly items! I have been in the studio this week creating a pastel self striping yarn as spring is bringing all those softer delicate colours forwards through the beautiful flowers ( I just planted a few violas and ranunculus this week in the pots).
Im celebrating hitting the 3000 followers mark this week too by giving away a £50 voucher once again to one of those lucky followers over on my Instagram account. I’m overwhelmed by the kindness and passion for knitting and crochet you guys all have it’s so encouraging! Talking of which my most recent yarn release ‘A Slice of Rainbow’ I knitted up using the circle sock pattern by Anne Campbell on Ravelry. Though I did knit my sock toe-up so I just reversed the pattern:
It was a really easy knit and it compliments self striping yarn very well. The circles for through a slip stitch method which draws the two rows of purls together to form circle shapes!
As well as sewing project bags I’ll also have a few hand dyed shopping bags for the wool/Yarn fairs if you’re looking for something a little different.
I bought the ‘Magpie Tendency’ pattern from Skeinanigans and started it last weekend. I’m using one of my leftover colour changing gradient yarns and I can see myself making more of these light and breezy tops I’m quite enjoying it. Until next time, happy knitting! Liz :D
Looking through my photos I’ve realised I never posted about our Farfield Mill visit! I was so excited to be going to the mill that was saved from redevelopment by a community of people that all invested in the site and its history. Inside we found part studio space & craft room sales, part historic interest in textile production;
They certainly had the biggest ball of yarn I’ve ever seen. I would highly recommend a visit, we also ventured into the cafe I had broccoli and Stilton soup with a cheese scone and it was wonderful. (I haven’t included any photos of the working studios as the artists ask that you don’t).
December is well under way and I was thrilled to have sold out of my 2018 advent yarn calendars in September/October. They were dyed and posted just as scheduled and they sit now in their lucky owners homes being opened a day at a time. They havent opened all 12 (12 x 20g) yet so I cant show you the yarn colours here (they are on my Instagram though with a spoiler alert cover photo) but I can show you the presentation of this years calendar:
I was really happy with the presentation I love the warm feel of the gold and Kraft paper especially with the twinkle of the confetti too. I have put up a few lights in our window as it glows out onto the path outside. Making these dark nights a little less so for people walking past. I have also moved into a new studio space at SOAR works in Sheffield. It is a very modern building using magic beep beep cards to gain access to our rooms, my shelves are full of yarns, winders and snacks. Im cutting my hours in my full time day job before christmas in order to spend more time in the studio and adding such things as videos on youtube for knitting with my yarns, potentially even looking at wholesale in the future.
Yarndale 2018 was amazing, it was our first big event and it wont be our last. As well as meeting familiar knitters we met lots of new faces too along with browsing lots of other incredible stalls. We enjoyed a selection of vegetarian street food from the yummy vendors and was welcomed by all. Many of our self striping colour ways sold out completely!
I was so proud of my hand knitted sock line-up but I saw so many beautiful knitted shawls and garments that weekend it was a catwalk of colours. Thank you to everyone who visited, said hi or made a purchase it was super!
Its been a couple of weeks since my last update but I have been busy dyeing a whole new batch of yarn sets. First of all are these mini skeins which I really enjoyed dyeing. They are very saturated in colour and a couple of the colour schemes are very natural feeling with the greens and autumnal tones. Also I’ve included a Frida Kahlo Set following on from our recent trip to London to see the exhibition. For the next seven day you can also join in a giveaway competition on my Instagram account (@theyarnbadger) to win the following Frida goodies;
The giveaway ends on August the 3rd.
This update has also seen the arrival of a brand new product for my shop, the 250g fade set. I have currently got in stock 3 new fade colourways with the hopes of adding more if they prove popular. Also (bottom left of above photo) I’m trialling 50g duo sets for lovers of stranded colour work. Combined with a mini Skein (sold separately) the two skeins will work up lovely as a pair of socks. I have started knitting one myself;
I haven’t yet added the sock blanks I’ve been working on but I have been enjoying knitting one up into the Reyna Shawl (available on Ravelry for free). I’ll add some progress shots soon!
Happy knitting! <3