Mother’s Day Gifts at Emporia

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and we have plenty of exciting crafty gifts to give to your mum (or ask your children to buy you) in the shop; from lovely handmade crafts created by our local crafters or gifts that they can use themselves for a spot of sewing or knitting, there is plenty to be inspired by.

Cake Pattern Weights
These gorgeous little cake themed pattern weights are just too delicious for words. Bag Mum a box of macarons, doughnuts or some cute little fondant fancies! Priced between £19.99 and £24.00.

Ceramic Hearts
Hand thrown, glazed and fired by local potter maker R. J. Laurenson, these beautiful ceramics would make the perfect gift for any mother who’s been inspired by the likes of The Great Pottery Throw Down. Nothing says I love you like one of these stunning hearts, or the chance to have a decent sized cup of tea from a beautifully decorated cup and saucer.

Sewing Patterns
Gift your mum the gift of craft with any of our fabulous sewing patterns – choose from a wide range, including the whole selection of Sew Over It dress patterns, and of course the wonderful Emporia designs created by Clair herself.

Dress Fabrics
If you’re thinking of getting her a pattern, why not give her the fabric to go with it? We’ve recently got a whole range of exciting dress fabrics, including poplin and lawn, on our shelves, so check out these gorgeous prints and see what you think would be in her style.

Cotton Yarn
Does your mum love to knit or crochet? We’ve got a whole host of lovely spring and summer bright coloured cotton yarn in the store just waiting to be transformed into something amazing. Rowan Handknit Cotton comes in a pastel range of pretty double knit, Designer Yarns cotton is bright and funky, and the Natura XL is an extra chunky version which is great for homewares and all kinds of crochet projects.

Knitting Patterns
Inspire your mum to knit some truly beautiful designs with our range of Rowan pattern books. From beginners to slightly more advanced styles, there’s plenty to get stuck into for knitters of all abilities. Is your mum a complete newbie knitter? Bag her the Lotte Jamieson Irvine cowl pattern, which will gently introduce her to the world of knits and purls.

Fat Quarters
For those on a smaller budget, a selection of fabulously funky fat quarters makes a really thoughtful gift. Choose from our enormous range of cottons and make up a selection that suits her.

Sewing Machines
If you feel like really splashing out on Mum or you are a mother who feels like you deserve a really  big treat, then come and take a look at our lovely Brother sewing machines. From the very basic models at the budget end, up to the all singing, all dancing embroidery machines, these babies are bound to make some mother’s have a very happy Mothers Day. Click on the Sewing Machines link at the top of the blog for a full rundown of all our sewing machines and overlockers, or pop into the shop for a test drive.

Mother’s Day takes place on Sunday 26th March 2017. For more information on any of our fabrics or crafts, give us a ring on 01233 612278 or pop in and see us in person at Park Mall shopping centre.

New Year Classes

Happy new year crafters! We hope you all had a fabulous festive break and are ready to get back in the saddle and start some new sewing, knitting and crochet for 2017. Many people decide to take up a new hobby or commit more time to one they’ve maybe been a bit half-hearted about previously as one of their new year’s resolutions, so perhaps you’ve thought about learning to crochet or conquer your fear of cable knitting. Short winter days and long winter nights are the perfect opportunity to bag yourself some Me Time and get stuck into whatever craft floats your boat.

We’ve themed our first window of the year around all the various things you can make at the shop, ranging from stylish kimono dresses to cosy knitted hats.  So here are our new year classes for you to browse and decide which craft you want to get stuck into.


Beginner’s Sessions
Choose from sewing, crochet or knitting as our expert team give you the lowdown on all the basics for your chosen crafts.
Beginner’s Sewing
10.30am – 1pm Saturday 7th January & 4th February 2017
Beginner’s Crochet
10am – 12pm Wednesday 11th January & 1st February 2017
Beginner’s Knitting
2.30pm – 4.30pm Saturday 28th January & Friday 24th February 2017


Kid’s Stuff
Get ahead for warmer weather and practise your sewing skills on clobber for little people. Make a super simple reversible dress, the lovely Amelie dress with or without sleeves, or why not give our brand new reversible shorts pattern a go?
Reversible Dress
10.30am – 1.30pm Tuesday 10th January & Saturday 25th February 2017
Amelie Dress
10.30am – 2.30pm Saturday 21st January & 
Friday 10th February 2017


Winter Knits
Feel like moving on from just knitting and purling? Make the leap to more interesting knitting with a super easy chunky knitted hat class; or why not try your hand at cables – they’re not as tricky as they look, honest.
Winter Hat
2.30pm – 5pm Friday 13th January & Friday 10th February 2017
Cable Wristwarmers

