Yarn in the City's Crafty Guide to London

We have a lot of things in the works backstage here at Yarn in the City, and we're now ready to start sharing some of those goodies with you. We  are pleased to announce that the next big project on the table is a book that is a direct outgrowth of the Great London Yarn Crawl.

This book will include profiles of a large selection of London's yarn, fabric and haberdashery shops, as well as mentions of other shops a bit off the beaten path, interviews with some of the fantastic independent makers in the area AND a selection of knitting/crochet and sewing patterns.

We are currently accepting proposal submissions for knitting or crochet projects OR small hand sewing projects. You can find the complete Call for Submissions on Ravelry, or email us at yarninthecity AT gmail DOT com for a pdf copy. The theme is Souvenir Stash - that  irresistible, never-before-seen-in-the-wild skein of yarn or fat quarter that you see while on holiday and just can't leave behind. What kind of project would you want to start right away with your new materials? How can you celebrate your holiday to a special place in craft form? We've also got a Pinterest mood board if you need some ideas to get you going.

Submissions are due 31 October, with final projects and patterns due 15 December 2014. We will tech edit, chart, make schematics and photograph your finished project, which will be returned to you once the book is published. Proposed publication date is mid-February 2015. 

Any other questions, please get in touch, and we look forward to seeing what you come up with!

Thank you for making #GLYC2014 awesome!

We've been digging ourselves out from under the inevitable wrap up and follow up tasks that come with another year of the Great London Yarn Crawl done. In doing so, we've had a good amount of time to reflect on this year's event and how it really could not have happened without each and every one of you, our wonderful participants, volunteers and supporters of the Yarn Crawl.

John Arbon Paint by Numbers yarn on display at Stitch Up

It started with the feedback you gave us last year on how to make the Yarn Crawl a better experience - more fun, more shops, and of course, doing more for



Two of the new shops that joined us this year: Fringe and Stitch Up

It expanded (quite literally!) with the addition of four more wonderful London shops and more zones to travel through. Naturally this also translated into more knitting time!

Caught on Instagram: Team Shetland and fearless volunteer Jill about the catch the bus to shop #4

With more shops it meant that we could have more routes, and that more of you could join us this year. Which also meant the addition of more volunteers - new friends we are happy to welcome to the GLYC team.

The Pom Pom Quarterly girls Lydia and Meghan announce the results of the pub quiz

More sponsors came on board to help us show our appreciation to you - filling up the goody bags and contributing wonderful door prizes, and to the grand prize as well - and helping us to to promote the event and hosting our fantastic after-party!

Look at all those tickets! Grand Prize raffle winner Kathryn knit an awful lot for Refuge - well done!

Lots of happy knitters and fibre enthusiasts knitting and chatting at the after-party

So we're incredibly chuffed to tell you that in our goal to do more with the GLYC this year, it's been a smashing success. We've got some numbers to share with you:

  • 9 different sheep-named routes
  • 12 shops across 4 travel zones
  • 17 volunteers
  • 90 participants (thank you for our first sell-out year!)
  • 149 items knitted for Refuge

The incredible number of hand knits you helped us collect for Refuge - and this isn't even all of them!

and the best number? 

  • £812 raised for Refuge!

We are incredibly thankful to all of you for your support with the event, and for embracing our little idea for kicking off cold weather knitting, while also celebrating the London yarn shops and knitting community, and raising funds for a worthy cause to give back to the larger community too. Thank you!

Finally, we've got some more exciting things planned for Yarn in the City - including next year's Yarn Crawl - so please watch this space! Keep sharing your FOs from your GLYC stash (we love seeing them!), send us links to your blogposts or podcasts if you've captured your thoughts about the event (email us at greatlondonyarncrawl AT gmail DOT com - you can also send us feedback there too!), and 

save the date for next year


Saturday, 5 September, 2015


Cheers, and thanks again,

Allison and Rachel xx

With thanks to Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade for capturing this great photo of us on Instagram!

New GLYC Sponsor: ChiaoGoo

It seems we started something last year with leaving a sponsor until the very end to showcase *just* before the start of the Yarn Crawl because we've done it again this year - just to whet your appetite for tomorrow and get you even more excited about the after-party sponsored by Pom Pom Quarterly.

We're excited to welcome ChiaoGoo as a sponsor of this year's yarn crawl. We've been a fan of their high quality tools for some time which range from bamboo crochet hooks and knitting needles to their incredibly popular stainless steel Red Lace circular knitting needles with cables that don't twist or kink when you're using them. They even have a range of accessories too, our favourite of which is the Yarn Butler.

The ChiaoGoo Red Lace Twist complete set

Even better, their interchangeable Twist and Spin sets allow knitters to swap between stainless steel or bamboo, and cable components as well. The Spin nylon cables are fantastic for magic loop! Both are packaged attractively in their own carry cases with stitch markers, end stoppers, extra cables and a needle gauge - everything you need really! And with the option to buy only small or large sizes in one kit, or a complete set, it's no wonder knitters really appreciate their flexibility.

