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Meet the Yarn Shop Owner – Frome Yarn Collective


Frome Yarn Collective is my happy place.  It’s just the loveliest shop, and it’s run by Nicky Jerrome, who is one of the most fun people I know. Her enthusiasm for yarn and knitting is infectious, and I always learn something new. She seems to like my yarn too, which is always a bonus!

What made you want to open a yarn shop?

I have a passion for yarn, possibly more than the act of crafting itself. The colours, the textures. I just love it. I’ve always loved the idea of having a shop and, as I became more and more obsessed with knitting, I would fill notebooks with ideas for my dream yarn shop. I never really expected it to become a reality but then when I was talking to Debbie Orr, former owner of Skein Queen, about the fact we were looking to move West to be near my parents, she mentioned that there was a shop for sale in Frome. The rest is history!

How long have you been a knitter/spinner/crocheter/felter/all of the above?

I’ve been seriously knitting and crocheting for about 12 years. Like many people, I learned as a child and came back to it later in life. I have a spinning wheel and have dabbled over the last decade. I do love it and want to dedicate more time to it. Time is hard to come by though!

What’s your favourite thing about your shop?  What do you think your customers like about it?

My favourite thing, other than I get to play with gorgeous yarn all day, is where it is located. Catherine Hill in a Frome is a steep, cobbled street lined either side with lovely old buildings housing all sorts of interesting independent shops. I just love it here. I think (hope) that my customers appreciate the friendly welcome they get here along with advice and help when needed. Everyone who works here is a keen knitter and/or crocheter and I think that our love for what we are doing shines through.

How do you choose what yarns to stock?  It must be mind boggling!

I think if I get excited about a yarn the first time I see it, hold it and smell it then that’s always a good sign. I have a loose list of boxes in my head that need to be ticked and try to make sure I have something to suit a variety of tastes, budgets and requirements. When I feel all my boxes are ticked, I can start looking at “icing on the cake” type ranges and even the occasional special cherry on the top! We’re transitioning the ranges we stock to ensure that any yarn containing animal fibres is from companies that vouch that their yarn is cruelty free. That’s harder than it may seem at first and some very popular yarns will have to go but it’s really interesting sourcing new options to make sure I keep ticking all my boxes and keep a good range in the shop.

What’s your yarn philosophy? What does yarn mean to you?

Yarn to me means endless possibilities. Even if it’s been made (or half made) into a project it can usually be ripped out and used again for something different. I love how it enables me to play with textures and colours. It keeps my mind and fingers busy and is a constant source of comfort when I need it.

What would you like people to know about your shop?

That whoever you are, we welcome you with open arms (other than when they’re full of yarn, in which case we welcome you with arms of yarn).


sealy macwheely and friend standing in front of a colourful wall of yarn in a yarn shop

Meet the Yarn Shop Owner – Sealy MacWheely

Welcome to the second feature where I celebrate my lovely stockists. This time it’s the turn of Katie from Sealy MacWheely, whose exuberant approach to colour and texture I’ve admired for years.  I’m delighted she’s chosen to stock my hand-dyed yarns in her shop in Kirkintilloch, near Glasgow.

What made you want to open a yarn shop?

The full story of how I fell into spinning involves a bag of alpaca poo and a boring summer during my time at university. (Note from me – that’s a story I need to hear one day).  That being said, the yarn shop dream in its current form was envisioned only a couple of years ago as an epiphany whilst suffering from the flu. I envisioned a space which celebrates the beauty of handmade and local crafts and is welcoming to everybody with an interest in yarn and fibre, irrespective of proficiency.

It took a lot of hard work getting from that point to where I am now, juggling my own small business with a full-time job, but it was definitely the spark that lit the touch paper. I am a strong believer that everything happens for a reason and looking around the shop today it almost doesn’t feel real!

How long have you been a knitter/spinner/crocheter/felter/all of the above?

Like many crafters, I was first taught to knit by my beloved Grandma as a child but I barely managed more than a basic garter stitch square before giving up my needles for a few years. At age 19 whilst at uni I discovered the drop spindle and never looked back. That was nearly ten years ago now and I have since added weaving and occasional felting to my repertoire. My return to knitting has been quite gradual over the last decade but it’s impossible to be surrounded by so much beautiful yarn on a daily basis without being inspired. Crochet, however, has been a very recent addition and so far I can manage granny squares but cannot for the life of me read a pattern!

What’s your favourite thing about your shop?  What do you think your customers like about it?

Hands down the thing I love most about my shop is the brightness and variety of the colours! It’s the first thing most of my customers comment on too so I imagine they share the same sentiment. I find it fascinating how each dyer has their own distinct style and colourways, each one is so different and unique!

How do you choose what yarns to stock?  It must be mind boggling!

Sealy MacWheely is a bit unusual for an LYS in that I exclusively stock hand dyed or local yarns. I am really proud of the fact that I met each of my makers in person prior to opening the shop, mainly at festivals, and would describe each of them as a friend. We are so lucky to have such an amazing community of indie dyers and craftspeople in the UK and really the only pre-requisite for being included in the shop is that they are all lovely (and talented) people.

What’s your yarn philosophy? What does yarn mean to you?

I am first and foremost a spinner, it is the fibre itself which drew me towards yarn and I am fascinated by the full process of producing a finished garment from a pile of smelly, greasy fluff. The sense of accomplishment you feel after making something from scratch is irreplaceable and although I no longer have the time to fully process a fleece on a regular basis I am now hooked on every element of yarn creation.

What would you like people to know about your shop?

Sealy MacWheely is more than just a shop, it is a community space that is welcome to all, irrespective of skill, experience, age, race, sexuality, religion or ability. Just say the word and I will have the kettle on and the biscuits out in the Knit’n’Natter room! The shop itself was partially funded through a successful Kickstarter Campaign and as such I think of it as being created by and for the Yarn-loving community!