Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Didn't we have a 'loverly' day, the day we went to...

...Bath and I discovered a new yarn store. I know, I know! This will receive one of two reactions from you. Knitters will ask - Where? then be checking Google maps to see if its in an easy day's drive and either crying 'don't tease me'* or be checking diaries to see when they are next free to drive to Bath. OTOH if you are a non knitter and yet still occasionally wander into this knitter's space you might say 'so what, chopkins? You know so many wool shops, why the excitement?' But you see no matter how many yarn shops we addicts visit there is always the desire to discover the next one.  And this one is a gem.  The bunting over the door spells out its name. 

*It's OK they sell on-line as well

A Yarn Story is situated just outside Bath in a new little clutch of shops occupying an old cider press, called The Shed.  Carmen is the knitterly owner of A Yarn Story and her small-but-perfectly-formed  shop is a treasure trove of yarns you won't find on the high street. She stocks wonderful yarns from independent producers, including my all time favourite Superwash DK by Sweet Georgia, fluff to spin from Porpoise-Fur and several yarns by Malabrigo ...............

The brand new shop is hung with several lovely shawls that demonstrate how fab the yarns are knitted up (the cognoscenti will spot a couple of color affections amongst the cobwebby delights) 

and Carmen positively encourages people who hover on the threshold to come in and squish* the merchandise.

*A technical term

There are plenty of accessories too, including the whole range of Soak Wash products, buttons, stitch markers and of course needles.  To mis-quote William Morris, everything in the shop is both useful and beautiful. You can even pick up your copy of Pompom Quarterly here too. I bought more but these two are particularly photogenic

a skein of Malabrigo and a bundle of Porpoise fur from A Yarn Story

There's enough to see at the Shed for a whole morning with a cook shop, deli counter, cafe and of course a cider shop as well as a little gallery selling beautiful jackets and scarves in hand painted fabric, ceramics and more buttons

But I wasn't just on a visit to The Shed, I was on a Yarn Crawl (too much I hear everyone call, in different tones of voice) and Bath beckoned. At this point I should mention that the yarn crawl was organised by my two friends Porpoise Fur and Champagne & Qiviut  who together are Yarn In The City and who organise the annual Great London Yarn Crawl.

So after an hour or so at The Shed we got back on the bus for central Bath and the Christmas market. Wow it was crowded but we split up into small groups and headed off into the melee, lunching on Bratwurst and gluhwein before exploring the stalls. 

After a call into Country Threads (where I just may have added to my not insignificant patchwork fabric and ribbon collections)

we crossed Pierrepont Place into Old Orchard Street and collapsed in heaps of shopping bags into Wool to be revived with mulled wine and tiny cakes in the shape of Christmas puds.

Despite full shopping bags nearly all of us managed to add to our stashes in between glasses of wine before meandering off to find our coach.  I have written about Wool before, having discovered it three years ago when I had a tiny part in the Bath Literary Festival.  It is still the same lovely welcoming place with lots of interesting yarns, a squishy sofa to sit while looking through their huge supply of knitting pattern books and lots of helpful advice from Laura and her staff

Oh and I forgot to mention the knitting that was actually done on the day, two long journeys meant lots were achieved, now I just need to find time to finish the second mitten!

And finally, as Alli and Rachel said, it wouldn't be a yarn crawl without a goody bag and - look what was inside!

So sweet!  An entire kit to make a beautiful Christmas ornament including a pattern from Renee of East London Knits and Yarn from Linda at Kettle Yarn Co.  The ribbon (can you just see it says 'Hand Knitted' and 'Sew Happy") was a gift from Country Threads.

Bath is not my last adventure before Christmas, I have one more very exciting trip (more about that in a couple of weeks) but now I really must knuckle down and finish my Christmas knitting. I have been told some people's expectations are riding high (I wonder if they will be OK sewing the ends in themselves?)



Beautiful hand-made buttons from the gallery shop in The Shed


kristieinbc said...

What a terrific fibre day you and your friends had! The yarn shops sound like they were wonderful. I was in Bath last year when I was in the UK. It's probably just as well I didn't know they had yarn shops. :-)

Thanks for the comment on my IKEA blog post. I thought once our kids were grown and gone it would be time for an upgrade in couches, but then reality hit. We own two dogs that have already ruined the couch and love seat we have, and we are also now into the grandparent phase of life. The Ektorp seemed the practical way to go. I'm glad to hear you liked the one you encountered in Greece enough to order some for yourself.

Chrisknits said...

Hey, you do the heavy lifting, they can finish off their presents. Wouldn't bother me at all! Lovely day you had, so jealous!

Mary Lou said...

I didn't get to Bath this trip to UK, but you sure make me want to go! Shawls for gifts are rather ambitious - I'm making a bunch of DK wt socks, quick and mindless!

Annie Cholewa said...

I used to live in Bath, then I lived not too far from Bath, then I lived further away but my sister was only in Bristol, and now ... now I am in the stop teasing me camp! Details of the Shed have been duly filed away for next time we're headed in that direction and I'm off to check out the website!

debbie1608 said...

Looks like you had a great day and what a wonderful shop!