Debbie Bliss Summer Tweed Juliet

Well it’s been a very long time since my last blog ! – must do better.

With so much going on in the shop I sometimes forget to keep you all up to date. This post is going to be a quick review of the yarn currently on my needles:

This week I have started knitting this cute top by Debbie Bliss using her summer tweed “Juliet” 

52% cotton / 48% acrylic

50g ball, 120m / 131yds

3.25 mm needles 30C wash

I am someone who normally knits with aran or chunky yarns, I like quick results, warm luxurious yarns. So this cotton blend 3ply is out of my comfort zone, however I am really enjoying it. So far I am 2 days in one ball down, it is knitting up much quicker than I anticipated. The smooth cotton is lovely to work with in this sunshine, kind on the hands and the light weight makes it easy to carry around in my handbag. I would happily recommend this yarn to knitters of all levels, the Juliet pattern book that accompanies it has a range of cardigans, tops, shrugs and a skirt to inspire, with very simple easy to follow options through to complicated cable work for the more adventurous. The picture is of my progress so far ! – I will post the finished project on the website and on Facebook once I get it completed.



A new year


Hello 2014 !


What a year already, great to see so many friendly faces and updates on your projects, I am starting a pin board of finished creations for inspiration so feel free to send my photos or pop in for your picture to be added to the wall. I would like to say a belated congratulations to Kara Stevens who picked up her Snowman before Christmas.

Winner of The Snowman

Winner of The Knitted Snowman


We are back to normal trading hours now with the coffee machine being fired up from 10 am Tuesday – Saturday. Don’t forget our late night club on Wednesdays 6 – 8 for those braving the extreme weather there will be  a range of cakes and drinks to purchase and time to get started on our latest projects.

More workshops and clubs have been confirmed so here’s a list of the first few, there are limited spaces so please do book early to avoid disappointment:


Tuesday 14th January is our first Crochet Blanket Along

2nd Tuesday of every month 2pm till 4pm

Lead by Amanda from The Natural Dye Studio; This club is not for beginners so you will need to know the following basic crochet stitches; Chain, slip stitch, double crochet, half treble crochet, treble crochet and double treble crochet. However if you can make a granny square you should be able to make any of Amanda’s designs with a bit of practise.

Amanda’s blankets are all made from The Natural Dye Studio 4 ply yarn, which you can buy from The Periwinkle, Amanda will bring along a selection of additional yarns for you to buy to use in your blanket. New members will be welcome to join at any time.



Beginners Knitting Workshop

Date: 10th Feb 14. Tutor: Tonia Sears Level: Beginner Cost: £25

In this month’s beginners workshop you will learn the skills needed to produce a small cushion cover, with an option to include a simple cable for the more adventurous. Skills covered are casting on, knit stitch, purl stitch and casting off. Tools and materials available to purchase on the day



Big Beautiful Cables

Date: 24th Feb 14. Tutor: Martin Storey Level: Intermediate Cost: £35

Martin Storey, a senior designer for Rowan, teaches the skills to produce a beautiful cabled cowl or scarf. Six patterns, instruction and yarn all included in the cost. Please bring along size 10mm needles and a cable needle, alternatively purchase them in store on the day


Here are a few of your finished projects:

Penny's projectsImage


Day One

The Periwinkle ChristmasWow ! what an amazing night. My first day of trading had me rushed off my feet with so many well wishers. I had unbelievable support from the local community, friends and family. It could not have been a better day. My shop is now open for business Tuesday – Saturday 10 – 5 with a late night club on Wednesdays until 8pm.The Periwinkle First Day

I must say a massive thank you to my sister who worked so hard to help create the window displays which look brilliant, and ran around yesterday serving, tidying up, selling and updating the social media. Without her I would have struggled to keep up.

Periwinkle cake

I am looking forward to this Sundays Christmas Fair in Fore Street, I will be opening up for the afternoon with mulled apple juice and mini mince pies for the shoppers. Do pop in to say hi, and enjoy the live music on Fore Street.


Less than a week to go until opening day on the 27th November.

