SQ Blog

April Shop Update April 22 2021

 

Hello and Happy Spring! The weather seems to have changed here for the better and this week we have had some glorious days. Unfortunately accompanied with a local farmer fertilizing their fields so the door of the studio has had to remain firmly shut but its a minor issue and more than made up for by the lovely countryside. I hope wherever you are the weather is being kind to you too.

We have quite a large shop update this month, with the new colours on all 4 of our regular bases plus jumper quantities of a couple of heavier weight yarns, a small amount of Floof, lots of Linger and a brand new yarn which you might have seen on social media earlier this week. Make sure you read all the way to the end for Show News. Very happy to be able to add that back into the newsletter after so long.

Welcome to all the new newsletter subscribers, thank-you for joining us. I send this newsletter once a month with highlights selected from the shop update, and occasionally there will be shorter emails in between if there is something new or important. If you would rather go straight to the preview page for the shop update you can use the button below.

Take care and stay safe.

View Shop Update Preview Here

 

New Colourways


This year we have developed 8 new colours for our standard colourway range. You can preorder them at any time from the pre-order section of the website and they will be appearing regularly in shop updates on a variety of bases. The grid wall photos shows them on Crush (top), Crush DK, Selkino and Wriggle (bottom) and the names are (from left to right) She Sells Seashells, Finding Fossils, Wilton Water, Neon Citrus, Ruby Embers, Cold Ash, Moonlit Waves and Pangbourne. We have them in stock ready to send on all these bases at the moment.

New Yarn

Desire Marble DK


Last year saw the introduction of Desire Marble and now I'm really pleased to be able to show you the first batch of Desire Marble DK. The same beautiful soft squishy merino in a slightly thicker weight. Small batches this time but we will be looking at dyeing sweater quantities in the future.

 

Other Yarns

Sonsie Aran


Custom spun for us from 100% British wool, Sonise is a blend of Corridale and Polworth fibre. This is a 3 ply yarn which has a lovely round structure and great stitch definition. We have just received our second batch of this from the mill so expect to see it more often from now on. This time we have dyed in 6s to give greater flexibility for anyone wanting to do a project that needs more yardage such as cables. Each skein is a huge 200g and is approximately 352m long.

 

Linger

     

Linger is a high twist merino nylon sock yarn that doesn't have to be used just for socks. I have used it for shawls but it would also work really well for garments as its soft and strong and has good yardage. These colourways are all non-repeatable and were dyed in 4s.

Crush


Our favourite sock base, great for any fingering weight pattern. We have nearly 7kg of crush in this shop update, all the new colours plus plenty of favourites from our range and the last few skeins of some of our discontinued colours. Lots os semi solids and variegated options.

Crush DK

Lots of Crush DK as well including garment quantities of several colours. Don't forget if you want a bigger quantity of Crush DK you can order it in any of our standard colourways and we will dye it up for you. This really helps us out as we don't have space to keep lots of garment quantities in stock.

Floof

Just 4 very springy colours in floof this month. We still have a little left in the shop and we also have quite a large selection of Cloudgazer, which is you haven't tried it before is similar but contains alpaca instead of mohair. It still has a lovely halo and can be used alone or held double with another yarn.

Luxury Club

February's Luxury club was the last one and was inspired by 'Shakespeare in Love' (1998). Dyed on Luminosity, 100% mulberry silk fingering weight, there are a few spare skeins left of both colours.

The sock club is still running and sign ups for May are open but will close a little earlier next month as I need to dye it early due to exciting things happening at the end of the month.

Sock Club 3 Months

Sock Club 1 Month

Selkino

Lots of Selkino in standard and non repeatable colourways including all the new colours. Selkino is a lovely yarn to try as the weather begins to warm up as I find the silk content keeps it feeling cooler than a 100% wool yarn.

Wriggle

Only the new colours in Wriggle but they do look lovely. the 100% merino of Wriggle really makes the colours deeper and clearer than any other base which is why we choose it as one or our regular bases despite it not being the most popular.

Ringos


We have completely restocked the RingOs in all 3 sizes. Made by Fripperies and Bibelots, these are the best snag free stitch markers I've found. Choose from XL for needles up to 8mm, regular for needles up to 4mm or mini which are specially designed for sock knitting and fit needles up to 3.25mm and come with traffic light markers for increases/decreases and enough rings for two socks at once. There are a variety of colourways including our exclusive Skein Queen colour in all 3 sizes.

 

Other News

Unravel

It is exactly a month to Unravel, a fantastic show in Farnham, which this year includes both an in person show and an online virtual event. We will be at the Maltings for all three days so if you can make it in person do say hello. Tickets are on sale now and must be prebooked with timed entry for the in person event. Keep an eye on social media for more information over the next month.

 

Yarnfest Pop up Shop

I'm really pleased to share that now non-essential retail has been allowed to reopen we have organised some more pop-up shops at Yarnfest in Hermitage. The first one will be 7th to 13th May.

Thank-you for reading this newsletter. Sorry its rather long this time but hopefully this is the start of things getting back to normal and there will be more other news to share going forward. I will try and send two newsletters a month to make it easier to digest if necessary.

Stay safe and keep crafting,
Rachel x


March Shop Update March 26 2021

 

Hello again, this seems to have come round very fast since the last shop update. I think the change in the weather has really helped and the daffodils are looking very cheerful round here at the moment even when the sun isn't out. I hope your local signs of spring are all appearing nicely. It might even been nice enough soon for some outside crafting.

This month we are showcasing some of our BlueFaced Leicester (BFL) based yarns. BFL sheep have beautiful wool which has a lovely natural lustre that could fool you into thinking the yarn has silk in it. It is fine like merino but also dense which makes it hard wearing so great for garments or socks and is British so its great to support sheep farmers in this country.

The bases we have chosen we hope will show you BFL yarns can have many uses and its a great fibre to try if you haven't already. I know its difficult when you can't squish the yarn and its often easier to stick to what you have tried before but BFL really is a lovely fibre. Read on to see more details of all the bases we have picked.

As well as the BFL yarns we have dyed up another big batch of Little Crushes, this time with lots of softer semi solids and plenty of speckles and variegateds. Remember each bundle is unique so make sure you check out the preview to decide which one you want. There are 5s and 8s to suit different size projects.

Finally it wouldn't be a SQ shop update without a sock yarn so this month we have chosen Entwist. Despite being 100% merino its perfectly suited to socks because of its high twist so when knitted at a nice tight gauge it will make great hard wearing socks. Its Ideal if you prefer a 100% natural fibre yarn. If you are looking a sock yarn with nylon tho, read on. We do have something for you too.

Welcome to all the new newsletter subscribers, thank-you for joining us. I send this newsletter once a month with highlights selected from the shop update, and occasionally there will be shorter emails in between if there is something new or important. If you would rather go straight to the preview page for the shop update you can use the button below.

Take care and stay safe.

 

View Shop Update Preview Here

 

BlueFaced Leicester Yarns

Bloom DK

 

This is 100% BFL yarn and is beautifully soft and bouncy. Suitable for hats, scarves, gloves or whole garments.

