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  • Oooh. Lucky Mary B.
    Sorry I don’t have anything more constructive to offer, but I look forward to reading everyone else’s suggestions.
    Bon voyage!

  • Obvious suggestion I know, but if Mary B wants to view the entire Rowan and Jaeger ranges in the most refined environment known to woman then she should head for Liberty when she is in London. Plus they have the most delightful needlepoint department (if she is into that sort of thing) and also four other floors of objects so wonderful that I swear to cut up my credit card every time I leave there. I never do, of course – I might need more yarn 🙂

  • She must go to Liberty in London! Lovely yarn, lovely tea.
    Other than that, I’ve not found much in the way of yarn, except for department stores and mailorder.
    Except for Colinette in Wales. It is well worth the trip. If you go, take an extra suitcase.

  • I can only really speak for London….
    To stock up on Rowan & Jaeger (in a fabby English atmosphere) Mary B should head to Liberty. It’s on Regent Street near Oxford Circus tube station. She’ll also find lovely Liberty print fabric in cotton lawn and wool.
    For Debbie Bliss as well as some Noro and Rowan etc go to John Lewis on Oxford Street (near Oxford Circus tube again and within a few minutes walk of Liberty).
    If Mary B is looking for fabric then there are lots of tiny shops on Berwick Street (in between Oxford Circus and Tottenham Court Road tube stations – can walk from Liberty again). My particular favourite is called Broadwick silks and is on Broadwick street (surprisingly enough). There’s another called Soho silks nearby – sorry I can’t remember the street! There’s also a place called MacCulloch and Wallis which is on Dering street (off Oxford street, pretty much opposite John Lewis) which sells a lovely range of fabric and loads of trimmings & fastenings.
    I’m sure there are more places around but I’ve amassed quite a stash from just visiting these!

  • There’s only really Liberty & John Lewis in central London, Liberty is a lovely shop but only does Rowan & Jaeger so probably not much to surprise Mary B. John Lewis is vaguely uninspiring as far as yarn & haberdashery goes (though I love it for other things). If Mary B wants jaw-dropping gorgeous ribbons, trimming bits etc. then head to VV Rouleaux on Marylebone High St or Sloane Square. If she goes to the Marylebone one (and I really can’t recommend it highly enough) you also get the Button Queen round the corner (but still on Marylebone High St, just on a not quite main road bit of it). Buttons of all ages, descriptions, materials & cost. And yes, Broadwick Silks. But if she has to pick one, make it VV Rouleaux. Inspiring, truly.

  • On behalf of the Scottish contingent, the best yarn shop in Edinburgh has to be Julie’s – http://www.handknit.co.uk/ . Apart from lovely yarn you get lovely Julie who is so nice and SO helpful and lets you just hang out for ages doing nothing but fondle. You can even sit and knit if you want :0)
    John Lewis and Jenners department stores also do yarn but they’re not quite the same.

  • Important notes – if she’s planning on a trip to Liberty tell her to make it a thursday after 5pm and to check out the Art Bar Cafe on the 2nd floor she may find some familiar blog faces lurking! Sale starts at the end of June!!
    Also in London, Spitalfields market Wed + Friday for Buzz’s stand; Creations in Church Road , Barnes for a LYS etc, Patricia Roberts in Kinnerton Street, Peter Jones in Sloane Square etc etc. It would be easier to tell her to contact me and I’ll send her a list of the places my money disappears to!!
    For Edinburgh go to HK and if possible have a trip up the coast to St Andrews to see Di Gilpin…
    If in Yorkshire make the trek to Whitby and to nearby Scarborough for the Wensleydale wool, or head towards the Wingham Woolworks.
    In Wales there’s Colinette in the north and Mrs Mac’s on the gower famous for her cakes as well as yarn
    I could go on for hours!

  • I second (third, fourth..) the Liberty recommendation, but don’t get too excited – the exchange rate is horrible and you’ll pay much more there than if you just ordered online from home. It is a nice chance to flip through the pattern books before ordering them, though. And you’ll stumble upon Carnaby Street very near there, so you can still call it “sightseeing.”
    I am going to Peru in November – any yarn store suggestions for Lima? Cusco?

