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April 4, 2020

Black Sheep Bright Ideas!


Now seem like a good time to make sure we all take good care of ourselves and those around us.

Surround yourself with gorgeous colors and great textures of yarn. Combine that with some good instructions. And get inspired to make something wonderful.

Rapido Cowl
A graceful undulation of two colors Manos del Uruguay’s Milo, gives this cowl a sense of movement.

This homespun merino and linen blend has a rustic look with a soft inviting touch. The skillful dyers at Manos made it so fun and easy to combine so many color options. We hope you will have as much fun when you make one. Click here or on the above photo to see more of this kit.

At The Beach
Designed by our own Kathy French, this soft scarf features three plant based yarns, in combinations of linen, cotton and rayon with the optional addition of a metallic.

Knitted lenthwise, the colors paint a landscape along the ocean, in the desert, or in the mountains. Enjoy your journey. Click here or on the above photo to see more of this kit.

Sorrento Valley Shawl - Risoni Variation
The rich jewel tone colors in each kit, show off the dramatic thick thin texture of Risoni, a Thai silk yarn.

Each of the five luscious colors is delineated by narrow bands of a multicolored metallic accent yarn. This symetrical triangular shawl was designed by Kathy French and can be used again and again in many different gauges. Add a touch of elegance to any look. Click here or on the above photo to see more of this kit.

Let’s keep in touch, you continue to encourage and inspire us. Let us know what we can due in return.

Your friends in fiber,

Karen, Maggie and Kathy

The Black Sheep

February 2020 Newsletter

December 2019 Newsletter

Special Holiday Hours

Tuesday, December 24 -- 10 am - 4 pm
Wednesday, December 25 -- Closed for Christmas
Tuesday, December 31, 10 am – 4 pm
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 – Closed – Happy New Year!

We wish you and yours very HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

We thank you all for your continuing support, enthusiasm and inspiration! -- Karen, Maggie and Kathy

Black Book at The Black Sheep

Now is the perfect time to let family and friends know what you want this holiday season or on any other gift giving occasion, and we’d love to help.

The Black Sheep has the "Big Black Book," a list of fiber-y items that you fill in with all the goodies you would like (including gift certificates, so you have the fun of shopping for exactly what you want!). We suggest that you take a copy home with you to leave in a strategic place, or you can simply refer your gift-giver to us. We'll be happy to help them pick out items on your list. If you already have an entry in our Big Black Book, please stop in to update your listing. It will be kept on file for future gift giving occasions.


We just unpacked a big box from Ashford containing 10" and 16" Sample-it looms, perfect for weaving beautiful scarves, and 19" x 27" tapestry looms which are great ways to make wall hangings. We also have helpful weaving tools -- tapestry beaters, stick shuttles and pick-up sticks -- and in case you want to add spinning to your fiber repertoire -- drop spindles. If you are looking for solid color merino roving or a merino/silk blend roving for spinning or felt making, there was quite a bit in that Ashford box. Included are two new colors of merino roving -- "slate" and "coral."

Weaving is definitely enjoying a resurgence, and you may want explore this exciting craft. A fun low-tech way to start weaving is with a tapestry loom, which consists of a simple wooden frame with slots or pegs to hold the vertical warp yarn. We stock small tapestry looms from Harrisville Designs in several sizes, ranging from 7" x 10" to 14.5" x 18.5". Each Harrisville loom comes with some sample yarn for a first project, and these looms are not only good for adults, but they are also great for children.

Speaking of children, and with an eye to the approaching holiday season, we also stock Harrisville's popular potholder looms.

These make wonderful gifts for the children in your life (and for quite a few adults, too). In addition to the looms, we carry bags of the loops used to weave on these looms, so that little ones can make more and more potholders. Did we mention that making these potholders can be addictive?

We are always on the lookout for lighter yarns that fit our temperate climate. We welcome Ollagua from Araucania Yarns.

This sport/DK-weight yarn is 100% linen, comes in 280-yd. skeins, and is hand-painted in lovely bright colors and stunning earthy tones. Linen is a fiber that is crisp during working and will soften the more it is washed. Ollagua will be wonderful for lightweight sweaters and drapey scarves. Maggie recommends the Churchmouse Yarns pattern "Bias Before and After Scarf" with the linen adaptation.

We think this would look great in the new Ollagua linen.


With the advent of cooler, crisper days and nights, we've replenished our stock of Araucania's worsted weight Alpaka Reina.

This incredibly soft King alpaca (19-micron "royal" alpaca, one of the finest grades of alpaca fiber) will make oh-so-warm sweaters, ponchos, hats, scarves, and all sorts of cool weather accessories. Come in soon to touch this beautiful yarn, which we have in several new colors, and ask to see Kathy's Easy Folded Poncho (from a Churchmouse pattern) knitted using Alpaka Reina.

Binkwaffles are back! These charming, colorful fabric bags will help you get organized and motivated to get those holiday projects done.

Our selection of Binkwaffle project totes come in three sizes: small, medium and large. They are reversible, have a wide strap for wrist carrying, and make wonderful gifts.

One and Done at The Black Sheep!

Bulky-weight Caracol from Malabrigo is here for you to make scarves and hats in gorgeous colorways. 1 skein + 1 evening = Another Great Gift!

On its Way:

A new yarn from Malabrigo: Caprino a blend of fine merino and cashmere. It is expected to arrive any day now, and we can hardly wait!

September 2019




1979 -- 2019

Be there or be square

September 12 to September 15 San Diego Yarn Crawl

We have special hours for these four days only:
Thursday, Friday, Saturday 9:00 - 6:00
Sunday 10:00 - 4:00

Come have fun!
Every day, all day:

► Trunk Show- 2nd Annual Customer Showcase
► Yarn Tasting- Needle & Hook Test Drive
► Give Aways
► Retrospective Fiber Fashion Display
► Interactive Fiber Time Line
► Rest Area & Refreshments
► Black Sheep Custom Colorway Yarns
► Photo Op/Selfie Station
► San Diego Surf Spots Link.
For Surf Spots click here (you will leave this page)

August 2019 Newsletter

Monthly Special- Featured Yarn and Pattern

Last month we featured Glass Houses by Cally Monster using Sweet Georgia Bulletproof Sock & Malabrigo Sock. It was so much fun that we are doing it again!

August Featured Yarn and Pattern

Customer Sue G. introduced us to a terrific pattern written by her friend Susan Venable. It's called "Padero". Designed for Shibui's Vine, this lightweight pullover features dolman sleeves and a boat neck--perfect for the summer-into-fall transition. Vine's structure is interesting: a thin strip of paper is wrapped by cotton and silk threads, producing a crisp fabric that softens when you wash it. If you like this design as much as we do, we've got a special offer for you. When you buy Shibui yarn to make this project, you will receive a 10% discount on that yarn--that's how much we like this design! The pattern is available on Ravelry, and when you purchase it along with the yarn, we can print you out for you.

What's new?

We just received a shipment of Malabrigo's newest yarn, Verano. Verano is 100% pima cotton (205 yards/100 gram skein) In a heavy-DK/light-worsted weight, and it comes in a glorious rainbow of colors. We even have some of the trendy speckled colorways. Maggie is currently knitting a Margarita shawlette using this yarn (the pattern is a free download on Ravelry), and she can't say enough about the lush, plush softness of the fabric she's producing. Her shawl is going to be a beauty! This yarn would also make highly wearable tees or turtlenecks for fall-into-winter or a beautiful throw to cuddle in for fall or winter TV watching. (Know anyone who watches football?) Come in to The Black Sheep to meet this newest member of our Malabrigo yarn family!

The San Diego Yarn Crawl is less than a month away --

Tote Bags

And it's bringing a number of special things to our store. For example, our San Diego Yarn Crawl tote bags are due to arrive soon. If you want to be sure of nabbing one of these charming souvenirs of Yarn Crawl 2019, you can order your tote bag before the Crawl by giving us a call at 858-481-6708. Supplies will be limited, so it will be wise to get yourself on our list early.


Once again we plan to feature garments, objects, and other items in our Customer Showcase. We invite you to consider loaning us something that you have made from yarns bought at The Black Sheep; it can inspire your fellow crafters to make something similar. Our retro-inspired theme this year is Blast from the Past, so we especially welcome items that you made in the past, Oldies but Goodies. We think it would very cool to see things inspired by Elizabeth Zimmerman, Meg Swanson, Kaffe Fassett, Sally Melville, Barbara Walker, color luminaries Laura Bryant (Prism Yarns) and Felicia Lo (Sweet Georgia), and two of our favorite local artists, Barbara Chapman and Colleen Davis (above). We would be honored to show off your work. You can bring items for the Customer Showcase in to The Black Sheep between now and Sept. 7.

New Custom Color(s)!

Here are the custom colors that Mountain Colors did for the 2017 and 2018 Crawls, Abalone is the skein on the left and Bolder Opal is the skein on the right. The Opalesecne scarf is knitted in Bolder Opal.

We just cannot seem to get enough of the luscious Silkdance from Mountain Colors. So we have asked them to create two (yes, two!) new custom colors for us for the 2019 Crawl. If you haven't worked with this beautiful fingering-weight merino/silk blend yarn, you are in for a treat. Our two new colors are scheduled to make their debut in early to mid-September. The new colors join their yarn-y kinfolk, custom colors Abalone and Bolder Opal, also in stock from previous Crawls.


Thursday, September 12th 9 AM - 6 PM

Friday, September 13th 9 AM - 6 PM

Saturday September 14th 9 AM - 6 PM


Sunday, September 15th 10 AM - 4 PM


To welcome you to our shop and give you lots of time to crawl, on September 12, 13, and 14, we will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. On Sunday, September 15, we will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., when we will also be hosting our friends with the Yarnover Truck. We hope to see you on that special weekend and share in the treats and surprises we have in store for you!

Maggie and Kathy are busy putting the finishing touches on their custom knit and crochet patterns and getting their beautiful samples all ready for display. Karen is putting together a retrospective Fiber Fashion Show, dressing up our store dress forms and mannequins on local surfing beach inspired "islands in the store": Swami's, Cardiff Reef, Black's Beach, Sunset Cliffs and The Silver Strand. Embracng the theme of this year's crawl -- "Retro Surf", we have all been inspired by images along the west coast like those below. We can't wait for you to come and see the Blast From the Past we have in store for you! We think you'll be stoked!

The 2019 San Diego Yarn Crawl Passport is now available for downloading and printing:

The Black Sheep will be closed on Mon. Sept. 2nd
in observance of Labor Day.

July 2019 Newsletter

Getting inspired

We are so fortunate to have so many constant sources of inspiration. Every day, all of you show us what you've just finished, what's on your needles and hooks, or a great new pattern.

Pretty colors, great pattern!

Our special, customer-recommended pattern (thank you, Diane!) this month is Glass Houses by Cally Monster.

This asymmetric triangular scarf/shawl combines two sock yarns in a variety of ways that will keep you knitting to see what happens next! We like a combination of a speckled yarn (we suggest Malabrigo's fingering weight yarn in either Sock or Mechita) with a solid or semi-solid, such as Sweet Georgia's Bulletproof Sock. (News flash! We just got a new shipment from Sweet Georgia, so our shelves are once again very well-stocked with this beautiful yarn in a rainbow of colors!)

What's new?

Lights, in the distance
Glowing halos intertwined
I walk out my front door

Shibui has done it again! This little haiku perfectly describes their newest yarn: let us introduce Tweed Silk Cloud!

This luxurious blend of 65% silk and 35% kid mohair sparkles with the glow of silk nubs in the finest aureole of mohair. More substantial than its ethereal cousin Silk Cloud, Tweed Silk Cloud is a subtle take on a tweed yarn. This lace-weight yarn comes in 190 yd. skeins. Tweed Silk Cloud will pair brilliantly with the other Shibui yarns to add depth and dimension, or it can be worked alone for a sheer, delicate fabric. Shibui is offering a two-skein cowl pattern, Sunstone, free with purchase of Tweed Silk Cloud to make the cowl.

We've been on the lookout for a sport-weight wool blend, and now it's here: Ella Rae's Cashmereno Sport.

A blend of extrafine merino wool, acrylic, and cashmere, Cashmereno Sport has a soft hand, promising lovely garments and accessories (especially for little ones), and the firm twist to its plies offers excellent stitch definition. And as a bonus, it is machine washable (but must be air dried). Each 50 gram ball is 137 yards.

In addition we now have new colors in one of our favorite Malabrigo yarns, worsted weight Rios.

Malabrigo calls this set of yarns their TriBeCa collection, which includes several soft and muted colors with names like Almond Blossom, Fog, Cosmos, and Cape Cod Gray. These new semi-solid colors pair beautifully with the variegated colorways of Rios for which Malabrigo is famous.


"Finish your garments in the style they deserve." That's the tagline on Lil Sister Blocking and Dressing Wires kits.

We at The Black Sheep love these fine, strong, and very flexible blocking wires. We find that they're especially wonderful for blocking shawls, scarves, and lace. Made of titanium, the wires will not rust or corrode, and they spring back to their original shape after each use. Each kit consists of three 55" wires, three 34" wires, three 21" wires, and 25 T-pins in a pretty clamshell case, all held tidily in a zippered see-through bag.

Have you been searching for a yarn bowl to hold your yarn while you knit or crochet? We invite you to come in for a look at our new shipment of Raku ceramic yarn bowls from Lickin'Flames.

Lickin'Flames is a small pottery up in the Sierras, about an hour outside of Sacramento. The bowls juxtapose the dark matte color of the clay against the brilliant iridescence of the glaze. Each yarn bowl is a unique work of art, and the beauty of these bowls from Lickin'Flames has to be seen to be believed.

Encore! The Customer Showcase returns for the San Diego Yarn Crawl, Sept. 12-15, 2019!

Selections from 2018-19 showcase, Left to right: Charmaine Malone, scarf; Brandy Pearson, pumpkins; Gretchen Rhoads, shawl; Rebecca Braden, lace wrap; Cheryl Dawley, shawl; Anika Hickox, crochet scarf; Sarafina Ford, lace shawl. Not pictured: Karla Alvey, entrelac lace blanket.

With rave reviews and an incredible response from all of YOU, our amazingly creative and productive customers, we would like to do it again.

So come one, come all - knitters, crocheters, weavers, felt makers, surface designers and embellishers - to display your fiber creations at The Black Sheep. This showcase features items you have made with yarns and fibers from The Black Sheep. This means items from yarns you purchased during the last 40 years, 1979-2019. Help us fill the shop with YOUR wonderful hand-made items. When you bring in your work for display, you will receive a 10% off coupon to be used on your next purchase. We hope that you'll be excited to share what all of you have been making, and inspire others in our fiber community!

Our Black Sheep spin on the Crawl's "retro surf" theme this year is Blast From the Past. We will do a retrospective show of work from Crawls gone by. So let's get "retro" - '79 to '19 and everything in between --- bring it on! Bring it in!

In order to get everything displayed before the Yarn Crawl, we would like participants to bring their items to The Black Sheep between September 3 - 7. If those dates don't work for you, please contact the shop to make other arrangements.

June 2019 Newsletter

It's summertime and the knittin' is easy.
Texture's 'jumpin' and the cotton is high.
The colors are rich, and your stitches good lookin'.
So get yourself busy, there's so much to try.

Spotlight on Shibui & Simone

Each recent Shibui pattern collection has been named after women of note. The spring 2019 collection is female vocalists. In the spotlight is Simone, a pattern that is free with purchase of the Shibui yarns to make the project. This rectangular scarf/wrap features Rain and Reed.

Knitted sample is Blueprint colorway. Colorways shown in Rain and Reed: (upper left) Ash, (middle left) Suit, (bottom right) Twilight. Colorways featured on pattern: Bone & Suit.

Play it again, Shibui

Last month we told you about Shibui's limited edition summer color Riviera, and now they've done it again. They've released another new colorway: meet Twilight! Twilight is a lovely soft lavender, and we have this stunning new color in several of Shibui's yarns, including wool/silk blend Lunar, lofty Silk Cloud, glossy cotton Rain, drapey linen Reed, rustic Twig, and sophisticated Vine.

Twilight in Lunar, Rain, Reed, Silk Cloud, Twig and Vine.

You're Just in time ---

For the new pattern release of Shibui's summer pattern collection on June 20th! Named for women of science and exploration, the summer collection consists of "Ride," a top with an asymmetric hem and neckline, "Goodall," a slimming tank top, "Earhart," an asymmetrical scarf (or wrap), "Akeley," a cardigan in the popular boxy style, and "Wanderwell," a little kerchief.

Akeley in Reed and Twig, shown with Twilight colorway; Earhart in Lunar and Reed, shown with Twilight colorway; Goodall in Cima and Reed, shown with Fjord colorway; Ride in Cima and Twig, shown with Imperial colorway.

A Quartet of Colors

If you're looking for a luxurious gradient yarn, look no further than Silk Degrade from Katia. Made of a soft blend of 35% silk, 35% cotton, and 30% viscose, each 150 gram cake has a generous 656 yards, perfect for lots of accessories or a lightweight garment. The combination of matte and shiny fibers gives the yarn a subtly marled appearance throughout the subtle change in colors. Free patterns for a knitted shawl or a crocheted poncho that use just one ball of Silk Degrade are offered by Katia with purchase of the yarn for one or the other project.

Left to right: #304 (we're calling it "Blue guitar"), 306 ("Red violin"), #303 ("Washtub bass"), #305 ("Mellow yellow cello").

