Wool 'n' Threads Club

If you haven't already signed up to our fabulous new subscription Wool 'n' Threads Club let me tempt you....

You will receive free patterns, on-line ordering promotions and competition prizes.  During October we are celebrating Twilleys of Stamford's Freedom Mist dk.

Our exclusive Mist pattern will be released Tuesday 2nd October.

We will also be celebrating National Wool Week 15th-21st October and sending you a Freedom Wool knitted and felted Bag design.

Here is the sneak peak of the design.

All in all a fabulous month of design and promotions. 

Don't delay join up today!


Twilleys of Stamford - The Incredible Vests!

In December 2011 I wrote a post about Twilleys of Stamford and Health Vests.

Barbara Smith has now written an article for the Slipknot (Knitting & Crochet Guild publication) concerning the Health Vests patterns by Twilleys in the 1960's and she has kindly forwarded me copies of the patterns (unfortunately we do not have these in our archive).

Barbara has kindly allowed me to publish this:-

"Twilley’s Health Vests
Barbara Smith
Twilley’s of Stamford, now part of the Thomas B. Ramsden group, started in the 1930s, producing cotton yarns for knitting and crochet.  The earliest Twilley’s pattern leaflets in the Knitting and Crochet Guild’s collection are from the 1940s or 1950s and are mainly for accessories (gloves, socks, etc.) and decorative items for the home (e.g. luncheon sets, cushions), in fine yarns.  
We also have a 1950s pattern leaflet for two vests knitted in dishcloth cotton.  I assume that Twilley’s were already producing dishcloth cotton alongside their other yarns, as a utilitarian product that previously required no pattern leaflets.  The leaflet quotes a “well-known Doctor” as saying “To avoid colds, wear vests knitted from Dish-cloth Cotton”. 
Twilley’s must have subsequently seen that there was a demand for dishcloth cotton to knit vests.  In response, they produced a “Health Vest Cotton” (which I suspect was simply dishcloth cotton, bleached white) and a range of pattern leaflets.  Judging by the hairstyles, the leaflets date to the early 1960s.  Most of the patterns are, of course, for vests – for men, women and children.  No. 381 seems to have been the most popular, from the number of copies at Lee Mills – and another pattern (No. 395) was exactly the same, but modelled by Bill Brown, the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper.  (Celebrity endorsements aren’t new – only the celebrities change.)
A Twilley’s booklet combining several of the vest patterns quotes a doctor, promoting cotton underwear, who claims wrongly that wool is “water repellent, so that when we move with any energy at all, we sweat and stay wet and itchy and smelly for the rest of the day.”  (In contradiction to this, merino wool has recently become the favoured choice for a “base layer” for outdoor sports such as cycling and running, replacing synthetic fibres.  It absorbs moisture, but “wicks” it away from the body, and so keeps you warm – and unlike synthetics does not become smelly.  Cotton is not recommended, because although it absorbs moisture, it then holds onto it.)
The booklet also claims: “The principal cause of colds and bronchial complaints is the irregular temperature of the body…these inequalities are smoothed out and neutralised by the unique properties of Twilley’s Health vests!”, and says that the vests keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.  It seems likely that these properties were mainly due to the air trapped in the mesh, rather than the cotton yarn.  The vests were also easier to wash, and probably cheaper, than woollen ones. 
String vests like those in the Twilley’s patterns were not, to my mind, attractive – especially when seen through a (probably Bri-Nylon) shirt.   More attractive are the patterns for “sports casuals” (in white only, of course), such as No. 391.  Perhaps this started a trend for summer jumpers and tops in thicker cotton.  And my favourite pattern is for a horse cooler, to put on a horse under its blanket after working, so that it can cool down gradually.  A marathon knitting exercise, taking 36 oz. of cotton - but the horse does look good in it. "


Huge thanks to Barbara for sharing this with us.  Please take a look at her blog (great article here on Twilleys Echo) and at the Knitting & Crochet Guild.


Steven MacIver - Dillon Gallery - New York

Prepare to be amazed! 

Look at Steven MacIver's exhibition currently in the Dillon Gallery in New York.  He uses Twilleys of Stamford Goldfingering in Gold and Silver for his installations.

