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November 24, 2022 5 min read 3 Comments
I am so delighted to bring back a beloved category to the blog: "Where in the world is Making Stories?", in which I chat to a wonderful stockist of ours and introduce you to their story. LYS - local yarn shops - are crucial to our community, and to small businesses like ours, which is why I can't wait to get more stockists into the spotlight here!
We're starting off with a very special guest today - Knit With Attitude in London. Maya has been a champion of Making Stories since the beginning, and I was lucky enough to meet her (and George) in September at Unravel. She's recently expanded her shop, and I loved hearing all about it, and about how she selects which products to carry!
Knit With Attitude have been around since 2010 when my family moved to London to start our woolly adventure. It was really a bit of an accident. I’d spent a year in London in 2006 doing a master’s degree in production (my background is in media and filmmaking) and being Norwegian was surprised that there were only two good yarn shops in London! There’s more now of course but at the time we joked that if we ever found ourselves not knowing what to do we could always move to London and open a yarn shop.
Every single yarn in our shop has an ethical ethos whether it is about workers’ rights, sustainability, social communities or more and we love sharing the positive and encouraging stories behind them. That ethos and those stories are what we’re looking at first when deciding if we’re going to carry a brand.
It’s hard to pick a favourite but we have become known for being a go-to place for everything project bags and needle cases. We love everything from Plystre, Twig & Horn, Woolly Originals and Thread & Maple. Yarn-wise we love our great independent British brands like Garthenor Organic, John Arbon Textiles, Riverknits and Stranded Dye Works. Plus our naturally dyed yarns from Hey Mama Wolf and G-uld are always popular.
We love carrying brands that care about the same things we do so there was a natural alignment with Making Stories’ values of sustainability, transparency and inclusivity. Our shop is open to all and where visitors can find engaging conversations, the support they need, and of course laughter! Knit With Attitude is unpretentious, anti-cliquish, open-minded and a space we hope people feel is theirs and where they belong. We’re a hub in the heart of our community and we see Making Stories creating that same community space with your readers.
As part of our recent shop expansion we also changed our branding to a brilliant illustrated logo by designer Aleks Byrd that was created for our 10 year anniversary. We decided with all the changes in the shop that it was the perfect time to adopt it permanently! With the expanded space, we added a cosy knitting space and George, a key member of our team who has become my right hand in the business, decided we’d need throw cushions. He painstakingly translated the new logo onto a chart and knit it in stranded colourwork. And he knit it flat! Then he embroidered the name of the shop as well. It’s fantastic and I was blown away. There was such a great response to it that we’ve made it a free pattern download on our website so that everyone can add some Knit With Attitude to their life, be it on a jumper or cardigan, or a cross stitch, whatever strikes your fancy. We’re all wanting Pink Ladies-inspired knitted bomber jackets with it on the back next!
George (above on the left) made this stunning KWA throw cushion to celebrate the new space
When we opened Knit With Attitude in our current space 10 years ago we shared the space with another small creative business called Of Cabbages & Kings that sold handmade crafts by local makers. Our thought was for both our businesses to share the rent, the utilities, rates, basically the risk that you have when you’re a new small business. Doing this allowed both our businesses to grow, and in fact we were starting to burst at the seams in our shared space. This year, Of Cabbages & Kings decided to move out of London to Frome in Somerset and open a shop there and it just made sense for us to take over the rest of the space. We’ve been naturally growing and adding shelving pretty much anywhere we could in the shop the last few years so the transition has allowed us to spread things out and welcome back some brands that we used to have but rotated out due to space constraints before.
We’re probably most excited about our new yarn feature wall that’s the first thing you see when you come into the shop. We’ve created a rainbow explosion of colour that is so tempting to visitors. It’s a great way for us to showcase a lot of our hand dyed yarns and helpful for visitors who are coming in looking for a particular colour for a project. The other thing we’re really excited about is being able to welcome back brands that we’ve carried in the past like Istex Lopi and Noro, to name a few.
Knit With Attitude's beautiful space, filled with gorgeous yarns, publications and fresh flowers.
We have plans to introduce more great yarns and brands to the shop like Raincloud & Sage, The Raw Wool Company, and local London dyer Bona Yarns. Plus we’re also planning events and workshops for our new space including a weekend with Julie Knits in Paris and Tuva Hoen of Norne Yarns and a special talk on sustainability in yarn production with Jonny from Garthernor Organic. And now that yarn shows are happening again we’d love to get out there and share our stories with people outside of London too.
Thank you so much, Maya, for taking the time - it was such a pleasure to learn more about Knit With Attitude, and I can't wait to stop by the next time I'm in London!
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