July/August Newsletter

This month is a combined Newsletter as I have not been too well being hit with the usual late winter bronchitis. As a result I haven’t been in the Shop too often but on a brighter note I have gotten a lot of knitting done!

I went to the Bendigo Wool and Sheep Show last month and despite it being an extremely cold and wet weekend I had fun catching up with people and seeing what was on offer. It was lovely to chat to the Tailored Strands people and see their gorgeous range of Alpaca all set out in one place. Another fun person with an absolutely amazing display of gorgeous yarn was Charly McCafferty with her Ixchel bunny fibres. I was particularly impressed with her blends, angora with camel, angora with silk etc. and all in the most heavenly colours. The yarns seem to come in small amounts, enough for scarves, handwarmers etc. and I hope to stock some of these glorious fibres fairly soon. I know we are still in the depths of winter but Woolybutt is now gearing up for the coming summer months. Fans of Panda’s Cotton Blend will be interested to hear that it is now Patons Cotton Blend and the range has been expended to include some delicious bright colours. There is also a new pattern book to accompany the yarn, all of which should be available later this month. There are also new colours on offer in the Regal range of cotton and some lovely new baby yarns will also be arriving.

I must apologise to all those who have put their names down for our Knitting and Crochet classes. We have a considerable waiting list and are currently taking steps to resolve this and people on the waiting list should be hearing from us soon about this. Those of you who have been in the Shop lately will have noticed that we have undertaken some refurbishment. The Knitting needle and crochet hook section has been expanded considerably making it a lot easier to find sizes. We still stock zips and Gutermann thread but have moved these displays into one of the back rooms. In the coming months a few more changes will be made which hopefully will improve the shopping experience at Woolybutt.

Current projects: finishing a poncho from the Patons “How to Knit” book and working on a Katia cardigan for Zoe.

Happy knitting until next month

Lorraine

June Newsletter

I’m a bit late this month with the Newsletter as a combination of illness and being really busy at the Shop have kept me away from the keyboard! Winter has arrived with all the unpredictability that only a Melbourne winter can provide. Today I was outside tidying up our garage and the temperature was quite pleasant but apparently it will plummet as the week wears on which is good news for all the Ski Bunnies out there! I’m now taking the rest of the day off to do some knitting and a hot cup of tea (after this of course)!

One of the things being given prominence in the News today was the Yarn bombing of a Melbourne street. I’m really in two minds about this. I love the bright “in your face” objects that get yarn bombed – a bench outside Readings in Carlton was done a while back and everytime I passed it, it made me smile. I also subscribe to the idea that any publicity is good publicity particularly when it comes to knitting and crochet but (and here it comes),  I was brought up fairly frugally and my Nana who was a far better knitter than I will ever be constantly checked out the Op. Shops for old knits. She would then undo them, rescue the best parts and wash them and her laundry was full of weighted skeins hanging from the ceiling drying. She would then knit them into jumpers and cardigans, I and my cousins would get the pick of them, the rest would go to local charities for fetes and to help out. So while I like the Yarn bombed objects I can’t help but think that all that effort and all that yarn could be used more productively. Thus when I pass a Yarn bombed object part of my mind is figuring out whether the yarn used could have knitted a homeless person a warm blanket on these bitter nights.

On a lighter note Cleckheaton are running a Beanie Promotion and in the next few weeks Beanies will be blossoming all over the Woolybutt Store. Some new colours are being launched in Country 8ply at the same time, the flouro colours are excellent for anyone outdoors and I know a few bushwalkers I’ve got lined up to receive flouro beanies.

Currently there is a “wait list” for classes on a Saturday morning. Please phone the shop and ask for your name to be added to the list (and don’t forget a phone number) and we’ll call you as soon as there’s a vacancy. Also the backlog of knitting and repairs has been cleared so if you have any knitted garments that need repairing bring them in. We are also caught up on all knitting orders and are happy to accept any you may have.

Stay warm and happy knitting until next month,

Lorraine

May Newsletter

Our phone line is down and we don’t know when it is going  to be repaired so please direct all inquiries to the e-mail address. We’re very sorry for the inconvenience.

