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!


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)