We've got some Hot Stuff perfect for Summer! The Donna Poncho - a very cool tune in one or two colorways - is quick and easy to knit up in Tahki's Nina, a linen and cotton blend, or any DK to worsted weight yarn. Accessorize your Donna Poncho with Alchemy's summertime cowl, Once Upon a Twig, in which a sparkling silk and Lurex yarn harmonizes with a silk and linen tweed.

Top to bottom: Garment knitted in #02 charcoal, #01 smoke; Nina yarn balls (top to bottom): #8 blue, #28 dark blue, #23 green, #6 brown. Cowl: Alchemy Sparky in #209w Picasso blue, Alchemy Twig in #195c Hwy. 1.

No. 5 on our list of Easy Pieces---

The Easy Folded Poncho pattern from Churchmouse Yarns. Here it is showing off Sweet Georgia's Flaxen Silk Fine, a luscious fingering weight blend of silk and linen, cool and comfortable to wear all year 'round.

From top to bottom: Glacier, Jade, Racing green, Deep Cove, and Swamp Water.

These rock!

Back in stock! Our custom colors, Abalone and Bolder Opal, from Mountain Colors. Both of these colorways--unique to The Black Sheep--are hand-dyed in the luscious Silkdance yarn base. Silkdance is 75% superwash merino and 25% silk, and it comes in 430 yard hanks. Abalone's soft amethyst, green, and teal tones channel the sea and the iridescence of an abalone shell, while the striking bright colors of Bolder Opal recall the hues glistening in the matrix of boulder opals. Our custom colors tend to sell out fast, so come in soon if you want a skein. Or two ---

Viewpoint Kerchief, designed and crocheted by Maggie McDonald, made in Mountain Colors Silkdance, Bolder Opal colorway. Colors shown left to right: Abalone, and Bolder Opal.

Opalescence, designed and knitted, by Kathy French, made in Mountain Colors Silkdance, Bolder Opal colorway. Colors shown left to right: Bolder Opal, and Abalone.

The Black Sheep will be closed Thursday, July 4th, in observance of Independence Day.

Save the Dates! Sept. 12 - 15, 2019 The San Diego Yarn Crawl Get ready for a surfin' fiber safari Check out the Crawl's new website at

May 2019 Newsletter

It's the perfect time to knit a tee shirt! Or, perhaps, a fun new accessory. We hope you will be inspired by all the incredible colors and textures of yarn shown in the photographs below.

We'd love to help you select materials for any of your projects. Next, plan a day and time to reward your efforts, while wearing your newest creation, and having tea or coffee and something sweet with someone special.

We suggest Patisserie Del Mar, Opera Café, or Champagne Bakery – all in the Sorrento Valley or Del Mar area.

And since you'll be in the neighborhood, we'd love to see what you've made!

Now is Tee shirt and Accessory time!

These handy garments can be knitted or crocheted with little or no shaping, so they can be approachable for adventurous beginners, or they can be knit-to-fit just you, and they feel great when you wear them. Here is a sample of patterns for tee shirts that can be knitted in sport, DK, or even fingering-weight summery yarns, which we have in abundance at The Black Sheep. Most of the patterns are available on Ravelry, and we can sell them to you if you wish. When you purchase the materials (yarn and pattern) to make one of the tees, we'll print a copy of your chosen pattern for you so you can start right away!

Summer, by Ankestrick, is written for DK weight yarn. It would be very successful in Zooey (Juniper Moon, 60% cotton and 40% linen), Savanna (Queensland Collection, 66% silk and 34% linen), or Rain (Shibui, 100% cotton).

Tee yarn suggestions pictured above: Juniper Moon Zooey (color #22), Queensland Savanna (color #33), Shibui Rain (color #2022 Mineral). Accessory pictured: Viewpoint Kerchief, designed & crocheted by Maggie McDonald, shown in Ella Rae Rustic Silk (color #04 Rosenberg).

Walk Along, also by Ankestrick, is written for fingering-weight yarn, so we would suggest Twig (Shibui, 46% linen, 42% recycled silk, and 12% wool), Flaxen Silk Fine (Sweet Georgia, 65% silk and 35% linen), Alba (BC Garn,100% organic cotton), or Just Cotton (DMC, 100% cotton).

Tee yarn suggestions pictured above: BC Garn Alba (colors 14, 30), DMC Just Cotton (color 09), Sweet Georgia Flaxen Silk Fine (colors Lady Grey, Snowfall), Shibui Twig (colors #2035 Fog, #2003 Ash). Accessory pictured: Playa cowl, designed and crocheted by Maggie McDonald, shown in Noro Taiyo Sport; suggested yarns Noro Mirai (colors 9, 12, and 18), Taiyo Sport (color 8).

Lucia from Shibui features a beautiful and sophisticated eyelet-ribbed edging on the sleeves and at the hemline. The pattern is written for their 100% linen fingering-weight yarn Reed, held double, but this tee could also be knitted with sport/dk yarns such as Shibui's Rain (100% cotton), or Polynesia (Katia, 50% cotton, 22% linen, and 22% Viscose) held single. This pattern would be particularly good for someone who wants a short sleeve, rather than a cap sleeve.

Tee yarn suggestions pictured above: Shibui Reed (color #13 Caffeine), Shibui Rain (color #2041 Pollen), Katia Polynesia (color #69). Knitted accessory pictured: Shifting Silk scarf by Beet Street Yarns, color Asparagus; kit shown in color Cucumber.

In Churchmouse's brand new Spring 2019 pattern collection, the Sideways Tee, caught our attention this month. This relaxed-fit top is designed for fingering-weight held double or a DK-weight yarn held single. We suggest Shibui's fingering-weight linen chainette Reed, Shibui's DK-weight 100% cotton Rain, or rustic silk/linen blend Savanna by Queensland.

Tee yarn suggestions pictured above: Shibui Reed (colors #115 Brick, #2181 Bone, and #2003 Ash), Queensland Savanna (colors #10 and #40). Knitted accessory pictured: Hewson shawl by Kelbourne Woolens, knitted by Maggie in BC Garn Tussah Tweed (color #09) and Shibui Linen (color #2018 Bordeaux).

Churchmouse's classic Simple Tee is fun to knit, too--especially with Shibui's Twig, Reed, or Rain. Kathy's sample of this tee, knitted with Rain in the Brick colorway, is shown here, accessorized with Alchemy's Seattle cowl. This slightly shaped tee provides a flattering body-skimming fit--not too loose, not too tight, just right.

Model in photo knitted in Shibui Rain (color #115 Brick). Other yarn suggestion pictured above: Shibui Twig (color #2041 Pollen). Knitted accessory pictured: Seattle Cowl by Alchemy, knitted by Kathy in Alchemy's Twig (color 193c Indian Paintbrush), Silken Straw (color #172m Temple Gold) and Sparky (#207f Venus).

And speaking of Shibui, we now have several Shibui yarn bases in their newest (limited edition) color Riviera.

This luminous blue-green glows like the Mediterranean Sea on a sunny day, and any garment knitted using it is sure to capture the essence of summer. From the top we show: Silk Cloud, Rain, Lunar, Reed, Vine.

New yarn at The Black Sheep!

We have received Malabrigo's newest yarn, Susurro! This DK/sport-weight yarn is a single strand (rather than plied) and blends three fibers: 50% silk, 25% linen, and 25% (non-superwash) merino wool. We have both solid colors and some very interesting variegated and speckled colors as well, and each soft 325-yard skein absolutely glows. We can hardly wait to get some of this on our needles!

The Black Sheep will be closed on Memorial Day -- Monday, May 27, in observance of the holiday.

April 2019 Newsletter

Better late than never, but just in time to encourage you to celebrate because--

Local Yarn Store Day Is Saturday, April 27

What better day to encourage everyone to WEAR & SHARE -- SHOW & TELL SOMETHING YOU HAVE MADE.

The amazing array of what can be done with fiber always delights, energizes and inspires everyone!

The best way to thank you for your support is to give 10% off any regularly priced items purchased that day.

See You Saturday!


Limited to stock on hand, valid 1 day only

Saturday April 27, 10:00 - 6:00


Photo 1:
Once Upon a Twig Cowl - by Alchemy Yarns -- upper cowl:

Knitted by Maggie McDonald

Twig - Spectralite

Sparky - Prairie

Lower cowl -- Twig - Spectralite

Sparky - Spectralite

Yarn Kits (on top of bust) - On Left: Sparky - Lost Coast,

Twig - Lost Coast;

On Right: Sparky - Hemlock,

Twig - Spectralite

Photo 2:
Malabrigo Washted Scarf, designed by Kathy French

Knitted in Sunset, Piedras & Pocion.

Photo 3:
Sorrento Valley Shawl - Risoni version designed by Kathy French

Knitted by Maggie McDonald in Beet Street / The Loom Risoni.
Black 02

Teal 11

Olive 09

Medium Blue 14

Dark Blue 12

Dark Green 10

Sparky: Lapis

Photo 4:

Once upon a Twig Cowl by Alchemy yarns -- upper cowl:

Knitted by Maggie McDonald

Twig - Rainbow Warrior

Sparky - Jasper

Lower Cowl:

Twig - Prairie

Sparky - Shaman

Yarn kits -- On Left:

Sparky- Picasso Blue

Twig - Hwy 1

In Center:

Twig - Rainbow Warrior

Sparky - Huckleberry

On Right:

Sparky - Indian Paintbrush

Twig - Indian Paintbrush

Photo 5:

Sorrento Shawl - Risoni Version

Designed & Knitted by Kathy French


Gold 08

Olive 09

Brown 17

Dark Green 10

Teal 11

Russett 07

Sparky: Spectralite

March 2019 Newsletter

The longer and warmer days of spring are here, and we at The Black Sheep welcome the lighter and brighter projects that greet this new season. We hope that you'll join us in your own fiber-y exploration of lovely soft wools and silks, and a variety of plant-based fibers like linen, cotton, and hemp.

"Warmed by early sun
Waking, curious
A tendril curls toward a new day"

A poetic introduction to newest Shibui yarn, Vine! An unusual fiber combination, Vine is 41% paper, 31% cotton, and 28% silk. This DK-weight yarn is composed of a flat hemp-based paper core wrapped in glossy strands of silk and cotton, and comes in Shibui's sophisticated color scheme of soft neutrals with "pop" colors. Vine's 160 yards can be used on its own to make an open fabric or combined with other Shibui yarns for greater depth and complexity.

Also newly arrived is the spring 2019 Shibui pattern collection, which features Vine in two patterns in the collection. The pattern shown is "Mitchell," in a lovely, dark, rich blue called Suit. (Our order of this color should be in stock soon - let us know if we need to give you a call when it arrives.) All the patterns in the spring collection are named "for [female] musicians who have led us on explorations of love, justice & joy." Darcy Cameron, owner of Shibui, asks "what music 'she-roes' have moved you or changed your perspective." We'd like to know too!

As we approach the warmer seasons, we've been on the lookout for lighter weight yarns, and we'd like to introduce you to Alba from the Danish company BC Garn! Alba is 100% organic cotton, certified by GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard), and it comes in 50 gram balls at 175 yards each. Alba knits up at a fingering or light sport-weight gauge of 6.5 stitches per inch, and it comes in lovely soft neutrals and spritely Spring colors. It would be beautiful in garments for little ones, or in a scoop-neck or crew-neck top that will transition gracefully from Spring into Summer.

We announce two arrivals from Frabjous Fibers: their Watercolor Collection of Sari Ribbon and hand-dyed silk hankies. The ribbon is produced by cutting sari silk into strips and sewing the strips together. (Each skein weighs 100 grams and contains approximately 50 yards.) The yarn base comes from India, and the Frabjous Fibers dyers, who are in Vermont, add the beautiful soft colors. Silk is a very strong fiber (remember: it used to be used for parachutes!), so this yarn would make beautiful and sturdy knitted or crocheted bags and pillow covers, as well as many other craft projects. It will make fabulous fringe on a scarf too!

Silk hankies consist of silk fiber that is stretched on a frame after the removal of the glue that holds a cocoon together. Each 1 ounce package contains many layers of individual gauzy hankies, which are easiest to use if you separate the layers. The dyers at Frabjous Fibers dyed these layers, which like all silk, take the dyes with glorious intensity. We have some relatively solid colors and some gradients, and we can't stop admiring them! What can you do with this fiber? You can use it in felting projects (the silk won't felt, but combine it with wool and it will be beautiful), you can spin it into lustrous yarn, or you can just draft the fiber and knit with it! Photo clockwise from center top: #215 Poseidon, #207 Moulin Rouge, #210 Redwood Forest, #200 Aurora, #214 Cathedral, #211 Spilled Ink.

Featured yarn for March!

Linen is THE classic warm-weather fiber, and a blend of silk and linen such as Vera from Anzula combines the drape of silk with the breathability of linen. This light sport-weight yarn (65% silk, 35% linen; 365 yards per skein) comes in a wide variety of colors and could be worn comfortably year-round in Southern California. As examples, we invite you to explore these patterns on Ravelry for some ideas: the French Glenn shawl, the Saltmarsh Shell, the Vaara pullover, and A Slice of Linen, another pullover. Then come and see the softly tonal, happy colors of Vera.


We recently received more Bulletproof Sock (fingering weight; 50% superwash merino, 15% silk, 15% mohair, 20% nylon; 437 yards/skein) from Sweet Georgia. The shipment includes several best-selling colors and some beautiful new colors that are subtly variegated. We love to walk past these beautiful rainbow-colored shelves!

For spinners and felters--regardless of your technique--we have restocked our collection of 100% merino roving, and the luscious merino / silk blend roving. We sell roving by the ounce or by the pound. We have lots of colors in stock. We have been told that it can be difficult to find roving in stores, and we're very happy to support spinners, felt-makers and weavers.

Back in stock: Sample-It rigid heddle looms from Ashford. Weaving on small looms has taken the knitting world by storm recently. If you want to see what all the hoopla is about, come in to see our Sample-It looms, which come in 10" and 16" weaving widths. These looms are perfect for weaving scarves, table runners, or garments made from rectangular panels, and pair beautifully with soft hand-knitting yarns.

In addition to Vine, we've added some new-to-us colors in several Shibui yarns: Suit, Bone, Shore and White. These colors come in fingering-weight linen Reed, mercerized cotton chainette Rain, tweedy sport-weight blend Twig. All of these yarns are perfect for your spring projects, especially those with a traditionally white-and-blue nautical theme. Come in and see them soon!

February 2019 Newsletter

The team at The Black Sheep wishes you a very happy new year!

We hope that your winter holiday season was joyous and included some high quality fiber time. Now that we've reached the new year, we hope that we can all take a deep breath and find some "just for me" time. For us that means time spent with needles, hooks, spindles--whatever strikes your fancy--and beautiful fiber, with maybe a cup of tea, coffee, or another beverage by our side. We hope that you'll be able to find YOUR happy place.


The Yarnover Truck at The Black Sheep! Saturday, Feb. 9th 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

We can't think of a better way to get the year to a great start - filled with fun and fiber! Barbra is bringing the Yarnover Truck for a visit with us on Saturday Feb. 9! Barbra carries yarns from a number of small indie dyers, so this is a great opportunity for project inspiration and stash enhancement. Take advantage of the "two-fer" proximity of both The Black Sheep and the Truck to do some mixing and matching of colors and textures; if one of us doesn't have something you're looking for, maybe the other will! If you haven't visited the Truck before, this will be your chance to experience this colorful yarn shop on wheels.

What would YOU like to make? We have suggestions!

We've been looking at all of our beautiful yarns and thinking about new projects to take us from winter through spring. Here are some of our favorite ideas that we're eager to share with you.

Shibui's patterns all use their wonderful yarns, and the ones that were released in Fall 2018 are all named for female authors. Isn't that great? Didion is a cowl made holding Echo (52% silk noil and 42% fine merino; 160 yards/skein) and Silk Cloud (60% kid mohair and 40% silk; 330 yards/skein) together to make a super soft plush fabric. The cowl consists of two linked circles, each in its own colorway. You slip both loops over your head producing the same effect as double-wrapping one long cowl.

Plath is a short cardigan/jacket with an extremely flattering portrait collar (you might feel like Audrey Hepburn). It is knitted from Cima (70% baby alpaca and 30% fine merino; 328 yards per skein) and Echo. In some parts of the sweater the two yarns are held together and treated as one yarn, but in other parts you use just one or the other, making a very interesting construction

Or you might like Solo (M.1), a scarf knitted using super soft, DK-weight Maai (70% superbaby alpaca and 30% fine merino; 175 yards/skein). This pattern provides instructions for two sizes of scarf, and the stitch pattern effectively emphasizes the cushy texture produced by the chainette structure of the yarn. (Come on in and feel our swatch knitted in the stitch pattern.) This scarf will keep you or your very special person comfortable until the weather warms up!

Spotlight on Milo! Milo from Manos del Uruguay, that is. Milo is a DK-weight single-ply blend of 65% merino wool and 35% linen with a rustic appearance and soft hand. Milo is perfect for lightweight garments and accessories. The semi-solid version is dyed for a subtle tonal look, it would look beautiful in any of the four Malabrigo patterns that call for this yarn (one for a scarf, two for shawls, and one for a tank top).

And we think it would also be just the thing for a few of our favorite patterns from Churchmouse Yarns: the Easy Folded Poncho, the classically styled Library Vest, and the Walking Rib Cowl/Scarf.

In addition to the semi-solid colors of Milo, we have just added some space-dyed colorways that harmonize beautifully with the semi-solids. If you have been thinking of trying one of the very popular "fade" patterns, the combination of space-dyed and semi-solid Milo may be just the ticket. We also have kits from Manos for a lovely fish-tail scarf with a progression of colors: the Milo Pradera scarf. Pradera kits include the pattern and four skeins of Milo.

