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London’s top craft spots

Today’s London Paper has a double page feature on the city’s craft scene. If you’re a better person than me and never pick the rag up out of protest at its wateful use of paper, or because you don’t care what Peaches Geldof did in Bungalow 8 last night, then I salute you and shall reward you with a summing-up of its contents.

The Papered Parlour opens in Clapham this Saturday 2 May, and hopes to bring a bit of culture and creativity to an area best known for chain bars and Australian youths in bad loafers. Acting us a creative community hub, there’s a cafe and studio where anyone can drop in for a cup of tea, a natter and – hopefully – some artistic skill-sharing. There will also be exhibitions, performance space for hire and classes on everything from screen-printing to jewellery making. Plus they sell some exquisite-looking cupcakes. It sounds so fabulous that I might just brave the walk down Clapham High Street to get there, which says a lot.

The Make Lounge aims to provide ‘contemporary craft workshops with a stylish, social twist’, and they have a brilliant range of niche workshops on offer including A-line skirt making and a ‘zipper clinic’ (which I could definitely do with popping along to…). They also offer bespoke craft parties for you and friends, although be prepared to recevive handmade presents from all your guests if you throw one for your birthday – fine when they’re good crafters, but slightly rubbish when they’re not.

I Knit, based in Waterloo, is an absolute haven for all yarn junkies. Browse the extensive collection of quality wool, take one of their classes to brush up on your needle skills and pop along to their knit groups (every wednesday and thursday) for some yarn-bonding sessions. Also sign up their online newsletter for all knit-related goings-on.

Candid Arts is a slightly more high-brow institution, and primarily acts as an exhibition and education centre, but has an extensive range of art courses for those wishing to expand their skills beyond those GCSE paint splatters you did ten years ago. Plus there’s singing and music lessons – in a definitely non-x-factor-ish way.

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