Happier news! Woolybutt is stocked to the ceiling with new season’s yarn so please come in and have a browse. The gorgeous Katia Azteca and Montezuma is selling fast and they are lovely yarns to knit with, very soft and cuddly so I highly recommend them for extra soft scarves or a big snuggly weekend jumper (the sort to curl up in on the sofa on a bleak winter’s day). There are new pattern books out and there are some lovely things in them.

Our weekend class is very popular and currently full but check with us in a couple of weeks as some people are finishing their course (hopefully we’ll have a functioning phone line well before then).

Current projects: a dress in Katia’s Montezuma and a multi-coloured cowl for the colder days ahead,

Happy Knitting

Lorraine

April Newsletter

The cooler days are finally here and daylight saving has ended – yay! I had been getting rather tired of getting up in the morning to midwinter darkness. Another good thing about this month is that just about all the new season’s yarns have finally arrived. Rainbow colours and thicker plys seem to be the story for this winter as well as cables, cables and more cables. As I mentioned last month Australian Country Spinners (Patons, Panda, Cleckheaton and Shepherd) have started to produce much small pattern leaflets containing two to three patterns only. It’s a great idea because you don’t end up with lots of extra patterns that you don’t need or want or have the expense of  buying a large book. This week Cleckheaton’s Rainbow 8ply arrived which is a perfect companion to  their multi coloured 12ply yarn and it is accompanied by just such a leaflet featuring a very interesting scarf pattern and a simple but sweet jumper.

I have had quite a few complaints lately that this website doesn’t feature yarns. The task of  taking photos of every colour yarn that Woolybutt stocks would take months and months but what I’m going to try is to feature one sample of each yarn together with the other colour numbers that we stock in that particular yarn. Until the new website is a going concern this is the best solution to the problem that I can think of.

Classes have started. We are only running classes on a Saturday morning as there wasn’t the demand for Tuesday mornings. If you have any queries or wish to come along to the class please phone the shop on 03 9458 3101.

Last week Woolybutt donated a large number of 4mm (size 8) knitting needles and crochet hooks to the Olivia Newton John Wellness Centre. During cancer treatments many people have to sit for hours doing basically nothing and so the Centre has decided to trial “Kntting/Crochet Therapy”. Dedicated knitters and crocheters all know how meditative and relaxing our craft can be (as well as productive) and this is the idea behind the therapy. If you have any used 4mm needles or crochet hooks the Centre still needs more and/or if you can spare some time and are happy to teach or help out give them a call as I know they would love to hear from you!

Current projects: the gorgeous Katia tunic featured in the Better Home and Gardens Knitting Book this month (an attachment to the magazine). Woolybutt stocks this yarn and I just had to try it! Tackling the Crocodile crochet stitch on a sample bits of yarn – I love the scaly look of this stitch and have visions of a dragon hoodie made from it!

Happy Knitting until next month,

Lorraine

News!

For those who have been patiently waiting for woolwinders they are now in stock and are $39.95. Easter is fast approaching and the Shop trading hours will be as follows: closed Good Friday, open Easter Saturday from 10am until 1pm, cloed Easter Monday and then normal trding hours for the rest of that week. Lots and lots of new stock arriving daily so come in and check it out!

March Newsletter

Classes are starting next Saturday in both Knitting and Crochet so enrol now! We have changed the format of the classses slightly but they are still excellent value with beginner materials, notes and morning tea all included. Please phone the Shop on 9458 3101 to enrol and do it soon as places are fast filling and we only take 6 people at a time!

The yarns for winter have started arriving and the first of these is Patons with their gorgeous new 12ply for winter in the Cleckheaton range. The good thing is that the yarns are arriving with the pattern books so the old hassle of having the yarn and having to wait for the patterns has disappeared. The other innovation which is sure to be a winner is that the pattern books have shrunk in size so instead of paying nearly $20 for a book of patterns (most of which you don’t really want) the books now contain only three patterns and as a consequence are much cheaper to buy. New colours in the “old” ranges have also arrived. Zhivago, Inca and Jet all have delicious and up-to date colours and they are in-store now. Next week Rainbow a new 8ply from Patons is also arriving.

