About Us

Ethel & Em is a yarn shop with a location in the centre of the historic market city of Lancaster as well as a virtual shop on the world wide web of wonder. Ethel & Em is Melanie’s baby, but she has been fortunate enough to have some wonderful companions along for this adventure.

While wool, acrylic, yarn – string, has been a part of Melanie's life since childhood, it is only in the last couple of years that the bug well and truly bit her - and she needed to find a way to still earn a living - and play with string all day.

Ethel & Em is a crochet first kind of place, although Melanie has been  reacquainting her self with knitting as of late. She felt it was kinda key if she was going to be an independent yarn shop owner! Every day is a school day at Ethel & Em and skill building is just plain fun!

So, who are Ethel and Em? Ethel was Melanie’s mom, she died when Melanie was a little girl. Ethel rocked crazy bright hair colours long before it was socially acceptable – all while being a card-carrying PhD and communist during the McCarthy era. She was a rebel and she had a clue. Em, is Emily, Melanie’s second friend in England who she met in 1992, and one of the best friends a girl could have ever asked for. Sadly, Emily died of cancer a few years ago. The girl crocheted her way through cancer and I have great memories of binge watching Netflix while she crocheted and I sat there marvelling at her unfolding creations, thinking I’d never be able to do that. These women, along with many others continue to be an inspiration.

Whether you Crochet, Knit, Weave, Felt, or make gorgeous Macrame goodies for your home – whether you are a dabbler, a novice or a pro, Ethel & Em is a place for you.