Posted by: marymarthatours | February 8, 2010

Finding Quilting (Patchwork) and Yarn (Wool) Shops in the UK

UK Quilting - Knitting UK Knitting Yarn

Being a quilter and knitter, I am always on the look out for fabric and yarn shops and other needlework shops when I travel to Britain. It is not simple to find locations before our tours, but I have found that with digging I can put together a list of locations along the tour route to share with our travelers. Mary does the same with miniature shops. Often shops are not listed on the internet and asking locals leads to rewarding results.

As I search the internet, sometimes bloggers provide great tips. I wish I had a friend like Martha to help me find shops and sites for various English and Scottish cities and towns. Well, you do have a Martha, me; just ask me before your next trip to England or Scotland. I might know a fabulous shop or museum or quilt show location that fits into your plans.

Some tips:

  • We call it quilting, the Brits often call it “patchwork”
  • We call it yarn, the Brits often call it “wool”, and a yarn shop to us, might be a knitting shop in the UK
  • We say sweater, they say “jumper”
  • They use the metric system for fabric lengths and for needle sizes
  • I bring with me any knitting patterns for which I want yarn so I can purchase the correct weight and amount. I take my needles too so I can start my new project.

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Socks made with Inverness yarn

Last September, in Scotland I purchased yarn for socks from three different shops. My favorite is the yarn from a shop in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh. The yarn, from Wales, is hand spin and hand dyed, 75% merino wool, feels like silk. I purchased some fabric from a wonderful fabric shop in Glasgow. One piece is of English robins. Be warned: fabric is no bargain in the UK. I only purchase special fabric that is unavailable in the US.

For 2010 I will explore a newly discovered fabric store in London that sells Liberty fabric remnants at “reasonable” prices. Sadly our July Herb Tour will be in London after the “Quilts 1700-2010” Exhibit at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Please, contact me if you wish to tap my research. The M&Ms would love to create a quilt tour of England should you have a group of travelers who are interested. Below are some internet sites you will enjoy exploring.

www.quaker-tapestry.co.uk
www.Americanmuseum.org
www.quiltmuseum.org.uk
www.twistedthread.com
www.shaukat.co.uk

By Martha, M&M Tours

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  1. […] me if you have any questions and check my first blog posting on finding knitting and fabric shops in the UK. Happy […]


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