Category Archives: Yarn Shops

Meeting Erika Knight

I’m a big fan of Erika Knight and her beautiful range of yarn so I was extremely excited to hear that Erika would be visiting Beshley’s Wool Shop, one of my local yarn stores in Bristol today, to give a talk and sign books.

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Beshley’s Wool Shop, stocking a gorgeous selection of yarns all sourced from within the British Isles, opened this year and you might remember me writing about it here.

Erika’s enthusiasm really shone through as she chatted to us about her career and her passion for design, knitting, crochet and home grown British wool, whilst we sipped tea and munched on cake kindly provided by Beshley.

We talked about how knitting is timeless – it can be very low tech, requiring only a ball of yarn and some needles, and yet coupled with todays new technology – the internet, Ravelry etc, it can take over the world!  One of Erika’s favourite quotes is that ” knitting is the saving of life” (Virginia Wolf, writer & knitter 1882-1941) – knitting is something that can be turned to at any stage of life, for all sorts of different reasons, and her message was ” its never too late to start”!

Erika has also worked with Rowan Yarns and we learnt how together with Marie Wallin, Rowan’s Head Designer, the Rowan British Sheep Breeds range was developed, to help support British hill farmers.

Erika later developed her own range of yarn, which is 100% British made and manufactured.  The collection includes Fur Wool, Maxi Wool, Vintage Wool and British Blue Wool with a colour range that is simply stunning:

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All of the colours in her range are designed to go together and coordinate and Erika has developed a selection of knitting and crochet patterns focusing on fashion accessories, that are simple and quick to knit.  I particularly love her Knit it Tonight Posters with each poster including patterns that can be knitted up quickly in one evening.

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Erika also kindly showed us how to do Swiss Darning, a form of embroidery which can be used to quickly add interest to knitted pieces.  This is such a great technique and I’ll definitely be trying it out myself.

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Erika and Beshley at the end of a fabulous afternoon:

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I left feeling VERY inspired  – I’ve had a fantastic afternoon – thank you Erika & Beshley.  I’m off to knit!

Links:

Erika Knight

Beshley’s Wool Shop

Rowan Yarns British Sheep Breeds Range

Have a fun weekend!

Claire x

Postcards from Dorset

Our holiday home for the week in the little village of Loders in West Dorset:

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Gorgeous hydrangeas in the village – I couldn’t resist taking some photos of these!:

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Relaxing morning walks with our dogs along the nearby disused railway track:

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Dorset Sheep:

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Wildflowers:

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Making crocheted pebble cosies (see some tips and a link to a great tutorial at the end of this post):

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The perfect beach day at Burton Bradstock (my fave beach and home of the wonderful Hive Beach Café):

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Beach crochet in Rowan’s handknit cotton’s best seaside colours (a square from the Made with Loops Homely Blanket Quest):

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Paddling and having fun in the waves:

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Beach windmills at the Hive Beach Ice Cream Parlour:

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An awesome evening trip to Eggardon Hill Iron Age Hill Fort:

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Amazing 360 degree view of the county:

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Gorgeous views of the countryside in the evening light:

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Walking back along the footpath from Eggardon Hill:

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Finishing my crocheted scarf made using Rowan Kidsilk Haze Glamour and a pattern from Churchmouse Yarns (more about this in another post):

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Driving though the village of Wool (great name for a yarn addict!) on the way to Lulworth Cove:

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Purbeck Ice creams at beautiful Lulworth Cove:

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Looking down at the famous Durdle Door from the cliff tops:

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Admiring the jaunty boats at West Bay:

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Super scrummy wood-fired pizza at the amazing Watch House Café:

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A spot of evening mackerel fishing:

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Beautiful evening light down at West Bay:

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Dorset Cream Tea at Mangerton Water Mill:

Dorset Cream Tea

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Sweet little ducklings discovered by the lake at the water mill:

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And free range hens:

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A trip to West Dorset wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the wonderful Bridport Yarn, where some small purchases were made (more about this in a later post)!

Bridport Yarn

A little bit of knitting with a morning coffee in the garden:

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Something sweet for the journey home!

Emily's Seaside Sweets

Goodbye Dorset, we’ll visit you again soon!

If you’re interested in making your own pebble cosies, there is a great tutorial here.  Alternatively you can just crochet your own motif, measure it against the pebble to ensure that it is roughly the same size using increases to adjust the fit, place the pebble inside, then decrease in, gathering the cosy around your pebble.

Happy Holidays! x

pebble cosies

Pebbles

Beshley’s Wool Shop

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If you’re visiting Bristol, you MUST pop into Beshley’s Wool Shop, which has just opened in Alma Vale Road, Clifton.  I was SO excited to discover that a new yarn shop would be opening near me and I couldn’t wait to see it.  Would you like to take a little peek inside?

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Meet Beshley the owner  – we had a lovely chat today about all of the gorgeous yarn that she stocks, all sourced from the British Isles (read more on her website about Artesano, Blacker Designs, Donegal Yarns, Erika Knight, Jamieson & Smith, Jon Arbon Textiles, West Yorkshire Spinners and Woolyknit).  Beshley told me that she plans to add lots more to the shop in the near future, packing it with patterns and as much British Wool as possible.  Of course I had to mention the Rowan Purelife Range sourced from British Sheep too!

I read recently that the UK has the greatest diversity of sheep breeds of any nation in the world, with over 80 different breeds in the UK with more than 70% being native to the UK.  Our heritage sheep breeds play an important role in the rural economy helping to sustain our countryside and are an important renewable and sustainable natural resource.  Take a look at the Campaign for Wool website .  You can also read about my trip to the wonderful Wool House exhibition at Somerset House in London here.

Take a look at this gorgeous range including  Jamieson and Smith Shetland Wool.  Can you spot the Kate Davies “Colours of Shetland Book” on the shelf?:

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More gorgeous wool and Brittany Birch Needles and crochet hooks:

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I just love the beautiful shades available from Erika Knight’s British Blue wool range made from the fleece of Blue-Faced Leicester – so soft!

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Spot the cute little knitted owls for sale?

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Artesano British Wool:

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And for those who love vintage, Excelana, the result of a collaboration between John Arbon and Susan Crawford knitwear designer spun from the fleece of the Exmoor Blueface, which live on the moors of North Devon.

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You can also find a gorgeous vintage section in the shop stocking beautiful buttons, needle, notions and patterns and some fabulous art work.  I love the shop ‘yarn’ logo which was designed by Beshley’s illustrator boyfriend.

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The shop provides a wonderful space for workshops and a crochet granny square workshop with Jan Ollis is planned for later in July.  Beshley also told me that a Knitting Group will be meeting on Tuesdays starting from 9th July to sit, knit and natter.

Good luck with your new venture Beshley, and thanks for the lovely chat today – I think your shop is fabulous and I’ll certainly be back!

Claire x