Sunday, 1 February 2015

Ready for #GLYC2015?

Hello Yarn Crawlers!

We hope you're having a fabulous 2015 so far. Things have been very exciting at YITC HQ as we've been gearing up for this year. Of course, if you've been listening to our podcast you'll have an idea of what some of them are already!

First things first in case you've missed it, we have a new date for GLYC2015. Mark your calendars now as this year's Yarn Crawl will be on


This is exciting for us as it means we can really help to kick off the autumn knitting season!We've got a few crazy things planned for you this year - are you ready? Here's what's staying the same:
  • Number of shops, number of routes and group sizes
  • Our awesome charity recipient Refuge
  • Collecting knits for charity (you guys were so amazing at this last year, how could we not?!)
We're sad to say goodbye to Mrs. Moon who have gone online only, but thrilled to welcome Fabrications in Hackney to the GLYC fold. More on that in another post! Here's where things are going to be different:
  • Three shop visits instead of four (we listened to your feedback that visiting four shops requires a lot of stamina!)
  • A slightly later start - makes it easier on those of you joining us from outside London
  • NO after party in a pub - because we're doing a KICK-OFF PARTY and starting the day together instead! 
The Pop-Up Marketplace is a separate Yarn in the City event but one that we didn't want you all to miss out on with the Yarn Crawl happening, so we've come up with a way for you to do both!

ALL Yarn Crawlers will start their day together at a kick-off party in the Pop-Up Marketplace - located in central London at Chelsea Old Town Hall. You'll get exclusive access for an hour with your groups, before heading out on your routes to visit three shops. At that time, the Pop-Up Marketplace will open to the general public.

We'll also have a collection point for all your charity knits, and this way you won't have to carry them with you across London on the rest of your day.

Phew! That's probably enough info to take in for now but as always, watch this space for more details, or join us in our Ravelry group for the latest updates.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Yarn in the City's Crafty Guide to London

We have a lot of things in the works backstage here at Yarn in the City, and we're now ready to start sharing some of those goodies with you. We  are pleased to announce that the next big project on the table is a book that is a direct outgrowth of the Great London Yarn Crawl.

This book will include profiles of a large selection of London's yarn, fabric and haberdashery shops, as well as mentions of other shops a bit off the beaten path, interviews with some of the fantastic independent makers in the area AND a selection of knitting/crochet and sewing patterns.

We are currently accepting proposal submissions for knitting or crochet projects OR small hand sewing projects. You can find the complete Call for Submissions on Ravelry, or email us at yarninthecity AT gmail DOT com for a pdf copy. The theme is Souvenir Stash - that  irresistible, never-before-seen-in-the-wild skein of yarn or fat quarter that you see while on holiday and just can't leave behind. What kind of project would you want to start right away with your new materials? How can you celebrate your holiday to a special place in craft form? We've also got a Pinterest mood board if you need some ideas to get you going.

Submissions are due 31 October, with final projects and patterns due 15 December 2014. We will tech edit, chart, make schematics and photograph your finished project, which will be returned to you once the book is published. Proposed publication date is mid-February 2015. 

Any other questions, please get in touch, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Thank you for making #GLYC2014 awesome!

We've been digging ourselves out from under the inevitable wrap up and follow up tasks that come with another year of the Great London Yarn Crawl done. In doing so, we've had a good amount of time to reflect on this year's event and how it really could not have happened without each and every one of you, our wonderful participants, volunteers and supporters of the Yarn Crawl.

John Arbon Paint by Numbers yarn on display at Stitch Up

It started with the feedback you gave us last year on how to make the Yarn Crawl a better experience - more fun, more shops, and of course, doing more for Refuge.

Two of the new shops that joined us this year: Fringe and Stitch Up

It expanded (quite literally!) with the addition of four more wonderful London shops and more zones to travel through. Naturally this also translated into more knitting time!

Caught on Instagram: Team Shetland and fearless volunteer Jill about the catch the bus to shop #4

With more shops it meant that we could have more routes, and that more of you could join us this year. Which also meant the addition of more volunteers - new friends we are happy to welcome to the GLYC team.

The Pom Pom Quarterly girls Lydia and Meghan announce the results of the pub quiz

More sponsors came on board to help us show our appreciation to you - filling up the goody bags and contributing wonderful door prizes, and to the grand prize as well - and helping us to to promote the event and hosting our fantastic after-party!

