Brighton Mini Crawl Shop Profile: YAK

YAK - also known as Yarn and Knitting is a shop we've profiled on the blog before, back when it opened it's bricks and mortar location in January of this year. Owner Kate has been busy since then helping to build the Brighton knitting community and filling her shelves with a tempting assortment of beautiful yarns and thoughtfully chosen tools and patterns.

Kate shares more about her shop by answering our questions below. Enjoy!

Tell us about YAK. What is your shop's main speciality?
YAK is an independent yarn shop catering to the knitters and crochets of Brighton, the south coast and to the rest of the world online. We opened our bricks and mortar shop in January and we are now the hub of Brighton’s knitting community.

We specialise in yarns from independent companies, mostly British and European. We like to champion brands who use natural fibres and are ethically minded where quality comes first.

How would you describe your shop's atmosphere in three words?
Inviting, charming and inspiring.

What is the most popular product that you carry? 
That is a tricky one to judge but I think it would be The Uncommon Thread BFL Fingering. We get quite a lot of knitting tourists in Brighton from all over the world who are looking for something unique and local which they won’t be able to get at home. I’m sure it doesn’t hurt that all of The Uncommon Thread’s yarns are drop dead gorgeous and hand dyed to perfection but the BFL is particularly popular I think because of its versatility.

What is the one thing that a crafter MUST know about your shop if they haven't visited before?
One of our main focuses as a shop is to be innovative in the products we stock. We want to make sure that we have a balance of what knitters know they want before walking through the door, tried and tested workhorse tools and yarns alongside plenty of fresh and exciting things they have may never have seen before or thought to try. I am 99% sure there will be something in the shop you will never have seen in the flesh before.

Also, there is always a killer playlist on and lots of chairs for the not so woolly minded you have with you to take a break while you make important yarn decisions!

What sets YAK apart from other craft shops? 
YAK is not just about yarn and knitting, it’s about knitters, crocheters and the fibre crafts that bring us together. We want to see our customers succeed in their knitting goals whether they’re a complete newbie or an experienced pro. We’re not here to flog you things you don’t need but to support you and your project. I think that is what sets us apart, our eagerness to see our customers flourish and pursue their craft more deeply. 

Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions Kate! Kate will also have 10% off in the shop on the day (classes excluded) for our Brighton Knit and Make Social guests and we'll do the draw for the door prizes at YAK as well.  

Brighton Shop Profile: YAK

Rachel and I were on the road down in Brighton yesterday to visit Brighton's newest (and only!) yarn shop, YAK aka Yarn and Knitting. We were so excited by what we saw that we fired up the mobile internet to bring you this post from the train on our way back to London (or rather we would have, if we could have gotten the photos to upload!).

Located just off the busy Lanes in Brighton, YAK is new to the neighbourhood (they only opened their doors for the first time yesterday!) but not new to yarn enthusiasts in the UK. They've actually been online since last summer and also had a stall at Unwind Brighton where they showed off their lovely yarns and wares.

But their bricks and mortar location - wow, what a gem! As far as new yarn shops go, YAK ticks all the boxes. It is perfectly sized, the gorgeous yarns are prettily displayed in antique cabinets and items, there's a strong selection of needles, hooks and haberdashery, and pattern books as well as knit samples provide plenty of inspiration.

Yarns on offer include local to Brighton indie dyer darling The Uncommon Thread and other UK favourites: Jamieson & Smith, Eden Cottage Yarns, Shilasdair and John Arbon. There's also the popular German hand-dyed Dye For Yarn. Rounding out the temptations are Schoppelwolle, Lang, Malabrigo, Bessie May and Studio Donegal.

A cozy nook will be the perfect spot for classes initially, and owner Kate Metherell already has plans for a larger seating area - perfect for knit nights. The shop is an easy walk from the train station and there are are a couple of pubs opposite making it perfectly situated for a day out.

In fact... we had a lovely chat with Kate about another Yarn in the City road trip this spring! Keep your diaries free in June and watch this space for more details. 

But if you can't wait that long, then why not pop along to the shop's grand opening? It's happening on Saturday, 7 February between 2 and 6pm. Congrats Kate, and we can't wait for an excuse to visit Brighton and your charming shop again!

Road trip recap: the Bath Christmas Market and other crafty goodness

This post is a bit overdue but better late than never and we'd be remiss if we didn't tell you about all the fun we had with the success of our first non-Great London Yarn Crawl event with Yarn in the City.

Rachel and I check our list twice before setting off with the group. Photo credit: Catherine Hopkins

Rachel and I check our list twice before setting off with the group. Photo credit: Catherine Hopkins

We got an early-ish start thanks to everyone being wonderfully punctual in meeting up at our departure location in Hammersmith. There were a few familiar faces from GLYC 2014 to hug and say hello to, and new friends to welcome aboard our latest Yarn in the City adventure.

Shortly after 9am we were on the road, comfortable and cozy in our executive coach and settling into our travel projects. We also handed out Yarn in the City treats which included mini skeins and a Christmas bauble pattern from our sponsors Kettle Yarn Co. and East London Knit. There was also a map of the Bath Christmas Market and all the stalls to help our guests plan their must-see sights.

The smooshy, delicious yarns at A Yarn Story.

The smooshy, delicious yarns at A Yarn Story.

Our first stop was just outside Bath at The Shed and home to A Yarn Story. Carmen was there to welcome us with open arms - and a new delivery of The Uncommon Thread's Heavenly DK! While the throng was in the shop, I wandered around some of the other shops in the shed, happily finding some wonderful handmade buttons from the textile artist Carole Waller downstairs at One Two Five Gallery and a few other stocking stuffer type gifts. 

Helen and Kelly get some spinning and knitting done while enjoying a break in the sunshine at The Shed.

Helen and Kelly get some spinning and knitting done while enjoying a break in the sunshine at The Shed.

With a little help from my friends: winding up my new SweetGeorgia Superwash Six on the way into Bath.

With a little help from my friends: winding up my new SweetGeorgia Superwash Six on the way into Bath.

I may have also fallen down at A Yarn Story for some deliciously soft and amazing Superwash Six from SweetGeorgia Yarns. I hadn't been able to try it out yet and was excited to get the chance! Not that I got much of chance mind you, as soon we were on the bus headed into Bath for the Christmas Market around the abbey, along with planned stops at Country Threads and Wool.

A rare shot of the Christmas market at twilight in the shadow of the abbey. It was so pretty seeing all the stalls lit up.

A rare shot of the Christmas market at twilight in the shadow of the abbey. It was so pretty seeing all the stalls lit up.

Bath was lovely but positively heaving with people. I hope I can be forgiven for having forgotten to take many photos in favour of just enjoying the day. Many of our guests were familiar with Bath and paired up to take in the market, visit with friends or do other shopping when the market got to be a little too much. In our own off-market wanderings Rachel and I discovered the lovely Bijoux Beads and The Makery - both wonderful enough for their own post another time!

All too soon we were rendez-vous-ing at Wool for our own private event to ogle the wonderful yarns with festive treats and mulled wine from Laura and her staff, before heading back to the bus heavily laden with the day's purchases!

Thank you so much to everyone who joined us on the day - we had such a wonderful time with you all and we can't wait for our next events coming up in the spring. Watch this space!

And if you'd like to read another recap of our lovely day out, one of our guests and good friend Catherine Hopkins has an excellent post (and more photos) over on her blog. Cheers!