 

Bliss Heavy Lace

 
This lace weight yarn has a yardage of 600m per 100g so is slightly thicker than some other laceweights making it a perfect one to try if you haven't used this weight before. As you can see it blocks and holds a lace pattern beautifully and we have a selection of semi-solid and variegated colours for you to choose from. This pattern is Light as Air by @linaknits

 

Flockly

 

If this isn't your first newsletter you may have heard me mention this yarn before. I love it. One of my all time favourite, would take to a desert island, yarns. It is slightly woolly, but not tickly, in a nice cosy way enhanced by the touch of cashmere and thanks to the lovely BFL and the silk it has such a pretty sheen. I've used it for shawls and its also blocks really well, or you could use it for garments and other accessories. I'm actually planning a pair of socks in it too so I will let you know how they wear but I think they will be good, both the BFL and the silk should help them wear well.

Hearty

 

Hearty is our BFL nylon sock yarn. It has the same yarn structure as Crush, with the merino replaced with BFL. Its soft, smooth and hard wearing. Doesn't have to be just for socks either. It takes the dye beautifully and we have dyed some semi solids as well as variegateds for those more fancy sock patterns that need a slightly plainer yarn to show them off to their best.

 

Other Yarns

 

Little Crushes

Little skeins of our merino nylon sock yarn. Great for colourwork projects, tiny items or adding a pop to another project. These are available in bundles of 5 or 8.

 

Entwist

A high twist 100% merino yarn suitable for no-nylon socks or making garments or accessories.

 

Sonsie DK

Garment quantities of new colours on our custom spun DK yarn. Sonsie is a bouncy, woollen, non-superwash yarn which blooms slightly when washed. Perfect for cardigans, scarves, hats, sweaters and blankets.

 

Last ever Love-in-a-Lockdown

All the orders have been dyed and sent and these are the last few skeins we have left. We aren't dyeing any more, Ever!

 

Sock Club

January's sock club was inspired by the film Passengers (2016) and is called Alone in Space. This month's sock club will be posted this week. The sock club runs every other month so if you want to sign up for the next one that will be sent in May and you can sign up for 1 or 3 months at a time.

Sock Club 3 Months

Sock Club 1 Month

I have closed the Luxury Club for now as there weren't enough people signed up to make it viable but I'm thinking of bringing a different club in later in the year. If you have any suggestions of what you would like to see do let me know.

 

Thank-you for reading this newsletter. I hope it has been an inspiration for your next project.

Stay safe and keep crafting,
Rachel x


February Shop Update February 18 2021

 What a lot has happened since the last shop update! If you follow us on social media you hopefully saw that we hit 10k instagram subscribers! If you don't follow us then pop over to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter and give us a like. I'm trying to share more behind the scenes photos and other peeks into what we are up to, especially in stories - Yesterday you might have seen my daughter helping me name some colourways.

Lots of yarn in tonight's shop update. We have dyed fewer standard colourways and instead there are more non-repeatable colours, however if you are looking for a specific one of our standard colourways don't forget you can preorder any of those on 4 different bases.  Current turn around time for this is less that 2 weeks.

Exciting news, we have been selected to exhibit at Unravel this year which is a lovely yarn show in Farnham, Hampshire. Normally its the middle of February but this year they have put it back to May so keep an eye out for more info on that later but pop 14th to 17th May in your diary if you think you might like to come.

In the mean time, if you read on you will find out more about the virtual show we are participating in at the end of the month.

Back to this shop update, we have restocked several bases that have been out of stock, or almost, for a while: Oasis Grande, Desire Marble, Desire DK, Exquisite Twist, Enchant DK, Squash and Little Wrigglers. We have also topped up the Crush DK, Selkino, Voluptuous DK and Cloudgazer.

Finally welcome to all the new newsletter subscribers, thank-you for joining us. I send this newsletter once a month with highlights selected from the shop update, and occasionally there will be shorter emails in between if there is something new or important. If you would rather go straight to the preview page for the shop update you can use the button below.

Take care and stay safe.

View Shop Update Preview Here

 

Yarn Highlights

The winning name for our Valentine's yarn is Love-in-a-Lockdown, suggested by Jane Mitchell, and it is now available to preorder on 4 different bases including Lustrous Lace. Thank-you to everyone who entered, this was by far the most popular name from the short list with nearly 70% of people voting for it. This colourway will only be available until the end of February so don't miss out - preorder today.

Preorder Love-in-a-Lockdown here!

Cloudgazer

A fluffy cloud-like yarn which results in a soft, hazy fabric with no mohair content. Use on its own or hold together with another yarn to produce an interesting texture.

 

 

 Oasis Grande

A lustrous combination of 50% camel and 50% silk combine to result in a super soft 4 ply yarn with a beautiful drape, ideal for shawls, scarves and garments. The natural colour of this yarn means colourways are beautifully soft yet rich.

Squash

Squash is squidgy and machine washable. The amount of twist means it can be used as a sock yarn and is a good choice if you prefer to avoid nylon. Also great for shawls, accessories and garments.

 

Exquisite Twist

A high twist sock yarn that absorbs the dye beautifully giving rich colours and crisp speckles. Consists of beautifully soft merino and cashmere with nylon for strength.

 

 

Little Wrigglers

Little skeins of our favourite merino singles yarn. Great for colourwork projects, tiny items or adding a pop to another item. These are available in bundles of 5 or 8.

 

 

Desire Marble

Desire Marble is a skooshy superwash merino which has been spun with a darker fibre for parts of one ply giving an interesting marbled effect. Super soft feel suitable for hats, scarves, gloves or whole garments.

 

 Desire DK

This is a super soft 100% merino DK yarn and these colours have been named by my daughter Eleanor.

 

Enchant DK

The dream combination of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere makes this a super-soft yarn with a slight halo yet beautiful sheen.

 

Voluptuous DK

Some lovely spring colours in our custom spun DK weight Voluptuous. This is a springy, woollen, non-superwash yarn which blooms slightly when washed.

 

Please note if you are outside the UK all our prices shown on the website include UK VAT which will be removed when you get to checkout.

 


Yorkshire Yarn Fest

27th February 2021

I'm really pleased to we have been invited to take part in the February Virtual Yorkshire Yarn Fest. This is on line show takes place on the Yorkshireyarnfest instagram account with each vendor having a slot to go live.  Keep an eye on social media for details of when our time slot will be and be sure to watch. We will have some more new yarns and a show special so see you there.

 

Thank-you for reading this newsletter. I hope it has been an inspiration for your next project.

Stay safe and keep crafting,

Rachel x

 


Valentine's Competition February 03 2021

Win two skeins of Crush sock yarn!

Wow - February already!

I want to start this month off with something really exciting. We have dyed this Valentine's colourway and want to give you the chance to name it.

There are two parts to this competition - First suggest a name for the colourway then next Monday Eliza and I will pick our 3 favourite and you will be able to vote for the winning name.

The person who suggested the winning name will win 2 skeins of this yarn on our Crush sock base as well as one of our SQ stitch markers and a chocolatey treat.

If you aren't lucky enough to win, the yarn will be available to order after the competition until the end of February only.

Submit Your Suggestion Here »

 

 

 


January Shop Update January 21 2021

 

Happy New Year! Thank-you to everyone that placed an order in the sale, you have really helped us start this year with space on the shelves to bring you lots of new and exciting new yarns and colours. And I've said it before but I will say it one last time thank-you to everyone who has supported Skein Queen, especially last year, by following us on social media, liking, commenting and all that as well as ordering from us, I do really appreciate it.

We were planning a smaller shop update this month as we have had less time than usual to prepare, but it seems to have grown a bit so I hope there is something for everyone.

The Boo Knits Valentines MKAL starts next month, and we have 2 lace weight bases if you are planning on joining in with that or if you have another lace weight project in mind. There's Lustrous Lace - a silky soft merino silk blend - and Finesse Nouveau - a 100% ultra fine merino lace weight - which we haven't had in stock for a very long time. Both are 800m per 100g.

