I know that there are some other threads on this subject, but most of them are a few years old now. I'm looking for a wool shop that sells cheap wool, to be used for small projects such as baby clothes, toys and tea cosies. I know about Loop, Nest, John Lewis (all of which I've been to) and the shop on Blackstock Road (which I'm planning to visit). It seems that as knitting is "trendy" at the moment, yarn prices have rocketed and it is no longer even nearly cost effective to knit a gift for a friend's baby rather than buy something ready made, but I really enjoy the creative process and the extra love that goes into a handmade gift (I'd rather receive a handmade gift, so I'd rather give one as well).
Any ideas, give me a shout.
P.S. I'm also looking at online shops and eBay, but I'd prefer to actually see what I'm getting before buying it if possible
the marketplace in Wood Green shopping centre (out the back of the Mall) has a stall for sewing/knitting things including wool.
It's sort of on the left at the back, assuming you go into the marketplace via the shopping centre.
Selby's on Holloway Rd sells a fantastic range of cheap acrylic, cheaper than Lenarow on Blackstock.
Having said that, Nest does the Drops range which is very reasonably priced. Their Alpaca/Merino blend is about £2 a ball.
There's also Sosusie on Archway market every Saturday, and Knit with Attitude in Stoke Newington, a bit more expensive but really lovely yarns and eco-friendly owned by local people.
I'd say that if you are knitting something for a gift, it's totally worth paying for a quality yarn as acrylic really is a bit naff and not kind next to baby skin (although is machine washable so you have to weigh up the pros & cons, and good for toys). Beware buying from ebay as it could come infested with moths or larvae, a common problem with secondhand wool, which can spread to your existing stash and clothing, so if you do buy secondhand put it in the freezer for a week, take out for a day then refreeze for a couple of days to kill the larvae. Also bear in mind that you get more for your yardage if you knit an open-fabric like lace, so even a couple of balls of nice stuff can yield something quite lovely which can be treasured for generations if looked after properly. I can't say that for the cheap acrylic garments from my childhood!
If you're not already on it, Ravelry.com is a great source of inspiration and yarn ideas.
Good luck - and if I can be of further assistance let me know.
I agree re. acrylic and baby skin, and also on the balance between that and machine washing (and tumble drying, for that matter!) - I guess it depends on who you're knitting for and what will be the most important for them, as well as what you're knitting.
The stuff I was looking at on eBay was actually new, not secondhand, but yes, moths can be a pain.
Lauren, I just wanted to say a huge thank you for pointing me in the direction of ravelry.com - it's fantastic! I've now got a queue of patterns to knit, and all that money I save on patterns, I'll be able to spend on expensive yarn ;)
I have also found that for really, really cheap acrylic DK (if that's what is required for a particular project), Wilkinsons is the place - £1.27 for a 100g ball.
Yes Ravelry is great, I'm a little bit addicted to it! Have you discovered the Stroud Green & Finsbury Park group on there?
It's the Well Oiled Festival on Saturday in Finsbury Park, Sosusie will be there with her yarn stall and we'll be doing knitting demos and teaching children and adults to knit as well as collecting squares for the community blanket.
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