Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Muddy Fingers Pottery at Glastonbury (with a little bit of Treacle!)

I have a number of passions – my children, my friends, my business, yarn, music. I was so disappointed to miss out on Glastonbury tickets despite my best efforts using two phones and two computers, I had to have an hour consoling myself – truly. I used to go to Reading Festival for years when I was younger (as I lived nearby) and went to Glastonbury once before, 20 years ago. I just need to go again!

So I thought I'll try in the re-sale. I texted my talented and lovely friend Diane, half of Muddy Fingers Pottery, as I knew she was having a stall at Glastonbury, to see if I did manage to get lucky, I could get a lift all that way with her. And you know what, this is how lovely she is – she said if I work with her on the Muddy Fingers stall, I can have a Trader Ticket. Really, truly, totally! I still can't quite believe it but now I am not only going to Glastonbury to see a swathe of brilliant bands but I'm going with my friend, for a week, on a massive road trip, to sell gorgeous pottery too.

I first met Diane a year ago at the Heritage Skills Fair in Tynemouth Station.  We are equally obsessed by yarn (me) and clay (Diane) and are super hardworking and focussed women in our businesses. Muddy Fingers Pottery make specialist cookware alongside bespoke kitchen and homewares. They are a small independent pottery based in the North East with two of the regions most talented and forward-thinking potters taking the business to the next level.

Alongside designing and making new products, Muddy Fingers develops and produces its own glazes for their stoneware products. But they don't just make pots! They run classes, make bread ovens, design and make tipi fire pits, run workshops and Raku sessions, pit firing and more – Diane and Marv just love to play with clay! They began to supply Treacle with yarn bowls, which have proved very popular with our customers. We have forged links between our businesses and continue to develop and explore new ideas.

If you're lucky enough to be going to Glastonbury too, follow this blog, join in, tell us who you're must-sees are (Lucy Rose, Haim, First Aid Kit, Alt J, Steve Mason, Toro Y Moi, Kenny Rogers, oh and The Rolling Stones are our first thoughts!) and don't forget to come and say hello. We'll be posting teasers of the beautiful items that will be for sale, how our preparations are coming along, how our excitement is growing, and if you aren't lucky enough to have a ticket, tell us if you want a gig report on anyone in particular!
Marv & Diane at Christmas!

Now, time to find the Glastonbury Muddy Fingers Stall scarf pattern ...

Kym :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Big Knitathon!

Come and help us break a World Record for the Most People Knitting Simultaneously!

On Saturday November 17th at the shop, bring your friends and your needles, have a cuppa and a cake and get into the record books!  Treacle is taking part in The Big Issue Foundation's Big Knitathon, supporting the homeless and having some fun.

Get in touch if you want more information or let us know you can come!  If you attend, you'll be entered into a prize draw to win something lovely!

If you can't attend, you can still donate via the Treacle Wool Shop JustGiving page here.

Treacle Wool Shop
Chantry Place
Morpeth NE61 1PJ
Tel: 01670 504045

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

June News


There are still superb bargains up for grabs in Treacle's SUPER SALE, from top brands such as Debbie Bliss, Stylecraft, Artesano and more -  it's the perfect opportunity to knit yourself something lovely or get organised for Christmas gifts!  You earn Loyalty Points on all products too, both instore and online.

Heritage Skills Festival, Tynemouth Station

We are really excited about taking part in a three day Heritage Skills Festival at Tynemouth Station on June 22, 23 and 24.  This FREE event has over 40 different attractions including knitting, crochet, feltmaking, spinning, stonemasonry, lime pointing, blacksmithing, archaeology and pottery, with plenty of opportunity to turn your hand to a traditional craft - there will be something to interest everyone! 
We will be selling brand new Treacle kits, locally hand spun and dyed yarns, felt gifts and more - come to our stand and say STICKY10 for 10% off your purchase on the day! Visit the Festival sitehere.

Treacle Craft Workshops

Whether you are a returner to knitting or crochet, need help finishing off your projects professionally, fancy a day out with a friend or looking to buy a unique gift, Treacle's newWorkshop Programme has lots to offer.  You must pre-book your place, either online, instore or on            01670 504045      .  And if you book 2 places at the same time, we'll give you 10% off!
Treacle Wool Shop, Chantry Place, Morpeth, Northumberland NE61 1PJ.
tel:             01670 504 045       Email:

Friday, January 27, 2012

Treacle supporting Callum John Lowe, Fashion Design Menswear, Northumbria Uni, #3

I've had a trip to bonny Scotland and through the Highlands, filled with tattie scones and Irn Bru - joyful times. Now I'm home don’t worry, the Bovril and ham n pea’s pud stottie’s are back!

