Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Kemp's Wool Shop

I am excited, truly excited and cannot wait to get home. Yesterday, my latest yarn order from Kemp's Wool Shop arrived and I have to admit, I ordered a little too much... and, yes, I have a guilty conscience. This is partially offset by the warm, fuzzy feeling I get every time I look at the yarn though.

  • About Kemp's
According to their homepage, E.Kemp have been selling wool, patterns and knitting yarns in the North-East of England since 1947 and they "aim to supply [their] customers with quality branded wool and knitting products at the most competetive prices."

  • The Website and the Range
The website itself is straightforward and there is nothing particularly stylish about its appearance. Kemp's stock most of the staple yarn brands well known to the British knitter. Amongst others, you will find Sirdar, Patons, Wendy, Twilley's, Debbie Bliss and Rowan. If you are looking for something more exotic, such as US brands or smaller producers, Kemp's selection will probably bore you. The same applies to the accessories on sale: no beads, a fair selection of needles (both bamboo and metal) and two pages full of the most uninspiring buttons you could imagine. Sounds all a bit disappointing, doesn't it?

Well, if you manage to look beyond the above - mentioned negatives, Kemp's is anything but a disappointment. Having trawled through quite a number of online yarn shops over the last few months, Kemp's come out on top as regards their pricing - every time, without fail. So, if you see a yarn you like the look of somewhere else, it makes sense to check out whether Kemp's have got it in stock, as it might be cheaper. This applies to all yarns and I have found that the majority of the yarns are priced quite considerably below the recommended retail price.

  • Kemp's Discounts
I tend to regularly visit the clearance wool section, which, in my humble opinion, constitutes the most impressive part of the shop. If a yarn is discounted here, we are talking big discounts. I managed to pick up Rowan Bamboo Soft for £1.79 (50g) and Rowan Kid Silk Aura for £3.19 (25g).

  • Shipping Policy
As with all online outlets you have to take shipping into consideration. Kemp's do not rely on Royal Mail, instead they use a courier. Postage depends on weight and the postal zone you have your order delivered to. Unfortunately, Kemp's do not offer free delivery on orders over a certain amount, but if you order between 1,5kg and 5kg of wool and happen to live in postal zone zero (most of the UK), your delivery will cost you just £5.00. Delivery is usually rather swift. I placed my last order on Thursday and received my yarns by Monday. The only downside is that you are unable to track your order online, and if you have a query regarding the delivery, you will have to phone Kemp's as the courier details are usually not divulged.

  • Overall Verdict
All in all, Kemp's is a hidden gem. It's a no - thrills online outlet, that delivers where it matters most : on price. And this is after all exactly what Kemp's promise their customers.

If you fancy having a look at the shop yourself, please find the link below.
(Please note, I am not affiliated to Kemp's and just share my enthusiasm for the shop and its bargains with fellow knitters / crocheters.)

Kemps Wool Shop
Web's best value quality knitting and crochet yarns & patterns.

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