While we're on the subject of Milo, we decided to try holding it together with our favorite mohair/silk blend, Shibui's Silk Cloud, just to see what it would look like. Wow! Milo is beautiful alone, but it is plush and gorgeous paired with Silk Cloud. Ask to see our swatches made using this yarn combination. You can knit it on larger needles to a worsted-weight gauge, or on slightly smaller needles to keep it compact at a DK-weight gauge. Some patterns that would work well with the Milo/Silk Cloud combo include Churchmouse's Flat Rib Popover sweater, their Quadrangle Wrap and their Two-Point Cowl

For our silk lovers!

BC Garn's Tussah Tweed (100% tussah silk; 275 yards/skein) is a light fingering weight silk yarn that will make ethereal accessories for four-season wear in Southern California. We have four free patterns that were designed especially for this yarn (a vest, two lace scarves, and a tank top), but the yarn would look fabulous in anything from accessories constructed using a less complicated stitch pattern to a lace shawl.

Rustic Silk from Ella Rae offers a slightly different take on tweedy silk in a fingering weight. This 100% silk yarn comes both in vibrant colorways and in more subdued versions, and although it has a speckled, tweedy appearance, the texture is smooth. Maggie crocheted her Viewpoint Scarf design (a Black Sheep exclusive pattern) using it, and Kathy plans to hold it together with Lana Grossa's Silkhair Degrade to make Shibui's Spectrum scarf. Like Tussah Tweed, Rustic Silk can be used in a wide variety of lightweight accessories that you'll enjoy wearing year-round in Southern California.

New stuff

Calling on cotton lovers: we have a new chunky-weight cotton. It is Juniper Moon's Bud, made of 100% organic Peruvian cotton. Super-soft and spun with a slightly pebbly texture, Bud is perfect for garments, blankets and children's items. Bud comes in bright, 109-yard skeins. Juniper Moon has several sweater and accessory patterns available on Ravelry (check out Asteria, Chaido, Bia, Chrysa, Eleni and Dimitra, all by Claudia Wersing, for inspiration).

Take note all you Malabrigo fanatics out there - the new Washted yarn is here! To quote Malabrigo, Washted is "a superwash version of the classic Worsted merino base. While remaining true to the original softness of Worsted, we 'washed it' so you can too …" Washted is a single-ply, 100% superwash merino yarn that comes in 210 yd. skeins and shows off Malabrigo's wonderful colorways to perfection. It reminds us greatly of Mecha's squishy softness and glazed, richly dyed appearance. Washted will be excellent for garments, hats, throws, and all kinds of accessories.

Here are some suggested patterns available on Ravelry: for knitters, the Antia Shawl or the Ola Shawl, or how about a trio of accessories? Free for downloading there are the Malabrigo Hand Thingies (fingerless mitts), the Malabrigo Head Thingie (you guessed it--a hat), and the Malabrigo Neck Thingie (a cowl). For the more ambitious knitter, Andrea Mowrey's Weekender sweater would be beautiful and very comfortable made with Washted. For crocheters, check out the Sunset Waves Cowl (also free for downloading). And last, Maggie has her eye on a skein to make the Tangled Lines cabled hat designed by our own Kathy.

Yarn Bowls are back in stock!

Yarn Bowls are back in stock! We got a shipment of the glorious iridescent raku ceramic yarn bowls from Lickin' Flames, a small pottery in the eastern Sierras. In the raku technique, red-hot pieces are removed from the kiln and placed in a container holding combustible material, which catches fire. Then the container is closed, producing an atmosphere that interacts with the clay and the glaze to produce surprising results. These bowls are beautifully shaped, so you'll be able to feed your yarn out with no danger of tipping or rolling. Fair warning: the bowls are both beautiful and highly functional, so they're going fast. We'd love to show them to you. And we know this very helpful tool might be just what you want for Valentine's Day.

December 2018 Newsletter

Fiber indulgence for all --- to make, to give and to receive

It's time to make wonderful things and an abundance of inspiration awaits you at The Black Sheep: quick knits, gorgeous crochet, fast felt and woven wonders. Remember to let those near and dear to you know what you would love to receive so you can keep making them great stuff!

New stuff!

If you're looking for a fun yarn, try the new and lovely Blossoms from Wonderland Yarns/Frabjous Fibers. This fingering-weight yarn comes in 425 yard hand-dyed gradient cakes. Blossoms will be perfect for lacy shawls, cowls, or socks. You've got to come in to see and feel these beautiful bouquets of fiber eye candy that don't wilt and don't have any calories either!!

If you're looking for a worsted-weight merino wool blend, you might try HiKoo's Sueno Worsted. Made of 80% superwash merino and 20% bamboo, super soft Sueno Worsted comes in 182-yd. hanks. Ideal for sweaters, accessories, and throws/afghans, Sueno Worsted is available in solid or heathered colors.

Introducing Nurture by Euro Yarns! Nurture -- a slightly textured, DK to light worsted-weight yarn from Euro Baby -- is made from soft Peruvian Tanguis cotton and comes in generous 219-yard hanks. It is easy care (machine washable and either dry flat or tumble dry low) and will be perfect for baby and children's garments and blankets, adult sweaters, and accessories. We have Nurture in lots of glorious colors, ranging from neutrals, to pastels, to dynamic brights.

In the Notions department, we have new items to offer: wooden shawl sticks and row counter rings from Knitter's Pride. The shawl sticks are made from dyed and laminated birch wood and come in several interesting shapes and pretty colors. The row counter rings fit over a thumb or index finger, allowing you to keep track of rows without putting down your knitted or crocheted project. Just keep knitting or crocheting! Also from Knitter's Pride is Teekri, a new handcrafted jewelry line featuring their hand-dyed hardwood.

If you've been looking for a long-color-repeat mohair and silk blend, come in to see Lana Grossa's Silkhair Degrade. This yarn is 70% mohair, 30% silk (440 yards per skein) and comes in a pull skein with an amazing 440 yards. Its colors shade gracefully into each other, and it will be beautiful worked by itself to show off its long color runs, or it can be held together with another more solid color yarn to add a subtle color change, light warmth and a lovely halo.


Just in time for holiday gift-giving, we announce a shipment of potholder looms and tapestry looms from Harrisville Designs.

The potholder looms come in 2 sizes--the traditional 7.5" x 7.5" square and the larger 10" x 10" 'pro' size. The original potholder loom kit comes with enough cotton loops to make 2 potholders, the deluxe potholder loom comes with cotton loops to make 6 potholders, and the potholder pro makes 2 big potholders. We also stock refill bags of cotton loops in both the traditional and pro sizes. These potholder looms make great holiday gifts for the children (or adventurous adults) in your life. In addition to the potholder looms, we have tapestry looms from Harrisville in stock; the tapestry looms range in size from the 7" x 10" pegloom to the 12" x 16" and 14.5" x 18.5" laplooms. These little looms come with yarn and supplies to begin tapestry weaving, and are perfect for both children and adults. If you or a child want an easy introduction to wet felting, we also have Harrisville's Felted Soap Bar kit. Each kit contains full printed instructions, brightly colored wool roving and a bar of soap. These kits make perfect stocking stuffers!

The Black Sheep's own custom colors are back in town!

Bolder Opal, the custom colorway we introduced during the 2018 San Diego Yarn Crawl, is back in stock! Also back by popular demand is our 2017 custom color, Abalone. Both Bolder Opal and Abalone are in Mountain Colors fabulous Silkdance base, 430 yards of 75% superwash merino wool and 25% silk fingering weight yarn. If you haven't made the acquaintance of these two beautiful colorways, come in soon because they typically sell out fast! Along with our custom colors, we received from Mountain Colors more of their cheerful, bright, speckled sock yarns: Crazyfoot (425 yds.; 90% superwash merino, 10% nylon) and Twizzlefoot (450 yds.; 53% superwash merino, 17% domestic wool, 17% silk, 13% nylon). To increase the sock yarn madness, we also have more mini skeins of Crazyfoot to offer, including several speckled minis and variegated minis.

Good news! The charming Shifting Silk scarf kits from The Loom/Beet Street Yarns are back in stock.

Each kit includes the Shifting Silk scarf pattern, 3 balls of Thai silk (silk/cotton blend Fusilli-80, matte silk Speck, and thick-and-thin Risoni), all packaged in a clear plastic lidded cup that doubles as a yarn bowl. The kits come in lots of colors, so come in soon for the best choice. These fun kits make great gifts! We also carry the thick-and-thin Risoni in open stock (ask to see Kathy's Sorrento Valley shawl in Risoni), and have started to carry Fusilli-80, which is a blend of 80% silk with 20% cotton).

If you're ready to add more equipment to your treasure trove of fiber-related tools, we have ball winders and wooden umbrella swifts in stock.

If you've been hand-winding hanks into balls of yarn and are interested in making a change, swifts and ball winders are just the thing. The umbrella swift holds the strands of a hank of yarn taut while the ball winder organizes the strands into a center-pull ball. So if a family member has been grumbling about holding yarn while you wind it, come investigate umbrella swifts and ball winders. Or better yet, whisper in Santa's ear and then come in to fill out your Wish List page in our Big Black Book. We'll make you a copy to hang on the fridge, or email, or place strategically on the coffee table.

What's on our needles?

Lots of wonderful things, gifts for family and friends. Let's all relax, put our feet up and enjoy the pleasure of making.

P.S. We want to see what's on your needles, anytime you want to show us!

Holiday Hours

Monday, Dec. 24 (Christmas Eve) -- Open 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 25 (Christmas) -- Closed.

Wednesday, Dec. 26 - Saturday, Dec. 29 -- Open 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 30 - Tuesday, Jan. 1 -- Closed. Happy New Year!

Regular hours 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. resume on Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2019.

November 2018 Newsletter

10,000 new knitters!

We had a great time on Saturday, November 10, with everyone who participated in this special event! All of the kits that we received from Skacel ended up in the hands of new knitters. We hope that the participants had as much fun as we did and that they will continue to practice this rewarding craft. We send sincere thanks to Skacel for initiating and supporting such a happy day.

Holiday Hours!

The Black Sheep will close early at 4 p.m. on Wed. Nov. 21, and will be closed all day on Thurs. Nov. 22 for observance of Thanksgiving. We hope you have a wonderful day filled with family, friends and all your favorite things!

Black Sheep -- Black Friday -- and Beyond!

We're here for you all day Friday and Saturday 10 to 6, so we can help you with holiday gift inspiration that will warm the hearts, heads, and hands of all on your gift list.

For knitters, a couple of our favorites are Alchemy's Seattle cowl, and our Tangled Lines on the Bay hat.

For crocheters, we suggest our Gullwing beanie and Playa cowl.

For more inspiration, we suggest gift certificates, interchangeable needle sets, umbrella swifts & ball winders, project bags, looms, needle and crochet hook holders, project kits with patterns, and YARN.

And don't forget to fill out or update your wish list entry in our Big Black Book. Then you can direct those looking for gift ideas for YOU to your wish list in our book. Or you can leave a copy of the wish list form in a strategic place -- like the coffee table or kitchen counter --

In with the new ---

Just in time for luxurious holiday gift-giving or wearing at parties! We received from Trendsetter kits for a super-soft, 100% cashmere 4-color accessory called the Moving Lines Cashmere Trio. The pattern includes instructions for a choice of a triangular shawlette (48" wide and 17" long at the widest point), a scarf, or a cowl . The color combinations are sophisticated and will go with a wide variety of garments. This special yarn will glide through your fingers and settle gently on shoulders.

For knitters who love alpaca, we now have Skacel's Oh! By HiKoo (191 yards/skein). This aran/chunky weight super-soft 100% alpaca yarn has a chainette structure, so it can be used for soft and warm scarves, cowls, hats, and other accessories. We have Oh! in both brights and neutral colors, and the gauge of this yarn would make it a quick knit for special people on your holiday gift list.


The very attractive Alpaka Reina from Araucania has expanded to a palette of 21 incredible colors. Alpaka Reina is made of "king" alpaca, a term used to describe 19-micron royal alpaca, one of the finest grades of alpaca available. This worsted-weight yarn is sumptuously soft, comes in a plentiful 219-yard skein, and is perfect for both garments and plush accessories.

Keeping with the alpaca theme, six new colors of the popular Dos Tierras from Malabrigo (50% baby alpaca, 50% merino wool; 210 yards per skein) have arrived. If you are a connoisseur of Malabrigo's colorways, the new colors are: Azul Profundo, Purpuras, Piedras, Solis, Reflecting Pool and Plomo. This DK-weight yarn has a pebbly texture and is lusciously soft. We like it for sweaters, cozy scarves, cowls and other accessories.

Along with the Dos Tierras, several other yarns came in our latest Malabrigo shipment: worsted-weight Rios (including 2 new colors, with more on the way); bulky-weight thick and thin Caracol, single-ply fingering-weight Mechita (including a new-to-us speckled color called Renaissance), and another fingering-weight, the mulberry silk Mora, which was one of our featured yarns during the recent San Diego Yarn Crawl.

If you've admired the silk tweed yarn we added a few months ago, BC Garn's Tussah Tweed (100% silk; 272 yards per skein), we have several more colors in stock, ranging from neutrals to earthy tones to fun brights. If you haven't yet seen (and felt) this special yarn with its colorful flecks, we encourage you to make its acquaintance. It knits at about 6 stitches/inch and will make beautiful and distinctive scarves, shawls, or even lightweight sweaters.

We recently welcomed a new shipment from Sweet Georgia, which expanded our color range of both Bulletproof Sock (50% superwash merino, 15% silk, 15% mohair, 20% nylon; 437 yards/skein) and Flaxen Silk Fine (65% silk, 35% linen; 480 yards/skein). Both of these fingering weight yarns come in beautiful colors that blend easily with one another, and they can be used to construct a wide variety of accessories--scarves, cowls, wraps--and sweaters. Their light weight makes them particularly appropriate for three-season wear in Southern California. Ask to see Kathy's poncho, knitted from Flaxen Silk Fine using Churchmouse's Easy Folded Poncho pattern, to feel this soft and light fabric.

Another treat from Knitter's Pride

From India, we have received a selection of Teekri jewelry. These pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings are fashioned from wood that has been dyed in beautiful colors and laminated. The wood is conscientiously sourced from sustainably harvested forests, and the pieces are fashioned by women working under the umbrella of Knitter's Pride, and in many pieces the wood is mounted in metal. We hope that when you are at The Black Sheep you will check out these colorful pieces.

Weaving Our Way

As weaving is once again becoming more popular -- especially with the advent of smaller, more portable looms -- we're returning to our roots (The Black Sheep started as a weaving shop) by stocking small looms that appeal to knitters and crocheters. We have the Sample-It rigid heddle looms from Ashford Handicrafts of New Zealand. These looms come in two weaving widths: a 10" loom and a 16" loom, and we currently have the 16" loom in stock. Included with each loom are several tools (shuttles, threading hook, warping peg, etc.) and a step-by-step color booklet with instructions for how to warp the loom and how to do plain weave. In addition to the Sample-It looms, we have the Ashford Knitter's Loom, in a 20" weaving width; the Knitter's Loom folds for easy transportation.

If you're intrigued by the thought of learning to spin your own yarn, we stock drop spindles from Ashford. We also carry the fiber you can spin with: Ashford's merino wool roving and a beautiful merino and silk blend roving, and both kinds of roving come in multiple colors to choose from. We also have back in stock natural colored and rainbow dyed curly English Leicester wool locks. These locks are very popular with felt-makers and doll-makers (love that crazy hair).

What's on our needles?

Maggie and Kathy have finished their FLOTUS shawl knit-along (pattern design by Shannon Squire), and they are both very happy with how versatile this year's Black Sheep custom color Bolder Opal has proven to be. They plan another knit-along after the first of the year, but for now they're concentrating on holiday knitting, although Kathy has started another Easy Folded Poncho using Araucania's Alpaka Reina (100% alpaca; 219 yards/skein).

To err is human ---

If you downloaded the pattern for the Ebb Tide in Moonlight shawlette (or received a printed copy during the San Diego Yarn Crawl), please check your copy for the following error.

In the instructions for the lace insert rows, Row 3L should read:

Row 3L (RS) k2, slm, m1L, *k3, yo, sl1 k2tog psso, yo; repeat from * until there are 6 or fewer stitches remaining on the left needle, knit to marker, m1R, slm, k2.

Kathy is very, VERY sorry that she missed the omission of the yo that is in bold-face above.

October 2018 Newsletter

Thank you for coming on the Yarn Crawl journey with us! We had fun seeing so many of you, and we hope you had a wonderful time too!


Just to wrap up a few things: Our patterns designed for the Yarn Crawl (Kathy's Ebb Tide in Moonlight knitted shawlette, Maggie's Viewpoint crocheted kerchief, and our very popular "Wringlings" bracelets) are still available for downloading from our website, , but only until October 15th. After the 15th, we will have the patterns for sale in the shop.

Our fabulous new custom color, Bolder Opal (dyed for us by the wonderful women of Mountain Colors in their Silkdance yarn), was a huge hit. We do have a few skeins left, and we have ordered more from Mountain Colors, so if you want some Bolder Opal, please give us a call and we will set aside a skein (or more) for you. The photos show Maggie's Viewpoint Kerchief crocheted in Bolder Opal, and Kathy's newest pattern, Opalescence, designed in half-linen stitch to show off Bolder Opal's brilliant color variation. The pattern for Opalescence will be available for sale in the shop beginning Saturday, October 13.

