Monday, 5 December 2011

Yarn shops in London - a guide to a (very) small selection

Partner has now finished Full Term, and it is a tradition that the weekend he finishes we go to London. It is a tradition because we have done it twice, and, if Partner ever does anything twice it becomes a routine and he wants to do it Forever. Sometimes out of the fragmentary chaos of our lives I do not notice that I have unwittingly formed a pattern, but, Partner always knows: and this can lead to him becoming confused and despairing and saying things like, but, it is the 15th of the month! We always have sausages on the 15th of the month and you are asking me if I want a cheese sandwich! – Anyway, on the first weekend in December we go down to London and I look at wool and have buns and mooch round the nice fabric shops in Soho and stuff like that.
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We went to Loop in Islington. If you are heading up to London looking for wool, and why wouldn’t you be, Loop is a really nice shop, but, and I am going to try and not sound as if I am damning it with faint praise when I add this qualification, it is generally too expensive for me. I have this unfortunate cash register in my head, which will not allow me, except in very special circumstances, to spend more than £20 on a project, and so I think it is best for all of us if I get my yarn elsewhere. But, if you are in the market for some luxury yarn (I don’t think Loop sells the yarn it sells more expensively than other places – it just sells really nice expensive yarn), this is a lovely place to go, and it also has an excellent selection of books and magazines. Partner says however that he cannot believe people don’t get stuck in the door (it is a very strange door) so if you are claustrophobic or prone to getting stuck in things, do bear that in mind.

The shops nearby are nice as well. Some of the wares I would feel happier integrating into my house than others…
£15 for all the sets? Why didn't I buy them?
And why would you not want disembodied legs adding to your decor?
This is the tweed fabric that, in an ideal world, I would make my Chanel-style jacket out of.
That's right! The bright one!
It is £55 a metre, so the jacket (sans lining/ buttons etc) would cost £110, which is not bad when you think what a Chanel jacket costs, but, yeah. Luckily there is a man who comes to Trumpington village hall who has cheap (but very nice) fabric so I am going to try him first.
Yes, it was as nice as it looked
Cake in the British Museum. One day I will go in the British Museum and actually look at the exhibits. I believe some of them are quite old, I don't know if you've heard the same?

There is a yarn shop called All The Fun Of The Fair just off Carnaby Street which is actually really worth having a look in, because the two times I have been, I have got bargains.
So much nice stuff. I promise you there's yarn too. I bought some of it
OK. You look me right in the eye and tell me that you don't admire a shop which hangs giant balls of acrylic aran on the railings outside as a decoration beyond all things
Once I got Colour Style and a skein of fingering for £5, and this time I got two balls of Austermann Merino Lace in a lovely gothic purple for less than £6, (then in the Bead Shop near Covent Garden I got a bag of seed beeds to put on it for less than £3). It’s a tiny shop right at the top of Kingly Court, but if you’re passing, really, do go and have a look – they’ve got a real variety, laceweight, sock, chunky, allsorts, and also cute knitted things and other bits. Also, it’s only a step away from Liberty, so it’s in a very useful area (and there are lots of places for tea in Kingly Court). And then you could walk through to Soho and buy tweed! – or you could go and look in the pagan shop near the British Museum and have a bun in the London Review bookshop – OK, I’ll leave you alone now.
Squirrel guarding his territory. No-one have any fears with regards to British Wildlife as my extensive experiments indicate they can very much look after themselves
And I even escaped the Feisty Squirrels and made it back to Cambridge in one piece to think about what I can knit with my laceweight and beads. At the moment I’m thinking Frangipani with the top bit beaded, but I don’t know, so if anyone has any suggestions, don't be shy!


Tink said...

I didn't have time to go yarn shopping when I was in London last week; I was too busy being a tourist! In the new year, though, I will definitely be planning a yarny trip.

Vivianne said...

No, not Frangipani: google it, it's a highly fragrant tree/shrub with white/yellow flowers. I think Vald would suit your Gothic purple (and the Austermann is a great deal)

Vivianne said...

That would be Vlad. LOL

mooncalf said...

Three cheers for the end of term and the start of winding down!

Excellent shopping tips too. I've bought from the All The Fun of the Fair website in the past but I'll definitely make a note to visit the shop next time I'm in the area.

kristieinbc said...

It sounds like you had a great outing to London! I am ever so sorry I missed that cake when I was at the British Museum in September.

juicyknits said...

Funny you're mentioning that door at Loop. I do remember it was kind of narrow. :)