1 News from the wool face

What news from the world of knitting you must be wondering? Well it's a darn sight more benign than any other kind of news these days. The only consolation for having to put up with reports of Trumpery in Asia and Mayhem closer to home is that we haven't had to listen to much in the news about Brexit of late. Instead, for those of us who give two hoots about current affairs, there has been a steady stream of reports on disgraced parliamentarians and nefarious shenanigans in all walks of public life, quite enough to get your knitting in a twist if you listen to too much of it. Clearly best not to do so. Here at the wool face we try to keep calm and focus on the things that we can control - like our increased urge to knit and crochet as the evenings draw in.

There has been quite a buzz hereabouts regarding the recent opening of the Westgate shopping centre in the middle of Oxford. It is expansive to the point of causing shock and awe at its size which seems to defy the footprint of the site on which it is built. People talk about it with admiration tempered by an expression of fear for the High Street and the city centre generally where shops are now empty as they decamp into the Westgate. Let's see what happens. All the more reason to support independent shops as much as possible so that their survival is also assured. I would hate, for instance, to see the Covered Market, adversely affected. It has been there since the 1770's, even longer than we have been on North Parade Avenue.

On this sort of subject - a customer came into the shop the other week to seek help with a pattern which was foreign to us. We were happy to advise, after which she expressed her gratitude with a memorable compliment: 'I so love your shop and do consider myself a customer even though I've never bought anything here!' Most people understand the need for the preservation of indie shops and how this works and I remain optimistic that this customer will one day recognise the flaw in her own logic!

Meanwhile we are open to all comers and love nothing more than a customer with a knitting challenge which we can help to solve.

Happy Knitting and Crochet!



If you want to take advantage of a last minute cancellation please get in touch.

Learn to Crochet a Granny Square

Saturday 11th November 10am - 1pm.  £25  -  all materials included


2 New Bristol Ivy book from POMPOM

Knitting Outside the Box is a new book from Pom Pom Magazine publishing. It has just arrived today - so more on its contents next week when we have had a chance to take it in. It looks just fabulous at a first glance, incorporating stunning patterns with insightful text that demystifies the process of design. An excellent publication.

Here's the blurb - 

Knitting Outside the Box is a unique exploration of Bristol’s Ivy's design process, featuring creative exercises to help you explore the ‘What if?’ you’ve been wondering about your knitting. The book includes a comprehensive stitch dictionary which provides technical information on how to shape and manipulate fabric, and concludes by bringing all the methods together to help you evolve an idea into a finished pattern.

Knitting Outside the Box is also a pattern book with 15 patterns for accessories and garments using the techniques set out in the book. (RRP £29.50)

3 customer knits

Kale has called a halt for a while to nephew knitting and has knitted this truly beautiful cardigan in a Malbrigo yarn for her mother's 60th birthday. It's a stunning design - bound to be a huge hit with her mum. It needs to be seen to be believed and James nominated it for knit of the year! The pockets, for example, are a continuation of the front borders and the pattern on the back is exquisite.

Kristina, another Thursday evening knit clubber, has been knitting this fabulous sweater to the great admiration of everyone. It's her own design using Rowan's Baby Merino Silk and Kidsilk Haze yarns held together. It has a nifty saddle shoulder seam and once again proves the innate knitting know-how of those clever Swedish people!

Laura has finished another shawl pattern - this time Isager's Summer Night. Do take a look at all of our Isager kits for shawls, scarves et al. We find them quite unique and wonderful. (You will notice that this photo of Laura is probably taken a little closer to home than the previous pic of her knitting at Niagra Falls!)

Vicki Walker who taught Professional Finishing Techniques for us until recently stays in close touch by sharing her projects with us. This is a cardigan that she has knitted using Isager Tvinni yarn. The pattern is Belmont by Gudrun Johnston. Fabulous!

4 Yarn Bowls by Wendy Fowler - last chance to purchase!

Well the bad news (for us not for her!) is that Wendy Fowler is retiring in the new year and will not be producing her wonderful yarn bowls any longer. The good news, however, is that we took delivery of 18 of them this week, mainly in blues and greens and including some of her beautiful Sea Houses design as well as plainer finishes. The prices of them range from £32 upwards depending on the size and the design. We also have more of her lovely shawl pins in stock as well as her buttons.

As well as the new bowls pictured abpve we still have some different shades in stock including a double yarn bowl - ideal for colourwork knitting.

5 candy cane sock yarn from west yourkshire spinners

West Yorkshire Spinners new Christmas sock yarn "Candy Cane" is now in stock at Oxford Yarn store. This is a self-striping yarn in festive shades of red, white and green.  A free sock pattern is available with a purchase of this yarn shade.

6 workshops coming up in november

We have the following workshops coming up in November.  Call us on 01865 604112 to book your place or to find out more information.

Double Knitting Socks
Saturday 18th November
10.30am to 4.30pm

Build on your double-knitting skills and learn to knit both of your socks at the same time. 

You will make (or be well on the way to making) a pair of baby socks on this day. This will involve learning to cast on two colours separately at the same time, working out how to manipulate your yarns for the rib you choose, knitting the heel flaps with open edges, picking up the gusset for both socks at once, left and right leaning decreases for double-knitting, and separating your socks to finish the toe. You will also learn how to correct mistakes.

Skill Level: this is not a course for beginner knitters, and you will find it easier if you have either knitted socks before, knitted “in the round” or done some double-knitting before (where you knit a double-sided fabric).

Materials: You will need 4.5mm knitting needles, either a set of double pointed needles or two circular needles of any length plus 3 or 4mm crochet hook. We will be using aran weight yarn and you will need 50g in two different colours.

Price:  £48.00

Professional Finishing Tehniques
Sunday 19th November
10.30am to 4.30pm

Rowan tutor Avril Best teaches you how to give your work a professional finish - tension; cast on methods; shaping techniques; button holes and picked-up edges; bands, collars; short-row shaping and three-needle cast-off for shoulder seams; blocking and pressing; putting in sleeves and sewing up using mattress stitch.

Skill Level:  Intermediate knitters wanting to improve there overall knitting techniques and achieve a professional look to their hand knitting.  You shoul dbe comfortable with general knitting techniques (cast on, knit and purl, increase/decrease) and able to read typical knittting patterns.  

Materials:  You will need 4mm knitting needles and to bring with you two knitted squares (10 cm by 10cm / 4 inches by 4 inches, knit in stocking stitch in DK weight yarn).

Price:  £48.00
Tunisian Crochet
Saturday 2nd December
10.30am to 4.30pm

Learn the technique of Tunisian crochet to produce a fabric that is both beautiful and unique.  You will work with rows of crochet stitches on a special crochet hook, rather than 1 stitch at a time.  Colour work techniques in Tunisian crochet will also be explored.  Basic crochet skills are required for this class.

Skill Level:  Intermedaite crochet.  You should be comfortable with basic cochet sttiches and technique sincluding chain, double amd triple stitches.

Materials:  You will need a 4mm tunisian crochet hook.

Price:  £48.00