Off The Shelf...

Information for our customers during the Corona Virus Outbreak Read More

I try to maintain a blog, it doesn't come easily to me so I'm not that prolific!
Here I am at Off The Shelf - LoobyLou's Blog.

You can also find me at www.loobylouofftheshelf.blogspot.com

UKHKA Learn to Knit Virtual Workshop

Saturday 23rd May 2020

Bored of the lockdown? Want to join in the 'learn something new during Lockdown' trend? Or, know how to knit but want to knit in Zig Zags? Well, the UKHKA (UK Hand Knitting Association) has created this lovely Learn To Knit video for you to use which you can find here It shows how to cast on, knit, increase and decrease to create a lovely Zig Zag style scarf. They have also put the pattern on Ravelry as a free download here, which gives all the yarn quantities for you. Of course, Stylecraft Special DK would be a perfect choice of yarn for this project, plenty of which can be found on in our shops both Bricks and Mortar and online What…

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Lockdown but not out....

Saturday 2nd May 2020

Since the end of March, our physical shops have been closed to the public as per government guidelines during these crazy, strange and frankly quite scary times. We wanted to just check in to ask how you are all doing, and to let you know what is happening with the shops. So, how are you all doing? Isolation is not easy even for those of us who are lucky enough to not be isolating on our own. So we hope that you are all ok and coping, and we send our love and best wishes to all of you. Before the shops closed we were super busy with lots of customers buying up plenty of yarn to keep them going during the…

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Workshops at LoobyLou Yarns

Sunday 2nd February 2020

Did you know we run workshops from both of our Yarn Shops? Coming to a workshop is a great way to learn a new skill, whether you are a complete beginner at something or looking to improve your knowledge of your chosen craft. LoobyLou can teach you how to crochet, how to knit, how to spin and many more, and then we can teach you how to finish your newly knitted item, how to crochet different stitches and follow a pattern or use a different plying technique for your spun yarn. The possibilities for learning are endless, thanks to our wonderful tutors. But also, as well as learning new things, coming to a workshop is a great way of meeting like…

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The January Blues...

Monday 20th January 2020

We all know January seems a long month - early pay days in December, all the Christmas holidays and many dark, grey, drizzly days means the month can seem to last forever. Here in my yarn shop world, January sometimes feels like it is never going to end...the shop is cold, you come to work and go home in the dark, and apart from a few busy days mostly the shop is quiet with few people spending on things that aren't necessities until payday comes. Some days its hard to make ends meet and I wonder what on earth I am doing this for. And then a regular customer comes in and buys yarn and pattern to knit a winter…

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September Offers from LoobyLou Yarns

Monday 2nd September 2019

September 2019 September! How did we get here so soon? We have had a really busy summer here at LL Yarns - we have opened up a second bricks and mortar shop (separate blog post to follow) in my old home town of Thornbury, and this has kept us busy for most of last month. Unfortunately an August newsletter happened but we are now back on track and raring to go! So to celebrate our new venture, here's what we have to offer you for September... New into both shops is Stylecraft Cosy Delight Chunky - a chunky yarn on 100g donut with a light, fluffy feel and impressive meterage. A delightfully cosy yarn for the chilliest of winter…

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Yarn Stories

Saturday 4th May 2019

I am asked quite a lot in the shop for a 100% wool baby yarn for extra special garments for extra special babies - and so after a little bit of research I have added some of Yarn Stories 100% Fine Merino DK to the shelves. Not necessarily a baby yarn, but this yarn is so very soft that it can be used for any baby project. Yarn Stories is a kind of spin off from Stylecraft yarns - I am told it is a passion of one of the directors to make high quality yarn from high quality fibres, and I absolutely love this product. Super soft with a lovely smooth feel to it, it glides over the needles…

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Memories from my old shop days...

Sunday 3rd February 2019

This afternoon I have been trying to think of something interesting to write for a new Blog Post and have, as usual got Bloggers Block! So I went through some of my old posts from years ago for inspiration (or, if I'm totally honest for something to copy!). And I found so much stuff that I had forgotten about......pictures from my time owning a different wool shop, making all those buried memories come back to me. Firstly I found a photo of the first shop I owned - look how small it was! How did I ever fit everything into it, let alone customers! I think I remember three customers at once made it look pretty full. I loved that shop,…

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Happy New Year

Wednesday 2nd January 2019

HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all Wow, its been almost six months since I last posted anything! Lots of excuses, but from April onwards, 2018 was an actual event filled whirlwind.... Firstly in April my beautiful 2 year old Granddaughter was diagnosed with a terminal illness called Leukodystrophy, and this diagnosis set the scene for the rest of the year. As a family we decided to move back from Wales to our home area so that all of the families could get to spend time with Zoey and get to know her as much as possible. So Arhosfa House and Arhosfa Cottage were put on the market and we began to search for houses in the Gloucester/South Gloucestershire areas, resulting in…

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Its Cria Time....

Monday 16th July 2018

There are not many words needed for these photos.... My friend and neighbour had a beautiful new arrival on Sunday afternoon - meet Arianwen (Welsh for silver/white), these photos taken at about 18 hours old. So cute, and so fluffy and white......I'll just leave you with her to look and and fall in love with!

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Good advice...

