View Full Version : buying yarn in Europe

Lindsey H
10-17-2007, 08:47 AM
My mom is leaving for a cruise in the Mediteranean Sea. She is going to Spain, Corsica, Italy and other islands. Does anyone have any experience with yarn from that region?

10-17-2007, 09:15 AM
I used to live in Italy. It depends on where 'in Italy' she'll be visiting. If it's a place w/ at least 30,000 population- there should be a yarn store 'somewhere'.. (tell her to take a skein of yarn w/ her.. and take the label off.. so, they don't think she WANTS that particular brand/type of yarn to show people what she wants!) I would also do the 'knitting motion' with my hands to let people know what I wanted.

ALSO.. have her ask 'when the market' day for that particular town/city is.. the bigger the city the more often there is a market day. Even in the small towns (I was living in one w/ a population of about 5,000) have a weekly market day.. and in our market there were 3 people selling yummy yarns. That was in northern Italy.

The euro has made things more expensive- but, yarn in the market is good yarn.. she just needs to learn to 'feel' wool when she feels it. WOOL is called: LANA there. I think cotton is COTON (pronounced differently) I used to know the Italian words for quite a few fibers. ALSO, any yarn bought there, in the markets, will cost less than it does in the states.

Yarn will be sold in grams and it will be rare to find yardage given. Most skeins were 50 grams.

Winter is a good time to go- they have lovely mohairs, wools, etc in Italy. YUMMY YARNS.

I don't know about the other countries. I do know that Spain does produce yarn- because we get yarn from Spain sometimes in my yarn market here.

I had lived in Italy and left in 2000 and went back again in 2003.. after the EURO started and.. I only bought yarn to make a scarf- because it was so expensive. Of course, some of it was because.. I worked and didn't work any where near the market- so, I could never buy 'market yarn'.. and the other reason is that it was a 'tourist town' on the beach (southern Italy) and there was only one yarn store.. and her prices were 'high' I thought.

10-17-2007, 09:42 AM
I just got back from a European cruise. It was really hard to find any yarn stores and even in the cities that we had private drivers they were not able to help me find yarn stores. So this year I came back with no yarn. I do not think knitting as as popular there as it is here.

Is your mom going to Florence or Venice? I was there previously and I know of a good yarn store in each of those cities that I can tell you about if she is going there. But I have to say that the euro is so strong right now against the dollar that anything she finds would be really expensive. For instance - right now, if your mom found a skein of yarn in Italy for 10 euros it would be $15.00. I hardly bought anything this year because everything was so high.

I hope your mom has a great time - I did and I would go back again in a minute!

10-17-2007, 10:43 AM
There is a great little book called "Knitting Languages" by Margaret Heathman, which translates knitting terms from Danish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish and Swedish into American English. So in addition to being able to find out that Yarn is "filati" or "filo" in Italian, she'll also be able to discern that Reverse Stockinette Stitch is "maglia rasata rovescia":wink:. But it really is helpful, and if she picks up a pattern she likes in Italy or Spain, she'll be able to actually use it! Also-- 100m is about 108yds, and 100g is about 3.5oz.