Other yarns we have today include restocking Crush. Crush DK, Selkino and Wriggle with both some standard colourways and some non repeatable ones, more Voluptuous Skinny and Sonsie for your woolly knits, Blush, Wriggle DK and the last chance to grab extra skeins of last year's Club yarns.

Posting is available to EU countries again, and vat will be removed when you get to checkout, but the system still shows the vat inclusive price on each product.

Finally welcome to all the new newsletter subscribers, thank-you for joining us. Below are the highlights selected from tonight's shop update, or use the button to go straight to the preview page to view everything that will be available.

Take care and stay safe.

View Shop Update Preview Here

 

Yarn Highlights


Lustrous Lace

This is one of the recommended yarns for the upcoming Boo Knits Valentines MKAL. This yarn has a lustrous combination of silk and merino in equal balance resulting in a super soft lace weight yarn with a lovely drape ideal for shawls, scarves and garments.

If you are new to MKALs, they are where you receive your pattern as a series of clues over a period of time and you don't know exactly what your finished piece will look like. There is usually lots of support from others knitting the same thing at the same time and often you will know the type of project it will be, for example socks or as in Boo Knits case a shawl. They can be great fun.

 

Finesse Nouveau

100% Ultrafine merino lace weight yarn with 800m per 100g. Super soft, perfect for delicate but warm shawls, scarves and garments.

 

Blush

Sumptuously soft, fingering weight yarn with South African merino and a touch of cashmere.

 

 Wriggle DK

This soft, smooth single ply yarn is perfect for low-abrasion, indulgent projects such as shawls, scarves and cowls. This DK version is especially soft and squashy and quick to knit up.

 

 

 


Custom Spun Yarns

Spun exclusively for Skein Queen in Devon

 

Voluptuous Skinny

This is our custom spun fingering weight yarn. Voluptuous is a springy, woollen, non-superwash yarn which blooms slightly when washed.

 

 

 

 

 

Sonsie DK

Our favourite DK weight bouncy, woollen, non-superwash yarn which blooms slightly when washed. Makes lovely warm garments.

 

 

 

 

 
See all our Custom Yarns

 

Yarn Clubs

Extra Club Yarns

This is the last chance to grab any of last year's club colourways. We don't dye these again so when they're gone that's it! Each month is inspired by a film, series of films or character from a film.

 

Sock Club

Our sock club has been really popular since it started last January and these 6 colours were last years colourways. You can join the club for 1 month or 3 months  and the base is always our Crush sock yarn.

Join Sock Club

 

 

 

 

Luxury Club

This club is a great chance to try luxury bases. It will be a different fingering weight yarn every month for the 3 instalments and there is the option of either just the variegated colourway or getting two skeins and having a coordinating semi-sold colourway as well.

Join Luxury Club

 



You may notice a price change on clubs and the removal of the different postal area options - the postage for clubs should now be calculated automatically at check out. Any problems do let me know!

Thank-you for reading this newsletter. I hope it has been an inspiration for your next project.

Stay safe and keep crafting,

Rachel x

 


Merry Christmas December 18 2020

Can I start by saying thank-you to everyone who has read this blog, visited the website and especially if you have bought from us this year, its been a challenge for everyone and I really appreciate that you have chosen to support us.

I just want to remind you that if you want anything posted before christmas please order before Monday 21st December as that is our last posting day this year. The studio is going to be closed until 4th January 2021 and I am looking forward to some time at home with the kids and catching up on my knitting. Hopefully I will have  lots of finished projects to share with you soon. I will be checking email and messages occasionally but there is likely to be a longer response time over this period.

Sadly, given the continuing uncertainty surrounding brexit, I have taken the difficult decision to close the website to orders from EU countries from this Sunday 20th December. I will post all orders placed before then on Monday 21st December. I also strongly suggest you add tracked postage to your order so you can see its progress. Hopefully this means all orders will arrive before 31st December.

I hope to reopen the website to orders from EU countries on 8th January 2021. This gives me time to make sure the website and shipping is all set up correctly for the new rules. Again, I'm really sorry about this, it isn't what I wanted to do, but the continuing uncertainty surrounding what will happen in January means I have had to take this step so I can have a proper break over christmas with the kids which I really need right now. I will be checking emails but not daily, but do get in touch if you need to.⁠

If you are still looking for gift ideas I have a few below for you.

 

Gift Highlights

christmas box



Christmas Boxes

All ready to go under the tree. Each contains a carefully chosen pattern, a tote bag to protect your project and a pin badge to wear with pride - you can choose what colour yarn you want to add to the box and we will pack it up in tissue paper and can even post to the recipient for you. We have listed suggested yarns for each pattern with links, but, if you need help, drop me a note and I'll be happy to guide you.

 

duet yarn

 

Sparkle Yarn

Only dyed for Christmas our Five for Silver yarn base has added festive sparkle. Available in 100g skeins or pairs of coordinating 50g skeins. Add some sparkle to your project.

 

mini skeins

Mini Skeins

Bundles of 20g minis are ideal for adding a pop of colour to a project or for making tiny little things like decorations. This year has also seen several patterns using mini skeins for larger projects.

 

 

 

 

Books

52 Weeks of Socks

52 Weeks of Socks is the first hardcover book of Laine Publishing. This publication contains 52 knitting patterns by 46 designers, and is a true encyclopedia of socks. Patterns are beautifully photographed and laid out on 256 pages in the style Laine is known and loved for.

 


Ready, Set, Raglan

New from Pom Pom Press! This follow-up to Knit How takes the straightforward raglan-sleeve pullover as a blank canvas and walks you through all the ways to make it your own. Meghan Fernandes and Lydia Gluck, editors of Pom Pom magazine and Pom Pom Press, offer blueprints for 8 distinct raglans and coach you through choosing perfect-for-you necklines, hemlines, ribbing, textures, and fancy raglan increases. An instant classic, Ready Set Raglan belongs in the library of new and seasoned knitters alike.

Laine 10

Back after a short break, the team at Laine have created another beautiful magazine full of inspirational projects, stunning photos and interesting articles. If you haven't tried Laine before you won't be disappointed.

 

 

 

Thank-you for reading this newsletter. I hope it has been an inspiration for your next project or has helped you choose a gift. Feel free to share this to anyone else who may be struggling to find that perfect gift.


Stay safe and keep crafting,

Rachel x

 

 


Christmas Gift Update December 14 2020

Its December!

We have been busy dyeing away to create yet more christmas goodies and they will go up on the website tonight at 8pm. Sorry for the short notice but I didn't want to delay it given postage times.

We have a few different things this time, which I hope will make great presents or treat yourself for some relaxing crafting over the Christmas period.

Virt-Yule is continuing until Sunday and we are still offering Free Postage on UK orders over £50 and Worldwide orders over £100. Head over to Facebook to see what's happening. The Floof and Desire Marble which has already been added as part of the event is available in the Christmas gifts section for easy finding.

Don't forget blog post covers all things related to Christmas, last posting dates etc.

Finally welcome to all the new newsletter subscribers, thank-you for joining us. Normally we have 1 shop update a month, on a Wednesday, and we will be back to that pattern from January.

Take care and stay safe.

Gift Highlights

christmas box

 

Christmas Boxes

Each contains a carefully chosen pattern, a tote bag to protect your project and a pin badge to wear with pride - you can choose what colour yarn you want to add to the box and we will pack it up in tissue paper and can even post to the recipient for you. We have listed suggested yarns for each pattern with links, but, if you need help, drop me a note and I'll be happy to guide you.