Words from Dillon Gallery:-
"Steven completed his BA in Fine Arts at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and his MFA at the Slade School of Art. Following his graduation in 2004, MacIver was honored with the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Sculpture at the British School at Rome. His fundamental preoccupation with the creation of various types of space was deepened by his time in Rome and can be seen in his renderings of stadiums and coliseums. He uses these abstracted architectural studies to deeply explore how space is used and contained.

For MacIver, the fundamental aspect of art is the ability to draw a line well and this is clearly demonstrated in his explorations with internal and external space. He calls his artistic method a type of “excavation” because he uses a scalpel to remove paint in a reductive method from the canvas. The result is a structured surface that is both glossy and flat: a type of interplay between drawing and painting. His various compositions, made of a multitude of intersecting lines, create both a real and imagined space. Amongst the many awards and grants this gifted young artist has already received, the Rome Prize for study awarded to him by the Slade School placed him as one of the leading young artists from Britain. He currently lives and works outside Oxford."
We wish Steven the very best for his exhibition which runs from 6th September - 2nd October in New York.  Amazing work.

Book 353 Chunky Collection Book 2

Take a look at our fabulous new 353 Chunky Collection Book 2.  Photography shot in Sandsend, near Whitby in North Yorkshire.  It is a stunning location which highlights our wonderful new designs in Mode, Norse, Celtic and Merino Chunky.  Other Wendy or Twilleys chunky yarns can be used.

This is a new look book and we hope you love it as much as we do.  

The weather is getting colder so its a great time to start something new and chunky to keep you warm.

Also take a look at our five new leaflets.


Wool 'n' Threads Club

I have been sent some lovely images from one of our Wool 'n' Threads members Amanda Hurrell.  She received one of our free patterns, a Celtic Chunky Shrug and has actually knitted it in Wendy Supreme Cotton Chunky.  Big thanks to Amanda for sending the images in and I am sure you will agree she looks fab.

Its always lovely to hear from members so don't be shy send me your images - if you dont want to have them included on facebook or the blog thats fine please just say.  However its really nice to hear from you.  carolann@tbramsden.co.uk.

Amended link for Knitting Tutorials

Apologies - new links for our Knitting Tutorials - please take a look as they are slightly updated!

Thank you.


YouTube Tutorial - Wendy Nina


Wow another super tutorial - this time for Wendy Nina.  Happy viewing and knitting!

Knitting with Wendy Rococo - Youtube Tutorials

Take a look at our fabulous Wendy Rococo Knitting Tutorials on YouTube:-



Thomas B Ramsden are thrilled to have donated two Christmas Jumper designs to the Save the Children Jumper Day 14th December 2012.  Simply sign up  and get your Kit on the link above:-

Here is how to get involved:-

Click on the Save the Children link above

STEP 1 - they will send you a free Christmas Jumper Day Kit. 

STEP 2 -  Tinsel up everyday jumpers, rescue Granny's homemade knitwear, or buy that festive sweater you've always wanted.

STEP 3 - Wear your woolly wonders with pride on Friday 14 December and donate £1 each.

We have donated the adults Reindeer and Snowflake designs for this special event so what are you waiting for, join up and join the fun!

If you need further inspiration look out for our fabulous Festive Knits 340 book as above full to the brim with  excellent designs.


Knit Today - Issue 77 October 2012

The latest issue 77 of Knit Today is out and full of wonderful designs and a great giveaway of Knitaholics Calendar 2013.  The Calendar features us in February (Norse - Valentine Hottie), March (Peter Pan - Easter Chick Egg cosies), June ( Wendy Aran - Knitted ipad cover), July (Wendy Supreme Chunky - Beach Bag) and November (Wendy Merino DK - Stripy Mittens). 

We have a Yarn Bundle Giveaway on Page 65 (Celtic and Peter Pan) and fabulous Cool and Casual Freedom Wool slouchy beanie on pages 78-79 for the man in your life.

Issue 77 Knit Today

All in all a great selection of choice.  So what are you waiting for get your copy now.

Happy Knitting.


Wool 'n' Threads - Prototype Magazine

Olivia Wallbank has just completed her MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Central Lancashire and has created a prototype magazine for our Wool 'n' Threads Club.  This has not been published and is purely for her MA work - although it could possibly be a future project for us.

If you go to the website www.yudu.com and then click on 'login' then 'YUDU Free', you will reach a log in page. You do not need to log in but simply type 'Wool 'n' Threads' into the search box at the top of the page (right hand side) and you should be able to spot the magazine.  

Please do have a look.

Wool 'n' Threads magazine