Posted by: marymarthatours | December 9, 2010

Shopping in York – A Needleworker’s Delight

On our sisters’ September trip to England I got to do something that I never have enough time for while leading a tour: Shop. Whether it was window shopping, popping into a store to just look, or actually making a purchase, York was heaven for me. Some day Mary can tell her tale of searching every book store for a particular author and of our time spent in a wonderful miniature shop. I will tell you of my finds and fun as a needleworker and bargain hunter. I didn’t spend much money on my shopping adventure, but boy, did I find some treasures, have a ball, and get some great ideas for future projects.

We discovered a newly published brochure with a map listing ten shops entitled, “The York Crafters Trail”. You can print a copy by going to the website of one of the listed stores, We walked past this shop several times, and I popped in for a too short look and to purchase two little cross stitch kits of Raymond Briggs’ characters, Father Christmas and The Snowman. I have already stitched the first and the second will be a gift for a friend. I really could have spent a good hour or more in this shop; it was a maze of rooms with a vast assortment of wonderful things.

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Some of Martha’s purchases from York craft shops

Mary and I drooled at the lovely yarn at Ramshambles at 46 Shambles ( I now wish that I had splurged and purchased one shank of hand spun Yorkshire wool for a scarf. I did purchase two charming stitch markers made locally with a cute ceramic animal bead – one for me and one for a knitting friend. And they were a nice, small size for the trip home.

Duttons for Buttons, not far from the Yorvik Centre, was so full of buttons, we were on overload. Because we were on a mission to get somewhere else, again I had too little time here to really explore all the options. Just check out their website to be amazed ( We did purchase some flower pot buttons and a few others also. I have some patterns for cross stitching flowers and plants with a sewn on button pot.

While I did not purchase yarn at either the Ramshambles or another equally nice yarn shop, I did buy yarn and needles at a charity shop. With the pattern I had purchased at the Craft Basics shop on Gillygate (oh, what a great, wide-variety craft shop), I was set to knit for the rest of our travels. The sweater for my youngest granddaughter is now finished and so cute. Since she will grow out of it so quickly, I hate spending top price for yarn for baby sweaters.


A sweater for baby Shaun

No needleworker visiting York should miss the Quilt Museum and Gallery housed in a fabulous Tudor framed building ( Mary and I did allow plenty of time to enjoy every quilt on exhibit and the museum shop, which has a nice variety of quilting focused items. I found a neat set of sewing needles in a clever case here. It was pouring rain that day and due to the horrid weather we did not explore the charming garden outside the entry door. Oh, darn, oh well, a reason to return.

On our first day in York we wandered into the York Newgate Market in the center of town, tucked in behind the winding streets. There I purchased my Christmas cards for this year with English robins on them at a tiny price, a charmingly illustrated children’s book with foxes (my last name translate to Fox in English) and a sweet wooden bird pin for me. I am guessing the pin was a terrific find. I did ask Mary to remind me not to purchase more books as they add too much weight for the trip home.

And I am saving the best York shopping find for last: Cath Kidston at 32 Stonegate. We learned that Cath is a London designer and her shops are all over England and in a couple other countries. The shop is so cute, yuppie and so girly. They sell fabric for decorating and other sewing. I simple had to purchase a half meter of the England patterned fabric. The darling salesgirl asked me if I would like some fabric samples. Egads, I’m a quilter, what an invitation!! I have made a card case with three inside pockets from the samples. On the outside are three layered buttons purchased in England on former trips. Note the Union Jack button on top. The Cath Kidston website will show you what the shop was like ( At Heathrow on departure, Mary and I both purchased the same Cath Kidston wallet. Now every time I open my purse, I remember a wonder time with my sister in York and London.


Wonderful fabrics from Cath Kidston in York

And this posting is only about some of my shopping adventures in York during the first week of our September-October trip. I will write a report of my London shopping successes soon.


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