I went into the new yarn shop in Hove (called ‘Cocoon’) yesterday with Jan & Emma. I’d been really excited about them opening, and then had heard ominous reports about lots of acrylic and so on. It didn’t blow my socks off but I was also pleasantly surprised!
Bear in mind these are my opinions only:
Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first:
- No sock yarn – zero zip zilch – a couple of nasty balls of Sirdar crofter stuff but nothing else, not even Regia etc let alone anything really exciting. Missing a huge trick here I think, and suspect that it indicates simply that the yarn buyer doesn’t knit socks – a bit weird as you’d think they’d have to do a bit more research than that to sustain a business!
- Yarn range generally between 4ply and aran. No laceweight or other finer yarns.
- Nowhere to sit and have a think or flick through a book or anything like that. I can understand if they don’t want to feel like they’re running a cafe or something but I think they’ve wasted space that could be used for a small seating area.
- Definitely too much acrylic generally for my liking. It feels a bit ‘sponsored by Sirdar’.
- Somebody buying the yarns really likes mustard/babycrap yellow/brown.
- The only tools on offer are nasty Pony needles/hooks & no circs at all! Does anyone actually use these past their first few months of knitting?! There are much better tools out there which are just as cheap (KnitPro) or well worth the extra – Clover, Addi, Brittany etc.
And now for the good stuff:
- Nice range of Bergere de France. Even their blended yarns are quite nice and there’s enough superwash wool, wool blends and so on for non-squeaky knitting. I’d thought they were posh (essentially based on having a French name, haha, I’m a doofus) but they’re v nicely priced. eg 80% SW wool/20% alpaca blend, 120m ball, £2.89.
- Manos Silk blend – nomnomnom.
- Noro sock (silk blend version) and Lite (and I think they were just restocking Silk Blend as we left).
- They stock Debbie Bliss but not as a dominant yarn – think this shows promise, like they realise most people can’t afford more than the odd scarf in it.
- Good to be able to get general haberdashery in the same shop – some nice buttons and other bits and bobs.
- Friendly staff – though had to stifle a giggle at the lady explaining to Jan the Noro Queen & knitting/crochet expert that Noro was a Japanese yarn. There was no way she could have known. I’m a bad person.
I’ll definitely be back, there’s enough to keep me returning, just not enough to inspire any great loyalty at the moment. Fabric Land’s closer to me for all the haberdashery, and with a bigger range, but I do like being able to go and squidge yarns in person, and their prices seem to compare well with online yarn shops. Besides, things may change – they have only just opened after all, and I know they’ve got room upstairs which I haven’t seen where they’re planning on teaching classes, having a Knit n Natter, etc so will be interesting to see what they do with that. Fingers crossed!