Just in case everyone was wondering why I am writing about the UK General Election, let me reassure you, that this is not about that! I’ve voted, I encourage everyone to vote & I’ll be watching the results tonight, while posting pictures of yarn for anyone else staying up to watch the results but that’s all I'm going to say about the GE!
It’s the other voting that has started today that I am going to go on about! : ) Voting for The Let’s Knit British Knitting & Crochet Awards 2017 opened today and I’d like to share who I have voted for and why! : ) I think it’s important to vote in these types of awards as the vast majority of businesses on this list are independently owned or, at the very least, have team members who love the yarn, knitting and crochet industry and voting allows them to be recognised!
So, here we go, in the order the questions appeared!
Best Baby Yarn Brand
Options: Stylecraft, Debbie Bliss, King Cole, Sirdar & James C. Brett
I’d have much preferred to see West Yorkshire Spinners Bo Beep here but since it’s not, it’s going to be King Cole. My furbabies love their King Cole Cotton Soft blanket and it washes (& tumble dries) like a charm!
Best independent Yarn Brand
There are so many yarns that deserve to be here but it’s a tough choice anyway. I love WYS, BRE & Toft (I’m not familiar with Dye Candy) but it has to be Truly Hooked … I see Verity online and at shows and I can’t even begin to imagine how she does it all so I can’t vote for anyone else!
Best Value Yarn Brand
Stylecraft, Sirdar, Drops, King Cole & James C. Brett
Just in passing I’m surprised to see Sirdar in this list but I suppose it depends on which range. King Cole for me here.
Best Luxury Yarn brand
Sirdar, WYS, Debbie Bliss, Toft & Rowan
It had to be West Yorkshire Spinners here … all their ranges are magic, it’s British wool, and I love the team at WYS who are just so great. I love Toft too of course … but I’ll vote for them elsewhere ; )
Best Sock yarn brand
West Yorkshire Spinners … I don’t think there was ever any doubt!
Best overall yarn brand
West Yorkshire Spinners … no good being a fangirl if you can’t vote your heart!
Best Brand for British Yarn
This was ridiculously hard because all 5 of them - BRE, Toft, Blacker, WYS & Jamieson & Smith - deserve this. In the end I went with Blacker … I rarely queue online for yarn (handdyed yarns excluded!) but I stalked for Tin I & Tin II … plus I stock 3 of the 4 others and well, it would break my heart to choose between them!
Favourite pattern house
King Cole, Rowan, Toft, Sirdar & Stylecraft
Toft, hands down, from this list.
Favourite Knitting designer
I paused here for a while … this was a tie between Kate Davies & Louisa Harding for me … I have all their recently released books. It’s going to have to be Kate though because she was just so lovely at EYF, in among the chaos. So hard though because Louisa’s lace book is just astonishing as well.
Best chain store
I’d have preferred if this wasn’t mandatory because I’d like everyone to buy indie ; ) … C&H Fabrics.
Best Online Shop
This is the category I’d love to be in next year (hint ; ))
I voted for the Wool Warehouse. Holly, who owns TWW, is a knitter so she isn’t a nameless, faceless set of shareholders. I also admire the site from a technical perspective, particularly the way they always appear at the top of Google search, the goal of any online retailer is to have your shop appear here at even the slightest hint of yarn and Wool Warehouse have it nailed. Oddly enough their web developer was also at our wedding & Simon had met Holly long before TLYC was even a twinkle in my eye. It’s such a small world!
The Best Local Yarn Stores … oh jee!
I’m only voting if I know at least one store in the list as I think it’s fairer.
South East of England
I’ve been in The Sheep Shop, Loop & I Knit London and it’s going to be The Sheep Shop in Cambridge… great classes, lovely selection, really nice folk. I love the other two as well but I have a soft spot for TSS.
South West of England – no vote
North of England
Magnolia Tree Crafts. I got to visit here on the day it opened (I got a great lampshade!), Lucy has only been trading for 9 months so to be on this list is an amazing achievement and she’s also super nice so you should definitely pop in! (The shop is in Poynton rather than Stockport though).
Wales – no vote
This is Knit, Dublin as it’s the only one I’ve been in and it really is a great wool shop! I also can’t imagine the cost of running a yarn shop in central Dublin so given how long they have been there, I salute them!
These are my actual local yarn shops! This is tricky as there are three of the five that I could vote for. I wasn’t expecting to see The Wool Zone on here as well as Christine’s and Knit Nottingham! It’s going to be Christine’s for me with The Wool Zone a close second! I really like the ladies of Christine’s (CityKnits online) and I still can’t get The Wool Zone theme shanty from Wonderwool out of my head (you had to be there!). Knit Nottingham has been my first choice in years gone by, I really like Eleanor and what she has achieved is outstanding but there was a blog post with some rather mean things about online yarn store owners recently and I’m a delicate flower! That & the Christine’s collaboration with WYS for Marie Curie is just brilliant! (Get some before I buy it all!!!)
I haven’t been to any of these but I voted Ginger Twist Studios … It just looks so lovely online!
Best Knitting Needle range
Addi, of course
Best knitting Accessories range
Clover. Just because they make the curved darning needles I can’t live without!
Best ready-to-use knit kits
Toft. I’d have voted for Sheap Knits or Baa Ram Ewe here if I could!
Favourite Knitting blog
Kate Davies … those photos!
Ravelry. I feel like I live there.
This was hard – Kate Davies V. Kate Davies … I went for Inspired by Islay in the end because it’s magnificient and I’ll probably make all the patterns in this someday!
Best knitting show / event
Wonderwool Wales, obviously.
Favourite Charity Campaign
This was the octopuses V. the Big Knit… now, I like Innocent but they are a very large and successful business so it had to be the octopuses (octopi?).
Best yarn shop day experience
Best yarn for crochet
I didn’t vote although I imagine Toft or Scheepjes is the right answer!
Favourite crochet designer
Jane Crowfoot … if I ever really learn to crochet it is going to be for the Mystical Lanterns Blanket which really is magnificent. Kerry, Verity, Lucy and Sue would also be worthy winners of this!
Best crochet store
Toft. The Toft team are outstanding and I also feel that visiting the studio is a right of passage for yarn hounds! (Plus the cake … oh the cake!)
Best crochet blog
The Bella Coco blog is so stylish, it has my vote here! Attic 24 was my vote last year so I like to share the love.
Best crochet book
Best crochet accessories range
I was going to vote for Tulip here as I love their hooks – but it’s going to have to be Fleabubs by Lala – her website bills her as ‘a one (super) woman outfit’ and that she surely is.
And that’s it! I’d love to hear about how people are voting and their reasons!
Now … I am going to take pictures of pretty yarn for anyone staying up to watch the election results live!
Happy knitting (& voting!)