I Knit London

Added by Maniclook_micro YarnTraveler (Stacy) over 6 years ago / Last Updated about 1 year ago

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Other Crafts Classes Seating Snacks/Refreshments Wifi Spinning Supplies Chain Store

Notes

A club, shop and sanctuary for knitters! IKL stocks yarns for everyone, with a selection of British wools alongside yarns from overseas. Well-stocked with accessories and needles, there is also a huge selection of patterns and books.

IKL opens late (three nights a week and doubles as a place for knitters to meet friends, hang out after work and get on with some knitting and chatting. There are drinks on offer too; wine, beer, cider...and soft drinks for those who don't want to drop stitches. Everyone is welcome to come in, take a seat and get their knitting out.

The shop also hosts events, classes, book-signings and other crafty soirées all year round. To find out what's going on join the free mailing list ( www.iknit.org.uk/newsletter.html ) and follow the daily shop Twitter updates at www.twitter.com/iknitlondon .

Only a few minutes walk from Waterloo station
Tube: Waterloo / Lambeth North (Jubilee, Bakerloo and Northern lines)
Buses: 1, 4, 26, 59, 68, 76, 77, 139, 168, 171, 172, 176, 188, 211, 243, 341, 381, 436, 507, 521, RV1, C10
Rail: Waterloo overground serves most of the SouthEast

Hours

Mon:
10:30AM - 06:00PM
Tue - Thu:
10:30AM - 08:30PM
Fri - Sat:
10:30AM - 06:00PM

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Comments and Reviews

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by filypretzel on Wednesday, Jun 05 2013 at 04:43PM PDT

Stopped by here on vacation to see what kind of British wool I could pick up as a 'souvenir'. I was very comfortable browsing in this shop. They had no problem with me untwisting/retwisting hanks to check for color-matching. Furthermore, the employee was extremely patient with me during checkout (as I kept going back and adding more skeins to my purchase.) I didn't find the shop's selection to be large (compared to the shops in the USA) but it carried a good selection of different manufacturers, including some British wool I was hoping for! I would definitely like to return to restock the next time I'm back in town.

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by lisa on Saturday, May 19 2012 at 11:13AM PDT

I really like this shop. I've visited only a couple of times and I loved as it seeing large amounts of yarn makes me really happy.

The staff have always been friendly and helpful especially when you need to find an alternative yarn to the one the pattern recommends.

I usually buy online and I've never had a probelm, always receiving stuff in 2 or 3 days.

I've read the other reviews and I've never had a bad experience, I'm not a regualr and I've never been to the knitting group, but I think this shop is great and I'm glad it exists. There are so few knitting shops that I'm happy to support while it supports my yarn addiction

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by juicyknits on Tuesday, Feb 07 2012 at 12:46PM PST

I feel that giving one star for service is already too much for this shop. Unfriendly on top of not delivering the goods ordered via their internet shop for over two months already.

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by Paisley on Thursday, May 26 2011 at 08:56AM PDT

I was excited to visit the shop but left quite dissapointed- they didn't have the yarn I was looking for (DK wool in black and white- fairly common i would have thought) the woman serving me said those colours sell out quickly, but wouldnt order me any in. I also asked for some help to find wool sutiable for felting and she directed me to the Artesano DK- thats a superwash wool that absolutely wont felt!!!!!!
I think I might just stick to ordering online or from John Lewis on Oxford St who seem to have a good selection.

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by marcelolondon on Monday, May 23 2011 at 07:35PM PDT

Great yarns, shame if you are not part of their group of friends you are very rudely treated. I was there twice and I felt as if I was doing them a huge favour by spending money. I do regret having bought anything there as I was made most unwelcome.

Will never go back and hope new knitters like me - read this before setting foot in the worst yarn shop in the world!

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by halley77 on Wednesday, Feb 23 2011 at 11:10PM PST

Hi Gerard
In reply to your points:

I came to the shop at a time when it was open for business. It wasn't busy. Nobody was asking for drinks. You (if it was you) were just standing there doing nothing, not even joining in the conversation. I think it SHOULD be possible for you to greet somebody entering your shop – after all it's a tiny shop. Just a nod of acknowledgement would suffice (and be in your own interests) but obviously you choose how to behave in your own shop.

I must reiterate, I really DO think it's disrespectful to say "I simply do not believe the comments made. . . " [Comment made by Ros Klein.] This is nothing to do with opinion – I agree everyone has a right to an opinion – the comment was suggesting that somebody is not telling the truth. "I simply do not believe the comments" is very different from "I do not agree with the comments" isn't it?

