Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Not everyone is a happy recipient of a knitted gift

I have been clearing out some Sublime in the shop and when stock taking it the other day, found this lovely pattern. I had all the colours in stock and so decided to make a couple of hats for my niece's sons. (That sounds so much better than great-nephews). They turned out really well and I was very pleased. Sent them to my niece who immediately sent this photo

My niece tells me that Jakey is 'learning to like his hat', which is a valiant take on it I think.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Not Knitting...

One of the reasons I haven't been doing much knitting recently is that I have gone over to the darker world of needlepoint. Some years ago (not that many) I made needle point Christmas stockings for the family. I was given a kit from Jolly Red as a present and became hooked! I have made the Angels for Lucy, the Christmas Alphabet for Joe, Ian has Dreaming of Christmas and the Dogs (yes, I know) share the Noah's Christmas stocking. I have the Fairytale one. This year, weather and other conditions prevailing, daughter Lucy is hoping to spend Christmas with us and is bringing her partner Malcolm. What will he do for a stocking? I was asked. Well, luckily for him, Jolly Red had brought out a new kit - Puppies. You may know that I love dogs and so I snapped up a kit.

It sat staring at me for quite a few months - we have been busy! But eventually the 1 November deadline was drawing close and I was under pressure. I stitched until my fingers bled (bit of an exaggeration) but it's finished, and I'm very pleased with it.

I am pleased to report that I'm now back to knitting - fast and furious at that too! Having just decided to knit Mum and Dad Christmas presents, the pressure is on. Why do I do that? I don't know, but let's hope they get finished in time. I'll keep you posted. Anyone out there knitting under pressure?

Saturday, 29 October 2011

A finished project!

Well, it's not very often I finish a project but not only did I finish one garment, but made a couple more.

This little set was for my niece's new baby who was born in September (I know, it's taken a while to get this up). I used Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Duck Egg and Ecru and it was really pleasureable to knit. The yarn is so soft and gave excellent stitch definition. It also made it much easier to sew up. The only slight annoyance was that the cardigan took just over one ball of each colour and so I had masses left. Hence, the hat and socks. There is still enough left for mittens, but I had had enough of stripy baby stuff. After all, I don't think I've finished a project for months! I would like to reassure readers that I did finish the second sock.

At the moment I am knitting a scarf with Kidsilk Haze stripe - the colour combinations are pretty, although I have to say I'm not a great fan of lace weights. But my all consuming project/problem is a needlepoint Christmas stocking which has to be at the making up company next week (well Tuesday really). Once that's done, then I can concentrate on making sweaters for both parents for Christmas, finish the scarf for friend's birthday (early Jan), knitting another scarf for an early Feb birthday and finishing the almost 101 projects sat around the house. Oh, and don't forget the Emily Peacock needlepoint picture for the Bath Studio wall which is 85 cm long and is taking forever.

What are you making?

Friday, 9 September 2011

Some Pictures of the GBY Studio

Just a reminder that the Great British Yarns showroom will be open this Saturday between 10.00am and 4.00pm. If you haven’t been along yet please do drop in. If you can’t make it here are a few pictures so you can see what you’re missing!

The showroom – lots of lovely yarn

The knitting club/workshop area – still needs a few pictures putting up

The Proprietor – ready to serve

Mr Herdy

The control room – office & packing

The stock room – that’s a whole lot more yarn.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Great British Yarns Showroom

The normal hours of opening of the Great British Yarns Showroom are as follows:

Monday to Saturday - 10.00am to 4.00pm
Sunday - Closed

Great British Yarns
Unit 9
Brassmill Enterprise Centre
Brassmill Lane

To check on opening hours please call ahead on 01225 462776 or email

Directions to the Great British Yarns Studio & Showroom:

From Bath town centre follow signs for the A4 in the direction of Bristol and head out on the Upper Bristol Road past Victoria Park (on your right). Continue straight on at the next set of traffic lights and after approximately 400 metres bear left (at the next traffic lights) onto Newbridge Road. Continue for approximately half a mile and turn left into Brassmill Lane leading to Westfield Park South (the next turning on the left after Westfield Park). Follow the road for approximately 600 metres and turn right into Brassmill Lane Enterprise Centre (the turning by the cycle-path). You will see Unit 9 in front of you – just look for the sheep!

