Shop Review: Abstract Yarn
With two yarn shops in the borough (Teasels in Leyton and JJ Wools in Chingford) closing during 2013 it was with great joy that local “yarnaholics” received the news that a new yarn shop opened in Walthamstow Village during August.
Abstract Yarn Shop in Beulah Road is in one of the oldest shop buildings in the village, and is owned by Alessandra Rigillo. Alessandra doesn't originally have a stitch craft background, but brings her Italian creativity and flair to her new business. In the last year, she has ventured into learning crochet and is keen for herself and others to preserve and develop knitting and crochet skills.
On a dull and dark Saturday afternoon between Christmas and New Year, I made my first visit. First impressions were that the shop was very cute and small, like walking into a jewellery box. The range of colours of the yarns was extensive and for me had quite an impact as a source of inspiration for colour and tone. It not often that yarn stores stock such a range of colours.
Alessandra was welcoming and keen to share her business ethos and vision.
Abstract’s style is vintage with an emphasis on accessories, particularly hats and smaller projects like jewellery and home decorations. There were some delightful examples on display.
All the yarns stocked are natural fibres including angora, wool, silk, and cotton from a range of suppliers such as Debbie Bliss, Sheep of Steel, Rico Designs, and DY Choice. There are also a range of weights from Aran to 2ply sock yarn. Alessandra is keen to ensure that all her yarns are ethically sourced.
Abstract stocks a good range of crochet hooks, but the range of knitting needles is limited. Currently patterns, except those with kits, are not stocked.
Abstract’s other services include providing a retail outlet for other stitch crafters, taking commissions for specific items, working with other local artists/craftspeople to produce a range of kits, the development of classes/workshops, and the establishment of a knitting group.
I am certain that I will return to Abstract to purchase yarn for special and small projects. Hopefully the range of needles and other equipment (particularly patterns) will soon be established. I really liked one of the hats on display and would have purchased the yarn if the pattern had been available.
The shop is in the early days of trading and I wish Alessandra every success. I know Abstract will appeal to creative people in the area who will be keen to support a local trader.
Abstract is located at 54 Beulah Road, E17 9LQ, and is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am-6pm, Sunday 12-6pm, and by appointment. For more information, see the Abstract Facebook page.
Jackie is our volunteer coordinator,
and an expert at quilting,
knitting, and crochet.