As for the timing of my visit, I live about two thousand kilometres from your shop so my visit took place when I was close enough to the neighbourhood to make an exploratory detour. I'm sorry I didn't fit in with your timetable!

The conversation I heard was really unpleasant – I don't want to have to listen to a bigot while I am trying to choose yarn. Maybe you need to get David Dimbleby in to steer the conversation. ; -)

As for a return visit, thank you for the invitation but I won't be taking it up. I found the perfect yarn shop elsewhere.

It seems from the comments on this site that I Knit is a bit like Marmite. Some people love it, some people can't stand it.
And as customers, we are all right!

Enjoy your Marmite lovers. :–)

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by Gerard on Monday, Feb 21 2011 at 12:16PM PST

Halley
I think your accessment of us is a bit harsh and I wonder if you came at the busiest momet of the evening when everyone wants tea/wine/cider. I appreciate that everyone has a right to express there own experience. Equally, people who disagree with opinions should have the same right to express it, I don't think it's disprespectful.

I put a lot of hard work and a great deal of time into IKL and it took me at least a couple of years to realise that I can not please everyone. I'm sorry you had a bad experience of IKL but actually it doesn't sound that bad. When it's busy it's impossible to say hello to eveyone, particularly when there is only one person working. Everyone arrives on their own, they just all join in with each other when they get there.

I appreciate your point about prices, I hate that too, particularly if it's too busy and you feel you can't ask. It was my fault; we reorganise constantly and I kept forgetting to order the yellow tape we put prices on. It must have arrive the day after as the shop is now covered with yellow signs.

In your comment above you said you wanted to experience the shop in a relaxed atmosphere. You were aware before your visit that we have regualr knitting groups nights and I think your experience might have been more to your personal taste if you chose to come at a different time. The knitting group night take up a mere six/seven hours of our entire week so the other six days and one evening might have been more suitable for you.

I would also add that some people may argue that a knitter feeling comfortable enough to talk about personal problems is testament to the fact that the environment is open and friendly and inviting. Just as I do not dictate suitable topics of conversation I would not have dictated that you would have to be her theraputic ear.

I'm sorry to hear that your experience has put you off returning, I really think it's a nice shop and, as I said, while we can not please everyone I kno wlots of people love coming here. I hope you reconsider and visit in the afternoon or on a Tuesday evening when the shop is so much more relaxed.

best wishes
Gxx

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by halley77 on Friday, Feb 18 2011 at 11:36PM PST

Having read comments both positive and negative about the shop, I decided to visit with an open mind, obviously hoping it would be a great place.
When I arrived a knitting group was under way. As the shop is very small it's fairly obvious when somebody walks in but nobody took any notice of me. Even though I stood there and looked towards the person I assumed was the owner (who was facing in my direction and definitely turned out to be a member of staff) I was not acknowledged in any way at all. I had a wander around and after a couple of minutes somebody else came in and was greeted warmly making me feel very surplus to requirements.
I found it genuinely strange that in such a small space, where I had to squeeze past the staff member (owner?) at one point, there was not an acknowledgment, a return smile or an offer of help should I need it.
There was a collection of books which I browsed through but I really wanted a Nicky Epstein book and they only had one of her titles which I already own. Also some of the yarns did not have prices which I hate and the atmosphere did not seem one in which to ask!
I did obviously take a peek at the items the group members were knitting, thinking that my interest might prompt a 'hallo', a smile, or even some eye contact! - but no response in any way. I was invisible.
Actually one of the knitting group was chatting away, mainly about personal problems that I would rather not have to listen to - I wanted to look at the yarn and books in a relaxed fashion not provide a therapeutic ear for her bad day at work!
I left without buying anything and can't think of any reason why I would go back.

That was my experience. It may not be yours but please don't make comments like "I simply do not believe the comments made" as has been done to others who have made negative comments - that is so disrespectful! I have no reason to write anything other than what I experienced so please accept my comments as an honest report. Lucky you, if you get treated well here.

I was looking for a little knitting haven for my trips to London. I did find one but it wasn't this place!

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by Sian on Wednesday, Feb 16 2011 at 09:34PM PST

I've been a regular at IKnit for about 3 years. The shop is stuffed full of lovely yarns, books and supplies. The staff I have interacted with have been lovely; my friends and I even experienced the yarn store equivalent of a 'lock in' once! While the owner, Gerard, can appear quiet, he is a genuinely nice guy who once gave me and my knitting group a 10% discount when I mentioned that they were all new knitters on their first trip to a proper yarn shop.

