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Happy Easter! - Oxford Yarn Store
  happy easter!

When I grew up in rural Oxfordshire back in the middle ages, religious festivals were celebrated by the whole village and Easter was a particularly special time. Children decorated the 13th century church gathering stones, wood, moss, and spring flowers to recreate the Garden of Gethsemane. The tomb was covered with a piece of slate from the local mine, connecting us, or so it felt, to events that took place in the Midle East 2000 years ago. The remarkable story of Holy Week involved characters whose names seemed etched in time; Pontius Pilate, Caiaphas, Judas Iscariot, all having found their way from the pulpit into the storytelling, music, art and crafts of subsequent generations, including our own.

This week has been a time to reflect on the value that is placed on things that are made by hand as we watched historic artefacts being rescued from a burning cathedral; paintings, gilded furniture, candleabra and a crown of thorns. In the restoration efforts that will follow there are ancient craft techniques that have been lost, we are told. These predate the age of sophisicated recording mechanisms and the evolution of school curriculae that no longer afford much time to experiencing the joy of making things by hand. It is we makers who understand this best.

Enjoy the Easter break. We look forward, as always, to seeing the results of your knitting and crochet! Saturday 27th April is a date for your diary, by the way, as we will once again celebrate Yarn Shop Day with others across the country.

Happy Knitting

Karen

PS Please note below our Easter Bank Holiday opening hours.

Also - Here is a request for charitable donations of yarn from one of our lovely regulars. She is involved in a very interesting project with which you may be able to help. If you can offer any yarn/knitting supplies to Annie please let me know and I will put you in  touch with her.

'My name is Annie and I am writing on behalf of Restore, a local mental health charity. This is a request for our Recovery Group in Didcot. I recently completed a career change away from publishing and into mental health, and am working here as an Employment and Recovery Coach. One of the activities in the craft room is knitting, and members create items for sale. Single balls or oddments are very welcome here. Stocks are currently very low.'

I'm sure that this is a project that people will want to support if they have any yarn leftovers to donate!

  easter opening hours

Our revised opening hours for Easter are as follows:
 
Good Friday (19th April): 10am to 3pm (early closing)
Saturday 20th April: 10am to 6pm
Easter Sunday (21st April): CLOSED
Easter Monday (22nd April): CLOSED

  yarn shop day - coming soon on 27th April

  workshops in May

We have a host of workshops coming up in May and June, see below for details.  Call 01865 604112 to book a place or to find out more informatiton.

Colour Work Knitting

Learn the basic techniques used to achieve beautiful two-coloured knitting. We will explore a range of knitting techniques that can be used to introduce colour into knitting including slip stitches, fair isle and intarsia. Knitting will be done 'flat' on straight needles.

Date: Sunday 19th May 

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm 

Skill Level: You should be comfortable with both knit and purl stitches and casting on

Price: £55

Materials: You will need 4mm knitting needles and two contrasting shades of DK weight yarn.
Toe-Up Socks

Learn to knit toasty socks using the toe-up sock method over two evenings - casting on using circular needles; working in the round using the magic loop method; shaping the foot and turning a heel. 

Dates: Tuesday 21st May AND 11th June 

Time: 6.30pm to 9pm.

Price: £45

Skill Level: Suitable for confident knitters who can knit and purl.

Materials: You will need a 2.5m or 2.75mm circular knitting needles and sock yarn.

Professional Finishing Techniques

Learn how to finish your work professionally; cast on methods; shaping techniques; button holes; picked-up edges; borders; short-row shaping; shoulder seams; blocking and pressing; putting in sleeves; sewing up using mattress stitch and lots more!

Date: Friday 24th May  

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm

Skill Level: Intermediate. You should be comfortable with both knit and purl stitches and casting on.

Price: £55

Materials: You needd to knit 2 small squares before the class (both 10cm square, in double knit yarn, in stocking sitch) and bring 4mm knitting needles, sharp scissors and a tapestry needle.
Learn to Crochet 

Crochet is versatile, portable and a great way to create lovely garments, throws and accessories. You will learn the basic crochet stitches and how to read a pattern as you create the classic crochet building block - a Granny Square!

Date: Saturday 25th May 

Time:  10am to 1pm

Skill Level:  No experience needed.

Price: £30 (or £50 for both sessions when booked together with an Improvers’ Crochet class this term).

Materals:  All materials are included including a crochet hook to keep.

Improvers Crochet

This class is ideal for those who know the basics of crochet and who want to develop their skills. Following on from Learn to Crochet you will learn more about reading crochet patterns and making more complex designs as you start on a simple project.

Date: Saturday 25th May 

Time: 2pm to 5pm   

Price: (£30) (or £50 for for both sessions when booked together with a Learn to Crochet class this term).

Skill Level:  Confidence with basic crochet stitches (chain, double and treble).  A Learn to Crochet class is an ideal class to take before this class if you cannot crochet or want to refresh the basics.

Materials:  You wil need a selection of medium size hooks (3mm, 3.5mm and 4mm) and yarn for a project you plan to go on to make or want supporting in starting in the class.  Sample yarns to practice with are provided.

  workshops in June
Next Steps in Knitting

This relaxed class is perfect for those who have attended our Learn to Knit class or can already work the basic knit and purl stitches and would like to take their knitting further. We will look at, different cast on methods, stitch patterns, reading and understanding knitting patterns, increases and decreases, how to cast off in pattern plus many other tips! The class includes a choice of 2 patterns for a hat which uses all the new skills you have learnt. This will be started during the class and you will have all the skills to finish it at home.