Look at all those tickets! Grand Prize raffle winner Kathryn knit an awful lot for Refuge - well done!
Lots of happy knitters and fibre enthusiasts knitting and chatting at the after-party

So we're incredibly chuffed to tell you that in our goal to do more with the GLYC this year, it's been a smashing success. We've got some numbers to share with you:
  • 9 different sheep-named routes
  • 12 shops across 4 travel zones
  • 17 volunteers
  • 90 participants (thank you for our first sell-out year!)
  • 149 items knitted for Refuge
The incredible number of hand knits you helped us collect for Refuge - and this isn't even all of them!

and the best number? 
  • £812 raised for Refuge!
We are incredibly thankful to all of you for your support with the event, and for embracing our little idea for kicking off cold weather knitting, while also celebrating the London yarn shops and knitting community, and raising funds for a worthy cause to give back to the larger community too. Thank you!

Finally, we've got some more exciting things planned for Yarn in the City - including next year's Yarn Crawl - so please watch this space! Keep sharing your FOs from your GLYC stash (we love seeing them!), send us links to your blogposts or podcasts if you've captured your thoughts about the event (email us at greatlondonyarncrawl AT gmail DOT com - you can also send us feedback there too!), and save the date for next year - Saturday, 5 September, 2015.

Cheers, and thanks again,

Allison and Rachel xx

With thanks to Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade for capturing this great photo of us on Instagram!

Friday, 19 September 2014

New GLYC Sponsor: ChiaoGoo

It seems we started something last year with leaving a sponsor until the very end to showcase *just* before the start of the Yarn Crawl because we've done it again this year - just to whet your appetite for tomorrow and get you even more excited about the after-party sponsored by Pom Pom Quarterly.

We're excited to welcome ChiaoGoo as a sponsor of this year's yarn crawl. We've been a fan of their high quality tools for some time which range from bamboo crochet hooks and knitting needles to their incredibly popular stainless steel Red Lace circular knitting needles with cables that don't twist or kink when you're using them. They even have a range of accessories too, our favourite of which is the Yarn Butler.

The ChiaoGoo Red Lace Twist complete set

Even better, their interchangeable Twist and Spin sets allow knitters to swap between stainless steel or bamboo, and cable components as well. The Spin nylon cables are fantastic for magic loop! Both are packaged attractively in their own carry cases with stitch markers, end stoppers, extra cables and a needle gauge - everything you need really! And with the option to buy only small or large sizes in one kit, or a complete set, it's no wonder knitters really appreciate their flexibility.

The brand new ChiaoGoo DPN sets

Earlier this year ChiaoGoo launched in the UK the newest addition to their range of sets: DPN sets for sock knitters in both stainless steel and bamboo - and we're thrilled to have been given one of each by ChiaoGoo's UK distributor. We'll be giving away the stainless steel one as a door prize, and the bamboo one has been tucked into the Grand Prize raffle basket. And if you don't knit socks, this is a great time to start! Or, perhaps you'll discover as Allison has that they're incredibly useful for other things like small hats or other projects knit in the round.

ChiaoGoo means "highly skillful and crafty lady" in Chinese and we think they're the perfect pairing for helping us all to be a little craftier!

We hope everyone has a wonderful Yarn Crawl tomorrow and we'll see you at the after-party! xx

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Shop Offers and Tips for Getting the Most out of the Yarn Crawl

Hello Happy Yarn Crawlers!

We are at T-minus two sleeps until the big day and so we thought it would be a good idea to capture in a single blog post some tips for your day, as well as listing all the goodies that the various shops will have on offer for you.

Obviously the tips below are only recommendations but we hope that you'll follow them as you'll have a much more enjoyable day if you do!