From Bristol take the A4 to Bath and follow signs for Newbridge Park-and-Ride bearing left onto Newbridge Road. Take the first turning on your right beyond the Park-and-Ride into Brassmill Lane leading to Westfield Park South. Follow the road for approximately 600 metres and turn right into Brassmill Lane Enterprise Centre (the turning by the cycle-path). You will see Unit 9 in front of you – just look for the sheep!

There is limited parking to the front of the unit (please do not park anywhere other than directly in front of our unit and please do not block the road) but there is plenty of unrestricted parking available on the main road.

Friday, 26 August 2011

An Eventful Day

Two really good things have happened today. Firstly we have just gone live with an updated version of the Great British Yarns website. This has been quite a lot of work for Sharon but we’re really pleased with the new look. There are a few teething problems with the odd broken link but this should all be resolved over the next few days. Click here to take a look (if you access our website from your “favourites” you may need to refresh the page next time you look).

The second thing is that we have received another order of KnitPicks Yarns direct from the USA today. The boxes are piled up all over the floor at the moment while we open them and check off the delivery.

The new stock will be available for sale on the website shortly and it includes some yarn that we haven’t stocked before as well as new shades of others. It may take a day or two before it’s all available for sale so keep checking back to the website!

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Taking Stock

We’ve spent most of the day at the Studio stock taking which is a task that is long overdue. It’s been very difficult to count the stock accurately up until now (please don’t tell our accountant) because we didn’t have everything in one place.

The storage area at the Studio – now properly organised

Finally we have everything together so that counting is much easier, and there certainly do seem to be lots of things to count – so much so that we roped Alison in to help.

“What’s in this one Sharon?”
“It looks like more wool Alison!”

Stock taking is one of those tasks that you think will be over in couple of hours but ends up taking a couple of days. It can be quite tiring.

Sharon and Alison busy taking stock

Anyway, it’s been great to get to grips with all the lovely yarn and the good news is that the storage part of the Studio is all in hand. Next week we hope to move the office in – things are looking promising as the broadband is now up and running.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

You can never have too much yarn

We’ve spent the entire weekend moving all the Great British Yarns stock into the new studio. This involved a total of twelve trips in our Renault Scenic (with the back seats removed) moving 144 boxes containing approximately 18,000 balls of yarn! Nobody was more surprised than Sharon at the huge amount of stock stacked on the floor when we’d finished.

Having all the stock in one place will be a far more efficient way of working compared to working on a split site as we have been doing. However it’s also made us realise that we have quite a lot of yarn so the next job is to sort the stock out and then carry out a full stock check.

After that we will be moving our office into the studio so we can finally take full advantage of having a proper dedicated space to run the whole business from. Once that’s sorted out we will turn our attention to getting the showroom ready so we can invite the public in and hopefully get a few of the balls of yarn sold!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Home from Knit Nation

I’ll start by saying a big thank you to those of you who took the time to visit our stand at Knit Nation last weekend. It was great to meet with some of our existing customers and also to see so many new ones.

It was a real treat for us to be able to take our yarn out of storage and show it off to everyone and we were very encouraged to see the positive reaction to the stock that we took along, in particular to the UK Indie Dyers and also the Knit Picks.

The event itself was very well organised and run by Alice and her crew and there was a great atmosphere throughout. It was also nice for us to be able to meet and chat with other traders and look at some of the other superb yarns on sale.

A fantastic show – we hope to return!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Knit Nation

We are really excited to tell you that we have a stand at Knit Nation this year! For those who haven't heard about this event, it's a Knitting Show held at Imperial College, London from 15 - 17 July. There are classes, events, a Knitting Salon where afternoon tea can be purchased (looking forward to that) and lots of other knitty treats.

Our stand will contain lots of Knit Picks, lots of undyed yarns, some Rowan, some gorgeous hand dyed yarn by UK indie dyers and some really exciting stuff from Knit Pro which arrived at my front door just a few minutes ago! We have a few Symfonie Rose Crochet sets, lovely needle cases, DPN tubes and craft sets, all of which are new to the UK. These will be appearing on our website next week

We will be removing stock that we are taking from the website tomorrow night (Thursday), but don't worry, we will be putting it back on Monday.