 

duet yarn

 

Duet Yarn Bundles 

These bundles contain two 50g skeins dyed especially to complement each other. Take the guess work out of choosing colours. Available in extremely limited numbers in each colourway, there is a choice of Crush or Five for Silver. Ideal for socks, scarves, and other accessories.

 

little crushes

Little Crushes

Finally we have restocked out Little Crush bundles with both bundles of 5 skeins and some larger palettes of 8 skeins - ideal for painting bricks and other patterns using minis.

 

 

desire marble yarn

Desire Marble

Desire Marble is a skooshy superwash merino which has been spun with a darker fibre for parts of one ply giving an interesting marbled effect. Super soft feel suitable for hats, scarves, gloves or whole garments. Available Now.

 

 

floof yarn

 

Floof

A fluffy cloud-like yarn which results in a soft, hazy fabric. Use on its own or hold together with another yarn to produce an interesting texture. We have dyed some colours to match our favourite repeatable colourways - ideal for Love note sweaters or other projects combining yarns. Available Now.

 

Charity Colourway

charity colourway yarn

Blush - School Lunch

This colourway has been created as a way to raise some money for a charity I have supported for a long time. Last year we held a raffle at our December Open Studio, because of Covid, we can't have an open studio this year, but ATE still desperately need the funds so I have dyed this colourway from a photo Sarah sent me of some of the children of Karbo Junior High School walking to collect their school lunch - hence the name of the colourway. £5 from each skein will go to ATE - Action Through Enterprise.



Books

52 Weeks of Socks

52 Weeks of Socks is the first hardcover book of Laine Publishing. This publication contains 52 knitting patterns by 46 designers, and is a true encyclopedia of socks. Patterns are beautifully photographed and laid out on 256 pages in the style Laine is known and loved for.

 

 Ready, Set, Raglan

New from Pom Pom Press! This follow-up to Knit How takes the straightforward raglan-sleeve pullover as a blank canvas and walks you through all the ways to make it your own. Meghan Fernandes and Lydia Gluck, editors of Pom Pom magazine and Pom Pom Press, offer blueprints for 8 distinct raglans and coach you through choosing perfect-for-you necklines, hemlines, ribbing, textures, and fancy raglan increases. An instant classic, Ready Set Raglan belongs in the library of new and seasoned knitters alike.

 

Make sure you check out this blog post for last posting dates to your part of the world.

 

Thank-you for reading this post. I hope it has been an inspiration for your next project or has helped you choose a gift. Feel free to share this with anyone else who may be struggling to find that perfect gift.

Stay safe and keep crafting,

Rachel x

 


November Shop Update November 18 2020

I know its been a difficult month for many people since the last shop update. In the UK we are back in lockdown, although with the schools still open it hasn't felt the same as last time. Unfortunately my daughter has had to self isolate after a case at her school but she's fine at the moment and can go back next week and see her friends again. I hope you are safe and well wherever you are. 

Being at home more does have some advantages, my new jumper is coming along nicely. I've posted some progress shots on social media so make sure you are following us. The pattern is from the new Pom Pom book 'Ready, Set, Raglan' and I'm knitting it in our brand new Sonsie Aran. We have 10 shades available tonight and will have more soon. The book is available for pre-order and will be sent on the 10th Dec. If you want to buy yarn at the same time and need help with quantities do let me know. As this is our first custom spun yarn that's thicker than DK I hope you will enjoy trying it out. If its popular I will order more. 

Other yarns we have today include Flockly, our seasonal special Five for Silver, Desire Bounce, Voluptuous DK, Enchant DK and some more Crush and we have some new books which would make great gifts. 

Please check out our blog post covering all things related to Christmas, last posting dates etc. 

Take care and stay safe. 

Picture of 4 knitted christmas characters hanging from a christmas tree

Exciting News - At the end of the month we are taking part in the Virt-Yule Fibre Collective on line show. A week long event which brings together many fibre related independent businesses to offer you a chance to shop from the comfort of your own home. Do take a look at the event on Facebook, mark yourself as going so you receive notifications and share with your fibre-y friends.

Yarn Highlights

collage of photos of a fairly heavy weight woolly yarn in a variety of colours

Sonsie Aran

Custom spun for us from 100% British wool, Sonise is a blend of Corridale and Polworth fibre. This is a 3 ply yarn which has a lovely round structure and great stitch definition. 

Close up view of some blue yarn twisted into a skein, with a white patch with some yellow and subtle sparkles

Five for Silver

A seasonal special merino nylon blend with added sparkle from a touch of stellina. We only dye this at this time of year so this may be the only batch for 2020! There are some colourways that are Christmas favourites and some one offs.

Four skeins of yarn with patches of teal, blue and pink

Flockly

This was another yarn that had been out of stock for a while due to the pandemic. This is one of my favourite yarns, its a beautiful woolly, Bluefaced Leicester yarn with a touch of silk and cashmere. I've very glad its back in stock. Great for garments or accessories.

Close up view of a pinky red yarn skein

Enchant DK

 

The dream combination of baby alpaca, silk and cashmere makes this a super-soft yarn with a slight halo yet beautiful sheen.

Photo of two bobble hats, one is bright green and one is black with a white section where bright coloured speckles can be seen

Desire Bounce

If you are still making items for gifts, we have restocked the Desire Bounce which I showed a while back will let you knit a hat in less than a weekend or would make a nice chunky scarf. Great last minute gifts.

close up of pale grey yarn with teal and yellow and some sprinkles of rust red and dark grey

Crush

Our favourite sock yarn - restocked in your favourite colourways and a few non-repeatable ones too. 

A pool of blue and white yarn on a wooden sock blocker

Sock Club Yarn

September's Sock Club yarn was inspired by 'The Nightmare Before Christmas' which is one of daughter's favourite films. Sock club is always dyed on Crush so you know what base you are getting. Join the sock club for 1 month or 3 months to ensure you don't miss out on future colourways. 

Books and Magazines

cover of a book saying 52 weeks with a photo of someone's feet wearing grey hand knit socks and lace up brown shoes covering the bottom half of the cover Cover showing a a woman with her back to the camera holding a shawl knitted in brown and white behind her shoulders with her arms outstretched magazine cover showing someone wearing a black sweater with a colourwork yoke in neon shades of pink, orange and lilac picture of the back of a shoulder wearing a pale pink raglan sweater with a wide rib pattern.

As well as 'Ready, Set, Raglan' mentioned earlier, we also have copies of the hugely popular '52 Weeks of Socks' book, 'Interpretations' Volume 7 by Joji Locatelli and Veera Valimaki and the latest issue of Pom Pom which has been guest edited by Aimee Gille and Stephen West. I've had a sneek peek of this and the patterns are amazing. This is a must for Westknits fans and we only have a few copies left.

I hope it has been an inspiration for your next project.

Stay safe and keep crafting,

Rachel x

 


Christmas Plans November 18 2020

Last Posting Dates

I know its only November still, but I think it will be Christmas before we know it. Here are the last posting dates from Royal Mail to help you plan your orders:

  • Friday 4th December - Australia and New Zealand
  • Thursday 10th December - Canada
  • Friday 11th December - USA and European countries not mentioned below
  • Wednesday 16th December - Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland
  • Friday 18th December - Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg
  • Monday 21st December - UK

These are the last posting dates as taken from the Royal Mail website, I cannot guarantee delivery by Christmas and recommend you order early to avoid disappointment.

