Monday, July 30, 2007

Big Ben? Covent Garden? Museums? Musicals? No!

How about...


While I was in London with my friends earlier in the month (and again this past weekend with Mr. Tall and my brother-in-law), I took the opportunity to seek out Local Yarn Stores (LYSes) and bead shops.

What? Bead shops? Aren't you still learning how to knit?

Erm... well... yeah. Doesn't mean I'm not ready to try anything new though, right?

I first came across some of Rosemary's patterns on Knitty before I really had the confidence to call myself a knitter. The knowledge that such patterns existed lurked in the back of my mind. For those who aren't familiar with her designs, they include beautiful knitted/beaded napkin rings, bracelets, and chokers. Occasionally I would reconsider them, only to decide that I wasn't ready yet, or that finding the materials would be tough in this area.

Perhaps it was the (late, but welcome) arrival of summer, but I decided it was time to gather materials. After all, knitting with wires and beads in the summer has to be better than using wool, right?

I first found The London Bead Company. I really enjoyed browsing the store. The staff were friendly and helpful, and the store also sold some yarn and needlecraft supplies - great! I ended up getting some purple jewelry wire and these beads:

Beads from The London Bead Company

I then found Creative Beadcraft. I found the shopping experience here to be a bit more pleasant than at The London Bead Company, due to it's layout and arrangement of merchandise. The store - located off Regent street near Carnaby Street - was easy to find and very central to where most visitors to London will be already. I snagged some more beads that caught my eye:

Oblong beads

Round beads

Iridescent beads

Seed Beads

I also found Buffy's Beads, which is located about a 5 minute walk from Creative Beadcraft in Kingly Court, off Carnaby street. The shop was gorgeous and fun to walk through - I was wondering how two bead shops could survive in close proximity, but the answer was clear as soon as I walked in. Buffy's Beads focused much more on gemstones and higher-end beads than Creative Beadcraft. Consequently, I didn't feel prepared to buy anything there, but the thought of incorporating gemstones will incubate a bit further in the nether recesses of my mind...

I'm really itching play with these gorgeous colors, but I think that will wait. Mr. Tall and I have a couple trips lined up - and I think I'll hold off until I'm not too concerned with the portability of a project.

I did also buy some yarn while in London. I'll save that (and notes on the shops I visited) for a later post.


blueadt said...

I can see you're going to have fun with those!

Have you been to Craft Basics on Gillygate in York? It's a smaller version of the Covent Garden shop but also sells yarn & pattern books plus knitters notions...

Not that I'm enabling or anything [VBG]

Sonja said...

RE: blueadt

I think I've been through there, but usually just visit Sheepish for some reason... don't tempt me! :)

Romi said...

They're gorgeous!!! It's a slippery slope. :g: But so much fun!