Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yarn in Innsbruck

Finding a yarn shop in the European cities we visited was not difficult. If the tourist office does not know (and only rarely does the tourist office fail to know), then finding a fabric store — they are everywhere — and asking usually works.

Innsbruck was no different. This shop, Masche & Design, is in a courtyard off Innrain 9, near Marktplatz. It is a small space, but has a large selection of European yarns. Worth a trip.

I also visited a nice shop on Museumstrasse, which had a nice selection of yarn and thread. It was the only shop where I saw — and bought — Diana Strickdeckchen, a magazine with knitted doilies and tablecloths.

Shopping for yarn in Europe is not difficult. It just takes persistence and willingness to ask questions in an unfamiliar language, often with a lot of hand gestures and drawings. It made me wonder if knitting visitors to the United States would find it as easy to find yarn shops.

Friday, June 24, 2011


Now in Bolzano and no shortage of yarn here. At this shop, on via Argentieri/Silbergasse (everything here has two names, one Italian, one German), I purchased some worsted weight wool from local sheep, "mountain sheep," the very patient English-speaking owner said.

I also had the good fortune to find some of the 1.5mm needles I have been looking for at Aadler, on via Portici/Lauben.

Bolzano is a good place for yarn shopping.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Pretty Doily

We are at a lovely agriturismo in Asti, Italy. (Read about it by clicking on the Travel link under Other Interests on the right.)

This was one of the decorations in our room:

I learned that the mother of one of the owners is an expert at crochet. I am not sure if she knit the doily (it has a crochet edging) or whether an earlier generation knit the doily. Other crochet and tatted pieces are attributed to a grandmother. In any case, a knitted doily in the room sure makes Il Milin feel more like home.

Oh, yes, another yarn shop, this time in Asti, just off the main shopping street. Excellent selection of embroidery supplies as well.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Yarn in Torino

Although I have not yet found my 1.5mm circular needles in Italy, I have found plenty of yarn, this time, in Torino.

The first shop was on via XX Settembre. It was small but had a nice selection of threads.

The second shop, Alma, on via Giuseppe Barbaroux in a nice shopping area, appears to produce and sell its own yarns, including lace weights at 1,200 meters/100 grams and 2,000 meters/100 grams, in many, many colors.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Bologna for Knitters

It is not very difficult to find yarn and thread in Bologna, Italy. My two favorites are Casa della Lana and Filato Monterosa, two very different shops within easy walking distance of the apartment that is home for a week.

Casa della Lana, on via Augusto Righi at via Gugliemo Oberdan, looks like a women's clothing store from the outside, but on the inside, the shelves are stocked with lovely yarn, mostly Italian. The very finest lace weight is all together. The other yarns are arranged by color, which is not normally my favorite arrangement, but it works here.

Filati Monterosa, on via G. Marconi at about via Parigi, has some yarn but its selling point with me is threads of all varieties, brands, weights, and colors.

I won't list what I bought but it was difficult going down from "one of everything, please" to what will fit in my suitcase.

Buying yarn may be easy but needles, not so much. Yarn shops have some needles, mostly long straight ones. You also can buy needles in mercerie, shops that sells notions such as sewing thread (but usually not fabric), pins, ribbons, buttons, women's underwear, zippers, some crochet threads, embroidery threads, and crochet and knitting supplies (but usually not yarn, except in small towns where mercerie function for both notions and yarn). I am looking for 1.5mm circular needles; so far, 2.0mm is the smallest I have found. Guess I have more shopping to do.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

A Little Shoulder Shawl

I have long admired the Citron shawlette/scarf/shoulder shawl. What really sold me on knitting this was seeing my friend Joy's version.

As usual, the details:
  • Pattern: Citron by Hillary Smith Callis Smith, Knitty, Winter 2009
  • Yarn: Trekking XXL; 75 percent wool, 25 percent nylon; 459 yards/100 grams; color 418.
  • Needles: US5
  • Finished center back length:16 inches
I had enough yarn for only six rows of the final 12 rows for the ruffle, with about 30 inches of yarn left over. The shorter ruffle works for me.