Crochet Club and Competition

What a busy week ?

It’s been a busy time both at Poppys and work. I have been in London for most of the week working in head office.

Sue Pinner Pattern Club July 17 – Lilly Pearl

I took my current WIP with me the Lilly Pearl (Pink and Cream) from Sue Pinner’s Pattern Club July 17. Its such a beautiful pattern, But in all my travels I didn’t manage to get anywhere near it. I did however manage to squeeze in a few squares on the train home. It’s coming along well now, I’ve nearly got 20 squares complete and I’m looking to get it completed this week.

Thanks to everyone who has purchased a Sue Pinner pack from Poppy’s, recently we have sent out parcels to Australia, the USA and France as well as all around the UK, it’s great to see how everyone is getting on with their projects. Check out the pack here.

August 17 – The Big Blue BeastieThe pictures are out for the August 17 pack, it’s beautiful Blanket in a Bag.
As well as the original blue and cream colour combination we have put together some alternate colourways too.
You can see them all on our dedicated Sue Pinner page here:

There’s also a chance to win a pack on Facebook with a like and comment prize draw, see below.

New in Stock:  Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Tonal’s

We have added some new exciting new wool onto Poppy’s site this week , the whole range of the Debbie Bliss Tonals to compliment the range of solid colours. Stock has arrived already and I think I am in love with the new shades.  Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino is definitely my favourite wool to work with at the moment.

The look and feel of the yarn is pure luxury and the colour palette is beautiful, I have so many ideas for this wool but I need to finish the rest of my WIP’s first!

Stylecraft News

Last week I was invited to visit Stylecraft with some other business owners where we got a great tour of the mill as well as a sneak preview of the re-coloured Janie Crawford Persian Tiles Blanket. I would love to get started on one of these, but I am working on so many other projects at the moment.

Poppys Crochet Club

Last weekend, a number of crochet enthusiasts who are reasonably local to Poppy’s met up for an afternoon of crochet, afternoon tea and general chit chat.

We had a great time sharing our WIP’s , learning new stitches, squishing new yarns, especially the new Debbie Bliss Tonals, and helping choose alternate colourways for Sue Pinner’s August project, the Big Beastie, mentioned above.

Everyone discussed a new joint project for charity to be donated for auction in support of the Princes Trust, more about this next month.
In the meantime, everyone is working on tension squares to make sure the group are all working to the same dimensions.

Finally Poppy wanted to get in on the action and practice some slip stitch too!

Love this picture.

Until next time, keep calm and crochet on.



Start of Autumn. Busy Lives and Mood Crochet !

Wow where does time go, the online shop has now been live for a few weeks and is working well.

My current day job involves a lot of travelling which doesn’t leave me much time to crochet, but I still have a little project bag that goes with me everywhere just in case.

Pete has been busy back at Poppy’s HQ sending out orders and continuing to develop the website and adding some animated Yarny films for Facebook.

The little flock of sheep from Yarndale seem to have settled in and appear to be constantly up to mischief in the shop, but more of that in future blogs and films !

Birthday Celebrations

This week marks two years since we first embarked on our journey to set up “Poppy’s” our online business. It also coincides with Pete’s birthday and the conclusion of the fabulous Sue Pinner Carousel Crochet Along Blanket, so what better way to celebrate than . . . .CAKE !

Poppys Cake

Our talented cake maker made us a Poppy’s themed cake, complete with Carousel Blanket topping, seems a shame to eat such a lovely work of art.

Then again . . . .

Busy Lives and different crochet moods

Like so many of us, with busy lives, sometimes we struggle to find all of the time we need to crochet.

In the summer I spent sometime choosing my Autumn/Winter projects. 

If your anything like me it’s difficult to choose one.  So I selected a number of projects and then dependent on my crochet mood, and whether I am travelling or at home, I can always have a project with me.  A little time crocheting soothes away any stresses at the end of a busy day of meetings.

I thought I would use this blog to start to introduce you to my WIP’s then over the next few months we could see them complete.

Today’s blog is going to focus on the CAL’s I am doing (just the two), my next blog will cover my other four projects.

1: Sue Pinners  – Stylecraft Carousel CAL 


When the blog stars visited the local mill in Slaithwaite and had the unveiling of Batik yarn I knew I had to stock this in Poppy’s store.

Our order was placed the next day, although at first I wasn’t sure what colours would work together, but when Sue Pinner’s Carousel Blanket CAL came out in Batik I was in love.

It is the type of love that grows more and more each day, as you work through the pattern in the CAL, I have really enjoyed working on this project and will be kind of sad when it is finished. However I am sure I will treasure the blanket as a family heirloom for ever.

The Batik wool is amazing and what ever colours you put side by side they have the ability to blend and sing to each other. I don’t know about you, but having been new to crochet two years ago, doing a CAL has really helped me gain confidence in my work and learn new stitches and skills that will stay with me for life.


I was really lucky to be able to attend the course hosted by Stylecraft  at their Mill in Slaithwaite just down the road from Poppys’s HQ.

What a great day, we were introduced to Sue Pinner who explained how the design process had worked.  Sue is a lovely lady and really down to earth.  We also got the opportunity to learn some new techniques from the Secret Blanket, and picked up lots of tips to help improve our crocheting, whilst meeting like minded ladies who loved to crochet.


There’s still an opportunity to start the CAL, the pattern is available on the Stylecraft Website, and there’s a special Facebook group online which has offered great support to everyone and includes videos from Stylecraft by Babs, we still have DK and Batik packs available for sale in Poppy’s store. 