I have been in the shop during one of the knit nights, not to join the group but to shop and I wouldn't recommend you do this; the group does tend to take up all available space and you can't get to the shelves. So go and buy your supplies in the day first! I would agree that I found the group a but cliquey, which I didn't mind as I wasn't there to knit but I can see that it might put others off. But London knitters are lovely and I'm sure if you introduce yourself you'll get along fine. I'd echo what someone above said; this isn't a teaching group, its a social group, if you want to learn to knit sign up for a class or google Stitch London instead.

I think above comments about the size/light in the shop are unfair; London rents are extortionate and IKnit have done the very best they can with a limited amount of space. As for uninspiring yarns, I couldnt disagree more; Handmaiden, Natural Dye Studio, Malabrigo, CTH, Rennie, Wensleydale, Manos, Habu, Artesano, Fyberspates, Biggan Design... I find that pretty inspiring! I've spent hours in their browsing and buying and knitting and I visit at least once a month.

I think this is a pretty even handed review; please don't be put off by comments here, visit for yourself and make up your own mind!

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by Emily BlaI want to say Thank You to Gerard/I Knit London for impressing my sister-in-law. des on Sunday, Feb 13 2011 at 06:40PM PST

I want to say Thank You to Gerard/I Knit London for impressing my sister-in-law.
After doing a “commission knit” for her (she lives in Minneapolis USA) She phoned up the shop to buy me a “gift voucher”. She said she “spoke to a very nice and friendly man” and wants to visit the shop when she next visits London. Looking forward to showing you off to her and spending my voucher on some of your luxurious yarn!!!!!!! :-)
I've always been made welcome and think it's one of the best knitting shops in London.

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by Liz on Monday, Jan 10 2011 at 03:21PM PST

I don't recognise the picture sims76 paints, either. The staff are helpful and friendly (and all are knitters/crocheters), and the stock is great and very different from other yarns available in London.

For people who've found the group intimidating, do please come and sit down and introduce yourself (chairs are behind the door by the counter) - that's what I did a couple of years ago and I've met some very good friends as a result. The place certainly does get pretty packed on knit nights, and there are some people who come along every week and know each other well, but I've never known a night when there haven't been new people, and many of them have come back regularly since...

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by Ros Klein on Wednesday, Dec 15 2010 at 10:56PM PST

I simply do not believe the comments made by sims76. The shop is great and the staff are lovely, very polite and extremely helpful. Also the shop is open very long hours which should suit everyone.

The shop stocks a great deal of yarn that is simply not available at John Lewis and All the Fun of the Fair, plus a great deal more by way of books and notions. Classes are also regularly run. What more could one ask for.

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by sims76 on Friday, Dec 10 2010 at 03:06PM PST

I think this shop is rubbish. The staff are incredibly rude, surly and generally unhelpful everytime I have been there. I went in looking for stitch holders, which they didn't have(!) and the guy was totally uninterested in helping me. Other times I have asked for help and non has been forthcoming. The stock is nice, just a shame about the service.
My friend ended up helping one poor lady out when she was in there. The staff told the woman they had no books with crochet scarf patterns, my friend happened to be looking at one, pointed it out and helped her choose some wool. The staff looked on with disinterest.

I'm currently boycotting them out of principle. At least the staff in John Lewis couldn't be more helpful and I hear Loop and All the Fun of the Fair are also very good.

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by fingersandtoes on Friday, Oct 22 2010 at 06:56AM PDT

Bokoro, you should check it out for yourself. If you want to learn, you should sign up for the class, the teacher is very friendly and helpful.

It can be a bit daunting to go to the knitting group for the first time as it seems everyone knows each other and are chatting away happily. For anyone wanting to go, I suggest you take a seat and introduce yourself to the person next to you. If he or she is there with a bunch of friends, turn around and introduce yourself to the person on the other side. There's bound to be someone there you can connect with!

Another note for people attending the group - the group is NOT a class. If you want to learn to knit please sign up for the class. Group members are very helpful if you have a problem with your knitting or need a yarn suggestion (some of us know the stock very well!) but do bear in mind for some it is the only time they get away from the kids/work etc. They are fellow customers of the shop and not obliged to help you.

When the shop is busy, it can be difficult for the staff to attend to everyone's needs. If you do need something, like a chair, or some yarn, or a drink, the best thing to do is ask! Staff don't like to "hover" over customers, in my experience in the shop they usually tell customers to have a look around and take as long as they like, but to ask if they need any help. I'm sure if Nicki had asked for a chair the staff member on duty would have given her one, sat her down and introduced her to the knitting group.

