In all the excitement of releasing the knitting book (eek!), I didn’t have a chance to tell you guys about the Great London Yarn Crawl. This was a new event, planned by crazy Rachel and crazy Allison, in which five groups of 10-15 knitters each dashed all over London, dropping into various yarn and crafty shops, knitting and crocheting and crafting and shopping and chatting. It was amazing.
My group, the Purple Route, started in Islington at Loop:
I hadn’t been to any of the shops on the route before, and I was a little nervous. You know how it is. You hear of a popular yarn shop, it’s meant to be great – but then it’s only so-so, and…well. I needn’t have worried, because each shop was fantastic in its own way. Loop is stuffed full of yarns it’s hard to find in England, but the shop (two floors!) is laid out in such a way that it feels roomy and yet cozy and welcoming. As I type that sentence, I realize that the layout is a miracle of TARDIS-like proportions. The Handweavers’ Studio was full of beautiful, beautiful fibre, and I enjoyed looking at all of it. [Since I’m not a spinner, I also felt that I was saving money just by standing there. Is that wrong?] The Village Haberdashery has both spinning and knitting supplies, with such cute stuff and lovely staff. Check out their window:
They had arranged for their knitting teacher, Monica Russel, to be in the shop during the yarn crawl. She helped us browse the patterns and yarn and signed copies of her most recent books for us, too. We paused for a group shot before going in, and the owner (pink, back row) popped out because she was so excited about the yarn crawl:
I do wish that I knew how to sew. I mean, I can hem a skirt (by hand) and sew on a button, but nothing else. I understand sewing is a bit quicker than knitting, which sounds wonderful. But I also understand that it requires a bit more precision than knitting does, which…would probably not work for me. Anyway.
Enthusiasm was the word of the day, as we went from bus to tube to ThamesLink to stroll down the street (or, when pressed for time, frantic aerobic walking). We knit and crocheted everywhere we went:
The last stop was Sharp Works, another really welcoming shop. I had hit a wall by then, I’m afraid, and was missing Little Miss Feisty, and I now find that I took no photos. I was thrilled to see both Manos and Mirasol there, and bought some lovely sock yarn.
You all know I’m not usually a joiner, and feel sort of shy in groups (even groups of knitters). But the yarn crawl was delightful – a long, tiring day, but a worthwhile one. Would yarn crawl again!
So one housekeeping bit: do comment below or email me at KELT (at) knitlikeyoumeanit DOT com to let me know if you have knit squares for Alli’s Wool Week yarn-bombing, so I can enter you in the Brooklyn Tweed LOFT giveaway.
And tell me – were you at the yarn crawl? Or have you been to any yarn shops in London? Which would you recommend?