Discover 6 Of My Favourite Independent Craft Shops in Bristol

skeins of hand dyed yarn (probably from an independent craft shop on white shelves taken by nynne schroder

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A list of independent craft shops in (and around) Bristol that every crafter should visit

For many of us, shopping small is becoming second nature. We all know how important supporting our local small businesses is to their survival and the exact same goes for our LYS (local yarn shop) and independent craft shops too. I’m not saying we should boycott the giants like Love Crafts and Wool Warehouse; they’re incredible and a fantastic resource which make SO many yarns and craft supplies accessible to so many crafters, but paying a visit to our local independent craft shop every now and again (or once a week, you know, we all have our vices) means we can help protect our favourite treasure troves and use our money to help make a difference to these small businesses and get craft supplies in return.

A local independent craft shop is one of the most valuable resources a crafter can have. Where else might you get an emergency ball of yarn, replace a broken crochet hook after a furious crochet session or chat at length about your latest WIP(s) or your list of future makes with? Plus, you know they’re not going to judge you for buying yet more yarn even when you don’t have a project in mind for it which is why I’ve compiled a list of my favourite independent craft shops in (and around) Bristol that every crafter should visit (in no particular order).

1. Like Sew Amazing

 

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Those who are familiar with North Street, Bedminster will know of this little gem. Once sandwiched between Oowee Diner and the Co-Op, this independent fabric shop is relocating to their new space on Whitehouse Street (just around the corner from Windmill Hill City Farm)

Sarah McKenna is responsible for bringing us this gorgeous independent fabric store that boasts a beautifully curated collection of fabrics, perfect for professional dressmakers and enthusiastic crafters alike. You can expect good quality, affordable fabrics in a range of colourful fabrics and prints. There really is something for everyone’s handmade wardrobe.

Regulars to the shop will be pleased to hear that the popular Thursday Night Sewing Club is back up and running in the new shop space from July 15th in addition to a variety of workshops including ‘ Sewing Machine 101’ where Sarah helps you get comfortable with your machine and teach you how to use different stitches resulting in you walking away with your very own envelope cushion cover.

The shop will re-open operating on an appointment only basis as they work around workshops and events, but you can easily book a slot via their simple booking system or send them an email.

khaki leopard print rayon fabric from Like Sew Amazing

My favourite shop pick:

I love the look of the enzyme washed linen, particularly the teal and salmon for some handmade outfit inspiration, but this khaki leopard rayon also caught my eye as a funky fabric I think I could make work with my neutral themed wardrobe

Visit the Like Sew Amazing Website
Follow Like Sew Amazing on Instagram

2. No Frills Knitting

For those who aren’t in the know, No Frills Knitting is a beautiful online knitting supplies shop based here in Bristol. Ran by the lovely Meg Winter, the shop is stocked with all kinds of gorgeous yarns and knitting notions. 

The name, ‘No Frills’ was born from Meg’s simple knitting style and ‘less is more’ approach which is a theme which runs all the way through her business. She favours natural yarns opting to use a little plastic and keep her footprint as small as possible.

She stocks an impressive range of knitting notions including a gorgeous selection of buttons and she’s one of the very few UK stockists of Sandes Garn, a brand many keen knitters may recognise if they’re a fan of Petite Knit’s knitting patterns. Her collaboration yarn ‘Sunday’ is available online in 9 different shades, alongside Tynn Silk Mohair with which it is often paired.

Meg is a wonderfully helpful and friendly to approach if you’re in need of any knitting help. She’s a small knitting shop owner I wholeheartedly recommend.

coffee stain buttons by No Frills Knitting

My favourite shop pick:

The Sunday by Petite Knit yarn is super dreamy, but these coffee stain buttons are at the top of my order list to finish off my Novice Cardgian (Chunky Edition)

Visit the No Frills Knitting Website
Follow No Frills Knitting on Instagram

3. Sew & Sew

 

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I challenge you to find any Bristol based crafter who doesn’t know of Sew and Sew. Nestled in the heart of Bristol’s Old City lies this quirky Aladdin’s Cave of crafty wonder. They have yarn, ribbon, buttons, threads and an array of notions for all your crafting needs. 

They’ve been a life saver on occasion when I’ve lost a knitting needle, or when I broke all the needles I had for my sewing machine (maybe I should think about booking onto the Like Sew Amazing Sewing Machine 101 workshop…!). I can just take a walk into town and my craft prayers are answered. 

