Postcard from... London

Today's postcard is from Allison and Rachel, the makers behind the Yarn in the City brand. Being a part of the London 'knitting scene' has lead to their website, podcast, book and various events (find my review here) dedicated to celebrating the yarn-crafting community within their adopted home. Here's what they have to say about it...

Is it weird for two expats from North America to write about how London inspires them? In a city where everyone is from somewhere else, it can be a rarity to meet a born-and-bred Londoner. What we love most though are the ideas that everyone brings with them and how they are shared and generate new bursts of inspiration. The result is a ‘creative cluster’ of talent and community – themes that we’ve talked about in the past on our podcast.

London icons at night
London is a ripe with places for makers to find inspiration, supplies and other like-minded individuals to collaborate with. The Great London Yarn Crawl grew out of our exploration of the city’s myriad yarn shops and was built on an idea from North America. When it can seem like most people aren’t valuing handcrafts any more, it’s reassuring to see how just how many yarn shops a large city can produce and support, and how they’ve each managed to carve out their own niche. 

These differences are what we like to show off and celebrate with each year’s GLYC. There are posh yarn shops and ethically-minded yarn shops, shops specialising in British yarns and local makers as well as yarn shops catering to the multi-craftual with fabric and haberdashery amongst their offerings. Each is a reflection of their owner, their neighbourhood and their customers. A prime example is the East London Yarn Triangle, a loose conglomeration that has evolved from the creative hub of talent in Hackney and Stoke Newington. (If ever you’ve got a small amount of time to explore London yarn shops, we suggest you start here as it’s a great way to crack off a mini yarn crawl of your own!)

GLYC 2014 - Team Shetland
With all the amazing talent and vision flowing in London, it’s hard not to feel constantly jazzed and inspired. We feel so incredibly lucky and grateful to have been able to turn that inspiration into Yarn in the City - sharing and promoting the making community through our book, the London Craft Guide, and our various events. As makers there’s something intimate about sharing our favourite places and finds, like telling a secret or whispering insider information.

It’s a good thing we’re terrible at keeping secrets! And that there are so many great shops, designers and other makers for us to explore. Unintentionally, as we’ve fallen in love with our adopted country, our enthusiasm for the yarn-world has expanded beyond London. This November we’re proud to be hosting the first ever Yarnporium in London – a marketplace featuring some of our favourite makers from across the UK. We hope it will be a good excuse for crafters to come to London in search of their own creative spark and inspiration.

See you there?

Rachel (L) and Allison (R) - photo by Helen Stewart

Yes, I'll be there!! If you’d like to keep up with Allison and Rachel and their goings-on with Yarn in the City you can visit their website (here) and sign up to their newsletter (click the blue bar at the top of the page). You can also follow them on Instagram. And if you’d like to join this year’s Great London Yarn Crawl there are still a handful of tickets available (I'm going to that too!).

You can find the rest of the posts in this series here, and join in with your own stories of location- inspired crafting, using #makerspostcards on Instagram. Be sure to tag me @craftsfromthecwtch


  1. I didn't know you were going to the yarn crawl! So am I - hopefully see you at the after party! xx

    1. Great!!!! (It's a bit of a trek for me, but I'm sure it'll be worth it!)


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