Everything happens at once, I can not believe how quickly things pull together at this point. Everyday seems like a week with the amount that gets done. Even still I am nervous that it wont be perfect by 3.30 doors open next week. I hope you will all be able to see the shop and know it will continue to develop over the next few months.

The 27th is the turning on of the Ilfracombe High Street Christmas Lights. Myself and Lucy from The Cotton Tree next door both aim to be open in the evening for the event and the late night shopping. The excitement of having 2 new shops on Fore Street has been brilliant. We will be opening again on the Sunday for the Fore Street Christmas Market. So a very busy first week for us. I will be offering a few tasters from about 7.30 to keep those late night shoppers going. ( limited number only as I only have the morning to bake so first come first served).

Shop Front

The Periwinkle

My amazing sister has spent the last few days trying to come up with a theme for my window displays, with all the other things going on I somehow forgot that Christmas is so close and had not planned for it. Hurray for big sisters coming to the rescue, she is a wonderfully creative person so I have high hopes for her displays on short notice 🙂 She will be there on Wednesday so feel free to compliment her.

99% of my stock is now in and I am enjoying using my pricing gun, and organising some of the internal displays, I have 95% of the key utilities in just need to remember the details. This is probably going to be my last blog before the big day, as I am pretty shattered by the time I get home in the evenings. Also I should remind you that I have a website ;

Can’t wait to see you all there, do invite friends and family.


What a long gap! Sorry for the massive delay I am pretty busy as you can imagine it’s pretty hard now to think of all the things that have happened and all the brilliant people I have met.


Hoopla Yarns have delivered their spools of fabric yarn, I have 12 colours, all of which I have thought of projects for, the selection of patterns on Ravelry for this yarn is massive, sadly I have to wait until I have completed some of my existing work before starting another one. The postman has been pretty busy, loads of accessories and tools have been arriving on a daily basis, prompting me to look at more display props. I don’t think I have ever had so much post it’s quite exciting, particularly as the postie is becoming inventive with where he hides the packages whilst we are out, each day I now have a treasure hunt around the garden just in case there is a parcel hidden.

This last few weeks has found me meeting people and making contacts again, I spent a morning with Karen from Middle Campscott Farm, who’s yarn I am lucky enough to stock, one of the first UK producers to have organic yarns they have beautiful natural colours. I am also hoping to have some of product she has made in the shop. I spent a long coffee break chatting with Robin Bray who is skilled with a crochet hook, having taught herself she produces brilliant gifts for her friends including minecraft characters. I am hoping Robin will be able to help me out with beginner crochet skills in the shop. I have also met a whole list of other exciting people who will bring needle felting, spinning, yarn and fleece into the shop!


Westpoint stitch craft show in Exeter was amazing, I went along with family and friends on the Sunday and loved it, a day there was only just enough, we caught the tarka train up from Barnstaple and enjoyed the calm mode of travel, beautiful scenery and a chance to catch up on the latest news. The show was massive, a must for all crafty people, loads of new ideas and tools to test out, demonstrations and talks throughout the day. Next year when I am open I might just have to organise a coach trip there, to give me the excuse to go again.  I have made some great contacts and hopefully taken the first steps to organising some very exciting workshops. I also met a representative from the Hand Knitting Association who have national campaigns and events, I hope to be able to coordinate with them in future.

We had a fabulous afternoon with Fiona Bates sitting in her kitchen with lumps of clay and learning about the techniques and processes we could use to create items for the shop, they are due to be fired this weekend so looking forward to seeing the results. Some were pretty experimental so there are strong chances they will crack or break in the processes. But great fun to try out a new skill, and have coffee with friends.

In the Sears household since the last blog we have now nearly completed 2 kits for beginners, 6 hand stitched aprons for wearing in the shop, padded 2 chairs, fixed up blackboards, finished the workshop table, baked several amazing cakes including a few rainbow creations, and a sample scarf from Artesano yarns. Phew seems like quite a lot when its listed thank goodness that I have managed to delegate most of it to mum and dad! ha ha

Rainbow Cake

(Originally posted 02.10.13)



Well I have had a busy few weeks with work, and my savings are becoming healthier. So to balance it out I have spent more ! Now that one job is completed I am refocused on the shop.

