Stitched Together: Harbour Crystals & Wools, Penzance
We caught up with Helen of Harbour Crystals & Wools in Penzance, to find out more about what goes into running a yarn business!
What’s your shop called?
Harbour Crystals & Wools
Is there a story behind the name?
Yes, we were going to take a premises on the sea front in a new shopping mall (hence harbour in the name), but it got flooded whilst we were negotiating a monthly fee. So we went back into the main town centre and found a better shop altogether. I am glad we didn’t take the other shop now!
Where is your shop and what is the neighbourhood like?
We are on semi pedestrian road, where lorries can deliver but there is no parking, which helps pedestrians to walk the whole street. There are four car parks close by and 70 individual shops in the street, which means you can get everything you require without going to the multi superstore out of town.
Who works at your shop?
Most of the time there is just me, Helen Stone but I have help occasionally. My adoptive son works with me when he has time and although he has learning difficulties, he is the best storeman ever as his memory is phenomenal.
What makes your shop special?
I have been knitting and crocheting since I was four years old (now 61) and since then worked for M&S designing aran sweaters, Singer and Jones & Brother teaching how to use knitting machines. I can pick up a piece of work made by someone else and match their tension and I quite often have someone in the shop seeking advice or learning how to correct their mistakes. I just love yarns of any type from Acrylic to pure New Wool and everything in between.
What are your most popular yarns?
Our yarns cover a wide range including James C Brett, Adriafil, Sirdar and Mondial amongst others.
Do you have a knitting group? When do they meet?
We have a crochet group that also has knitters and we meet every Thursday evening from 7pm to 9pm and it is free. After having been with us for one week they then get a 10% discount on all the yarns and a preview of anything new.
What’s your favourite piece of knitting advice?
Breathe, read the pattern twice (or even more) if it doesn’t make sense and don’t by shy to ask for help.