I recently received this recommendation via the LYS Spotlight suggestion form:
Rachel has transformed this tiny little shop, the only yarn shop in Stamford, into a veritable slice of yarn heaven. It is packed with gorgeous yarns, patterns and kits, but without feeling cramped. She is very friendly and helpful, and it is a joy to visit. ~Libby
With such glowing praise arriving in my inbox, I simply had to get in touch with the owner, Rachel. Here, in her own words, is what Ewe Wool Shop is all about.
Ewe Wool Shop
17c St Mary’s Street
Facebook and Ravelry coming soon too!
10am till 4pm Tuesday – Friday
10am till 5pm Saturday
How did you first get interested in knitting / crochet / yarn crafts?
My mum and 3 older sisters all knitted so when I was about 5 I wanted to do what they were all doing and I made a scarf from all odds and ends. I remember it well they were all fans of Patricia Roberts so my first project was made from her yarn. It grew from there really, I made a baby jumper, Sindy doll clothes, my dog a coat and then when I was about fourteen I couldn’t find any fashionable knitting patterns so I adapted and wrote my own. I made my friends and my sisters all fair isle mohair ( it was the late 1980’s!!) jumpers.
Luckily Rowan started then and my family and friends were saved from my creations!! I remember when I went to live in America in my early 20’s cramming all my knitting projects in my suitcase only to find Rowan was big over there and there was a fantastic yarn store in St Paul. I stopped knitting for a few years when I worked long hours but then when I was pregnant couldn’t resist the first baby cashmerino book and made several things from it.
Do you have one favourite project that you’ve created? Tell us about it…
I wrote a scarf pattern for a friend’s husband from a sketch of what he wanted. It is all different cables and the sides of the scarf go in and out because the edge is cabled. It is in my favourite yarn, Rowan Cocoon.
I am really enjoying knitting in Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. I have adapted the pattern to suit me and I can’t wait to finish it later so I can see if it’s worked!
Tell us about how your store first began…
My job in further education was getting in the way of my knitting! So I decided to quit and open a shop. My store began in Fineshade Forest at a forestry commission site, it was very small but I knew if I wanted to expand I would need to move into the Stamford area where I also live. A property came up to rent which had previously been a haberdashery store and I took on the lease in November 2012 and opened in December.
Give us an idea of the yarn range that you stock…
Rowan, Debbie Bliss, Patons, Regia, King Cole and Noro.
Do you stock patterns, magazines or books? And what about other knitting and crochet supplies?
I have a range of single patterns which are mainly King Cole and Patons, booklets which are Debbie Bliss and Rowan, and published books such as The Amazing Kaleidoscope from Debbie Abrahams. I also stock Jane Crowfort Knitting Bags, needles, crochet hooks and all knitting accessories.
Are there any courses or other events that crafters can attend at your store?
Debbie Abrahams is doing a “design your own blanket” course on 22nd September
Sarah Hatton is doing a finishing techniques workshop on 4th November and a lace knitting workshop on 22nd January
I will also be running a Learn To Knit and Learn To Crochet course, dates to be confirmed.
Please ring or email for details
Could you give us a little introduction to the rest of the team at your store?
I am very lucky to have a brilliant team of 4, 3 of whom are volunteers!
Amanda my sister helps me in the shop and with my accounts. She is not only a fantastic knitter and crocheter but a qualified accountant, she also helped me at my first shop.
Eileen is an amazing knitter and has been knitting all her life, her knitted garments inspire the customers.
Frances is also great at knitting and has worked in retail all her life, working in Liberty’s yarn and fabric department and running her own chain of bag shops. She loves knitting and sewing, and is very good at both.
Carole is great at knitting and loves it. She hadn’t knitted for a few years but has got back into it in the last year or so.
They are all excellent in customer service and help with all knitting problems and teaching people to knit. I am very lucky to have them.
What do you enjoy most about running a local yarn store?
I enjoy meeting the customers and chatting about their projects – lots of my customers are now friends. I love seeing like-minded people enjoying the yarn and showing me what they have made as well. And when the shop is closed I just enjoy looking at all the yarn for inspiration.
What do you think makes your store special to a potential customer?
We cater for all budgets and abilities. The friendly, helpful staff and after sales care. If any one has a problem they can come in for advice and sit on the sofa and knit.
And finally, describe your store in three words…
Friendly, Colourful and Inspiring.
With a team of such fabulous knitters on-hand to help at any time, exciting courses being offered from big names in knitting, and a fantastic range of yarn for sale, it sounds like Ewe Wool Shop is the place to be!