The brand new ChiaoGoo DPN sets

Earlier this year ChiaoGoo launched in the UK the newest addition to their range of sets: DPN sets for sock knitters in both stainless steel and bamboo - and we're thrilled to have been given one of each by ChiaoGoo's UK distributor. We'll be giving away the stainless steel one as a door prize, and the bamboo one has been tucked into the Grand Prize raffle basket. And if you don't knit socks, this is a great time to start! Or, perhaps you'll discover as Allison has that they're incredibly useful for other things like small hats or other projects knit in the round.

ChiaoGoo means "highly skillful and crafty lady" in Chinese and we think they're the perfect pairing for helping us all to be a little craftier!

We hope everyone has a wonderful Yarn Crawl tomorrow and we'll see you at the after-party! xx

Shop Offers and Tips for Getting the Most out of the Yarn Crawl

Hello Happy Yarn Crawlers!

We are at T-minus two sleeps until the big day and so we thought it would be a good idea to capture in a single blog post some tips for your day, as well as listing all the goodies that the various shops will have on offer for you.

Obviously the tips below are only recommendations but we hope that you'll follow them as you'll have a much more enjoyable day if you do!

Images from #GLYC2013

Tips & Recos For A Happy Yarn Crawl

  • Wear comfy shoes! This is a no brainer as there's some walking between tube and bus stops and the shops.
  • Stay hydrated. Pack a small bottle of water that you can sip on throughout the day.
  • Munchies. It's a good idea to have a small snack or two on you in case you get a bit peckish throughout the day. Some shops will have refreshments on offer but not all. There may also not be many cafe options or opportunities to stop beyond the lunch stop. It's also a good idea if you have any dietary restrictions that may make it difficult to find something on your route. Likewise, if you're bringing a packed lunch, don't forget that either!
  • Travel card - check. Don't forget to pack your train ticket/travelcard/Oyster card that you will need on the day. We are traveling through zones 1-4 if you need to buy a travelcard. Buses no longer accept cash but you can use a contactless payment card (like your debit or credit card).
  • Asthmatic, allergic, diabetic, or other health concerns? Please make sure you have your inhaler, epi pen, a sugary snack, or whatever specialty item you may need on the day. No need to share your details with your group, but we'd encourage you to let your Yarn Guides know about any special conditions, just so they're aware if anything happens. 
  • Stay connected. Make sure to pack your mobile or smartphone and carry a printed copy of the route details that you should have from your Yarn Guides. They should also have shared their contact details with you so you can text on the day if you're running late. Please let them have your contact details too. Also, please mind your Yarn Guides as they're keeping you to a tight schedule on the day!
  • Shopping list(s). Of course everyone has different budgets and there's no obligation to buy anything on the day, but if you're looking for something for a particular project - be it yarn, buttons, trims or fabrics - it's helpful to have a list of the items or the pattern with you.
  • Bag it. Bring a foldable shopping bag (or two!) if you're planning on making a few new stash acquisitions.
  • Wallet, piggy bank, secret roll of bills... Again, there's no pressure to buy anything on the day but however you've been saving for the Yarn Crawl, don't forget to bring your pennies! And don't forget to save some for drinks and/or a snack at the after-party at The Parcel Yard, and of course tickets for our lovely raffle!
  • Keep your hands clean. If you've got a bottle of hand sanitizer you might want to pop it in your bag. You know, after being on public transport all day.
  • Wear something handmade! Another no brainer - we're all crafters after all and "what pattern is that" is a lovely opening when meeting new knitters. And once you have your goody bags, make sure you wear your Great London Yarn Crawl 2014 badge prominently to get any offers in the shops.
  • Keep your hands busy. Don't forget your in-transit project for the day! Something small, portable, and uncomplicated is probably best (socks, scarves, hats, etc) although we've see people spindle spinning on the tube, so really, it's up to you!
  • Charity knitting for Refuge. Did you knit something for us to pass on to Refuge? Please remember to bring it with you and find us at the after-party to exchange those knits for your tickets for the grand prize!
  • Share the #GLYC2014 love. Let knitters at home yarn crawl vicariously through you! Please add us in your tweets or instagram snaps as @yarninthecity and use the hashtag #GLYC2014. Thank you!

2014 Shop Offers for GLYC Yarn Crawlers

A quick reminder that these offers are ONLY available to participants of The Great London Yarn Crawl 2014 and they must be wearing their participant badge! If you haven't got your ticket yet and would like to join us on the day there are still a few tickets left or check the ticket swaps thread on our Ravelry board.

Yarn Crawlers can see Cathy Needham's exhibit at Fringe.

Fringe Studio 108 - Will have complimentary tea, coffee and pastries throughout the day as well as little exclusive surprise items on sale especially for the day. Participants will also have the opportunity to meet and view the work of Cathy Needham as her exhibit of textile art opens at Fringe on 20th September.

