Not only does Seattle have the Space Needle, it also has six yarn stores within its city limits. Truly a yarn paradise compared to London or Paris.
I spend most of my yarn shopping time and money at The Weaving Works since I’m usually drawn to their excellent selection of textile books, which almost always includes the very latest knitting titles. They have a good selection of all types of yarns, from traditional Shetland to trendy eyelash and it’s the only place in town that carries Koigu. If you are looking for spinning supplies, then this is the place to go. I plan on taking their beginning wheel spinning class in March.
My other favorite yarn store is Hilltop Yarn. Although, they have a much smaller selection of yarn and books, the staff is very friendly and helpful. Just beware that it is a very popular place in a very trendy neighborhood so it can get quite busy on the weekends. It’s a very cozy, but comfortable place to take classes.
If I can’t find what I’m looking for at these two stores then I visit the following stores.
Acorn Street Shop
Here’s a photo of the tweed that I bought while shopping at La Droguerie. A beautiful swatch was displayed along with the hanks, which showed how this yarn looks when knitted with two strands in graduating shades. I would have loved to buy more to make a sweater based on the swatch but didn’t have time to contemplate yardage since I was feeling a little guilty about making my husband wait while I browsed.
I also purchased this alpaca and some funky pins. Hopefully there is enough to knit gloves or a scarf. Too bad I didn’t buy more. Just this weekend I found the perfect sweater for this alpaca. It’s in a new book called A Garden Stroll by Lori Ihnen (she’s wearing it in the photo on the publisher’s website). If you like Poetry in Stitches by Solveig Hisdal then you might like this book. Don’t judge it by the sweaters on the publisher’s web site, they aren’t the best ones in the book.
To tell you the truth, I’m not a good yarn stash shopper. I usually find yarn perplexing when I don’t have a specific pattern in mind and I didn’t bring any sweater ideas with me to Paris. Actually I do find it much easier to buy yarn then actually knitting a sweater. Lately I’ve been stalling on my current sweater project since I still need to calculate additional increases around the waist.
My remedy for jet lag is four shots of espresso in the morning and then a good night’s sleep.
I was so busy sight seeing that I only managed to knit during the three-hour train ride from London to Paris. I’m still a little peeved at British Airways for not allowing knitting needles in the cabin of their aircraft. I could have finished a pair of socks during each nine hour flight. It’s odd that the TSA allows them but not BA. Although I could have attempted to bring them on in my carry on bag, I decide it wasn’t worth the potential hassle.
While in London I stopped into John Lewis and Liberty department stores to check out their yarn stock. Liberty has a small stock of Rowan yarns and patterns. Not really worth the trip since I can get Rowan yarn here. John Lewis has a better selection of various brands but still very unsatisfying compared to any one of my five local yarn stores.
While in Paris I quickly popped into La Samaritaine, Le Bon Marche and La Droguerie. La Samaritaine has a small yarn section (about the same size as Liberty’s) tucked into a corner on the top floor that only includes Phildar yarn. Le Bon Marche’s yarn section (also tucked into a corner on the top floor) is three times bigger than La Samaritaine’s. They carry Rowan, Phildar and Bouton D’ Or.
I was most impressed with La Droguerie. They have a small selection of yarn but I love how it is displayed. Hanks are hung on the wall by yarn type in a rainbow fashion. The picture below gives you a small hint of the display. There is more yarn hanging on the opposite wall to the left.
I don’t know who makes their yarn but it appears to be of good quality natural fibers such as wool, alpaca, cotton, silk and etc. I purchased several hanks of tweed wool and a ball of alpaca.
Besides yarn, they also carry a dizzying array of buttons, ribbons and beads. Most shoppers seemed to be more interested in these items. I picked up some cool old looking safety pins that can be used as a closure for a shawl or wrap type sweater.