Sunday, 22 September 2013

Keep calm and carry on yarn crawling

Yesterday I took part in the inaugural Great London Yarn Crawl, organised by two Canadian expats based on annual yarn crawls in Toronto, Canada.  It is quite a neat idea: you pay £15 and choose one of five routes around various yarn stores in the capital, joining a group of up to 16 people led by two volunteers.  Your ticket includes a travelcard to cover your public transport, a goodie bag,a 10% discount at many of the shops, and entry to the after party at the pub where there were generous door prizes.

It was a fun idea and everyone in the Green Route party was in high spirits when I joined them at our first stop, I-knit near Waterloo station. From there we moved on to Sharp Works in Herne Hill, Knit with Attitude in Stoke Newington, and Village Haberdashery in West Hampstead, before retracing our steps to the after party at the Mulberry Bush on Upper Ground near Waterloo Station. I think it would be fair to say that energy levels decreased as we racked up the public transport miles (including almost an hour stuck on the 76 bus) and also that sixteen people was too many for all of the shops apart from I-knit which is a bit bigger.  It led to a lot of queuing to get to the yarn, plus a lot of hanging about while people finished shopping. But overall I did enjoy it and would go again if I could go to different shops on another route.

I went with a shopping list of which I was able to get some things:  buttons for my blue Opium cardigan, white Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace yarn for my October MKAL shawl, an advance birthday present of Knit Pro acrylic interchangeable needles, and some more stitch markers (where do the pesky beggars get to?), benefiting from the 10% discount on most of these.  I was hoping to get some shetland-type yarn for mittens, and some beads for the MKAL shawl, but these weren't stocked at any of the shops we visited.

The goodie bag was a custom little tote bag printed with the logo, and stocked with the following:

  • mini skein of merino fingering from The Uncommon Thread
  • two mini skeins of King of the Jungle fingering weight from Lioness Arts
  • A download code for the Gemelli sock pattern by Ruth Gardia-Alcantud at
  • A download code for a choice of free pattern (Antler or Lush) from Tin Can Knits
  • A 10% off voucher for Knit with Attitude
  • A single-use sachet of Soak
  • Information pamphlet on the charity Refuge being supported by the yarn crawl proceeds
  • A pattern for 'Circlet', a child's knitted crown, from Dani Sunshine through Lioness Arts
  • A free pattern for knitted bracelets 'Les Petits Bracelets' by Rachel Brown of Porpoise Designs
  • A coupon for 10% off our first order from Kettle Yarn Co plus a generous yarn sample of their Falkland superwash wool
  • A 10% off code for Inked Yarn who do hand-dyed yarn and stitch markers
  • our yarn crawl badge identifying us as members
  • a 10% off code for ILoveYarn, handmade jewellery for knitters
  • a flyer for the UK Hand Knitting Association
  • A project bag ID marker from
I was very lucky at the afterparty to win a door prize:  a lovely skein of Merino Silk Sport by Skein, donated by I-knit (the bluey-green yarn in the photo); plus a set of cute Alice in Wonderland themed stitch markers donated by Inked Yarn as above.

We were all very grateful to the shops, volunteers and sponsors for making the day such a success.

As we went around I was knitting on my second lacy sock (when I could do it without getting bus-sick) and managed to finish the leg, turn the heel and pick up for the gusset on the day.  I wore my blue cardigan knit from Rowan Scottish Tweed DK and everyone else was sporting some kind of knitwear.  The volunteers got cool t-shirts featuring the banner "Keep calm and carry on yarn crawling" which we were all coveting.


Things on the house moving front have taken a bit of a turn for the worse.  Our survey came back with an alarming list of exterior maintenance issues, featuring red flag words like 'wet rot'.  Even more alarmingly, the surveyor says it's overpriced and has valued it at £20,000 less than we offered.  Needless to say the buyers are not keen to reduce by £20,000 and have offered us a token £5,000 reduction to cover some repainting.  Negotiations continue.  There are so many issues of concern now with this house that we are very close to walking away, in which case we will move into rented accommodation when the sale completes on our house.  I spent a few depressing hours this week scouring the internet for other possibilities, every house seems to have something wrong with it so that instead of choosing a dream house, it's more a case of choosing the house with an amount of faults that we are willing to settle for.  Bleah.

Right, I'm going to go and make yet another apple pie with our endless supply of apples off our tree.  Luckily they are so good that we never get sick of pie.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Oh no about the house, but the yarn crawl sounds great!

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