As we start to gather our thoughts on this year's Christmas shopping, we look to Loop on London's Camden Passage for inspiration. A shop dedicated to celebrating yarns and fabrics, Jane Audas visited the store for Selvedge issue 76...
The best kind of craft shop is one that makes you want to make things: shops full of possibilities, colours, textures, patterns, and hopefully topped off with a team of enthusiastic staff who make things themselves, and can help sate your craving to get making too.
Loop is one such shop (or knit lounge, as they have it). They have been selling both wool and a range of woolly things in London for over ten years. Loop are in their second, much larger premises in Islington’s Camden Passage (a still interesting part of the city, considering how so much of London shopping has become homogenised). The area is in transition; Sofa.com are now in one of the bigger buildings that used to house a raft of small antique dealers, and yet the presence of a small French deli, numerous chi chi coffee shops and some great textile and jewellery dealers mean it continues to be an interesting place to potter.
Susan Cropper is Loop, and Loop is Susan’s creation; her aesthetic. A New Yorker, a former stylist and art director, here she has made a stylish haven for knitters. And, as a non-knitter myself, I plead guilty to loving the shop too as it is such a treat for the eyes and the fingers.
While I was at Loop on a Saturday morning, they opened to a small queue of excited ladies, many wearing the fruit of their knit one, purl one labours. It didn’t take long before the customers honed in on the packed shelves of lovely wool skeins. As Susan puts it, ‘they are little exquisite bundles, you could just buy them and look at them.’ There are lots of books here too, from one of four Loop publications with numerous Loop patterns, to a tome featuring solely Scandinavian mittens. The joy of a shop like Loop is having all this knit goodness under one roof…
You can read this article in full in Selvedge issue 76.
Loop is now offering a free pattern for you to create your own Crochet Mistletoe Garland this Christmas season.