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.
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.
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!
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).
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
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)!
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.