Friends on a mission to get more people loving wool crafts

Two friends have turned their life-long passion for knitting and crocheting into a new business in Shrewsbury Market Hall and are now on a mission to get more people knitting and loving wool crafts.

Teri Evans and Becca Tansley have launched Ewe & Ply, on the gallery floor of the market, selling yarns and running regular workshops on all things wool, from knitting and crocheting to spinning and felting.

They are also set to launch a weekly Sock Club, from Friday February 26, where budding knitters can learn how to knit cosy woollen socks and learn valuable tips and techniques.

The women, who both live in Oswestry, have knitted and crocheted from early childhood, giving them an accumulated 70 years of experience between them.

Becca fell in love with knitting when she was five years old while Teri has been crocheting for 30 years. Teri is also a spinner and weaver and she even has her own micro flock of pedigree Shropshire Sheep that she breeds for their fleece.

Some of her fleece wool is available at Ewe & Ply, which specialises in hand-dyed, high quality British yarns sourced mainly from small mills in Yorkshire and the Shetland Isles.

 “Teri and I had been toying with the idea of setting up a business together for three years,” said Becca, who until recently worked as a mental health nurse.

“We wanted to sell the high quality British yarns that we love using ourselves, yarns produced by small British companies, such as Jamieson and Smith which supports hundreds of smallholders and crofters and a whole traditional way of life in the Shetlands.

“Things have gone extremely well for us so far. We have had a lot of excited people come in – many of them saying they’d heard about us from their friends, on Facebook or through their knitting group.

“We both knit, crochet or make something on a daily basis. We love doing what we do and we want to share this with other people. Creative hobbies are incredibly good for wellbeing. As a mental health nurse I used handcrafts with clients because they help with anxiety and depression.

“We’re running workshops and we’ll also do trouble-shooting. People can bring in their pattern or their knit and we’ll help them sort out a problem. We want to keep people going in their hobby or craft and enjoying it as much as we do.”

Teri is the organiser for the Wonderful Wool Day that she launched in Oswestry over two years ago, bringing wool crafters together.  Becca has exhibited at the annual Wonder Wool Wales Festival, in Builth Wells, and the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.

“We’re also putting together knitting, felting and crochet kits to help get people started on wool crafts. There will also be sewing kits and something for spinners and dyers. Our shop is a place where people can come and find a gift or buy something for themselves to have go at,” added Teri.

Becca also makes jewellery and shawl pins in brass, bronze and copper as well as knitting and crochet inspired jewellery. Ewe & Ply stocks wooden drum carders made by Classic Carder, of Bridgnorth, and can also source traditional spinning wheels.

Ewe & Ply’s Sock Club will be held every Friday from February 26, 11am to 12.30pm. This year’s Wonderful Wool Day will be held on October 9 at Oswestry Memorial Hall.