Handweavers Studio & Gallery - Will have complimentary cold drinks to Yarn Crawlers and are giving away a black cotton bag with every purchase.

I Knit London - Will be offering 10% off of everything. In the afternoon they are also hosting a book launch for Betsan Corkhill and her book Knit for Health & Wellness.

Knit With Attitude - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Loop - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Mrs. Moon - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants. (Note: this does not extend to Denham & Finney, where the shop is now located in their lovely back room).

Nest - Will have complimentary tea and coffee and will have delicious cakes for £2.50!

Prick Your Finger - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Sharp Works - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants.

Stitch Up - Will be offering 10% off of all Malabrigo yarns to participants.. Mmmm...Malabrigo.

The Village Haberdashery - Will be offering 10% off of everything to participants..

Wild & Woolly - Will be opening early and hosting breakfast for the first team through their doors - Team Shetland - and will have cake and other treats for the rest of the teams. The True Brit Knits team will be on hand throughout the day to meet the teams and chat. The shop's Stash Depot promises some great deals and they're also happy to sign up more dealers. Finally, in addition to offering 10% off of everything to participants, they're also doing a 'sweater special' where you can get 8 skeins or balls of the same yarn for the price of 7.

Phew! We hope everyone has a wonderful day this Saturday, and we will see you at The Parcel Yarn for the after-party hosted by the lovely Pom Pom Quarterly gals! Happy Yarn Crawling!

The Grand Prize

(in which we reveal the contents of the Raffle Grand Prize, and entice you to knit more for Refuge and/or purchase raffle tickets at the after party)

Well, after the goody bag stuffing extravaganza of last week, we have finalised the contents of the Grand Prize for the raffle - are you ready to see it? Feast your eyes on this:

Not sure how all of this is getting to King's Cross intact yet...

The Grand Prize includes:

1. A bag of Rowan Baby Merino Silk DK (66% super wash merino/34% tussah silk) in "Sky", for a total of 10 skeins, or 1350 m/500 gr of yarn. Hello new sweater!

2. A skein of sweetgeorgia Superwash Worsted (100% superwash merino, 182 m/115 gr) in "Hush". Hello new hat!

3. A skein of The Uncommon Thread Everyday Worsted (100% superwash merino, 183 m/100 gr) in "Tourmaline". Perhaps a cowl to go with your new sweater?

4. A skein of Twisted MN from Whimzy ((80% super wash merino/20% nylon, 365 m/100 gr) in "Lavender Fields". Hello cushy new socks!

5. A Noordzee kit, including a skein of (the sadly no longer available) Nimu Helvellyn (65% silk/35% cashmere, 400 m/100 gr) in "Crushed", plus a copy of Rachel's Noordzee Shawl pattern and a pot of beads to knit your own, all in an extra GLYC goody/project bag.

That about covers the yarny goodness, but there is more:

6. A set of ChiaoGoo Bamboo DPN sock needles, 15 cm long, ranging in  size from 2.25 to 3.25 mm (US 1-3), to start on your Whimzy yarn straight away.

7. Another set of beads from Inspiration Knits (in case you don't like the ones included in your Noordzee kit), and

8. A copy of the lovely Knit Night scarf from Inspiration Knits.

9. A copy of Norwegian Knitting Designs by Annichen Sibbern Bohn, which includes loads of colorwork charts for designing your own pieces.

9. A 90 ml bottle of Soak in "Aquae" for washing up all your finished objects.

Now that we've whetted your appetites with all these lovelies, let's go over how you can get an entry into the Raffle:

1) You can buy a raffle ticket at the after party, where they will be available for £1 per ticket, or 6 tickets for £5 (all of these proceeds will go directly to the charity).

2) You can knit an item for Refuge and bring it to the after party to exchange for 3 raffle tickets (so if you bring in three things, you'll get nine tickets). Refuge are looking for warm accessories in a range of sizes (baby to adult), but have a particular need for mittens and hats for babies and toddlers, hats and scarves for older children, and scarf and hat sets for women.

If you need some pattern inspiration, check out our blog post about knitting for Refuge.

Many thanks to all of our sponsors for their generosity!

The countdown is seriously on now folks, and we hope you're getting excited! Be sure to head over to the Ravelry group, as there's a lot of pre-crawl planning and chatter going on. See you on Saturday!

GLYC Sponsor: The Uncommon Thread

You may be noticing that we are publishing sponsor posts fast and furiously this week, so we can cover everyone who has been so incredibly generous with their products! Next up is another fantastic returning semi-local yarnie - The Uncommon Thread from Brighton!

TUT produces gorgeous handdyed yarns, many of which are sourced from British breeds. Their yarns run the gamut from lace weight to bulky, in an array of gorgeously saturated and luminous colours.

In addition to their online shop, you can find The Uncommon Thread in brick and mortar shops, including Yarn Crawl Shop Loop, who carry BFL light DK and Tough Sock, and YAK (opening soon), which carries BFL Fingering and Sumptuous DK. You can also find The Uncommon Thread on Ravelry, Twitter, and Facebook.

