Big Ben

We had a great time in London. The weather was very nice, it was like summer, I didn’t wear my coat at all. We visited a lot of yarn shops, I loved seeing all the yarns. I learned that I like the Rowan yarns best. They are very good in good medium priced yarns for sweaters. I like the luxurious simplicity of their yarns.

Strangely enough I didn’t buy any yarn at all! It was just too much. I didn’t know what to choose. But I know a lot more about the yarns I do and don’t like.

I liked the yarn section at John Lewis, Oxford Street best. They have a lot of Rowan, all neatly showcased. Liberty was good too. I made a list of my yarn observations (all Rowan yarns):

Kid Silk Haze: looks a lot like the Kid Silk from Garnstudio Drops I own, but not with a separated silk strand. Lots of colours. Good yarn.

Lenpur Linen: beautiful to see, nice sheen, but it felt a bit fragile, like a viscose yarn. Not for me.

Alpaca Cotton: a white strand with soft fluff around it. Looks very beautiful, but I am afraid it will be a bit too soft and fragile.

Kid Classic: already a classic for me, very good yarn, soft, light, not too hairy.

Felted Tweed: also a very good yarn, beautiful colours, I would like to have them all

Wool Cotton: I am thinking about knitting a sweater in this yarn, and it feels good, a blend between wool and cotton, soft and it looked stronger than I thought it would be

Pure Wool: I already used this yarn, good soft basic yarn

Cocoon: this yarn is not for me, I think it looks like a synthetic yarn, although it doesn’t contain any, it’s merino and kid mohair

Colourscape Chunky: I didn’t like this yarn as much as I thought I would, the colours are not my style. The wool looks like a one ply, but is a two ply as far as I could see. Very soft, nice looking yarn, it’s just not my style.

Summer Tweed: I don’t like the touch and look of this yarn. It looks like paper strings. I love the garments in Summer Tweed in the Rowan books, so it must be beautiful once knitted, but I don’t like the yarn. Maybe I’ll try it out some day in a small garment.

Scottish Tweed: very beautiful tweed yarn, but not very soft. I already have some in my stash. I think I’ll love it very much.

Rowan Lima: extremely soft tape yarn and beautiful heathered colours. A bit expensive though. If you can afford it go for it.

RYC Silky Tweed: I didn’t like the look of this yarn, I thought I would like it very much, but I didn’t. Maybe I don’t like matte silk?

Cotton Glace and Sienna: these cottons looked very similar to me. Very nice sheen and colours, I would love to knit with them some day.

Purelife Organic Cotton: Feels very soft, matte look, would buy it immediately but I hate soft colours. I hope there will be stronger colours in the future, like they made for the Organic Wool.

Handknit Cotton: matte cotton, looks like a nice basic cotton

Milk Cotton: a soft sheen, feels nice, lighter than pure cotton and a little bit more fragile

RYC Cashsoft 4 ply: I am knitting with this yarn right now. I like it very much, it is less soft than the Cashmerino from Debbie Bliss, but feels very nice and bouncy. Good yardage.

Rowan Purelife British Sheep Breeds chunky and DK: I looked at this yarn a lot of times. It is not dyed but has natural colours. From the chunky yarns I liked the dark brown yarn best, Black Welsh, but it is not soft. From the chunky yarns the white yarn is the softest. The Shetland is also not soft but it looks very nice, like straw. I think those yarns are best for jackets, except the soft white.

The DK British Sheep Breeds yarns are much softer, I think you could use them for  a lot of things. But here also the white one is the softest. But the brown is still soft enough for a sweater.

I think my next yarn purchase will be either the Black Welsh chunky yarn (but I haven’t decided yet what to knit with it) or the British Sheep Breeds DK, midbrown Bluefaced Leicester or brown Bluefaced Leicester. The midbrown is a tiny bit softer than than the brown. I want to knit Rydall From the Purelife Winter Collection, and that design has a high neckline, so it should be soft. My neck is sensitive for itchy yarns.

I bought the Purelife Winter Collection at John Lewis, and I like this book very much. What a landscape, I would love to walk in it some day. There are a lot of designs I like, at this moment I like Rydall (A-line sweater with cables) and Ambleside, a cabled tunic, best.

I also bought a lot of needles at John Lewis: 2,25 mm, 2,75 mm, 3,25 mm, 3,75 mm, they are hard to get in the Netherlands. I also bought 4mm, 4,5 mm and 5 mm in bamboo, because they are lighter in than the metal ones I own. I hope they will be less hard on my hands.

We went to Loop in Islington the next day. A very good shop for luxurious yarns for shawls and sock yarns. I liked the Alpaca Silk from Blue Sky Alpacas very much. A soft yarn with a nice sheen from the silk. I would like to try it out some day, maybe for some elegant mittens.

We also visited I Knit London. They have a lot of different yarns, yarns for sweaters, for socks and they have a lot of books. I bought a book from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee there: Yarn Harlot the Secret Life of a Knitter. I have already been reading it, I liked it a lot, such funny stories. I would like to read more from her.  I love passionate people. I also bought the book Sock Innovation from Cookie A. Her socks are pieces of art. I hope I will manage to knit them. She also tells a lot about sock  designing, interesting to read.

Although it looks like it, we didn’t only shop:

books London

We need a new bookcase though.

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