I am happy to post orders direct to recipient if that helps, we always wrap our parcels in tissue paper before packing. Please enter their address in the delivery section and leave any special instructions in the comments or contact me for help.

 

Studio Shut down

We are closing the studio from the 18th December to the 4th January but there will be one last post run on the 21st December. Please be patient if you try to contact me while the studio is closed as I won't be checking messages as frequently.

 

December Shop Update

As we are taking part in the Virt-Yule Fibre Collective event from the 30th November to 6th December there will be no separate shop update in December. Check out the event for details of new yarns, show specials and offers available.

 

Pre-orders

Pre-orders for yarn will remain open over Christmas and orders placed before Friday 11th December we will try to send before Christmas. Orders after this date will be dyed in January when we return to the studio.


Online Wool Show September 02 2020

We should have been at Southern Wool Show this weekend but instead we are at the Online Wool Show which is also being organised by Nick and Natasha as a different kind of wool show. Some of our stock will be at the show, and some will still be on here, so do make sure you check both out. We also have a new base that's exclusively at the show this weekend. Other yarns are available now but I will be loading more til friday so do keep checking back.

There are lots of stalls, free demos and lessons and lots more. Any questions do get in touch and I'll try to help.

Skein Queen Stand at Southern Wool Show 2020 with lots of skeins of yarn in a rainbow of colours


Yarn availability update June 30 2020

Many of our yarns come from the lovely people at Chester Wool, who source it from mills in Peru where, due to the pandemic, they were shut for 10 weeks. They have now been open again for 4 weeks, but at reduced capacity, so as you can imagine this has had an affect on stock levels for certain yarns. The main impact for us is on our Crush bases in 4ply and DK and on advent calendars. 

Corona Virus Measures March 23 2020

Firstly I would like to say I hope you and your family are safe and well. It is a worrying time for us all.

Thank-you to everyone who has sent e-mails and messages recently. They mean the world to me right now.

To ensure we can get enough bare yarn to fulfil any orders for items not currently in stock (pre-orders and clubs) I will be closing pre-orders at the end of Sunday 29th March, so I can order yarn next week. Then pre-orders will be dyed up and sent out asap although this may take slightly longer than usual. Clubs I will also close sign-ups, and then release any spare spaces in the month the club is due to be sent. Current plan will be to still send clubs at the end of each month.

The website will continue to be available to purchase yarn in stock for as long as we can. Currently post will be going out as usual but I will update if this changes. Our post is collected so we do not have to go to a post office.

Obviously all this may change with new guidelines from the government and I will update as necessary.

Finally, if you find yourself isolated, or are stuck on a project and cannot access your usual sources of help, I have set up a FaceBook group Crafting in Colour to help bring people together. You would be more than welcome to join us. If you don't use FaceBook, I am also happy to help with any questions in our Ravelry Group.

Take Care and Keep Crafting,

Rachel x


How Brexit affects our Customers January 31 2020

Unfortunately tonight the UK will leave the EU and I'm sure most of you are worried about how this will affect you. I don't have all the answers but what I know of how it affects trade is as follows:

If you are in the UK, nothing will change buying from us. We post from the UK.

If you are in the EU or the Rest of the World, nothing will change while we are in the transition period that runs from 1st Feb 2020 to 31st Dec 2020. After this, new trade deals will have to be implemented. As soon as we know what these may be I will let you know. But for now, there should be no change.

Thank-you for supporting us.


New Year Yarn Tidy January 13 2020

To welcome 2020 in we have decided to have a bit of a spring clean of the Yarn Bases and Information Page to tidy up what we currently stock. Nothing drastic, just tidying up the list so its easier to find the information you need.

A few bases from a previous supplier have been discontinued but we are looking for alternatives for the more popular ones.

For everyone's sanity, Voluptuous shall from this point forward be called Voluptuous DK and Voluptuous Skinny will remain as it is as the 4ply version.

If you are looking for information on discontinued yarn bases I suggest our yarn page on Ravelry which has details of all the bases we have ever stocked, current and discontinued. I'm currently slowly working my way through these to update photos and add in new information that Ravelry now stores so hopefully its a useful resource.

If you have any queries or questions on any of our bases do drop me an e-mail and I'll try to help.


New Stockist January 13 2020

I'm really pleased to share that we have a new and very local stockist. Yarnfest in Hermitage have started taking our Crush sock yarn so do pop in and see what they have. They will also be hosting a monthly pop-up of our yarn.

Christmas Holidays and Orders December 04 2019

Even I can't ignore Christmas any longer, its only 3 weeks away, and the kids are getting more excited by the day.

Last posting dates for orders to arrive before Christmas are:

12th December - Australia and New Zealand

13th  December - Canada, USA, Finland, Sweden, Italy

16th December - Europe

20th December - UK

The on-line shop will remain open over Christmas, but Eliza and I are having a well-earned break. We won't be in the studio after Friday 20th December until Monday 6th January so any orders placed after 10am on the 20th will be posted on the 6th January.

Also, any pre-orders placed after 8th December will be dyed up in the new year to give us time to prepare for the open studio. Pre-orders placed before 8th will be posted before Christmas.

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, see you in 2020!

Rachel


Sugilite Hat and Cowl Patterns November 05 2019

I'm very pleased to share a new pattern that has been designed using our Voluptuous custom spun yarn. Designed by Auntie Marta from Switzerland these patterns include cables and twisted stitches and are both written and charted. Originally knitted in Bucklebury, the patterns are named after the very rare purple gemstone, Sugilite, because of its interesting surface patterning.

One skein of Voluptuous is enough for both the hat and the cowl and if you buy both patterns together you will receive an automatic 20% discount.

These look so cosy I can't wait to cast on.

Sugilite Hat Pattern

Sugilite Cowl Pattern

Auntie Marta Studio


What is meant by 4 ply yarn? June 03 2019

The term 4 ply can be confusing to a lot of knitters and crocheters, whether you are new to yarn crafts or not. It can be used as a description of the yarn's thickness (weight), or its structure and is often combined with other, sometimes conflicting terms, when used to describe a particular yarn. So why is it so complicated?

Open Studio! May 22 2019

You are hereby cordially invited to join us for our popular Summer Open Studio.
Tea and Homemade Cake will be provided.

My First Shop Update April 17 2019

Just a quick blog post to say I hope you are looking forward to tonight's Shop Update as much as I am. Its been a very busy few weeks, Edinburgh Yarn Festival seems months ago now. I'm so glad I went as it was my first time at the festival, although I have visited Edinburgh before and love the city. EYF was a fabulous experience that was so much better than can be described.Since then there has been a lot of admin as well as plenty of dyeing and preparing for this shop update, but its finally here.

Thank-you to everyone who has messaged me or commented on posts on social media. I hope I replied to you all and if not I am very sorry, I have read every one.

I'm not sure I have much else to add now, so this will be a very short post. We are just putting the finishing touches to the shop update which will go live at 8pm tonight.


All hail the new Queen! And some reminiscing... March 30 2019

 

And so the time has come for me to hand over the SQ crown after 12 years.
We do the official handover tomorrow (Sunday 31st March) but business will continue as usual and Rachel officially takes over on Monday. Please be assured that all your favourite repeatable colourways will continue to be on offer and Rachel has some exciting plans afoot.

This blogpost is for the voices of the customers without whom none of this would be possible. I hope I haven't left anyone out and it's unfashionably long and apologies for the formatting , but I hope you enjoy reading.