If you Crawled with us on the Thursday or Friday (September 13, 14), you missed out on a free emery board, which didn't arrive at the shop until Saturday, September 15; you are welcome to stop by the shop to claim your emery board.

Finally, the lucky winner of The Black Sheep's gift basket is Meg Lawrence, who said generously said that she plans to share some of her bounty with friends.

Coming attractions!

Skacel, U.S. distributor of Addi needles, is sponsoring a great event to bring 10,000 new knitters into the fiber fold all across the USA and all on one special day! We're eager to participate in this worthy cause. The world needs more knitters.

Saturday, November 10th (2 sessions of teaching)

We will offer one "learn to knit" class session from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a second session will run from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. No prior experience is required, but we ask that you pre-register.

WHERE? At The Black Sheep

Skacel has sent us 25 FREE kits, each containing a pair of addiLinos size 8 straight needles, a ball of HiKoo Sueno worsted-weight yarn (80% merino wool, 20% viscose from bamboo), and instructions for knitting an exclusive beginner-friendly pair of fingerless mitts.

Email us ( to 1.) Reserve space in one of the 2-hour knitting classes or; 2.) If you are a teacher who has a student or; 3.) You are a new knitter who has someone to teach you. Please let us know as soon as possible which of the three options you prefer. If you'd like to sign up for our class, specify whether you prefer the morning or the afternoon session. Please include your full name, phone number, and email address to reserve your space or kit. We will send you an email to confirm your place in a session and/or that we've saved you a kit.

Anyone who is at least 16 years old and who wants to learn to knit. If you learned to knit at one time, but have forgotten what you learned and would like a refresher, we'd welcome you, too.


It's time -- to get out The Black Sheep's Big Black Book and update your wish list! According to shop legend, it is considered wise to have your wish list updated and available by Oct. 31st, so that any who choose to shower you with gifts know what you yearn for!

New stuff

We've joined the mini-skein craze! We've added mini skeins of Mountain Colors Crazyfoot in lots of beautiful saturated colors. Crazyfoot is a blend of 90% superwash merino and 10% nylon, and each adorable fingering-weight mini comes in a 90-yd. hank, perfect for those projects where you need small amounts of lots of colors. They're perfect in shawls, socks, lightweight hats, and even The Black Sheep's new "Wringlings" bracelets. Make these bangles in a number of different colors and stack them on your arm to create a variety of combinations.

Another new-to-us fingering-weight yarn is Admiral Cat Print from Schoppel. This variegated yarn comes in generous 460-yd. skeins, and is 75% superwash virgin wool and 25% nylon. If you like a hard-wearing wool sock yarn with some nylon in it, this very well could be the perfect yarn for you. We have Admiral Cat Print in 7 fun colorways.
For holding small to medium-sized projects, we offer DellaQ's Nora wrist bags (nope, that's not a typographical error for Noro). With a wide wrist strap for comfort, these unusual bags come in eye-catching striped prints and in a subdued denim, and they are the perfect size to accommodate small- to medium-sized like scarves, hats, or socks.
Joining the Knitter's Pride family of knitting needles are their new Ginger needles. We now stock Ginger circular needles in selected sizes, and we are reordering the Gingers in interchangeable circular sets, which come in 5" "regular" tips (sizes US 3 - 17) or 4" "special" tips (sizes US 3 - 17), with cords and connectors to match. The Ginger interchangeable sets are housed in a very clever case that doubles as a magnetic pattern holder. Knitter's Pride is located in Rajasthan, India, and owned by women. They currently employ 350 women and proudly state "we never refuse a job to women looking for work," so buying their needles provides you with happy knitting and helps women who need employment.
Restockings We recently received a shipment of Sweet Georgia's Bulletproof Sock and Flaxen Silk Fine in Sweet Georgia's glowing colors. If you haven't yet had the pleasure of working with these yarns, we encourage you to check them out. Fingering-weight Bulletproof Sock earns its name; the fiber combination (50% superwash merino, 15% silk, 15% mohair, 20 % nylon; 437 yards per skein) will stand up even to hard use, while at the same time it retains next-to-the-skin softness. Flaxen Silk Fine is a heavy fingering/light sport weight yarn (65% silk, 35% linen; 480 yards per skein) that produces a soft and drapey fabric which nonetheless holds its shape very well. Ask to see (and feel) our Churchmouse Easy Folded Poncho knitted using Flaxen Silk Fine.

Help knitters affected by Hurricane Florence! Through Oct. 15, Anzula Yarns of Fresno is donating 100% of the proceeds from Ravelry sales of the Camille Scarf to two North Carolina "yarn friends" who lost homes and a business to Hurricane Florence. If you wish to support Anzula's effort to help fellow fiber artists, please go to and read all about it. We think that Malabrigo Arroyo would be perfect for the Camille Scarf!


Until Halloween, you can acquire your Customer Appreciation Tag by making a purchase of at least $25.00 AND mentioning our Let the CAT Out of the Bag promotion. On future visits to the shop between now and October 31, 2018 bring your CAT to The Black Sheep to receive $5.00 off your purchase of $25.00 or more. Cats are said to have 9 lives, and you can use your CAT tag up to 9 times until October 31. After Halloween, its powers disappear. This offer applies only to stock on hand, and you can't use your CAT toward the purchase of sale yarn.

September 2018 Newsletter

Perfect timing - Shibui FALL/WINTER LAUNCH: Thursday, September 13, 2018

In addition to the fall/winter 2018 pattern collection, Shibui is launching its new yarn, Echo. Echo is a DK-weight, heavenly blend of 52% silk noil and 48% fine merino wool, and is 160 yds per skein. Two distinct plies of shimmery silk noil merge with a light, airy merino to create a subtle halo and lofty fabric. Echo is very soft to the touch and ideal for garments and accessories alike. It will mix well with other yarns. Many of Shibui's fall/winter 2018 patterns feature Echo. Along with Echo, we've added to our stock of other Shibui yarns, notably Lunar and Cima, in their two new lovely fall colors: Deep Water and Dusk.


Exciting New Yarns

Beet Street Yarn Co. has send us many colors of their new yarn, Piega from The Loom in Thailand. This 100% hemp sport-weight yarn (approximately 75 yards per ball) has a boucle structure and a crisp texture that--like linen--softens with washing. It will be appropriate for summer-into-fall projects in Southern California. For example, Beet Street Yarns sent a FREE pattern for a scarf knitted with Piega; this scarf has a mesh structure, perfect for the warm weather we're currently enjoying. Come in to the shop to see and feel a sample that has been washed once; the fabric should soften even more with further washing.

We also have a brand new yarn, Milo, from Manos del Uruguay. Milo is a single strand spun from a blend of wool and linen (65% wool, 35% linen, 380 yards/100 gram skein). Its singles structure provides softness, and the linen provides both strength and a somewhat rustic appearance. Manos also sent copies of patterns designed for Milo projects (one of them for a lovely crocheted shawl!) to inspire your fiber creativity.




Save the dates!: Thursday, September 13 through Sunday, September 16.

During this time, 12 fiber-centered businesses in San Diego County will welcome you into their shops. For more information, check out the Web site for more information:

Just during this special annual event, The Black Sheep will be open for extended hours. We'll be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday through Saturday, and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.


You can keep track of the shops you've visited using your Passport, which is now available for printing on the SDYC website. Be sure to have your Passport stamped at each shop you visit, and when you turn in the Passport at the last shop you visit, you may be eligible to win a prize.


We've got it in the bag--San Diego Yarn Crawl 2018 bags, that is! You can purchase this year's souvenir bag ($12) from us as long as our supplies last, and we offer a CAT (Customer Appreciation Tag) to put into your bag (or wallet, if you wish). In addition, during the Crawl each shop will offer its own button so you can decorate your tote bag and remember where you've been and what you saw.


The Black Sheep is putting on quite a show. Our dress form "Parade of Performers" will be costumed in an array of fantastic fiber techniques to dazzle and inspire you.

The Magician

He always has something up his sleeve and will demonstrate his unique ability to turn Silk into Straw - and presto chango! He can transform that into Sparky. (All of this is accomplished with a little help from his lovely assistant, Gina Wilde of Alchemy Yarns of Transformation.)

The Gypsy Fortune Teller

If you cross her palm with silver (or slip her your credit card), she'll sell you some yarn. "I am seeing a very beautiful and creative project in your future."

The BOLD Mistresses of Color

The very talented women from Mountain Colors have done it again and created an incredibly beautiful custom colorway on their lustrous Silkdance base (75% merino wool, 25% silk) for The Black Sheep. It was inspired by the complex colors of opal, especially when it appears in the rock matrix. We named it Bolder Opal, and both Kathy and Maggie have made samples up using this amazing colorway. We will unveil its rich, mysterious nature to you on September 13, during the Crawl.

Spoiler alert - we could not wait, the image at the end of this newsletter is a sneak peek of our custom color!

Guest Appearance: More good news!

The Yarnover Truck will be partnering with us at The Black Sheep on Friday, September 14. If you've visit the Yarnover Truck before, you know that they stock lots of beautiful yarn from independent dyers that are rarely seen in shops. And if you haven't yet had an opportunity to play in the Truck, you're in for a real treat. Of course when you visit the Truck, we hope that you'll visit us, too!

The Black Sheep Events during the Yarn Crawl -- All four days

  • Passport stamping -
  • Free fiber-related gift -
  • A Black Sheep button for your bag -
  • Free printed knit and crochet patterns (with samples on display) -
  • Two featured yarns are 10% off -
  • Free downloadable patterns for knit and crochet (with samples) designed by our own Kathy and Maggie -
  • Customer Showcase -- great garments by great customers like you! -
  • Yarn Tasting - fun fiber zone -
  • Snack Stand -
  • Make and Take: pom-poms! -
  • Gift basket giveaway


And just like magic -- here is our custom color -- Bolder Opal! Ta Da! (Better than any rabbit you can pull out of a hat!)



August 2018 Newsletter


San Diego Yarn Crawl Tote Bags have arrived and are available for sale at The Black Sheep for $12.00.

The bag is:
• Material - 8 oz. 100% Raw Cotton Canvas
• Size - 20"(top) x 14"(body) x 3.5"
• Roll-up to pocket size with snap closure for easy storage & portability
• Large main compartment with snap closure
• 100% Recyclable, Reusable and Washable


IT'S TIME TO LET YOUR CAT (Customer Appreciation Tag) OUT OF THE BAG!

You can acquire your Customer Appreciation Tag either by buying a Yarn Crawl tote bag from The Black Sheep before September 12 (and while supplies last) or by making a purchase of at least $25.00 AND mentioning our Let the CAT Out of the Bag promotion. On future visits to the shop between August 21 and October 31, 2018 (except during the Yarn Crawl, Sept. 13 - 16) bring your CAT to The Black Sheep to receive $5.00 off the price of any purchase of $25.00 or more. Cats are said to have 9 lives, and you can use your CAT tag up to 9 times until October 31. After Halloween its powers disappear. This offer applies only to stock on hand, and you can't use your CAT on purchases of SDYC tote bags, sale yarn, or during the Yarn Crawl.

New Yarn!

We love silken yarns, and we recently received from Ella Rae a fingering weight yarn called Rustic Silk, which is perfectly named. This yarn comes in several beautiful colorways in which multiple related speckled hues blend with one another to produce a matte, tweedy look. It comes in 100-gram skeins containing 437 yards, and it will be perfect for summer-into-fall scarves, wraps and sweaters that are lightweight but provide just the right amount of warmth.



For alpaca lovers, we have some new DK-weight alpaca: Puna by Amano. Puna is 100% baby alpaca and comes in 273-yard hanks. Puna in the Quechua language means Andes Mountains, ancestral home of alpacas. We have Puna in 17 beautifully heathered colors. The softness and drape of this yarn will make very special accessories or sweaters. Also from Amano is Puna's cousin, Eco Puna Black. This yarn is also 100% baby alpaca and is DK-weight. However, it is particularly special because it comes from naturally black alpacas; it is not dyed. This variety of alpaca is highly endangered, with naturally black alpaca accounting for 0.03% of all alpaca fiber. Amano is helping to preserve these populations. Eco Puna Alpaca comes in 68-yd. balls and is incredibly soft.


We have replenished our supply of sport/DK weight Blue Heron Rayon Metallic yarn (550 yards per generous skein). This yarn combines smooth, supple rayon with a ply of either gold, silver or copper-colored metallic thread, for lovely sparkle. Some of our customers have created beautiful lacey shawls using this yarn, and Kathy produced a soft and drapey kimono-style jacket with it. You could also use it to knit a tee shirt with just enough sparkle to go from daytime into evening. Our new colorways run the gamut from intense multi-colors to bright shaded solids.

If you're an Alchemy lover like we are, we have good news for you. Gina Wilde, owner of Alchemy Yarns of Transformation, just dyed us some fabulous silk/metallic Sparky, rustic silk/linenTwig, and unique cotton/silk/mohair blend Tweedy. If you've thinking about starting one of Alchemy's wonderful accessories, we offer a wide variety of color choices. Maggie just finished her third Once Upon a Twig Cowl of the summer, and is starting her fourth one of these addictive accessories.
For all you fingering-weight lovers out there, we have restocked Twizzlefoot from Mountain Colors. This soft, lovely blend of wool, silk and nylon comes in bright speckled colors, and is a generous 450 yds. per skein. Just the thing for fun socks, the Twizzlefoot also works up beautifully in shawls and is perfect for the "fade" accessories and garments that are so popular. In addition to the big skeins of Twizzlefoot, we also have in stock several new kits from Mountain Colors, featuring mini skeins of Twizzlefoot. Each kit contains a pattern for the S-Curve shawl and eleven (yes, that's right, eleven!) mini skeins in a gradient color scheme, for a special, colorful wrap. For all you folks who are looking forward to cooler weather, we have a cozy throw kit for you: the Warm and Wooly Throw from Mountain Colors. Each kit contains 7 hand-dyed skeins of their beautiful yarns along with three suggested patterns.

Continuing with fingering yarns:

We just received a big shipment of a number of Malabrigo's yarns, including super-soft single-ply Mechita in some new-to-us colors (speckled Lynx and Carnaval and variegated Pegaso), and Malabrigo's popular Sock in new colors for 2018.

The new colors of Sock include: Cian, Matisse Blue, Kris, Teal Feather, Indonesia, Fucsia and Frank Ochre.

We also restocked our other Malabrigo favorites: Rios, Arroyo and Mecha.

Accessories from Della Q are always very popular, because they combine beautiful materials with thoughtfully designed functionality. We have added several items to our stock, including a variety of needle cases, project bags and notions bags in Della Q's signature jewel tones.

The Black Sheep Customer Showcase at SDYCRAWL and Beyond.

The Black Sheep has always been about the raw materials, influenced early on by local crafts woman Barbara Chapman, who has repeatedly said that art materials are your very best investment. She went on to explain that they hold the potential for a great return on your investment.

Please enjoy the Photos, but they are all so much better in person, Gretchen, Sue, Bianca, Brandy & Charmaine

All you have to do is take a look at each incredible item -- be it a sweater, blanket, cowl, shawl or scarf and you will see the mark of the maker's hand. Within each object is the unique ability of each person to express themselves creatively.

Vivian, Tessa, Dee & Cheryl

Rebecca, Karla, Sharon & Sarafina

Bianca, Deborah & Bianca
Not pictured, Hilda's "Holden"

Thank you Sue, Karla, Gretchen, Sarafina, Rebecca, Bianca, Charmaine, Vivian, Tessa, Sharon, Dee, Cheryl, Hilda, Brandy and Deborah for making our world a much more beautiful place.

Three cheers for makers all, long may we continue to be creative. So let's make lots more wonderful things so we can display them and inspire more of the same!


June 2018 Newsletter

Summer -- it's all about inspiration

The Black Sheep Customer Showcase

Starting now, we invite all of you, our extremely productive and talented customers, to display your fiber creations at The Black Sheep. This showcase will feature anything you have knitted, crocheted, felted or embellished with yarns and fibers from The Black Sheep. We have twelve empty hangers that need something hung upon them to fill the shop with wonderful hand-made things. When you bring in your work for display, you will receive a 10% off coupon to be used on your next purchase. The showcase will rotate as new items come in; the ones previously on display will be photographed and returned, and the photos will be displayed in the shop in our inspiration gallery. It's time to share what you've been making!

Every day we see our beautiful yarns sitting all around us on the shelves and in baskets and even hung from the ceiling. But then one day someone brings in something they have made with these wonderful raw materials and an amazing transformation has occurred. The act of creation makes the yarns and fibers come to life. You have made something come alive; you have made art! We find that transformation very inspiring, and from what we've seen, you do too! We can't wait to see what you bring in!


New Yarn!

In our never-ending quest to find interesting and beautiful yarns, we have located a new one: Tussah Tweed by BC Garn. This fingering-weight 100% tussah silk yarn from Denmark has a rustic, lustrous appearance with a lot of tweed flecks and a crisp hand. Each 50 gram skein holds approximately 270 yards. Tussah Tweed would be perfect for summery sweaters or lightweight accessories that will move smoothly into fall.

We have also added a new yarn, Cima, from Portland-based Shibui's collection of lovely yarns. Laceweight Cima is 70% "superbaby" alpaca and 30% fine merino wool that blend flawlessly to produce a sophisticated and supremely soft yarn. Knitted on its own, Cima would make an ethereal scarf or shawl. It could also be blended with another Shibui yarn (ask to see our Shibui pattern book for some possibilities) to add softness and drape to your project. For example Cima combined with Silk Cloud could make a stunning, slightly fuzzy, vest for fall in San Diego. Whether you use it on its own or combined with another Shibui yarn, Cima will impress you with its elegance and drape. Cima comes in 50 gram, 328-yard skeins.