Images from #GLYC2013

Tips & Recos For A Happy Yarn Crawl

  • Wear comfy shoes! This is a no brainer as there's some walking between tube and bus stops and the shops.
  • Stay hydrated. Pack a small bottle of water that you can sip on throughout the day.
  • Munchies. It's a good idea to have a small snack or two on you in case you get a bit peckish throughout the day. Some shops will have refreshments on offer but not all. There may also not be many cafe options or opportunities to stop beyond the lunch stop. It's also a good idea if you have any dietary restrictions that may make it difficult to find something on your route. Likewise, if you're bringing a packed lunch, don't forget that either!
  • Travel card - check. Don't forget to pack your train ticket/travelcard/Oyster card that you will need on the day. We are traveling through zones 1-4 if you need to buy a travelcard. Buses no longer accept cash but you can use a contactless payment card (like your debit or credit card).
  • Asthmatic, allergic, diabetic, or other health concerns? Please make sure you have your inhaler, epi pen, a sugary snack, or whatever specialty item you may need on the day. No need to share your details with your group, but we'd encourage you to let your Yarn Guides know about any special conditions, just so they're aware if anything happens. 
  • Stay connected. Make sure to pack your mobile or smartphone and carry a printed copy of the route details that you should have from your Yarn Guides. They should also have shared their contact details with you so you can text on the day if you're running late. Please let them have your contact details too. Also, please mind your Yarn Guides as they're keeping you to a tight schedule on the day!
  • Shopping list(s). Of course everyone has different budgets and there's no obligation to buy anything on the day, but if you're looking for something for a particular project - be it yarn, buttons, trims or fabrics - it's helpful to have a list of the items or the pattern with you.
  • Bag it. Bring a foldable shopping bag (or two!) if you're planning on making a few new stash acquisitions.
  • Wallet, piggy bank, secret roll of bills... Again, there's no pressure to buy anything on the day but however you've been saving for the Yarn Crawl, don't forget to bring your pennies! And don't forget to save some for drinks and/or a snack at the after-party at The Parcel Yard, and of course tickets for our lovely raffle!
  • Keep your hands clean. If you've got a bottle of hand sanitizer you might want to pop it in your bag. You know, after being on public transport all day.
  • Wear something handmade! Another no brainer - we're all crafters after all and "what pattern is that" is a lovely opening when meeting new knitters. And once you have your goody bags, make sure you wear your Great London Yarn Crawl 2014 badge prominently to get any offers in the shops.
  • Keep your hands busy. Don't forget your in-transit project for the day! Something small, portable, and uncomplicated is probably best (socks, scarves, hats, etc) although we've see people spindle spinning on the tube, so really, it's up to you!
  • Charity knitting for Refuge. Did you knit something for us to pass on to Refuge? Please remember to bring it with you and find us at the after-party to exchange those knits for your tickets for the grand prize!
  • Share the #GLYC2014 love. Let knitters at home yarn crawl vicariously through you! Please add us in your tweets or instagram snaps as @yarninthecity and use the hashtag #GLYC2014. Thank you!

2014 Shop Offers for GLYC Yarn Crawlers

A quick reminder that these offers are ONLY available to participants of The Great London Yarn Crawl 2014 and they must be wearing their participant badge! If you haven't got your ticket yet and would like to join us on the day there are still a few tickets left or check the ticket swaps thread on our Ravelry board.

Yarn Crawlers can see Cathy Needham's exhibit at Fringe.

Fringe Studio 108 - Will have complimentary tea, coffee and pastries throughout the day as well as little exclusive surprise items on sale especially for the day. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and view the work of Cathy Needham as her exhibit of textile art opens at Fringe on 20th September.

Handweavers Studio & Gallery - Will have complimentary cold drinks to Yarn Crawlers and are giving away a black cotton bag with every purchase.

I Knit London - Will be offering 10% off of everything. In the afternoon they are also hosting a book launch for Betsan Corkhill and her book Knit for Health & Wellness.

Knit With Attitude - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Loop - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Mrs. Moon - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants. (Note: this does not extend to Denham & Finney, where the shop is now located in their lovely back room).

Nest - Will have complimentary tea and coffee and will have delicious cakes for £2.50!

Prick Your Finger - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Sharp Works - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Stitch Up - Will be offering 10% off of all Malabrigo yarns to participants.. Mmmm...Malabrigo.

The Village Haberdashery - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants..

Wild & Woolly - Will be opening early and hosting breakfast for the first team through their doors - Team Shetland - and will have cake and other treats for the rest of the teams. The True Brit Knits team will be on hand throughout the day to meet the teams and chat. The shop's Stash Depot promises some great deals and they're also happy to sign up more dealers. Finally, in addition to offering 10% off of everything to participants, they're also doing a 'sweater special' where you can get 8 skeins or balls of the same yarn for the price of 7.

