Whistlebare on Ravelry

We were recently asked if Whistlebare are on Ravelry and we’re really happy to say that the answer is YES!

All of our yarns that we produce at Whistlebare are listed on Ravelry. You can select the yarn and add them to your stash and link them to your projects.

We love to look and see what you’re making and what our yarns become!

As well as our yarns you can find Whistlebare’s own patterns listed on Ravelry and you can link them to your projects. Looking at projects on Ravelry is great way to look at a pattern, get inspiration, find tips on sizing and see what colour choices other knitters have made. It often surprises me when I see something knitted up in a colour I wouldn’t have picked but I love the result! We do also have some patterns which you will find on the designer’s Ravelry pages, these include ones by Karie Westermann, Francesca Hughes and Kirstie White.

Since we store our patterns on our website and don’t sell them through Ravelry it’s not possible to add a Whistlebare pattern to your library, and download them from Ravelry. However once you’ve downloaded your patterns from Whistlebare you can access them whenever you want from the Whistlebare Flock on our website. We’re often asked if we sell our Whistlebare patterns separately (without the yarn) and unfortunately the answer is no, we are a yarn company not a pattern company and the patterns are there to support the yarns. We do give them to you for free though when you buy the yarn!

For those of you who love the community that knitting creates we also have a Whistlebare group on Ravelry which you can join and a forum where you can find out the latest news and ask any questions you might have.

We’d love to see you there. Happy Knitting!

Visiting Northumberland

If you are thinking of planning a visit to Northumberland you are in for a treat.

Northumberland is a wild and rugged county filled with vast beaches, forests, hills and ancient history. You can explore castles or Roman Forts, walk amongst wild goats in the Cheviot hills, spot seals, arctic terns, puffins and dolphins on the coastline and gaze at the vast star filled skies in the Kielder Dark Sky zone.

Places to Visit

There are so many wonderful places to visit I can’t possible list them all but a few of my favourites include Cragside – a National Trust house and estate and the first house in the world to be lit by hydroelectricity, Alnwick Castle – the setting for many films including most famously Harry Potter, where you can complete your broomstick training, or go on a knights quest as well as seeing spectacular interiors and artwork, Dunstanburgh Castle – desolate ruins near the lovely village of Craster, the Holy Island of Lindisfarne – take care to check the tide times carefully and lastly Barter Books – one of the largest second hand bookshops in Britain, complete with open fires, a fantastic cafe and sofas to sit and read and while away the hours. Oh and the beaches, the hills and the forests. Plus a rather lovely farm studio at Whistlebare near Berwick-upon-Tweed selling yarns, gifts and more!

Places to stay.

As by now I’m sure you’ve realised you may want to stay a while. Northumberland has plenty of differing options depending on your desire for adventure, luxury, quirky or something traditional.

Camping. There are plots for both tent and camper vans at the Barn at Beal with lovely views over the sea to Lindisfarne, and the option of a cooked breakfast in the cafe.

Bed and Breakfasts Hay Farm Bed and Breakfast is a lovely local base from which to explore, with delicious home cooked breakfasts. Chillingham Manor is a very beautiful luxury B&B renowned for it’s food.

Hotels The Collingwood Arms is in the near by town of Cornhill upon Tweed. A little further away in the historic town of Alnwick is The Cookie Jar – this boutique hotel is within sight of the famous Alnwick Castle and offers a luxurious nights sleep.

Places to Eat

All this exploring is sure to be making you hungry, so here are a few places to refuel and get ready for more adventures.

Audela in Berwick serves contemporary British cuisine. The Black Bull in Etal is a pub with restaurant. The Jolly Fisherman in Craster serves local seafood which you enjoy whilst admiring the fabulous views of the coast.

For lighter bites try The Milk Bar in Wooler, it serves milkshakes, delicious baking and more! One for all the family to enjoy. Carnaby’s is just off the A1 north of Alnwick and uses fresh local produce to serve cooked breakfasts, artisan breads, salads, cakes, and more. Lastly for lunch with a view you can’t beat the Barn at Beal for views over towards Lindisfarne.