A shipment of The Fiber Co's Road to China Light, another of our favorite yarns, has just arrived. This DK-weight yarn, composed of alpaca, camel, silk and cashmere fibers, should be touched as well as seen to appreciate its soft, glowing beauty. We love to hand a skein of this special yarn to shop visitors. Its luxurious softness invariably elicits exclamations of "Oooh!" when they touch it. Road to China Light comes in 159-yard, 50 gram skeins of soft-as-a-cloud beauty.

If you can't beet 'em, join 'em? The very popular Shifting Silk Scarf kits from Beet Street Yarn Co. are back in stock! These adorable little kits contain three balls of Thai silk to make a long, elegant, drapey scarf that is knit on the bias. The balls of silk live in a plastic cup that can double as a miniature yarn bowl. Each of the balls is a different texture; Fusilli-80 is a blend of silk and cotton, and Speck is a matte silk, while Risoni is a thick-and-thin single-ply silk. Come see this latest batch of colorful kits (including new color combinations) ... did we say you can't beet 'em? We also stock Risoni in a variety of glowing colors. Ask to see our multicolor Risoni triangular shawl knitted from a shop pattern!

A large shipment of lovely yarns from Malabrigo recently arrived. We received fingering-weight Mechita, Sock and silky Mora, DK-weight Dos Tierras and Arroyo, luscious chunky single-ply Mecha, and all-around favorite worsted-weight Rios. In an effort to promote good health, here's a lovely way to add more fiber to your day, and keep well hydrated: Rios in some new colors: Aquamarine, Peachy, and Whole Grain.
If you've been thinking about getting blocking wires to help make blocking your shaped pieces easier, we've just restocked the Lil' Sister Blocking & Dressing Wires kits. The titanium wires are extremely flexible and will curve along the edges of lace, shawls, and other garments, and will return to their original shape when you're done. Each kits contains 9 wires (3 - 55", 3 - 34", 3 - 21"), 25 T-pins in a case, and a plastic holder for storage. We all swear by our sets.
At long last we have all sizes of the Addi Flexi-Flips in stock! These extremely popular metal needles are a hybrid of traditional double pointed needles and circular needles. They come in 11 sizes between US 0 and US 8. Come in and see them, and knit on the sample we have available for you to try out, or give us a call to reserve a set.
During the summer we will suspend our Saturday morning Knit Clinic. The popular fix-it sessions with Kathy will resume in the Fall. Check our newsletter at summer's end to learn the restart date, and in the interim, we remain happy to answer your knitting questions as time allows.

The Black Sheep will be closed on Wednesday, July 4th in observance of the holiday. Regular hours resume on
Thursday, July 5.

May 2018 Newsletter

The beautiful lavender blooms on the jacaranda trees mean it’s time to plan our summer knitting with light and cool fibers—cotton, linen, silk, and fine wool—in summery colors.  We at The Black Sheep suggest tee shirts, tank tops and shells, and airy scarves and shawls, and we have lots of summer yarns in beautiful colors, as well as cool neutral tones, to support your new projects.  (photo is Kathy’s Spectrum scarf, using Shibui’s Lunar and Silk Cloud)


Share your love of fiber craft by teaching a friend (or two) to knit or crochet! Bring the friend that you will be teaching to The Black Sheep to choose yarn and needles for your friend’s first project and—maybe--a learn-to-knit or learn-to-crochet booklet, and we’ll take 10% off of the cost. If during the visit you also choose yarn for your next project, we’ll take 10% off of the cost of that, too. Then when your friend brings her (or his) completed first project to show us, we’ll take 10% off of the cost of yarn for her (or his) SECOND project. This program will continue through August 2018, and we’re eager to see how your love of fiber and our pretty yarn will inspire a growing community of knitters and crocheters.


Customers often ask if The Black Sheep has workshops or classes, and we’re contemplating running some knitting workshops during the summer. In order to make this happen we’d like to know what kinds of workshops you’d enjoy and how many of you are interested in participating. Watch your inbox for an email survey and we’ll let you know the results.

Second, we will have a trunk show from Malabrigo beginning around mid-May and continuing into June! These garments will be taken from their pattern Book 10 (designs in worsted-weight Rios) and Book 11 (inspired by their Aniversario colorway in several different yarn bases).

And on Saturday June 2, the Yarnover Truck—a yarn store on wheels--will again visit The Black Sheep with their collection of beautiful yarns. Barbra and Maridee, the Yarnover mavens, focus on independent dyers whose yarns are hard to find. We always find their wares inspiring, and on June 2 you can visit their store and ours with just one stop. Barbra will be minding their store during this visit, and we hope that you’ll stop in and say “hi” both to her and to us and check out a double bounty of beautiful yarns.


We just received a shipment of Malabrigo’s Mechita in some new and very on-trend colors, including several speckled colorways. Mechita is a single-strand fingering weight yarn that knits up to make a very soft fabric. Notable among our new colors is a set of three speckled colorways that Malabrigo calls their “Moon Trio”. All three of the yarns feature the same variety of colors, but they range from the lightest shade (“Moon Trio Full” representing the bright sky during a full moon), through a middle shade (“Moon Trio Crescent”), to the darkest shade (“Moon Trio New” representing the dark sky when the new moon is just a sliver). Any of these yarns would make an interesting project, but combining all three in one project (perhaps the Eclipse shawl by Robbie Laughlin, pattern available free on Ravelry) would be amazing. While you’re checking out the Moon Trio Mechita, ask to see “Galaxy” (another new speckled yarn) and the other lovely Mechita colors.


We have also increased our stock of summer-worthy yarns:

From the Queensland Collection comes Savanna (66% silk, 34% linen, 250 yards/100 gram skein), a multi-ply DK weight yarn in several beautifully intense colors plus some neutral hues as well. We are displaying a scarf/small wrap (Evening in Torrey Pines, pattern available from The Black Sheep) knitted using this yarn, so you can experience how comfortable the fabric is when it’s knitted up.

Mirasol has sent a new supply of Sulka Legato (60% wool, 20% alpaca, 20% silk, 274 yards/50 grams) in a number of tempting colors. This ultra-soft fingering weight yarn makes lovely and highly wearable shawls, scarves, cowls--even lightweight sweaters--to keep you warm on cool summer evenings. To appreciate how wonderful a garment made from this yarn can be, ask to see—and feel!--the On the Spice Market shawl (designed by Melanie Berg; pattern available from Ravelry) knitted by Maggie.


From Elsebeth Lavold we have a reinvigorated supply of Hempathy (34% hemp, 41% cotton, 25% Modal rayon; 153 yards/50 grams) . Maggie’s Fleur de Mer Bag-ette shopping bag (ask to see our shop model! pattern available from The Black Sheep) was designed for Hempathy because hemp makes the bag strong. In addition, this DK weight yarn would be very successful for summer tops, scarves, or wraps.


We currently are very nearly fully stocked with this new style of needles from Addi. FlexiFlips allow you to knit relatively small tubes in the round (for example, think about socks), so they add a new technique to the current collection of approaches, which include using double-pointed needles, two circs, and Magic Loop. So what can you do with these new-fangled needles? Socks? For example, Churchmouse’s Basic Sock pattern is a great way to start making super-comfortable socks for yourself and for special people—but beware, sock knitting can be habit-forming. Many knitters report that they also love this new approach to circular knitting for mitts, crowns of hats, and cuffs on sweater sleeves.

Our sale continues on selected items!

All Noro yarns, all Debbie Bliss yarns, and all needles by Hiya Hiya are discounted.

Coming attraction!

Save the dates for the 2018 edition of the San Diego Yarn Crawl: Thursday, September 13, through Sunday, September 16.

We at The Black Sheep are very curious about what all of you, our customers, are making. We see lots of lovely yarns leaving the shop, and we wonder what they become! So we invite all of you who knit, crochet, weave, felt, and do all manner of other fiber crafts to participate in a customer-sourced showcase at The Black Sheep. Our customer showcase will run from mid-June to the Labor Day weekend, with individual projects on display for two weeks. If you’re intrigued, stay tuned … we’ll have more information in the June newsletter.


April 2018 Newsletter



One day only, Saturday, April 21!

On Local Yarn Store (LYS) Day, we will also upgrade the discounts on our sale yarns.
10% off is now 20% off
20% off is now 30% off
30% off is now 40% off
40% off is now 50% off

Yarns already at 50% off -- no additional discounts Look for the colored spots on shelf tags when you come in to shop. (Sale prices are limited to stock on hand, and there are no refunds, returns or exchanges on any sale item.)

We’re really excited that Saturday, April 21st is the first annual Local Yarn Store (LYS) Day! To celebrate, we will be giving away store gift certificates and door prizes all day long!

Our usual Saturday Knit Clinic will not be held on April 21.

We recently discovered that our demo set of Addi Flexi-Flip needles has become mismatched. Our set currently consists of two 2.75 mm needles and one US size 3 needle, and we fear that one of our customers who bought a set of US size 3 Flexi-Flips ended up with two US size 3 needles and one 2.75 mm needle. If you acquired a set of US size 3 Flexi-Flips, please check to make sure that all three needles really are size 3. If you find out that one of your needles is 2.75 mm, instead of size 3, let’s trade!


We recently replenished our stock of these very interesting needles. They can be used to knit small circular projects for which you might use a set of double-point needles, 2 circulars, or the magic loop technique. Flexi-Flips have been absolutely flying out of the store, and if you’ve been wanting to find out what all the excitement is about, we’d love to let you play with our shop sample to see how they feel to you. If you want these needles, please call us before you come to the shop to make sure that we have your size in stock. We’d be happy to hold needles for you.






Mountain Colors has replenished our stock of yarns in our very own shop color, Abalone. We have our special colorway in two yarn bases: DK weight Riverwash Sport (100% Superwash Merino wool; 345 yards/100 gram skein) and fingering weight Silkdance (75% Merino wool, 25% silk; 430 yards/100 gram skein). We love the colors in these yarns, and it’s been a joy to produce readily wearable garments from them.

We’ve made:

A Minetta shawlette made from Abalone Silkdance and Sweet Georgia Bulletproof Sock (50% superwash merino, 15% silk,15% mohair, 20% nylon; 437 yards/100 gram skein); pattern by Malabrigo, available on Ravelry.

And a scarf in Abalone Riverwash Sport (ask us about Holey Abalone, a pattern that Kathy designed specifically for this yarn).


We have replenished our stock of Anzula’s fingering-weight Squishy (80% Superwash Merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon; 385 yards/100 grams), and we have many vibrant colors of this luxuriously soft yarn. It can be used to make very special socks or mitts or a lovely cowl, but it can also be used in scarves and other garments. For example, you could pair your favorite color of Squishy with a ball of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn and knit a Spectra scarf (pattern by Stephen West, available on Ravelry).


Although summer days can be quite warm, evenings are cool and so are air-conditioned rooms! What we need is a scarf, shawl, or sweater that is just the right weight to keep the chill out. Enter Sweet Georgia’s fingering-weight Flaxen Silk Fine (65% silk, 35% linen; 480 yards/115 grams). Both Maggie and Kathy are using Flaxen Silk Fine to make summer-weight projects.

Maggie’s making a Sheaves shawl (pattern by Meg Roke, available from Ravelry); it takes just one skein. Shown here: the start of Maggie’s Sheaves shawl in the Coastal colorway .
Kathy’s making a variation of the Easy Folded Poncho (Churchmouse Patterns) in multiple colors. Shown here: Kathy’s shawl in Swamp Water, and Deep Cove, with Racing Green, Jade, and Glacier to follow.


Vera is a sport-weight silk and linen blend (65% silk, 35% linen; 365 yards /skein) that would make an excellent airy summer wrap or cover-up. Linen has long been THE classic summer fiber because it is absorbent and retains its cool feel, while silk provides drape. Vera combines linen’s virtues with the drape of silk, in Anzula’s classic shaded solid colorways.


In these multicolor balls of fingering/sock weight yarn from Schoppel, the runs of each color are long and the color changes are gradual, giving an interestingly integrated final project that includes multiple colors. We have Zauberballs in wool blends (75% Superwash wool, 25% nylon; about 460 yards/100 gram ball) and in cotton (100% organic cotton; about 460 yards/100 gram ball). Shown here: socks knitted in a bright and cheerful colorway (pattern is Basic Sock by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas) and a Daybreak shawl (designed by Stephen West, pattern available on Ravelry), knitted with Malabrigo Sock (solid color) and a multicolor Zauberball.

March 2018 Newsletter

According to the calendar now it’s finally officially spring. In celebration, we continue to increase our stock of beautiful yarns that are suitable for the warm weather that is soon to come.

What’s new?

We’ve further expanded our stock of yarns spun from plant fibers!


From Lana Gatto comes Fresh, a light sportweight yarn in 100% linen (178 yards per 50 grams). The colors are sophisticated, and will make up beautifully in a summer top or a short-sleeved cardigan to don for any occassion  






Canapa from Lang is 100% hemp fiber (88 yards per 25 gram ball), and our stock of this yarn includes both neutral shades and several jewel tones. The long, strong fibers of this plant make Canapa a very strong yarn that will be perfect for either knitted or crocheted shopping bags, beach bags, pouches, or belts. It could also perform very well in an airy cover-up or poncho for an evening picnic or outdoor concert. It is washable, and it will soften with washing, just as linen does.

And we have new animal fiber blends, too.


Glanz Punkt from Zitron blends silk (60%) with Tencel (40%) in a very soft fingering weight yarn (330 yards per 100 grams) with great drape. We have this yarn in several bright, flower colors, as well as in neutral shades. The sheen of the yarn combined with its texture make it suitable for a summery lace wrap, but even a simple garter stitch project would be special in this yarn.





Sweet Georgia’s Flaxen Silk Fine is a fingering weight yarn that blends silk (65%) with linen (35%). We have this yarn in a broad range of beautiful colors, including some new colors. Our range of colors includes sets of colors that would be beautiful in one of the very popular “fade” projects or for other projects in which a gradient of colors would excel. The yarn is soft to the touch so it will be comfortable against the skin, in—for example— a lightweight pullover or a wrap to keep your shoulders warm in cool environments. Come in and play with these beautiful colors while we are fully stocked.


Sweet Georgia (a.k.a. the independent dyer Felicia Lo) also sent us more of her Bulletproof Sock in a very broad range of spectacular colors. Bulletproof sock (50 % superwash merino, 15% silk, 15% mohair, and 20% nylon; 437 yards per 100 grams) makes wonderful socks. If you’ve never tried knitting socks, you are missing a very satisfying activity, which gets even better when you WEAR them). However, if sock knitting isn’t in your plans for the near future, this fingering weight yarn will star in other lightweight projects such as lace wraps, summer scarves, or airy ponchos.


It might be gorgeous laceweight yarn! We have restocked our collection of Fyberspate’s Gleem Lace (55% Blue-faced Leicester wool, 45% silk; 874 yards per 100 grams), including several new colorways. You might consider this exquisite yarn for a magical summer scarf or shawl that is as light as a feather and looks like it’s lighted from within.



We recently received several new kinds of buttons—shell buttons, metal buttons, and cute plastic buttons for kids’ garments. Your choice of buttons can make a big difference in your projects, so come and see what we offer. Our buttons are displayed in tubes in our button department.


We have replenished our supply of New Zealand 100% merino roving, including some new colors. This fiber makes beautiful felt pieces and can also be spun into your own custom-designed yarn. We sell roving by weight; you get to choose how many ounces you want of each color.


Does creating your own yarn intrigue you? You can spin yarn using a simple and ancient tool called a drop spindle. We have wooden drop spindles by Ashford that could open up a whole new fiber world for you when paired with some lovely merino roving. Why not give it a whorl? (I’m sorry. . .)

The beautiful raku pottery yarn bowls from Lickin’ Flames are back in stock. A bowl will hold your ball of yarn secure—even fairly large balls--while allowing yarn to flow freely onto your needles. The variegated rustic surfaces of these raku-fired bowls and their beautiful iridescent interiors make them works of art as well as highly functional tools.


Maggie is working on a Garter Blocks Baby Blanket (pattern by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas) in 5 colors of Malabrigo’s Rios worsted weight yarn (100% superwash merino; 210 yards per 100 grams).

Kathy is finishing up a Daybreak scarf (pattern by Stephen West, available on Ravelry) in Malabrigo Sock yarn and a ball each of Zauberball Crazy. She’s also finishing a pair of socks that has been a WIP for a long time. She’s starting to dream about a new project, and once she finishes the scarf and the socks, she’s going to feel so virtuous that she may start TWO new projects. (It’s an addiction . . .)

February 2018 Newsletter

We’ve reached February and in Southern California it’s already beginning to feel like Spring. At The Black Sheep we’re celebrating the advent of the new season with several new cotton, linen, and blended yarns in a wide variety of spring colors. The shop is bursting with fresh color and fiber. Come see us to inspire your knitting for the warmer months ahead!



We have two new yarns from Concept by Katia, Polynesia and Lincys, both of them in several lovely colors. Polynesia is a dk-weight cotton/linen blend (56% cotton, 22% linen, and 22% viscose; 180 yards/50 grams) composed of a matte thick-and-thin strand plied with a shiny strand. The contrast between the two strands will add interest to even a simple scarf, wrap, or shrug, letting the yarn do the work. Lincys is a multistranded worsted weight 100% linen yarn (109 yards/50 grams). Variation in color among the strands produces a subtly marled appearance in each of the colorways, which evoke landscapes in sea- and earth-toned hues. A short-sleeved cardigan or a Simple Tee (from Churchmouse Patterns) would be beautiful in this yarn, as would a multi-color striped shawl or scarf. 