Scotland is extremely beautiful, especially the Highlands if you're travelling around the lochs, and is likely to have the most extreme weather you will get in the UK.

After doing a lot of research I thought it be best to plan a trip to Fort William as I have not been for some years and I really needed some outdoor inspiration. So I thought it a good idea to go look at some of the museums and see if I could find out more about functionality of fabrics for extreme cold as the temperature is often -1 Celsius.

My collection's concept is travel/exploration and where best to try it out than at the top of Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the British Isles standing a 1,344 metres above sea level and likely have the most extreme weather in the UK). Of course I need to produce my collection to test it!

One very interesting thing I discovered was that Ben Nevis had an observatory built at the summit that was constantly manned from 1883 to 1904. It was built mainly for meteorological data and high altitude weather. I've seen a few of photos but unfortunately it is but a ruin nowadays.

I visited the West Highland Museum and the Highland Folk Museum, which both helped get a feel for life in ‘back in the day’. I gained a great insight to how handmade tweeds were created on weaving looms. The trip made me think hard about the functionality of my designs - you need warmth, comfort, flexibility and versatility.

I would love to still be up there, you get a real feel for untouched wilderness, so pure and natural but at the same time exposed and realise that the environment can sometimes very hostile.
I plan to go back to visit the Outer Hebrides for Harris Tweed and different wool mills later this month so keep in touch for my next instalment!

Follow me on Twitter @CallumJohnLowe or @treaclewoolshop

Friday, November 4, 2011

Treacle following CallumJohnLowe, Fashion Design Menswear, Northumbria Uni, #2

Greetings from Northumbria University - the time in 8:08pm and I'm still going ...

From the beginning of time we have used clothing to protect ourselves from the environment and to showcase our own individual style.  From a young age I have watched programmes like Tintin and read about great explorers, people heading out into the great abyss of culture and adventure. I have always wanted to explore, whether it was in the local woods or on trips around the world. I am a curious fellow, always wondering what is around the next corner.  I have a great interest for all things British - maybe it's something I was brought up to believe but British products to me stand for a mark of quality.

The story behind my Collection Concept and the problems I would like to solve
Britain is currently a trillion pound in debt and the UK unemployment rate is at its highest for the 17th year running. I am reminded by my family that “when I was young there were so many jobs you could leave a job on the Friday and get another job by the Monday”. There were a lot of apprenticeships, especially for the young and just out of school. The shipyards and mines in the North East were massive employers but now a lot of young people only have a choice between higher education or the dole because there are so few jobs available.
So why start production of British-sourced British-made products like clothing now?

Everyone will know someone who used to work in a textile factory, sewing, cutting or knitting some form of textile (my Mam used to work at the Dewhirst factory in Ashington). That kind of skill is now very hard to come by - it’s a dying art, nowadays everything is cheap and is thrown away after a month of wearing it. Personally I would choose a well made garment than an item a quarter of the price – buy cheap, buy twice.

My passion is to create a collection of garments, sourced and produced in Britain - made of the highest quality and catering for the wearer's needs. collection is travelling/exploring. My concept behind my collection is that whilst on this trip into the unknown I am an ambassador for Britain promoting everything British and hopefully bring some form of revenue to Britain. The selling point will be the story and the clothing which I will be wearing to show the quality and the functionality of the collection.

The Idea behind it is to produce more jobs and give Britain that push toward to self-sustainability, don’t misquote me Britain will never be self-sustainable as it is not possible because of the amount of people and the restricted land mass.

Britain has such a massive history of not only designing textiles but also PRODUCING textiles. So lets keep that history flowing for as long as possible. I know in my heart this is something which I care dearly for and something which I would like to change. So im going to pour my soul into it and hope you like the end result.
What do you think of this concept? Have I hit the nail on the head or missed and hit my thumb? If you have a related story to tell from your past, I'm all ears. Comment below and follow me on Twitter @CallumJohnLowe

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Treacle follows Callum John Lowe, Fashion Designer Menswear #1 September 2011

Treacle first met Callum John Lowe (CJL) earlier this year when he approached us to have two of his designs knitted. This is just the kind of project we like working on and had just the knitter – our fabulous Ann (who has produced many many garments, both designed and knitted, for many top fashion houses over the years).
At our first meeting, we were intrigued and impressed by CJL – at just 23, he has a drive and passion for vintage design that is both exciting and quirky. CJL is in his final year of fashion design at Northumbria University in Newcastle and we will be blogging about his final collection, his ideas and influences and finding out who the man with a passion for design really is.

