Wednesday 13 September 2017

Great London Yarn Crawl 2017

What a day last Saturday was! I took part in the Great London Yarn Crawl 2017 organised by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City and was part of Team Bakerloo. From 10 in the morning until about 8 in the evening I was surrounded by 10 lovely knitters from around the UK, Australia and Canada. All of us live in or around London although I know people traveled from a lot further in other groups. It was such a welcoming group with everyone chatting away and sharing tips and ideas for yarn as we went around London. This was our bag to match the Bakerloo's brown colour on the London underground map:

Inside were some goodies courtesy of the shops involved in the Crawl:

There was a skein of Luma from The Fibre Co. made from linen, cotton, merino and silk. Two mini skeins from Walcot Yarn and Qing Fibre. A button and ribbon from Sharp Works and various postcards with voucher codes from the different shops. And a pattern for the crocheted Contour shawl which happens to be in my Ravelry queue. Good start!

All routes has three or four shops around London. As mentioned in my last post, the Bakerloo route included Loop, I Knit, Sharp Works and The Handweavers Studio. A real mix of shops.

Our guides Ali and Natasha met us at a bakery near Sharp Works in Herne Hill around ten. As I entered the bakery I knew I was in the right place as I spotted a group near the back either knitting or wearing familiar knitted patterns. One woman had knit the Joji Locatelli Starting Point shawl and there were one or two Fireflies Rising shawls which was the KAL pattern for GLYC. Beautiful.

I thought I didn't have many photos but actually there are loads. I blame the yarn haze that descended at each shop! My camera also seemed to have a bit of a haze though as all the photos had random blurry bits that I only spotted when I got home. You might want to grab a tea and a WIP, this is a very picture heavy post!

First stop – Sharp Works. Based right near Herne Hill station and surrounded by lovely cafes and bakeries. I had a look on their website before going but it didn’t do the shop justice I don’t think. They had a space at the back for classes:

At the front there was a vintage cabinet filled with drawers of yarn.

And more shelves stacked with yarn

There were also sample knits to try on and admire. This cardigan/ coat was so comfy I don’t think any of us really wanted to take it off.

Sharp Works runs classes for crochet and knitting at very reasonable prices. The lady who runs the shop was so friendly and you could tell how much she loves the shop. Definitely returning here at some point.

Our next shop was Loop. I have been meaning to visit this place for nearly 4 years! Based in Camden Passage, I nearly walked past as its surrounded by unusual shops selling vintage, curiousities and other oddments.

I even remembered to take a photo of the front of the shop. Loop has two floors and the yarn is organised so that 4 ply, lace and sportweight are on the ground floor and double knit or thicker is on the first floor. Really good idea I think. The ladies who work there were friendly, enthusiastic and helpful (the word friendly will be mentioned a few times in this post!). All the walls were packed with either yarn or samples. So many samples.

And lots of colour

Another sample knit with Jamieson’s spindrift from the picture above:

Loop runs a knit night every Thursday from 5.30. Tempting!

Shop number three was The Handweavers Studio based near Finsbury Park station. This is a bit of a departure from most shops on the GLYC as its aimed at spinners, weavers and dyers more than knitters and crochet-ers. However, they sell cones in DK and 4 ply so its worth a visit anyway. As a novice weaver and owner of a drop spindle this place was a dream. The shop was filled with what looked like bookshelves except instead of browsing books it was cones of thread. 

And fibre

These are merino tops which are usually used for felting. They also had buckets of fibre made out of everything from wool to cotton to recycled plastic bottles to banana. Amazing!

We also received a spinning demonstration from the owner:

Look at all those wheels in the background! I was so impressed that I have since signed up for an Introduction to Spinning class there. They have a whole host of classes for weaving and spinning listed on their website. I also had an interesting discussion with the owners husband who is an IT specialist about the links between weaving and computing in particular the Jacquard loom, Babbage and Ada Lovelace. I wish I could have stayed longer to talk more about this!

Last and certainly not least was I Knit near Waterloo. The centre of the shop had a very welcoming group of chairs and a couch which we all flopped into gratefully. It was around 4 at this point and I think the caffeine had run out in the group. 

I Knit sells lots of different yarn brands as well as its own yarn dyed in house there. I bought two skeins of their yarn which I'll show in another post.

Again its amazing how friendly everyone was, from the person working there to other customers browsing and knitting away. It had a great atmosphere and I can imagine whiling away an afternoon there sitting and chatting.

I can safely say that I am planning to visit all four of these shops again after I’ve used up a bit more of my stash! In another post I will show my stash enhancement from the day in case anyone is interested.

Our final stop was the GLYC afterparty but I’ll mention that in my next post as this one is far too long already! One thing I want to say before I go is that I was so lucky with all the people in my group as they were such a lovely lot. We may even meet up at Unravel next year for a little reunion which I cannot wait for. 


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