Phew! We hope everyone has a wonderful day this Saturday, and we will see you at The Parcel Yarn for the after-party hosted by the lovely Pom Pom Quarterly gals! Happy Yarn Crawling!

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The Grand Prize

(in which we reveal the contents of the Raffle Grand Prize, and entice you to knit more for Refuge and/or purchase raffle tickets at the after party)

Well, after the goody bag stuffing extravaganza of last week, we have finalised the contents of the Grand Prize for the raffle - are you ready to see it? Feast your eyes on this:

Not sure how all of this is getting to King's Cross intact yet...

The Grand Prize includes:

1. A bag of Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK (66% super wash merino/34% tussah silk) in "Sky", for a total of 10 skeins, or 1350 m/500 gr of yarn. Hello new sweater!

2. A skein of sweetgeorgia Superwash Worsted (100% superwash merino, 182 m/115 gr) in "Hush". Hello new hat!

3. A skein of The Uncommon Thread Everyday Worsted (100% superwash merino, 183 m/100 gr) in "Tourmaline". Perhaps a cowl to go with your new sweater?

4. A skein of Twisted MN from Whimzy ((80% super wash merino/20% nylon, 365 m/100 gr) in "Lavender Fields". Hello cushy new socks!

5. A Noordzee kit, including a skein of (the sadly no longer available) Nimu Helvellyn (65% silk/35% cashmere, 400 m/100 gr) in "Crushed", plus a copy of Rachel's Noordzee Shawl pattern and a pot of beads to knit your own, all in an extra GLYC goody/project bag.

That about covers the yarny goodness, but there is more:

6. A set of ChiaoGoo Bamboo DPN sock needles, 15 cm long, ranging in  size from 2.25 to 3.25 mm (US 1-3), to start on your Whimzy yarn straight away.

7. Another set of beads from Inspiration Knits (in case you don't like the ones included in your Noordzee kit), and

8. A copy of the lovely Knit Night scarf from Inspiration Knits.

9. A copy of Norwegian Knitting Designs by Annichen Sibbern Bohn, which includes loads of colorwork charts for designing your own pieces.

9. A 90 ml bottle of Soak in "Aquae" for washing up all your finished objects.

Now that we've whetted your appetites with all these lovelies, let's go over how you can get an entry into the Raffle:

1) You can buy a raffle ticket at the after party, where they will be available for £1 per ticket, or 6 tickets for £5 (all of these proceeds will go directly to the charity).

2) You can knit an item for Refuge and bring it to the after party to exchange for 3 raffle tickets (so if you bring in three things, you'll get nine tickets). Refuge are looking for warm accessories in a range of sizes (baby to adult), but have a particular need for mittens and hats for babies and toddlers, hats and scarves for older children, and scarf and hat sets for women.

If you need some pattern inspiration, check out our blog post about knitting for Refuge.

Many thanks to all of our sponsors for their generosity!

The countdown is seriously on now folks, and we hope you're getting excited! Be sure to head over to the Ravelry group, as there's a lot of pre-crawl planning and chatter going on. See you on Saturday!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

GLYC Sponsor: The Uncommon Thread

You may be noticing that we are publishing sponsor posts fast and furiously this week, so we can cover everyone who has been so incredibly generous with their products! Next up is another fantastic returning semi-local yarnie - The Uncommon Thread from Brighton!

TUT produces gorgeous handdyed yarns, many of which are sourced from British breeds. Their yarns run the gamut from lace weight to bulky, in an array of gorgeously saturated and luminous colours.

In addition to their online shop, you can find The Uncommon Thread in brick and mortar shops, including Yarn Crawl Shop Loop, who carry BFL light DK and Tough Sock, and YAK (opening soon), which carries BFL Fingering and Sumptuous DK. You can also find The Uncommon Thread on Ravelry, Twitter, and Facebook.

For Yarn Crawlers this year, Ce has very generously donated three skeins of her gorgeous yarns for door prizes, shown above (from bottom to top): Opulent (345 m/115 gr, 75% superwash merino/15% cashmere/10% silk) in "Salty Air", Sunday Best (345 m/115 gr, 70% superwash merino/20% cashmere/10% nylon) in "Witching Hour" and Everyday Worsted (183 m/100 gr, 100% superwash merino) in "Tourmaline".

The Everyday Worsted skein is part of the grand prize Raffle basket, but the sport weights will be up for grabs at the after party! Will we see you there?