One of our team members, Suzanne has been out of action for a few weeks with an operation. She is improving slowly and she should be back in the shop next week. Both Lana and I have missed her lots and it will be great to have her company once again.

This month new winter yarns from all the suppliers will be arriving so if you come to the shop you will have to pardon the mess. We try our best to clear the boxes as soon as they arrive (we want to see what’s inside them) but also the summer yarns have to be moved out to make way for the winter one’s so the workload is quite arduous (the summer yarns are still available they are just re-located to the back room).

Current projects: A Rare Yarns vest for the shop, a scarf in the new Bonjour scarf yarn from Patons and finishing a summer jumper from the stash (huge problems with the neckline)!

February Newsletter

Happy New Year to all! For the first time ever Woolybutt has produced its own calendar so if you are in the area stop by and pick up one. The Zauberball ‘tree’ in the Shop window is featured. Many people have been enquiring about knitting and crchet classes in the two weeks since we’ve been open but only two people have actually put their names down for them. We will not be running the classes unless we have six people definitely starting as it doesn’t pay the teacher enough to teach less than that number!

The New Year has definitely started with a vengeance at Woolybutt. In a complete reversal Patons have gotten a number of their pattern books out early and they are in the Shop now. Too often in the past we’ve had the yarn arrive and then had to wait forever for the books. Also the size and cost of books have been reduced so it is worthwhile coming in and having a look. Zhivago is undergoing a revival and has a new book to prove it which features a very nice women’s jumper and some great slouchy berets and scarves. The earliest of the new seasons yarns wont start arriving until the latter part of this month and then the floodgates will open. We still have the hottest part of summer ahead of us so there is still time to knit up a cute sleeveless cool cotton top for those blistering days to come.

One of the Woolybutt team, Suzanne, will be missing over the next couple of weeks so Lana and I will be “holding the fort”. We wish her well and a speedy recovery!

Current projects: an Alpaca vest from Rare Yarns Alpaca for the Shop and finishing (at last) the Angora/Merino/ Silk jumper for my husband. I have to report that I did finish the green Sorrento jacket two weeks ago and I’m now waiting for a suitably hot day to wear it in the Shop!

 

December Newsletter

Christmas is nearly here and we have been having fun decorating the shop. A lovely book from Panda yarns, Crafty Christmas arrived a few weeks ago which inspired all of us to go on a bit of a Christmas decoration “binge”. Panda have also brought out a new yarn for the holiday season called “Sparkles” which it does! It looks like tinsel but it is far softer and is actually really nice to knit/crochet with. The consequence is that the front windows of Woolybutt are decorated with snowflake garlands courtesy of Lana and Suzanne has contributed some gorgeous crocheted icicles and teapot cosies. I’m reponsible for the little Christmas tree which doesn’t require any knitting or crochet, just a ball of Sparkles, a styrene foam cone (yes we have them for sale) and some glue. This is a cute and fun project for the kids on a wet afternoon. Speaking of which, the other book (again Panda) that has appeared is Crafternoon. This book has 23 projects in it – knitting, felting, crochet and embroidery and the projects range across skill and age levels. A lovely book to give as a gift and a great solution for holiday boredom.

For many years Woolybutt has stocked a range of beautiful Alpaca yarns called Rare Yarns from New Zealand. Well Rare Yarns have truly outdone themselves in living up to their name with their latest product. They have designed a beautiful poncho pattern called “the Manta” which takes 5 balls of Alpaca Boucle and is trimmed with Tibetan Yak! The colours are lovely and the Yak is incredibly soft and luxurious. Unfortunately the Yak trim is in very short supply and I must confess to buying every bit they had as apparently the trim was “one off” and there is no more to be had. There are 5 Manta kits available plus the Sample product. The kits sell for $80.95 and the sample product for $170. It is worth visiting the Store just to see and feel the Yak! I’m seriously thinking of snaffling one of these for myself.

