Combining two of my favourite things, food and wool, is guaranteed to make me a very happy girl. It also has the added bonus of ensuring that if non-knitting friends happen to be with me when I feel the gravitational pull of a yarn shop then they have a cafe while I go mad like a child in a sweet shop.
I make no apologies for these being largely in the UK, I haven’t had the delight of much yarn shopping abroad (I did stumble across a tiny yarn shop in Freiburg once which was delightful and I made a large purchase but no food involved).
West Yorkshire is blessed with some fabulous yarn shops and its hard to not add them all to this list but I’m going to stick to the principle of wool and food. So here are those special places I have stumbled across on my travels around the UK where you can eat and buy wool. Nirvana.
I’ll keep adding to this as I find new places I love.
1. Woollyknit, Diggle, Saddleworth
Definitely in my top 3 favourite places as not only is Woollyknit within 6 miles of my house but they stock a great selection of good value 100% locally sourced wool in a fabulous array of colours and weights. They also run courses throughout the year. Their gorgeous little cafe has a path out on to the Huddersfield Canal so it attracts not just knitting-nutters but also local folk and walkers, as there isn’t really anywhere else to eat in Diggle. The food is fabulous too and its open 7 days a week. What’s not too love!
2. Spunshop, Huddersfield
Ok, this is cheating as Spunshop does’t have its own cafe. But I love Byram Arcade in Huddersfield as its a small shopping centre with quirky shops and a great place to get food in the Blue Room. Spunshop is fantastic for having a really good selection of high quality and local yarns as well as some of the bigger brand treats. They also run some brilliant workshops usually with published knitwear designers, such as Ann Kingstone (I love her!).
3. The Conduit Cafe, Middleton in Teesdale
In the heart of Middleton in Teesdale in the North Pennines, The Conduit cafe is really a cafe that has been in the village for 100 years and is a popular rest stop for walkers completing the Pennine Way long distance trail. However, on collapsing there myself after a long section of the walk I was almost deliriously happy to find they also sell the most amazing selection of yarns from local sheep. If you’re in the area, (and you really must visit Middleton in Teesdale its gorgeous) then definitely pop in.
4. Farfield Mill, Sedburgh
Nestled in the heart of Sedbergh on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales and easy reach of the M62, Farfield Mill is a great place to admire and purchase the handicrafts of local artists, many of them working in textiles. There is also some yarn to be purchased here, and if you’re lucky the bargain basket of wool yarn will be there and you can get some really good bargains. The Mill is also a heritage museum of the local woollen industry and worth a visit, but definitely stop at the cafe on the lower floor which is a lovely spot to eat and relax. I recommend the cake!
5. This is Knit, Dublin
Yes!! My first non-UK store on here! This is Knit can be found in the Powerscourt Townhouse shopping centre in Dublin, another shopping centre with quirky lovely shops. It is a gorgeous yarn store which has a great range of yarn from across Ireland, much of it handspun and hand dyed. There is also a really good cafe in the shopping centre too.
6. Karelia House, Aberfeldy
You don’t have to be in the middle of the city to find amazing places for craft essentials. Karelia House is tucked away on the edge of the Trossachs National Park in Scotland, not far from Perth. Its a lovely space with all the odds and ends for sewing and knitting you’ll ever need. I was a wee bit surprised not to see more Scottish yarns, but the fabric selection is amazing. The cake and coffee is well worth a stop too!