I thought it would be lovely to add a few customers' thoughts and photos about their connection to Skein Queen.

From Adele (piglottie)

Not that great a photo for what is a gorgeous skein of Plushness, stashed on 31 August 2007! This was only a few weeks after I joined Ravelry so this skein might have been acquired pre-Rav days. I think I might have met Debbie online pre-Rav, in the days of scrabbling about the internet trying to connect with other knitters via a few forums and many blogs.

I had a blog myself and think this might be where we connected Debbie as I remember talking with you about what to name Plushness. You always have had such a friendly, approachable manner but it was your dedication to making the business professional and extremely customer service focused, along with an amazing eye for colour and fabulous yarn bases, that has kept my loyalty for nearly 12 years. And in an over saturated yarn market, that’s some achievement of which you should be rightly proud. You’ve introduced me to colours I never thought I would have used (hello neon speckles), yarn bases I would never had tried (yak! camel!), and books I would not have read (Sealwoman’s Gift how I love thee).

Whilst my journey has meandered in and out of knitting due to the ebb and flow of life’s challenges and changes, it has been a comfort on my return to the knitting fold to find Skein Queen still here, as innovative and colourful as ever. You have been part of my knitting journey since the beginning and I shall miss you. Thank you for expanding my knitting knowledge and enriching my experience of fibre goodness, for adding colour and beauty and art to my life. I am excited to see What Debbie Does Next and shall be here cheering on Rachel and Eliza.

I shall be digging that skein of Lime Violets Plushness (above) out of Deep Stash and have promised myself this gorgeous yarn shall be knit up shortly, and with each stitch I shall smile and celebrate this wonderful craft that has brought us all together. 

From Wendy (tanglewood16)

So here’s a thing……I have been knitting since I was 15. It was a constant in my life, through night shifts in mental health hospitals, traumatising my daughters with hand knits, forever at my side. About 8/9 years ago, I went into a yarn shop in Frome and came across hand dyed yarn. I never even knew such a thing existed and I had recently begun sock knitting….the skein? of course it was one of Debbie’s yarn, I don’t remember which or what the colourway was, I mostly knitted with Rowan before. What I do know, it caused me to become completely obsessed with hand dyed yarn, discovering that the world had changed in knitting and I did not know it. I love to try yarn from around the country and even world but often find myself coming back to Skein Queen as the colours, quality and uniqueness can always be depended upon. 
I hope this continues into the future and equally hope my bank account can support me! 
Wishing you all the best in the future Debbie xxx

From Vero (thatcanadiangirl)

Once upon a time, I discovered that there was more to knitting than the brands available at big box stores. In late 2011, I visited a lovely local knitter, littletreehouse, from whom I bought a couple of skeins of Opulent and a skein of Blush in a bright pink.

I started knitting one of my very first shawls with the Opulent - slowly, there was a lot of stopping and petting going on - and fell in love with it. I then had the insanely cool opportunity in May 2012 to go to France for a yarn dyeing workshop with the Queen herself, as well as a few other brilliant people who have since become wonderful friends. 

Since then, my house has become mostly insulated with SQ yarn, and most of my shawls include at least a few strands of SQ. I’ve gifted it to as many knitty friends as possible, knit as many skeins of it as humanly possible, and shared the love in every way I can.

The legacy of Debbie’s work will live in for a very long time!

From Catie (2ply)

When I first met charliesumx at FibreEast in 2013, by accident (I pointed at her and said something like ‘it’s YOU!), during chatting, she asked if I’d been to the Skein Queen stand yet. Well, I hadn’t, and I thought I would; after all, I had only bought one or two skeins on line as I always seemed to look at the wrong time because the shop seemed to be sold out whenever I looked.

Well. I could not afford even one millionth of what I would have liked to buy that day in 2013. Such beautiful colours! I havered for a good long time and made the choice of two beautiful skeins of Crush in a foxy orange. I think you skeinqueen, alabamawhirly and thatcanadiangirl were womaning the stall but I was so blown away by the beautiful yarns and the difficulty of deciding, I lost my manners entirely and didn’t properly say hallo - more fool me, as you are all such fun and inspiration online.

Six years later and I now have one or two more Skein Queen skeins. They are my most looked-forward-to plan for retirement, when I hope to start to do them justice.

Thank you, skeinqueen and thank you, charliesumx, for mentioning the stall to me!

From Rachel (rallan)

Blush was my first purchase too (a few years later, 2011, I think) - in a gorgeous blue and purple shades. I made a Honey Cowl with it which I absolutely loved and wore fairly constantly for years. That was before I started recording stash or projects, so I don’t think I have a picture of either… I bought some Plushness too from a destash and made these socks (one of the few pairs of socks I have ever finished - I did eventually make the second one!) 

From Charlie (charliesumx)

This skein of Blush was part of my very first Skein Queen order on 24th June 2008 (and, it appears, only my third ever Etsy order). The other skein was plushness which I destashed once I discovered that I was allergic to the angora content.

I’m hoping to buy something from you at EYF to use with it… Maybe a skein of cloudgazer in turquoise?

Today I found something to go with my vintage Blush

From Anna (littletreehouse)

I know your reign couldn't last forever, but you and your yarns have been the largest part of my knitting for almost as long as my S has been alive!  When I was expecting him in early 2008, I decided to re-learn how to knit as I wanted him to have some handknit baby clothes and neither of his grandmas is a knitter. I was on holiday in the Lake District and popped into a little yarn shop to find something to knit and something to knit with... A printed pattern and some 'baby' acrylic!  Fast forward a few months and I was really getting into blog-reading while my newborn baby had his naps... I don't know who exactly it was... possibly Julie at Little Cotton Rabbits... but one blogger had made something with the MOST beautiful yarn I'd seen so off I hopped on a little web adventure to find out more... if there was amazing yarn to be had, I was jolly well going to have some!  I remember dithering for a long time about my first purchase as I didn't know anything about different yarn bases, but in fear that someone else would buy them, I eventually took the plunge and bought a skein of Plushness and a creamy, caramelly skein of Opulent.  I remember asking you about hat patterns for the opulent and you kindly messaged me to suggest joining Ravelry... and there began the most crafty, yarny decade of my life!  While S was a toddler I used to do a paper round to earn the extra money to be able to buy SQ yarn and I got REALLY good at zipping through the checkout process on update nights to snag what I wanted! NO REGRETS!! The days of baby acrylic were gone for good!
Thank you so so so very much for all your advice, creativity, and help over the years.  It's been so enjoyable hanging out in the SQ group on Ravelry, meeting you at shows (and at Vero's house!), and of course... buying and knitting with all the incredibly beautifully dyed yarns that you have produced. I'm thankful too that I still have a big cupboard full of them to enjoy :)
I genuinely wish you ALL the very best and lots of joy in whatever you do next.

 

 

Thank you all SO much for your support over the years and it's touching to read all your comments and messages. There's a strong theme that I may have introduced lots of knitters to their first skein of hand-dyed yarn - for that I'm sorry! Kick-started a habit and drew you into the world of endless colour possibilities. But just knowing that you've had pleasure from something I've created is absolutely the biggest reward. 

I know many of you are curious as to what I'll be up to next. The current plan is to take a month or two off, indulge in a few creative pastimes, more knitting, some spinning, maybe some crochet, maybe take some classes. And then I'll see what opportunities come along (if any at my age!) If you want to follow my adventures, I have a new account on instagram called whatdebbieorrdidnext.


