Sunday 17 May 2015

British Yarn Shops I Yearn To Visit: Ginger Twist Studio

The UK is fortunate to have lots of lovely yarn shops run by passionate people with their own take on the knitwear industry. In this new series of posts I'm going to review the yarn shops that I yearn to visit, but so far have to make do with their websites due to them being far, far away from my home in the middle of England.

Jessica and Ginger Twist
I first came across Ginger Twist Studio when I saw it linked to from a blogger's post. Its indie-vintage theme caught my eye straight away along with its small but sweet and colourful website. The shop is in the beautiful, Scottish city of Edinburgh and it's run by passionate knitter Jessica James who hails from America.

Although Ginger Twist's website shop doesn't stock many products Jessica can track down anything you want that isn't listed. She was really helpful when I wanted to buy a yarn day knitterbocker glory ball she'd posted a picture of on her Facebook page, and also sorted me out with some DPNs I needed. You don't get that personalised service from the major internet-only knitting stores. She also stocks a range of yarn, hand-dyed in the local area, that are only available from her store.

Jessica kindly took some time out of her busy day to answer some questions about all things knitty for me:

Q. How did Ginger Twist Studio come about?
A. I've always wanted to have a yarn shop, and I even knew what colour I would paint it! After coming to Edinburgh on holiday, I decided I just HAD to relocate. So I packed up my bags in NYC, came to school in Edinburgh ... and now I have a yarn shop. It was really just a whirlwind! I'm very fortunate that I can make my living from something I am so passionate about.

Q. What classes do you offer?
A. GTS offers all sorts of classes. I have six teachers who all specialise in different things and rotate around. Let it be known that I am left-handed am therefore absolute rubbish at teaching right-handed folk how to do anything!

Of course there is always beginner knitting and crochet. But there are also loads of classes on more specific techniques; finishing, seeking, crochet colour work, Fair Isle, lace, socks ... you name it! Classes generally run on Sunday sand are held in the shop. It gets quite cosy, as my shop is very petite. I love workshop days!

Q. How do you decide which brands to stock?
A. It may sound strange/selfish ... but I pretty much stock what I like and would like to knit with. sometimes different yarn companies get in touch with me directly, or I meet them at a yarn shop ... or just randomly. I also run a Wool of the Month feature in the shop. This allows me to stock some things on a short-term basis, and try new stuff out.

Q. What's flying off the shelves at the moment?
A. The current Wool of the Month (May 2015) is the Kalinda linen. It is beautiful, shiny, and going super quick!! I think we are very hopeful for an actual summer here in Edinburgh.

Q. What are the knitting trends in Edinburgh?
A. Edinburgh is becoming a very knitty city! There are some wonderful wool shops in this city, and folks are really spoilt for choice. Then you have the Edinburgh Yarn Festival, and now I'm in the midst of prepping for the 2nd annual Indie Burgh Yarn Crawl happening in June. Wool has a place in the public eye. Knitting and crochet are both being done out in public as well as in the comfort of people's homes. I'm very proud of my craft and bring my knitting with me everywhere!

Q. Why should knitters come to your shop? 
A. Because I love a good yarn chat ... and there is loads of lovely YARN and charm! And you may even get a cuppa out of the deal too.

Q. What's your personal favourite yarn?
A. It's Luscious Worsted in the 'Grey Gardens' colour way. I love the springy softness of this BFL/silk/cashmere yarn.

Grey Gardens
Many thanks to Jessica for her time.

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