A yarn update, some squooshy wool, and a shop review

Madelinetosh "Tosh DK" in the Tern colourway

I know, I know – it’s all boom or bust around here.  You wait ages for a single post, then two come along practically together.

Let’s start with the squooshy wool which I’ve posted a picture of.  This is the lovely Tosh DK, purchased this week on a trip to Loop in Islington.  I took some quick snaps yesterday afternoon then immediately wound it into a ball and made a start on a cowl in simple feather and fan lace.  It’s beautiful yarn, I’m enjoying working with it, and the colourway is delicious – grey, but with a subtle hint of something slightly lilac bringing a tinge of warmth to it.  It ranges from darker to lighter parts, but not distractingly so.  Yummy.

I did cycle over to Norfolk Yarn yesterday, but had to order the Manos del Uruguay Silk Blend.  It’s slightly disappointing not being able to cast on immediately for the cardigan, but I would rather wait and have it in the perfect colour.

As I’ve already alluded to, I spent Tuesday in London; more specifically in Islington.  I had a trio of shops to investigate there and I’m going to start with a quick review of Raystitch which was my first visit of the day.

Raystitch is primarily a sewing shop, with a small amount of knitting yarn and an integral cafe.  They have an online shop which I found months ago whilst searching for button sources.  The real-world shop is a treat.  It is quite small (a feature of all the shops I visited in Islington) but impeccably neat (not, unfortunately, a feature of all the shops!).  After a three-hour coach journey down to London and the underground trip from Victoria to Islington, my first priority was coffee and cake.  The coffee was coffee, the Bakewell Tart was delicious – moist with extremely good pastry and just the right amount of jam.

I don’t sew (I keep thinking I might one day, but that day has yet to come) so the stock was of limited interest.  If they had had any of the fabric printed with bicycles which I’ve seen in their online shop, I would probably have bought a metre just for fun, but I couldn’t spot it.  It was my intention to visit Loop that day, so I didn’t really look at their yarns.  They had a bit of the Rowan/Debbie Bliss type.  What they do provide are the more unusual bits and bobs like Japanese pattern books, and rather ‘designer’ accessories for sewing.  I bought a couple of things to use as stocking-fillers for Christmas and, of course, I found the little metal measuring gauge to add to my collection of knitting accessories so the visit was well worthwhile.

Service was good, staff seemed helpful, and it was unhurried and pleasant.  I should note that the opening hours of this shop were what I would consider normal – 8.30am to 6.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday.  You will see over the next couple of days that the opening times in Islington can be a bit odd.  If you sew I would recommend a visit to check out the fabrics and the off-beat selection of pattern books.  If you knit but don’t sew I would recommend a visit for the cakes!

 

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