Peru fundraising success February 26 2019

Just to let you all know that thanks to all your purchases of the Linger Peruvian sock yarn that my daughter Lily dyed, she managed to raise £1,100 towards her trip and together with her other fundraising efforts, has managed to raise the total she needs for her trip in July/August.

Thank you SO much to everyone who bought a skein or two or three. 36% of funds will go directly to help Peruvian communities in need and Lily will be able to contribute to building and environmental projects whilst she's there. I'm hoping it will help her build the confidence that she hasn't always had to enable her to  realise that she can do anything she puts her mind to. Thank you so much.


Skein Queen is changing hands February 18 2019

As you've probably already seen on social media, after 12 incredible years, the time has come to abdicate and hand over my crown to a new queen of the skein - Rachel Moutrie.

I’ll still be around for the next couple of months as we transition and Rachel plans to continue offering all the repeatable colourways and would like as much continuity as possible as she takes over the running of the company. Eliza will continue in her role in the company and has become an excellent and passionate dyer.

Rachel has been working at SQ for over a year and has some great ideas moving forward and it’s incredible to think of the legacy of all the hard work will continue on with renewed energy. I know where I’ll be buying my yarn in the future!

Thank you for all your support over the years - not just customers but friends. And if you could offer Rachel (and Eliza) the same warmth and support that you’ve shown me over the years, that would make my heart very happy.


Environmental policy October 22 2018

Following endeavours to find a suitable paper replacement for our plastic mailing bags, I updated our environmental policy last week and put it up on the website. I thought I'd pop it on here too. 

Skein Queen has always attempted to minimise the business's environmental footprint wherever possible especially when it comes to the dyeing process and the office environment but appreciate that this can be extended into our packaging.

Water use is kept to a minimum by soaking kilos of yarn in sinks, then topping up and reusing for the soak for a couple of days.

We use food grade citric acid in the soak to ensure the dye adheres to the yarn. This is neutralised with bicarbonate of soda so that only neutralised water is released into the drainage system.

All the dye is absorbed into the yarn so no dye is disposed of into the drainage system.

We recycle as many cardboard boxes that yarn arrives in as possible by resending wholesale orders in them.

General office waste, cans, plastic bottles, paper and cardboard are all recycled.

We complete an Annual Waste Transfer Note specifying exactly what we dispose into our waste wheelers and are held accountable.

We have now found suitable-for-purpose paper mailing bags which we will gradually transfer over to from the plastic mailing bags (which are 100% recyclable). This will be a slower process than I would want as we'd rather use up existing stock than it go to landfill, so request that you bear with us.

We continue to seek eco-friendly ways of minimising plastic use where possible whilst trying to ensure the yarn arrives in perfect condition and encompass the ethos of you treating yourself to a gift. We'd like to continue using tissue paper, but it makes us really happy if you keep it to re-use.

As an aside, I'm currently looking for a paper alternative to sellotape that can be used in a dispenser. All the washi tape dispensers I've seen get terrible reviews, so if anyone has any workable suggestions, I'm all ears.

If we can find an alternative to packaging wholesale orders in plastic bags, we will. Currently, my main concern is for the yarn to arrive safely and undamaged and looking professional, but I will continue to seek alternative solutions.

Not all these "solutions" are perfect and there's always a trade-off. Paper requires far more resources to manufacture and transport, but I'm looking at the end game - paper is biogradeable, compostable and recyclable.

Yarn also has an impact on the environment, so if you'd like to read about the origin of our yarns, you can find the information here.


Trunk Show at Nest in London May 08 2018

I'm off on my yarnie travels again. This time to Nest in Crouch End, London on Yarn Shop Day. I love to give local yarn stores as much support as possible.

I'll be there this Saturday 12th May from 10-5pm with lots of yarn for your delectation and can't wait to see the shop - it looks so beautiful with not just yarn, but fabric and haberdashery too!


GDPR and how it affects you as a customer May 04 2018

It's not yarn, it's not colourful, it's boring. But (a large) part of running a small business is ensuring you comply with red tape and regulations.

If you're in the EU, I'm sure you've had emails from lots of companies asking you to click a box to confirm that you want to carry on receiving their newsletter.

The general idea is good one. It stops unethical businesses misusing your data. But for a small business, it can take years and years to build up that mailing list.

So over the next couple of weeks, I'll be sending out an email with a click box for you to click to confirm that you still want to receive the SQ newsletter. It may be shunted into your Promotions folder, so keep an eye out for it.

For anyone who does not respond, I am obliged to remove you from the mailing list so sadly you will no longer hear all about yarn, shop updates and forthcoming events. We'd be ever so sad to lose you. 

Update: Having done even more research and looked at legal advice, I've decided to just send out an email saying that I've updated the privacy policy

Of course, you can re-sign up at any time, using our two-step sign-up process in the bottom right-hand corner of the home page of the website.

In a way, it's a good thing as we'll be talking to the customers who definitely want to hear about our news.

We use your data to send out parcels, for the payment process, to contact you if there's any query with your order, send you order and shipping confirmations and to send you the newsletter if you've signed up specifically for that.

One thing I will add, if you have ever bought from us at a show, we use the iZettle terminal which allows you to choose to have a receipt sent to you via email or text message which iZettle will remember, meaning the next time you buy something from a seller who uses the same system, it will pre-fill your contact details (which is handy, but I feel, also generates some potential privacy issues, so it's as well to be aware of them).

I've taken this from the iZettle site:

iZettle AB, reg. no. 556806-0734, is responsible for this processing of personal data and will only use your email address or mobile number to send receipts to you. iZettle will not use your contact details for any other purpose, and will not share them with anyone else, without obtaining your consent first.

If you want us to rectify, update or remove your contact details, please get in touch with us at help.uk@izettle.com.

One last thing, if you pay via iZettle, you are not signing up for the newsletter.

If you place an order via the website, there is an tick box option to sign up for the newsletter if you wish. The only other way to sign up for the newsletter is via the website.

So, hey ho, that's it in a nutshell! Back to the dyepots to bring you some fun stuff... look out for that email!


Colourways on different yarn bases April 25 2018

The way different yarn bases take the same colourway is a constant source of fascination. I thought I'd share on my perceptions as a dyer to maybe give you some insights while you're knitting or choosing yarn.

Here's Salvage on 6 different bases.

Salvage uses 7 colours of dye and is turned in the pots twice.

Floof : Oasis Grande : Wriggle : Lustrous : Crush : Crush DK

Floof - 72% mohair 28% silk - shows the rich, blended depths of colour with the rusty tones working particularly well. It's hard to get a speckle on this base, so I'm aiming for rich, blended tones.

Oasis Grande - 50% camel 50% silk - this starts out on a camel-coloured base, rather than white, so the colour differences tend to be a bit more subtle. But the smooth, silky nature of the yarn makes it a stunning base to work with.

Wriggle - 100% merino singles - the Queen of absorbing dye in exactly the way the dyer intends. The rusty colour glows and where it meets the dark charcoal - that's where the magic happens.

Lustrous - 50% merino  50% silk - probably the lightest of the yarn types as the the silver shines from the silk giving a whole new dimension to the colourway. Definitely the most glowing. 

Crush - 75% merino 25% nylon - like the Wriggle, the dye doesn't stray too far from what you want it to do. Intense rust with proper speckles of charcoal, with all 7 colours put in to creating the colourway visible.

Crush DK - 75% merino 25% nylon - this thicker yarn takes the dye slightly differently again. Colours are more blended but there's a different vibrancy to the other yarn types. The picture below shows a swatch of how the colourway knits up and what it's like crocheted.

