Sunday, September 11, 2011

Stash Enhancements

My work trip to Glasgow brought social stress... but it also gave me the chance to visit two lovely shops:  Yarn Cake and Mandors!
Yarn Cake is very near Glasgow Botanic Gardens - a great place to sit and knit if you have the time.   (And one of the few places in the city with open public toilets - don't get me started on that topic!)
The yarn selection is small, but perfectly formed:  a bookcase full of Drops, a smattering of Schoppel Wolle and Trekking... but the real attraction for me was a carefully-curated range of Scottish yarns:  Shilasdair from the Isle of Skye, New Lanark from... New Lanark, Yarn Yard from Edinburgh-ish, and a few skeins of Curious Cat sock wool.

After coffee and a slice of fantastic German apple cake (with a streusel topping) I browsed the shelves:  there was a small but intriguing selection of knitting books too - ooh!  I was sorely tempted by the plant-dyed Shilasdair Luxury DK.  If I had done my homework before I arrived, I would probably have bought three skeins in Tansy to knit a golden cardigan for myself.  And two in Logwood or Cochineal to knit the Naomi scarf, about which I have a new obsession ; )  ...but my brain left me, and I selected just one skein in Fleece Cloud, the undyed version - perfect for a baby garment!  It is very very very lovely!

My other yarn purchase was a pair of Zauberballs.  For a long time I have been planning a colourwork project using these, and I decided to make the investment:  this should be enough for two pairs of socks.

As my conference was located outside the city centre, I had to head back in to Glasgow Queen Street to catch a local train.  Although I was by now running out of time, I took a diversion via Cowcaddens underground station to visit Mandors fabric shop on Renfrew Street. It was much much bigger than I had ever imagined:  a shop that sells nothing but fabric and haberdashery!?  I had forgotten such things existed!  I did a quick recce, storing up inspiration but avoiding temptation, and decided to return to shop on my way home on Friday.

The moment my last lecture ended, I was hot-footing my way back across Glasgow.  I had an hour before my train left for the north and I was determined to use it wisely!  My priority was to find some teal wool for a Ginger skirt to wear with my Betty Jean cardigan this winter.  There were two shades available, and I chose the brighter.  It was £18.99 a metre, so by no means cheap, but I found some toning dotty lining in the sale section for just 99p!

I spent an awfully long time fondling some purple and lime herringbone wool coat fabric.  I was so tempted to buy enough to make up my Betsey Johnson 70's coat pattern... but it would have been an expensive risk.  I need to try it out in a cheap fabric first as it takes 4 metres!

Instead, I chose some aubergine wool with a touch of lycra, to make another pair of Audrey-esque trousers for the colder weather.  My black pair is wonderfully comfortable and still looked smart even after I curled up to knit on the train home : )

I did not buy:  grey dobby dot cotton, red corduroy broderie anglaise (ooh!), grey wool with 3D flowers all over it, amazing laser-cut cream cotton,  black and red rose-figured felted wool, super-drapey aubergine and fuschia floral cotton crepe... you get the picture!  Too much fabric, too little time, and too tight a budget to just go crazy and buy everything!

I made it to the station with a very few minutes to spare - phew!

And when I got home... my last Sock Hop Club package was waiting for me - woo hoo!
Colourway:  Mellow Yellow.
It is insanely bright but I love it!
Now if you will excuse me... I have some stitching to do ; )


Suzy said...

I go to Scotland about once a year so will keep these shops in mind when next i'm heading there.

Urban Rustic said...

Well after having suffered by having to be at a work related event all week you just had to treat yourself...although it does sound like you were quite restrained!!
All of the wools and the fabrics sound wonderful.I wish there was a shop like that near here.
The new sock wool looks wonderfully bright too!

Kestrel said...

Lovely purchases for some Autumn makes :)

christinelaennec said...

Wow you did make the best possible use of your conference! I haven't been to either of these shops but they are firmly on my list now. You brought back some beautiful fabrics and wool. And I love that yellow sock yarn! You will have golden socks if not a golden cardigan.

Sandy said...

So jealous! They do not have yarn shops in Colombia, at least not near my village. They have knitting supplies and a sort of heavy thread, but it is not 'yarn.' I yearn for that smooth and soft woolen stuff... oh well. I don't have the right to whine as I don't do even a fraction of the stuff you do... thanks for sharing though!

Annie said...

You managed to leave a yarn store with just one skein of yarn! Please explain your secret ... my bank balance needs to know how it's done ;D

Scruffybadger said...

Reading about your purchases ( and your restraint too) has made me feel so happy. I think it's because you were so clearly where you belong!! And you have impeccable taste And as above it's what you deserve after being with a load of un-creatives at the conference.

Roobeedoo said...

Ah "where do I belong?", the question of the century! But yes, Winnie, It is definitely somewhere involving yarn and fabric! And cake! ;)

faeriecollege said...

The teal wool and the dotty lining are making my heart skip. So fab. You sure know how to pick 'em :D

SM said...

Next time you're in the north of England check out Abakhan Fabrics. The one in Liverpool is bigger than Mandor's, and really reasonably priced.
Was just in Edinburgh, trawling the charity shops, and noticed the baskets of wool, yarn, patterns for knitting and sewing in almost every shop, which is something I never see in England! But where do people buy fabric in Edinburgh??

Roobeedoo said...

SM: the only fabric shop I found in Edinburgh is called Edinburgh Fabrics near the University. Thanks for the tip re Abakhan in Liverpool - though I have never been there! The North of England is a day away!

SM said...

Edinburgh fabrics was a big disappointment, made me appreciate Abakhan more than ever!
If you're coming this way: