Last week, I took a quick trip across the pond for a symposium. While in the land of all things English, I managed to sneak away for a couple of knit shop visits to I Knit London and The Loop. As with most LYS, each was distinctive.
I Knit London, nestled in the Lower Marsh indy shop area (behind the Waterloo station), was super peaceful and the home to two adorable little pooches who enjoyed a good scratching from me as I knelt down to get a good look at the yarn on some lower shelves. The shop had its own line of yarn “I Knit or Dye” that included some terrifically fun sock yarns, sock blanks, and some dyed fiber.
Being in the middle of London–and considering the dollar to pound exchange rate–I did not buy any yarn . . . I know? right? what? but, I did spring for some buttons for my friend, Amy (shhhhh, don’t tell her yet!) While I browsed, two older ladies knitted and chatted with these store-keep, a few customers came and went, and, eventually, the two pups went home. On of the things I loved most about this shop was the chance to check out British knitting books (Kate Davies was well represented) as were several local authors who had written about yarn tours up and down the coast, including this gem: In the Footsteps of Sheep, which I would have brought home . . . except for the extra weight (after all, I was living out of a single backpack for about 5 days!)
The Loop, on the other hand, was set-up in Camden Passage up in NE Angel. This shop featured more high-end and specialty yarns (oh my!) and was on two floors–the second floor housing an adorable display of Jamieson’s of Shetland; some terrific super wash BFL (yes, that is a real thing!); an entire wall of yarn, really; and lots of patterns and books.
The shop had a fun atmosphere with many, many customers (of both genders, mind you) wandering in and out, seeking pattern and yarn advice, and generally enjoying some good old-fashiond conversation. The shop-keep working upstairs was busy knitting a shawl called “Wreath” by Megan Fernandez, which is absolutely stunning! The pattern is from the Loop’s 10th anniversary collection. And the yarn it is made from, Viola Merino Fingering, is gorgeous in person. Serious want! But, again, I came away with some small bits and pieces: a pattern for some knee-high socks and some buttons that I just adore. Now, to find a pattern that suits them . . . .
Anyone been to a not-so-local yarn store lately? I’d love to hear your experiences!