Liverpool is sadly lacking a good indie yarn shop but fortunately there are several in the outlying suburbs and easy to get to. Along with my knitting buddies, I managed to get out and visit two.
I only heard about The Good Wool Shop in Formby because they were participating in this campaign; they've only been open since March.
The shop is part of a bigger retail store called Derbyshires that incorporates a gift shop and a lovely tea room in the back. It seems like a good business model to me whereby rents and utilities can be shared. Though the wool shop only occupies a small part of the store, I was really impressed with the stock they carried. There's a good selection of needles, supplies and other haberdashery items, and the yarn is a combination of some of the bigger brands - Rowan, Patons, Wendy (including Ramsdale which is 100% British wool from Yorkshire and very reasonably priced) - with some indie yarn, in particular Blacker Yarns which I'm a huge fan of. The owner Isabelle is delightful and I'll definitely be shopping there again. Formby is only about 30 minutes by train from central Liverpool.
I definitely couldn't resist buying some Blacker yarn; I love their Shetland wool and the Bluefaced Leicester laceweight is earmarked for Kate Davies' Hap for Harriet.
Next it was off to the pretty market town of Ormskirk and Knit-Wise, another shop that was new to me. It was a lovely, cozy shop with some very impressive crochet samples on the tables and walls. What I like about this shop is that not only do they offer classes in a variety of techniques, but the staff told us about their Sunday Knit or Crochet days where you can bring your projects, sit, chat, and work on them but also get instruction on whatever techniques or new skills that you'd like to learn. It's an all-day event that books up quickly and you have to bring lunch (although they promise cake in the afternoon!) but I can definitely see a future Sunday outing back to Ormskirk
Two interesting skeins caught my eye and wanted to come away with me - some sock yarn and some very soft alpaca.
Yarn Shop Day is a great idea and I hope it continues to be an annual event; I'd like to plan to visit at least one new yarn shop each year - what a great idea for an annual field trip out with the knitting gang (with plenty of time to knit on the train).