I was somewhat stranded in Sydney for a day or so (not a bad place to be stranded!) and found somewhere to stay right near King St, Newtown. This was fortuitous for two reasons; firstly, because I love the area and it’s one of the few places in Sydney that I’m relatively familiar with, and secondly because since my last visit, two new yarn shops have opened up. Hurrah!
Any prizes for guessing how I spent my day in Sydney?
My first stop was The Granny Square at the city end of King St (number 47). It’s actually owned by Morris & Sons, but they’ve attempted to give the shop a discernible point of difference from their other locations.
It’s a small shop, nicely laid out, all white and bright with yarn displayed in cubbies. Original features, polished floorboards, and a very cute cinema seat in the front window (but I wonder if it actually gets used?)
There are a few hand-dyed yarns but not as much as I was expecting. They had a range of Sugar n’ Cream, lots of their own Empire line of yarn, and some Noro. Although it’s a nice little shop, there was nothing that jumped out at me to say, “Sydney souvenir yarn – buy me!” so I carried on my wanderings along King St.
The second yarny stop was A Coffee and a Yarn at number 413, at the other end of the street.
It’s billed as a ‘knit cafe’, which is an idea that really appeals to me, and how many knitters don’t dream of opening a cafe/yarn shop? Well, I was expecting a yarn shop/cafe combination, but there seems to be more emphasis on the cafe side of things, with yarn as a sideline. (It’s sort of the reverse of somewhere like the gorgeous K1 Yarns in Edinburgh which is clearly a yarn store, but you can also get a nice pot of tea and a piece of cake).
The emphasis on the cafe rather than the knitting is highlighted by the website which lists a food and drink menu, but no details of what yarns are stocked. I didn’t make notes, but from what I can recall they had stock such as a few yarns from Dairing, Araucania Ranco in lovely rich colours, some Louisa Harding, and KnitPro needles.
As the shop has been open for a while now, I was surprised at the limited stock. Even for the yarns that they had in, there didn’t seem to be much available in each colour. My understanding is that they were hoping to focus on yarns with eco or fairtrade credentials, but it still seems to be a bit lacking. Again, there was nothing there that I wanted to buy, so I settled down with a pot of tea, a slice of walnut and date loaf, and took the opportunity to do a spot of knitting.
After finishing up I wandered two doors down to one of my all-time favourite button stores, All Buttons Great and Small (that reminds me, I really need to compile a list of my international favourite button shops one day).
The shop was as lovely as I remembered it, but maybe it just wasn’t my day for shopping, because I came away empty-handed. How on earth could that happen? It’s probably got something to do with the size of my button stash already; with all the buttons that I already own something needs to be pretty special for me to be able to justify the purchase.
Whilst I didn’t come away with any crafty items from King St, I was very pleased to see two new yarny additions to my favourite Sydney street. I’ll be interested in how they develop.