Last Saturday, I joined the Great London Yarn Crawl again with my best knitting friend, Jane. This was our third time attending, although the event is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. And I have to say that this was another excellent event, hosted by Allison and Rachel from Yarn in the City!
If you are not familiar with the GLYC, then the idea is that a dozen or so groups of intrepid yarn crawlers visit a number of shops around London, shepherded by a couple of lovely guides. For those with enough energy (and money) left at the end, there was an after party at Westminster Hall, with a select few vendors, including Louise Zass-Bangham with a table full of the elusive Countess Ablaze yarn… For each participant on the Yarn Crawl there is a goody bag full of lovely surprises. And each shop on the route has a warm welcome and discounts available to the participants.
Wild and woolly
Located in Hackney, this lovely shop sells yarns and notions, including yarn by Travelknitter and The Wool Kitchen – two of my current favourites (people and yarn!). Since this was our first shop on our tour, the marvellous Anna, the owner, laid on a superb ‘second breakfast’ of croissants, soda bread, preserves, orange juice, tea and coffee for us all. What a way to start the day! Once suitably de-jammed, the yarn fondling started. But not before our guides, Jenny and Lydia, had handed out the goody bags containing skeins of yarn, discount vouchers, stitch markers from Lydia, and buttons and ribbon from Sharp Works. Each bag contained a pattern too, and I was delighted to get a copy of Starman by Helen Reed (aka The Wool Kitchen). This one has been on my wish list for a while!
The display of The Wool Kitchen and Travelknitter yarn had been freshly replenished and there were also plenty of other yarns and notions available, as well as a very good selection of books.
Stag & Bow
Next up was Stag & Bow, in Forest Hill in SE London. This is one of those shops that is jammed packed with little treasures – the more you look, the more you see. They have yarn and notions, dressmaking patterns and fabrics, ribbons, buttons and trimmings galore, as well as many other items from independent local makers. When we visited, Erika Knight was there to greet us and show us her new yarn, british blue 100. And what is more, there was a skein of this lovely 100% Bluefaced Leicester wool for each of us in our goody bags! I picked up some lovely knitting-related greetings cards by Tilly Flop.
And just across the road was The Dartmouth Arms where our guides had thoughtfully booked a table for lunch for us all. How lovely to have a sit down and hold an impromptu ‘Knit and Sip’ group meeting.
I Knit London
I have visited I Knit London, located near Waterloo station, on many occasions in the past, most recently to take a Brioche knitting class earlier in the year, but it’s always worth a look in to see what is on offer. The selection of books is quite amazing, and they have their own brand of hand dyed yarn, I Knit or Dye. Love the name! I also got to squish the new West Yorkshire Spinners yarn, The Croft – Shetland Tweed Aran, which looks even better in real life that it does in the pictures on t’internet. They also have a fine selection of knitting needles and crochet hooks too, including my current favourites for sock knitting – KnitPro Zing. You can’t have too many 2mm circular needles, right?
And the last shop on our route was Sharp Works in Herne Hill. Here we found a large range of yarns to suit all budgets, including Rowan, Manos del Uruguay, Mirasol, Noro, Artesano, Louisa Harding, Ella Rae, Navia and Juniper Moon. It was lovely take the weight off our feet at the large table at the back of the shop and browse through the large collection of pattern books. Since I’m always unable to find a 4mm crochet hook when I need one, I took advantage of the great selection of knitting and crochet tools and bought a couple of hooks. I bet I still can’t find one when I need it!
And as if we hadn’t had enough yarny adventures, the fun continued at the after party and mini yarn market, held at Central Hall, Westminster. After a long day out, I didn’t manage to stay long at the after party, so I missed out on the talks and raffle draw. But I did get my hands on a lovely skein of yarn from The Wool Kitchen … And I was delighted to be one of the sponsors of the GLYC by providing a door prize of a project bag, stitch markers and a shawl pin. I hope the recipient was pleased!
My haul? Quite modest really, but I am delighted with what I bought. Now to planning what is to become of that lovely skein of yarn from The Wool Kitchen… a possibility is Ripple Dancer by Truly Myrtle.
And on the way home, I had to take a quick snap of the roof in King’s Cross station …
… while musing on the fact that there were probably more people on the set of escalators coming up from the tube than live in our quiet, rural village!
Big thanks to all involved for A Grand Day Out!