Sunday, 5 June 2011

Local Yarn Shop

I work several Saturdays a month in Portmeadow Design, my local yarn shop. The pay is peanuts, but the employee discount makes it all worthwhile. And I enjoy the interaction with customers.

Portmeadow Design

The shop is in Jericho, an Oxford neighborhood just around the corner from my apartment. The area is bounded by the canal, and in the past it was pretty industrial and quite unpleasant and unhealthy due to overcrowding and the danger of flooding. But now it has been gentrified and the old factories and warehouses have been transformed into upscale housing. Fortunately Jericho retains some of its bohemian charm, and there are lots of quirky shops, cafes and pubs. It is quite the nicest neighborhood I will probably ever live in, and we are very grateful for our college-subsidised accommodation.

Portmeadow Design isn't just a yarn shop - we also carry clothing, jewelry, housewares, toiletries and other odds and ends. The owner's taste is uncannily similar to my own - the clothes are mostly of linen and hemp, and more or less funky. We carry Cut Loose, Braintree and Bohemia, which are pretty reasonably priced, and Yacco Maricard and Terry Macey, which are more high end (i.e. excellent fabric, design, and craftmanship - I want everything and can afford none of it).

Shop full of goodies

It's quite surprising how much yarn can fit into this shop full of other goodies. We carry a pretty wide range of yarns, though obviously we can't offer a very broad selection of each.

Wall of yarn - about 1/3 of the total selection
There's some Artesano, Auracania, Debbie Bliss, Donegal Aran Tweed, Katia, Lanaknits, Louisa Harding, Manos del Uruguay, Noro and Rowan (and I might have missed one or two things). Most of these you can find elsewhere in the UK, but a couple of my summer favourites I haven't seen anywhere else - the Katia linen and linen/cotton and the Lanaknits Hemp.

I just finished my first dress in the hemp. I already blogged about the pattern in a previous post, but here is the finished product:

Jill's dress from Modern Top Down Knitting

crochet seam detail - took forever, but SO worth it!

I just love this dress - the design is simple but flattering, and the crochet seam adds a touch of elegance. And would you believe the hemp is even machine washable!