Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Garn Garn and More Garn!

Here are the garn (yarn) shops we visited in Stockholm.

Yesterday I went to Marias Garn (St Paulsgatan 20 in Södermalm, closest station is Mariatorget). This one had lots of brands I had not seen/heard of. Mostly yarns from small local mills I think. I must say I was somewhat disappointed - most of the wool is really coarse and stiff, though I did see a few balls of very soft 100% cashmere by their own label and some Drops alpaca. The shop is very nicely presented and had lots of gorgeous scarves however.

Today we were wandering around Gamla Stan (the old town) when I hit the jackpot.

On Österlånggatan I first came across Anntorps Väv (Österlånggatan 11). I was served by a lovely lady who was very bemused that I wanted to take photos in her shop. The store stocks a wide range of Collinette and Noro, and some Malabrigo. It also has a range of soft lace weight to aran yarns that look hand spun and dyed by Östergötands Ullspinneri (although she assured me it's not hand dyed) in solids and varigated colours. They also have plenty of Drops and Garn Studio yarns and a few other Scandi brands, like one called 'Love'.

I ended up with 2 skeins of the not hand dyed stuff in approximately 4-ply, and two smaller skeins of a snubbly single ply in pale minty green and blue.

Further down the same street, we came across Sticka (Österlånggatan 20). This place has some gorgeous knitted up stuff, a few pieces I recognised, including the butterfly camisole from Rowan 37 (ex. the beads) and a hooded top from Vogue Knitting not too long ago. She also had 2 triangular wraps that had stunning colourwork. Initially I thought they were Kaffe Fassett designs, but she told me they were by a Danish designer named Christel Seyfarth. The kits were about SEK1300 each (AUD260!!) and included about a dozen balls of cashmere, alpaca and wool yarns. I held back and only walked away with a couple balls of sock yarn. The restraint!

On our way back to the train station we stumbled upon Ullcentrum Öland (Stora Nygatan 36). This is strictly not a yarn shop, they mainly sell knitwear and felted things like pot holders and coasters, but they had a couple of shelves of yarn at the back. Again, a lot of the coarse yarn but they also had some interesting 3-ply linen/1-ply cotton mix. It feels quite stiff in the skein, almost like paper, but the girl at the counter showed me some scarves knitted in that yarn and they were softer. I'm still skeptical but somehow left with a skein of the stuff.

Finally, I made a deliberate visit to Nysta (Luntmakargatan 50, closest station is Rådmansgatan), recommended by a couple of Swedish bloggers. It stocks some Debbie Bliss, Noro, Malabrigo and Collinette (I got a skein of Jitterbug in Copperbeach). The main range, however, like all the other yarn shops mentioned here, are Scandi brands and the wool is quite coarse and the yarn is not as tightly spun as ones done in Italy ( e.g. Zara).

The highlight of my day was visiting the Stockholm Knitters. It was great to be able to meet complete strangers in a foreign city and be welcomed into their midst. Thanks girls!


Cat said...

It was really nice to meet you! Have a nice trip to Oslo, Gothenburg, Malmö, Spain and Hong Kong!

Heidi said...

Oh, I have to go to Stockholm soon! Just a short boat ride from where I am here in Finland.

Yes, the "Scandinavian" yarns do tend to be a little coarser. Don't know why that is really. I guess there has always been an emphasis on making sturdier and more durable knitwear, because of the long and cold winters.

So Much Fun said...

Oh the universal language of ...YARN!
Can't wait for pics!

michele said...

wow, thank you so much for posting these pictures and links. it's inspiring to see these beautiful shops and designs.

on a different topic, i was thinking of making the asymmetrical cardigan and your photos of the sweater convinced me to take the plunge. thanks!

Anonymous said...

Yes, Anntorps Väv is really something else! I also almost bought a lot of Gotlandic yarn, but decided to buy some later....