For Yarn Crawlers this year, Ce has very generously donated three skeins of her gorgeous yarns for door prizes, shown above (from bottom to top): Opulent (345 m/115 gr, 75% superwash merino/15% cashmere/10% silk) in "Salty Air", Sunday Best (345 m/115 gr, 70% superwash merino/20% cashmere/10% nylon) in "Witching Hour" and Everyday Worsted (183 m/100 gr, 100% superwash merino) in "Tourmaline".

The Everyday Worsted skein is part of the grand prize Raffle basket, but the sport weights will be up for grabs at the after party! Will we see you there?

GLYC Sponsor: Kettle Yarn Co

Last year, we were very excited to have the brand new Kettle Yarn Co. as a GLYC sponsor. Linda is back this year, both as a sponsor and a volunteer (on Team Suffolk), and she's got all sorts of new and exciting things going on. She's just introduced a truly luscious new base this summer - BEYUL yak/silk/merino (from left to right yurt, electric amaranth, sacred saffron). 

To celebrate Kettle Yarn Co's first year anniversary, Linda is running a Willy Wonka-like 'Yarn-y Golden Ticket' random draw for Kettle Yarn Co.'s first year anniversary.

The contest will run from Sept 1st to Oct 15th and any newsletter subscribers that purchase yarn in that time period will be entered into a random draw for 5 skeins of Wimbledon in Melon Balls:

image © KettleYarnCo

Lucky GLYC participants heading to Wild and Woolly will be able to ogle Linda's yarns in person, as W&W carrys a large range of Kettle Yarn Co. Anna currently has Islington fingering and Wimbledon sport in stock and will have some of the new yak/silk Beyul blend as a special GLYC promotion. You can also fondle EastLondonKnit's beautiful Naloa shawl in person on the day! 

BEYUL fingering shown in Naloa shawl by EastLondonKnit, image © EastLondonKnit

Those of you on the Loop routes can also find a few skeins of Islington in shop near the till.

ISLINGTON fingering - 100% British SW Bluefaced Leicester / Silk, shown in new Sunburst Shawl by Helen Stewart images © Helen Stewart © KettleYarnCo

You'll be able to find a little treat from Linda at the after-party - she's contributing project bag tags for every Yarn Crawler, and they'll be available at the Parcel Yard at the end of the day. Thank you Linda for your generosity and support, and we hope you have a great Yarn Crawl!

ETA: you can find Kettle Yarn Co on Etsy, Ravelry, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. So go get some gorgeous yarn!

GLYC Sponsor: Ysolda

Another returning sponsor to this year's GLYC is Ysolda - welcome back!

Ysolda has been enchanting knitters with her whimsical designs for years. Charming knits all, Ysolda's accessories are quick and easy, Ishbel (both the shawl and the beret) is practically a Ravelry icon, and her sweaters both fit and flatter, thanks to many tips shared in her book Little Red in the City.

Ysolda's most recent publication - The Rhinebeck Sweater - is one of our favourites. The book brings together 11 of Ysolda's designer friends including Gudrun Johnston, Amy Herzog, and Mary Jane Mucklestone (to name but a few!) to share the sweaters they would wear to Rhinebeck, and is shot on location at the famous New York Sheep and Wool Festival held in Rhinebeck, New York.

L-R: Pumpkin Ale (by Ysolda Teague), Aunt Fred (by Pamela Wynne), and Artichoke French (by Laura Nelkin)

But the book also has fantastic stories on what it is like to visit Rhinebeck and the festival itself. Clara Parkes waxes poetic on the merits of buying local, Thea Coleman (of Baby Cocktails) shares her recipe for a Beekman Cocktail and there are profiles of Rhinebeck yarn staples such as Bijou Basin Ranch, Jill Draper Makes Stuff, and The Verdant Gryphon - and more besides. If you've never had the pleasure of attending Rhinebeck, this book is lovingly curated to be the next best thing and we've got a copy for one lucky winner at this year's after-party!

Ysolda is also providing us with an electronic copy of her latest collection, Knitworthy. Appropriately named, the collection features eight patterns intended to make good gifts for everyone on your knitworthy list (because life's too short to knit for anyone who doesn't love what you make). The first pattern, Bronntanas is already available with the others being released every two weeks.

Bronntanas is Ysolda's newest pattern

Thank you to Ysolda for such delicious inspiration for our Yarn Crawlers!

GLYC Sponsor: Kate Atherley

We're a big fan of Kate Atherley of Wise Hilda Knits fame. She's also Knitty's Lead Technical Editor, a prolific designer, and a regular teaching fixture of the Toronto and southern Ontario knitting scene.

