On Monday 9th March, an orchestra landed in Vancouver to start a three week concert tour across North America.
In its midst were three, very switched on musician-knitters intent on taking in as much of the local knit shop culture as possible within the constraints of their schedule (Tuesday 10th March).
So, being a Project Manager by profession, I thought it best to get organised. In Vancouver (the city itself rather than suburbs or surrounding area), there are a number of places that I have found to trawl for yarn and fibre:
- Sweet Georgia Yarn Studio, 4th & Main (Open Tuesdays and Wednesdays)
- Birkeland Bros Wool, Main
- Three Bags Full, Main (Closed on Tuesdays)
- Urban Yarns, W10th
- HomeCraft Importers, W4th
- Maiwa Handprints Supplies, Granville Island
- Silk Weaving Studio, Granville Island, primarily weaving but some hand dyed knitting silks too – this is a new addition to the list!
I have created a Google Map to show you where these places are (approximately). If you are passing through Vancouver, you should be able to print out a printer-friendly copy of this map to wave under your tour guide or cabbie's nose. You may need to zoom out to see all of the placemarkers!
Just as a small disclaimer I have not listed these places in any order of preference - they all have their own unique style and merit - and this list is not guaranteed to be complete!
I have listed these places in a suggested order of viewing. Just in terms of what might make a logical yarn crawl day out in Vancouver. How much you can pack into a single day though is really down to your own individual pace and endurance!
Here is how the day panned out for us - timings are approximate and include travel between woolly venues.
11:00: Sweet Georgia Yarns
The day that we were there, Felicia was sorting out one her Fibre Club parcels, I believe that the colourway is called Gum Drops. okay, so I may have come away with a bit of sparkly carded roving!
12:00: Birkeland Bros Wool
Birkeland Bros is well worth a visit, even if it is just for a glipse of the huge carding machine at the back of the shop! From the look of that swift in action, I think that a canny knitter or two may have snagged themselves some skeins of bargain Fleece Artist and Handmaiden yarn?!
13:00: Drive past 3BF as it is Tuesday and they are shut. It is a must if you are in town on any other day (selection of yarn available and the lovely people who work there)
13:30: Lunch at Burgoos. Yummy and conveniently across the street from Urban Yarns!
14:30: Urban Yarns
More yarn, project and book fondling plus purchases ensued!
15:30: Photo Opportunity on Spanish Bank
Can anyone spot the odd knit blogger and Facebook user amongst my tour party?!
15:45: Skipped Home Importers - I estimated that jetlag was starting to take its toll!
16:00: Maiwa Handprint Supplies
17:00: Bridges Bar and Restaurant
There's nothing quite like a good end of tour drink and drool over stash before heading home!
It was a really excellent day out in fabulous company. Actually, at that point, Klozknitz was the first person from home (sort of) that I had seen since I arrived in Vancouver. It was just so good to see her and chat about things that we both knew, without needing to give any additional explanation e.g. I-Knit - shop, days etc. It really underlined how much I miss everyone from home.
Klozknitz has documented her travels on her blog, if you would like to see how 3 musician knitters can squeeze 21,445 miles, 11 flights, 14 concerts and 14 yarn stores into a three week orchestra tour!
My apologies to my tour party for taking so long to post these pictures plus their poor quality – I have done my best to recover them in Photoshop. When I got home and reviewed the images from our day out, I realised that I had a serious problem with my camera and its lens!