Hello again lovely people, I told you I would be back soon!
Two posts on the same day, phew, this won’t happen very often (although I published the first post in the early hours before I went to bed so technically that was yesterday ☺).
Being an avid knitter from when I learnt at the age of 5, throughout my childhood, teens and into adulthood, I was reliant on local yarn shops for my yarn fix and pattern needs. The internet didn’t exist and what wasn’t available to buy on your local high street you either didn’t have or ever know about.
My hometown had four wool* shops all run by grumpy old ladies who did nothing to dispel the myth that knitting was a past time only for grannies and nanas. They were always reluctant to sell a single ball from a pack of yarn, kept in its bag, behind the counter and away from wandering hands. And heaven forbid if you wanted to buy a pattern but not the yarn to go with it!
I remember once enquiring about knitting display samples for one shop only to be treated with such a look of disdain that I never asked again!
It seems I am not alone in my experiences of yarn shops past as Sarah (the editor of Let’s Knit magazine) writes about similar in her blog here (she also writes about why she began the Love Your Yarn Shop campaign in the same post).
Nowadays you can buy your yarn in all sorts of places….
The DIY store, Pound shops, bargain basement shops and of course the internet.
But none of them match the experience of visiting a proper bricks and mortar yarn shop.
The supermarkets, pound shops and bargain basements can’t offer you technical know how, advice on yarn quantities, substitutions and colours that suit, or even pattern support.
A printed shade card or computer screen just doesn’t cut it when you’re trying to put a colourway together or find out what the yarn feels like. Knitting is a tactile textile and your yarn choice is important!
I need to be able to squish the yarn, run it over my fingers and bundle it together with other colours and you can only do this in a yarn shop with the actual yarn.
Thankfully, yarn shops are now run by like minded individuals with a real passion for their products, their crafts and their customers.
As a designer for Let’s Knit magazine, I was asked by Sarah, the editor, if I would be an ambassador for Yarn Shop Day which is being held tomorrow Saturday 3rd May 2014. All across the country yarn shops are holding special events, competitions and parties all to celebrate yarn shops and their valuable place on our high streets. You can find a brilliant interactive map of all the shops taking part here.
I shall be visiting Crafty Sister Crafts in East Leake in the morning and then Knit Nottingham in, you guessed it, Nottingham in the afternoon as both are King Cole stockists who, as you probably already know, I also do a lot of design work for.
The other week I went along to meet both shop owners, introduce myself and talk about plans for the big day.
Crafty Sister Crafts
Tucked away behind a cafe, up a flight of stairs and along a corridor is the lovely light filled shop that is Crafty Sister Crafts where I met Rose one of the crafty pair. (I look forward to meeting her sister Jan tomorrow). We talked yarn and knitting and my boys got really bored waiting in the car outside!
It’ll be great to meet the local knitters and try out the different yarns ☺
I’ve been a fan of Eleanor’ blog and Facebook page for a while now and having read all about her fabulous little yarn shop, I was very keen to finally visit. Eleanor is about as far away from those grumpy old lady shopowners as you can get. Young, funny and passionate about knitting, crochet and yarn!
It’s going to be a great day and, of course, I’ll share pics and everything that goes on.
Happy Yarn Shop Day peeps ♥
* All wool is yarn, but not all yarn is wool, in case you were wondering!