The Woolarium Blog


I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year, refreshed and ready to get those creative juices going.

I am really looking forward to sharing and creating with you in the coming year with lots of things planned to inspire you.


So to start the ball rolling here are some classes are planned for this year...

Learn to Knit - Learn to Crochet - Helpful Hints and Techniques - Putting it all together - Fair Isle - Socks - Lace - Granny Squares… to name just a few.

Also there will Private Classes available and regular Clinics to troubleshoot all of your individual problems.

A full calendar will be up on the website soon but to get the needles clicking here are three classes scheduled for Jan and February.

Learn to Knit.    

This will be ideal for the beginner or for someone looking for a refresher.

There will be 3 x 2hr sessions, you can choose how many you wish to attend, but you must book in advance.     

$30 per 2hr session          

Tuesday 5.30pm - 7.30pm Jan 21st, 28th and Feb 4th
Saturday 2pm - 4pm Feb 1st, 8th and 15th
You will:
  • Learn how to cast on, knit stitch, purl stitch and cast off.
  • Learn how to choose yarn and needles 
  • Understand importance of tension.
  • Plan your next project

Tips and Techniques

Now that you know the basics of knitting lets add some skills to help you work on your project.

There will be 3 x 2hr sessions, you can choose how many you wish to attend, but you must book in advance.

$30 per 2hr session

Tuesday 5.30pm - 7.30pm Jan 21st, 28th and Feb 4th
Saturday 2pm - 4pm Feb 1st, 8th and 15th.

You will:

  • Learn how to increase and decrease stitches
  • Understand common abbreviations
  • Learn how to read patterns and charts
  • Learn how to start a new ball of yarn
  • Learn some common stitches - rib, moss and cable

Lace Knitting

This is a specialised class for those who are already comfortable with the basic knitting techniques and terminology. 

You will learn the basics of lace knitting and knit a beautiful scarf.

There will be 3 x 2hrs sessions, please book in advance.

$30 per 2hr session

Saturday 2pm - 4pm  Feb 15th, 22nd and 1st Mar

You will:

  • Learn provisional cast on
  • Directional decreases
  • Yarn overs
  • Reading lace chart
  • Knitting on a border

At the end of this class you will be able to select a lace pattern and appropriate yarn, knit a basic lace shawl or scarf and block your creation.

How to Book

Once you have chosen your class please contact us. We can then take your booking and send out information on the class.


Other Classes Starting Soon

Learn To Crochet - I am hoping to get the schedule for this class finalised very soon! So please stay tuned and thanks for your patience, I know a lot of people are waiting for this class to start.

Fair Isle - this will be a specialised class and cover the basics of fair isle with a project to complete.

In-Store Clinics - This will be perfect for when you are in the middle of your project and you come across something that you are not familiar with, a stitch or technique or a term in the pattern, you can come down to the store and get advice to solve your problem. These will run on Saturdays for a couple of hours. I will let you know when they will start

Private Classes - One on one class, focusing on what you want to learn. $30 per hour. 

Summer Loving...

Merry Christmas

Wishing you all a safe and happy Christmas.

It has been such a pleasure for me these last 2 months, yes it really has been 2 months, setting up the shop, meeting some wonderful people and sharing the joy that comes from colour, texture and creating.


Summer Trading Times

Through out December Woolarium will be closed on Wednesdays, open every other day.

To coincide with the handmade markets being held at the Town Hall we will stay open until 7pm on Thursday night.

Our very successful Sit and Knit sessions on Sunday afternoons from 2pm-4pm will continue and we will also have a Sit and Knit on Thursday evening from 5pm to 7pm.

We will be closed from Christmas Day 25th Dec through to 1st January. Opening again 2nd January.

If you need anything urgently don't forget our online store or you can email us with your request.

Throughout January we will be open with reduced hours starting 2nd.

Sunday        11-3

Monday       11-5

Tuesday      11-5

Wednesday Closed

Thursday     11-5

Friday          11-5

Saturday      11-3

Sit and Knit session will start up again towards the end of January


What's New

The first of our range of Blue Sky Alpaca and Spud and Chloe yarns has arrived.


Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton

A wonderful yarn 100% Organic Cotton, soft to the touch and quick to knit with a tension of 16-20 sts per 10cm on 4.5mm - 5.5mm. In 19 beautiful colours so far.




