I would like to apologize for not posting in almost a week. I won’t get into the details of why as I promised to keep this a knitting site, but I have been very busy and very challenged as of late. I am hoping the worst of it is over and everything can settle back into a nice even rhythm again. Thankfully I have been knitting, which is a good thing. I think I would go crazy if I didn’t get a chance to knit on a regular basis. I have also been able to maintain my resolution of 1,000 stitches a day (I’ve actually been able to do quite a bit more). About a week ago I met a woman in a local coffee shop who was wearing a gorgeous orange scarf. Her name is Carol and we got talking about knitting, crocheting, yarn, and all the like right away. During the conversation, where to get yarn in Vancouver came up and I promised to do a post on it – so this is it. I am breaking it up into two posts as we are very lucky to have a number of yarn shops here in the lower mainland. So I am going to do more of a list with a brief summary of each first, then over time I will spotlight some of them and do a detailed post on those. If you are in the area and are going to be involved in A Common Thread at the end of the month, you will get to see 3 of the ones on the Island as well (I’ll do those another day).
The area I refer to as the Lower Mainland is the portion of BC that is also sometimes referred to as Greater Metropolitan Vancouver. Here is a small map showing the area I have included:
For those of you lucky enough to live in this area, you will know where I am talking about. For those that aren’t, come and visit any time you like and I’ll show you around. Luckily, quite a few of the shops have a website, so you can visit them virtually if not physically. Those that have a link can be reached through clicking on their titles. I will also include a price range for “general” consideration. Here is the scale I will be using:
- $ – Very inexpensive, with few if any items being over $10 per ball
- $$ – Inexpensive, but some items approaching $15/ball
- $$$ – Moderate, average prices around $8/per ball and selections of higher end yarns around $15-$20/ball
- $$$$ – Expensive but worth it! Large selection of higher end yarns in the $15+/ball category.
So if we start from the Northwest corner and head to the Southeast corner (West Vancouver to Aldergrove), this is what we get …
Knit-n-Stitch Shoppe – This is one of the older yarn shops in the LM. It used to be a chain of stores during the 80′s, but Ingrid, the daughter of the founders of K&S, has amassed all her wares into one location in Dundarave. The store is located on Marine Drive at 24th street in Dundarave (West Vancouver) but the easier entrance is in the back alley, as the entrance off Marine drive involves a long flight of stairs. In this shop you will find a large selection of higher end European yarns along with quite a selection of cross stitch supplies. There is also a good selection of buttons, crochet cotton, needles, and other accessories. General price range : $$ – $$$$.
Urban Yarns – Urban yarns is a yarn shop that started a few years ago in Vancouver and now has two locations – one in Vancouver near UBC at Sassamat and 10th, and the other in Edgemont Village in North Vancouver. From the onset Urban Yarns has always carried a higher end yarn and catered to the customer that wanted to make things with alpaca, silk, merino wool, cashmere, and other finer fibers. I have not been to their store in the village, but it is hard to not be impressed with the selection of yarns in the store in Vancouver (friends tell me it is the same in the village). While you will find some yarns for $5/ball, this is definitely a higher end yarn shop with prices to match. As I said before though, they’re definitely worth it! General Price range: $$$ – $$$$.
Plum Project Studio – Before this blog moved to this site I did a post on a studio in North Vancouver that did more than just knitting. Unfortunately I have not been able to go back to the studio, but I was very impressed with my initial visit, and the concept behind the studio. A quick peek on their website tells me that they are still doing well and offer a variety of eco-friendly, sustainable yarns that are moderately priced and VERY addictive to use. General price range: $$ – $$$.
Gina Brown’s Yarns – Leaving the North Shore and coming onto the mainland, we are now going to start again in the west and head eastward. That being so, we will skip over Urban Yarns (done above) and go to Gina Brown’s Yarns, just a skip down the street from the Vancouver location of Urban yarns. I haven’t yet been into Gina Brown’s, but they do have a blog that you will get to through the link in the title. I will make sure to visit and perhaps do a spotlight on them in the very near future. General price range: ??
Homecraft Importers – Homecraft Importers is a family owned yarn shop that has been in Kits for more years than anyone can remember. I remember when I would go in this store and spend hours searching through their “stash” to find the perfect yarn (and you always could). You will still find the perfect yarn, but the store is much more organized now and much friendlier to the new knitter. They carry a wide variety of yarns from quite a few different manufacturers. They are situated in the heart of Kitsilano on 4th, but there is ample parking in the Safeway lot across the street (just don’t tell them I told you that)! General price range: $ – $$$.
Dressew – Dressew is not a yarn shop, it is a sewing supply store, but it gets mention here because it has always carried yarn. It is located between Homer and Cambie on the north side of Hastings. Up until recently, it has only been novelty yarns, like the eyelash yarns and such, but last ear they did procure a large shipment of high end yarns. They also brought in quite a few books of patterns and they have value priced needles and accessories. The thing about Dressew is that all their yarn is sold at $1.99/ball – even the high end yarns they brought in last year. General price range: $.
Fibre Arts Studio – Granville Island is probably the most visited place in Vancouver for tourists, even though it isn’t really an island. There is a small studio there where a few artisans go to practice their crafts. There is a spinner and knitter there amongst them, and you can buy some very unique hand spun yarns from there. It’s definitely worth checking out, as you’re also steps away from the infamous Granville Island Market.
Well, that’s it for this first part on the yarn shops in Vancouver, but there are plenty more. I’ll let you know where soon!