One of Kate's latest designs: the stunning Rosetta Tharpe shawl

Kate also has a number of books that help both new and intermediate knitters move beyond their comfort zone and take their knitting to the next level. Beyond Knit and Purl breaks down the roadblocks that knitters often encounter and builds up a knitter's confidence about patterns. Her second book, Knit Accessories: Essentials and Variations is a go-to resource for knitters looking for quick and easy knits for hats scarves, cowls, socks and mittens. For more experienced knitters it's a great set of master templates that are reliable for using over and over again with alterations and customisations.

Kate's latest book, due out in January 2015, is Pattern Writing for Knit Designers. The book is for both newer knitters who are just dipping their toe into design, and for established designers looking to improve their pattern writing. The book is full of examples and clear guidelines on how to write easy-to-use patterns for all types of knitters. the book covers topics like clearly communicating sizing and measurements informations, the whys and wherefores of creating charts for special pattern instructions, tackles the issues of abbreviations and the use of standard language. Along the way there are lots of helpful dos and don'ts, tips from knitters on what they like to see in patterns, and detailed examples of how to express even the most complex pattern instructions. This book will be a terrific reference for designers of all levels.

The super cute Hofner Socks from The Rock & Roll Collection

For this year's GLYC Kate has very generously donated a whopping FIVE prizes for our after-party: a digital bundle of her existing books, a copy of her upcoming book, and three copies of her e-book, The Rock & Roll Collection which has four fun and funky patterns for every knitter's inner-punk.

Thank you Kate!

More door prizes!

We've been incredibly busy here at GLYC HQ this past week - stuffing goody bags and meeting our fabulous volunteers that we rather got a little behind on the blogging! So sorry!

Happily for all our yarn crawlers, the door prizes have kept coming in and we have two more to tell you about from two of the lovely shops hosting participants on this year's Yarn Crawl.

First up - Wild & Woolly, the new kid on the block in Hackney has teamed up the knitting and designing collective of True Brit Knits to present a rather amazing door prize!

Some lucky knitter is going to win all this from Wild & Woolly and True Brit Knits!
The contents include: 100g of Town End Alpaca's Pure Alpaca DK, True Brit Knits' Canterberet pattern, a True Brit Knits' Knitters Notebook (which includes knitting symbols and rectangular charting paper) and a True Brit Knits' Knitter brooch.

Then, those lovely folks over at Loop have offered up a skein of a brand new yarn they're bringing in called Kismet Fiber Works. The base is called Refuge - incredibly appropriate for the GLYC! Refuge is a fingering weight yarn that is 50% camel and 50% silk - resulting in the softest of soft projects, with glorious sheen and drape. To quote the description on their Etsy shop, "It's like knitting with air." We believe it!

We don't know yet what the colour will be but it's bound to fabulous! Some of their more charming names include Grown Ass Woman, and our favourite, Skein Cocaine. Sounds like this yarn is too much of a good thing!

Many thanks to Wild & Woolly, True Brit Knits and Loop for putting up such wonderful door prizes for our yarn crawlers. Less than a week to go now. Has everyone started their shopping lists yet?

Squoosh Merino Cashmere Lace - perfect for a new shawl!

Quick Update (18 September 2014) - We've had a note from Susan at Loop that unfortunately the Kismet Fiber Works yarn hasn't arrived yet. Instead, Loop will be donating a skein of Squoosh Merino Cashmere Lace in Winterfell, along with their latest Loop pattern, the Josephine Shawl. A perfect combination!

New GLYC Sponsor: Inspiration Knits

One of the things that we think is really awesome about our sponsors for the Great London Yarn Crawl is how they seem to be the right mix of yarnies, tools and designers. Everything you need really, to keep you inspired as we kick off the cold weather knitting season!

And speaking of inspiration... we're pleased to welcome Inspiration Knits as a sponsor to this year's GLYC.

Louise Zass-Bangham is the busy designer behind Inspiration Knits which are a range of lovely accessories, scarves, shawls, fingerless gloves and hats. Just the kind of quick project you want to be working on this time of year! Many of her patterns also call for a only a single skein of sock yarn, perfect for if you've got something in your stash - or if you pick up something special on the Yarn Crawl!

One of Louise's most popular patterns: Knit Night

Louise's designs are modern classics - simple, timeless, elegant and always well-written. They're fun to knit and look great too. And because Louise loves yarn and knitting as much as the people who knit her patterns do, she always has many suggestions for different yarn options, or even embellishing with beads. The inspiration is up to every knitter how they make the patterns truly their own!

The texture in Louise's Painted scarf is wonderful for showing off the colours in a variegated sock yarn

Thanks to Louise we've popped a little Inspiration Knits something into every goody bag: two small bags of beads, along with Louise's beading tutorial, an Inspiration Knits badge and a discount voucher for one of her patterns. There's enough beads for use on a one of Louise's designs, and if you haven't added beads to your knitting before, this is a great excuse to try something new!

One of Louise's newest designs, the Slipstream Cowl

Louise will also be joining us on this year's Yarn Crawl as one of our helpful Yarn Guides is happy to weigh in on yarn and colour selections! Thanks so much Louise!