Current projects: this burst of hot weather has inspired me to haul those half-finished summer projects out from the Stash and see if I can finish at least one or two before the end of summer but such good intentions are getting sidetracked by Christmas decorations and Yak arrivals – sigh……

Have a happy and safe Christmas and New Year,

Lorraine

 

 

November Newsletter

Only a few more weeks to Christmas and for those of you looking for gifts Woolybutt has a great selection of books and gifts for knitters, crocheters and textile enthusiasts. A shipment from Dublin arrived last week so lots of new bits and pieces. One of the big sellers is the Wacky Woollies PVC bags. These sturdy bags can hold all manner of things and are very well made as well as being bright and colourful, great for holding projects, shopping and I’ve been told they’re great beach bags! The tape yarn range continues to expand with some great holiday colours from Panda. For many of the Panda range you will need two balls whereas for CanCan and Katia yarns one ball is often sufficient to knit a scarf. If you really are having trouble getting the hang of knitting this yarn just pop into the shop and any of us will be happy to help! The scarves make pretty inexpensive gifts and for those of you who are knitting challenged there are a number of pre-knitted scarves available for sale.

We get a lot of requests at Woolybutt for “possum” wool from New Zealand. The processing costs for possum have been climbing steadily and even ‘though possums are a common pest in New Zealand the processing of the fur has become so expensive as to rocket the yarn into the super luxury category range. Woolybutt does carry yarn with possum blended with wool. It is called Waikiwi and is a 4ply. The addition of the possum fur makes any item knitted from this yarn warm and light and so this particular yarn is very popular for accessories such as socks, hats and gloves. We are trying to source thicker plys incorporating possum for next winter but the yarns currently available are just too expensive!

New colours of Rowan yarn and new books and magazines have recently arrived. The  ranges we currently carry are Cocoon, Felted Tweed, Lima and Kidsilk Aura. It may seem like winter is far away but now is the time to start planning a project for the colder months and the winter books from Rowan are a good starting place. The indications for next winter are that cables will continue to be very fashionable and muted jewel tones with earthy cred will be popular. For those of you who can’t wrap your minds around winter knitting Woolybutt has currently a huge range of summer yarn, lots of cottons, acrylics and silk.  Recycled cotton from Sirdar is one of the new summer ranges. The colours are lovely and it is one of the few summer yarns that knits as a 10ply (ideal for those cool summer days or to throw on over a t-shirt for a brisk walk along the beach when the wind is chilly). Being a 10ply it knits quickly as well so if you start now your garment should be ready for the summer holidays.

The Melbourne Cup is on this month and Woolybutt will be closed on Monday 5th and Tuesday the 6th of November. Things will be back to normal on Wednesday the 7th i.e. 10am until 5pm Monday to Friday and 10am until 1pm on Saturdays.

Current projects: A summer cardigan in emerald green Sorrento for me, yes I do treat myself occasionally!

Happy knitting

Lorraine

October Newsletter

The first days of this month have helped remind us how summer feels and on that note Woolybutt is stocked to the gills with delicious new summer yarns. Naturally cottons are in the majority but there are also some lovely blends and the colours this year reflect the sherbet colours that are in the shops. Of course there are the more neutral, traditional colours as well. One exciting new arrival is Gemini. It is a cotton based tape yarn that can be knitted as a 10ply cotton. It is gloriously soft and comes in a wide variety of colours and is one of the few 10ply cottons on the market here in Australia. Talking of scarf yarns there are lots of new colours that have arrived and with Christmas not too far off now is the time to knit up some of these as gifts!

At Woolybutt we try our best to keep our prices low year ’round which is why we don’t have sales, in fact our prices are often what are listed as “specials” in other stores so check us out first before you plunge in buying at “end of season specials” and “closing down offers”. Don’t forget we also have a Bargain Room upstairs where discontinued lines go to live and prices are even lower. We also stock an extensive collection of  vintage patterns going back to the ’30’s and 40’s. They are not displayed in the front of the shop but inhabit the “nether” regions so if you have a hard to find pattern please give us a call, if we can’t help you we will find someone who can!

Happy knitting until next month

Lorraine