I can't go anywhere without visiting a yarn store. My favourite thing about travelling to new places is scoping out the local yarn shop and bribing whoever I'm visiting or travelling with, to go there. Obviously my Bristol trip is no different (despite the fact that I'm staying at a yarn shop, and am currently writing this post on a sofa in said yarn shop) and today we took a trip to Bath to visit two more lovely yarn shops.
The Shed is a lot cooler than the website makes it look - and they have a lovely café too.A Yarn Story is located in The Shed, which is a fabulous collection of little shops all in a kind of big barn (each store is about the size of a big booth at a fibre festival / craft show) near Batheaston.
AYS is run by Carmen, who is everything you want a yarn shop owner to be, and it specialises in indie dyed yarns.
You won't find any acrylic or Rowan or Debbie Bliss here (not that there's anything wrong with any of those things, but they're pretty run of the mill and easy to lay hands on) but you will find Hedgehog Fibres, Skein, Shibui, The Uncommon Thread, Kettle Yarn Co., Sweet Georgia and Malabrigo as well as ChiaGoo needles, Soak (including the fabulous Soak giftsets pictured above) and some great notions. If you're lucky enough to live near an LYS that stocks indie dyed yarn then maybe this doesn't like a big deal, but in my part of deepest darkest Sussex just finding a yarn store that stocks 100% wool fibre is an achievement, so it's such a delight to get to see all these yarns in person, rather than on a computer monitor.
My bestest pal and fellow yarn connoisseur Kim purchased the above yarns - left Hedgehog Fibres Sock Yarn in '24 Carat' and right Malabrigo Sock in 'Archangel'. I might've slipped and fallen and bought some yarn too - it's amazing how often this happens to me! - but I'll share my yarn haul at a later date or this post will take me about seven years to write.
We then went to Wool, which was tucked away down a little backstreet in the centre of Bath. Unfortunately I don't have any interior photos of the shop, which I assure you is due to me always being slightly too anxious and shy to ask permission to take photographs in stores and bears no reflection on the store itself! Being a larger store, Wool had more choice of fibres - while I didn't see any acrylic, they stock more of the brands you'd be familiar with - Rico, Rowan, Debbie Bliss etc, as well as Fyberspates and Bluefaced. They have a large selection of needles and notions - lots of Knit Pro and a large collection of sample garments which is always lovely.
Both stores are well worth a visit if you're visiting the Bath area - if I had to pick a favourite I'd probably choose A Yarn Story even though it was smaller, because I have an addiction to indie yarns!
As soon as I get my driving license (I know, I know, I'm 24 and don't have a license - but I spent those 24 years in London and you don't need a car in London - and you certainly can't afford one!) I'm going to road trip round as many of the UK's yarn shops as I can. Watch this space for that ;)