I'm sure everybody has seen and heard the doom and gloom forecasts on TV and the radio about the death of the High Street. Retail trade is definitely in the doldrums at the moment and with big names seemingly dropping like flies some of the littler names have decided to be proactive.
Bricks and mortar yarn shops in the UK are mostly independent and generally quite small businesses. We've decided that rather than complain about online competition and big box shops selling cheaper than we can, we will concentrate on what makes us what we are. Local Yarns Shops (LYSs) offer amazing support for knitters and crocheters. We know the ranges that we sell and we understand how to knit and crochet. We give support for customers who need help with their projects -- whether on how to choose a new one or complete another one. You can buy your yarn and patterns from us and if you have problems and they are not up to scratch, we will go back to the suppliers and tell them so. Where possible will order yarn for you if it is out of stock or if we haven't got enough for a particular pattern and if a yarn is discontinued we can find out from other LYSs if they can supply it for you. We host craft and chatter groups as well as formal (and informal) classes and supply endless cups of tea and coffee to keep you all going! In short, we offer a personalised, cheerful and friendly service.
As if all of this isn't enough to encourage you all to visit us, 42 yarn shops across the UK have signed up to the Keep Yarn on Our Streets campaign. The first event is a treasure hunt. During October 2018, each participating shop will have 50 enamel pin badges of our “Keep Yarn On Our Streets” logo in their shops. The badges are £4 each or free with a spend of over £40 and there will be a prize for the first three people to collect 10 different pin badges during October 2018. We want all you yarn lovers out there to hunt out participating shops, and potentially find new favourites.
I'll post a link to a map of the shops joining in with this later in the month and you can follow the fun on instagram keepyarnonourstreets.
18 August and 13 October 2018
10 am till 1 pm in shop
Cost £3 including refreshments
Do you have a pile of knitted and crocheted piece just waiting to be sewn up? You are not alone!
Most of us prefer the knitting and crocheting to the sewing up. Like many boring tasks, it can be more fun to do in a group. Or maybe you need a little help with your technique.
Bring your UFOs (unfinished objects) along to one of our sessions for expert advice, motivation, tea and cake and a (small) prize for every completed item!
Two weeks ago, during the hottest heat wave to hit the UK in four decades, I decided to spend a few days in the Capital so I booked a couple of shows (42nd Street and Twelfth Night) and got on the Megabus for London.
Thursday was quite hot (35°C) but I thought a trip to the British Museum would keep me cool (how wrong could I be). I used to work in London, within ten minutes of the British Museum, but I’m ashamed to say this was my first visit. I arrived bright and early, ten minutes after opening time, and there was a queue! Once in, the place was a sauna! There is a beautiful central atrium with a glass roof which perhaps explains how a building with so much stone and marble could be so hot.
The search was on for all things ammonite – I found some in the Enlightenment Gallery which is set out much as the early museum curators would have viewed it. The ammonites are actually nautilus shells which are still found today and are what we think ammonites would have looked like. These specimens were about as big as my forearm and look almost two-dimensional because of the perfection of their shells. The spiral shape of the nautilus/ammonite is one seen in design a lot, probably because it is so pleasing, and I found a vase in the Mycenaean gallery with a similar spiral pattern. It’s amazing to think that the little jar is 3,500 years old!
After a quick look around the Egyptian rooms trying to view the Rosetta Stone through the shoulders of every single tourist in London, I went for a wander around as many galleries as I could in search of anything to do with textiles or more ammonites. To be honest, the BM isn’t the best museum to go to in search of textile history – it really is a HIStory museum (to use a somewhat hackneyed term) but in amongst the Greek and Roman artefacts there were some little gems. A few excuses in advance here for the photos – it was very hot, my phone screen wouldn’t light up properly and lots of sticky kids had put their hands on the display cabinets – I couldn’t see the photos properly till I downloaded them so they are not as clear as I would have liked!
Spinning and weaving isn’t as exciting as war and mummies so there aren’t that many artefacts which relate to what women would have been spending a lot of their time doing (the V&A is the museum to visit for textile history) but I did ferret out some spindles and loom weights in the Roman and Greek galleries, more loom weights from ancient Troy and an Athenian vase showing a woman spinning . What’s really amazing is how little drop-spindles have changed over the centuries. Much like the wheel – if the design is right, don’t change it!
This visit was just a brief reconnaissance and I’ll have to go back to find out more. There is just so much to see and it would be really interesting to find out just how our ancestors lived. I doubt that the weavers and spinners in ancient times had the spare time that we have to be able to enjoy our yarny hobbies and they wouldn’t have understood what a stash is, but I’d like to think that it wasn’t all just hard work for them.
Welcome to our blog
Here we will share our experiences of running a local yarn shop in South Wales.