Writing of Indie Dyers, we are delighted to say that we have persuaded Karen of Twisted Limone to dye some of her fabulous yarn for us. Karen dyes sock yarn in really vibrant colours and then winds them into ready to use balls of fabulousness! The photo above shows a few of the colours we have. We will be taking these to Knit Nation, and I'm sure they will disappear fast. More are coming though and these will be on the website as soon as we receive them.

So, if you are planning to visit Knit Nation, do come and say hello - we would love to meet you.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Making a Start

We’ve finally been able to get into our new unit and make a start on some of the work we need to do before we can move the stock in. Over the weekend this has involved removing some old tiles from the area that will house the yarn showroom (previously used as a kitchen).

Sharon gets to grips with the old tiles (just before her dad turned up and actually did the job!)

Meanwhile I set to work to remove the “infinity wall” from the far end of the unit. The building had previously been used as a photographic studio and this structure had been built in to remove the hard line between the walls and the floor.

Beyond infinity – luckily it came apart quite easily

At the front of the unit we plan to have a large table suitable for workshops and a knitting group. At the moment this space is a rather nasty shade of green but it will be brightened up and have some Laura Ashley wallpaper applied to one wall to make it a bit more cosy.

The workshop space.

We did manage to do a bit of painting and plastering but there’s an awful lot still to do and with Knit Nation looming we’re going to be in for a busy few weeks.

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Knit Nation

A quick post to let you know that Great British Yarns will be attending Knit Nation at Imperial College London on 15 – 17 July. This is a rare outing for us and we are looking forward to having the opportunity meet some of our lovely customers. Space will be limited on our stand so please let us know if there is anything in particular you think we should bring along. Sadly we won’t be able to bring any KnitPicks Palettes but if you would like to order any for collection at Knit Nation please let us know.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Work in Progress

After three years of working partly from our home and from various storage units we’re very pleased to announce that we will shortly be moving Great British Yarns to a small warehouse unit in Bath.

The plan is to have our storage and packing operation along with the office at the back of the unit. In the middle section there will be a showroom/sales counter where the public can come along and see all the lovely yarn, and at the front will be a spacious area for holding workshops and a knitting group.

We’re hoping to get up and running soon but at the moment are waiting for the landlord to finish re-wiring the place. We’ll keep you updated on developments!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Ravelry Group

Just a quick post to let you all know that Great British Yarns now has its own Group on Ravelry, the online community for knitters and crocheters. Why not drop by and see what’s going on!

Click here to login to Ravelry or join up.

Friday, 29 April 2011

They are all winners.......

Well, we have winners! The first prize goes to Sue and the SIBOLETTES for the wonderful blanket. Congratulations to everyone who put in so much hard work to make this fabulous item. We are sure it will be treasured item for the lucky auction winner.

Second prize goes to Ruth and her amazing toilet roll cover. The work in this is amazing, I particularly liked the copper initials and the gold embroidery. Well Done Ruth - you have raised the standard of British toilet decoration single handedly.

Our Third prize has been extended and both Emma and Linda will receive gifit vouchers for their elegant entries. The standard of work in these is extremely high and we congratulate you both.

Thank you for entering - it's been fun! If you would like to buy any of these items, they are on sale on Ebay until about 7.00 pm this evening 29 April.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Royal Wedding Knitting Competition Entries

Well, the Royal Wedding is almost here and the closing date for the Knitting Competition has been and gone. I can now show you photos for each of the entries. Receiving the entries has been really exciting and I'm delighted that people have taken the trouble to put together a fabulous item and send it to me!

We have decided to auction these on Ebay and all proceeds will go to the Prince William & Miss Catherine Middleton Gift Fund. I haven't been able to find out when this closes and if we are too late, then it will go to the Prince William & Prince Harry Foundation. The auctions finish on Thursday between 7.30 and 8.00 pm. If you would like to bid, their item number and link is supplied under each item.