2pm – 5pm Saturday 4th February & Wednesday 22nd March 2017


Selfish Sewing
Give yourself a break from doing things for other people and make yourself something to show off your sewing skills: our amazingly stylish A-line skirt pattern is a great make for confident beginners and the new kimono dress still looks hot to trot in winter.
A-line Skirt
10.30am – 2pm Tuesday 24th January & Wednesday 22nd February 2017
Kimono Dress
10.30am – 3pm Friday 20th January 2017 & Tuesday 28th February 2017


Spend some time creating a beautiful heirloom or growing your patchwork skills in our classes with Mandy Munroe — choose from the basic beginner’s class, or get adventurous with the chance to Sew and Slash or learn ow to produce Log Cabin Birds.
Beginner’s Patchwork
10.30am – 3.30pm Saturday 14th January 2017
Sew and Slash
10.30am – 3.30pm Saturday 11th February 2017
Log Cabin Birds
10.30am – 3.30pm Saturday 8th April 2017

All classes are correct at time of publishing – more classes will be added as the year goes on, so check back for further dates and more classes being added to the schedule. Need more information? Pop into the shop, email us via the Contact Us form or ring us on 01233 612278.


Crochet with Emma Jane


Good news for crochet fans! The lovely Emma Jane who used to teach crochet at the old shop is back! After quite an extended maternity leave, she’s coming back to Emporia to share her crochet skills with anyone that wants to learn a new craft or brush up on their old one.

Giving beginners the low down on how to cast on and cast off, and become confident with creating your very first crochet stitches, this class will ease you gently into handling your hook and yarn, before you start on bigger and more adventurous projects. Emma Jane will not only demonstrate how to get to grips with the brand new stitches, but she’ll also talk you through the common stitch abbreviations so you can start to contemplate reading patterns. Plus, you’ll get technical handouts complete with those abbreviations, stitch reminder diagrams and a basic granny square pattern to try at home once you’re done.


This is a lovely relaxed class with Emma Jane, perfect for complete beginners or those that have attempted to teach themselves. The session costs £30.00 per person and includes your first crochet hook and a ball of yarn to get you started.

The beginner’s crochet classes for the autumn take place on these dates:
10.30am – 12.30pm Wednesday 7th September 2016
10.30am – 12.30pm Wednesday 5th October 2016
10.30am – 12.30pm Wednesday 2nd November 2016
10.30am – 12.30pm Wednesday 7th December 2016

If you would like to book a place on any of the classes, drop us a line on 01233 612278 or email us on, or come and see us in the shop!

New Classes for the Autumn


After much checking of dates, contacting teachers and general organisational madness over the past couple of weeks, our brand new, even more exciting than before, Autumn Class List is finally here! We’ve got so many different workshops taking place between now and Christmas, including half term and festive specials, that we’re sure there will be something appealing for everyone who loves a bit of crafty action.


We welcome the return of the Beginner’s range of classes, with the Beginner’s Sewing session carrying on on the first Saturday of the month. Joining it are the Beginner’s Knitting sessions, where you can begin to create a basic cowl, on various days each month, and the Beginner’s Crochet carries on with Emma Jane, who is back after her maternity leave, to teach you how to cast on, cast off and become confident with the basic stitches. Mandy Munroe will be back to teach her Beginner’s Patchwork one day course again, giving you the chance to learn about cutting squares, sewing pieces and coordinating colours in order to create a larger quilt blocks.


The Reversible Dress and Amelie Dress are both back on the schedule, giving parents and grandparents, aunties, uncles and generous friends the chance to make beautiful dresses for some very lucky little girls. Both are available in sizes 1 – 6 and cover two different levels of sewing ability, so if you’ve moved on a bit with your sewing skills and want to make something a little more complex, the Amelie is your ideal next step, while the Reversible design remains a brilliant first time make.


Adult dress making comes in the form of the Pyjamas Class (great for beginner’s and those that want to graduate to trousers), Circle Skirt Class (again, great for beginners and those that love a retro look) and the new A-line Skirt, designed by Clair, which is the latest addition to the Emporia pattern range. There’s also a new addition to the skirt collection with the Simple Gathered Skirt Class, which is a great session for learning how to create a garment based around your measurements and get to grips with inserting a zip. Coming along later in the year is the Kimono Dress Class which is Clair’s first adult size dress pattern – sure to be just as popular as the kid’s dresses, this is a super stylish yet simple pattern which can be worn all year round.