From Lana Grossa comes Solo Lino Linea Pura, a glossy blend of linen and viscose made from recycled linen (80% viscose from recycled linen, 20% linen; 130 yards/50 grams). The colors of this dk weight yarn are reminiscent of spring flowers and new-leaf green, as well as neutrals appropriate for warmer weather. It will drape beautifully in a scarf, shawl, tank, tee or a lightweight jacket to wear on cool spring evenings or in air-conditioned spaces.


A new shipment from Trendsetter brought us Recycled Linen, another dk blend of linen and rayon that is made from recycled linen (84% recycled linen, 16% linen, 150 yards/skein). The soft and lovely colors are layered on the base and will produce subtle shading in the knitted fabric. We think that Prospect and Solo Lino could be combined for a truly special project.





If you’re looking for pure Mercerized cotton, we suggest Great Barrier Reef from the Queensland Collection. It is a firmly twisted multicolored sport-weight 100% Mako cotton (273 yards/100 grams). Mako cotton is long-staple Egyptian cotton, which is considered to be one of the highest quality cottons in the world. We have lively color combinations that bring to mind tropical reefs or English gardens, as well as more subdued neutral combinations.


If you’ve been looking for a silk and cotton blend yarn, we have a lovely one: Cozette 2 from Knit One, Crochet Too. The fibers in Cozette 2 (62% silk, 30% cotton, 8% nylon; 255 yards/50 grams) produce a soft, cool-feeling yarn with a very slight rustic slub. It comes in soft shades of blue, green, and several neutrals that will produce garments and accessories that harmonize with a variety of colors in your wardrobe.

For knitting or crocheting uniquely luxurious lace, we have Áine from Juniper Moon Farm. It is 100% laceweight mulberry silk (327 yards/50 grams) with a beautiful sheen that looks like it’s lighted from within. The skein tag says that Áine is an ancient Irish name meaning “splendor, radiance, or brilliance,” and this yarn richly deserves its name. It would make especially beautiful scarves, shawls, or even wedding veils for someone very special.

We just received a new shipment of Addi’s FlexiFlip needle sets (our first shipment sold out quickly), so if you’ve been hoping to meet this new needle design, come on in. Flexi Flips can be used in place of double-pointed needles, and many knitters who aren’t comfortable with double-points report that they like these a lot better. These needles are available in sizes US 0 – 8, and we have them in all of the sizes EXCEPT U.S. size 2 (3 mm), which are still on back order. If you let us know that you want FlexiFlips in size 2, we’ll put your name on our list and phone you when they arrive.

Karen, Maggie, and Kathy are continuing their Informal Alchemy Knit-Along with their Seattle cowls. They find that they reach for these beautiful, eminently wearable, just-warm-enough accessories over and over, and the Alchemy yarns that make up the project are so amazing that the knitting is a pleasure.

Kathy and Maggie chose to work their cowls using the yarns listed in the pattern--Tweedy (40% cotton, 31% mohair, 20% silk) and Silken Straw (100% silk)—but they added a skein of Sparky (97% silk, 3% polyester) to provide some glitz. Karen is exploring a possibility for knitters who are uncomfortable with mohair: she has begun a Seattle Cowl pairing Silken Straw in the Lost Coast colorway with Lust (70% wool, 30% silk) in the Ace of Spades colorway. This deep, dark, mysterious combination of black, teal, olive, and a silvery green is a deviation from her predictable purple, and it’s looking gorgeous!
Our companion sale to the Informal Alchemy Knit-Along has been extended until Saturday, March 31st (which is, of course, April Fool’s Eve). Until then, we’ll take 10% off of the price for the yarns required to work a one- , two- or three-skein Alchemy project. (Limited to stock on hand.) We’d love to help you to choose your favorite project.


Good news! The prices of all Noro yarns in the shop continue to be reduced by 10% to 50% as long as supplies last, and the price of our books is also reduced: while supplies last our pattern books are 50% off the cover price, and hardback books are 20% off the cover price.



It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Glenda Hightower. Glenda was a member of The Black Sheep team for many years, and many of our customers benefited from her warm and friendly personality and her knitting expertise. She shared her passion for knitting by teaching countless people to knit. She will be greatly missed, and her kind words of encouragement continue to resonate with many of us still.

January 2018 Newsletter

We hope that your 2018 has begun well with lots of yarn and crafting to keep you happy during the cooler weather!


We have another Shibui trunk show, but only until January 23! It consists of eight beautiful pieces featuring Shibui's beautiful yarns. These garments are perfect for San Diego, offering simply elegant Japanese-inspired designs that will provide just the right amount of warmth year-around.


Eureka!  We have it!  Let’s start off 2018 right – with a fiber quest in search of indulgence via fiber.  Maggie’s recent trip to the Oregon Coast started us all off on our quests, to create unique variations on Alchemy’s Seattle Cowl. 

Maggie’s inspiration is shades of forest and ocean, with a little sparkling vibrant blue added.  Kathy’s variation uses a Fibonacci series in a striped color sequence that combines warm earth tones with aqua and ochre and includes a vein of gold.   She thinks it looks like a pond in an autumn forest.  Karen’s dark and mysterious cowl features a juxtaposition of a matte wool-and-silk combination (aptly named “Lust”) and shimmering silk in charcoal, olive and teal.  Looking at it, she sees a swirling tide pool.

If you would like to join us in an informal Seattle Cowl knit-along, we would love to have you!  Join us on a quest to discover your favorite color combination.  We’d be happy to help you choose colors and guide you through construction if you want.  The Seattle Cowl is perfect for Southern California: lightweight, soft, comfortable to wear, and oh so elegant.  It would be perfect to wear for Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day or Chinese New Year.  To sweeten the deal, we are offering 10% off the cost of the yarn for any one-, two- or three- skein Alchemy project, beginning Sat. Jan 20 and ending Sat. Feb. 17, 2018 (limited to stock on hand and as usual, the pattern will be free).



CLIMB EVERY MOUNTAIN (Mountain Colors, of course)

Mountain Colors has sent us a new yarn, Bozeman -- a creamy white and softly bulky thick-and-thin wool yarn. Each 8-ounce skein is an amazing 250 yards of squishy softness.

In addition, we have the very popular Mountain Colors afghan kits in several beautiful hand-dyed colorways. January is a great time of the year to knit a throw: your project keeps your lap warm while you enjoy the how the colors and textures play in the mix of beautiful multi-colored yarns. Each kit comes with a pattern booklet containing 2 easy knitted patterns and 1 crocheted pattern.


Just in from Trendsetter are two new yarns. First is Collino, a looking-toward-spring blend of cotton, linen, viscose and polyester. Collino’s marled appearance will be perfect for warm weather garments. Collino comes in a 145 yd. ball.

Next up is a lightweight, tweedy blend of 75% lambswool and 25% silk called Rustica. This new yarn comes in a 198 yd. ball in lots of great colors. In fact, Trendsetter is sponsoring a Rustica Challenge from Jan. 2 – March 11: they say “show us what you can do using just 1 or 2 skeins of Rustica”! Your project can be knitted, crocheted, woven or any combination of these. Please come in to the shop to see the flyer and read the Challenge rules, or go to Trendsetter’s website at


We have received a shipment of Noro's new DK-weight Mirai yarn (330 yards per 100 gram skein, 40% cotton, 25% silk, 25% rayon, and 10% nylon) in five beautiful colorways that will look great all year round. This yarn is soft, and its appearance is subtly marled, with Noro's signature mixture of many colors that keep your knitting interesting so you think "Just one more row!" to see what color will appear next.

Noro yarns, our hardcover books and our pattern booklets are still on sale! Noro yarns are 10% - 50% off, hardcover books are 20% off, and pattern booklets are 50% off.



We have in stock a couple of raku yarn bowls handmade by Lickin' Flames, a Northern California pottery, and we just received the good news that more of these bowls are on the way to us. (In fact, they have just arrived as this newsletter went to press – so we have more!) They offer a beautiful blend of a rustic exterior and an amazing iridescent interior. Just in case you want to buy a pre-loaded bowl like the two shown in the image, we can provide one of our grab-and-go cowl kits, which fit perfectly inside. The bowl on the top contains a ball of Berroco Folio in teal (color #4557) plus one of Stacy Charles Luna Effects (color # 106).. The bowl below contains a ball of Berroco Folio in fuchsia (color #4529) and one of Stacy Charles Luna Effects (color #109). The cost of each kit is $24.00, and the pattern for the cowl is free.


The start of a new year is a great time for new challenge. New yarns! New techniques! New projects!

We’d love to help; come see us!

Karen, Maggie, and Kathy

December 2017 Newsletter

Holiday hours –
Monday, December 25: closed
Monday, January 1: closed
Happy New Year!



Good news! Our own custom colorway, Abalone, is back in two different yarn bases: River Wash Sport and Silkdance. Hand-dyed by Mountain Colors just for The Black Sheep, Abalone is a rich combination of purple, green, aqua and teal blue. Each yarn has a lovely hand: River Wash Sport is more springy than silky soft and drapey Silkdance. Come in soon to get your hands (and needles) on some Abalone.

The top picture is the Holey Abalone! scarf, designed by our very own Kathy French, knitted in River Wash Sport. The shawl below is Minetta, from Malabrigo Book 11, knitted by Maggie in Silkdance, and paired with Sweet Georgia's Bulletproof Sock.


Many yarnophiles love to choose their own materials, and a gift certificate allows them to do just that. There's no need to worry whether Mom or Aunt Jane would like "this color or that one" or what equipment the recipient already has or would truly enjoy.

The tools of our craft can accumulate and become hard to keep track of. We suggest a number of different products to help organize our essential equipment, keeping it in order and readily available. For example, we have needle holders and crochet hook holders in beautiful colors and a variety of project bags as well to keep everything for each project together in one place. Pictured are project bags from DellaQ, which are both functional and beautiful.


If your special person has flirted with adding weaving to their bag of fiber tricks, we suggest a rigid heddle loom.

For all you weavers (or would-be weavers) out there, Ashford now makes the Sample-It - a rigid heddle loom in a new weaving width - 16". This is in addition to their 10" width, and we now have both a 16" and a 10" loom in stock! These weaving widths are great for scarves, placemats, kitchen towels, and garments constructed from rectangular or shaped panels.


Equipment that facilitates working with yarn is a welcome gift, and an umbrella swift makes turning a skein of yarn into a ball of yarn a lot easier and more pleasant. Add a ball winder, and you have a winning combination.


Because different projects require different sizes of needles, a great gift for someone who loves to knit would be a set of interchangeable needles. Interchangeable sets typically include approximately 8 different sizes of needles and come with multiple lengths of cords to offer maximum flexibility for your knitting projects. Shown are the Turbo, regular Lace, and Long Lace Click sets from Addi; also shown are the Knitter's Pride Deluxe Interchangeable set, the Cubics Deluxe Interchangeable set, and the Knitter's Pride 6" Double Pointed Needles set.


All through the shop we have kits that provide the yarns you'll love for a number of different projects-- cowls, scarves, and shawls. Shop favorites? We suggest the Grab and Go cowl kits (top photo) and the Glam and Go cowl kits (below). We also offer a number of patterns designed for The Black Sheep, and of course, we proudly offer two yarns in our own custom colorway that is sold only through our shop.

Pictured are new and complex color combinations of Tahki's Luna Effects with Berroco's Folio.


The newest Binkwaffle pattern is "Snowpaca," with white alpacas on a gray ground, just in time for the winter holidays. Come in soon for the best selection -- these reversible fun bags go fast! We suggest filling a Binkwaffle bag (as we did in the photo) with Araucania's Alpaka Reina, a super soft worsted weight 100% alpaca yarn that will be perfect for luxurious accessories such as scarves, cowls, mitts and hats--great for the special folks on your holiday list. Also pictured in the bag is Shibui's elegant alpaca/merino blend, Maai. Maai is a squishably soft chainette-construction yarn that comes in Shibui's trademark sophisticated colors.


From The Fibre Company we have Road to China Light, their incredibly soft, heathered DK-weight blend of alpaca, silk, camel, and cashmere fiber, including four new colors. We've also restocked their Acadia (a wool, alpaca, and silk blend) in a number of heathery colors. Maggie knitted up a pair of fingerless mitts (Churchmouse's Welted Fingerless Mitts, with modifications!) in Acadia, color Sea Lavender. They are plush, warm and lovely.


If you enjoyed the Shibui trunk show we hosted during the Yarn Crawl, we have good news for you! Another trunk show of Shibui garments is coming in January 2018. Expect garments appropriate for SoCal wear that show off Shibui's unique approach to design, color and fiber types. The trunk show is scheduled to be at The Black Sheep for Jan. 9 - 23, 2018.

Our sale of Noro yarns, hardcover books and pattern booklets continues until Dec. 23. Noro yarns are 10% - 50% off, hardcover books are 20% off, and pattern booklets are 50% off.

Looking back over a year filled with new fiber adventures, we're grateful to all of you for your enthusiasm, creativity, and continued support. We wish everyone a joyous holiday season, and we hope that your new year will be filled with fun and enough time to explore where you want to go next. Please keep us posted, and remember we ALWAYS love show-and-tell.

Karen, Maggie, and Kathy

November 2017 Newsletter

Holiday hours –
Wednesday November 22nd - 10:00-4:00
Thursday November 23rd - closed all day for Thanksgiving.

Team Black Sheep (Karen, Kathy and Maggie) wish you all a very happy Thanksgiving! We hope you will find time to play with fiber over the holiday weekend.

Black Friday at The Black Sheep!


All Noro yarns will be on sale 10% - 50% off from Friday, Nov. 24 through Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017. Limited to stock on hand, and all sales of Noro yarns will be final.

Also on Sale!
PATTERN BOOKLETS • 50% OFF yarn company pattern booklets/leaflets!

The following yarn company booklets are included: Sublime, MinnowKnits, Berroco, Elsebeth Lavold, Swedish Yarns, Classic Elite, Noro, Louisa Harding, Debbie Bliss, Katia, Tahki Stacy Charles, Ella Rae, Lana Grossa, and Rowan.

Our hardcover and softcover books are 20% off during Nov. 24 - Dec. 23. (Note, single sheet patterns are not included in the sale.) Help us recoup some space by adopting a book for the holidays!

The cooler weather makes us look forward to many months of making -- gifts for the holidays; festive accessories such as hats, socks and mitts to warm heads, feet, hands, and hearts. To aid that process may we suggest:

Our original "Grab and Go Cowl" kits contain 1 Ball of Berroco’s Folio, and 1 ball of Tahki Stacy Charles Luna.

The next generation of these quick and easy Grab and Go kits contain 1 ball Folio, and one ball of Luna Effects.

Just in time for the holidays Maggie has completed a lovely sample of the latest and greatest version of this kit – appropriately named Glam and Go. It contains 1 ball of Folio plus Gioiello – a mohair wool blend that adds a little extra sparkle to the project.

Alchemy's Ibiza scarf, a fabulous one-skein kerchief of hand-dyed silk and sparkle. Alchemy's free pattern is included with purchase of their yarn. All of us on Team Black Sheep wear our Ibiza scarves frequently, and consider them fiber jewelry.
The Shifting Silk Scarf kits, a three-ball diagonal scarf knit in a silk noil yarn, a slub silk yarn and a silk/cotton blend yarn. The kit comes in a clear plastic cup which doubles as a yarn bowl, and includes a free pattern. We recently replenished our supply, so we currently have a good choice of colors.

Our Tangled Lines on the Bay cabled knit hat pattern and Gullwing Crocheted Beanie pattern make great one- or two-skein hats. Both hats were designed by Black Sheep staffers Kathy and Maggie; the patterns are available for purchase in the shop, as well as beautiful yarns with which to make them (we highly recommend Malabrigo Rios).
Speaking of the upcoming Holidays, be sure you are in The Black Sheep's Big Black Book! It is a wish list/gift registry, so any would-be gift givers have the inside track on what you want and need. This is very helpful for out of town gift givers; when they call us, we can make suggestions from your listing. Of course, a Black Sheep gift certificate is always a great suggestion!

What's on our needles?

With an eye to cooler weather, Kathy has started work on a Library Vest (a classic, wear-with-everything pattern by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas). She's been eager to try out The Fibre Company's Acadia yarn (60% wool, 20% alpaca, 20% silk), so she's making her vest with this yarn. Ask her how it's going.

Maggie is finishing up a Risoni variation of the Sorrento Valley Shawl (designed by our very own Kathy!). She's using 6 glowing colors of Risoni. a thick and thin 100% silk from Beet Street Yarns, along with a skein of Alchemy Sparky, because Kathy's love of sparkle is rubbing off on her. Then on to some holiday knitting ... hats and the Churchmouse welted fingerless mitts.

And luckily for Maggie, she can now knit mitts on Flips. Flexi-Flips, that is!

The brand new Addi Flexi-Flips have rolled onto The Black Sheep's showroom floor, and these little beauties are really getting our engines running. A hybrid of double-pointed needles and circular needles, this dual tip design features an Addi Turbo tip on one side and a Rocket tip on the other side, with a super short cable in between. We encourage you to come in and take the Flexi-Flips for a spin. We think this will initiate a whole new way to navigate the twists and turns of small circumference circular knitting.
The "Precipitous" mitts knitted on Flexi-Flips are Karen's new project. Featuring Malabrigo Sock, and designed by Hunter Hammersen, she hopes the learning curve on her mitts will not be as steep as the name implies!


