The Story So Far

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About Purl &Jane

The Purly Gateway to the Dales

Purl &Jane Knitting Emporium welcomes you into our world of the finest quality yarns, needles and designs.

Purl &Jane was created by hand knit designer, Jane Ellison. Jane believes that knitting is all about the journey. Your own knitting journey can begin when you step through the doors of our shop and browse our range of natural and true colours, be lulled by the rhythm of the knitting needles and soothed by the touch of the wool. Jane and the team support everyone from beginners to pros – we just want you to love knitting and crocheting as much as we do and to be inspired by the joy of creating something entirely unique.

You’re in safe hands – Jane has written a wealth of books on the subject and offers lessons and guidance as well as products to help you create the perfect pieces to suit your personality.

Purl &Jane is situated just behind the main shopping street in the bustling market town of Skipton. Known as the Gateway to the Yorkshire Dales, Skipton is famed for its beautiful and dramatic countryside – home to many breeds of woolly sheep. The very name of the town comes from the old English for sheep. We like to think we’re in the perfect position to truly appreciate the source of our yarns.

So please come and explore our world – we can’t wait to have a chat and hear your knitting ideas. Together we can create something magical.

Purl&Jane: the journey starts here.

We hope you will come and visit, directions can be found on the contact page.

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About Jane

Jane Ellison is a British hand-knit designer with a passion and talent for creating beautiful things that she loves to share. She has produced more than 70 pattern books about knitting which have won her quite a reputation across the world.

Jane first fell under knitting’s magical spell when she was just seven and knitted a scarf for a beloved toy. She learned her creative flair from her grandmother who tinkered with knitting patterns to produce unique garments for Jane. She followed her heart and studied fashion and knitwear at Ravensbourne College of Design in Kent.

After college, Jane worked for a company which mass-produced garments in China. Looking back, she says: “I didn’t agree with it. What I designed was made by people working in poor conditions who were paid a pittance. It had such an effect on me. I now only work with top quality material that I know has been fairly produced – you know what you’re going to produce will be special and makes a difference to so many lives. That should double the pride you take in your creations!”

Before becoming a freelance designer, Jane gained experience working in retail as a design consultant, in design as assistant to designer, and as Sales and Marketing manager for UK distributors. In all her roles she listened to what knitters and retailers wanted. She has created pattern books for many international brands as well as brands that uphold the same principles as fair trade to help support and educate the families of shepherds in Peru.

She says: “I think what makes good quality yarn even more special is that I’ve seen first-hand how big companies can exploit their workers so knitting your own garments and using yarn that you know is responsibly sourced is so much more satisfying. Not only are you treating yourself to a bit of luxury, but you’re doing your bit to support small, eco-friendly companies. I believe that helps to gives your garments real soul.”

Jane lives in the beautiful county of Yorkshire and is the proud owner of Purl & Jane Knitting Emporium, situated in the bustling market town of Skipton. The fact that Jane loves the most about the name ‘Skipton’ is that it originated from the old English, sceap (sheep) and tun (town or village). The perfect place for her yarn shop. Her shop is a haven of natural yarns, knitting accessories and designs backed by the philosophy that knitting is about the journey so using a soft, top-quality, beautifully-coloured yarn will make all the difference to the final creation. Her retail experience is influencing her designs as every day she sees first hand what customers are really looking for.

Jane says: “Sometimes people ask me why I am so passionate about my lovely yarns. I couldn’t give them a definite answer other than because I love it! However, it seems that it’s in my blood as recently, my mother started researching our family history and found one branch of our tree is populated by four or five generations involved in the yarn industry in West Yorkshire – everyone from mill workers to mill owners. I really hope I can continue my family tradition of being involved in making yarns.”

Jane’s emphasis is now on supporting eco-friendly, small-production companies who produce 100 per cent natural fibres and treat their workers well. That way she, and her customers, can make beautiful creations with beautiful origins. But she believes that the most important thing is to have fun and her simple patterns encourage knitters to do just that. She said: “The focus of knitting shouldn’t be about the end product but about the journey, starting with the choice of yarn. No one knows your wardrobe like you do so play about with colours and lengths. Be bespoke – make your perfect garment. By using 100% natural fibres you can produce something you can really be proud of, from chunky patterns to delicate fairy-like weaves.”