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woollen and worsted

This is a great explanation of the difference between woollen and worsted spinning, thank you J&S, I always struggle with this when asked. I hope that it makes things clearer for all my knitter friends

You may notice when looking at our website we have quite a variety of different yarns in much the same weights but available in Worsted and Woollen spun variations. I thought today we’d go through and look at the differences of both and why you may choose one over the other depending on your project.

l-2ply Lace r-Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace l-2ply Lace r-Shetland Supreme 2ply Lace

In relation to the fibre preparation before spinning – Woollen spun fibre is carded and this means the fibres are still overlapping having been carded back and forth over each other, this creates a very airy fibre which when spun is warm and springy.

Worsted spun however is combed so all the fibres are lying relatively parallel to each other which creates a smoother and stronger yarn, the combing process also removes many of the shorter fibres, one aspect which can be found itchy by the wearer.

our new Shetland Heritage Naturals are Worsted Spun our new…

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Phone apps for knitters

I never knew! I’m going to check these out and see what else is on offer.

If you are knitting with other people at a group or a workshop, you’ll notice that these days along with their needles, hooks and yarn, lots of folks bring out their smartphone or tablet as essential knitting kit.

It may be that they have downloaded the pattern or chart as a pdf to save them carrying (and losing) the paper version – although that’s not much help if you like to tick off your rows.

But it may also be that their phone is a row counter or they are checking their tension, thanks to a range of knitting apps you can find for your phone or tablet. So we’ve picked out a few you might want to try.

knitting  apps BeeCount sock counter

There are a selection of row counter apps available that can keep track of pattern repeats as well as rows and where you can have row counts for different…

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such beautiful writing, it moves me to tears. Congratulations to Kate and Tom x

Cross Country Knitting: Volume 2

this is absolutely adorable.


I SO understand this, I don’t know how you are going to whittle them down, they are all so lovely!

Introducing WOVEMBER 2014

I can’t believe it’s Wovember again already!! I shall be wearing wool 🙂


Greetings, Wovemberists!

Some of you may know that two members of TEAM WOVEMBER are in the throes of publishing books. The KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook by Felicity Ford and YOKES by Kate Davies are both tomes with high wool content and their fruition brings work which impacts how much time can be devoted to running WOVEMBER this year.


(This handsome Shetland Ram features in the KNITSONIK Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook!)

Tom is busy with his Visible Mending Programme as well as presenting at this event at Glasgow University… all of which is to say that Wovember 2014 is running with reduced human resources.

However the thought of NOT having Wovember is unthinkable and luckily WOVEMBER 2014 IS GOING TO HAPPEN ANYWAY! The irrepressible and passionate wool advocate behind the Knit British website and podcast – Louise Scollay – has happily joined the team and is working to bring you HIGH WOOL…

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Wovember Words: Yan Tan Tether Mether Pip

Woolly information for Wovember from Louise Scollay
Brilliant 🙂


Sheep counting systems are a fascinating fragment of our dialectal history in Britain. Thought to be remnants of Brythonic languages there are variations in the dialect words that differ from Scotland, and throughout England and Wales.

There is a similarity that runs through the systems and the ethnologist in me wants to travel back in time through the British Isles and watch how those words travelled and variations occurred. There is a very good description of the variations here, based on extensive collecting of evidence of sheep scoring systems in the 19th century.

As you will have guessed, I am a fan of archive sound and film footage and I thought this would make a lovely adornment to Wovember Words: here the late Jake Thackray, poet and songwriter, talks of the variation of counting in Swaledale in a tale of a lonely shepherdess’s life: there is the haunting refrain Yan, tan, tether…

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Knitting Inspiration

It was lovely to meet you too and I’m so pleased we inspired you in some small way.I hope you’ll post some pictures of your sheep carousel 🙂

Nettynot Craft

I’m currently having a few days staying with my parents in the lovely Lake District (recharging my batteries), and I have inadvertently re-found my knitting Mojo. Not that I had lost it as such, it was just waning slightly. I haven’t finished a project in a while (except for some toe up socks) and I have several things I need to complete as well as many things I’d like to start. I have given myself a few targets to get things finished before I start other projects, which is sensible, but does dampen the knitting enthusiasm somewhat.

However yesterday I took the opportunity to visit Williams’ Wools in Kendal (even though I had no intention of buy anything). This cosy yet spacious and wonderful shop oozes yarn and inspiration. It’s a feast of colour and texture, with examples of many wonderfully constructed items to suit a whole host of customers.

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Sometimes you do win things!

It'll Be Reet

Hello All

Are you like me, enter raffles and prize draws run for good causes in the CERTAIN knowledge that you’ve really made a donation as you never win anything? Well my mantra is going to have to change from”I never win…” to “I sometimes do!”. English reticence prevents me from running around shouting “I WON! I WON!” ……. “I WON!”.

What did I win? Oh boy. I came home on Monday evening after a L-O-N-G day at work. I thought I’d better check my emails and there was a Facebook message from the lovely Adrienne owner of Williams Wools saying:

“Your Big Pink Pig is ready for collection when you are! Congratulations! xxx”

Of course my response was suitably subdued:

OMG!!!! I can’t believe it, wow…. best cheer up after long day at work ever. Thank you the pig is AMAZING. I’ll be in on Saturday!!!! Mxxx”


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What wool and knitting mean to me. part 1

 I was asked “what does wool and knitting mean to you?” and of course I replied with a stream of memories, experiences, feelings and opinions. Now of course, three weeks later, how do I begin to put it all down in words?

Laura, Harvey Clare and me.

Laura, Harvey, Clare and me.

 I think that for me it all starts with family. I count myself very fortunate to have had my Grandma live with us for most of my childhood. I have two sisters and a brother and my Grandma played a very important part in our everyday lives. Long before I learnt to knit myself one of our favourite jobs was to hold the wool while she wound it into balls, we had to take it in turn of course, just as we had to take it in turn to sit on her knee or cut the sellotape when she was wrapping parcels.

 Even before that of course were all the knitted toys, baby clothes and dolls clothes that she knitted for us. I don’t remember her ever being without some knitting in her bag (or aniseed balls for that matter!) She passed her skills on to her daughters and so my Mum and Aunties are all amazing knitters. It was a part of our everyday life for there to be a knitting or sewing circle in our sitting room. 

 this is Auntie Anne teaching Poppy, my eldest, to knit in my Mum’s back garden.

Sadly my Grandma died when I was expecting my first baby so she didn’t get to see my Daughter or my passion for knitting grow. I am now passing that passion on to my three daughters and a larger “Williams’ Wools” family.

 My Mum lives in Yorkshire and I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like, but I know she is busy knitting baby clothes for a new addition to the family, her first  great grandchild, my first grandchild and my daughter’s first baby. My girls sit and knit with me and although we are not sat in the sitting room in Barnby Dun knitting with my Mum, we are in her heart and she knits each stitch with love.

 Wool and knitting is a part of my own personal history which begins and ends with family.

Great Grandma, new Mummy, Matilda and me, Brand New Grandma

Great Grandma, new Mummy, Matilda and me, Brand New Grandma

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