The Yarnover Truck will be at The Black Sheep on Saturday, December 2, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you've already explored this yarn shop on wheels, you know what a treat to expect, and if you haven't yet met Barbra and Maridee, we hope that you'll come by and see what they offer. They stock yarns from several indie dyers--skeins that you're unlikely to see in brick-and-mortar shops. And of course we hope to see you at The Black Sheep on that day as well.

We continue to hold our Saturday morning Knit Clinics, which are scheduled from 10:00 - noon on Saturdays. You can call in advance to reserve a specific half-hour session, or you can simply walk in during that time, keeping in mind that customers with a reservation are given priority.

September 2017 Yarn Crawl Newsletter!

Welcome to the 5th Annual San Diego Yarn Crawl!
September 15- 17, 2017

    We are looking forward to the best Crawl ever! We are in Sheep Shape and Fiber Fashion - ready for your incredible voyage to see and enjoy all the wonderful colors, textures and types of yarns we have collected just for you.

    To avoid confusion during the Crawl, here's how our free patterns will work this year:

  • Printed Pattern: Surprise Disguise for knit or crochet, with a link to:

  • Our two custom designed patterns - by Kathy French, a knitted hat, and Maggie McDonald, a crocheted hat - which you can download free until September 30

  • If you purchase yarn to knit or crochet either (or both!) of our custom patterns up until September 30, you will get a printed copy of the pattern so you can start right now!

  • If you do not make it to the Crawl, we hope you will download the free patterns and we will honor the 10% off on both the featured yarns until September 30.

  • Click here to go to the free pattterns:

Special Yarn Crawl Hours:

Thursday, Friday and Saturday - 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

Sunday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Special Sunday bonus - the Yarnover Truck will be at our location as well!

August 2017 Newsletter

It's been a great first year!

It was a pleasure to see everyone who joined us for our First Anniversary celebration in Sorrento Valley! If you weren’t able to make it, come in soon – we miss you!
New stock!

Two fingering-weight sock yarns have arrived from a small, independent hand-dyer called Apple Fiber Studio in Bellingham, Washington. All their yarns are named for apples or apple products. The first yarn is McIntosh; it is 60% superwash merino, 20% superfine alpaca and 20% Nylon. This 4-ply sock yarn comes in 437 yd. skeins, and has a fuzzy halo from the alpaca. The owner of Apple Fiber Studio assured us that McIntosh can be machine laundered, even with the alpaca content, with the following procedure: use cold water on the gentle cycle, then lay flat to dry. If you like a little sparkle, Apple Fiber's second yarn is for you: Sparkling Cider. This sock-weight yarn is 75% superwash merino, 20% Nylon, and 5% Stellina (a Nylon fiber that is metallic-toned), and comes in 438 yd. skeins. Sparkling Cider's tonal solid colorways will be wonderful for socks or shawls. Come in soon to see and touch these fun new yarns.

We also received from Zen Yarn Garden a shipment of their Superfine Fingering yarn. This yarn, in very trendy speckled colorways, is very soft and wearable (90% superfine superwash merino, 10% nylon) and will make luxurious socks, scarves, and cowls -- or whatever else you fancy. In addition, this shipment included 3-color and 4-color gradient sets of the same yarn base (approximately 200 yards/skein, so a total of 600 or 800 yards per set). The 3-skein sets combine the closely related tones, while each 4-skein set is composed of 2 related shaded solid skeins, 1 speckled skein, and a variegated skein.

We have two new (to us) yarns from The Fibre Co.: Arranmore Light, a tweedy DK-weight yarn of 80% merino, 10% silk and 10% cashmere (328 yards per skein) in a range of colors. This lofty yarn will be perfect for scarves, cowls, hats, fingerless gloves, and vests to get you through the frozen San Diego winter, and it will make wearable and comfortable sweaters, too. We also now have Acadia, a soft DK-weight yarn that is 60% merino, 20% alpaca, and 20% silk (145 yards per skein) and has a beautiful drape. We currently stock 6 subtly lovely colors and expect to add 3 more very soon.

Back again!

A shipment from the wonderful and creative folks at Shibui has come in. We've restocked some of the luxurious silk/mohair blend Silk Cloud, as well as their glossy DK-weight cotton chainette Rain, their tweedy, textured linen/recycled silk/wool blend Twig, and their new fingering-weight linen chainette yarn Reed. Also in the shipment were a selection Shibui's spring/summer 2017 pattern collection. If you are attracted to Shibui's elegantly understated designs and sophisticated yarns, we're proud to tell you that during the San Diego Yarn Crawl The Black Sheep will be hosting two Shibui trunk shows that will include many garments appropriate for SoCal wear!

A recent shipment from Malabrigo brought us newly-released colorways of some of our favorite yarns and allowed us to restock colors that were depleted. These yarns include Rios (100% merino, 210 yards per skein), Arroyo (100% merino, 330 yards per skein), Mechita (100% merino, 420 yards per skein), Sock (100% merino, 440 yards per skein), and Caracol (100% merino, 90 yards).
Looking toward the winter holidays, from Filatura di Crossa we have new colors of gorgeous Gioiello (220 yards; 30% mohair, 30 % wool, 20% polyamide, 10% cotton, and 10% polyester). Replenishing Gioiello has allowed us to put together a whole new crop of our Glam and Go cowl kits, perfect for wearing or gift giving. In addition, we have restocked Filatura's Baby Kid Extra (268 yards; 80% mohair, 20% polyamide) in several colors, which allowed us to put together several new versions of our very popular Grab and Go cowl kits. And finally, also from Filatura comes Night and New Smoking to use as a carry-along adding sparkle or iridescence to your special project.
The Color of Collaboration

The Black Sheep design team – Karen, Maggie and Kathy – all love to play with color, so they decided to create a custom colored yarn for the shop. Each person contributed a color concept that: had always resonated in their soul; brought to mind very special memories; or spoke to the artist within. With the help of Mountain Colors, two yarns were selected, River Wash Sport and Silkdance. River Wash is a springy, sturdy sport weight merino yarn (100% superwash merino wool, 345 yards per skein), which will have excellent stitch definition and would be suitable for a broad range of projects. Silkdance is soft and luxurious fingering weight yarn (75% merino wool, 25% silk, 430 yards per skein). It will be wonderful for special scarves, cowls, or wraps--any project that will be enhanced by elegant drape and sheen. The dream has now become a reality – “Abalone” has arrived! It is subtle, elegant and complex. Come in, see the colors, feel the textures. You, too, can be swept away into the delight of creative expression through fiber!
It’s in the bag!

That is, the 5th Anniversary San Diego Yarn Crawl bag, now available at The Black Sheep. But it looks so sad when it’s flat and empty – it needs to be filled up with yarny goodness! We can help with that!
Closed for Labor Day

The Black Sheep will be closed Monday, September 4th 2017 in celebration of Labor Day. Have a great day!

July 2017 Newsletter

It's been a year since our move!!

Can you believe that soon we will be celebrating our First Anniversary in our new location in Sorrento Valley? We can't believe it either! We offer heartfelt thanks to all our loyal customers who followed us from Encinitas and to all the new friends we've made during this past year.

New to us is Sublime's Evie Prints, a worsted weight cotton/nylon blend (94% cotton, 6% nylon, 126 yards/50 gram ball). With a soft cabled, nubbly, lightly brushed texture and variegated appearance that is both striped and speckled, this promises to be a fun yarn that could be particularly effective for baby items that can be hand washed and dried flat.

From Mountain Colors we have received three new yarns:

We have multiple colors of Winter Lace Jr. a lovely 50% wool/50% silk blend (600 yds.) laceweight yarn. The slightly variegated colors of Winter Lace Jr. go handsomely with the solid color laceweights we carry if you're contemplating a multi-color lace project. It will stand alone as well to show off any lovely lace pattern.

For knitters who love fingering/sock weight yarns (we sure do!) we were lucky to receive several colors of their newest yarn, Silkdance (75% Merino, 25% silk, 430 yds./100 gram skein), which is just flying out the door, so come in for a look soon. The vibrant colors of this yarn are enhanced by its intrinsic sheen, soft hand and elegant drape.

We also have a limited stock of River Twist, which is a multicolored, springy 100% merino wool that is not superwash (240 yds./100 gram skein). The colors will produce a subtle striped and tweedy effect.

We also recently received from Frabjous Fibers a large number of silk hankies in wonderful colors. The silk hankies just glow; there is no other description for their beauty. A silk hanky is a very thin piece of silk filament that has been stretched over a frame and dyed; each 1 oz. package contains a compressed stack of 30 or more single hankies. Some of our hankies from Frabjous Fibers are in solid colors, and others are in multicolor gradients. You can use silk hankies in felt-making, you can spin yarn from them, or you can even just draw out the fibers and knit straight from the hanky.


In June we sold out of our first shipment of Beet Street Yarn's Shifting Silk Scarf kits, and we happily ordered more! These charming kits include three coordinating balls of Thai silk along with a pattern that combines the yarns in a long, narrow color-blocked scarf. The yarns in the kit are Fusilli-80, a silk/cotton blend; Speck, a matte silk; and Risoni, a thick and thin shiny silk. Each kit is packaged in a clear plastic cup, and we have the kits in 12 distinctive colorways.

If you like soft hands when you work on your craft of choice, we have the answer: Lo-Lo lotion bars. These solid lotion bars are made in Vancouver, Washington, from essential oils and locally-sourced beeswax. Each lotion bar is packed in a small tin that fits easily into your notions bag. Before you sit down to work, just rub a little on your hands! We also carry Lo-Lo Lips, a lip conditioner. Who can resist a spicy "Betty Boo" lotion bar or a fruity "Bling Cherry" lip conditioner? Not us!


Hot out of the box:

Two fingering/sock weight yarns in shaded solid colors from Sweet Georgia (a very talented independent dyer in Vancouver, BC)! First up is Bulletproof Sock (50% superwash merino, 15% silk, 15% mohair, 20% nylon; 437 yds./100 grams). This lovely yarn has drape and shimmer from the silk married to longevity from the mohair and nylon, wrapped together in soft merino. We can't wait to work with it! Next is Flaxen Silk Fine. This yarn is a smooth, lush blend of 65% silk and 35% linen (480 yds./4 ounces) and promises to have fabulous drape. Flaxen Silk Fine is a luxurious blend of fibers that is perfect for lightweight summer wear in Southern California.


In the near future we should also receive two fingering/sock weight yarns from the Apple Fibers Studio in Bellingham, Washington: McIntosh (60% Merino wool, 20% superfine alpaca, 20% nylon; 437 yards/100 gram skein) and Sparkling Cider (75% Merino wool, 20% nylon, 5% Stellina; 438 yards/100 gram skein). The owner of Apple Fibers Studio tells us that McIntosh, even though it has alpaca in it, can be machine laundered!

An order from the lovely folks at Shibui should be arriving shortly. We're restocking their fingering-weight linen Reed, glossy cotton chainette Rain, and tweedy Twig. Also along for the ride are a couple of colors of lofty silk/mohair blend Silk Cloud.

We'll keep you posted on our latest acquisitions!


Shhh! Maggie and Kathy are working diligently on our new patterns for the upcoming San Diego Yarn Crawl. For now our lips are sealed!

And Karen is planning an anniversary event beginning on Sat. July 22nd. Details to follow next week!

June 2017 Newsletter

It's summer knitting season!

Whether you're thinking of knitting a lightweight shawl to cover your shoulders in an over-air conditioned room or looking forward to autumn with a wool or silk scarf, shawl, or sweater in mind, The Black Sheep has a wide variety of yarns to support your special project.
New arrivals!

Three kinds of magic! That is, three different varieties of Zauberball from Schoppel. "Zauber" means "magic" in German, so these yarns are called "magic yarn," and we agree. Our three types of Zauberball are: the original Zauberball, Zauberball 100, and Crazy Zauberball. Each of these yarns is fingering-weight and has long color repeats. The original Zauberball is 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, and comes in single-strand 460 yd. balls. Zauberball 100 is also a single-strand yarn, and has 440 yds. of 100% superwash merino wool. Lastly, Crazy Zauberball has the same fiber content and yardage as the original Zauberball, but it is a two-ply yarn, with each ply of the fiber carrying the colors from a slightly different place in the color sequence, giving the finished yarn a fun, marled appearance

We have received another shipment of The Fibre Company's incredibly soft and luxurious Road to China yarns. Both yarns must be seen --and touched-- to appreciate how special they are. Both of them are fabulous blends of 65% baby alpaca, 10% cashmere, 10% camel, and 15% silk. Road to China Light is DK-weight and has a more heathered appearance than Road to China Lace. We think you'll enjoy seeing and feeling the new colors of both of these fabulous yarns.

More gradient Transitions shawl kits from Trendsetter have arrived, as well as two other kinds of kits using two new yarns: Transitions Tweed and Transitions Smoothies. All three of these cotton-and-acrylic 4-ply yarns includes color changes that produce an ombre. The Transitions Tweed includes bits of tweedy cotton fleck in the yarn and comes in a 660 yd. cake. Smoothies is a version of Transitions that is composed of "5 colors that move into 12 transitioning blocks without solids," giving a marled appearance. Smoothies comes in an 880 yd. cake. Each yarn kit comes in its own clear plastic carry box and includes a pattern.

We can't get enough Malabrigo ... and it seems like you can't either. We recently got in a shipment from Malabrigo that included some of the ever-popular Rios and Arroyo, as well as replenishing our supply of Sock in those beautiful and difficult-to-keep-in-stock blue colorways.

BIG NEWS!! We've been notified that 16 colors of Dos Tierras are due to arrive on June 19. We will work very hard to get it on the shelves by Tuesday, June 20th. This beautiful new Malabrigo yarn (50% merino wool and 50% baby alpaca) comes in 210 yard skeins. It knits with an interesting, slightly pebbly surface. Come in and pat it.

More of those interesting Japanese yarns have arrived from Ito, including the popular lace-weight mohair/silk blend Sensai at 262 yds. per ball. Kin Gin (328 yds. on each cone) is a fine sparkly yarn that can be carried along with another yarn to provide subtle--but effective--visual interest. We carry Kin Gin in several metallic colorways. Also in the shipment is Serishin, a glowing 100% silk tape; its 317 yds. come on a cone.


For all you spinners, weavers, and felters out there, a shipment just arrived that includes many colors of 100% merino roving, several colors of merino/silk roving, a few drop spindles, and a small loom. The loom is an Ashford Sample-It rigid heddle with a 10"-wide weaving area. This little loom is a great way to learn a lot about weaving and to produce interesting projects without investing in a more complicated and expensive floor- or table-loom.

New buttons! More equipment! A small selection of shell and metal buttons from Skacel Buttons has arrived. In addition to buttons, we have replenished our stock of crochet hooks, wooden knitting needles, darning needles, Eucalan delicate wash, and lots of other notions.

New colors of old favorites: we've replenished our stock of sport-weight Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino with popular colors of pinks, blue, gray, and white, and restocked 2 different reds in Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal. We also received new colors of popular Juniper Moon yarns: 2 new colors (dark teal and light blue) of lace-weight Findley, and a new dark aqua color of cotton/linen blend Zooey. Finally, we have restocked the extremely popular #S349 colorway (charcoal/rust/orange/gold) of Noro's Silk Garden Sock, as well as adding a lovely new color called "Moonstones" (#S436 - soft grays/blue/pink/purple/green).

We have restocked two very popular Berroco yarns: Folio and Indigo. Folio is a sport-weight alpaca/rayon blend with a lovely soft hand. It has long been a staple component of our popular Grab and Go Cowl kits. We have put together a fresh new glamorous version of the Grab and Go Cowl: welcome the "Glam and Go" Cowl! The Glam and Go Cowl kits pairs Folio with Filatura di Crosa's Gioiello, a kid mohair/extra-fine merino blend with a shimmering strand of nubbly metallic running through it. If you're thinking about getting ready for the holidays (yes, we know some of you are planning ahead!), the new Glam and Go Cowl is perfect, let's-stock-up, easy summer vacation knitting. Indigo is a cotton yarn made from recycled jeans. Yes indeed! It works up at a worsted weight and has a slightly nubbly, rustic appearance. Both Folio and Indigo come in 219 yd. skeins.
Just in time to hold your summer projects, several new bags have arrived from Binkwaffle! Created and sewn in Oklahoma from designer fabrics, these fun, reversible project bags come in 2 sizes: large and small "dumpling" bags. The last shipment brought bags made from some of our --and your-- favorite fabric designs, like "Love Bus," "Cat's Meow," and "Hooty."

Coming Attractions

If you like silk, we have good news. Some silk yarn and silk hankies are coming from Frabjous Fibers. The silk hankies are suitable for use in felting or spinning, or you can even knit the fiber from them without spinning them first!

We have two fingering-weight yarns on order from Apple Yarns, a small independent dyer in Bellingham, Washington. Coming is a sock yarn with sparkle, as well as a merino blend sock yarn with some alpaca in it. Machine washable too!

If you like soft hands when you work on your craft of choice, we have the answer: Lo-Lo lotion bars. These solid lotion bars are made of locally-sourced beeswax and essential oils in Vancouver, Washington. Each lotion bar is packed in a small tin that fits easily into your notions bag. Before you sit down to work, just rub a little on your hands! We also carry Lo-Lo Lips, a lip conditioner. Our new order should be arriving soon.

