♬♫ Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree! ♬♫

Published Sat, 28 Nov 2020

♬♫ Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree! Why are your branches so bushy? ♬♫

♬♫ Oh, Christmas Tree! Oh, Christmas Tree! How can you be more customisable? ♬♫

We, the Twisted Sheep family, have been having fun with Christmas trees. We have designed a flat motif tree that is available in 6 different sizes.

The tree itself is cut from 6mm sustainable poplar wood. The poplar has a smooth, pale, soft wood appearance which makes it ideal for decorating so this blog is about some ideas that we have practised to show what we mean.

Starting simply, paint will transform the trees into colourful gems to hang at a window. I had some old tins of gold and green spray paints so in a few moments I had coloured these.Our smallest trees come in a set of 5.

These are the perfect size to use as tree decorations in themselves. We coloured ours with felt tip pens, which is quick and effective. I also cut a window into a piece of card - perfect for a greetings card with a little keepsake. This idea is going to be our go to for teachers this year.

Next I used some wood stain on some star shapes cut from the spaces on the sheets of wood we use. I attached the stars to the tree with a glue gun but any water based glue such as PVA would work as well – it just needs the drying time. Our larger trees can be sent with some of these small shapes or can be decorated with a string of battery operated LED lights for some extra twinkle.

Tree decoration is a family activity and our trees are no different. Our little girl decorated this tree with watercolour pencils, buttons and a little bit of glitter. She turned ribbon into garlands for a really festive feel.

Next, we got out the decoupage glue. While this is a little more fiddly and time-consuming, the results are really stunning. We both used paper that was left over from another project but I topped mine with degradable glitter while my daughter used Christmas wrapping paper to decorate her star. The larger the tree, the easier the decoupage is to weave it into the branches and spaces. Why not combine several of the ideas we thought of, or come up with your own from materials in your houses.

You can purchase a selection of our wooden Christmas trees to decorate on the Twisted Sheep website here.


Christmas Centre Piece

Published Fri, 13 Nov 2020

Today I'd like to share these photos taken by one of our customers who requested personalised Christmas table centre pieces. Please contact us if your would like one for your Christmas table. They come in two sizes and can have any message or decoration you like on the side.

This is the smaller one that takes a single oasis block on a tray.

This is the larger version that takes two oasis blocks and trays.

Please get in contact with us if you are interested.


Christmas is on the way

Published Mon, 09 Nov 2020

We have started publishing our Christmas range with these festive earrings. We hope you like them.

You can purchase them from our site here


How to block?

Published Mon, 09 Nov 2020

I learned to block using the Techknitting blog. They created an excellent post about it. Essentially, the process is to make the item wet, squeeze but not wring out the water, then shape the garment.

For socks, the best way to shape is by using the blockers. There are then a whole other set of techniques depending on the item and the size and shape you want to achieve.

Using plain water will work well enough but if the yarn is a little scratchy then using wool wash or a conditioner can help soften those fibres too.

We sell a variety of sock blockers on Twisted Sheep. You can see our range here


Have you used the CraSy Trio sets? Review!

Published Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Disclosure: I have a wholesale account with a supplier for Addi needles and I took a set from the stock I bought to try them before writing this review. I have not received any payment or sweetener for this review but I’m totally open to offers.

I started knitting again with the express purpose of knitting socks. I love hand knitted socks, there is nothing like using beautiful yarn to create such a luxurious footglove. I started with Silver’s sock class, a set of double pointed needles (DPNs) and some yarn from Lidl.

I made many mistakes, but I made the socks. I should have used better yarn because I immediately shrunk and felted the sock but they were not bad (for a first attempt)!

I like using DPNs because they make the whole experience of sock knitting very neat and contained. However, wooden DPNs have a habit of being sat on and are thin enough to break, bamboo needles are a little bit grippy and splitty for me, metal is strong but slippery.

I cannot remember how many times I dropped a needle into the hardest to reach places between the seats in the car, or onto the floor on a train so that I had to either lose the needle or let everyone else off before climbing under the seat to retrieve the lost pin.

So, I turned to magic loop. I like using circular needles because you can’t lose the end, you don’t drop and lose the needle with no stitches on. Your stitches push off the end of the needle less often because you can shuffle them along the cable and stuff them back in the bag.

I really didn’t enjoy feeding the cable through every time I finished half a row. I felt as if I was feeding the cable more than I was knitting the stitches.

I tried the CraSy Trio – I was so looking forward to it! But horrors! They were a bit like knitting with an octopus to start with. The cable between the two needles is quite springy and flexible – a feature that I now love about them. It had been a few years since I had used DPNs so I was out of practice.

A short while after wrestling with them, my hands got to understand how it felt and how to hold the needle with the stiches on, the bending cable means you can cup the stitches in your hand and they won’t push off or slide off while you’re not looking. Also, the set I am using has a super smooth join between cable and tip. No snagging at all!

The trio of needles means you have two with stitches and one working at any time. It also took me a few attempts to remember not to drop the needle after I had finished knitting off it – magic loop lets you do that. Now that I’ve remembered each time, I am really enjoying them as a set.

