Inspired by the Great London Yarn Crawl, I’m starting a new series here of my own “Crafty Crawl Around the World”. While living in London, we frequently travel to all parts of Europe, America and Asia for families and holidays. I almost never visit a place without checking out the sewing and knitting shops there. For years I’ve been keeping the photos and souvenirs to myself. How selfish of me. It’s time to share
So without further ado, let’s get started with… London! I recently started spinning and a friend told me about the Handweaver’s Studio, a hand weaving and spinning treasure trove in Finsbury Park, north east London. It is on the Victoria line which I frequently take to Walthtamstow for my fabric hauls (a separate post some day). So last week we went promptly.
The place is a short walk from finsbury park tube station and has a quite plain easy-to-miss front. The inside however, is nothing but. It has an open and airy layout with almost library like shelves full of fibres for weaving and spinning. Just looking at the variety of colours and textures can keep me entertained for hours even through I don’t weave and just started basic spinning.
Then there’s the army of looms and spinning wheels. I had to tell myself it’s not yet time to touch them yet… Not till we move to a more permanent house and I have more spare time etc etc. But I’m making mental note to come back someday and try them out. The studio does offer classes on both weaving and spinning at all levels, which is another great way to try things before making a commitment to a new piece of equipment.
With a loom or wheel out of the shopping list of the day, We spent most of our time there petting the bags and bags of fibres for sale by weight. As a new spinner it’s great to see and touch the various breeds of wool and alpaca in person, after drooling over their online images for a while.
My friend and I had a blast with the dyed merino tops for spinning and felting. They are arranged by hues in a rainbow array of bags on the floor. We entertained and consulted each other on putting 3-4 colours together to ooh and aaahh. These balls of colours are then weighed on an old fashioned scale. At £35 a kilo it’s a steal. I got 10 colours to play with for less than £7. That’s hours and hours of fun for very little cost.
I’m glad my friend told me about this place and I’m looking forward to going back there soon. Once home I started playing with the colour combos right away. These are my palette of this autumn I’m thinking of trying the pseudo rolags or fauxlags method to mix and spin them.
Now the question is – which combo? 😉