The Wool Baa, Sheffield

I know I am on to a good thing when I walk into a wool shop and there are colours everywhere from floor to ceiling, with stacks of yarn threatening to collapse with the slightest draft. The Wool Baa is a small shop, but every square centimetre of space is used.

Jill is the proud owner of this lovely and friendly shop. She is colourful, helpful, funny and apparently prone to abuse her customers. There even is an abuse notification pinned on the wall, with a scale that goes from sarcasm to utter contempt. This sets the atmosphere nicely and the customers know what to expect! When I asked Jill if I could take photos to write a review for my blog she guffawed and said “Well that depends on what you’re gonna say!” The shoppers who were in when I went were friendly and happy to chat with me even though I was a newbie in their little community and a far from home, one-off visitor.

The shelves hold a good choice of yarns and I found some Rico cotton at a good price. I very much like the fact that in most yarns many colours are stocked, rather than a few arbitrary choices. I bought 12 balls for my project, in an array of 9 hues, 6 in harmonies of lilac, magenta, purple and lavender, 1 for a base colour of natural linen and 1 golden green for a bit of contrast. I was so excited about this new project that I started crocheting in the car on the journey back to Southampton. It took us 7 hours to get back home (horrendous journey with lots of traffic jams) so I made good progress…

Verdict: a great little shop that looks a bit messy, just enough to make you feel comfortable.

What did I buy: 12 balls of Rico Essentials Cotton DK

Will I go back: yes

Internet Link:

PS: Save the Sheffield trees!


Get Knitted, Brislington, Bristol

If you are around Bristol and you have a car, Get Knitted is worth the inconvenience of driving through a few miles of uninteresting cityscape. The area is not pretty, but the shop itself is pretty amazing.


The first impression getting past the front door is “Wow, this is huge!” I mean huge. It almost has the feel of a warehouse about it. The space is divided by shelves, counters and stands, so the visitors can weave their way through. There is also a coffee corner, which is nice, especially with the large display of magazines (past issues included) and so many patterns to peruse.

A hundred granny blankets are displayed and for sale, all crocheted by the staff, all in traditional heavy-ish yarns and bright colours. I also liked the old prams and perambulators covered in blankets and hosting hordes of crocheted and knitted toys. It looked cosy, especially coming in from a cold grey day on a grey street.


I did weave my way through, starting with the stands of knitting accessories. There were lots of interesting little things I had not seen before, like “Little gadgets that could be useful and I am not going to resist them much longer…”

The choice of yarns was vast, but I had difficulty finding anything without sheep wool in it. I am allergic to wool, which is a bit of a problem for a crochetteuse. I am ok with baby alpaca and cashmere. The modern merinos have yet to be fully tested, especially on my neck, but I have hopes for some of them, as they are really soft to the touch.


At the back of the shop there are a few fabrics but this is clearly not the focus of the business and wouldn’t be worth a sewing trip.

On the shelves against the wall are displayed a good range of gifts, made by local people, which is something I always like to see. The crocheted mice by Button Meadow were really cute.

Verdict: well stocked for yarns and knitting/crochet accessories. I like the fact that they stock locally made goods.


What did I buy: hand-dyed bright yellow lace weight skein (yes, with a hint of glitter!), a little tube of needles, a row counter and a shawl pattern.

Will I go back: yes

Internet link:

Great online shop

Spinning Weal, Clevedon (near Bristol)

Mr Floraspatch and I took the opportunity of a Sisters of Mercy concert in Bristol to take a couple of days off in the area and we ended up in the beautiful Walton Park Hotel in Clevedon. Of course I googled “wool shops in Bristol” and started jumping up and down the corridor when I found out there was one in Clevedon, within walking distance of the hotel. Walking distance, my favourite…


The hotel was great, with a view of the sea from the bed, dreamy. Clevedon is actually really lovely. I had never heard of Clevedon before, but that’s the beauty of these little random trips. The pier is apparently the only grade I listed pier in England. And dogs wear fairisle jumpers, what more can you ask for?

Let’s get to the wool shop, after a walk in the bracing end of November sea air. I had to search my dictionary for “weal” because I couldn’t quite relate it to the spinning part… It has two main meanings: prosperity/happiness, or a nasty swollen mark on your skin. I expect the shop is named after the first one.



I love the knitted sign


The shop is on 2 floors, the ground floor being dedicated to wool and haberdashery and the first floor to fabrics and workshop space. There is definitely enough there to keep both knitters and sewers happy. The range of fabrics, patchwork and sewing notions is excellent and the fabric is sold both by the metre and in fat quarters. The workshop area is spacious and the second floor is more like a large open gallery, so there is no getting claustrophobic during the classes. spinningwealyarnsDownstairs, there is a well-stocked haberdashery and the range of yarns available is good too, for all budgets and all tastes. I quite liked the uncommon, interesting yarns such as a couple of yak skeins by the till. It is a shame neither colour would have been useful to me (a grass green and nice lilac, but I wouldn’t wear either). spinningwealfeltHad there been a charcoal or blue-grey, I would have bought one for my next crochet wrap. There is also row after row of felting wool, in candy jars aligned by colour. I had never seen so many.


Verdict: well stocked for textile and yarns, friendly owner and staff, beautiful setting. Clevedon itself is worth a day trip so good excuse to visit the shop too.

What did I buy: 3 Erika Knight linen skeins and a crochet pattern.

Will I go back: yes (To the same hotel too)

Internet link: (The web shop is sparse; a visit in person is the only way)