Monday 18th June 2018

When I owned my wool shop, I was always encouraging my customers to come back if they have any problems with their knitting so I can try to help. This happened fairly often - someone came in and 'couldn't do it', had 'lost my place', or simply 'cant understand the pattern', and usually all it took was for me to show them once, or give a simple explanation to get the 'light-bulb' moment where they said.....'oh of course, why couldn't I see that?'. One lady came in who just couldn't get her increase row get the correct number of stitches. She had tried for hours and had unpicked the row many times - in desperation she had trudged up to the…

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Cheesewring wrap

Monday 11th June 2018

I really should take my own advice..... Just a quick blog to show you a wrap I have knitted in Manos del Uruguay Alegria, a beautifully soft 4 ply yarn designed for socks but equally lovely used in other projects. Here is my finished wrap (called the Cheesewring Wrap) in the first photo, which was made with the lovely colourway in the second photo called Ceibo, shade A8686. Beautiful. What you can't see in the photo (because I photographed it from the 'good' side) is the GLARING mistake I made because I did not follow the advice I give to EVERY knitter I speak to and I did not READ THE INSTRUCTIONS FIRST!! There are short rows in this pattern, and halfway through…

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A quick catch Up

Monday 14th May 2018

Well, how time flies in between blog posts - my website is telling me its 108 days since my last blog, it really doesn't feel that long! What has been happening since I last posted? Well lots and lots really. I've been poorly, my granddaughter has become very poorly (which is what really has distracted me for most of those 108 days), I quit my job in a well known Supermarket to work at home a little bit more, I've worked a little bit helping out in Debs Wool shop in Llandeilo, we have put our beautiful Welsh Farmhouse on the market and are on the move again, I've sold my Alpacas, gained Sheena and Jimmy (2 new goat escape artists),…

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Pigs and Piglets.....

Wednesday 31st January 2018

When I moved to Wales I never realised just how many new friends I would make and how many new experiences I would be a part of. Yesterday was another new experience on an epic scale (for me anyway!!). I have recently met and become friends with a smallholder who has land that backs on to the farm where I keep the Alpacas. Lorraine recently became mum to four alpacas, and so we have been able to help each other out with handling, worming, advice etc. Lorraine has also just become mummy to three KuneKune pigs. Now I have not really been a fan of these animals - I sometimes help out my neighbours and feed their Berkshire pigs, but…

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Daphne

Monday 23rd October 2017

This is a long one. We have had a bit of a traumatic time with the Alpacas lately, resulting in us losing our wonderful Daphne to heart disease .... One Saturday evening, having been fine all day, Daphne started heavy breathing with flared nostrils. Concerned, I sent a video to Emma (my Alpaca Guru) who thought that she may have been stressed by something, so the opinion was to leave her quiet and warm overnight and see what the morning would bring. Sure enough in the morning Daphne was up and about, fighting for the food, hay and attention as normal. Phew - I was relieved she was ok. But not so. Later that afternoon she started to breathe with difficulty, making…

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My first Etsy Sale - Yikes!

Thursday 6th July 2017

Yesterday I had my first sale on Etsy - a lady in America bought 4 skeins of my hand spun yarn, shown in the photos below. I am so happy that she liked it enough to buy it as I think it's beautiful, but I am so nervous about whether she will like it as much when she actually gets it! The reason I am so nervous is that to me, every skein I hand spin is quite a personal thing - so much goes into it from blending, carding, spinning, skeining, washing, drying, labelling and marketing that I love them all, but I am obviously biased because they are mine! I also know all the little imperfections, which to me…

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Debs Wool Shop and Llandeilo

Monday 3rd July 2017

When I moved to Wales, one of my first priorities was to find a good wool shop that was close by. Not that I need to buy more wool as a) I have massive stash and b) I have accounts with most of my favourite suppliers so I can get wool when ever I want it - but I wanted to see if I could find a wool shop that was much like the one I left behind. I think I had created a shop where people felt comfortable wandering about, could pop in for a chat and a cuppa and one where people wanted to go back to again because they liked it a lot. So I went to one…

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West Yorkshire Spinners

Wednesday 21st June 2017

Just thought I'd post a little bit about my favourite yarn company, West Yorkshire Spinners. When I opened my wool shop back in 2012, I found this company and began to stock their products. Back then there was only a handful of yarns to choose from, but I loved their Bluefaced Leicester Roving and the Aire Valley Fusions Aran and always kept some on the shelf. Since then, WYS has gone from strength to strength and now produce a much wider range of yarns (I'm sure we are all aware of and have probably knitted with their fantastic Signature 4 ply). Everything is produced in their own factory in Yorkshire, with fibre sourced mainly from the UK - a huge plus…

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From Shearing to Shawl...

Monday 19th June 2017

Last year, I became the proud owner of three Alpacas and before I brought them home, I helped out with their shearing at Bird Farm Alpacas. I had great fun getting hands on with them, and to top it all I came away with their fleeces to process. I started with Daphne's fleece, and when I began to sort it, I found a fair amount of a lovely peachy beige fleece amongst the white - when she came to live with me I realised she had a golden patch on her back which had given me this lovely colour. So I picked it out and processed it separately, and ended up with a lovely big batt of honey coloured soft fluffy…

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Handspun yarns

Monday 27th March 2017

I've been spinning quite a bit lately, and the more I spin the more I love doing it. Its so rhythmic and gentle that you can't help relax and enjoy it. I can even watch a little bit of TV now, once I've got used to the feel of the fibre and how its spinning up. I just thought I'd share with you some of my latest creations. Probably two years ago I went to a show and bought a bag full of odds and ends of Merino - I had no idea what was inside the sealed bag but it was going fairly cheap and I couldn't leave it there. Since then it has sat on a shelf in…

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A new home for the fluffy ones...

Friday 10th March 2017

So my Alpacas came to live with me last August, in my own little field at the back of the house which was just amazing to be able to go down the path and be there with them. I really was living my dream! Unfortunately, the water board dug up the road in front of us and this seems to have changed the water drainage from the mountain and now my little piece of heaven is a flooded muddy brown slippery mess that is not capable of sustaining any sort of livestock on it. I had to move the Alpacas pretty quickly as I was concerned about them slipping and hurting themselves and so managed to get a field just…

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