AFTER hitting the right note as an opera singer the owner of a knitting shop in Penarth is appealing for votes to win a national award.

Christine Richardson, owner of Yarn ‘n’ Yarns on Cornerswell Road, has been nominated for ‘Best Local Independent Yarn Store’ in Wales as part of the British Knitting Awards.

Christine, who only took over the yarn store just under a year ago, said that she was “thrilled” to find out that one of her own customers had nominated her for the award.

“It was a massive surprise as I have never run a shop before,” she said.

“I never thought I would be nominated as the other shops are so well established.

“It’s great for Penarth, especially this area as many people don’t know we are here.”

She now runs a number of knitting, crocheting and felting classes as knitting enjoys a surge in popularity.

“It’s not just something that grandparents do, teenagers and young mums are picking it up now too,” she said.

She also welcomed the growing trend of ‘yarn bombing’, which has seen people adorning statues with knitwear and leaving thought provoking messages in various places.

Recent examples have included the statues at Cardiff Bay being adorned with knitnwear and someone knitting ‘Keep our beach clean’ near Penarth beach.

“I think its great fun as it’s not as bad as graffiti as it can easily be removed,” she said.

She added that one of the most unusual requests she’d had was someone recently contemplating knitting their own wedding dress.

“She’s been looking at yarns but I think it will end up quite lacey,” she said.

Christine, 60, was a soprano opera singer with the English National Opera for 30 years, before she went freelance and sang with the Welsh National Opera for around nine years.

“I was an opera singer before but I have been a knitter all my life,” she said.

“I thought it was time to take up something different and I heard about the shop here through a friend.

“I’m now doing something that I love and I’m very lucky.”

Christine will be hosting a Macmillan Coffee Morning on Saturday, September 26, from 10am until 1pm, to mark her first year open. The knitting shop also recently raised money for Velindre Cancer Centre by knitting a quilt.

To vote for Yarn ‘n’ Yarn for Best Local Independent Yarn Store in Wales in the British Knitting Awards go to

Voting closes on Sunday, September 7, with the winners announced in the November issue of Let’s Knit, on sale from Friday, October 24.