Sunday, 25 September 2016

Embroidery and the Great London Yarn Crawl

It's been a busy few weeks! It's my fourth week back at university and getting used to early mornings and commuting in the sardine cans known as the London Underground. The lectures have been very variable but really interesting. Needless to say, term time means less time for creativity so my knitted bunny has slowwly appeared with only one leg to go now and a bit of sewing together. One of my goals this academic year is to create a better work-life balance between revision and everything else. Fingers crossed. One website that has really helped me with this through learning how to organise my life better is It has great articles on being organised, formulating routines and prioritising the important things in life. It may not be relevant for everyone but it's been a great help so far.

On the creative side - I have been going to some great events. The first one was an embroidery refreshers afternoon with the London Craft Club.

Based in the back of a food and wares market, a small group of us gathered around a table covered in a rainbow of embroidery thread. We spent the first hour on colour theory, which is basically how to match colours for a project so it doesn't look like they've been chosen in the dark. It's a surprisingly interesting topic and after the class I have really begun to notice colour combinations used in advertising and patterns in Ravelry.

After that we got onto the pretty stuff. Embroidery! I think I went into sensory overload when I was told to pick just three colours out of the multitude on the table. Looking around the table at the others, I knew I wasn't alone. Sonia who was leading the class helped direct us to different shades of the colours we had chosen to make even more vibrant or pastel based groups. We then learnt how to place the fabric in the embroidery hoop and a few basic stitches. I've recently started following Sarah K Benning on Instagram so I drew a small cactus for my sample piece.

I'll post a finished photo so you can see how the rest of the cactus went :)

Then, very excitingly, I was a volunteer last Saturday at the Great London Yarn Crawl 2016 which was organized by the lovely ladies from Yarn In The City. It was so much fun! There were 12 teams of varying sizes all of whom went to three or four yarn shops around London. As a newbie volunteer I was given an easy route around three gorgeous shops in East London: Knit with Attitude, Fabrications and Wild and Woolly.

I started the Crawl at a little cafe in Stoke Newington called Chumleys so I had a central place for the yarn crawlers to meet up. All the tables were old school desks with the lifting lids and the walls were covered in posters. Not cheap but really good food for breakfast including bacon and pancakes covered in syrup. Yum! I had eight lovely women in my group all of whom were very keen knitters. As a beginner it was wonderful to be surrounded by experienced knitters who were more than happy to share their knowledge and hints and tips.

Each shop was very individual and really welcoming. Knit with Attitude was a mix of yarn, jewelllery and a few other items. From what I could understand the shop is shared between a few people which gave a mix of different mediums. As someone interested in just about everything and anything this was a great way to browse. I bought two skeins of 4 ply ‘scrumptious’ by Fyberspates in Charcoal (grey) and Oyster (pale gold).

Next stop was Fabrications based in Broadway Market. The owner, Barley, has been in Broadway Market for quite a while now and a lot of her products are based around her passion for up cycling and preventing waste. I particularly liked her cushions made from the inner tubing of bicycle tyres.  She very kindly let us sit and eat our lunch in the downstairs class space and made us tea. Thanks Barley! Fabrications run workshops in sewing and knitting which vary from beginner classes to different ways to upcycle clothing and other materials.

The wall of yarn at Wild and Woolly

Our final stop was Wild and Woolly. We arrived to find fresh tea and coffee and cake and biscuits made by Anna who owns the shop. It was lashing with rain by this point and we had ages between this shop visit and the after party. Was this a problem? Not at all - Anna invited us to sit and knit and natter for as long as we wanted and kept us topped up with hot drinks. She also gave us free reign over her ball winder which provided many minutes of fun. I wound my new skein I bought from Anna from The Wool Kitchen in Ziggy, it's amazing how different yarns can look in skein and ball form.

Image from Wild and Woolly

A fantastic day with lovely people and lots of yarny goodness! I cannot wait for next year with faces new and old and more importantly new shops to visit!

Shop links

Podcasts this week

Hey Sister Podcast

The Grocery Girls

A Playful Day

No comments:

Post a Comment