New Yarn Celebrating Women

The Mulier Fortis Collection
On International Women's Day 2017 Baa Baa Brighouse is celebrating the achievements of the eight women who inspired our brand new Baa Baa Brew Marble 4 Ply yarn. The Mulier Fortis Collection, taken from the Latin meaning strong woman, seeks to highlight the outstanding contribution that women have made to science, medicine, education, aviation, politics, civil rights and much more besides with each shade being named for a particular woman. The collection includes Ada (named for Ada Lovelace, the mathematician widely regarded as the first computer programmer), Rosa (named for Rosa Parks, the American civil rights activist known as the ‘first lady of civil rights’ and the ‘mother of freedom’), Malala, (named for Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate), Amelia (named for...

Brighouse Incredible Yarnbombers

Baa Baa Brighouse has teamed up with the Brighouse Incredible Yarnbombers, a community group that aims to beautify the town of Brighouse through craft. The Tour de Yorkshire is coming to Brighouse on April 30th, 2017 and the Brighouse Incredible Yarnbombers are busy preparing for the event by making bunting and other decorative items to celebrate. They are currently asking crafters to make lots of flowers. These can be crocheted, knitted, felted and can be any flower, any colour and of any size from 2 inches in diameter to 12 inches. Baa Baa Brighouse is acting as a drop off point for contributions. You can hand deliver or post finished items to Baa Baa Brighouse, 11 Church Street, Rastrick, West Yorkshire, HD6 3NF and we'll make sure your hand crafted flowers are passed on to the Brighouse Incredible Yarnbombers to jazz up our town this...

Politics and Knitting

I've been toying with the idea of writing this blog post for well over a week - initially in the run up to the inauguration of President Donald Trump on Friday and then in the aftermath of the global Women's March the following day. If you're a small business like Baa Baa Brighouse or self-employed like many are in the craft industry, both in the UK and in the United States, it can be very frustrating to keep personal and political views from spilling over into your work environment. I can't begin to count the number of times last week I heard knitwear designers and craftspeople vent their anger at being told that their readers, customers, followers and fans only wanted yarn content from these people and they could keep their political opinions to themselves "thank you very much". Fair enough, maybe you don't follow an indie dyer on...

2016 – A Year in Review

2016 was quite a year for so many reasons with political upheaval both in the UK and abroad impacting on day-to-day life for Baa Baa Brighouse, our friends in the craft and textile industries as well as our customers. But with another uncertain year ahead of us, lets not dwell on the negative things that have come to pass, but take a look at how our ongoing collaboration with indie dyers across Yorkshire unfolded in the form of our ever popular Yan Tan Tethera Yarn Club. Working together, Baa Baa Brighouse, a small family run online yarn store, Shutterspot Photography and a handful of talented dyers created 12 gorgeous limited edition yarns inspired by the landscape, wildlife and architecture of Yorkshire. Now that's something to be proud of! Here are just some of the great things our club members have said about us recently: "This...

We Will Remember Them

As we approach Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday, we often see people wearing knitted, crocheted or felt poppies - small hand crafted items that symbolise so much. Then, there are wonderful displays like that of the Thirsk Poppy Yarnbombing that seek to remind us of the scale of tragedy and loss the world has suffered in fighting to protect our fundamental freedoms, rights and way of life. Poignant, one may think, given recent political events at home and abroad. Events that will undoubtedly impact on all of us in some way. Today, I'd like to share a personal story of courage and endurance that will hopefully put into perspective just how hard fought those freedoms were and how fragile and easy it is to let them go. I've spent some time recently investigating my ancestry and found that my great great-grandfather served in the 14th...

Remember, Remember…It’s Also Wovember!

The start of November means one thing - it's time to celebrate Wovember. The Wovember campaign was started in 2011 by knitwear designers, Kate Davies and Felicity Ford, as a response to frustrations at the misuse of the words 'wool' and 'woollen' in garment descriptions, meaning that consumers often didn't know what they were buying. Wovember is continued today by Felicity and Louise Scollay, author of the KnitBritish blog and podcast with their aims being to recognise and celebrate wool heritage, educate the wider public about what constitutes wool and to campaign for clear labeling and clarity through trading standards. These issues are also important to Baa Baa Brighouse and Wovember provides an opportunity for us to highlight them and demonstrate how we support and advocate the use of 'proper' terms in our own business. From the...

Backing British Breeds

In October, so many important events within the craft community occur and all probably deserve a blog post of their own. It begins with National Knitting Week in association with the UK Hand Knitting Association which aims to inspire the next generation of knitters. This year's theme is the Christmas Stocking Appeal in aid of care homes across the country. The appeal is asking knitters and crocheters to create mini stockings which in turn will be made into bunting and used to decorate care homes and lunch clubs this December, spreading some festive cheer. Then, of course, there is Wool Week, organised by The Campaign for Wool. Now in its seventh consecutive year, the event sees retailers, manufacturers, textile artists and all connected with the woolly community join together to highlight and educate consumers on the many natural benefits of...

What is Socktober?

So, we're a third of the way into October already and my knitter friends are frantically casting off socks, turning heels and talking about fish lips whichever way I turn. All this tootsie talk got me thinking about the origins of Socktober. A quick trawl of the internet revealed that Socktober was started by Brad Montague, creator of the web show, 'Kid President', and his family a few years ago in the USA as an annual month-long campaign designed to show people that ordinary acts of love can make a big different - starting with socks. The idea is that by partnering with shelters and homeless organisations across the USA, those involved in the campaign can help to ensure that people living on the street have access to basic items of clothing such as socks. But, of course, with the advancements in communication, the internet and the...

Yarn: The Movie

Yarn (noun) - a continuous twisted strand of natural or synthetic fibres; yarn (verb) - a story or entertaining narrative. Two distinct dictionary definitions is what 'Yarn', the new documentary by director, Una Lorenzen, opens with. It tells the story of modern fibre artists and how they use yarn to comment on the world. A few members of our Knit and Natter group and myself went to the Pictureville Cinema at the National Media Museum in Bradford to watch a screening of the Icelandic filmmaker's latest work. It's true that before Baa Baa Brighouse began, I was a journalist and in my dim and distant past reviewed plays, exhibitions, music and more besides but I have never considered myself a critic. So, if you are looking for a critique of the film, you won't find it here - just the honest musings of a yarn shop owner with a passion for all...

Join the Ganny Lock KAL

As keen supporters of The Campaign for Wool, Baa Baa Brighouse is launching the Ganny Lock Knit-A-Long (KAL) to celebrate UK Wool Week 2016 and encourage knitters everywhere to support the British wool industry. Ganny Lock is a warm and cosy wraparound shawl and is the first pattern to be designed in-house solely using Baa Baa Brew, our 100% British Bluefaced Leicester DK yarn which is reared and sheared in the UK, then spun in Yorkshire and hand dyed here at Baa Baa Brighouse HQ using traditional methods. It is available in eight colours, including two new shades for the Autumn/Winter 2016 season which were officially launched at Yarndale 2016. All of the shades, known collectively as 'The Brighouse Collection', are named after areas of Brighouse, the town in which the yarn was dyed. They are Thornhills, Woodhouse, Brookfoot, Rastrick,...