Learn how-to make a mattress stitch on ribbing with The Sheep Shop, Cambridge.
How did you get started?
The shop opened in November 2011. I’d joined a knitting group which met in a Cambridge pub a couple of years before, and that really got me addicted to knitting. Before that I only ever did scarves, and found the people at knit group inspirational and loved talking about yarn. Going to work really got in the way of my knitting time! Bored in my office job, frustrated at the lack of yarn choice in Cambridge, the idea of opening a yarn shop kept popping into my head. I quit to open the shop and haven’t looked back.
Where are you located?
The University town of Cambridge. The Sheep Shop is a mile from the historic town centre and can be reached by a pleasant walk down the river or from Newmarket Road. The nearest landmark is the Travelodge, right opposite the front entrance is Godesdone Road and we are on the corner of Godesdone and Beche Roads. Directions to us are at http://www.sheepshopcambridge.co.uk/get-to-us.php.
Which products do you specialise in?
Yarns and tools for knitting and crochet, mostly natural fibres but we span a whole range. There’s lots of local and British wools alongside yarn from across the world...alpaca, llama, yak, cotton, a right gamut. We also have tops and tools for felters.
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
Yes! Bluefaced Leicester wool from West Yorkshire Spinners, the baby llama that is Araucania Puelo, a single-ply merino called Solo from local dyer Sparkleduck, and also a very cheap but extremely lovely half-cotton half-acrylic called Cotton On from James C Brett. They all feel exquisite between the fingers and make glorious projects. I’ve just cast on with some new yak lace-weight that might just hurtle to the top of the pile, but will reserve judgement until the shawl is completed and blocked.
What's on the stereo?
Radio 4 mostly, interspersed with tunage from Absolute 80s and occasionally local radio. At this moment it’s The Kitchen Cabinet and they’re talking about spice.
Where else should we visit in your area?
If you’re looking for craft shops try CallyCo just off the market square for fabric; Backstitch, also for fabric, which is a drive away in Barton; and The Beaderie on Magdalene Street for beads (surprise surprise).
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
Absolutely masses of classes. They cover mostly knitting and crochet, from complete beginners to advanced techniques, and also felting and spinning. Coming up within the next week we’ve got Needle-felted painting, Slip stitch knitting, Beginner socks and Beginner knitting. We’re very lucky to have fabulous teachers Joanne Scrace, Louise Tilbrook, Liz Marley, Anwen Astley and Kathy Ogilvie who live pretty close by, and attract teachers from further afield like Woolly Wormhead, Aoibhe Ni, Tom of Holland and Ann Kingstone.
Our delightful knit & crochet groups meet every Friday morning and every other Tuesday evening, and occasional groups for special causes like knitted yarn-bombing for the Tour de France, making a charity project or a knit-along.
Every so often we’re honoured to receive special visits for things like book signings and even musical knitting lectures (such a treat from Melanie Gall of The Savvy Girls! You can listen to a podcast about her visit to Cambridge here http://savvygirls.ca/episode-135-satchels/).
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Learn to knit and to crochet and then you can do the pretty edgings often found on vintage knitting patterns, if your hands start to ache you can swap crafts (though still take breaks regularly) and you can make so many more things and spend even more time browsing on Ravelry.
Do you have a favorite craft, art or supply shop in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!