YarnFest Newsletter – September!

Looking Forward to Winter

Baby HatsChris has been knitting up some beautiful baby hats with a very simple pattern. Talk to her in store to find out more about the pattern and yarns she used to create these lovely hats, or take a shortcut and buy one next time you come in store! For just £9.95, and with ages from 6 months to 24 months, you can guarantee a nice little warm head for your little one this winter!

Victorian Hand warmersWe have some more great examples of patterns we have in store for free. From elegant Victorian Lace handwarmers (made from an original Victorian pattern!) and a simple scarf that’s just right for tuck under your chin in a chill wind. There’s also a great, simple cowl pattern that we can talk you through that takes just two balls of King Cole MaxiLite Chunky.

New Products

Ult Super ChunkyWe just can’t wait for the new Autumn Winter stock to come in! King Cole’s Ultimate Super Chunky is now instore, and we’re also looking forward to a new reflective yarn from Rowan. As light reflects from this unique yarn, it’s ideal for knitting up pieces for walkers and cyclists.

We also have Artesano’s Definition Sock Yarn – it’s a wonderful yarn that could do much more than socks, so ask us for some ideas when you’re next in store.

We can also announce our Yarns of the Month! Both Artesano Aran and Colinette Art yarn have 20% off all month. There are also some free patterns available to help you make the most of them.

Customer Corner

We love seeing your creatiBaby Booteesons, whether it’s on Twitter or Facebook or in store. We’ve decided your finished items – whether they are socks, dolls, jumpers or bracelets – need celebrating, so we’re going to make this part of this newsletter Customer Corner from now on! We’ll share all of your pics during the month online, and choose the very best to take centre stage each month. Getting knitting and crocheting, and send your snaps to yarnfest@btconnect.com

This month’s winner of Customer’s Corner is Diane Sorrell from East Ilsley, with these beautiful baby bootees. Thank you for showing them off with us Diane! You also win a rather lovely YarnFest Light Pen – Congratulations!

Knitting & Crochet Courses

Workshops are filling up for September – get in quick now to book your space! These courses are a great way to improve your skills in knitting and crochet.

Saturday 21st September AM Beginners Knitting 10.00 – 13.00 (£23.00)

Saturday 21st September PM Improvers Knitting 14.00 – 17.00 (£23.00)

(All day, both courses £42.00)

Saturday 28th September AM Beginners Crochet 10.00 – 13.00 (£23.00)

Saturday 28th September PM Improvers Crochet 14.00 – 17.00 (£23.00)

(All day, both courses £42.00)

Pat will guide you through all types of stitches, following a pattern and other useful tips and techniques, as well as tackling any issues or particular problems you may have. Please bring your own needles/hooks and yarn, although these can be purchased in store beforehand.

Introducing… Yvonne!

Yvonne has been knitting since she was a little girl, but she says she’s still learning! A dressmaker and all round crafter, Yvonne joins us full time from September. She’s looking forward to meeting you all and helping you on your projects, big and small. We’re delighted to welcome her to the YarnFest team.

Knit & Natter

MaxiLite CowlDon’t forget to join us every Tuesday and Thursday from 2.30pm for our Knit & Natter sessions. Join in with like-minded crafters and get help and advice on your knitting projects. We also offer a discount on yarns, a raffle, refreshments and, of course, a good old natter! The White Hart in Hampstead Norreys are also holding a trial Knit & Natter, from 7.30pm Tuesday 24th September. All levels of knitters are welcome to attend in the function room adjacent to the bar (Ask for the host, Tracey). Bring your knitting, have a drink and a good knit and natter. Attendance is free of charge. YarnFest will be supporting this group and we will be present on the first night to offer help and advice. Members of the group will also be entitled to 10% discount when they come in to store.

Knitted Bracelet and Choker Free Pattern

As we mentioned in the last post, we have a knitted bracelet and choker free pattern to share with you!

It’s a very quick and easy pattern, but something that would make a unique gift or a lovely accessory for any outfit. We’ve use Adriafil Margarita yarn, but you can be creative with the yarns you choose – maybe something with shimmer, or a pastel colour, or a bit of fluff?

Choker and braceletSo, with your chosen yarn…

Free knitted choker pattern

Cast on 200 stitches

Knit 6 rows stocking stitch

Cast off

Take the two ends together in one hand and twist until you create a ‘rope’. Sew the ends together. Find a suitable bead or button to sew onto this end, then use thread it through the loop created at the other end to fasten.