New GLYC sponsor: Rowan and Coats

We are sure that all of you are familiar with the lovely yarns of Rowan, right? Well, this year we are thrilled to have the lovely people at Coats Crafts UK sponsoring the GLYC to the tune of a ball of Rowan yarn for every yarn crawler! 

There's a huge selection of yarns that will be packed up for you, including Drift, Rowan Tweed Aran, some Cashsoft 4-ply, Kid Silk Haze, baby Merino Silk DK and many more!

Once you've gotten your yarn, be sure to head over to the Coats website, and check out their range of free patterns and tutorials. The Rowan website also has a number of patterns exclusively available online, many from the archives that are also free to download if you register on their website. They even have a mystery knit-a-long designed by Kaffe Fassett starting on October 1st with four different colour options!

Many thanks tCoats and Rowan for their wonderful generosity to this year's Yarn Crawlers! And if you're in the London area, Rowan are having a coffee morning at Peter Jones on thisThursday, 11 September, from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm in the Top Floor restaurant on the sixth floor. There will be an opportunity to see a large number of garments from Rowan's new Autumn Winter collection. Tickets are available for £5 and include refreshments. And, all attendees will receive a 10% voucher to use on Rowan products all day.

Maybe we'll see you there! :)

GLYC Sponsor: Kathleen Lawton-Trask and Silver Screen Knits

Last year on the GLYC we were lucky to have designer and blogger Kathleen Lawton-Trask of Knit Like You Mean It join us for the day.

Kathleen won't be able to make it this year, but you can join us in adding our congratulations to her on the arrival of her sweet baby boy, who being only a few weeks old, means it's a little hard for her to travel at the moment!

Before Kathleen's little one arrived, earlier this year she had a delivery of a different kind - Silver Screen Knits Volume 2. SSK 2 is the companion to her book released last year, Silver Screen Knits Volume 1Contributing designers include Susanna IC, Ann Weaver, Danielle Romanetti, Tanis Gray, Becky Wolf, and Kathleen herself.

The gorgeous Grace Kelly Luxurious Beaded Shawl
Like it's predecessor, SSK 2 is filled with chic, wearable designs inspired by classic films from Hollywood's Golden Age of cinema such as Rear Window, The Great Gatsby, How to Marry a Millionaire, and Singin' In The Rain. Each pattern introduces the star that inspired it, and also includes must-see moments from the films, along with quotations from memorable characters.

Grace Kelly also provided inspiration for this Grace Kelly Lace Sleeve Pullover

And in the highest compliment one can get from another designer, Franklin Habit had this to say about SSK 2, "Watching a history of cinema and browsing 'Silver Screen Knits' by Kathleen Lawton-Trask. Making me wish I had more time to knit. These are collections with a lot of solid, classic work. Stuff to wear again and again because it's fun and versatile.".

So elegant: the Hedy Lamarr Fingerless Gloves

We think these books take knitting and movie-watching to a whole new level!

Kathleen has very generously donated a set of BOTH books for one lucky door prize winner at this year's after-party. Thank you Kathleen!

And in case you missed last week's blog post - we recently released a small block of tickets to this year's Yarn Crawl. If you don't have yours yet, act fast!

Catch and Release: Handful of tickets to be released tomorrow

We've been thrilled that this year's edition of the Great London Yarn Crawl has been sold out since roughly mid-August!

BUT - there's always someone who find out about the Crawl late, or wants to join in with their friends, or who can't come at the last minute. And they ask us, what can I do? How do I get a ticket?

Some of our volunteers bought their tickets without knowing if they would be volunteering or not - to make sure they didn't lose out! Thanks to their generosity they are donating the cost of their tickets to Refuge and we are happy to re-release their tickets back out to any yarn fiends who are still in search of a ticket!

Tickets will be uploaded to the GLYC ticket shop at 8pm London time on Friday, 5 September. 

Set your alarms now or tell your friends! No guarantees which routes will have tickets available and they will likely be single tickets only.

And of course, you can still also check the Ticket Swaps thread on our Ravelry group to see if anyone has a ticket that they may not be able to use.

Good luck, and we look forward to seeing you on this year's Great London Yarn Crawl!

New GLYC Sponsor: Trailing Clouds

We are thrilled to welcome Gloria of Trailing Clouds as a new sponsor for this year's GLYC. If you haven't seen Gloria's yarns yet, click right on over to her website now.  Her yarns are bright, playful and seriously self-striping!!! Our favourite is (of course) the Mind the Gap colourway (pictured above), which includes all the colours of the London Underground Tube map.

We discovered this yarn in January, and lurked around for a shop update until we got our hot little hands on some. Alli got the sock yarn, which is in the process of being made up into gorgeous stripy Underground socks. Rachel was so excited that she managed to get the sport weight instead of the sock yarn, but is relishing the idea of Underground-inspired fingerless mitts this winter.