Some of my yarns have now been ordered and paid for which is so exciting, due to be delivered in the next few weeks which will help make sure I have enough shelving. I have also been choosing which patterns to get in. Both decisions are difficult as there is so much I want, but hopefully I will have a selection that will get your creative juices flowing.

I have also been ticking boxes with the council, I am now food registered, correct usage and health and hygiene advised so hopefully I am on track to get 5 star ratings. Thanks to Alan for meeting me on site and explaining the complications of hygiene requirements so I get it right before I install anything.

Also you may have noticed my Twitter post to say congratulations to my mum Jan Sears who has opened her first exhibition with Fiona Bates in St Annes Arts and Community Centre in Barnstaple. It looks amazing we are very proud of you.

Oh and a note – mr site have fixed my poll button issue, so please vote on your favourite yarn weight and help me chose which to buy in !

(Originally posted 15.08.13)

The Natural Dye Studio

 So, this is a bit delayed, but I have been very busy since trying to type this up on Thursday evening when mrsite timed out.

Well the Wednesday afternoon, I visited The Natural Dye Studio Ltd in Lynton. This is a family run business producing beautiful yarns in a stunning rainbow of colours. They have named the colours after local locations! A perfect gift to give a local friend a scarf you have knitted in a Woolacombe green dazzle DK or Lundy yellow lace.

I met Amanda and Daisy in their wonderful studio, set in an idyllic rural location amongst alpacas you can instantly see why both women love their work. Enthusiasm and energy for their products drew me into wanting every yarn available, I plan to stock a selection in my shop but choosing what I want and what fits into my budget seems an impossible task. Particularly when offered a Scheherazade 4 Ply skein with 65% silk and 35% Camel in a lovely Woody Bay pale green shade. This is the sort of yarn that makes you skip a beat, but might be out of my price range at £22.95. (Please let me know if you would like me to stock this I really want enough people to say yes please to give me an excuse)

Me and mum were able to watch Daisy dying skeins into blue and green shades, in large vats of natural dyes. I was unaware that some dyes need air to change colour, coming out of the vat the same as they went in then as if by magic they  fade into a completely different colour.  I would recommend seeing this for yourself. I have got a video which I will try to post soon once I have edited it a bit.  Until then I will load up a few pictures. ( The yellow skein turns into green)

Amanda is a very talented crochet designer and has a range of patterns to offer her customers and a couple of books that will inspire and explain how to crochet wonderful creations. She suggested to me to have a crochet afternoon in the shop once a month or so, which is a great idea, hopefully she might turn up now and again to trouble shoot for us! How lucky are we to have such brilliant local artists.

To finish off my day when I got home my dad surprised me with a skein winder! I have been hankering for one to be able to offer my customers, so many of my yarns will be in skein form, and I know how long it can take to turn it into balls, , I got to test it out with my Scheherazade, its brilliant this nifty technology halves the time. Thank you Dad! Can’t wait to see people using it in the shop

Daisy from the natural dye studioDaisy with yellow skeinMagic ! Colour changing yarns

(Originally posted 27.07.13)

Wow wee what a day I have had !

I am not sure where to start, I guess with this morning, I went for a coffee with Martin Storey; he is one of my knitting idols, always creating classic designs that will suit everyone. Martin was an inspiration to me when I started knitting, his patterns and easy explanations’ encouraged me to stretch my basic skills into complex designs.

Martin currently works as one of Rowans top designers, and he agreed to meet with me to provide some advice. I can’t tell you how excited I was, still am in fact. He was as lovely as I hoped, very encouraging and positive, offering me useful suggestions and explaining current trends and customer preferences. Having thought I had decided on all the yarn I needed his suggestions have sent me in a spin rethinking.

Best of all he has mentioned he might be willing to visit my shop when I open. That will be a nervous day for me!

Well, I am gushing a bit so I might stop there, my afternoon was equally exciting, and has pictures to go with it. But might save it for tomorrow as I need to spend more time tonight looking at yarn prices.


(Originally posted 24.07.13)