The last brilliant thing took me about 2 months to remember. Each needle has a blunt end (like normal Addis) and a pointy end (like Addi lace). You can choose which way round to use the needle.

I like to knit with lace tips usually so that’s great for me! The tip slips easily under the yarn but doesn’t destroy it if you miss and go through. But I also like to push the end of the needle I’m knitting from with my thumb, so the rounder tip makes for a much less stabbed finger.

Price-wise, the trio comes in more expensive than straight DPN sets but in line with the circulars for magic looping the same circumference. Overall, the trio is cheaper then DPNs if, like me, you keep on losing one or two per set.

All things considered, Addi CraSy Trios are a wholly comfortable and secure knit. If you are wedded to magic loop then I might not be able to persuade you but if you love your DPNs then get a Trio set to try. Really comfortable, contained knitting with great tips and flexible little cables.

Addi even do them with Novel tips… More on those another time.

You can buy Addi CraSy Trios to try for your self on our Twisted Sheep site here


What are sock blockers for?

Published Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Blocking is a finishing process for knitted and crocheted items. When you block your creation, you

set the shape and open the pattern and smooth the fibres into a finished piece.

Blocking is most effective when using natural fibres but is an equally valid process for synthetics. When knitting lace or cables, blocking and stretching will open out the fabric and really show the pattern off.

Socks have a particular shape and Twisted Sheep’s sock blockers are created to be the perfect shape for your handcrafted socks.

The width of the foot and leg on the blocker equate to the size of a real foot and the heel and toe will fill out the engineered shape to make the fit perfect.

We sell a variety of sock blockers on Twisted Sheep. You can see our range here


Introducing Kits

Published Fri, 16 Oct 2020

We would like to introduce our new Sock Knitting kits ready for Christmas. A great gift for your favourite knitter or just a treat for yourself to learn a new skill. We have Christmas themed yarn or a selection of solid colours for you to chose from. Each kit comes with all the elements you need to knit a pair of socks.

We have also created some Weaving Kits, both frame weaving loom and a circular knitting loom or circular weaving loom (it will do both jobs). The weaving kits come with a starter pack of yarn from a selection of colours (25g balls).


Last chance for a picnic

Published Wed, 16 Sep 2020

It looks like we are having a final bit of summer. To celebrate, we have created this handy gadget:

A flute glass caddy. It takes six glasses (just right for socially distanced drinking), and is available now from Twisted Sheep here


Loom Frame Mini Project

Published Tue, 14 Jul 2020
Helen has been trying her hand at loom art and has produced this little landscape using one of our new frame designs.

You can buy a full set of our loom frames to try here. We also sell them individually on Twisted Sheep

A new site and more products

Published Tue, 14 Jul 2020 We now have a new web site https://twistedsheep.co.uk/ and quite a few new products.

We have weaving loom frames like this

and sock blockers in various sizes

to add to our range of laser cut, sustainably produced, wooden products.


Full sized egg boxes

Published Tue, 14 Jul 2020

Having made an egg box for our bantam eggs, it is now the turn of our full sized chickens.

New Egg Box Design

Published Mon, 29 Jun 2020
Early this year we added a couple of bantam hens to our small flock of chickens. The only problem it, their eggs are so small they fall through the holes in our normal sized egg box.

It's not really yarn craft related, but we needed a box to hold the eggs laid by our bantam hens.

I hope you agree that it is quite a cute little egg box and we have also created a full size version so out normal size chickens will not feel left out (not that they care).

We thought other people may also like a nice sustainable egg box. They are made from beach plywood and given a coat of our own, food (and environment) friendly, bees wax polish.

You can buy one here.

If you shop locally for your eggs, why not see if the shop or farm will let you bring your own reusable box.

If you own a shop or chicken farm, we can create you egg boxes with a design of your choosing on the side.

Fun With Looms

Published Wed, 13 May 2020
We spent a day designing our own take on the loom. Sephy spent over two hours learning to use it.

We may release them as a Twisted Sheep product soon.


First Of Our Knitting Tools

Published Wed, 06 May 2020
The first test run included a couple of buttons and some knitting measures. The power on the laser was set a bit high so everything came out a bit over cooked.

After a few experiments we have our first products.


Buttons Buttons and More Buttons

Published Wed, 22 Apr 2020
As our contribution to the corona virus support, we took to making buttons required to make ear savers that stop face mask elastic rubbing your ears.

They were simple four hole buttons cut from acrylic.

After extracting and sanding over 200 buttons, I don't think the children ever want to see a button again.


The Laser Cutter Arrives

Published Tue, 10 Mar 2020 Our new laser cutter has arrived all the way from China

We had to take a wall down to get it into the workshop. This is a shot of the CO2 laser.

All installed and read to go.

With its own, noisy, extractor fan.

One of the first jobs was to cut hundreds of buttons for ear savers for care workers. I roped the children in to help with the finishing.

Over 200 cut and sent out. Now for some Twisted Sheep designs.