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.

A shop front in a white rendered building. The doors and windows are white UPVC and the shop logo in the window looks like a railway station sign. There are two wooden chairs and a small table with a flower arrangement outside the window.

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.

A cosy and welcoming cafe with a barista station at the far end of the room, tables and chairs to the left and stairs on the right which lead to the upper floor.

It’s not a rule that you have to be called Diane to work here, but this is another Diane (right), queen of the barista machine, and her daughter Susan having a moment before the day started 😀

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).

Comfy red chairs around a small coffee table near the window. There is a cabinet of local craft items to the right and on the wall, a book case for borrowing and exchanging books.

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! 🙂

Winwick Mum books, balls of yarn and knitting needles on the top shelf of the showcase.

The sheep sitting on the top of the showcase is the shop’s mascot – you’ll see him again soon!

The rest of the showcase shelves filled with local crafts.

Source: @my.yarnunique

Even the lights were specially commissioned and made from materials that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

Five ornate lightbulbs of different sizes hanging from a wooden bar. Two of the lights have the word "coffee" inside them.

Source: @my.yarnunique

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?

A view of the upper floor of the Stitch Station. There are yarn shelves to the left after the staircase opening, tables and chairs to the right and comfy armchairs at the end by the window. The room is light and bright.

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.

Shelving units containing brightly coloured balls of yarn with a red leather club chair to the right.

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! 🙂

A view of the yarn shelves from the opposite direction. This time, you can see the rack of brightly coloured hand-dyed yarn.

Large skeins of multi-coloured yarn with a black fleck running through them hang from a rack.

This yarn is called Zebra yarn!

Mini skeins of brightly coloured yarn in a basket.

As well as the yarn there is somewhere comfy to sit …

A red leather club chair, a pale blue armchair and tables and chairs are arranged along the wall opposite the yarn shelves.

Is that big armchair calling to you?  Me too!

A large pale blue velvet armchair sits in a corner with a crocheted blanket and cushion on it. To the left is a small cabinet with crochet patterns on it, and above that is a window.

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 …

Christine is holding a partly-knitted sock on a short circular needle and looking down the length of the Stitch Station upper floor. There are yarn shelves to the right and chairs and tables to the left.

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 …

A mural is on the wall above the tables and chairs. The words read "creativity is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent caffeination".

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 …

The coffee tables are filled with yarn, projects and coffee cups, and there are people sitting around them working on the projects.

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!

Christine is wearing a blue and white dress and blue leggings and is standing next to Diane who is wearing a pink and orange top, jeans and a grey apron. They are both outside the white front door of the Stitch Station.

Source: @my.uniqueyarn

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!

Christine is holding a white toy sheep in a red jumper up and Diane is laughing.

Source: @my.uniqueyarn

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.

A blackboard stands on table filled with plates of cake cut into bite-sized pieces.

Source: @my.yarnunique

A close up of the plates and cakes on the table. There are also a lot of crumbs!

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.

A skein of hand-dyed yarn lying on a beech wooden table. The skein is rainbow-coloured on the left hand side and shades of dark blue on the right.

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 …

Two cardboard boxes containing two different types of cake.

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!

A wooden keyring in the shape of a railway station sign with the Stitch Station logo etched onto it.

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! 🙂

 

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22 Responses

  1. Charlotte says:

    What a wonderful day in a special shop ! Thanks for trying the chair and all of the cakes for us.

  2. Corinne says:

    Oooooh! What a lovely shop. Tea, cake and yarn, what’s not to like?! Perfect. Do they do mail order, I wonder?…..

  3. Bety Jacques says:

    This is crafting Nirvana. I would love to stop by every day of the week. Too bad I live across the pond. My town has one yarn shop, and a few cafés, but nothing like this. Oak Park, Illinois has a lot of catching up to do. Congrats to the owners of this lovely place.

    • winwickmum says:

      Diane has worked really hard to realise her dream, it’s a credit to her that it’s all worked out as well as it has! Perhaps you need to suggest to the yarn shop and cafe owners that they get together! 🙂 xx

  4. Valarie Garlick says:

    Wow the shop looks gorgeous..wish we had something like that here…alas I would love to visit but being in NZ that won’t happen but really enjoyed the article..yes I have a few patterns from afore mentioned people..enjoy good luck on your venture

  5. Kath says:

    It looks so lovely but sadly too far away for me to visit. I enjoyed the virtual tour very much though…coffee, cake and yarn sounds like Heaven. 😃

  6. Mary says:

    I echo Corrine…beautiful shop, how lucky you are to have a set up like that. Is there a mail order facility?

    • winwickmum says:

      I don’t know that there is at the moment but that might be something that will get set up in the future – it’s worth emailing the shop to find out if you’re interested xx

  7. Anita Cooper says:

    Hi Di and Dave! From NC, USA! It’s Anita 🙂 congrats on your new adventure, love that it’s come full circle, I remember it was the wool shop when I was little and my mum would get her patterns to knit my tiny tears doll new outfits! They had no coffee and cake back then though! Lol. I’ll be by on my next trip home 🏡 CONGRATS! 🎈 Anita x

  8. Mary Wilson says:

    Oh WOW what a brilliant shop ❤ I so wish I lived closer to Warrington. I would just live in it, it’s a Dream shop. Congratulations everything you need under 1 roof. ❤❤❤

  9. Jackie says:

    How nice to hear about a wool shop opening up.I wish them all the best.

  10. Sarah Murray says:

    Omg what a shop! Although I live in Manchester I’ve never been to Warrington but I must visit The Stitch Station one day. I wish there were more shops around like this. We need them!

    • winwickmum says:

      I totally agree! You can get to the new Warrington West station in 25-30 minutes on the train from Manchester Oxford Road or Piccadilly stations, and then it’s a 12 minute walk so it’s do-able even by public transport! 🙂 xx

  11. Janet cuthbert says:

    I can vouch for the comfiness of that window chair. I sat knitting my self designed socks and had a wonderful chat with you and Caroline from Yarn Unique as well as buying one of her zebra yarns.

    • winwickmum says:

      You did! It was lovely to meet you and your socks looked fantastic! Have you cast on with the zebra yarn yet? My skein is still sitting where I can admire it! 🙂 xx

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