Oh - I'd also like to say that there is a lot of British yarn in the shop, including some lovely handpainted sock and lace weight. There is Rennie, which is Shetland 4-ply (there's also a DK cashmere blend) and my favourite yarn in the universe. And also Wensleydale longwool in 4ply, DK or Aran weight, and Garthenor Organic, some lovely natural organic wools from various British sheep breeds. There isn't a section for British wool as all of the yarn is arranged by weight, making it easy to find what you need for a particular project.

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by Bokoro Darius on Saturday, Oct 16 2010 at 09:11PM PDT

Hi
I want to come and see the shop and do one of the class but I am dissappointed to read four of the comments from four of the women who have visited the shop. I joined another group and found that people stick to their own familiar group and not introduce themselves. I am a beginner and want to learn or do the class but am not sure now after reading the negative comments from Nicki, Allison, Floderton and Flyprinces about the crowded furniture etc and unfriendly staff. I don't want to travel all that way and be disappointed.

Probably, I should come in and check out the place for myself.

Thank you.

Bokoro

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by Irene Power on Saturday, Jul 03 2010 at 09:07PM PDT

Hi
Read about you in your article in the Daily Mirror and saw reference to you visiting Liverpool for an exhibition = can you tell me when this is taking place please as I am a keen knitter but unfortunately do not visit London. Do you know of any knitting groups in the Liverpool Area.
Regards
Irene.

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by I Knit London on Monday, Feb 15 2010 at 12:14PM PST

Hi Nicki
I'm so sorry for your bad experience of our shop. I am wondering if it was definately our shop, though, as it sounds like the opposite of what I know to be true.
For example, I know for a fact that our staff are helpful and curteous and that no arm waving goes on at all. Also, we do stock debbie bliss cashmerino but If you were in our shop I am glad the staff offered you an alternative but sorry this was not sufficient.
We have learned from experience that it is impossible to please everyone and we make sure to publise the shop activities as much as possible so serious shoppers like yourself will be able to make the decision to visit when the shop is not as packed as it is on the knitting nights - we are open 7 days a week for serious shoppers, most of the time the shop is not full to bursting with keen knitters making it easier for the staff to provide an excellent service.
I'm shocked the most by your description of the cold stares you received from the knitters. I'm amazed, I've never had anything but a positive experience at any knitting group, at our shop or somewhere else.
I appreciate your feedback, I only wish it had come to me directly and I wish you didn't feel the need to be annonymous. I will make sure I am present at upcoming knitting groups to make sure everyone in the shop, new or regular, receives the same warm welcome and hospitality.
I do hope you change your mind and give IKL one more try, I know we can make it up to you.

best wishes
Gerard Allt
IKL

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by Nicki on Saturday, Feb 13 2010 at 02:50PM PST

Having really enjoyed the I Knit London event they organised in September, I made a special trip to London on a Thursday evening recently to visit the store and join in the knitting group. I could not have been made more unwelcome if they tried (perhaps they did). I arrived before the official start of the knitting group, but most chairs were already taken. I was stared at coldly by all the knitters already there. The shop was tiny, with far too much furniture and an uninspiring selection of yarn randomly arranged. I finally identified the member of staff on duty (I believe several of the scowling knitters were also off-duty staff), and asked for a particular book. She told me they did not have it. I looked at the shelves and found that they did. She seemed rather uninterested in this fact. Since there were no chairs free for knitting I tried to find some yarn to buy. I asked for advice several times, and was directed to areas of the shop with vague waves. There seemed to be no logic to the arrangement of yarns, and no more than one or two yarns in each colourway. I had gone with the intention of purchasing enough yarn for three large projects (several hundred pounds' worth), but left with one ball and one book. In the time I was there a number of regulars came in, were greeted warmly and were found seats from some mysterious place. No attempt was made to seat me or the other few lost souls squeezing around the knitters. A new knitter came in while I was there saying she had been specially advised to go there, and asking for some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino. She was told flatly 'we don't stock that, but we do have other yarn', with no attempt made to help her further. All in all, I was shocked by my experience, having hoped to become a regular both at the knitting circle and as a customer. I won't be going back.

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by Coral on Monday, Jan 25 2010 at 11:53AM PST

Best knitting shop in the world. Amazing yarns and amazing people. Great knit nights and the spectacular I Knit Weekender in September.

