Yarn Shop Day
It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post. I have plenty to write about and lots of photos, but little time to post; life has been extremely busy. So, since it’s Yarn Shop Day on Saturday, I thought I’d make my first May post about my recent visit to a yarn shop. “Yarn Shop Day” is a new initiative from Let’s Knit magazine to encourage knitters and crocheters to visit their local independent yarn shops.
Exploring a New Yarn Shop
Just before Easter I had a short holiday in Chester. Of course, I researched the local yarn shops using the internet, and came across Stash Fine Yarns (update: Stash Fine Yarns has moved to Bradford, Yorkshire). A glance at their website showed that this was a must-see. But how do you escape to a yarn mecca when you are with a non-knitter who gets bored after 10 minutes in a yarn shop? I must write about Chester itself, but that will have to wait. All I’ll say for now is that the “Cathedral at Height” is an excellent tour – especially for non-knitters who like heights. And for knitters who don’t, well they can visit a yarn shop.
So on the morning of the Cathedral at Height tour I went to Stash Fine Yarns. It is in one of those large warehouse buildings on an industrial estate just after a huge retail park. It took a while to find, but there is nothing as determined as a knitter in search of a new yarn shop!
A warm welcome!
Eventually I spotted a modest sign outside a unit. With trepidation I opened the door to see this:
Actually, this is just some of the yarn stocked by Stash. But I was distracted by something else – a knitting group. Perfect timing! And I was invited to join them, even though I didn’t have any knitting with me. So, I got to knit some newly released yarns, eat cake (of course) and chat to a lot of super friendly knitters. And while I was doing this, I was absorbing the wonderful array of yarn that surrounded me.
Yarn, Glorious Yarn
Stash stock all the major British brands (Debbie Bliss, Rowan Yarns, Sirdar and Sublime) as well as some fantastic yarns from abroad (Noro, Mirasol and Manos del Uruguay). I think I’m correct in saying that they have every yarn in every colour from Rowan and Debbie Bliss. That is a lot of yarn!
If you have visited Iceland, then you will know that three things are cheap there: hot water, electricity and yarn. And the only one you can bring back is yarn. So, how did I manage to visit Iceland and not buy any yarn? Well that will be covered in the post that I have still not written about my Icelandic holiday. The good news is that Stash stock Icelandic Lopi in a good range of colours; it is a wonderfully warm and soft yarn. So, if you want to try some you don’t have to visit Iceland, just Chester!
A Wide Range of Accessories
There were many, many needles including two of my favourite brands: Addi and Knit Picks. And just about anything that you might want for knitting or crochet.
Some holiday souvenirs!
Well, after such a warm welcome, it would have been impolite to have bought nothing. But it was a difficult choice. Should I buy the Icelandic yarn that I missed out on last year? Or several colours of Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester DK? Or the wonderfully soft llama yarn from Mirasol? Or the wonderful colours of Noro?
Eventually, I chose a couple of hanks of Fiberspates because I’ve not tried it before and it is not available near where I live. I love the variations of green in this pure wool Vivacious DK. This will become a hat for the cathedral heights explorer – it’s pretty draughty up there!
This Scrumptious Aran is a wonderful colour; the silk in it makes it look really special. It is also destined to be a hat. And I’m glad I’m not the only one who things some yarn looks good enough to eat!
I bought some stitch markers. These ones are from Clover. I’ve tested them and they are easy to use and work really well.
Last November I taught a series of classes on cabling. We discussed cable needles and tried out straight ones and those with the kink, as well as ones made from different materials. I’ve tested these new ones, also from Clover, and I really like them. They stay where you put them. I’m not sure why the two sides are different lengths. I found them easiest to use when I slipped stitches onto the short side and off the long side.
I also bought some pompom makers. I think gadgets to make pompoms are a relatively new invention; I was taught to make pompoms using cardboard many years ago. I borrowed some of these from a friend last year and found them easy to use.
On Saturday visit your local independent yarn shop. Browse their yarns. Find out about their workshops. Join their knitting groups. Watch demonstrations. Maybe enter a competition. And most of all, be inspired to knit!
Stash Fine Yarns has moved to Bradford!