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I won’t have time. I may have time. Wow! I have a morning free.

Those of you who travel with non yarn loving family members know the dilemma: you head blissfully into a yarn store, content to browse for at least an hour. Even supportive and appreciative gift recipients can only handle so much yarn handling and pattern browsing. To truly enjoy a yarn shop sejour, send the friends and family away and soak it up yourself.

While planning a stopover in London with my hub earlier this month, I believed I might do my usual pilgrimage to Liberty (which was a bit disappointing this time… the fabric shopping is better in their online store!). With the London Fashion Week just days away, perhaps I missed the good stuff. I hoped to stop by Loop Knitting in Islington to pick up the newest issue of Pom Pom Quarterly. That seemed unlikely.

Yarn Islington Loop London

But serendipitous schedule scrambles allowed me to jump on the Tube on morning, knitting happily as the stations sped by. Once in Islington, I escaped the quickly moving escalator to find a cute little espresso truck. Good sign!
Yarn Islington Loop London

Loop’s little map did not have a scale identifying the actual distance from the station to the yarn shop, so I was surprised to find it not more than 200 yards away. The cozy little shop is spread on two floors, filled with foreign accented chatter, lovely shop samples and WHAT? – large selection of Quince and Co yarns. Fun offerings from Habu dotted the downstairs as well. Grrr.

Did I travel all of the way here to find yarns I already enjoy at home? Being Boston based, I know we have a fabulous LYS scene. I expected Debbie Bliss and Rowan yarns, UK standards available across the continents. But all of the way here for these quality materials I already knew? Has globalization hit the yarn scene, diluting the local characteristics of all yarn shops?

I found my Pom Pom Quarterly right away, but I felt like the spoiled little girl. Where were the UK indie yarns?

Whew! Upstairs, I found the cozy sofa, Jamieson spindrift (like smelling salts, I tell you) and a variety of hand dyed and small UK yarn providers.
Yarn Islington Loop London
Yarn Islington Loop London
Yarn Islington Loop London
Yarn Islington Loop London
Of course, I couldn’t resist the Old Maiden Aunt sport weight alpaca, silk and wool combo… and I needed a pattern to use that precious shank. So I purchased the Juju’s Loops book, which had a lovely fingerless mitt and sweater pattern that I couldn’t resist.

Excellent souvenirs, I decided.

Back on the Camden Passage, I continued up the pedestrian street to admire shop windows.Yarn Islington Loop London
Yarn Islington Loop London
Yarn Islington Loop London
Yarn Islington Loop London

Cafes, antique shops (all closed on a Tuesday morning), chocolate shops mingled to create an interesting little walk. I was glad to for time to wander into Loop.