Couple open Suffolk Socks first store near Ipswich
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
After running their sock wool company from home for more than six years, a couple are opening a store near Ipswich.
Jon and Julie Walters opened the Suffolk Socks Craft Cottage on May 1 in the Studio at Westerfield Business Centre to sell their sock wool and provide a 'click and collect' service for customers.
The couple moved to Suffolk from Northumberland 30 years ago, with Julie running Spare Moments in Northgate Street for several years, and Jon working in e-commerce.
Julie said it was during her time running Spare Moments that she first discovered knitting socks.
"This is is going back 20 years," she said. "But the only sock wool that was available then was standard commercial sock wool in grey or beige and for the life of me I could not understand why somebody would want to knit a sock.
"Then I thought to myself one day: I'm going to take some of them home and have a bash at this. I was hooked on socks straight away. And ever since then. It's just escalated really."
Now, Julie says sock-knitters are not limited to just grey or beige.
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The store will also run knit clubs and sock lessons for customers and last year Julie organised a knitting retreat in Ipswich.
She said: "People will say knitting is making a comeback and what have you. But it's always been there. I have a great social life within my knitting groups.
"I ran and organised a knitting retreat on the Waterfront in Ipswich just before the first lockdown. It was a huge success. People came from along way away. Once came from Aberdeen and flew down. It sold out immediately."
Julie says she has been knitting since primary school.
"I was taught to knit when I was in Year Two at school," she said. "But primarily I would have to say the person responsible for my interest in craft was my grandma Lizzie who was a big crocheter.
"And in the morning before school I would go down there on the bus and she would let me knit or crochet a few lines on her project.
"I named one of my first designs after her."
Now Julie has passed on her passion to her own grandchildren.
"After all this homeschooling they'll be able to knit better than they'll pass their GCSE maths with me teaching," she said.