Knitting Stories

‘..Yes, I’m in the wool shop. So I might be a while.’

These are the stories that tell tales of stitches and deviations, of undoings and re-doings, of where the wool came from and who it’s going to, of why it’s being made and most of all who is making it.

These are the stories that have been making it ‘take a while’ in the wool shop. They come from the knitters who are part of the life of this shop, and so it feels like a good time to see if we can find them again. It’s going to take me a while – many stories many knitters, but time is something we have. The only thing left to do is begin…

Knitting for misfits

Oh, you knit in a funny way, you’ve got the wool in the other hand!’ I’ve tried and failed to knit with wool ‘the other way’. I know it looks odd to people I’m teaching, but muscle memory is a strange thing and my hands have stubbornly refused to give up their old habits and knit the way folks round… Read more →

Unfortunately.. fortunately..

It was the Thursday before going away, and the Unfortunately.. Fortunately.. game started playing out in real life. Unfortunately the postman arrived early and Vi didn’t manage to get all the parcels into the sack. One was left over. Fortunately it was a Norfolk postcode Melton Constable address, which was exactly where we were headed the following Saturday. Unfortunately Google Maps didn’t recognise the address. Fortunately we found an… Read more →


It was Christmas Eve 2018. There were a last few last-minuters coming in for row counters and stitch markers to bulk out stockings, but the rush for yarn had passed. I looked around the shop struggling with the immensity of what had to be done over the coming week. Christmas Day was now all that stood between closing up and… Read more →


Carrot cake, lemon cake, chocolate cake.. Gail never arrives at the shop without a cake, her knitting and a smile that lights up the room. She comes from across town in Enfield to sweeten the shop’s monthly Late Night Knitty Lock-in, where she’s got the closest thing we have to a permanent seat reservation. There’s a pleasing pattern to the… Read more →


There was something a little magical about Sabira’s arrival at the Winter 2019 Sweater Club. Never mind that she’d only booked her place hours before it began or that most of the others were already serial sweater club attendees, or that she’d never even been in the shop before. She took a seat and pulled out some astonishingly beautiful deep… Read more →


I think of Cara and I hear the shop door swinging open and see her entering with a slightly perplexed look, and know it’s time to reach for my tape measure. Cara is in persuit of the perfect fit and her persuance of it, shouldn’t be underestimated. Cara’s finished sweaters, of which there are now reassuringly plenty, fit her so… Read more →


⁠ Francince Merry walked into the shop on a sunny morning just a few months after I opened in 2014, wearing a fabulously elaborately cabled red jacket, which she quickly explained had recently been featured in a big knitting magazine. She’d already started an even more impressive fairisle sweater by Catherine Earnshaw. I tried and failed to make a literary… Read more →


I’m beginning this series with Helen Eatherton, a prolific and skilled knitter who lives by the Essex coast. I follow her progress by the books and yarns she orders online. Occasionally she’ll rock up in person, quietly and unannounced. Like Mary Poppins she brings a bag from which she pulls out one fabulous completed project after another. She’ll already have… Read more →

Here I am

There was a time in the early days of the shop that I kept a clipboard next to the till. It had a biro tied on with some red twine, and its mighty spring-loaded clip held an unruly wodge of dog-eared sheets of paper, neatly lined and full of differently hand-written names. I used it to collect email addresses of… Read more →