Yarn in the City: London

On Saturday I’m going on the Great London Yarn Crawl, courtesy of Yarn in the City. I’m one of their team of volunteer Yarn Guides – but of course I’ll be browsing too.

And enabling, no doubt. Warning: the enabling starts here. This is the blog post with lots of writing, as I dream of my day out. It will be slightly dangerous, but you can always not click the links. Afterwards, I promise lots of photos and less chat! You might need to look away.

There are nine routes to choose from for the Crawl, and we were asked which routes we’d prefer to lead, so that led to a bit of shop-stalking on my part.

A few of the shops I know well – luxurious Mrs Moon, welcoming Nest and well-stocked Loop. I love going to these places, but I wanted to go somewhere new.

Included in the Crawl this year are more shops that stock fabric and other notions. I am not feeling very multi-craftual at the moment, so I was looking for shops where I could stick with the knitting.

After a long session online, browsing the gazillion shops on the various routes (and a certain amount of screen-licking), there were four that stood-out for me. I was lucky to find they were all on the route of Team Shetland (yes, all the routes have sheepy names). I’m so excited I got onto the route! I didn’t think the day could look any better in prospect, but then I discovered my co-captain is super-organised – thank you Jill! Now I can’t wait!!

So where are we going? First up is Wild and Woolly. Don’t tell the other groups, but they’re opening early and giving us breakfast! This also gives us extra browsing time – we’ve a mere 30 minutes in each shop, which is worrying. Jill has asked me to do the job of chasing lingering knitters out of the door when our time is up. I’m afraid I’m usually the worst ditherer over yarn decisions, so this is probably a good thing. I think.

Wild and Woolly appealed to me because the list of yarns they carry includes some lovely indy dyers and not just the big boys. I have a thing for nice needles, especially vintage, so I’m interested to see what’s in stock from Gillian Gladrag (ooh pretty needles in sweetie colours).

Also, it’s ages since I’ve been to Hackney and I want to see how it’s changed. I used to visit other creative business there and I want to see if it still has that buzz. I’m hoping the presence of Wild and Woolly is a good indication.

Next, we’re off to Knit with Attitude in Stoke Newington. They got my interest with the “eco-friendly” and “ethical” bit in their banner headline – it suits the reputation of its local area. There are some yarns I’ve never seen, and want to investigate. I must admit I did get a bit frustrated browsing the website because I couldn’t tell what was in stock until I’d gone all the way into the colourway page, and I kept hitting things that were sold out, so I also want to see what they’ve actually got.

Somehow we’re fitting in lunch, either in a café or in transit. I’m hoping “teleport” will be available as a travel option on City Mapper on Saturday. I’m loving this newly downloaded app, even though I’ve lived in London for 20 years. I was skeptical but I’m seriously impressed. Its gentle humour also takes the edge off the frustration with metropolitan travel.

Fringe is our third stop, in leafy Muswell Hill. Again, it’s in a part of London I haven’t been to in ages, with a reputation for being posh and trendy. The images of the shop (no online shop) look lovely, and those buttons need investigating more fully! It looks like it has a nice atmosphere and lots of good things to see. I suspect I won’t look at the yarn so much, but that’s bound to be famous last words.

We’re not done yet! There’s more travelling to do. I must make sure I remember a portable project – it’ll be a challenge to see how much I can knit as well as shop.

The last stop is at The Village Haberdashery. I’m slightly worried that any remaining yarn budget is going to be spent on pretty things that are nothing to do with yarn. But if I have money left at this stage I think I’ll be happy with that! The yarn list is short and sweet – lots to love. I’ve got the shadecard for the new melange and jewel tone MillaMia Aran, but I’d love to see more of the colours in whole balls and en masse. There are also some vivid shades of Koigu, which I should probably avoid at this point in the day with depleted funds! I will try to hold some money back for this.

After all this, we get a well-deserved sit-down at The Parcel Yard, where Pom Pom Quarterly are hosting the after party. Even though I’ve contributed a couple of things to the prize draw, I think I’ll have to enter because the prize basket is amazing (and it’s for Refuge). However, we’re all getting a goodie bag and that’s exciting in itself.

I’m going to Instagram on the day, and post a photoblog afterwards.

Have you got any tips for going on a yarn crawl? Comfy shoes, backpack, water, snacks…I’m nearly ready…

3 thoughts on “Yarn in the City: London

  1. The day days like its going to be brilliant! Can offer no advice as soon as I see a great wool shop I go all giddy!! Result is many purchases and a very hot piece of plastic being popped back in my purse. I can’t make the event itself but saving this post for future reference and my next visit to London. I’ve been to Loop last time and really enjoyed my time in there browsing and chatting to staff and customers alike.

  2. Pingback: Go Team Shetland! | INSPIRATION KNITS

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