Gloria has very kindly donated one skein of "Mind the Gap" sock yarn for an after-party door prize, so that one of you Yarn Crawlers can work up your own pair of London-inspired socks. There's even a London Gap sock pattern for the yarn, if you're so inclined. 

Huge thanks to Trailing Clouds for supporting this year's Great London Yarn Crawl. It's not long now til we see you all on the roads - are you ready?

GLYC Sponsor: Soak

Joining us back again this year on the Great London Yarn Crawl is Soak - the modern laundry care for everything that is Soakworthy in your world.

The five scents of Soak: Scentless, Fig, Celebration, Lacey, and Yuzu

What is Soakworthy? It's an idea that Soak has come up with to describe all those special things that we love and are deserving of a little extra care with washing. Naturally, this would include all the hand knits that we all work so hard on, as well as other crafty things like cross stitch or embroidery pieces before they're sent to be framed or turned into pillows, the finishing of fresh handspun yarn, a handmade quilt for a new baby, or even a vintage dress,  your favourite cashmere sweater, or sexy underthings! Really, whatever you deem to be Soakworthy is completely up to you! And the no-rinse formula is extremely gentle and made from plant-derived ingredients so it's environmentally friendly.

Flatter action shot!

As if it wasn't enough that Soak was making handwashing laundry fun with their light, fresh scents and clean, modern packaging, this year in the UK they launched their latest product Flatter - which is flat out fabulous! Flatter does for ironing what Soak does for washing - it's a starch-free smoothing spray that relaxes wrinkles and freshens fabrics, leaving them soft and static-free. Flatter was invented by Soak for the quilting marker, but sewers love it too, and so do knitters! Flatter has proven to be perfect for steam blocking as well as lightly blocking lace - especially finer fibres that you might not want to block with a full on soaking. It's even great if you need to quickly iron your shirt before heading off to work!

Soak is also really excited about the start of autumn and knitting season! So much so that they're hosting a photo-a-day challenge for knitters on Instagram for the month of September. There will be a chance to win some Soak goodies, but of course if you're attending the GLYC you won't have to wait that long! Soak has generously donated a large bottle of Soak, along with a bottle of Flatter for our door prizes, and a mini Soak will be in all the goody bags.

And if you're looking for Soak on this year's Yarn Crawl, you can now find it at Knit With Attitude and Wild & Woolly! And Flatter is available from the lovely lace experts at Loop. Thank you Soak!

The Big Kahuna, or Why you should knit for Refuge

There have been several mentions over the past few months about ways to maximise the funds we have to donate to our charity partner Refuge at the end of the GLYC 2014. You may have noticed some (hopefully) enticing references to a raffle, or been intrigued by the hint of a big prize that will be handed out at the after-party.

It's also entirely possible that all of this is news, so let us take this opportunity to clear up any questions. Last year's after-party was awash with door prizes that we had a blast handing out, thanks to the incredible generosity of our many sponsors. This year they have stepped up to the plate yet again, and there is an embarrassing pile of loot piling up in Rachel's studio that is coming the way of all Yarn Crawlers. Some of it is goodies for the goody bags, but there's also a large collection of bits and bobs for door prizes and the Grand Prize to End All Door Prizes: the Raffle Basket.

We are still finalising what will actually be in this gift basket, but we can share a few details with you as to what will be included:

1) Yarn
2) A ChiaoGoo DPNs set
3) Multiple books from various sponsors
4) More yarn
5) A pattern or two
6) Items as yet to be identified

All in all, it's going to be a grand towering pile of woolly, yarny, knitterly/crocheterly love for one lucky winner.

The next big question is, of course, how do I get my grabby little hands on this Basket of Joy? The answer is simple: by entering the raffle.

You can get raffle tickets in one of two ways.

1) Buy them at the after party, where they will be available at £1 per ticket (or 6 tickets for £5).
2) Bring a knitted item for Refuge and exchange each item for three raffle tickets at the after party.

When we contacted Refuge asking if there was a need for any hand knit items for their shelters, they were very enthusiastic, and requested any of the following:
  • Any type of warm accessories, in a wide range of sizes (baby to adult)
  • mittens and hats for babies and tots
  • hats and scarves for older children
  • scarf and hat sets for the women
In order to help get your inspiration flowing, we've done a bit of a search on Ravelry to find some  suitable free patterns. What about Barley from GLYC sponsor Tin Can Knits? Make matching hats for Mum and baby, all from the same pattern.

Or the Star-Crossed Slouchy beret by Natalie Larson, with its lovely soft cables.

Here's a really cute hat and scarf combo from Drops design, sized from 3-12 years. 

Or this hat/scarf/mitten set for babies and toddlers, also from Drops.

What about older kids? Aviator by Wei S. Leong is a super cool hat with scarf extension all in one. 

And Duet by Linda Wilgus is a hat that can morph into a scarf/cowl and back again.

