Catching Up – Isla from BritYarn

The number of shops we wholesale to is growing steadily, and I thought it would be good to introduce you to some lovely people who will be delighted to sell you yarn. I’m always curious about why people open yarn shops – so this has been a lovely chance to be nosy.

First up is Isla from BritYarn. As many of you will know we’re moving towards only using British yarns, so it’s been lovely to see this done from a different angle.


What made you decide to open a wool shop?

It was a combination of things, including being made redundant. Sometimes life take an unexpected change in direction and you find that other doors are open to you! After I found out that I was to be made redundant quite a few people, knowing my love of knitting and yarn in general, suggested I should open a yarn shop. Initially I just laughed this off as I had never imaged myself as a business owner! However, it set a little idea growing, and that idea combined with my love of British yarn became BritYarn!

I know lots of people dream of opening a wool shop – what’s one bit of advice you’d give them?

If I could give only one piece of advice it would be ‘plan’. Plan ahead and do as much as you can, when you can. No matter what your best intentions are there will always be delays and setbacks along the way. So if you can get ahead of the to do list it just makes things less stressful in the long run. I’m a bit of a control freak so I had lists galore to help with my planning. I continue to use my list system as it helps me to know what needs to be done and when!

What did you do before this?

My work before this could not be more different! Before BritYarn, I was a civil servant for nearly fifteen years. For a large part of this time, until I finished work in February I provided IT support to members of staff. While BritYarn is very different there are many skills which I have been able to utilise so nothing has been wasted.

What makes your shop special and different?

BritYarn is an online yarn shop which celebrates and shares our love of British wool. We are special as we only stock yarns that have been grown in Great Britain or British Overseas Territories. As part of our Woolly Principles we are dedicated to providing as much information as possible about the provenance of the yarns we stock including where the wool has been spun and dyed.

What have you got planned for the next year?
On the 17th July we start our first KAL ‘the Scollayalong’. This is jointly hosted by BritYarn and Louise Scollay from KnitBritish. We are all knitting the Scollay cardigan by Karie Westermann. It has been brilliant seeing everyone’s yarn choices on Ravelry and I can’t wait to see everybody’s FO’s! It runs until the 25th September so if anyone fancies joining us there is plenty of time to cast on.
Later on in the year BritYarn has another KAL planned which might be of interested to The Knitting Goddess readers…..
I am also researching new yarns all the time and making plans for 2016!

What would you love to be able to stock?

I would love to be able to stock every British grown yarn out there be it hand dyed, mill dyed or undyed!! Perhaps one day……. I would also love to be able to stock British made knitting needles and hooks. I am still working on this one which is why sadly, we do not sell needles or hooks at the moment.

How can people find you?

Our website is and of course you can find BritYarn on Twitter, Instagram and Ravelry as BritYarn.

If you’re a shop who would like to stock our yarns then please get in touch.

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