Two brand new knitting classes are being introduced this autumn/winter as Lotte invites you to knit your very first hat, and create some cables in the Wristwarmer Class. The Knit a Hat Class is a good next step for those that have taken the Beginner’s Knitting workshop and want to move on to shaping – created with super chunky needles and wool, your heads will be toasty in no time! The wristwarmer class is designed for those that are confident with knit and purl to learn a basic cable stitch, but if that’s too scary, then you can always join in with a plain stocking stitch version.


As a special one off for Support Sunday, we are opening from 10am – 4pm and the lovely Rosanna Clare (our resident leatherwork crafter) will be here for a really exciting workshop. You can join her from 12pm onwards to make your very own hand stitched leather wallet or purse, using traditional techniques on her vibrantly coloured leather. You can even emboss your own initials on the finished article!


We’ve also got October half term inspiration for the kids with a Simple Skirt and a Pencil Case class, plus loads more coming up for Christmas, with festive inspiration for all levels and crafts.

All times, prices, dates and age restrictions can be found on the Classes page at the top of the blog – if you’ve got a query, please do get in touch via email, phone, Contact Form or by popping into the shop for a chat.



KnitPro Now in Stock


Crochet fans and knitters of Ashford rejoice – KnitPro needles and hooks are now on sale at Emporia! From 3.5mm all the way up to massive chunky 12mm, these crochet hooks and knitting needles are massively popular with crafters of all ability, and they come in a range of gorgeous colours to boot. Take a look at these lovelies:


The Waves range of crochet hooks all feature metallic tips and soft touch handles, each one in a different colour according to it’s size, making it much easier to grab in a hurry. These are amazingly popular with crocheters and now we’ve got them in the store just in time for Christmas, you’ve still got plenty of time to get creating and make your friends and family some extra personal gifts. Or, if you know someone who is keen to learn, you can bag them a couple of balls of our Red Heart Detroit DK yarn in scrummy winter colours alongside a crochet hook, and bob’s your uncle, you’ve got a very thoughtful and inspirational gift, ready to hand over.


More knitting needles have also come our way this week, also from the KnitPro peeps – a full range of the Trendz brightly coloured plastic needles are now on sale, again colour coordinated to their size. Start off with bright orange for 4mm and end up with scarlet red for 12mm, there is almost every other colour in between, these are perfect for beginners or knitters who just fancy a change of scene.


We’ve also got our hands on some Zing circular needles too if you prefer to knit in the round. Gorgeous metallic colours come on a range of 40mm and 80mm lengths, perfect for hats, socks, cowls and bigger items like blankets and jumpers too.


Alongside the extra needles, hooks and knitting accessories, we’ve also increased our yarn range and pattern books yet again – check out the oh so delicious super chunky Big Wool from Rowan, which knits up on 10mm needles. We’ve got two books to accompany this luscious wool, and because the designs knit up so quickly, there is plenty of time to get knitting presents for Christmas, or make yourself some toasty hats and scarves in this 100% pure wool product.


Fans of the wibbly wobbly Thick n Thin can now make themselves all kinds of accessories with the Simple Shapes pattern book for just £6.99, and if you love a baby knit, then look no further than the Baby 4Ply Collection also from Rowan, featuring so many squidgy and adorable faces peering out from it’s pages that you might start thinking you need to have a baby, just in order to make it one of these cardigans.


And as if that wasn’t enough to get you in a big old woolly lather just thinking about it, our piece de resistance this week is the super duper extra mega chunky knitting needles coming in at a whopping 20mm and 25mm! These are just amazing pieces of kit, and if the thought of making something with these babies doesn’t make your heart beat a little faster, then you’re clearly not as in devoted to knitting as you should be. Skeptics, we challenge you not to fall in love with these on seeing them in real life.


Prices for the KnitPro products start at £2.50 for a 3mm crochet hook and go up according to size; the Rowan Big Wool is £9.95 for 100g; the Red Heart Detroit which is perfect for crocheting is £1.70 for 100g; the Rowan pattern books are £6.99 – £9.99; and the 25mm needles are £15.00 per pair. Come and see us in the shop and take a look for yourselves!



Rowan and Patons Wool Now in Stock


We started selling small amounts of wool and cotton back in the old small shop in spring, and now we’ve moved to our lovely new big shop, we’ve got plenty more space to stock it. So if you’re starting to feel the need to boost your yarn stash for the coming months, come and have a butchers at our new collections and you could start planning your autumnal knitting right away.


It’s been a long time coming and a terrible obsession for one of us (yes, I confess, it’s me not Clair), but we finally have some Rowan yarn in the store! The truly scrumptious Thick N Thin is a gorgeous, uneven twisted wool that comes in a range of nature inspired colours. With names like Moorland and Limestone, you feel like you could be knitting something made of the landscape itself.  We’ve currently got four beautiful earthy colours in stock and will be increasing the range come autumn.