Recently, in June 2020, Sew and Sew was bought by Phoebe Wilcox who came with a strong vision of turning the shop into something bigger. They are strong animal rights advocates and, as such, choose to stock a range of ethically sourced cotton, bamboo, acrylic and recycled yarns to guarantee no animals were harmed in the process of creating any of their offering. Phoebe describes the shop as a “Queer owned and inclusive vegan haberdashery in Bristol Old City stocking a wide variety of yarn, buttons, ribbon and more.” 

recycled acrylic yarn by king cole from sew and sew, bristol

My favourite shop pick:

I love this 100% Recycled Acyrlic DK from King Cole (£2.50 per 100g) and all of the colours it comes in. It would be perfect for an upcoming project I have on my to make list…

Visit the Sew and Sew Website
Follow Sew and Sew on Instagram

4. Wool

 

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If you’re ever out and about in Bath, do yourself a favour and make sure you pay Wool a visit. Owned by Laura Shipley, this premier yarn store on Old Orchard Street is just a stones throw away from the famous Roman Baths. 

Laura and the rest of the woolly team are friendly and knowledgeable in equal measures making each visit nothing but delightful. With hundreds of yarn to choose from there is something for everyone. The shelves are filled with balls upon balls of squishy yarns in an array of colours and fibres . They even have a section dedicated to all things British which is curated with pure British wool including hand dyed and locally spun skeins as well as small batches of yarn from small farms. 

Easily identifiable by the inviting sunny yellow door against the white exterior, this is a shop that will welcome you with open arms.

page view of embody, a book by jacqueline cieslack from wool, bath

My favourite shop pick:

Embody: A capsule collection to knit and sew by Jacqueline Cieslak. I’m hoping to plan a trip to Bath to get this soon as I want to make everything in all of the variations.

Visit the Wool Website
Follow Wool, Bath on Instagram

5. Alterknit Universe

 

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“Where everything is as natural, recycled, local and ethical as possible”  Located in Cleeve, North Somerset, Alterknit Universe was born as an alternative to “big box yarn shops” and that’s exactly what this friendly and fun yarn shop is. 

Owner Kim Smith strives to make this independent craft shop as inclusive as possible and as a rule, she generally dedicates one of their window displays to highlighting injustice in society. Stockists include West Yorkshire Spinners and many other British wools including spinning yarns and naturally dyed hand spun yarn.

Alterknit also stocks a range of highly affordable beginner crochet and knitting kits where they repurpose a selection of second hand needles and yarns which they collect or have donated to them alongside a print out supplied from Let’s Knit magazine for Local Yarn Shops to use as part of their ‘Yarn Shop Day’.

orange bio nylon braid from alterknit universe

My favourite shop picks:

This vibrant eco nylon braid is vegan friendly and ready for spinning. I’ve never tried spinning before, but this would be a great excuse to give it a go.

Visit the Alterknit Website
Follow on Alterknit on Instagram

6. Farahway Arts and Crafts Café

 

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There are many places to stop for coffee of North Street, Bristol, but only one with such a wonderfully creative twist. Don’t get me wrong, I will knit and drink coffee most anywhere, but Farahway Cafe actively welcomes creativity and crafting in their space. Strictly speaking, this might not be an independent craft shop per say, but Farah’s beautiful community driven café is a home to the usual coffee and cake one might expect of a coffee shop, but is also a space for craft workshops and a destination for crafternoon tea too.

I remember visiting this place with my bestie Studio Cotton for the first time when it opened and the building immediately made an impression on me; the patchwork tiles on the wall next to the counter and their array of craft kits you can buy to take home (or craft whilst you chat) especially. The café has such a friendly and relaxed atmosphere making it a really lovely place to hang out and, to be honest, anywhere I can do the 4 C’s (coffee, cake, craft, chat) with my pals is an absolute winner in my book. Plus, with Farahway’s updated menu, you can now add an extra C(ocktail) into the mix. What more could you ask for?

crafternoon tea at farahway cafe

My favourite shop pick:

I’m always keen for a crafternoon so the crafternoon tea is a big YES from me. Otherwise, I’ve never tried needle felting before so this cute little Highland Cow Mini Needle Felting Kit caught my eye.

Visit the Farahway Cafe Website
Follow Farahway Cafe on Instagram

What do you think? Have you visited all of these independent craft shops? Or maybe I’ve left something out? Let me know in the comments below.
As always, we have a lovely selection of vegan friendly yarns and knitting and crochet tools available for you to order online too.
Happy crafting, you lovely lot!

  

 

 

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