Learn how-to do a crochet cast off and Russian cast off with Rachel from Sitting Knitting in Birmingham, England.
How did you get started?
I opened Sitting Knitting on 14 September 2013. I'm a lifelong knitter and when a building became available in a busy village very near to home, the opportunity was too good to pass up. There were a lack of quality yarn shops on this side of Birmingham and I knew that there would be plenty of crafty people grateful for their own local yarn shop.
Where are you located?
I'm in Mere Green, Four Oaks. Five minutes drive from Sutton Coldfield, 20 minutes from Lichfield and we have Four Oaks Station, on the Birmingham Cross City Line, is a 10 minute walk away.
Which products do you specialise in?
We specialise in quality yarns including Debbie Bliss, West Yorkshire Spinners, Manos Del Uruguay, Araucania, Mirasol, UK Alpaca, Artesano, Opal, Rico, Louisa Harding, Fyberspates and King Cole. We have the widest range of needles, hooks and accessories in the area from Knit Pro and Clover and all the knitting and crochet haberdashery that you could need, including stitch markers, stitch holders, sewing-up needles, buttons and ribbons.
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
Our biggest selling yarn is Rico Essentials Aran - fabulous colours, a dream to knit with and great value too! I absolutely love Manos Del Uruguay Serena and Botany Lace; both a dream to knit or crochet with.
What's on the stereo?
At the moment I've got Elvis x 2 - both Presley and Costello, but just as likely to be Frank Sinatra, Carly Simon, The Alarm, Tom Petty, James Taylor, Doris Day or Classical.
Where else should we visit in your area?
Mere Green itself is full of lovely coffee shops and eateries but if you have half a day definitely make the trip to Lichfield to see the wonderful Cathedral and have a panini in Chapters Restaurant in The Close.
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
We're really looking forward to Yarn Shop Day again this year! We're lucky enough to have a little garden so if the Weather Gods are with us we can have a day of al fresco knitting! We want to combine promoting the shop with helping a local charity (Birmingham Children's Hospital) so we shall have knitting and crochet taster sessions and refreshments, offering discounts on purchases made on the day and running a raffle with some fabulous prizes! We also have four workshops to look forward to for the first half of the year - Knitting socks from the toe up and Finishing Techniques with Anniken Allis and Procion and Natural Dyeing with Debbie Tomkies - hoping to be dyeing in the garden as we were last year.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
We have a fabulous little community of like-minded people - we all love our crafty activities and learn new things from each other all the time. For us, the hobbies of both knitting and crochet give us so much more than appreciating the finished garment: the choosing of the yarn, the discussions with friends on pros and cons of different materials, the showing-off at knitting night and the pride of wearing an original creation can not be underestimated. Opening Sitting Knitting was one of the best ideas I've ever had!
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