It's that time of year again

It's that time of year again

It's that time of year again

Voting for The British Knitting and Crochet Awards closes in a few hours … I almost forgot to vote but made it just in the nick of time!  You can vote here: https://www.letsknit.co.uk/awards/

Why vote in awards?!  I can only speak for myself but as someone who runs a knitting and crochet related business it would be a lovely boost to me personally (and those who work with me) to either receive a nomination or an award as it would mean that you are a recognised part of the yarn community so I like to vote for folk so they can feel boosted.  Of course there are lots of internal measures of success for a business but who doesn’t want a public pat on the back from their peers and customers : ) 

I’m sharing who I vote for because the more people sharing the awards, the more people have an opportunity to vote.  It also lets me share other brands who I’d like to see in the categories as well.

It is also important to show support for your favourite businesses every day by liking, commenting, sharing and, sometimes, shopping with them but today voting is an easy way to show support.

Favourite Pattern House
Nominees: Rowan, King Cole, Sirdar, Stylecraft, Drops

I voted for Rowan as I have a number of their jumpers in my wardrobe and my favourite free pattern, Grace by Kim Hargreaves, is a Rowan pattern.  I don’t know what constitutes a pattern house.  In time I would expect to see magazines such as PomPom and Laine in here as well.  

Favourite Knitting Designer

Nominees: Debbie Bliss , Kate Davies, Marianna Mel, Martin Storey, Stephen West 

All really talented designers but as I currently have at least 2 knits on my needles from Kate’s books and a To Make list longer than my arm from them as well, it has to be Kate

Best Baby Yarn Brand

Nominees: James C. Brett, King Cole, Sirdar, Stylecraft, Debbie Bliss 

I’d have preferred to see West Yorkshire Spinners or Mrs Moon here but I voted for King Cole on the basis that I love their Cotton Soft DK yarn and their series of baby books are super cute. 

Best Value Yarn Brand

Nominees: Drops,  Stylecraft, Deramores, King Cole, Sirdar

King Cole on the basis that I have both King Cole and Sirdar in my stash but more King Cole.

Best Independent Yarn Brand

West Yorkshire Spinners , For the Love of Yarn , TOFT , Truly Hooked , Deramores 

For the Love of Yarn, obviously!  Lisa is one of my yarn besties!  However, I’d vote for four of these brands without hesitating!

Best Luxury Yarn Brand

Nominees: Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Scheepjes, Sirdar, TOFT 

I’d love to have seen brands such as Kettle Yarn Co, The Knitting Goddess, Kate Davies, Luxury Yarns, Opus Yarns, Daughter of a Shepard etc in this list.  Carefully selected fleece for bespoke luxury yarns.  Someday, hopefully.  Until then, Toft, of course. 

Best Yarn for Toys

Nominees: Sirdar, Deramores, King Cole, TOFT, Stylecraft

Toft because they are the only brand on the list that I have made a toy with this year.  However, I would have liked to see West Yorkshire Spinners here (Babog is knit in Signature 4 ply) and also Coop Knits Socks Yeah DK – Sue Stratford’s creature kits are magnificent and all made in this really soft, washable yarn. 

Best Overall Yarn Brand

Stylecraft , Sirdar , Rowan , Deramores , King Cole 

Rowan, on the overall quality of their designs, yarns, history.  However, the list of brands I’d like see here as well as Rowan is a long one.  Yes, these are affordable brands with great reach but I feel many smaller brands are putting in a lot more work into the future of the industry.

Best Brand for British Yarn

Nominees: TOFT, West Yorkshire Spinners, Blacker Yarns, Three Bears Yarn, Baa Ram Ewe

All of the brands here should also be in the category above.  I voted for West Yorkshire Spinners last year so this year I am voting for Baa Ram Ewe.  My heart belongs to both but the amount of work that BRE have done in terms of yarn development this year, with Pip Colourwork and Winterburn, is astonishing.

Best Chain Store/multiple

Nominees: Aldi, Hobbycraft, John Lewis, The Range, Wilkinsons

I don’t buy yarn from any of these stores but I am voting for John Lewis as I really like the designs and yarns that Erika Knight does exclusively for the brand.  They also take kits from Toft and Baa Ram Ewe.

Best Online Shop

Nominees: Black Sheep Wools, Deramores, Lolly’s Lil Wool Shack, LoveKnitting, Wool Warehouse

Someday we’ll be here ; )  Until then, as last year, Wool Warehouse

London

Nest , I Knit , Whichcraft Wools , Loop , Wild and Woolly 

Wild and Woolly.  I’ve only been once but I long to go again!  Anna has what look like the most amazing knit nights and workshops etc!

South East of England

The Cheap Shop, Norfolk Yarn, Jenny Wren’s Yarns, Sconch, The Yarn Dispensary 

The Yarn Dispensary . I haven’t been in any of these but I hear great things about The Yarn Dispensary. 

South West of England

The Slipped Stitch, Get Knitted, Hooked on Wool, Pins & Needles, The Woolly Beader 

Again, I haven’t been in any of these so went for Get Knitted in Bristol.

Midlands

Christine’s Wool Shop, Ewe and Ply, Knit Nottingham, Sheepish, Number Four

This is really hard as these are my local yarn stores.  I know Becca and Terri of Ewe & Ply, the lovelies at Christine’s and Eleanor from Knit Nottingham and they are all awesome people who run great businesses.

