Yes! Wild and Woolly is most definitely a yarn shop. But it’s also other things which aren’t always easy to get a handle on if you’re not able to swing by and visit us in Clapton. So for those of you who live too far away, or who’ve only recently joined in by subscribing to this newsletter, it feels like high time we showed you around a bit more and introduced ourselves..
Wild and Woolly is run by me and Brontë.
In general Brontë is responsible for getting your parcels of wool out to you when you order online, and I take care of getting the wool into the shop for you to pick from in the first place.
Choosing which yarns to sell to you tends to be a joint effort, and brings together Brontë’s brilliant eye for colour combining, and my interest in small producers with local production circles and integrity-rich manufacturing processes. We both share a love of sheepy woolly wools so you can expect to see yarns from a range of different traceable breeds whose wool is characterfully spun and thoughtfully dyed. Sourcing these kinds of yarns needs us to understand the people, the sheep and the processes that make it, so as far as possible we stick to getting yarn from British and European producers who we can have personal contact with. Their stories are integral to the yarn you’re knitting with, so do ask if you want to know more, or alternatively, sit down with a cup of tea and read more about them in these newsletters over the next months.
If you’re able to come in person (and we really hope you can!) you’re just as likely to be helped out by either of us. We are both very experienced knitters and like nothing more than solving knitting puzzles, so if your stitches go awry and you’re feeling a bit out of love with your project, you are always welcome to come in and we will do our best to work things out and reconcile you with your knitting. Other talents we have include finding the right pattern for you and your skills, calculating yarn quantities, substituting different yarns, knowing when to fudge it and when all else fails, counselling you through having to rip something back.
As well as being a shop, Wild and Woolly is also a knitting community where you can come and make friends with other knitters over a drink and a nosh (see our monthly Late Night Knitty Lock-in), and a workshop where you can take classes which will teach you to make things you didn’t know you could, and learn new skills.
Although we are a business which needs to operate within the market and steer a viable path, we are guided as much by principles of sustainability as profitability. The growth we are most interested in, concerns growing your sweaters and getting them to fit you nicely. We will always do our best to find wool which fits your budget, we maintain a Stash Depot for getting wool out from under your stairs and into the hands of knitters who could do with a cheaper source of yarn, we have Yarn Forward tokens next to the till for low income knitters to help with the cost of their supplies, and we are always happy to advise on what to knit with the wool you have already if you’d rather not buy anymore.
So it’s a shop, 2 shop keepers, a community, a workshop, and it’s also a source of stories, many of which I tell each week in this newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading them!
Oh, and then of course there’s also our knitting…
Brontë is busy with 2 projects on her needles at the moment – The Stripe Overload Polo by Spektakel Knits which she’s making in Studio Donegal’s Soft Donegal, and this beautiful Lakes Pullover by Ozetta in Rauwerk Original – so great it’s her second one – pictured here with the sleeves still to go, which means you can also see her Minna No sweater underneath, which she made in Rosa Pomar’s Vovó yarn.
Meanwhile I’ve just finished the Betula Cardigan by Jacqueline Van Dillen in Sheepsoft by Laxtons, and loved the yarn so much I’ve cast on with it again straight away to make the Simplicity Jumper by Norgardknitters.
Delicious yarn aside, the project didn’t end as well as I’d hoped, which is why it’s being modelled by a coat hanger instead of me. There is (of course) a story to tell, but you’ll have to wait until next week for that one..