Thursday, 23 December 2010

Royal Wedding Knitting Competition

We are very pleased to announce the Great British Yarns Royal Wedding Knitting Competition. This is offically now open for entries until the 20 April 2011. The winner will be announced on the 29 April.

If you would like to enter please design and knit or crochet a suitable and appropriate item for the Royal Wedding and post it to me (Sharon Spencer) at Great British Yarns. Please note that entries will not be returned. I thought it might be a nice idea to auction the items and give proceeds to charity. The lovely Crown Teacosy and Eggcup pattern is by the talented Debi Birkin She has lots of lovely patterns on her website, and it's well worth a visit if you get a moment.

Now, all important information - Prizes. These will take the form of gift vouchers to be redeemed at Great British Yarns. First prize will be a £50 voucher, Second Prize £25 voucher and third prize £10 voucher.

The rules are quite simple:

1) This must be an orignal design
2) The judge's decision will be final and no correspondence regarding this will be entered into!
3) Entries will not be returned and you must give permission for your item to be sold for charity.
4) Not a rule, but you might like to know that the copyright of the design will remain with the designer.

I thought I'd post this now so that if you have any spare time over Christmas you can get started!

Good luck everyone!

Merry Christmas

and a Happy New Year to you all!

We are closing on the 23 December (yes, later today) until the 29 December and hope to be posting parcels out again then. We have some fantastic bargains in our sale and will be adding to this in the next week. As well as clearance bargains we are also offering 10% off Rowan Colourscape.

What do we have planned for next year? Well, I am going to send out regular newsletters regarding offers, new stock and other things, so if you would like to sign up for that, please do so. I will be keeping the blog up to date and holding our Royal Wedding Knitting Competition. I will put up details of this in a separate post.

So, I hope you all have a relaxing and restful time and look forward to posting again the in the New Year!

Monday, 30 August 2010

Knit Picks Gloss

I thought I'd tell you a bit about the Gloss range. These are the least expensive of both the lace and the sock yarns from Knit Picks. At £3.99 a skein, this is very good value. A blend of merino and silk, this is a lovely yarn. The colours are solid and I hope Ive chosen a reasonable variety.

The only thing about this yarn, was that it wasn't as soft as I had expected at first squeeze. After a few squeezes, it did get softer! I think this probably more to do with the spinning and dyeing processes and that once washed it will soften up considerably. The solid black seems a little harsher than the other colours and so I suspect my theory is correct. Don't let this put you off though - it really is excellent value for money.

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes

I thought that as Knit Picks is new to the UK, a little explanation and information about some of the yarns might be a good idea. So, I'll start with the Wool of the Andes. Knit Picks offer this yarn in a worsted weight, a bulky weight with solid colours and these lovely hand dyed yarns.

The yarn is 100% Peruvian Highland Wool. I'll be honest, I was expecting this to be a bit stratchy and hard. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it is extremely soft and easy to handle. This hand dyed version is very, very pretty and the colours blend extremely well. The solid colours match the hand dyed and so can be used together. I think these yarns will be perfect for hats, mittens and because of its excellent felting qualities, for bags, and anything else you might like to felt. (You can tell that felting isn't something I'm particularly familiar with).

The suggested tension for this yarn is 3 - 3.75 sts per inch on 6 - 8mm needles, so it should knit up to most chunky type patterns. Knit Picks have a wide range of patterns on their website that you can either buy as a download, often for low prices such as $1.99, or, even better, for free.

I am considering making some hats for Christmas presents out of this. My nephew, aged 6 would love the Rolling Hills colour which looks like a camouflage colouring. He is very keen on Toy Story at the moment and so this would be great.

My niece (aged 8) would of course like the Galaxy colour way as it is the closest we have to pink and purple which are about the only colours she recognises.

Monday, 16 August 2010

Knit Picks has arrived!

