Archives For Leigh Metcalf

LeighMetcalfCropOn this week’s podcast I had the pleasure of interviewing the lovely Leigh Metcalf about her brand new book, London Stitch and Knit. It was great to sit down over a cup of tea to talk about what it’s like to take a book from concept to launch, and how we find time to creative while juggling the demands of work and motherhood. Her publisher describes the book perfectly:

With a design aesthetic to inspire any craft lover, London Stitch and Knit: A Craft Lover’s Guide to London’s Fabric, Knitting and Haberdashery Shops
seamlessly documents the city’s best to provide a comprehensive guide that encompasses the handmade and the vintage.

Freelance writer and photographer Leigh Metcalf discovers the hidden gems in London’s ever-growing craft community, promoting independent shops as well as craftspeople and their work. Ever since she arrived in London from the US, Metcalf had made it her mission to discover the best places for haberdashery supplies. Drawing on her experience from the last five years, she combines well-informed narrative, illustrations and a beautiful, layered design, to discover the history and operations of approximately 50 shops—divided by London territories.

As soon as I got my hands on a copy of London Stitch and Knit, I knew it was something special. The photography alone makes me want to drop everything and go out on a tour of haberdashery shops around London immediately!

Leigh has really captured the magic of supplies and notions, and each page offers tantalizing shots of the treasures waiting to be unearthed in local shops.


This isn’t just a pretty picture book, though. Along with the drool-worthy photos, Leigh has gathered a wealth of useful information. The descriptions really give a good flavour of each shop – very practical details about what they stock as well as her description of the overall vibe. Every entry is like a little in-person tour, and all of the most important details for each shop are conveniently positioned at the top of the page for easy access to addresses and websites.


What’s most amazing to me, as someone who adores shopping for supplies, is that lots of shops I haven’t heard of: it’s so exciting to be able to discover new gems in London. I also LOVE that they are organised by area, and  I will definitely be planning a few “days out” next year to various corners of London. Who would like to join me?


If you didn’t catch the episode, you can have a listen here. Alongside a great interview, you’ll also find out how to enter the two giveaways we have going on this week!



Today I start the episode with a little round-up of how our -alongs are doing, and then I have a lovely interview to share with you. I sat down with photographer and author Leigh Metcalf, who has just released a wonderful new book. London Stitch and Knit is a guide to the most beautiful and beloved sewing, knitting, and haberdashery shops here in London. We discuss the (impressively quick!) process Leigh went through to bring her book from dream to reality. It was a really inspiring chat for me, and I think you’re going to love it too. Enjoy.

Show Sponsors

Today’s show is sponsored by The Fibre Co, and their beloved Acadia yarn.

TheFibreCo_Logo CH

Acadia is named after the oldest American national park east of the Mississippi river, a place of natural beauty where the sea and mountains meet, slopes are densely forested and wild blueberries abound. Acadia National Park is in the state of Maine, The Fibre Co.’s birthplace.  The yarn inspired by this beautiful region has a rustic look and a soft hand. A subtle tweed effect is created by the silk noil that is combined with a heathered base made from fine merino wool and brown baby alpaca. The yarn is a classic DK weight and makes a beautiful textured fabric that is perfect for next to the skin accessories as well as garments.

You can find Acadia at our other sponsor’s shop, Meadow Yarn:

Meadow Yarn 

Meadow Yarn is an inviting online retailer selling yarn, needles and notions. It’s a small, family business based in rural Suffolk in the UK. Meadow Yarn was born out of a passion for beautiful yarn and knitting accessories and aims to bring you a range of great products. Yarns stocked include madelinetosh, Eden Cottage Yarn, the Fibre Co and many more.

What’s in the WIP

Summertide Shawl MKAL

Just a couple of weeks left! We already have more than 70 gorgeous shawls in the FO thread, and I’m sure we’ll see that number grow dramatically in the coming days. The whole MKAL process has been exciting and extremely satisfying, but there’s nothing like seeing the pattern come to life in so many unique, beautiful ways.

Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge

I’m so impressed by how many amazing finished objects are showing up in the Ravelry Group. Everyone has really stretched themselves, and the results are amazing. As for my personal challenge, I finally finished my Merchant and Mills Dress Shirt, and I’m thrilled!

Next, I’m going to be making a brand new pattern that Squam has just released.

The West Water Tunic is designed by the wonderful Sam Lamb (who also has also written very sweet blog post about how it came to be.)

There’s an affordable and supportive video tutorial available, as well. If you order the paper version of the pattern before midnight on Nov. 1st, you’ll get the tutorial as a gift. At the moment they are only shipping the paper pattern to the US and Canada.

They’ve very generously given us a version of the paper pattern to give away, so be sure to listen to the episode to find out how you can win!

Show Links

London Stitch and Knit: A Craft Lover’s Guide to London’s Fabric, Knitting and Haberdashery Shops

Leigh’s website and blog

Leigh mentions the sewing class she took at Sew Over It, which has locations in both South and North London.

She also talks about the Oliver and S Fairytale Dress which she made for both her daughters.

In our conversation about how the book came to be, she mentioned a very helpful Tilly and the Buttons Post on Craft Book Proposals

When Leigh decided to start working on a book, she was inspired by the size, shape, photography and layout of Paris Made By Hand and by Amsterdam Made By Hand
by Pia Jane Bijkerk. I have both these gorgeous books so I could see why she liked the style so much.

Paris: Made By Hand: 50 Shops Where Decorators and Stylists Source the Chic and Unique
Amsterdam: Made By Hand

We talked a little bit about some of our favourite shops, and two we mentioned by name were

DM Buttonholes


Ray Stitch

Leigh is letting us give away a copy of London Stitch and Knit to someone in the Curious Handmade community. Details in the podcast! I’ve written a separate book review post, which you’ll find here.

Upcoming Events

Leigh’s Book Launch

You’re so welcome to join Leigh at one of her little celebrations over her book launch weekend. Feel free to bring a portable project to work on while you chat. There will be cake!

Saturday 17th of October:

Fringe, Muswell Hill: 11:00am to 1:00pm

Stag and Bow, Forest Hill: 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Sunday 18th of October:

Rye Books, East Dulwich:  2:00pm to 4:00pm

Online Reveal Party for the Curious Handmade Wardrobe Challenge and Summertide MKAL

Save the Date! Tuesday November 3rd

We’re all getting together on Ravelry and Instagram to showcase styled photos of our completed items from both of these projects. They’ve been such a huge part of my life for the last few months, and I want them to have a proper send-off. I’ll be starting a thread on the Curious Handmade Ravelry Group, and the hashtags should be hopping!



There will be prizes and lots of oohing and awwing and generally a big celebration of our creativity. Can’t wait.

That’s all for this episode. Thank you so much for listening, and until next week, happy knitting.