Popular wool shop where shoppers queued post lockdown closes after 15 years in Sheffield community

A popular Sheffield wool and crafts shop which had long queues of knitters outside once lockdown started to ease has closed after 15 years in business.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 4:00 pm
Jill Memmott in her wool shop at Hunters bar which is closing down after 16 years

Independent shop Wool Baa, on Junction Road at Hunters Bar roundabout, shut for the final time last Saturday May 29 as owner Jill Memmott retires.

The shop has always been popular with knitters and craft fans but saw massive demand during lockdown last year, when there was both an explosion of interest in the hobby, and people could visit non-essential shops again in between periods of restrictions.

“That was amazing really”, said Jill, aged 62.

Jill Memmott in her wool shop at Hunters bar which is closing down after 16 years with Diane Chatwin

“There were people queuing right around the corner and they never seemed to stop.”

Sheffielder Jill asked her mum to teach her to knit aged just five and it has been a lifetime passion.

Although she has done ‘many other things for work’, owning a wool shop was always her dream.

Jill added: “We get customers from everywhere.

Jill Memmott in her wool shop at Hunters bar which is closing down after 16 years

"There are people Down Under who get people who are visiting them to come and get stuff and take it back for them. They won’t be doing that any more.

"We get so many different people, there’s always something different coming through and I am going to miss that.

"People are coming in and saying ‘what are we going to do? I feel like it is not just a shop.”

Nationally it has been reported that a love of knitting had reached new audiences during lockdown, including more men, due to it being an indoor pastime and for some people, reducing anxiety.

Jill Memmott in her wool shop at Hunters bar which is closing down after 16 years

Jill said she had noticed more young people getting into knitting and visiting the shop for supplies, including children as young as she was when she first picked up a pair of knitting needles.

In retirement she plans to meet up with customers who have become friends over the years – and to get hooked on knitting as a hobby again.

"Funnily enough when you have got a shop like this you don’t get much chance to do it”, Jill said thoughtfully.

"This is a good time for me to do a lot of knitting!

"I will miss the customers. People keep crying and it sets me off.”