London’s Best Knitting Shops
If you live in London there are plenty of places to go shopping for wool, needles, and haberdashery; from the hubbub of sumptuous department stores in Central to the independently owned shops nestled along the outskirts of the city and south of the river. Cast On took a trip away from our Shoreditch HQ to visit four of the very best centrally-located knitting shops…
300 Oxford St, Marylebone, W1C 1DX (johnlewis.com)
On the fourth floor of John Lewis sits a large display of knitting paraphernalia – perhaps the largest in London – selling an assortment of needles, patterns, books, and wool from top brands such as Baa Ram Ewe, Rowan, Wool and the Gang, King Cole, and of course the store’s reliable own-brand. Right in the centre of the haberdashery and knitting department sits a large workspace; a table with enticing craft equipment and an assortment of knitting projects on display, made complete with larger-than-life spools of thread which double-up as chairs. This area is home to The Knit Hub, John Lewis’s in-house event space which offers workshops for knitters of all levels, and the Rowan Knit Club, who meet on the first Monday of every month.
I Knit London
Studio 8, Make Space Studios, Newnham Terrace, Waterloo, SE1 7DR (iknit.org.uk)
Rather uniquely, a visit to I Knit London requires a trip up a long flight of stairs and a ring on the doorbell, as it is situated inside Make Space Studios, a hub of artists and craftspeople just a five-minute walk from Waterloo station. The business has been independently owned for over a decade by its founder Gerard Allt and the small but charming shop is manned by the friendly Coral Andrews, who sits in the corner carrying on with her latest knitting or crochet project whilst you browse the wool selection. Their own brand of wool, I Knit or Dye, is dyed by hand in every colour of the rainbow in their Liverpool studio and then sent southward to be sold in the London shop.
Regent St, Carnaby, W1B 5AH (libertylondon.com)
Nestled away in a room towards the back of a gorgeous Tudor-revival building, Liberty London’s knitting department is home to Rowan’s flagship concession, thus featuring a tremendous display of the brand’s wool and pattern books. This upmarket store boasts the most luxurious yarn money can buy, including hemp, mohair, cashmere, denim, linen, fleece, lace, and even alpaca. The assured superior quality comes at a price, but many heavily discounted items can be found amongst the summer sale display.
Sloane Square, Chelsea, SW1W 8EL (johnlewis.com/our-shops/peter-jones)
Peter Jones may offer a smaller selection of haberdashery than its mother-store, John Lewis, but it does offer a far more tranquil shopping experience in Chelsea’s upmarket Sloane Square compared to the bustle of Oxford Street. It offers a good but modest selection of wool from Bergere de France, Erika Knight, Rowan, Wool and the Gang, and John Lewis’s own brand, alongside a display of pattern books and knitting kits. An entire row of shelving is spanned by Knit Pro needles, which come in every size and shape in a striking multi-coloured Symfonie wood finish.
Whether an independent hub or glossy department store, London has something for every knitter’s needs. Perhaps online shopping is more convenient, but there’s no digital equivalent to getting lost in the prismatic woollen world that the knitting shop has to offer.