I voted for Knit Nottingham as while I have also been in Number Four this year, Eleanor doesn’t mind me wandering in every now and again to just be in a yarn store that isn’t just filled with plastic boxes like my own : ) 

North of England

All Things Wool, Black Sheep Wools, Woolabaloo, Lolly’s Lil Wool Shack, Yarn Etc

Yarn Etc, Harrogate as they have lovely things! 

Wales

Nominees: Rosemary’s Wool shop, Ammonite Yarns, La Mercerie, The Wool Croft, Yarn o’clock

Yarn o’clock, Mold.  I haven’t been in any of these so just picked one.  However, if you are shopping for yarn in Wales this Summer, make sure to visit Find Me Knitting’s summer pop up shop! : ) Located in Rotal Oak Stables, Betws-y-coed (LL24 0AH).

Scotland

Nominees: Threads, Ginger Twist Studio, Wool For Ewe, Sew Yarn Crafty, The Yarn Cake 

Ginger Twist Studio as last year.

Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland 

Nominees: The Wool Shop, Mullans Fashions, Love Wool, Parlour Yarns, Yarn with Joanne

I haven’t been in any of these but voted for The Wool Shop, Bangor.  I would like to have seen This is Knit and Bantry Yarns on this list!

Best Knitting Needle Range

Nominees: Addi, Clover, HiyaHiya, KnitPro, Pony 

Addi as I can't live without my Sockwunders.

Best ready to use Kits

Nominees: Deramores, TOFT, We Are Knitters, Wool and the Gang, Wool Warehouse

Given how many of their kits are in my house, it has to be Toft

Favourite Knitting Blog

Nominees: Knit Nottingham, Marianna’s Lazy Daisy Days, Winwick Mum, Black Sheep Wools, Deramores

Knit Nottingham! Who doesn't listen to Eleanor's vlog!? Someday I'd also like to be on this list but I have a lot of work to do!

Favourite Knitting Book (2017/2018)

Nominees: Knitting Outside the Box - Bristol Ivy, Japanese Stitch Bible by Hitomi Shida, Shetland by Marie Wallin, The Vintage Shetland Project by Susan Crawford, This Thing of Paper by Karie Westermann

This Thing of Paper by Karie Westermann.  It was a toss up between this and Knitting Outside the Box but while KOTB is an amazing book, I just love the history of Karie’s book and I also think that for a novice knitter, it is more accessible. Every knitter should have both though! 

Best Knitting Show/Event 2017/18

Nominees: Edinburgh Yarn Festival, The Knitting & Stitching Show, London, Perth Festival of Yarn, Wonderwool, Wales, Yarndale, Yorkshire

Having been a visitor at EYF and a vendor at KSS London and Wonderwool, it has to be Wonderwool for me this year.  It is such a friendly show run by awesome people.  EYF is also an awesome show so it’s a bit of a toss up.

Favourite Charity Campaign

Nominees: Hug in a Blanket, Innocent Big Knit, Knit for Peace, Knitted Knockers, Octopuses for Premature Babies

In the end I voted for Knitted Knockers.  I think what all of these do is great but in the end I voted for Knitted Knockers.  

Best Yarn Shop Day Experience 2018

Christine’s, Bourneville

Best Yarn for Crochet

Nominees: King Cole, Scheepjes, Sirdar, Stylecraft, TOFT

Toft as it’s one of only two yarn brands that I have ever successfully crocheted with!

Favourite Crochet Designer

Attic24 , Helen Shrimpton , Jane Crowfoot , Kerry Lord , Verity Castledine 

Verity Castledine because her patterns are well laid out, very accessible and designed with hand dyed yarns in mind. 

Best Crochet Store

Nominees: TOFT, Black Sheep Wools, Deramores, Lolly’s Lil Wool Shack,Wool Warehouse

Toft because a visit to their studio in Dunchurch is a real experience!

Favourite Crochet Blog

Nominees: Attic24, Bella Coco, Cherry Heart, Look At What I Made, The Patchwork Heart

I don’t really follow any of these (knitter!) but the pictures and patterns on Attic24 are always gorgeous so Lucy got my vote.

Favourite Crochet Book

Nominees: lalylala’s Beetles, Bugs and Butterflies by Lydia Tresselt , Edward’s Menagerie: Dogs by Kerry Lord, On the Hook by Verity Castledine, My Crochet Project Bible, by Stationery Geek, Animal Friends of Pica Pau by Yan Schenkel

On the Hook by Verity Castledine.  I am surprised not to see The Shawl Project Book 4 here.  It is one of my best selling pattern books (knit or crochet).

Best Crochet Accessories Range

Nominees: Knit Pro, Clover, Addi, Fleabubs by Lala, Pony

My favourite hooks are Tulip hooks but I do like my Addi’s as well however, as I’m no one to judge crochet accessories, I voted for Fleabubs by LaLa as it’s an independent brand ; ) 

And that's it for this year!  The winners are announced at The Ally Pally in October so I'll share a link when they are announced.

Now onto a vlog post about WIPs ... it is Wednesday after all!

Happy knitting (& voting)!

M.x

Of the nominated brands we stock For the Love of Yarn, Baa Ram Ewe, West Yorkshire Spinners, Kate Davies books, Stephen West Books, Addi needles and usually This Thing of Paper & Knitting Outside the Box but they are virtually impossible to keep in the shop!  Hoping to have TTOP for Perth next weekend. 

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