Spud and Chloe  Sweater

A fabulous yarn Superwash 55% Wool and 45% Organic Cotton, great stitch definition and a tension of 16-20 sts per 10cm on 4.5mm - 5.5mm. In 12 gorgeous colours, with more on the way.


Spud and Chloe Outer 

Superwash 65% Wool and 35% Organic Cotton. A Super Bulky yarn with a tension of 8-12 sts per 10 cms on 6mm.

So far only 5 colours but more on the way.

Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud and Chloe Patterns

And here is just sample of the brilliant patterns available.



Soak is biodegradable, rinse free, phosphate free, available in 3 fragrances. Perfect for washing your hand made knits.

Addis Click Sets

Interchangeable needles sets in store now!

Addi Click Basic - 10 pairs of tips, 3 cables, 1 connector

Addi Click Lace - 8 pairs of long tips, 3 cables, 1 connector

Addi Click Bamboo - 8 pairs of tips , 3 cables, 1 connector

What's on Your Needles

Here is just a taste of what everyone is doing 

A beautiful crochet sampler in Rowan hand Knit Cotton, thanks Cheryl its really causing a stir; First time knitter finished this cute little red vest; Elegant shawl in Shibui Sock; learning new sock making techniques


Whats on my needles

I've had such fun making the Christmas Wreath for the window and 2 Christmas Stockings in Millamia.


but I just couldn't wait to get going on the Cameron Hoodie knit in Blue Sky Alpacas Worsted Cotton


Looking Ahead...

Its time to turn time my attention to new colours and yarns for next season. Here are a few highlights 



...have introduced a few new yarns for the northern hemisphere winter. The one that grabbed my attention is

Angora Haze

Super soft to touch and beautiful in the knitted garment, made with angora, wool and polymide for strength. 14 fabulous colours -137 metres -  28sts x 36 rows to 10cms - 3.25mm needles

Angora Haze yarn and Angora Haze Collection will be arriving in store before Christmas!  


Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 54.

Also arriving before Christmas is Rowan Knitting and Crochet Magazine 54! offering 35 designs for men and women in both crochet and knitting


Rowan Tweed DK

Has just arrived in store!

This 100% wool 8 ply tweed is part of the Rowan Tweed Family.  Rowan Tweed is beautifully soft traditionally spun tweed yarn. 118 metres -  21sts x 30 rows to 10cms - 4mm needles.

We now have the full colour range in stock, 20 colours in total,  including 4 new brilliant colours - Tissington #600, Monsal Dale #598, Beresford # 601 and Dove Dale # 599




 New Shibui yarns Arriving Soon

Shibui Yarns are causing a bit of excitement and proving to be very popular. Already I am seeing some beautiful projects. I made this sample using Shibui Linen. I was keen to try this yarn. It proved to be a real pleasure to knit with and produced such a great result.

The pattern is Shibui Mix No 15, it uses 4 skeins and there are 18 colours to choose from.


I will be extending the Shibui range to include Shibui Merino Alpaca 50% baby alpaca and 50% merino wool 10ply and Shibui Staccato 70% super wash merino and 30% silk 4ply.




Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud and Chloe

Its official Blue Sky Alpacas and Spud and Chloe yarns and patterns are on the way.


Sit and Knit 

Sit and Knit is on every Sunday afternoon 2pm - 4pm, It is good fun and knitters and crocheters of all levels come along.

Just bring your project, chat, knit, crochet, share ideas, learn a few tips,


What you are knitting

I love to see what's on your needles and the patterns you are using.



Shredded Scarf pattern by Linda Permann              Whit's Knits Little Baby Sweater 

from Inside Crochet Issue 13                                   Free pattern on Purl Bee

Pictured in Millamia Extra Soft Merino                      Suggested yarns Rowan Wool Cotton 4ply or Sienna 4ply

Thanks Laura                                                           Thanks Margaret


Other projects on the Needles

Textured Shawl Recipe, worked in 8ply                           Textured Shawl Recipe

Pomme de Pin Cardigan worked in 5 ply                         Pomme de Pin

Treyi Vest worked in Jo Sharp Mulberry Silk Georgette   Treyi Vest



What's on My Needles


I am well on my way with my Christmas list ............

The String Bag is finished. I found the Rowan Creative Linen just brilliant for this project. 



I decided on the Candy Cane Christmas Stocking from Millamia and its knitting up a treat












It's Coming on Christmas...

Christmas is coming! And there are some very organised knitters out there. 