Our first blog gets some background from CJL:

A lot of people who meet me say that I'm an old man trapped in a young body. I am a outdoor type, always on walks, who smokes a pipe and loves the history channel, beauty sleep and a cup of Bovril. Not forgetting my great love for fisherman jumpers.”

  • I was born in Ashington, Northumberland in 1988
  • I attended Ashington High School and then Newcastle College to study a National Diploma in General Art and Design. This helped me grasp the essence of creativity by trying a range of different paths in the design industry among them 3D design, fine art, textiles, interior and so on. I decided that my strongest and most enjoyable subject was fashion design, along with a keen interest in texture and knitwear. Whilst travelling from Ashington to Newcastle and back everyday, I often knitted on the bus.
  • I had always intended to go to university, just like my older sister who also studied fashion at Northumbria and had inspired me from a young age. I got offered a place at Northumbria and accepted.
  • Northumbria is where I really got into design and honed my skilled by learning to use a industrial sewing machine, and pattern cutting garments from scratch which was a lot more to do with the process of fashion rather then drawing garments from my head which could never really be made.
I remember there was a project which included knitting with renewable materials. As my mam's garden is like a tropical rain forest I decided to use one of her plants that had long leaves which I cut up and knitted with which I thought fantastic until my mam came home from work and found me cutting up one of her prized expensive plants - she was not happy!
  • In Year 3 there is the opportunity to do a placement - I thought there would be no better place than London, one of the fashion capitals of the world. I secured a year placement at Dunhill which specialised in luxury menswear and has a wealth of history dating back to 1893 when it was established. And this is where a real love for all things old and historical really began to inspire me.
  • One of my favourite things to do was on a Friday morning, going down to Portobello Market to look round the vintage stalls and draw inspiration form the clothes. The last 6 months of my placement I personally worked for Kim Jones, the creative director of Dunhill, which help me grasp the commercial and eccentric sides of the market - as important to any catwalk show or selling of a collection.
  • Back at home in the North East I am embarking on the adventure of designing my collection around things that inspire me. If I used one word to describe the collection it is Functional - it has to evolve around its user.
  • I am a firm believer that knitting and knitwear should be a part of everyone’s life. It is such a diverse skill that has been handed down generation to generation and should never be forgotten.
  • My collection involves a lot of bespoke and one-off knitwear pieces which need involvement from experts who have a wide knowledge of knitting without following a pattern.
The next blog will tell you about my Design Philosophy giving you a much more in-depth understanding of the collection I am currently producing.

Treacle Wool Shop
01670 504045      

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A great start to the new season

It's been a great week!  The first Knit2gether on Wednesday at the shop was full again with 3 newbies, one of whom was a visitor to the area and had been in the shop earlier in the day.  She was keen to learn how to knit socks on 4 needles so we taught her at the Knit2gether - a happy lady.  

It's exciting to see what our lovely customers are working on and to inspire them for their next project - Rico Galaxy went down particularly well, a divine gently-shaded chunky weight yarn sprinkled with sequins - what's not to love about that combination?! 

At the moment, we particularly fancy knitting a vintage-pattern aran cardigan in Louisa Harding's Ianthe, to give that modern twist.  Or perhaps a simple two buttoned tunic in 100% merino - being surrounded by fantastic yarns and many many patterns on a daily basis can make it hard to choose just one project to work on!  Our wonderful team of knitters are working hard creating another 100% Angora vintage bolero, a Merino fan-backed jacket and a 1940s fairisle jumper for our customers - such a diverse range of garments, we are thrilled we can fulfil their wants!

To close our week, we ran two Let's Crochet workshops yesterday, beginner in the morning and next stepper in the afternoon.  It felt lovely having the upstairs of the shop full of people keen to learn and concentrating hard.  Next Saturday is Let's Knit 130-4 (if you'd like to come, let us know!) followed by felting, finishing techniques and much more -

There are new projects in the pipeline, not least the brand new Treacle Online Shop, which we are launching at the end of the month.  ALL our stock will be available, to buy online or reserve to collect in store.  It's a mammoth task and we are very excited about launching Treacle globally!

And now, as its such a beautiful blue sky, it's time for a walk!  Enjoy your Sunday, Treacle