On a freezing cold day in Ipswich, I set off down St Peter's Street to find Jenny Wren's Yarns. Luckily, it was well signposted, and I was armed with the great @BettyBlueHat vintage Ipswich map! You can see the map here on the @IMakeFunStuff blog: http://www.imakefunstuff.co.uk/2012/11/vintage-shopping-in-ipswich/
I was going to interview Lois Mickleburgh, who owns the business with her mother. It's named after Lois' Grandma, a keen and busy knitter - and I really like that detail, as my Grandma was a great knitter, as I've mentioned before here.
My stealth plan is to interview lots of women wool-shop owners - so I started here, in a lovely room in a shop shared with Cathy Frost of LoveOne.
This room is stuffed full of wool: great selection of Jarol (my mum's current favourite wool - it has lovely, rich colours and is a mid-price wool), but also lovely Debbie Bliss and Artesano, including the latter's British wool - here, under the Rico Chunky (also very nice!):
Look how lovely this knitting corner is! I could just imagine myself (if I lived in Ipswich!!) popping in here to knit in my lunch hour:
There are more lovely things in here which I didn't photograph: lovely button jars and lots of patterns - when we went back last weekend I managed to buy two completely unnecessary Rico patterns - as well as all the needles you could ever want.
Upstairs is fab vintage furniture shop, @BettyBlueHat - with all the 1970s lampshades and 1960s ceramics you could want, as well as some gorgeous crochet and dark wood bedside cabinets. @LoveOne, too, has got great gifts: I couldn't resist their "Practically Perfect in Every way" gift tags.
Meeting Lois was really heartening: we discussed the persistent interest in knitting and crochet; the fact that it hasn't turned out to be a fad, but a really enjoyable and, now, sociable past-time too. We looked at British wool and talked about the increasing number of British spinners. I did buy some lovely mustard-coloured SMC double knitting (merino) for some lovely gloves I've seen in the Grannies, Inc knitting book, and left happily, having found a great LYS that I'll certainly revisit next time I'm in Ipswich. Thanks, Lois, for such a brilliant visit!