Helen told me last weekend that she'd discovered a new yarn shop in Bury St Edmunds, so I had to visit for myself... Wibbling Wools is a lovely little place on Churchgate Street, with a big, light-filled interior and a great cafe - incidentally, it's just a couple of doors along from Painted Country who run great classes on how to use Annie Sloan paints.
As well as shelves filled with colourful yarns, high quality knitting/crochet books and all the usual paraphernalia, the shop runs classes every third Thursday of the month, held in this dedicated space (below). A granny square hippopotamus - why on earth not?
If I lived a little bit closer I'd definitely go along - I met a couple of charming women there the other day who were enthusiastic and interesting, and I bet there are some lively conversations over the knitting needles! The whole place sweeps away the slightly fusty, old-fashioned look that you can sometimes find in some older, long-established, yarn shops, whilst here there is even space to sit and flick through some of the pattern books, perhaps on this beautiful 'rescued' chair, re-covered using a couple of very stylish, and covetable, fabrics.
If your other half isn't quite so enthusiastic about all things wooly, they can always have a cup of tea and read a book whilst you wander round, slightly dazed, murmouring soft 'ooh's and 'aaaah's. The cafe is good value, although for perfection I'd like just a couple of extra veggie options on the menu - although their brie and avocado sandwiches are really delicious. Selling sandwiches from a sawn-off VW van parked in the middle of the shop is quite a show-stopper, and the rest of the cafe is filled with other quirky details, like needle-felted sheep for the table numbers, arrangements of tea cosies and bunches of colourful knitting needles instead of flowers in a vase.
|The hand-made cushions, casually strewn on the big leather couch, are things of beauty.|
It's clearly the owner's very particular, and joyful, vision and I'm sure the atmosphere of the place would help enthuse a lot of younger knitters and crafters. I will definitely be back, although I might have to wait until I've made a dent in the stack of yarn I already have before I buy any more... Or, as one of the women I spoke to said, 'Naaah. Just buy some more...' Meanwhile, C, who has the attention span of a gnat when it comes to stuff like this, declared that anytime he is in Bury this will be 'his' cafe. Quite a compliment!
ps Just found a very funny blog post which mentions Wibbling Wools - and judging from the picture it was written when they were still at their old location.