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by PassionKNITly on Thursday, Nov 19 2009 at 08:38PM PST

I had an evening free so I went last week to knit with IKL's knitting group on Thursday. Everyone in the knitting group was so friendly! There were soooo many people knitting there it was great! The staff in the store were nice as well and i thoroughly enjoyed myself. I almost wished I lived in London so I could go to this store much more often! If you're visiting London, and you only have time for one shop, let it be THIS shop!

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by Marion Jeffrey on Wednesday, Oct 28 2009 at 08:53AM PDT

I would like to purchase Blocking wires to shape my knitted garment ready for pressing.
You displayed a set called " Blockit " @ £20 but then stated them to be out of stock! Can you help please?

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by Johanne on Monday, Aug 10 2009 at 05:55PM PDT

I was in London last week, I went out of my way to visit the shop...
It happenred to be one of those night where every one gatters to knit there and socialise...I was impressed with the Idea... great concept... I felt like an outsider but did manage to get some help ... I thought I would be helped more... I go to London every week from Quebec, Canada ...I will probably give it another shot ... being the passionate knitter I am... Hope to attend the show in september...
I recommend the place for a visit , You can decide how you feel when you go... Loved the place...
Johanne from Air Canada

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by Ann on Friday, Jul 03 2009 at 11:23AM PDT

Love it! Love it! Love it!
This shop is a knitter's paradise!
I love the shop - its cosy, got places to knit, plenty of nice yarn, yes some is expensive so I just look at it!!.....plenty for all budgets...and you can get a drink - Perfect in this weather.

The staff are friendly and chatty and I've always felt welcome and chatted to other people and not just about knitting...

Recommended!

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by Alison on Thursday, Jul 02 2009 at 07:32PM PDT

Went along to the knitting group in anticipation of buying a knitting pattern and learning how to use it. The staff weren't interested in helping me find what I was looking for, no-one else spoke to me, or even smiled, one person did manage to make eye contact but only after some persistence on my behalf. The only seats available were behind a table piled high with stuff so I felt barricaded away and had didn't feel it was approved of to move chairs to a more socialable position, admittedly that would have been in the nearest pub. To be fare, no-one else spoke to each other unless their own particular friend went along as well. If you are going to go, forget the smile and take a freind to talk to instead.
I got the knitting pattern for free off the Internet when I got home, discovered I needed knitting needles and got those from a very helpful shop in the OXO Tower just along the river, along with a book on what to do with it all.

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by Floderten on Saturday, Jun 20 2009 at 12:47PM PDT

I was very, very excited to go see this shop - maybe that's why I came away a bit disappointed. The staff was very friendly, but I found the shop a bit dark, crowded and not very inspiring.

I did like that they had some yarns otherwise hard to get for me, but their stock wasn't very impressive. The yarns I wanted to look at were hidden behind racks and mannequins, and what was in the cubbies didn't seem all that exciting. (Some of it also seemed a bit overpriced, but I'm not sure.)

Perhaps it was the fact that I came in around noon, and maybe their stock was low that day, but some of the things I'd been told to look for weren't there, and it just generally didn't seem deserving of all the hype it's getting. If I'm ever in London again, I'll probably pop by a second time, but it won't be the first stop on my list.

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by FlyPrinces on Thursday, Mar 05 2009 at 07:23AM PST

i have seen this shop on several blogs and sites so i wanted to make sure i stopped in while in london. it was a very small shop, with way more furniture then it could hold. people were bumping in to each other, knocking racks over, and a lady sitting on a couch was letting her kids run all around. but, the there were a lot of very nice yarns and books in the shop. i was hopefull that i would find some really great local british yarns, being that there are a ton of sheep farms over here, but i was disappointed. there were yarns from all over the world. i ended up with a really some really soft alpaca by Lang yarns, which i am unsure if it is sold in the US. i am glad i stopped in!

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by toast on Tuesday, Jan 13 2009 at 10:45PM PST

A great shop with a good variety of interesting yarns, from smaller producers. Well worth a visit, one of the best yarn shops in London.

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by Anonymous on Monday, Jun 09 2008 at 07:19AM PDT

When I visited London in 2007, I made a specific trip to find them. And it was worth it. Craig and Gerald were very nice and helpful.

There's a nice selection of yarns and books that are hard to find in the US.

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by Ting on Friday, Dec 07 2007 at 08:52AM PST

Lovely shop run by Gerald & Craig - it's a shame I don't live closer otherwise I'd probably be in there every day.

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