Date: Saturday 8th June

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm 

Price: £55

Skill Level:  Improving beginner, you can cast on knit and purl.  This class is specifically aimed at knitters with only basic skills.

Materials:  You will knitting needles and 100g of DK weight yarn.
Continental Fair Isle Knitting

Learn how to knit Fair Isle technique in the round using; circular knitting needles; the magic loop technique; corrugated rib; knitting holding different colour yarns in each hand using English and Continental knitting techniques combined. For intermediate knitters - no previous experience of Fair Isle or circular knitting is required however.

Date: Thursday 13th June

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm

Price: £55

Skill Level: Intermediate. You should be comfortable with both knit and purl stitches and casting on.

Materials: You will need a 4mm 80cm or 100cm long circular knitting needle and 50g each of two contrasting shades of DK weight yarn.

Professional Finishing Techniques

Learn how to finish your work professionally; cast on methods; shaping techniques; button holes; picked-up edges; borders; short-row shaping; shoulder seams; blocking and pressing; putting in sleeves; sewing up using mattress stitch and lots more!

Date: Saturday 14th June  

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm

Skill Level: Intermediate. You should be comfortable with both knit and purl stitches and casting on.

Price: £55

Materials: You needd to knit 2 small squares before the class (both 10cm square, in double knit yarn, in stocking sitch) and bring 4mm knitting needles, sharp scissors and a tapestry needle.
 
Introduction to Brioche Knitting

Brioche is a beautiful stitch that creates a soft, draping and warm knitted fabric and is a popular technique to acquire. In this class you will learn the principles of working Brioche in one and two colours, practicing both techniques as you start to work on a scarf, cowl or hat.  Experience needed: basic knit and purl stitches, increasing and decreasing. 

Date: Sunday 16th June

Time: 10.30am to 4.30pm     

Price: £55

Skill Level:  You should be confident wih basic knitting skills (cast on, knit and purl stitches) and reading simple patterns.

Materials: You will need a 4.5mm, 60cm long circular knitting needle and x2 50g balls of DK weight yarn in contrasting colours)

Steeking 

Explore the possibilities that knitting Fair Isle knitting in the round and steeking (literally cutting open your knitting) can offer. This method is quicker and better for your tension as you are always knitting the front of the work and it allows you to knit a flat piece (e.g. a throw) or a garment with an opening (e.g. a cardigan) in the round. Trust us it doesn’t ruin your knitting - generations of Shetland Island knitters cannot be wrong!  We’ll take you step by step through the process to ensure a happy outcome.

Date: Thursday 20th June 

Time: 10am to 1pm

Price: £30

Skill Level: You have to be able to knit a small circumference in the round on either double pointed needles OR cirular needles using rhe magic loop technique.

Materials Needed: 4.5m or 5mm double pointed OR circular knitting needles plus two contrasting shades of worsted or aran weight 100% non-superwash wool yarn.

There is a small amount of pre-knitting for this class which you will be advised of about 1 week prior to the class.
 
Edgings - I-cord and Picot Borders

In this workshop you will learn a variety of techniques for creating edgings that give a final flourish to garments, shawls and accessories. These include I-cord and Picot edgings as well as knitted borders onto ‘live’ stitches. Many current designs call for edgings that add interest to your work and so this workshop will broaden your skills and your ability to tackle new projects.

Date: Thursday 20th June 

Time: 2pm to 5pm 

Price: £30

Skill Level: You should be confident wih basic knitting skills (cast on, knit and purl stitches) and reading simple patterns.

Materials Needed: 4m knitting needles.

Call 01865 604112 to book a class or to find out more information.
 
  customer knits

Fiona is modelling a lovely sweater using Isager Spinni and Silk Mohair. The pattern is from K (Knit) by Helga Isager.


Sheila is next up in another Isager Spinni and Silk Mohair creation! This time the pattern is from Rowan's Timeless DK pattern collection. It's a great wee book that has some classic designs which can be knitted in a wide variety of DK yarns.


Helena here in two more shawls for which she is becoing renowned. Chic!




Isabel has knitted this beautiful shawl and the two sweaters below using Simple Sweater patterns from the Ravelry website. One is knitted in Rowan's Cocoon and the other in Adriafil's Lana Naturele.






Here's Rachel in a gorgeous brioche cowl that she has knitted!



We love to hear the story behind a project - here is Judith's  "You recently sent me some black Isager Spinni yarn to finish a hap I have designed and made. The hap is about 102 inches square. All the yarn other than the pale blue/ white. the border of glittery navy blue and a small amount of gradient yarn were three shades of Isager purchased from you. I called it "Sea Priestess" after Dion Fortune's west country novel, and I wanted it to look like the sea at night."


Irene has knitted this child's hat using West Yorkshire Spinners' sock yarn. Lovely!


Romayne knitted this handsome cardigan for her father - also using West Yorkshire Spinners' yarn. Lucky chap!


Polly knitted this superbly soft cardigan for her daughet Millie using The Fibre Co's Canopy Fingering yarn.




This is Melanie in a cardigan from a Rowan pattern knitted in Rowan's Cotton Cashmere. It's a gorgeous yarn that comes in a fantastic range of shades. Melanie likes it so much that she is knitting another one for her daughter! Great for the summer - in fact for all seasons.