Monday, July 07, 2008

Liberty!

Liberty of London
If you are a knitter or seamstress/tailor and you visit the city of London, you really need to pop around to Liberty and walk up to the third floor and see the Rowan yarns and Liberty cottons.
Liberty is a department store kind of place. There are men's, women's and children's departments. And there's housewares and ARTS AND CRAFTS.





Liberty is just off Regent Street and is located in a magnificent old building with a timbered facade. The chandelier, hanging down several stories, glittering and shining, is enough of a reason to go there.





I have heard of Liberty cloth and even had a couple of pieces of yardage that someone gave to me years ago, back in the 80s, and I made a dress for Kiti from it, and if I remember correctly, a skirt for myself. The bolts of cotton prints are soft to the touch and they definitely fit the description of eye candy. The rows and rows of cloth line the perimeter of the chandelier gallery.




But that's not all, oh no, that's not all. Tucked around the edges of the third floor along one side of the store there is a fully stocked yarn department. Rowan yarns. Sock yarns. Cotton, cotton and silk, wool. Books. Buttons. And so much more.








I gazed, looked away, ran my fingers over the skeins and balls of fiber goodness. But I actually walked out of the store without buying anything. Through the days we toured towers and cathedrals, I kept thinking, "I went to Liberty and didn't buy anything!" I wasn't sure if I was sorry or proud of my resolve to use up my yarn stash in 2008. In the end, on the last day of our time in London, I told the others, "I want to go back to Liberty--just to look!"
The purple bag you see below? Honestly, there is no yarn in it.



I finally chose two knitting books.





Wasn't I good? I'm not sorry I didn't buy some yarn. I do have so much and I can get yarn here in California. But I am glad I bought the Rowan Classic Garden Book Two. I will have hours and hours of enjoyment from the books, reading and planning, even before I pick up my needles and begin to knit.

20 comments:

M.Kate said...

Wow..stepping into Liberty and not buying any yarn? I dont think I can do that - going to my favourite shop and not buy anything related to what I like. Ok, book would be fine too, wasnt it like stepping into a candy bar store? How fun!! It's a long time since I've gone to London, I remembered buying so much way back then, but it's impossible to buy anything now with our current exchange rate. And you like gulai nangka or nangka curry...now that's a really local Malay/Indon dish and one that is not favoured by many too :D as for the durians...i figured so, I dont fancy it too much either. This durian and the other small pea like 'petai' which is nice to eat but a real 'stinker' when we go to the toilet later. hugs always

neulekirppu said...

Yes... Liberty is really amazing! I didn't visit there at all because we have had too much luggages without any new dozen of yarn or zillion meters of cloth...

Barbara said...

Yes that is certainly Libertys. NMot been there for a while.
Blackcurrant scones would not work, they would squash and be too juicy. Scones have to be dried fruit.

ellen b. said...

Well you did very good. I'm glad you went back and bought the books. I love the bag they're in!
I love England even their department stores can be architectural wonders. I don't think I've ever been in Liberty. Next time...
I haven't walked once since I've been in Wa. except for up and down my stairs and a little around the Botanical gardens :(

Mama Mia said...

Hey mumsy! Sorry haven't commented earlier-- loving all of your England photos, though! :o) Liberty looks.. absolutely AMAZING. I would spend all of my vacation there! Love you!

p.s. I fixed the aran scarf pattern and it looks good now! :o) Thanks for helping me with it!

Flower said...

I feel like I've been shopping! Looking can be just fine..but I am a little shocked you didn't buy one little skein of yarn!! The books are great...dream on and then create!!

ancient one said...

sooooooooo, I came over and found you have been out of the country! How Nice!! Reading backwards now trying to catch up...these pictures are wonderful as are your descriptions!!

Bethany Hissong said...

I have been seeing a lot of Liberty fabric around lately... in pictures only! It is beautiful and SO expensive! I wish I could shop there! But also in your photos, I see Amy Butler fabric from Ohio!!! It's the same fabric I'm using for my quilt. How funny is that?! I'm glad you didn't buy any of it and think it was Liberty fabric, only to find out it's from the States!

Pat said...

Hello from NYC--it's nice to meet you! I have never visited London but someday I hope to! I'll ahve to remember this store even thougfh I am not a big crsfter I'm sure I'd find something!

Robert said...

I love all the color in these pictures. All the yarn sure made for some fun images.

Sara said...

Wow, thank you for introducing me to Liberty's...I had never heard of it. That is the coolest looking department store I've ever seen...I mean the facade; I just love it!

And the inside contents look very tempting too....I'm glad you went back and bought yourself two books...they will last forever and always remind you of your visit.

Laurie said...

I have always loved fabric and yarn stores -- the rich and varied colors and textures -- you captured them beautifully in your photos! The one of the skeins rolled up, the ends of each filling the "box" of the photo could be enlarged, framed, and displayed. Blessings, Laurie

Monica said...

What a wonderful shop! I don't sew (yet) or knit but truly appreciate the eye candy of the yarn and fabric.

Marg said...

I've been reading your last posts.
WOW! So much to see, touch and feel, and never enough time.
I loved your posts on St. Pauls.
There is so much history and we'll never have enough time, but it's so interesting how it effects all of our lives.

Melanie said...

Lovely shop. Well done for being able to stick to your stash. I failed miserably this week and bought a set of 8 FQs. Your pictures are so beautiful and colourful. I do love Rowan yarn but hate the price. Liberty lawn wears so well and is so soft too- I had to keep a reminder of my old floral skirt from the 80s so it became a few patches in a quilt.

Alison Boon said...

Quick someone invent a teleport or time machine. Something anything. I need to be there now.

Brian said...

What wonderful photos, lovely having you over in the UK.

Brian

Anonymous said...

Once about 10 years ago I was in the UK and my best friend gave me a day of her time shopping at the Liberty as she HATES shopping. It was FAB!!! Thanks for the photos and the memories
Ruth

Elizabeth said...

Liberty's is AMAZING.
If I were astoundingly rich (in my dreams) I would buy everything there but it is absurdly expensive.
When I was a child Liberty smocked dresses were for best. I don't know if I had one.
My going away dress from my wedding (1976)is from Liberty and fits my daughter.
I worked there in the book part in the summer of 1971 when I was a student.
There

Reflection Through The Seasons said...

Hmmm! Liberty's Stores is really special. I do admire your self control! Marion