So, in the order in which they arrived here at Great British Yarns are the entries:

This lovely keyring is from Emma Varnam. This is brighter in real life than the photo and is beautifully worked and presented. The pattern is available free of charge on her website or Ravelry. The Ebay item number is 170632423438.

The second to arrive was this fabulous blanket from 'SIBOL'.

This is the Sunshine International Blankets of Love organisation and is managed by Sue. Sue and her 'SIBOLETTES' (who, by the way, come from all around the world), make fabulous blankets to give to the elderly, especially those in nursing homes. A wonderful idea. This blanket has been made from people in the UK, USA, Netherlands, France, Belgium and Australia. Sue co-ordinates the squares, and then sews up and finishes them. This came beautifully packaged in a gold box with a crocheted butterfly. It was tied up with gold ribbon and another butterfly and was a real treat to open. If you would like to bid on this item the Ebay number is 180658275817.

Thirdly, this lovely little wedding cake arrived from Linda Ulfsparre Sewell - it's very pretty and cute. It is also beautifully made.

This little cutey is on Ebay under item number 170632421804.

And last but not least, this fun toilet roll cover from Ruth Bramley. Ruth sent a note with her entry which says 'this special toilet roll cover is knitted in luxurious chenille yarn in a deep claret colour, overlaid with a lattice of rich metallic coard. On top a plush gold-edged cushion in sky-blue supports an ermine-trimmed, bejewelled, regal crown, based on the one that appears in the coat of arms of HRH Prince William of Wales. To complete the cover there is a plaque on the front knitted in shimmering metallic threads, depicting the initials of the happy couple. In keeping with tradition, Kate Middleton's wedding ring will be made from Welsh gold, which, when mined, contains a proportion of copper, giving it a reddish colour. This is reflected in the colour used for the initials, which, incidentially made have been some of the inspiration for this creation'.

As I have a very pure mind, I didn't get the W C bit until Ian pointed it out. Very witty!! Anyhow, this is a beatiful work of art and any WC would be enhanced by having one of these discreetly placed.

If you would like to own this touch of class, the Ebay item number for this is 170632418251.

That's it. Not many but all very fine entries. The winner will be announced on Royal Wedding Day. Don't miss your chance to own one of these super items and to give to good causes.

Monday, 21 March 2011

KnitPicks update

Phew! We have finally finished getting all the new KnitPicks yarn up for sale on the website - nearly 300 new shades. The lion's share of these are the Palette range which is superb quality and excellent value at only £2.20 for a 50g ball. We also have a large range of Wool of The Andes Worsted yarn and some fabulous kits.

Dogwood Blossoms Cardigan/Sweater kit (using KnitPicks Palette yarn)

In order to stock such a large range we have had to cut down slightly on quantity so our stock of each Palette shade is only 30 balls (and quite a few less of some already) so don't delay too long if you are after a particular colourway!

Sunday, 6 March 2011

New KnitPicks Stock

Our latest KnitPicks delivery arrived at the warehouse on Friday and we have been busy sorting out the stock and putting it on the website. Included is this shipment is a large selection of Palette 4 ply. We are updating the website as quickly as possible so keep checking back!

Sunday, 16 January 2011

New things.......

Well, a belated Happy New Year to you all. We have some new things to talk about with regard to stock that has arrived recently. Firstly, have a look at this....

This is the new fabric collection from Amy Butler. It's called Soul Blossoms and there are around 33 new fabrics to choose from. I have got lots of them, only missing I think, about 4 bolts, which should arrive any day. I am desperately trying to get them up on the website, and the first batch should be on tomorrow, so keep looking. I really like lots of them on their own, but together it's all a bit 70s for me! I was old enough to be wearing these fabrics in the 70s and didn't much like them then! Mind you, most were in crimpolene. For those of you too young to know what crimpolene was, it was a truly awful nylon fabric that 'dripped dry' and was therefore extremely popular with the majority of housewives. Let's move on from that dreadful thought.

I hope to be able to send out newsletters this week. If you receive one and don't want to hear from us again, that's fine, just unsubscribe. If however, you want exclusive offers, discount and news on what has just arrived in stock, that's great.