Per usual, the Ravelry advanced pattern search makes it super easy to find free patterns. And if you search for hat AND scarf, or hat AND mittens, you find all sorts of patterns that include both.

So pull out those needles and hooks, and get going! If you need yarn, let us know! We've got some yarn available for this project, so shoot us an email to greatlondonyarncrawl AT gmail DOT com, or PM stitchalli or porpoise on Ravelry, and we'll get you some supplies. 

Remember, every item you bring for Refuge will get you a three free raffle ticket, and provide warmth to people going through difficult times this winter and beyond. Thanks, and we'll see you soon!

GLYC Sponsor: Tin Can Knits

Emily Wessel and Alexa Ludeman are the dynamic duo behind Tin Can Knits, a trans-Atlantic design partnership. Based in Edinburgh and Vancouver respectively, Emily and Alexa are known for fun and wearable designs, that cover a broad range from blankets to accessories to sweaters. 

We particularly like the fact that their sweater patterns are typically sized from newborn to 4XL, which is typically a range in finished chest measurements of up to 40 inches/102 cm!!! They've also got a wealth of tutorials on their website, as a number of free patterns, if you'd like to give their designs a try.

It's been a busy time in the TCK family this summer, with both partners having new babies join their family line up - congratulations to all! You'd think that might slow them down a bit, but they've got a new book coming out this autumn, and a brand new pattern for a colorwork sweater coming out any day now! To help support the GLYC, Tin Can Knits are contributing download codes for the new sweater for the goody bags, and a couple copies of their new book for door prizes*.

You can find Tin Can Knits on their website, on their Ravelry group and designer page, and on Facebook, TwitterInstagram and Pinterest. Thanks again to Alexa and Emily for their support, and enjoy those new baby snuggles!

* As long as it's in print by then, otherwise we'll have another book for you.

GLYC Sponsor: SweetGeorgia Yarns

We've got lots of posts to get write before this year's Yarn Crawl is here and happily for today's post, we can say that SweetGeorgia Yarns is back as a sponsor again this year.

If you've seen the bright, pink SweetGeorgia banner at either Unravel or Unwind Brighton this year, you know that it means that's where you can find the bold, passionate colour of this beautiful, hand-dyed yarn from Vancouver, Canada. They've been busy this year promoting their UK stockists and making sure folks know they can get their yarns here in the UK.

One of the newest SweetGeorgia colours - Sapphire - was used for the Rhaeadr shawl in the latest Knitty.

The colours that Felicia Lo and her team develop and dye are heavily saturated, gorgeous pops of big colour. Their semi-solids are their most popular, and shimmer with subtle shifts of colour that keep the eyes interest on your knits! Not that the variegated colours aren't gorgeous too - we love them all!

Baya by Mindy Wilkes is a stunning shawl!

The playful, two-tone Baya shawl designed by Mindy Wilkes on the cover of Pom Pom Quarterly's summer issue uses two skeins of SweetGeorgia fabulousness. Felicia put together some terrific colour combinations of the Baya shawl as kits for Unwind Brighton and we were lucky to snag one for our GLYC door prizes before they were all gone! The kit features a skein of Tough Love Sock in Ultraviolet, with the contrast lace a skein of CashSilk Lace in Wisteria that feels like a little cloud. It's going to make a gorgeous shawl - or whatever the lucky winner wants to knit with it!

If the lucky winner doesn't already have the spring issue of Pom Pom to make the shawl, those nice PPQ gals will make sure that they get a copy so they can knit this wonderful shawl!

And for extra good measure, the lovely SweetGeorgia team has also donated a skein of their soft and bouncy Superwash Worsted in Hush, that we'll be popping into the extra special gift basket to be raffled off at the after party. Thank you SweetGeorgia and Felicia!

We'll have more details about the gift basket in a special blog post this weekend, and how you can get your tickets. Stay tuned!

GLYC Sponsor: Rock + Purl

We are thrilled that, even though the fabulous Ruth Garcia-Alcantud of rock+purl has abandoned the UK for the sunnier (maybe), more temperate (perhaps) climes of the Bay Area of California, she is still a staunch supporter of the GLYC. This year, she's providing a selection of her fantastic accessory patterns to go in the goody bags. Are you ready for a preview of her gorgeous designs?

First, there's the gloves, otherwise known as Butterfingers and Medianoche.



Then there's the glorious, gorgeous neckwear. Maybe you'll get Maighdean Mhara or Levante in your goody bag?
Maighdean Mhara


Personally, I'm torn between Lichen Mists and Rockpool as my pattern of choice...

Lichen Mists


...but that might just be because they're blue. As you can see, Ruth's designs are fresh, fun and wearable. And each pattern comes with a download code good until the end of November, so don't forget to grab your pdf files! You can see all of Ruth's other designs on her website or on her Ravelry designer page. You can also find her on her Ravelry groupTwitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Thank you again Ruth for all your support of GLYC and Refuge. We're sorry you're going to miss it this year, but maybe you can do a special trip back next time?