Hurray! At Last! The Knit Picks order arrived on Saturday morning. I had thought it was going to arrive Thursday morning, but I was sadly mistaken. The consignment of 23 boxes on two palletts had come all the way from Vancouver, Washington, USA and then the problems started. On Thursday, the freight company admitted that they had keyed in the delivery date incorrectly and that it would now arrive on Friday morning. The disappointment was severe, but I got over it. Friday morning, I was up bright and early (not usual for me) and excited. We got to lunchtime, no order. So I rang the freight company again. It appeared an error had been made. They had keyed in Rainham, Kent, instead of Bath. The shipment had turned up in Rainham and had nowhere to go. Easy mistake. So, we could have it first thing Saturday morning. More disappintment. However, it arrived and here is a photo of Ian with the boxes.

I am very, very pleased with the yarn. The colours really are very beautiful. The yarn looks as though it is of a very good quality. I spend a very happy Saturday opening and checking off all the yarn. It was great fun. I really hope you all like it!

Monday, 9 August 2010

New Look

We decided to give Great British Yarns a bit of an overhaul and asked Adam of Flipside Studio in Bath to design a lovely new logo. This is what he came up with:

We love it - what do you think?

Friday, 30 July 2010

I'm Back!

Thank you to those of you who check back occasionally to see if I have written anything. Apologies for not doing so. I am going to be much better. The time just rushes by. I think that we haven't had a minute to ourselves since moving. However, enough of the excuses.

We obviously returned from New York and we had a great, if exhausting, time. We walked and walked and then walked some more. We didn't shop much but did find time to visit Tiffanys (no, I didn't get a gift) and a few other posh shops. We visited art galleries (quite a surprise as we said we wouldn't). Did a lot of walking around Central Park, up buildings, on a boat trip and soaked up the atmosphere. Great! Thanks Lucy!

Speaking of America, the picture above is a shade of one of the new yarns we are going to be stocking very, very soon. We have been lucky enough to buy stock from KnitPicks and will be the only UK stockist for this fabulous yarn! If you aren't familiar with KnitPicks have a look at their website. We are stocking some of their sock yarn, lace yarn, cotlin, (lovely blend of cotton and linen) as well as lots of other weights. Prices will be pretty much the same as the $ price, so a $4.99 yarn will probably cost around £4.99. I really hope you like this yarn. Their pattern support is great as you can download their patterns.

I'll keep you updated as to the arrival date, but in the meantime, here is a pic of one of the sock yarns.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010


After a break from blogging whilst getting the house up together it is now time to take a break from blogging whilst we have a short holiday. For my birthday Lucy bought me a flight to New York (and return, before you wonder!). So, Lucy, her boyfriend, Malcolm, Ian and myself are off tomorrow. Joe will be keeping an eye on the dogs. Or, the other way around, I'm not sure...

We will be away from Wednesday until May 10th. Posting will start again on the 11th! Volcanos permitting of course.

Monday, 8 March 2010

We have arrived...

We are now in our new home. Moving day was exhausting. Obviously we had to finish cleaning after the removal company had left. As it was a property with high ceilings and generous room sizes, this took an age. A visit to the tip and then to kennels to pick up the dogs ensued before we could leave Devon. There wasn't chance to feel sad.

Once we arrived in Bath, we left the dogs with mum and went to collect the keys, only to be told that the garage of our new home was still full of stuff but that it would go today. Not best pleased. Still, we arrived at our new house to find that it was absolutely filthy dirty! In fact, so dirty that we had to tell the removal company not to bring any stuff in until we had had chance to at least clean up a bit. Now, let me assure you, I am absolutely not known for being houseproud. I aim for hygenic. That's it.

Whilst we spent a long evening cleaning, we also found that: the integrated fridge/freezer was broken, black and smelling. The boiler didn't work properly and that a number of the spotlights around the house were broken. The bathroom light needs a new switch and won't work.

Still, all of these things can be sorted in the fullness of time. We really like the house and it's very convenient for family and friends. The dog walking isn't quite so spectacular - there is no cliff top or sparkling sea, however we do walk around fabulous Georgian architecture and formal landscapes.

The business has been up and running and the stock room is on it's way to being completely sorted. So far, so good.....

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

We are on the move!

My excuse for not blogging this week is more genuine than usual. We have a moving date and should be leaving Brixham on Tuesday 23 February. I will be very sad to leave my lovely house, but I have enjoyed living here and am looking forward to moving back to Bath. This is, of course, a lovely City, but it is also where most of our family live and so it will be good to spend more time with them.