 


Pop up shop at Handmade Studios April 12 2018

More details over here.


Edinburgh Yarn Festival 2018 - in pictures March 22 2018

What an amazing time we had!

Extra big thanks go to Eliza, Rachel and Jezella for all the yarn prep we did in just a couple of weeks on the back of Unravel, to Alice for jumping in to help at the final hour, to Calvin for sanding the apple crates at the last minute, to Jezella for screen printing the new banner, to Suzanne for her incredible energy and hard work and talking to keep me awake in the van on the way back in the snow. And to Bev aka Boo Knits who made a guest appearance on our stand on the Saturday afternoon.

And a heartfelt thank you to each and every person who stopped by our stand. If you came along, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. And if you didn't, hope you enjoy these few pics. And there will be a small shop update next Wednesday (28th March) at 8pm BST.

One last thanks go to Jo and Mica for organising this extraordinary event which just seems to go from strength to strength every year.


Colourway inspiration March 07 2018

As many of you will know, it took me ten years of practice to finally come up with range of repeatable colourways. And it gives me great pleasure to add an additional seven colourways to that range.

The one-off Limited Edition colourways will always be my go-to way of dyeing - almost as if each colourway is a little painting for you - but I'm also loving developing these recipes so that you can get your hands on the same colourway more than once.

Having a repeatable colourway range also allows us to show local yarn stores which colourways are available to buy and changing that up to keep it fresh is one of my greatest pleasures. Gradually, new staff are learning how to dye them.

Hope you like the new additions.

Antique Map came about when we had a little dyeing session with the new staff and I was showing them techniques. Was so happy with the result that it has become a permanent addition.

Salvage was the result of walking past industrial shipyards when we were over in Belfast at Christmas.

Snow Fields started off as a Limited Edition colourway which Bev of Booknits acquired for a design to tone in with Bucklebury, Highclere Castle and Inkpen, so I reverse engineered it and wrote down how I'd made it.

Bellini Olive came about as a paler version which should've been launched in the first batch of colourways, but I was never 100% happy with it. It needed a bit of something, so making it darker and imagining an olive in a cocktail glass was the way of getting the result I wanted (although I really don't think you'd have an olive garnishing a peach bellini!)

Rosewater Black was inspired by a club colourway. The range needed something with more red in it. I dye this colourway by leaving white areas, then adding yellow for the centre of the flowers, then purple for the petals. You can't see the "flowers" when it's finished, but that's where the inspiration comes from.

King Penguin emerged when I discovered how a new orange dye split out - just like a penguin's colouring. The inspiration also came from my Seven Swans colourway which I usually do around Christmas time.

And Drunk Bees. What can I say? A series of intense yellows, but they needed something else. I sprinkled on some of the darkest brown in clusters and one of the yellows splits into red, so it looked like the bees had been sipping at beer in a pub garden (I know this is usually the pesky wasps) and had be flying around crashing into each other! I did once have a Drunk Barbie colourway, so the name takes inspiration from this.

Not all of the colourways will always be available on all of the yarn bases, but we'll do our best to dye up as many of them as possible. We'll be bringing a range to Edinburgh Yarn Festival next week and then will dye up more for the shop.

You can see the full range of repeatable colourways here.


Peru fundraising - a huge thank you January 24 2018

Photo by julian mora 

Just wanted to say the biggest thank you to everyone who bought Lily's Peru yarn. It sold out on the night and it's made an enormous contribution to the launch of her fund-raising. 

And thanks for all the interest and requests for more! 

There will certainly be more, but not for a few months until her GCSE exams are over at the beginning of June. In theory, she's spending every weekend revising (hmmm!). But then she'll have all summer to dye up more and we've even written down the recipes so can repeat the original colourways.

It's been really fun working together and can't wait til she has time to dye up more.

 


Peru Collection fundraiser January 17 2018

My 16-year-old daughter, Lily Orr, hopes to travel to Peru in 18 months. In a bid to raise the £4200 needed to get there, she spent New Year's Day dyeing up some colourways inspired by Peru on yarn spun in Peru. Some of the colourways she has named after workers in the mill which spins the yarn. 

As I started Skein Queen when she was five, Lily has grown up with dyeing and used to help out sometimes when I dyed from home.

Lily says:

In 2019, I hope to travel to Peru in the summer to spend a month working on rural community building and environmental projects. I also can't wait to visit Lake Titicaca and trek to Machu Picchu - we may be some of the last people allowed to visit as they're closing the site to tourists soon.

In order to raise funds for this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, Skein Queen will be releasing a limited edition collection inspired by the diverse cultures and landscapes of Peru. 100% of the profits will be going towards the trip. 36% of those funds will directly be helping Peruvian communities, many of which live below the poverty line.

Lily also decided to dye up some semi-solids and we wanted to link the Linger yarn, which is spun in Peru, to the mill where it's spun. 

So I asked the lovely Jeni of Chester Wool Company if she could maybe ask the names of some of the workers on her next visit and she was good enough to video it for us. 

We struggled with some of the spellings, but hopefully we've done justice to the women who each have a role in the mill.

We used Linger which is a superwash merino and nylon which comes in at 425m - perfect for making socks for trekking! 

The Peru Collection will be available to buy from the online shop from 8pm GMT tonight (January 17th).

The trip is organised by Camps International.


Meet the new SQ team January 11 2018

This week is Rachel and Jezella's first week working at SQ HQ. Here's to lots of Skein Queenery fun, hard work and more yarn throughout 2018.

Left to right: Rachel, me, Eliza and Jezella. You can find out more about us in the About Us section.

We'll also miss Karin who helped us on a temporary basis and has started a new job in her real life work as a tax consultant. 


The Jolly Holly giveaway - now closed December 15 2017

I've got something very special for you today to say a MASSIVE thank you for all your support, comments and purchases throughout the year. 


Win 6 skeins of hand-dyed yarn - two Yaksino in Vintage Red, two Selkino in Frosted Cranberries and two Selkino in Hermitage. 

For more details on how to enter, check out my Instagram feed or Facebook page.

Good luck!

PS Comments left here won't count sadly due to volume.

The competition is now closed and the winner announced. Congratulations to brixtonpurl! And thank you to each and every person who entered and shared and got excited about the giveaway - there were over 1000 entries.

Unfortunately, it was a one-off collection although we'll put together more varieties of yarn bundles for you next year.

We are working in the studio and posting out until midday on the 21st December. The shop will remain open over the festive period but parcels won't be posted out until 4th January.

A very Merry Christmas to one and all.


What we have been doing this week... December 01 2017

This whole wall of yarn is in transit to TitiTyy in Finland as we speak.

There's yummy Crush, Selkino and we've started wholesaling Crush DK too, so lots for Tiina's lovely customers to choose from.

The wholesale shelving is looking a little empty and colourless now, but it'll soon fill up after Christmas again with the orders we have for January all get dyed up. Colour for January, can't wait!

I've also got some new colourways for wholesale in development to add to the collections.

Do you have a favourite square?


Skein Queen is recruiting! November 17 2017

The closing date has now passed. We've had a lot of interest and some really great applicants. 
If you have a passion for yarn, love colour, want to work for an exciting, slightly unusual business in a semi-rural location and are happy working in a small team, then this could be the just the job for you.
 
Please apply to skeinqueen@gmail.com with your CV and a paragraph or two on why you think you would make a good SQ Studio Assistant.
Closing date: 7th December
Interviews: 11th December
Starting date: 9th January (not 6th as advertised).