  • Wow! Ann and Kay, you have the greatest blog-readers!
    I am going to print these out and ponder them tonight — thank you everybody! Woo-hooo!
    And if anybody else has anything to offer, particularly the out-of-the-way kinds of places I might miss, please chime in!
    (And…Peru? Here I thought Edinburgh was exotic!)

  • Hi, Ann, just thought I would let you know I’m also wallowing in self-pity about not going to London/Beth/Cardiff/Chester (although tomorrow I AM going to West Chester, PA) /Edinburgh/York/Cambridge. xo, c.

  • HK in Edinburgh, obviously, though that’s already been mentioned – Mary will LOVE it there! – will warn Julie that she’s on her way! Don’t know of anywhere else to recommend personally but I’m sure she’ll have a ball!

  • Mary, if you have transport take the A1 road south of Edinburgh for about 12 miles, just before you come to Berwick-on-Tweed, and there is a turning off which takes you to Moondance. This is a farm with a yarn shop attached, run by American Margie. She keeps/breeds rare breed sheep, spins, weaves, knits, sells a wide selection of yarns, hand-spun, etc.etc. Check her web-site first – there is a map on it plus directions – and telephone before you go, she is sometimes vey busy with the sheep……have a great time, and do come to Libertys and meet us!

  • I just finished living nine months in Chester and I have to say there is not much in Chester. However, Colinette is not far south of Chester in Deepest Darkest Wales and is simply lovely to visit. Also, Abakhan Fabrics in Flint, Wales has good selection of yarns. Heading further north, my favorite, Texere in Bradford is a treasure trove of goodies. Also, on the Isle of Skye, Shilasdair is a great place to visit. In London, if you are looking for cheap silk sari yarn, the Cadmen market can’t beat.

  • If she has time, tell her to nip to the seaside at Scarborough, and if she gets hungry, to go to the Solid Rock cafe and ask for my good friend Alison…

  • Oooh! I’m planning a trip to England and Scotland in September and have been meaning to research this very topic. Thanks for saving me some time (but probably costing me some money?).

  • Liberty yes YES! very helpful department. There is a new yarn shop opened in Bruntsfield Edinburgh. I’ll go and get the url. In the meanwhile if you want to join our Stitch & Bitch for a meeting do get in touch – we’ve been falling by the wayside due to babies and holidays but it would be great to meet you.

  • http://www.handknit.co.uk/ is the url for the yarn shop in Bruntsfield

  • York has one good yarn shop in the Shambles – Woolfayre. Very small, nothing exciting, but good solid wools; also needlework. But the best needlework shop in York is the Viking Loom near the cathedral on High Petergate. It’s a little Aladdin’s cave of needlework supplies.
    Can also recommend Colinette, as that’s the one I live closest to!

  • Hi Ann —
    I’m just proofreading your piece in KnitLit 3 and enjoying it just about as much as I did the first time I read it — which was quite a lot! I’ve started my own blog; take a look at it.
    All best —

  • I live in Cambridge, and it’s a bit of a yarn wasteland. The only two places are Robert Sayle(same as John Lewis, but since it’s in Cambridge it has to be called something weird) on Burleigh Street and Sew Creative on King’s Street. If you plan on going to John Lewis in London, you might give it a skip in Cambridge because it will probably just have a pared down selection of what is in London. Sew Creative is quite small, but tends to have a good bargain bin.

  • Don’t know if your friend is into vintage patterns, but if so… she should go to Yesterknits in Edinburgh: http://www.yesterknits.com/. They have a lot on their website, but boost that they have much, much more at their place. That is where I would really want to go in Edinburgh.

  • As an aspiring almost-quilter, I want to go back to Liberty for their amazing selection of quilting fabrics. They also have an incredible array of needlepoint and other crafty things. The yarn selection appeared to only be Jaeger and Rowan, but there’s nothing wrong with that!

  • HK in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh is enough reason to come to Scotland on it’s own!