Free knitted bracelet pattern

Cast on 100 stitches

Knit 4 rows stocking stitch

Cast off

Take the two ends together in one hand and twist until you create a ‘rope’. Sew the ends together. Find a suitable bead or button to sew onto this end, then use thread it through the loop created at the other end to fasten.

As we said, very simple, but very effective. Have fun, and don’t forget to share what you create!

Knitted bracelet and choker free pattern


August News – Yarns of the Month!

Sirdar EllaTreat yourself this summer to our August Yarns of the Month! We have chosen the great suitably seasonal yarns Adriafil’s Margarita and Slogan, and are looking ahead with Sirdar’s Ella and Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino (including the new Autumn/Winter colours!).

Adriafil MargaritaWith 20% off these yarns, in all colours, all month, in store only, it’s a perfect time to think about your autumn and winter projects, or knit something special for a new arrival.

New Yarns & Patterns

There are some great new yarns and patterns in store. The new range of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino colours are wonderful, and there’s also a new pattern book too. New shades from Debbie Bliss Milano, and a new book, provides some great textured patterns ideal for Winter.

Art YarnsIf you fancy something very special, we have some samples of Art Yarn, imported by Artesano. These American yarns are super soft – there are kid mohair & cashmere, silk & kid mohair and silk & cashmere blends, a 100% cashmere yarn, and one decorated with subtle sequins. You really do have to touch these yarns (you may never want to stop!). We won’t carry the skeins in stock, but they can be ordered very quickly!

Happy Birthday to Us

Thank you to everyone who came in during July and was entered into our birthday raffle. The winners were drawn by keen knitter, Fay Penlington, who, at just 12, loves knitting animals. Congratulations to the very lucky….

1st Prize, £50 worth of YarnFest vouchers, Anne Emmens

2nd Prize, £25 woth of YarnFest vouchers, Pauline Newman

 Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino

Knitting & Crochet Courses

Workshops begin again in September – book now for beginners and advanced knitting and crochet!

Saturday 21st September AM Beginners Knitting 10.00 – 13.00 (£23.00)

Saturday 21st September PM Improvers Knitting 14.00 – 17.00 (£23.00)

(All day, both courses £42.00)

Saturday 28th September AM Beginners Crochet 10.00 – 13.00 (£23.00)

Saturday 28th September PM Improvers Crochet 14.00 – 17.00 (£23.00)

(All day, both courses £42.00)

If you want to start, need a refresher or want to extend your knitting or crochet skills, these are the courses for you! Our expert staff will guide you through casting on, types of stitches, following a pattern and other useful tips and techniques, as well as tackling an issues or particular problems you may have. Please bring your own needles/hooks and yarn, although these can be purchased in store beforehand.

More courses will be announced in our September newsletter!

A Quick Knitted Gift

Choker and braceletElaine has a lovely simple free pattern for a choker and bracelet that is quick to knit and looks fab. Ideal for gifts for any fashionable lady you know, or as a quick chunky accessory, visit us in store now to find out how to do it.

Elaine used Adriafil Margarita yarn to create these stunning accessories, which you can now get a 20% discount on this month. Stock up now!





Summer knitting

So, just what do you knit in the summer? Traditionally a quiet time for knitters, crocheters and other wool lovers, as the days get warmer and the layers come off – but we just can’t keep our needles and hooks down for that long! So this week we looked at summer knitting ideas.

King Cole Opium Scoop Neck TopThe King Cole Opium yarn is a great example of some simple summery knitting. One pattern that’s been really popular is the boat/scoop neck top. It’s a simple knit, goes up to larger sizes and looks great on. The pattern allows it to be layered and it’s a great cover up on a summer evening. The colours available are fab too, just right for updating your wardrobe. Have a look at the King Cole Opium patterns here.


Another interesting yarn for summer is Adriafil Raffia – we love the Adriafil yarns at the moment, but the different textures creating by the paper yarn can allow for some lovely lightweight creations. We had a look at these recently on our Adriafil Raffia yarn’s blog post.

It can get chilly in the winter evenings too – a throw or shawl might be handy to wrap up with on the sofa, or even outside on the patio if you’re having a BBQ and there’s a nip in the air! Our great Colinette throw kits are great for this – they come in a lovely array of colours and really are gorgeous yarns.