Loads of people have been coming in to Woolarium to pick up supplies for their Christmas gift projects.

So it got me thinking..........


A String Bag

From Knitty - Amy Singer's Everlasting Bagstopper


Rowan Creative Linen - 50% Linen and 50% Cotton 

With so many great colours to choose from it's hard to pick! Here are just a few.


Or perhaps Echo Recycled Cotton


Fingerless Mittens

This Hexagon Mittens pattern looks great.



Knit in 4ply, there are so many choices -

Ella Rae Lace Merino, Misty Alpaca Sock, Shibui Sock.


Christmas Stockings

Millamia have the perfect free pattern,


Woolarium's library of books and patterns is slowly growing.

Here are a few gems that arrived this week.


200 Crochet Blocks - by Jan Eaton. The must have book of crochet squares to mix and match.


How Tea Cosies Changed the World - by Loani Prior 


100 Flowers to knit and crochet -by Lesley Stanfiled. A collection of beautiful blooms.


More Last Minute Knitted Gifts - by Joelle Hoverson


Sit and Knit

The sit and knit session have been loads of fun. Each Sunday from 2-4, bring your knitting, relax and share with other knitters or crocheters. It's so inspiring to see other peoples projects, new knitters gaining confidence to try new things and the pleasure it brings them. Here's a beautiful crochet top in progress from one of our Sit and Knitters, using Rowan Sienna 4ply



What's on my Needles

I have seen a lot of people knit the Blythe Rug from the Noro book Family. It uses Noro Silk Garden and a simple but effect slip stitch. I decided to play around with the idea. So using Silk Garden and Rowan Pure Wool Aran and the same slip stitch I made a cushion cover. It was fun, quick and very satisfying to knit.

Settling in to a Rhythm

Life at the Woolarium is starting to settle into a rhythm. All of the initial large yarn orders have arrived and are on the shelves. The last to arrive were Shibui and Jo Sharp. I was attracted to Shibui yarns because of their colours, varieties of yarn and their designs.  The designs are clever but simple and very stylish. The patterns are beautifully presented with good clear diagrams and descriptions. I had some fun this week working out colour and yarn combinations for one of Shibui's more popular designs -Trapezoid. This pattern calls for Shibui sock yarn which I have in store and the Shibui 10ply which hasn't arrived yet.  Rowan Kid Classic, Rowan Pure Wool Aran, and Jo Sharp Silk Road Aran Tweed were all candidates. So now all that's left is to choose the colour.


As part of the ebb and flow of a yarn store is the ordering and reordering. This week I reordered some more buttons. Some of you will have seen the fabulous hand made buttons from Incomparable Buttons that we sell. Each button has been hand painted and is unique. The main aim of Incomparable Buttons is to provide employment for women in South Africa. They have a very special team of women that between them speak 9 different languages and are often the sole provider for their large families. I think the back story to these buttons makes them even more wonderful. I hope the order arrives soon.



Lastly I wanted to mention the web site. I owe a huge thank you to Dave and Blythe for all their assistance and guidance in getting me this far. Their attention to detail and artistic design sense is very much appreciated. I think it looks fabulous. Unfortunately we are still having some problems with the photos. Apparently there is a glitch with the software and the photos are not attaching to their description. So if you select a vibrant Red and you see a pale yellow or you see no photo at all, I'm sorry. It will be fixed as soon as possible. The rest of the site is working fine. 

The shop is open and the Online Store is up and running

So much has happened over the last couple of weeks. It has been just so wonderful finally getting the shop open and now the website/online store up and running.


I've had nothing but encouraging comments and lots of good wishes. Thank you all so much. I am very excited to be in Northcote selling beautiful yarns to my fellow knitters.

If you haven't already been down and added to 'Endless Knitting' currently displayed in the front window, please come down and be part of it. This piece has been going for a decade and is 11or 12 metres long so far...........



The shop is almost ready

Its been a very busy couple of weeks. The shop fit out is really moving along.

There's been a flurry of builders, plasterers, electricians and  the floor men. The shop is being transformed to a great space to display  the yarn. The painting will be completed over the weekend and the shelves will be delivered early next.

Once all the work is done then the real fun can start with the delivery of the yarn.

My neighbouring shop holders and people wandering down High St have been really encouraging and truly excited to find out that a wool shop will be opening soon.

The most fun thing that I had to do this week was to order lots and lots of buttons.