I went on a grand tour of the craft places of York at the weekend and found some proper treasure troves for the maker of stuff. Firstly I went to The Viking Loom on High Petergate near to York Minster. It has a large selection of jewellery making supplies, materials for needlepoint, tapestry and cross stitch and has a back room packed full of colourful quilting fabrics, arranged by colour which appealed to my inner 6 year old who used to arrange all her crayons into an obessively perfect spectrum.
This got me itching to learn to quilt, but that was nothing compared to the effect of the next place I visited. The York Quilt Museum took that itch and turned it into an irresistible urge. They have different exhibitions throughout the year in one gallery and in the main gallery and in the other one they rotate the quilts they have in storage every three months. In the main gallery at the moment they have old celebration quilts - ones that were made for births, royal celebrations, beddings - including two quilted wedding dresses which are stunningly intricate (and hot looking - I really hope they were for winter weddings). In the other gallery they have a display of contemporary quilting, and the variety of techniques used there is immense - layering, felting, painting, applique and much more; far beyond your average quilt. Rock and Roll.
Next I went to Poppys yarn shop, which is has a good selection of premium yarns, plenty of sock yarn and a welcoming atmosphere.
After that I paid a visit to Duttons for Buttons - guess what they sell? The bottom floor is packed with buttons, ribbons and thread, the next floor up has needlework supplies and the top floor - 'The Medieval Room' - has recently been opened and sells a small selection of knitting yarn.
On to Ramshambles, a small, packed yarn shop in The Shambles with a range of yarn from budget to premium. Very welcoming and woolly with plenty of full sized knitted sample garments.
Lastly I went to The Gift Gallery, back in The Shambles, where I wanted to buy around 95% of the contents. They sell handmade jewellery, cards, accessories, home accessories and all manner of unusual and unique things.
Oh, and I also visited Craft Basics in Gillygate but couldn't get a picture as it's on a busy main road and pesky lorries and buses kept getting in the way. I really liked this one, it was packed with a bit of everything in all the nooks and crannies - I think I even spotted what looked like supplies for basket weaving.
I came away wanting to try lots of crafts I've never tried before but somehow managed to buy nothing. I was concerned that if I did I'd buy at random with no particular project in mind, get it all home, realise I didn't know what to do with it all and it would swell my stash dangerously. But I did take away plenty of ideas and, especially from the Quilt Museum, inspiration and enthusiasm.