Reminder -- Knit Clinic with Kathy continues on Saturday mornings from 10:00 to noon. The cost is $10 for a 30 minute one-on-one session with Kathy to help fix your knitting problems. Give us a call to reserve a time, or come in during those hours.

What's on our needles?

Kathy and Maggie have finished their Kallara shawls (designed by Ambah O'Brien). We're both pleased with the results! Kathy is finishing her Sorrento Valley Shawl in Risoni, a Thai silk thick and thin yarn, with some Alchemy Sparky thrown in. Maggie is working on a Shifting Silk Scarf kit (more of these kits are on order). Next for both our intrepid knitters is the Simple Tee by Churchmouse Yarns. What's on your needles -- or hooks? We would love to know and want to see!

It's hard to believe, but The Black Sheep is approaching our first anniversary in our new location in Sorrento Valley. We're thinking some kind of celebration is in order. Stay tuned for more details!


The Black Sheep will be closed Tuesday, July 4th in observance of Independence Day.

May 2017 Newsletter


Mother's Day, May 14th, is almost upon us! If you are looking for a gift for a mom in your life, please come in and see us for some suggestions. If you are a mom with a love of all things fibery, send the aspiring gift-givers in your life along to us, especially if you have filled out a wish list with us.


ANOTHER REMINDER-- Knit Clinics continue on Saturday mornings from 10:00 until noon and during May from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Please note: Teacher Kathy will be out of town on Sat. May 27th, so there will not be a Clinic that day.) You can give us a call to pre-register for a time slot in advance, or just stop by, and we will fit you in to the schedule. The cost is $10 for up to 30 minutes of one-on-one assistance from Kathy.

Just in!

Dos Tierras from Malabrigo! A small selection from our order has finally arrived. Hooray! We've been waiting months to get our hands on this yarn, and our patience has been rewarded. This lovely DK-weight yarn is 50% merino wool and 50% alpaca, and comes in 210 yd. skeins. Because the alpaca and wool fibers absorb the dye slightly differently, the skeins have a softly heathered appearance. In addition to the Dos Tierras, two new colors of Malabrigo's Mechita came in. Mechita is a fingering-weight single-ply 100% superwash merino; these new colors are intense tonals with some speckling. Mechita comes in 420 yd. super-soft skeins.



Calling all speckled yarn lovers! A shipment of Crazyfoot and Twizzlefoot from Mountain Colors in their "berry" series have arrived. We even have skeins of the newest "berry" color, Juneberry, in both Crazyfoot and Twizzlefoot. These bright and colorful fingering-weight skeins just make you smile. If you like a little nylon in your sock yarn, Crazyfoot is a good choice. It is 90% superwash merino / 10% nylon, and it is spun to have a lot of bounce in each 425 yd. skein. Twizzlefoot is Crazyfoot's slightly more refined sibling. Each 450 yd. skein is 53% superwash merino, 17% domestic wool (non-superwash), 17% silk and 13% nylon. Twizzlefoot feels softer and is less bouncy than Crazyfoot; because of its fiber content, it should be hand washed.

Along with the Crazyfoot and Twizzlefoot, we added several new afghan/throw kits from Mountain Colors. Each afghan kit contains 7 coordinating skeins of lovely yarn, along with a pattern booklet containing two knitted patterns and one crocheted pattern.

We recently received raku yarn bowls, buttons and pins from Lickin'Flames, a small pottery about an hour from Sacramento. These pieces have to be seen in person to do them justice; a photograph just can't capture the amazing iridescence of the glazes. We have several beautiful yarn bowls, along with shawl pins (with sticks), forked shawl pins, buttons, and pins. Some of the pins and all the forked shawl pins are decorated with black sheep (both ewes and rams). Of course!
We loved the needle cases in our last shipment from DellaQ so much that we had to order some more things. We have more of the silk zipped pouches and Tagalong notions pouches, and we have added Hanging Circular Needle Cases. The hanging cases are long silken rectangles with marked slots to hold your circular needles; you push the needle through the slot and let the tips dangle while the slot holds the cable securely and relatively straight, reducing the tendency of the cables to curl up. The cases come with ties, so you can tie the case onto a clothes hanger and keep it in a closet or behind a door./td>

We have also replenished our stock of Addi circular needles--Turbos, Rockets, and Lace-- in a variety of sizes and lengths, so if you are an Addi fan, we should be able to support you.

In our April newsletter, we told you about Trendsetter's Autumn Wind Confetti, a lovely blend of cotton and just a touch of cashmere. It's available in several speckled colorways. Since then Maggie got busy designing and knitting a summer-weight scarf that she's calling the Tutti Frutti Mesh Scarf to show off this special yarn (when you see it you'll understand the name), and her pattern will be available soon as well. As for the pattern mentioned last month for Kathy's self-fringing scarf made from Queensland's Savanna, it's now available in the shop.

AND IN THE FUTURE: Maggie and Kathy are making enough progress on their Kallara wraps that they're already dreaming about their next shared project, which is -- The Simple Tee from Churchmouse. We'll keep you posted.

The Black Sheep will be closed Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day.

And finally, the dates for the 2017 San Diego Yarn Crawl have been set -- Thursday, September 14, through Sunday, September 17. Mark your calendars, and we'll be providing more information as plans unfold.  
To Get to Our "New" Location in Sorrento Valley: Link to Driving Directions:

April 2017 Newsletter


Good news! We intend to continue our Saturday morning knitting clinics with two modest changes that were suggested by participants.

1. Beginning on April 22, each person will have 30 minutes of individual attention.

2. Pre-registration: You can phone (858-481-6708) and sign-up in advance to reserve time in a specific hour, 10 - 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to noon, or 3 - 4 p.m. (Notice that we're adding an afternoon session.) We will take 2 people in each hour-long time-slot, and the person who arrives first will have the first 30-minute one-on-one session. Please arrive on time for your session, knowing that the longest you will need to wait is 30 minutes. If the hour you request is already full, please consider reserving in a different hour.

3. If you drop in without making a reservation, we will gladly accommodate you if we have time available, but customers who made prior reservations will have precedence. 

Thanks to all the participants in our trial month. You made the experiment a success!


Calling all moms (or husbands, daughters, sons, grandkids, etc)! Here are a few ideas for giving or requesting (don't forget our Big Black Book containing wish lists--yours or for someone you love):

A gift certificate

A set of interchangeable needles

An umbrella swift and/or a ball winder

Favorite YARN or accessories

Please come in for more suggestions!




Perfect for summer scarves and wraps is Risoni, by The Loom (distributed by Ryn Yarns). Risoni is a thick-and-thin 100% silk laceweight yarn from Thailand, and is available in 17 gorgeous colors. Each ball is 25 gr., which contains approximately 154-165 yards of radiantly colored silk. In addition to the Risoni, we also have a limited number of "Shifting Silk Scarf" kits from The Loom. Each kit includes a ball of Risoni, a ball of Speck (100% matte silk), a ball of Fusilli-80 (80% silk/20% cotton), and the scarf pattern, charmingly packaged up in a clear plastic cup. Each yarn has a unique texture, and the three yarns are color-coordinated to go together.

For lovers of speckled yarns, Trendsetter now offers Autumn Wind Confetti, a DK-weight yarn in an unusual fiber blend: 90% cotton/10% cashmere. This yarn promises to produce soft comfortable summer garments and accessories. Each skein has 175 yards of multi-colored fun. Maggie is quite taken with this yarn and plans to start a summer scarf to show it off.

Another yarn perfect for Southern California is Savanna from Queensland. This yarn is 66% silk/34% linen, and works up at DK-weight (20-22 sts. per inch on US 5-6 needles). Each skein contains 250 yards, and we stock 19 beautiful saturated colors. Kathy has created a self-fringing, striped, long rectangular scarf using three colors of Savanna (and some Toreador glitter from Lane Borgosesia) and is very pleased with the feel of the fabric produced. Kathy intends to have her scarf pattern available for sale at the shop soon. Meanwhile, please come in and check out the scarf and this new yarn.
New bags and needle cases from DellaQ! To help you get organized this spring, we suggest that you try one or more of our new DellaQ bags and cases. The Travel Wallet has slots for crochet hooks, DPNs, and circular needles, a zipped pocket for notions, and a small snapped strap to hold stitch markers. The Solely Socks Roll has slots to hold DPNs, and has a tiny zipper pocket for notions. The Tagalong zipped bag holds all your notions and can be combined with other pieces in the collection. The wallet, roll and Tagalong are all made of lovely silk. The Pippa Yarn Dispenser is made of interesting figured cotton fabric, and holds a ball of yarn. Ribbon ties cinch it closed at the neck, making an impromptu yarn bowl! Who knew that getting organized could be such fun?



We've added 5 new colors to our Gleem Lace selection, in addition to restocking several popular colors. This glowing laceweight blend of silk and Blue Faced Leicester wool from the British company Fyberspates has us all under its spell for its soft hand and amazing colors. The new colors include Spiced Plum, Mixed Magentas, Peacock, Crocus, Lavender Haze and Sea Green. They join old color favorites Tweed Imps, Pebble Beach, Deep Forest and Verdegris. This yarn has got to be seen to be believed-- and touched to appreciate its softness.

Just in time for spring and summer, new Transitions shawl kits from Trendsetter have arrived. This multi-strand cotton/acrylic blend is surprisingly plush and offers the true ombre effect, shading gradually from color to color along its length. Each shawl kit comes with its own box holding the yarn and a free knitted shawl pattern. Maggie knitted up a sample shawl for the shop, so come on in to check it out.

We have more Squishy in stock! Hooray! We've just received a shipment of Anzula Squishy. This fingering-weight yarn is perfect for socks, shawls and other accessories. Known for its lovely shaded semi-solid colors, this super soft superwash merino/cashmere/nylon yarn is one of our favorites. Everyone who handles it has to squish it in their hands; truth in advertising here!

More silk "Knit out" boxes and striped cotton zipper bags have come in from Lantern Moon. The Knit Out boxes are beautiful, soft versions of yarn bowls; they have a hole in the front of the box to feed the yarn end through and fabric knot buttons to hold the box closed. The zipper bags are oval-shaped and have a rustic, brightly striped fabric exterior and solid color interior lining. They are big enough to hold multiple balls of yarn (perfect for the popular striped shawls requiring two colors of yarn).


We're STILL awaiting the arrival of "Dos Tierras", a new alpaca/merino blend from Malabrigo. The latest word from Malabrigo is "soon." Stay tuned for further developments . . .

More Twizzlefoot and Crazyfoot sock yarns from Mountain Colors in their "Berry" (that is, speckled) series are on order, including a new color for 2017.

Lovely Raku yarn bowls, buttons and shawl pins from LickinFlames should be arriving very soon.


Kathy and Maggie have started a two-woman knit-along! Our pattern is a striped shawl by Ambah O'Brien called "Kallara." Kathy's shawl features the strong colors of rust, orange, gold, blue, and brown, while Maggie is using softer colors, a speckled white and slately blues. What yarns are we using, you ask? Kathy is using Malabrigo Sock (color: Marte) with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock (color: Sock Club 2017, it's a secret) and Maggie is using Mountain Colors Twizzlefoot (color: Snowberry) and Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock (color: Dusty Blues; a Christmas present from Kathy; she knew, didn't she?). We'll keep you posted on our progress.

What's on YOUR needles? We'd love to know!


Congratulations to the winners in our final "Four Seasons of Fiber" gift basket drawing: Cheryl, Ian, Patty, and Rebecca! In addition, congratulations to the winners of the "Four Seasons of Fiber" guessing game: Grace, Jeff, Irina, and Tessa. Each winner receives a $25 gift certificate to The Black Sheep. For the curious, we'll post in the shop the intended identity of each character, along with selected alternative guesses from our very creative customers. Stop by the shop to see them.


From The Fibre Co., we offer Road to China Lace and Road to China Light. Each yarn is a luxurious blend of 65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel and 10% cashmere and is sumptuously soft. We can't stop patting it. Road to China Light is a sport-weight yarn (159 yds. per skein), works up at 6 - 6.5 sts. per inch on US 3 - 4 needles, and comes in softly heathered colors. Road to China Lace comes in 656 yd. skeins and works up at 8 - 10 sts. per inch on US 0 - 2 needles. We currently have Lace in a number of beautiful colors. Come in soon to touch these lovely yarns. You won't want to put them down!


We mentioned in our last newsletter that Shibui's Silk Cloud was expected soon. It's here! We currently have 11 colors of this soft, glowing 60% kid mohair, 40% silk yarn, and you'll discover that the generous amount of silk in this yarn makes it softer than many other mohair/silk blends. Silk Cloud is considered a lace-weight yarn, with 330 yds. per skein. Also from Shibui, we've received some Reed, which replaces their Linen (no longer available due to mill issues, not to a defect in the yarn). Reed is a fingering-weight, 100% linen chainette yarn, and we find it softer and drapier than the original Linen. We have some Linen in stock, and several colors of Reed. The 2 yarns have the same yardage and are interchangeable for gauge, so you can use them together.  
For fans of Classic Elite's cotton yarns Sprout and Seedling, there is now Mika! Super-soft Mika is 100% organic cotton and has a nubbly matte finish, just like cousins Sprout and Seedling. It is sport-weight at 165 yds. per hank and works up at 5.5 - 6 sts. per inch on US 2 - 4 needles. We have Mika in a wide range of colors. Mika will be perfect for baby items and other lightweight projects.

If you're looking for a fingering-weight merino baby yarn, we have a soft new yarn for you: DMC's aptly named 100% Baby. Each 245 yd. (50 gr.) ball is 100% superwash merino wool. We offer 100% Baby in 8 colors: white, cream, pastel yellow, pink, mint green, denim blue, pale gray, and medium gray.

Fun new project bags from Mybaggees have arrived. These mesh bags come in 3 sizes, have snap closures (a nice detail for anyone who has ever gotten their yarn caught in the zipper teeth of a zipped bag), and detachable wrist straps. We carry 3 colors--black, silver and burgundy--in each size.


Our back ordered shipment of Malabrigo's Caracol came in! We now have Caracol in several popular colors, including Aniversario, Archangel, Solis, Piedras, Indiecita, Diana, and Natural. Plus, we added a new purple/magenta color: Hollyhock. In addition to the Caracol, we restocked Malabrigo Sock, Arroyo, and Baby Silkpaca Lace, along with the ever-popular Rios and Mecha. Malabrigo Book #11 is hot off the presses and filled with fun projects celebrating Malabrigo's 10th anniversary! The patterns in the book showcase their anniversary colorway Aniversario, a stunning color blend of magenta and blue violet with a twist of yellow and green. We offer the Aniversario colorway in several of Malabrigo's yarns.

Everyone loved our first shipment of Fyberspates' Gleem Lace so much that we sold out of it! Naturally, we had to order more. Our new shipment has arrived, and it is beautiful. Gleem Lace is a luxurious laceweight yarn in a blend of 55% superwash Blue-faced Leicester wool and 45% silk. It comes in a generous 874 yd. hank. Gleem Lace glows; there is no other word for it. We currently have it in 7 variegated and semi-solid colorways. Come in soon to touch and see this amazing yarn.

Just in! Pink worsted weight yarn in three different shades plus cream! If you're planning to make a hat from one of the downloadable patterns, we can support your project!

We've restocked our Noro Silk Garden Sock and expanded our collection of kits for Stephen West's very popular Spectra scarf. (We also have lots of colorways of this multi-colored yarn so you aren't limited to our kits: you can design your own!)

We also restocked two of our favorite cotton yarns: Classic Elite's Sprout and Seedling (cousins to our new Mika). Made of 100% matte-finished organic cotton, these yarns are wonderfully soft and slightly textured. They are very popular for baby blankets and clothes, and also for chemo caps. Sprout is the chunky yarn, working up on US 10 needle, while Seedling is the worsted weight version, using a US 7 needle. In addition to restocking some of the colors we usually carry, we added some new colors for 2017, including "bracken," an unusual greeny brown (Kathy calls it "breen."), "navy," and "cerulean," both lovely blues

For those who have asked for Juniper Moon's Zooey in neutral colors, we heard you and now have some in stock. We added 8 colors ranging from white to oatmeal, plus gray and aqua. Zooey is a sport-weight, textured blend of cotton and linen with a subtle marled appearance. It comes in 284 yd. balls and is perfect for crisp spring/summer garments and accessories.

If you're looking for thin metallic yarn to carry along with another yarn to boost your project's sparkle quotient, we've just received a shipment of Toreador by Lane Borgosesia. Each 198 yd. ball is a blend of viscose and polyester (that's the sparkle). Our shipment of 10 colors included silver, gold, pewter, charcoal, fuchsia, dark blue, light blue, copper, aqua multi, and teal multi.

A selection of small dumpling bags from Binkwaffle have arrived, including a couple of new fabrics for 2017. For all you cat lovers out there, one of the new fabric patterns is "Cat's Meow," featuring stylized cat faces in orange and white.
In the accessories department, we've restocked both fixed and interchangeable knitting needles from Addi and Knitter's Pride (including Dreamz, Naturalz, and Cubics). We've also made up charming little accessory tins that hold darning needles, stitch markers, snips, and point protectors, and some tins include a fun black sheep magnet.


"Dos Tierras," a new alpaca/merino blend from Malabrigo. The latest word from Malabrigo is that they expect to ship our yarn at the end of March or early in April. More Hempathy (blend of hemp, cotton and Modal, a man-made fiber) from Elsebeth Lavold is expected, in lots of colors.
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Copyright 2018 • The Black Sheep • 11675 Sorrento Valley Rd. #H • San Diego, CA 92121 • 858-481-6708 •