Everybody talks about the food in Paris, the wine, the cafe culture, the stunning museums and architecture, the lazy picnics by the Seine and the fashion. I talk about the yarn stores.
I adore the yarn stores of Paris, they are all so different, full of character, yarn and in some cases wine. I have two favourite stores that over the past five years I’ve been visiting every November. One convinently has a cafe within it which serves excellent food, especially brunch, and the other is a five minute walk from one of our favourite bars. Both of these things are factors in my ability to return as they offer a respite for the bored husband during my inevitable yarn fondling and indecision. At the first he can hide in the corner with a coffee and a book while I dash about, at the second he holes up in the bar with a Negroni whilst awaiting my yarn-loaded and newly cash-strapped return.
However our recent trip was a little different. We were visiting the city with the family in tow and this presented an ideal situation, the lure of a fellow knitting-addict, enabler and partner-in-crime who would happily spend hours if not days in the pursuit of yarn stores. Thus the Great Paris Yarn Crawl of 2015 was born. An entire day exploring not only the stores I know and love, but new-to-me boutiques all over the city. Whilst my Mum and I hot-footed (or rather damp-footed, it was quite the rainy day unfortunately) around the city in search of skeins Mr L was able to browse the cities comic stores at his leisure. A win-win situation for us both.
I thought you might be interested in our itinerary for the day. I’m afraid I don’t have many images as I was too busy fondling yarn or dodging raindrops. Below I’ve edited our exploration to include only the stores where we actually purchased yarn and found them to be worth the visit. I’m sure the others would have things of interest to other knitters, but these three were our favourites not only as a result of yarn selection, but also the reception we received whilst there and their general approach to all things knitting and notions.
L’Oisive Thé: This quirky teashop also doubles as a yarn store. The shelves on one side are crammed with tins of unusual teas, and on the other two sides hang skeins of yarn from lots of independent dyers. I find it impossible to walk out without buying at least something (and this time we came away with more than 12 skeins between us, oops!) They are also well known for their food and baked goods, so this is the perfect stop for either lunch or a little something, We had lunch and a lovely glass of rosé and spent almost two hours there chatting about knitting and yarn. I’m super excited that they are opening a bigger store this year and can’t wait to return to see it.
Metro: Corvisart or Place d’Italie, 10 rue de la Butte aux Cailles &
1 rue Jean-Marie Jégo
Les Tricoteurs Volants: A new-to-me store that I found because they have a good Instagram account. They not only have a good range of yarn but also a nice selection of buttons and interesting notions. The owner was sitting happily knitting and chatted to us and helped us make decisions. Here I found a wonderful combed yak yarn I’d never seen before as well as gorgeous matte black darning needles.
Metro: Gare l’est, 22 rue de la Fidélité
Lil Weasel: It’s rare that I actually buy yarn here, and yet I have such a soft spot for this store. Their collection tends to be quite “standard” French yarns with only one or two more interesting dyers that are mostly things I can get in England. However they have recently started stocking The Plucky Knitter, a dyer that I’m really fond of, which when they have new stock is very dangerous for me indeed! The other bonus of this shop? They’ve expanded across the passage and how have a dedicated fabric store, and I always end up buying from their extensive collection of beautiful fabric and patterns.
Metro: Etienne-Marcel, 1 passage du Grand Cerf
I hope this guide is useful, and if you have any tips about crafting in Paris let me know in the comments so I can include them in future trips!