A stable for many all year round knitters, Hand Knit Cotton also from Rowan has been gracing our counter for a couple of weeks now, attracting lots of compliments for its ice cream pastel palette. Suitable for double knit patterns and crochet, these super cute yarns are the perfect introduction to anyone knitting with cotton for the very first time.


Fab Big and Fab Big Colour are also now on our shelves and these super duper chunky yarns will be forming the basis of our beginner’s knitting sessions (see the Classes page above for more information) which kick off in September. Extra chunky wool knits up faster than smaller yarns, so if you’re new to knitting and want to get off to a flying start, this is the stuff for you! Available in a range of bright or subtle colours, there will be more variety coming along in the autumn.


It’s been very popular with everyone since we introduced it back in March, but we’ve just added a few new colours to the chunky cotton Natura XL range, with the dusky pink, soft grey and French navy proving to be just the sort of shades that make knitters go Oooh! Great for chunkier crochet, this yarn is fantastic for baby blankets as the soft cotton is naturally breathable, but also that little bit warmer than the thinner stuff.

With needles and crochet hooks now added to the collection, and more varied colours due for arrival next month, we’re seriously in the mood for getting our knit on. If you’d like to join us for our Friday Knit and Natter sessions from 1pm, we’d love to see what you’re working on. Or if there’s some kind of knitty stock you’d like to see on our shelves, pop in and let us know – we’d love to hear your opinion.

STOP PRESS! Local wools will be joining the Emporia collection soon! Keep your eyes peeled for more news on our Facebook page or via Instagram.

Pop Up Emporia Vintage and Craft Market


Now that Halloween and half term are done with we can start to get excited about the festive season: roaring fires, stockings, trees, decorations and of course, shopping for presents. Or at least shopping – it’s tricky to not look at things for yourself when you’re surrounded by lots of lovely gifts. Well, this year we aim to make Christmas shopping (and buying the occasional sneaky self-gift) much easier this year as the Emporia Vintage and Craft Market returns to Ashford next week.


Sarahdipity Crafts

We know the market hasn’t been around much lately, and we’re just as sad about that as you are, but now it’s back and it’s not just here for the weekend. This winter the Emporia Vintage and Craft Market takes over the space next door for a whole six weeks, in a one off special Christmas pop up. Bringing you all the usual suspects in local craft, plus some brand new additions for the festive period, we’re really excited to have the chance to bring the joys of the Emporia market to everyone in Ashford for such a big chunk of time.



Kicking off on Wednesday 12th November 2014, the pop up Emporia market will be open every day apart from Sunday, until Christmas Eve itself, giving you the chance to get your hands on fabulous handmade local crafts and unique gifts. Based on the collaborative market that usually happens once a month, this pop up shop will also feature the crafters themselves behind the tills on certain days of the week. So if you want to ask about bespoke items or getting an product made in a different colour or size, then you will still have the chance to chat to the makers and see if they can’t make your Christmas wishes come true.


Aye Aye Missy

As usual we’ve got a fantastic selection of local makers selling their wares to the public, including many of the regulars who feature their handicrafts in the shop or at the market. Beautifully made jointed bears and cuddly owl cushions will be on sale from Poppykins, whilst Sew Brilliant will be stocking kid’s sewing kits and memory bears and bunting made to order, just for you. Sarahdipity Crafts brings you crocheted cushions, cross stitch pictures and scarves, while old favourite Aye Aye will be stocking her inimitable wash bags, hair bows, purses and glasses cases.


Baa Baa Designs

Laser cut designers Richardson and Richardson will be bringing the bling with their amazing perspex jewellery and wood cut cards. Upcycle Sue is bringing her retro furniture that’s been reworked for the 21st century. Gorjuss Jutes have their painted bags on sale, while Handmade by Narjleen will be stocking sparkly beaded jewellery. Lotte Jamieson is bringing her knitted wares and Scandinavian style Christmas decorations, alongside her quirky fabric cats and birds. There’s more upcycled furniture from Wish Vintage, plus Baa Baa Designs will be on hand with more hats and scarves. Coasters and tea cup candles come courtesy of Pink Gecko, and our very own Saturday girl Olivia will be selling her super stylish vintage vinyl record bowls.


Upcycle Sue

There will be plenty of super duper crafty loveliness going on throughout the whole six week pop up, and there are still more craft designers yet to be announced, so if you are missing the market, now is your chance to get as much Emporia magic in your life as possible between now and Christmas!

The Emporia Vintage and Craft Market pop up shop will open at 10am on Wednesday 12th November, and close at 1pm on Wednesday 24th December 2014.