Watch this space!

We proud to announce we have provisionally agreed some special dates with Sue Pinner for courses here at Poppy’s in 2017, where Sue will be sharing her latest design ideas.  It will be a great opportunity to relax on the big comfy sofas in front of a roaring fire and enjoy a crochet workshop at Poppy’s Retreat.

suepinnerpoppys2: Sunshine and flowers blanket.               (CROCHET NOW CAL) Jane Crawfoot. 

Early this year in the summer we were treated to another course at Stylecraft and an opportunity to meet Jane Crawfoot, and learn all about the Frieda’s flowers CAL that was underway.

On this course we also got to meet Hugh Metcalf the Editor from Crochet Now, who was there crocheting away with the rest of us for the day.


We learned of the new magazine and a mystery CAL “Sunshine and Flowers”.

For this CAL you needed to subscribe to the magazine and each month you get the, next part of the pattern, the blanket follows the seasons of the year with flowers in the summer and pumpkins in the autumn it’s a dream.

I decided this would be my WIP number two, another opportunity for learning and immediately subscribed to the online magazine.


It’s a great read and the online version is great as I can keep it on my Ipad when I am travelling on the road, planes, trains and in hotel rooms, and I don’t lose my copy of the magazine.

The designs and patterns are all amazing and I have fallen in love with another blanket.  I am a little behind on this one but not to worry, the challenge is that the project is too big to carry on the road with me and needs focussed attention to learn new techniques and stitches, so I’m only on Part 3.

With Part 8 hitting the shelves this month, I have a little catching up to do, but once I have finished my Carousel blanket next week this will once again become my weekend project.

My next blog will introduce you to my WIP 3-6. With hopefully projects 1 and 3 coming to completion.

Goodbye for now happy knitting and crocheting . See you all soon.


Poppys – Holmfirth.




Poppy’s Story

My name is Helen and my husband’s name is Peter and together we live near Holmfirth, in the heart of wool country at Swallows Nest Farm, the home of Poppy’s our online wool and gift shop. 

Our Location

Five years ago we bought a converted barn, located between Holmfirth and Slaithwaite in Yorkshire, looking out onto some of the most amazing scenery on the edge of the Peak District. 

We share our small holding with a number of furry friends, including a small flock of herdy sheep, our horse Joe, two naughty mini Shetland ponies, Warrier and Xavier, an AGA loving cat William and a bouncy sprollie dog called Poppy after whom our business is named.

Our Family

All of my life I have dreamt of owning a wool shop after being taught to knit by my little Gran as a small child. Growing up, as a teenager, I would knit around the campfire at Scout Camp.

I lived in Germany for a while on a British Army camp and the highlight of my week would be to go to the NAAFI and buy wool that I would knit into jumpers and cardigans. 

Like many of you, yarn makes me smile and my heart sing, I love colour, and the tactile feel and touch of wool.  I could never pass a wool shop without adding something to my stash.  

However, life takes over and my job involves a lot of travelling both in the UK and across Europe. 

I often find myself living out of a suitcase, with little time to relax and unwind and knitting started to drift out of my life, when I tried to knit at weekends I would get frustrated as I was too tired to concentrate on the pattern.


But the love of wool and my dream of buying a wool shop remained, and I knew one day I would be able to return once more to the hobby I had loved since being a child.  Pete loved me to knit as it reminded him of his mum who always used to have a knitting project on the go. 

Then just over two years ago, I met up with an old friend who introduced me to crocheting and showed me some of her lovely work.  She encouraged me to take up crochet because unlike conventional knitting needles which were difficult to travel with on planes, trains and automobiles, (excuse the pun), I could easily take a small project bag and a crochet hook with me anywhere.

I shared with her my dream to open a Wool Shop when I retired and she asked me why I didn’t do it straightaway, and that got me thinking.  The planner in me started to work out the art of the possible, could I actually set up a business now?

I returned home, bought a crochet hook, grabbed some wool out of my stash and logged onto YouTube to learn more. Within weeks I was making granny squares and baby blankets.  My suitcase was re-arranged to accommodate a crochet bag, and I don’t think there has been a day since that I have not picked up a hook. Crocheting blankets and presents for others is now my relaxation, I am less stressed than I have been in years and feel more connected to the world out there. I then started to discover our very talented bloggers and designers, my passion for wool was reinvigorated and the business ideas flourished.  

The Studio

After exploring a number of options, it was eventually decided that the small stone barn attached to our house would be an ideal location for the new business and with it’s fantastic views over the moors it would also be a great place to hold courses or workshops. We converted the barn into a studio to display all of our wool and gifts and added a new kitchen, complete with an Aga to create a lovely warm and cosy setting for our visitors to enjoy.  Big comfy sofas in the main room along with a traditional log burning stove and amazing views over the hills and garden help create a luxury spa like feel for our knitting and crocheting retreats.

Beaded Collar Workshop with Jem Weston

We will be offering a range of courses from basic to advanced, with several talented designers, knitting and crochet experts and bloggers.

We have now launched our website and you will see the love of our home, surroundings and collection of animals all incorporated into the design. We have taken great care with the photography of all of the yarns and products featured on the website and used industry standard camera calibration software to ensure accurate colours have been captured.

Poppys Website

Our business is built on offering a range of good value yarn and gifts with great customer service.

We look forward to sharing our journey with you all.


Helen and Peter

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