Yarn Shop Day: April 27

The UK’s biggest knitting and crochet retail event returns for a sixth year.

On Saturday, April 27, craft stores across the UK and in Ireland will be celebrating Yarn Shop Day, the annual event that focuses on our much-loved bricks-and-mortar yarn stores. On the day, outlets nationwide will be hosting special events, giving away goodie bags, offering big discounts and providing exclusive free patterns to customers – along with plenty of tea and cake!

This Year’s Mascots

Patterns for the adorable Yarn Shop Day mascots will be available free in participating stores. This year the mascots are the Tiny Turtle Knitted Family, designed by Sachiyo Ishii, and Bubbles The Crocheted Whale, designed by Sarah Jane Hicks.  Stores will also be offering additional patterns including an exclusive blanket and a colourful sausage dog, plus prizes and merchandise produced especially for the day, such as mugs and bags, and a host of other treats.

Yarn Shop Day was launched in 2014 by leading publications Let’s Knit and Let’s Get Crafting, and is supported widely across the industry. Last year over 200  stores took part, and the event has grown into one of the most important days in the knitting and crochet calendar.

The Value Of Local Stores

Let’s Knit editor Sarah Neal says: “Yarn shops are not just somewhere to buy needles and wool – they are often the hub of the local crafting community and offer advice, inspiration and a place to meet like-minded people. Our campaign aims to highlight the fantastic service they provide, and also create a day of festivities and fun that celebrates all that’s great about a local yarn shop. So for crafters everywhere it’s the perfect day to go along and support your local participating store.”

Health Benefits

The event is retail-based, but thanks to the widely-documented health benefits of knitting and crochet this is much more than just an opportunity to shop. As highlighted in a recent study by the charity Knit for Peace, there is evidence to show that knitting can lower blood pressure, counter depression, slow the onset of dementia and induce a sense of wellbeing. Stores taking part in Yarn Shop Day are therefore inviting those new to yarncrafting to experience the benefits for themselves, and opportunities to learn how to knit and crochet will be available in store.

A guide to the shops taking part can be found in the current issue of Let’s Knit magazine, and a digital directory of who’s involved will soon be available at yarnshopday.co.uk, along with more information about the event.

Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.