All aboard for the Stitch Station! Blogtober 2021 : Day 17
Every now and again, you find a shop that is so much more than what you can see on the outside and even from first glance inside. It feels like you’ve discovered real treasure and the brand new Stitch Station at Great Sankey in Warrington is one of those shops.
Diane, who owns the shop, contacted me a while ago to tell me that she was planning wonderful things for this former computer repair shop and I was very honoured to be ask to officially open the shop when everything was ready. Wow! That made me feel like a proper celebrity! I visited whilst the renovations were taking place – Diane decided that she would start from scratch to get the place exactly as she wanted rather than decorate what was already in there – and it was lovely to see the shop change from the bare bones of the structure to what I saw when I walked in yesterday for the official opening day.
Diane’s mission has been to create a cafe and yarn shop which is all about buying and supporting UK and especially local suppliers, trades and crafts. All of the furniture and fittings are sustainably sourced and either upcycled or recycled by a local craftsman, the tea and coffee is supplied by companies in Manchester (Brew Tea which I drink at home, so I definitely approved!) and Liverpool (Neighbourhood Coffee), the shop logos were designed by a local graphic designer and there are cards and crafts for sale from local makers. Even the syrups for the coffee were specially researched and of course the yarn in the shop is from UK yarn companies too (but more of that in a minute).
Diane has thought of everything. There is a chess board made from an upcycled storage table, a bookcase on the wall which holds books to borrow and exchange, and a large cabinet which showcases crafts from local makers – including a certain sock knitter! 🙂
Even the lights were specially commissioned and made from materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.
Can you see the word “coffee” in the lightbulbs? I love it!
The cafe has a lovely, cosy feel to it and has already been warmly welcomed by locals who have been keen to see what will be occupying the shop space. Going out for a coffee has become ingrained in our culture now and as much as the familiarity of the larger brand coffee shops is attractive, finding a really good independent shop is something that is always high on the list of coffee aficionados in particular, so it’s no wonder there has been high excitement about the opening!
There’s not just a cafe in the Stitch Station, though – would you like to see what is up those stairs?
Look at that! Now doesn’t that look like a lovely, bright, creative space? This area is called “Stitched Up” ( 🙂 ) and as soon as you get up those stairs, you can feel the calmer energy and I can see that this is going to be a very popular space for people to meet and work.
Diane has chosen three UK yarn brands to stock – King Cole, Stylecraft and West Yorkshire Spinners – along with a range of hand-dyed yarn by Caroline from Yarn Unique who lives locally. The West Yorkshire Spinners range includes Winwick Mum yarn colours and she lives locally too! 🙂
As well as the yarn there is somewhere comfy to sit …
Is that big armchair calling to you? Me too!
It would be remiss of me not to have tried the chair out in case you can’t get to the Stitch Station to try it out for yourself, now wouldn’t it? That’s my cup of tea on the windowsill and I took a few moments whilst it was quiet upstairs to do this Very Important Research on your behalf …
Ah yes! I can confirm that the chair is indeed Very Comfy and it is an excellent place to sit with your brew and get a few stitches in. (The sock is my Emergency Sock that I told you about the other day, by the way.)
Let me just show you the wall above the other tables and chairs too …
And there’s my little set-up on one of the tables. I did get to talk socks quite a lot during the day which is always a lovely thing for me to do – and I did a lot of this too …
Some of the people who came into the Stitch Station are members of my Facebook groups and also live locally to the Stitch Station so decided to drop in – and we ended up spending the day in an impromptu Knit n Natter session with people joining in during the day as time and seats allowed. It was brilliant, I always forget how energising it is to spend time with like-minded souls when I don’t do this kind of thing and it was a highlight of the day.
The other highlight, of course, was being invited to officially open the shop. Oh my life, what an honour that was! I really felt the weight of it as Diane and I stood outside waiting to cut the pink yarn (recycled, of course!), surrounded by her friends and so many people who had worked on the shop or wanted to support it, and I hope that my little speech properly conveyed how much I admire her for building the Stitch Station on her strong values. In fact, I look like I’m bursting into song about but I wouldn’t inflict that on anyone!
I also got to announce the name of the new Stitch Station mascot. There had been a competition on Instagram to name the woolly sheep in his (or her) handsome red jumper and the winning name was Wool I Am!
What a lovely day it was! I think I’ve told you all about it except for the cake, and that’s just saving the best bit till last 🙂
As it was opening day, Diane had very generously put out trays of cake and toastie samples – made by a local cake baker and Cheryl, the Stitch Station chef – for people to try when they came into the cafe. They changed throughout the day and again, entirely on your behalf and not all because I really like cake – I tried most of them out for you 🙂 Oh, they were really good. There was a gluten-free lemon drizzle cake that I would never have known was gluten free (they can be a bit heavy sometimes, can’t they?), millionaire’s shortbread, rocky road, Biscoff cake, red velvet cake … and there are always going to be gluten-free and vegan options available on the cafe menu which will be a relief to many people.
Days like this simply flash past and before I knew it, it was time for me to leave. I didn’t leave empty-handed, though … no, of course not!
I bought a skein of Caroline’s yarn – I was torn between this one and the Zebra yarn but I can’t resist a rainbow skein so this is the one that I chose … I know where her yarn is now so I figured that it was better to just buy one and then go back for the second when I had time to knit it rather than hide it away in a box.
I also came away laden with cake as Diane was kind enough to box some up for me to take home to share with the family …
and yes, I did share as I had eaten so much cake myself that I couldn’t possibly have thought of hiding this to snaffle myself! 🙂
I also brought this home too – a very special Stitch Station memento which will be treasured. Thank you for letting me be part of your day!
The Stitch Station is a special kind of shop and I hope that if you’re close enough to visit, you’ll be able to drop in for a coffee and feel that you’ve discovered treasure too.
Stitch Station, 6 Station Road, Great Sankey, Warrington, WA5 1RQ
07961 667 585 [email protected]
Open Tuesdays – Saturdays, see website for hours.
Huge thanks to Diane, Diane and everyone at Stitch Station for looking after me so well!
Thank you also to everyone knitting and nattering who still included me in the conversations even though I kept bouncing up to talk socks with other people! 🙂