Visit Northumberland. You won’t ever want to leave.

Whistlebare Retreats

We’d love to welcome you to join us on a Whistlebare Retreat – a relaxing day based around knitting or crochet held on our Northumberland farm.

Rather like an extended knit and natter group a retreat gives you a chance to come along to Whistlebare and knit with us, whilst also learning more about what we do here on the farm and why Yeavering Bell and our flock of Angora goats is so important to us.

We are very proud of our livestock husbandry and the environmental care we take of our land and we know that our customers care about this too.  So we are offering to show you all around Whistlebare and introduce you to our Angora goats, the Wensleydale sheep, and our new small flock of Shetland x Merino sheep as well the dairy goats, chickens and our new draught ponies, Rain and Blue.

Whilst on the farm tour Alice will also explain about the production of the yarns we sell and the dyeing process and anything else you wish to ask about the farm and yarn!

Knitting can be a hungry business and there will be lashings of homemade cake, local produce for lunch and plenty of teas and coffees to keep you content.

There will of course also be lots of yarn! 

Alice is wonderful at helping you choose the colours that will suit you and will be able to advise you on which patterns you might wish to cast on, and with the first skein of yarn included in the day you will be ready to start your project!

We will have a tutor here to help and support you throughout the day, and by the end of the day we hope you will be confident that you can finish at home.

You can see all of our patterns here if you want to look in advance. Several of our patterns are single skein and therefore your complementary skein will be enough to finish your project.   If the pattern  you choose requires more than one skein then the rest may be purchased on the day with a 10% discount.


  • Whistlebare Pattern and skein of Whistlebare Yarn.
  • Tutor on hand to help with pattern.
  • Morning coffee/tea and cake.
  • Home cooked lunch of soup, bread and local cheese.
  • Afternoon coffee/tea with yes, more cake!
  • Meeting the livestock and easy farm walk.
  • 10% discount on any purchase made on the day.

Lunch will be made from local produce, all diets can be catered for but please let us know in advance.

We have had a number of enquiries about getting to Whistlebare and it is true we are in a very rural area.  We are however, close to the main East Coast Line, our local train station is Berwick-Upon-Tweed which is 40 minutes from both Newcastle and Edinburgh stations and we are going to provide a bus service from and to Berwick station. Please let us know if you are interested in travelling by Whistlebare Bus!

Whistlebare retreats are available to book now, and are next running on October 8th 2022, May 13th 2023, July 8th 2023 and September 16th 2023.

We’d love to see you at one and we hope you will leave feeling refreshed, inspired, looked after and having done some lovely knitting.

To book your place please click HERE!

A slip stitch tutorial

Slipping stitches is a fantastic way to create texture and colour contrast in your knitting, whilst only handling one colour yarn at a time on each row. By changing how the stitches are slipped you can create a huge array of different patterns.

To slip a stitch (Sl) you slip yarn purl wise from left to right needle without knitting it. 

The position of the working yarn as you slip the stitch creates a different effect.

WYIF – If the yarn is held in front of the slipped stitch WYIF (with yarn in front) it will create a small horizontal bar on the right side of your work.

WYIF – On knit rows, bring the yarn to the front, slip the stitch as if to purl then take the yarn to the back again and work the next stitch.

WYIF – On purl rows the yarn stays at the front. 

WYIB – If the yarn is held behind the slipped stitch WYIB (with yarn in back) it will create a small horizontal bar on the wrong side of your work, and an elongated stitch on the right side.

WYIB – On knit rows the yarn remains at the back, slip the stitch as if to purl and then work the next stitch.

WYIB – On purl rows bring the yarn to the back, slip the stitch, then bring the yarn to the front again and work the next stitch.

Several of the designs in our Canny Lass collection use a slip stitch design, Fernietickles hat is worked in the the round and uses  both WYIF and WYIB, and Fernietickles mitts and the Room to Breathe jersey are knitted flat and use only WYIF. Over the Hills Hat uses WYIB to create elongated stitches in the round.