With many people now having to self-isolate, it’s proving to be a tough time in particular for the small craft businesses that we love so much. The yarn community is already seeing many initiatives and efforts being put in place to help raise support. The one benefit of being a knitter or crocheter is that we can comfortably craft from home, but with many yarn shops having to close and yarn shows being cancelled, it’s important for us to do everything we can to help our fellow yarny folk through this crisis. It can be a little overwhelming knowing what to do to help, so here’s out suggestions for how you can support your community.
Buy local and support independent yarn shops
Although many yarn shops are having to close, at present there is no restriction on our postal system – so you can still order in your yarn to keep you busy during self-isolation. Of course, the larger online yarn retailers are great and provide a brilliant service, but it’s the smaller and independent companies that are going to be hit hardest by these current events.
UKHKA (UK Hand Knitting Association) are launching a campaign to try and help our local yarn stores during these tricky times. They’re encouraging crocheters and knitters to pick up the phone (or get on social media or send an email) to your local yarn store. Although most stores will now be closed, many are running local delivery services, advice lines, virtual knitting groups and more. The UKHKA has a huge directory of UK yarn stores and knitting groups, so head on over to their website to find one in your area.
We’ve already spotted lots of yarn stores offering online orders or local delivery services to help you get your yarny fix. Here’s just a few of the fab offers and services we’ve found by some of our favourite local yarn stores.
Please note – developments are happening on a daily basis and we will try to update this post as often as we can.
Brooklyn Tweed have started a fantastic initiative to help both you and your local yarn store! With their #ApartTogether campaign, when you buy their yarn (either direct from your local stockist or from the Brooklyn Tweed website), you can choose from 4 different discount options, then Brooklyn Tweed will then credit your selected amount back to the yarn stockist of your choice. You can find out more about the campaign here.
One of the reasons why we love heading to yarn stores so much is the chance to actually see all of the different yarns on offer and the fab advice that you can get from the staff. Well, if you’re missing that personal touch, then Tribe yarns have come up with a brilliant idea – a virtual personal shopping experience! For £15 (which is fully redeemable against your purchases), you’ll get to have a special 20 minute one-on-one video tour with shop owner Milli who will be bale to help offer you advice and help you pick the perfect yarn for your next project! They’ve also got lots of special free delivery options, as well as offering kerbside collection. You can find out more on the Tribe Yarns website!
When this years Yorkshire Yarnfest was cancelled due to the Coronavirus situation, the organisers came up with a genius idea – a virtual yarn festival! The first virtual yarn fest was such a success, that they’ve decided to do another one on the 25th April. Throughout the day indie yarn producers will be live on Yorkshire Yarnfests Instagram stories showing off their products and some will even be offering special discounts. It’s a great initiative and a fabulous way to support the small business that are rely so much on yarn shows for their income, so head on over to the Yorkshire Yarnfest Instagram page for all the latest info and make sure you tune in!
Wonderwool Wales is one of the biggest yarn shows in the UK, and news of the cancellation of the event has is devastating for yarn producers and fans alike. So Wonderwool have decided to host a virtual yarn festival on the 25th & 26th April, with many of their exhibitors joining in. They’ll be posting videos and pictures from the virtual event on their Instagram page, but if you want to get involved with the virtual event make sure to join their dedicated facebook group here!
Baa ram ewe are running a ‘pay as you feel’ scheme on their design books. Choose from a fantastic selection including Titus Mini Knits and decide how much you want to pay, from just £1 per copy. It’s a great way to make a donation to your favourite store! You can also join them for a virtual knit night on Thursdays from 6-8pm and knit and natter drop-in on Wednesdays from 11am-12 noon.
The Amsterdam store is closed until further notice, but you can still shop online, worldwide, with their 50% off shipping sale. Look out for Stephen’s online knitalongs too – just search for Westknits on Facebook, Ravelry and Instagram.
This London shop is offering free delivery for self-isolating knitters who order online. While the bricks and mortar store remains closed you can also call during their regular opening hours for remote knitting support.
Support independent dyers and yarn producers
With many big yarn shows being cancelled and local yarn stores closing their doors, it’s now more important than ever to support independent dyers and spinners. We’re already seeing lots of fab initiatives and offers popping up, as well as special yarns and colour packs being created to keep us making during these difficult times. Here’s just a few fab finds, but if you’ve got a favourite yarn producer make sure you visit them online and show your support.
Jillian from Mothy and the Squid is still able to post out her lovely hand-dyed yarns. We’ve also seen her posting some fab offers recently, including a special charity yarn raising money for the Trussel trust which sold out super-fast, so keep updated by following Mothy and the Squid on social media.
As much as we all want to support our local yarn stores and indie dyers at this time, money is understandably a concern. The Wool Kitchen is giving you a helping hand to het your hooks into some of her beautiful hand-dyed skeins by now offering a free second class delivery option on her website.
Hedgehog fibres are once again shipping to most countries, so check out their online store for the latest updates. You can also join one of their yarn clubs where you get a monthly shipment of lovely hand-dyed yarns, the next round of clubs goes live in mid May so make sure you keep checking in so you don’t miss out!
Nothing beats a freebie! Toft have lots of wool bundles on offer at the moment, but if you also buy any five of their colourful balls of 25g DK you’ll get an extra one FREE
If you’re all about ethically produced and fully traceable yarns, then Crafternoon treats is definitely a producer you should check out. There’s currently loads of special discounts available on her etsy store, so check it out and grab yourself a bargain!
If you’re looking for the perfect present for a hooky friend, definitely check out Tilly flop designs, she’s got tons of fab products and goodies that are perfect for knitters and crocheters. She’s currently got an offer where you can choose any 5 cards for £10 (usually sold at 4 for £10 at shows) and a second offer where you can choose any two tea towels for £18 .
Blacker yarns have put a load of special offers in their online shop to help you through these difficult times, plus they’re also offering free uk shipping, and any international orders placed in the next 2 weeks will also include an additional woolly gift – oooh we’re intrigued!
Support your favourite crochet designers
Many crochet designers are also getting involved to try and help the yarn community through this crisis by providing free or discounted patterns for you to hook up while you’re stuck at home. Here’s just a few that we’ve found (and if you’re hooking up a free pattern, why not help out a lys or indie dyer by ordering some special yarn to make it with)
Discounted crochet patterns
We all need a reason to smile right now, and we think these super-fun crochet patterns by Olivia Laws are just the thing to cheer us all up. You can get 30% off many of her patterns on Etsy, so it’s the perfect time to hook up your own alien monster pillow!
One of Simply Crochet’s regular designers Esme Crick has reduced all of her amazing mosaic crochet patterns in her Etsy store to half price for the next 3 months! That’s plenty of time for you to hook up one of her amazing blankets.
Free Crochet Patterns
Natalie is helping to spread a bit of love with these cute little hearts. You can find her free pattern in the highlights section on her instagram page here.
SarahDeeCrochet has shared her cute Blippi doll crochet pattern for free – kids will love this cute little character!
Fancy trying a bit of Macrame? Hoooked have added this free and easy feather tutorial to their website, so why not give it a try – after all it’s the perfect time to try your hand at a new craft!
Martine De Regt who regularly designs for Simply Crochet magazine has shared this cute free rainbow pattern for you to hook up during lockdown! Find the free pattern here.