Sunday, 6 July 2014

Unwind with YAK

Finally in today's Great Vendor Countdown we have YAK owned by Kate. Kate is a Brighton local and finishes us off for today - more great vendor's tomorrow!

Sirka™ Counter (c) YAK
(c) YAK
Yarn Pyramid (c) YAK
Shilasdair Luxury 4ply (c) YAK

Please introduce yourself and your business in 2-3 sentences.
Hello, I own an independent yarn shop called YAK. At YAK we showcase lots of lovely independent yarn companies and hand dyers. We also have a great range of tools and accessories.

What treats can we look forward to seeing at your stand during Unwind?
We are taking some of our favourite products from the shop. For yarns we are taking some gorgeous silky blends from Dye For Yarn as well as some classic luxury yarns by Shilasdair. Our range of accessories on the day will include Chiaogoo needles, the innovative SirkaTM Counter, Inspinknity blocking wires and the brilliant “Yarn Pyramid” poster by Fringe Supply Co.

Dye For Yarn - Merino Silk Cashmere (c) YAK

YAK is the exclusive UK stockist for some of these products so I am really excited to be able to introduce them to people who perhaps haven’t come across them before or have seen them online but really want to see them in real life.

You’ve recently set up online and have big plans for a Bricks and Mortar store, why were both so important to you?

The business which is still at the forefront of all my plans is YAK the physical bricks and mortar shop. What I love the most about knitting is the community it brings together. As wonderful and amazing as the internet is there is something still to be said for being able to sit around with some likeminded people, beverage of choice in one hand, knitting in the other and chatting about what is on your needles face to face. Similarly, a computer screen will never be able to capture the true fuzziness of angora or the subtle colours of a hand dyed semi-solid skein. For that we need to get hands on and I can’t wait to be the person to provide that space in Brighton.

However, as anyone who has opened any kind of shop before will tell you, it takes ages! The online shop was always going to be happening alongside the shop but it just organically happened first and I’m really enjoying it! I’ve had a great response to the website and I hope that it will become somewhere people can come online to check out what’s new on the knitting scene and to find inspiration for their next project.

What has been the most fun about setting up as a retailer in the fibre world?

So many things! I think my favourite bit has been the people I’ve met and everything I’ve learnt so far. The fibre industry is so vast and varied it’s a really exciting to be a part of it and there are so many passionate people willing to pass on their knowledge and expertise, which I think is a really unique thing in the business world but so true of the knitting community as a whole. The more people converted to fibrey ways the better!

You would think I would have said choosing the yarn to stock was the most fun part but truthfully that was one of the hardest. Especially choosing the colours. I didn’t realise how much I wasn’t a pink person, so I’ve had to be really strict with myself and take advice on things like pink.

The most unexpected thing I have found fun has been the numbers and keeping accounts. I always knew I liked spread sheets, but not this much...

You are a Brighton resident- what’s your top tip for enjoying the weekend in Brighton?

Brighton is such a great city with so much character, and the buzz of the festival is going to be amazing. It will be a really busy and hopefully warm weekend so at the end of the day I would recommend finding a lovely beer garden of which there are literally hundreds, somewhere you can relax, catch the last of the sun’s rays and show off what you’ve bought or learnt with your friends. That is what I will be doing!

What are you looking forward to the most about Unwind?

I am most looking forward to the atmosphere of the festival as a whole. This is going to be my first outing with YAK so I am really excited about showing it off, meeting new people and getting to hang out with so many fibre enthusiasts. What could be better?!

A big thank you to Kate for taking the time to share some insight into her knitting world. You can find the YAK website shop by visiting To keep up to date with all of the latest YAK news, keep an eye on Twitter (@yarnandknitting), Instagram (___yak), Facebook (yarnandknitting) and the

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