Pinterest is always great to find pinsperation! We’ve created a summer knits board on Pinterest for you to have a look at. There’s some lovely jumpers and throws, some of which are links to free patterns, with cool lace or fancy yarn that will be just right for when it gets a bit warmer. There’s also some knitted shorts on the board – we’re not quite sure if we’d be brave enough to wear them on the beach! Would you? Add to that a knitted tie, a crochet ice cream sundae and a raffia bag – that’s summer all sewn up, isn’t it?

Sirdar Cotton YarnsOf course, one reason to get excited about Summer is the new Autumn/Winter ranges on the way! We’re already looking forward to news from Rowan, Artesano and Sirdar.

So, what will you be knitting over the summer? We’d love to know!




April News – Crazy for Colinette yarn!

crazy for colinette yarnDon and Chris visited the Colinette workshop last month and came back with a great stock of goodies and lovely yarn. We now have lots of new patterns and kits in store! We’re really excited about Perugino throw kits – with this beautiful zig zag pattern made from three types of Colinette yarn, you’ll have something to treasure forever. There are five varieties available, and the kit includes the pattern, yarn and bag.  Perfect for the sofa, bedroom or a gift for a loved one. Elaine is hard at work creating a sample that will be in store soon.

There’s also a gorgeous light weight jacket kit which is ideal for spring – wear it as a wedding cover up, on a cruise, a glamorous night out… It’s perfect for all occasions and has a beautiful timeless quality with super soft mohair yarn. Again, there will be a sample in store soon.

New Products in Store

adriafil raffia yarnsAs well as new Colinette products, we’ve also got a lot more goodies for you! The new Italian Adriafil yarn range is going down really well, and we’re getting some new summer patterns in soon. We’ve also got some new Sirdar yarns, and some new patterns – garments are already made up in store for you to have a look at.

Chris is also designing a new cushion kit! Using Colinette Point five yarn, this pattern is a funky, chunky pattern that will brighten up any living room. Work is still in progress but it is guaranteed to be very popular. Keep following us on Twitter, Facebook and, of course, pop in store for updates!

If you’ve got a birthday coming up, or fancy trying something different for Spring, don’t forget the lovely needle felting kits from Gillian Gladrag this week. Make your own needle felted fish or penguin, like the super cute Gwendoline Penguin!

Exclusive New Card Range

birthday bleatingsUsing designs from talented local artist, Vicky Ainge, YarnFest is proud to present an exclusive range of yarn-themed greetings cards, in store soon. For the knitter, crocheter or crafter in your life, these beautiful cards are for birthdays, new babies, congratulations and more.



The scarf continues…

CRPamDid you add your rows to our Comic Relief scarf? If not, don’t worry, we’re going to keep knitting all year! We’ll be choosing a different charity each month for you to knit and donate to. We’re still hoping to get it long enough to wrap around HIlliers! Thank you to everyone who has knitted and donated so far, we’ve managed to raise £77.07 for Comic Relief and scarf currently stands at 2.3M long!

We also managed to get Pam to pose for a snap for the Newbury Weekly News, did you spot her?

New Workshops

bearDon’t forget our great new workshops for you in April and May, including the return of our extremely popular Broomstick Crochet course! Spaces are limited so book now.

Professional Finishing Techniques – Saturday April 20th  10.00 – 1.00, 2.00 – 5.00 (AM/PM session or All day) Find out how to finish and sew up your projects professional with our course. Bring a garment with you, or some 10” squares, and we’ll help you conquer that part of the project that most of us dislike! Maximum of 6 persons. Cost – £23.00 per session or £42 to attend all day.

Knitting Stitches / How to improve your knitting – Saturday May 4th  10.00 – 1.00, 2.00 – 5.00 (AM/PM session or All day) Suitable for beginners, this course will introduce you to some popular knitting stitches and help you improve your knitting (or even get started, if you’re a complete beginner!). Maximum of 6 persons. Cost – £23.00 per session or £42 to attend all day.

Broomstick Crochet – Saturday May 18th  10.00 – 4.30 (All day) Back by popular demand! Big knitting needles will be provided. Crochet hooks and yarn will available to purchase on the day. Cost – £45.00

Refreshments will be available in our shop and lunches can be purchased in the Coffee Shop on site.

Please bring along a selection of coloured yarns with needles and hooks to suit your course.

Knit & Natter –Tuesdays & Thursdays!

