As Mother's Day approaches, we've been thinking about how our mums and grandmothers have played a significant role in our knitting and crocheting. So many people's first experiences of creating something with yarn are linked to childhood memories of their families.
We want to celebrate the roles our mums, grandmothers, aunties and other family members play in our knitting, so the baa ram ewe team have been sharing their own experiences.
Verity’s mum Rosemary was an avid knitter and when she passed away in 2005, Verity inherited all her yarn and needles which set her on a path of rediscovering her passion for knitting and sparked the idea to open a community wool shop in Leeds selling modern, beautiful yarns and inspirational designs. Verity used the small share of money from the sale of her mum’s house to buy the first batch of stock for the shop so without her baa ram ewe would not exist!
"My granny was a great knitter until she had to stop because of arthritis. She gave me several knitting books when I got into knitting and one of them was a copy of the classic Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys and Arans by Gladys Thompson, which I used when working on Yorkshire Shores.
"My mum is an occasional knitter. She started an Icelandic yoked sweater kit before I was born and finished it a year or two ago - it only took her about 30 years! She did show me how to knit and particularly purl - which I forgot how to do at least once - but more recently it has been me teaching and advising her."
"I work for baa ram ewe because of my mum. She taught me to knit and I had a Saturday job in her wool shop as a teenager. She's been a fan of baa ram ewe since the shop first opened and it's because she has been an avid reader of Field Notes since day one that I ever found out there was a job to apply for here."
My Mum says the pupil has now surpassed the teacher! My Nan (Mum's Mum) was an outstanding knitter too, so it could be genetic...
Sadly my mum had MND but I knit Kildalton in her memory. Mum taught me k1p1 then she taught me cable knitting. I’m grateful.
My lovely Bonne (which is what we called our Grandma) taught me how to knit. She always had so much patience and provided my large family of dolls with beautiful outfits. She knitted for all her 5 grandchildren and for many of the local shop girls if they were expecting. Many was the time she rescued my school knitting from disaster, notably a pair of royal blue socks we had to knit at age 8! Bonne passed away 44 years ago this month. Because of her I am a passionate knitter and I will be forever indebted to my dear Bonne for teaching me.
Nothing says spring more than spots of yellow bursting into sight. From beautiful crocuses and primroses blooming to the sun finally peeking out from behind the clouds, we're certainly seeing strong signs of the arrival of spring in Yorkshire.
There's no better sight on a spring day than a brass band striking up in a bandstand bathed in sunshine in a beautiful Yorkshire park. One of our new Spring Summer 2017 shades, Brass Band, was inspired by just that. Brass bands are a Yorkshire tradition dating back more than 200 years, often linked to coal mines and their employees. They were thought to keep workers out of trouble and became a focus for community pride - competitions for brass bands are still held regularly across the UK. Among the best-known and most long-standing brass bands are Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and Black Dyke Band (watch them in action here).
Brass bands are so closely linked to Yorkshire communities that we wanted to honour them with our new yarn shades. We chose a rich, mustardy yellow to reflect the shine of the instruments - but you can see from the pictures above that it has a different result in each of our yarns. The Titus Brass Band is a clear and bright yellow, while the Dovestone dk Brass Band has a slightly softer look because of the way the dark brown Masham in its blend takes the dye.
Find out more about the new shade and how you can use it with some brilliant patterns in the latest edition of Field Notes. Click here to read it.