Saturday, 14 October 2017

A mini 'yarn crawl'

Chunky yarn and Making Winter book bought from Loop Yarn Shop in London

Last weekend I ventured up to London for a day with yarn-loving friends.
We had originally hoped to take part in the Yarn in the City Yarn Crawl in September but the amount of walking would have been prohibitive for me and so we decided to plan our own little 'yarn crawl' on another day. Our day together was a delight; we visited two yarn shops interspersed with stops for coffee, lunch and afternoon tea.

Regular readers might know that I like a plan, and so won't be surprised to know that I have a plan for future blog posts, outlining what subjects I will cover each week with a brief outline of what I imagine I will be talking about. Today's post was meant to be a review of the yarn shops we visited last Saturday and I will do that (very) briefly but what I really want to reflect on today is spending time with your 'right' people and nurturing your creativity.

Yarn shops
So first up, the yarn shops we visited;

iKnit London: within a very short walk from Waterloo station, iknit London is a very well stocked Local Yarn Shop with a good range of commercial yarns, books and needles, a selection of hand-dyed yarns and some beautiful projects.
Project bags on sale at iKnit London

Loop: a few minutes from Angel station and just off Upper Street, Loop is the most gorgeous yarn shop with a stunningly presented array of yarns. If you are ever nearby, I urge you to go and spend sometime there.
Window display at Loop in London

The team working at the store were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful and we were made to feel incredibly welcome. We also bumped into some podcasting celebrities in the store who were as equally lovely in real life.

Spending time with your 'right' people
In creative circles lots is written about finding your 'tribe' and being with your 'right' people. I feel incredibly lucky to have found my 'right' people in a yarny corner of the Internet but I don't get much opportunity to spend time with them 'in real life'. But our trip to London last Saturday was evidence to me of how valuable this is. I had spent the weeks leading up to our trip feeling dreadful due to a change in my medication and feeling terribly guilty that our 'yarn crawl' couldn't only really consist of two stores because otherwise my body would completely revolt.

However, once we arrived and congregated together for coffee in Waterloo it became quickly clear that I had nothing to worry about; everybody was so thoughtful and considerate and we all shared the same passions for yarn, crochet, knitting and making generally. We talked non-stop about projects, plans, aspirations and ideas - supporting, celebrating and cheering each other on. How fabulous to spend the day in such a way and a real tonic too.

Nurturing creativity
Another benefit of our visit to London was the boost or top-up it gave to my creativity. I think there can be a tendency to get stuck in a rut; perhaps reading the same publications, sticking to the same brand of yarn, always reverting to the same colour (another blue garment maybe?!).
Window display at the Loop London

 I think it's really helpful to be exposed to new things, and spend time with other creative people to recharge your creative batteries. Last Saturday did just that for me.

Here are just three of the things that gave me a creative re-boot;

- Making Winter by Emma Mitchell aka Silver Pebble. This book is crammed with beautiful crafting projects to see you through the darkest months of year. The writing and photography in the book is exquisite. Emma also curated the window of Loop which I could have looked at for hours...

- Berry coloured yarn. I just 'had' to buy this yarn by Madeline Tosh when I saw it in the window at Loop. I tend to veer towards blues, greys, and purples so I am surprised but I found myself drawn to deep, rich colour, berry coloured yarn.

- Erika Knight's British Blue 100. Fay is working on a project in this yarn and I had a squish - it feels soft and bouncy and I can imagine with a larger hook size it would give a beautiful drape. I haven't worked with any of Erika's yarns but this has made me want to look them out.

I have a head full of ideas and plans and I feel so inspired. Our visit to London was a real treat, a huge thank you to my lovely yarny friends who made it so much fun! x

Book, yarn, wool soap and lavender sachet


  1. I'm so pleased you enjoyed your day trip to London Helen. So sweet of the others to work around you. Wish I'd been there too with all you lovely ones!

    1. Just found this - so sorry for not replying more quickly. We wish you had been there and I think Fay is hatching a plan for the Summer when you're over x

  2. Fab blog post Helen! You described your trip really well. I'm curious, how exactly did you all decide to meet up in real life? How did the relationship move from the internet to real life?

    Marta xx

    1. Just found this - so sorry for not replying more quickly. You ask excellent questions and I'm not sure I know the answer! I think the Crochet Circle podcast community helped forge and nurture connections and then some of us met up last year at Yarnporium... xx