Last Saturday was Love Your Yarn Shop day. Last year I was away on holiday, and visited a shop in Co Sligo, Ireland. This year, I thought I’d stay a little closer to home and visit two of my closest yarn shops, on a bit of a mini yarn crawl.
My first stop was Sharp Works in Herne Hill. It’s a shop I go past every day on my way to work, but I’d never been inside.
It’s certainly worth stopping for a visit if you are passing – it’s exactly the kind of yarn shop I’d like to own myself. It has an interesting mix of brand and more unusual yarns, including some things (like Navia) that are a little bit rarer in the UK. There was a whole cabinet full of commercial sock yarn and a few more unusual things.
It’s a busy little shop too – in the short time I was there lots of people popped in and out, many of them looking for help and advice with their WIPs or new projects.
When I’m visiting a yarn shop I normally like to buy something a little unusual that I haven’t been before. As you can see here, I binged a bit on Juniper Moon Findley. It’s a laceweight mix of merino and silk that I’ve not seen before in real life. It has a lovely handle, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it works up.
I also bought this pure silk laceweight from SilkIndian, in some pretty pink and blue shades. I have no idea what it will be, but it demanded to be tried.
I went straight from Sharp Works to lunch with a friend in the centre of London. From there, I walked down to the South Bank and popped into I Knit London. Nestled in the community of small traders on Lower Marsh, in the shadow of Waterloo Station, IKL has become a bit of a London institution. It’s founded on the idea of community and has an alcohol licence, so it’s open late into the evening and always has a crowd of knitters hanging out on the sofas and working on their projects.
One of the best things about IKL is the huge collection of pattern books that it stocks, including a lot of US imports and rarer titles. It’s one of the few places in London where one can be sure to pick up a copy of Vogue/Designer Knitting. (The other, strangely, is the branch of W H Smith in Victoria Station.)
On the yarn side, yes that is a skein of Wollmeise on the right. IKL is one of the few stores to stock it, and they have a pretty good selection at the moment. I fell in love with these bright purples. On the left is a skein of Fyberspates Gleem Lace in a some slightly autumnal variegated shades. The two in the centre are a pair of IKL’s own sea silk/silk blend in some cheerful colours. They will become a two-coloured shawl at some point.