So, with regard to Great British Yarns, we will be shipping until noon on Friday and then after that we won't be able to post any more parcels until TUESDAY 2 MARCH. We should have access to emails at all times so if you have any questions, please contact us.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Firstly, here is a photo of Joe's new sweater as knitted by me and modelled by Ian. Joe couldn't model it as he is back at university. This was knitted in Rowan Big Wool. Pattern from Rowan Magazine 40. It took just over a week of not particularly enthusiastic knitting to make. I have decided I am not keen on using large needles, but very much enjoy the speed with which projects get finished. The stripes, which were put on after the sweater was sewn up, became a right pain. I can't believe the pattern said sew them on once the sweater was finished. If my brain had been in gear I might have thought to sew them on the flat pieces. Anyway, my brain was mentally packing the house up - the body just sits and thinks about it - and so I didn't think about it at all. The sewing in of these stripes was so painful to all concerned that even Rex the dog hid from the cursing and bad temper. Eventually peace was restored and the sweater posted special delivery to a grateful Joe.

Speaking of Joe, he is currently composing all sorts of music for his dissertation - his degree is in Music Composition. He has written a song for which he needs to have some feedback. So, if you would like to listen, it's called Party Over Here and the link is Here to his Myspace. Do have a listen to the Party Over Here track and if you would like to leave a comment, either on his Myspace or this blog, we would all be very grateful!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Spring/Summer 2010

For those of you who have been coping with snow, ice, freezing conditions and other bad weather, you will no doubt be looking forward to spring and summer. This must seem a very long way off, particularly as some people had more snow last night. If, however, like us, you haven't seen any snow or ice, in fact, we only had a heavy frost once, the coming of spring and summer seems very close.

In order to focus our thoughts, the Rowan Magazine 47 arrived yesterday. This showcases the Spring/Summer 2010 yarns and patterns and very nice they are too! As usual the magazine has three different 'stories'. My favourite is the Jamboree which features fifties style, brightly coloured cottons.

This one is called Torquay and so I had to post a photo. I also very much liked this men's cardigan:

I may well knit one of the Jamboree patterns, but sadly not this cardigan. Ian would look ridiculous in it and Joe would probably refuse point blank to wear it on the grounds of it being colourful and interesting. Does anyone else have the same problem - men who won't wear knitted garments?

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Woolly Board anyone?

Does anyone know of a supplier in the UK of Woolly boards (or wooly board or jumper boards as they are also called). I would like to have one but haven't been able to find them anywhere in the UK. For those who don't know what I'm talking about, these are sweater blockers and look like this:

You either wash or damp down your knitting and then place it on this adjustable frame. Once on the frame, the jumper or cardigan can be pulled into shape and then it is left to dry. Dryer takes much less time than lying flat.
It appears they are pretty available in America and Canada but then, they do much more fairisle knitting in the round than UK knitters. If anyone knows of a source, please let me know.

Friday, 8 January 2010

Happy New Year - Just!

Happy New Year to you all - I have just about got this in before it becomes a bit embarrassing. I hope you all had a good Christmas holiday. We had a great time here. After a few worrying hours on Christmas Eve when we thought Lucy would not be able to fly from Glasgow because of the bad weather, it all went very well.

In the end I decided to give Lucy all three hats in the Alice Starmore Hat Trick. The reason is that I am a complete sucker and like to give her things. Anyway, here she is, modelling the beret:

I did mention that my sister might be the lucky recipient. Well, she ended up with a scarf made from Bracken Colourscape, which matches her golden hair rather well. Don't feel too sorry for her though, she may be getting a spectacular birthday present in March. More details of that later.
Great British Yarns is having an end of year sale. We have some lovely Rowan yarns on offer, together with a bit of handdyed stuff and undyed yarns. Hope you find something to tempt you.
This year we hope to introduce new ranges to the shop, more details will follow. I am particularly looking forward to getting the new Amy Butler Love range of fabrics which should be due in during February and the new summer yarns from Rowan which look great.