Our Knit & Natters take place on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 2.30pm. Along with help and advice on your knitting projects, we also offer a discount on yarns, a raffle, refreshments and, of course, a good old natter!

Raffia Yarns

We love raffia yarns at the moment, especially as we’ve got these great new arrivals from Adriafil.

Raffia yarn

But what can you do with them? We’ve been looking at Pinterest and Adriafil’s own site to give you some great ideas. If you have any other suggestions, we’d love to hear them!

Who knew raffia could be so glam? Have a look at this gorgeous halter neck top and skirt – maybe it’s the Italian origins, but we had no idea you could create something this chic with raffia!

Adriafil’s website also has some great free patterns, including this outfit, a bag, sarong, and some great hats. Well worth checking out!




There’s also some lovely hat tutorials, available on Ravelry, and some other inspiration we found on sites like Etsy. You may have to buy or just take inspiration from these designs, but we hope you enjoy this unique, papery yarn as much as we do. Don’t forget to have a look at our Pinterest board to find links, some great ideas and free patterns for bags and other crafts!



Arctic Quivit Patterns

arctic qivuitAs one of the UK’s first stockists of Arctic Quivit, we love the feel and warmth of this exclusive yarn. It is extremely rare, and very expensive, so well suited for smaller pieces, like hats, socks and snoods. Imagine the luxury of a pair of Arctic Quivit socks!

There are some free patterns available on the Arctic Quivit website – including a snood, socks, a hat and a jumper. Have a look and download one today!

If any one else has some ideas for this yarn, we’d love to hear about them!

Triangle Scarf Free knitting pattern

You’ve asked for it, now here it is – triangle scarf free knitting pattern!

Triangle Scarf/Shawl Knitting Pattern by June – a free pattern from YarnFest

triangle scarf free knitting patternRequire – 2 x 50g balls Zip yarn

7mm Needles (knit throughout)

Cast on 3 stitches and increase at each end on every row until there are 195 stitches.

Cast off

Attach fringe to two sides with remaining yarn (some help here).

We hope you enjoy our great triangle scarf free knitting pattern!


Broomstick Crochet/Lace

We have a new course coming up on 2nd March, where we’re going to be introducing some eager crafters to the world of broomstick crochet.

Source: freevintagecrochet.com via YarnFest on Pinterest

It’s easier than it sounds, doesn’t involve sawing off heads of brooms (just a 20-25mm knitting needle will do!) and gives a lovely effect that can create some gorgeous throws, shawls, bags and, in one old book we have, a very attractive bed cape. It looks a bit like this one pictured (Image source Free Vintage Crochet – there’s a free pattern there too!), but more 70s.

So, as we’re getting excited about learning a new craft, we had a look at some blogs and tutorials on the web that can help us prepare. There’s a lovely one here at Occasional Crafter with great photos to help you through. There’s also some great patterns from Broomstick Lace/Crochet at Crochet Pattern Central including this lovely bright and colourful baby blanket.

Source: redheart.com via YarnFest on Pinterest

But, of course, all the learning online doesn’t quite compare to the fun of learning with friends, and having a good gossip, some cups of tea and a few biscuits in the process. Our course runs on 2nd March, all day, with the big knitting needle provided and costs £45. If you’d like to register your place, just contact us. Hope to see you there!

Knit & Go Glam on New Year’s Eve!

If you’re looking for something that will make you stand out from the crowd on NYE, you do worse then knit yourself a little something with our fabulous lacey, glittery or furry yarns. One ball is enough to create a dramatic scarf, a furry cuff or trim – or go crazy and create a lovely lacey shawl!

A little fake fur scarf will liven up anything – even if you’re just shopping…

There are so many luxurious and fun yarns around at the moment – The Zip Lurex Ladder yarns, King Cole Moments (check out the ‘Lipstick‘ shade!) and the Sirdar Taffeta range, for starters. Lanas Stop also do some great fake fur yarns that add a touch of mystery, glamour and warmth to hats, gillets, welly toppers and much more.

There are lots of free patterns online too, to help you with your creations. Have a look at our Pinterest board for inspiration, or look at Ravelry – great places to help you get started. If you’re close to our shop in Hermitage, Newbury, pop in and we’ll be really happy to help. We have free patterns in store for a lace shawl using some of the yarns above, as well as lots of patterns books for you to look through. Most of these are really quick knits and very easy, so dust off your needles, put something good on the telly and get knitting!