Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Yarn Shopping in Geneva, Switzerland

It is impossible to find yarn in Chamonix, France, so the first chance i got to go to Geneva (Switzerland), i jumped at it. With the first thought being "there'll be yarn there". So i spent two days researching 'yarn shops in Geneva' and one fun day shopping for yarn.

I found the cost of yarn in Switzerland to be really expensive. And most shops mainly stock Lang Yarns which are priced around CHF 7-90 (Swiss francs) per 50g. Lang Yarns are a Swiss company, so it not surprising that the majority shop source most of there yarn from here. As always when visiting place like this i wish i was more confidant in asking to take pictures, but hay, this is why i knit, i am shy and can easily hide behind some knitting.

So here are the results of my research and shopping expedition. But if you know any better, please tell me in the comments and i'll update this.

The Research
First or all don't get confused between yarn shops in Geneva, Switzerland and Geneva, NY, USA. The yarn shops in Geneva, NY look great but you can't find them in Switzerland.

Most of the blogs and websites i read mentioning yarn shops in Geneva were very old and often had dud links or no links at all.

The best site i found was Knitmap.com, i did a search for Geneva, Switzerland (leaving all the search criteria boxes unchecked). This bought up five store in Geneva and as i did not find any other shops selling yarn, i assume that this is it.

For more yarn shops in Switzerland try the listings on Lang Yarns website.

View Geneva Yarn Stores in a larger map The Shops

The Shops
au Dé d’Argent
Rue de la Servette 76, Genève, 1202 
Tram Stop: Poterie (line 14) 

This is a cute shop about a 15 minuet walk from the Bastique de Notre Dame de Geneve or main train station. 

This shop had the best range of sock yarn out of all the shops i visited in Geneva. If you are looking for sock yarn, this is the place to go. As well as sock yarn they stocked a range of other yarns, notably Lang Yarns. 

As well as yarn they stocked a good range of notions, buttons, etc. I also noticed a number of hand knitted items for sale, such as hats. 

As i have way too much sock yarn at the moment, i resisted the urge to buy more and left the shop empty handed.

Claudine Laine Creations
Boulevard Carl- Vogt 63, Genève 1205 
Tram Stop: (take trollybus 2 or 19) 

Claudine Laine Creations, Geneva, yarn
This is another small cute shop knitting shop, within walking distance of the old town. The lady in the shop was very friendly, she pointed out my Wurm hat, and tried to find the pattern in one of her books. She did not speak very good English, but i managed to cobble enough French/Franglais together to hopefully explain that i got the pattern off Raverly. Again this small shop mostly stocked Lang Yarns, but i managed to come away with three balls of Filstura Di Crosa (Zara Plus), which is destined to become a hat.

Le Roulet

Place du Marché 5, Carouge (GE), Genève 1227 
Tram Stop: Marche (Line 12)

This is one of two Yarn shops in the Carouge area of Geneva, the other being Tricolaine on the next street. This was is of the largest yarn shop in Geneva. It is laid out in a very open fashion. They stock mostly Lang Yarns, in nearly every conceivable colour. As well as yarn they stock notions and kits. I was a bit disappointed given the size of the shop, of the lack of variety of yarn. They have so much space, it was a shame to see it go to waste.

Rue Roi Victor Amé, Carouge (GE), Genève 1227
Tricolaine, Geneva, yarnTram Stop: Marche (Line 12)
Website: www.tricolaine.ch (seems not to be working)

This was one of my favourite that i visited. It is a very small shop, but they have a good selection of yarn that can't be found in the other stops. Most of the yarn that they stocked seemed to be imported, and included, Debbie Bliss, Rowan, Louise Harding, Zitron (i bought two balls of Nimbus) and Noro. I also noticed that they stocked knitting books in English. This shop is only a short walk from the other yarn shop in Carouge, Le Roulet. There is not much overlap in stock in these two shops, so if you only visit one place for yarn i recommend that you visit Carouge and hit both shops at the same time. 

Manor Department Store
Rue de Cornavin 6, Ginevra, Geneve 1201
Yarn, Manor Department Store, GenevaTram Stop: (Coutance) also Cornavin train station

The yarn/notions department can be found in the basement of the Manor Store. They stocked a good range of yarn, mostly Lang Yarns and their own label yarns called Maddison (Wikipedia link). Some of the yarn they stocked was relatively cheap (relative to Swiss prices) and they also had some yarn on sale. They also stock a very good range of needles, notions and even a few fabric.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Cosy Red Rib Socks

rib, DK, socks, knit, chamonix

These are my first pair of hand made socks. I started these when i first arrived in Chamonix, France, but their progress was put on hold after i broke one of my knitting needles. I was really gutted, i got a interchangeable circular knitting set for my birthday, because i was going traveling. But it turns out that the needles are really quite fragile, and not so suitable for travel. I eventually drew up the courage to ordered a new needle off a french website L'Atelier, with the help of Google translate and a bit of faith.

The pattern is Comfy Dk Socks by Laura Schickli, as found on Ravelry. I stayed true to the pattern, except i cast on 44 instead of 48 stitches, because i have very narrow feet and wanted them to stay up. The pattern worked well, i had to do a little fudging around the heal, because of the 4 stitches i took out and my little experiences in making socks. But other than that they came out perfect. The yarn i am using was bought at Newport market just before i left. I have lost the ball band and can't even remember the make, which is something i always like to know.

rib, DK, socks, knit, chamonix

Life in Chamonix is amazing. Yesterday we woke up to a fresh dump of snow and everything is looking all white, fluffy and picture postcard again. It is certainly hard to complain about work when you have a snowy mountain landscape to look out on.

I have reread the enthusiastic post i wrote as i arrive in Chamonix, about how i was going to have so much more to blog about. True. But i have so much less time. I am working less that i did back in England, but i rarely get a whole day off, and when i do i am using my time to go skiing. Also i now have housemates, so i am getting distracted going out, making dinner and talking to them. Poor excuse i know. However, i have been crafting. Knitting is as predicted what i am drawn too. At first my housemates just thought i was crazy, knitting. But i am slowly converting them, and one of them has even borrowed some of my knitting needles and is making a headband.

Knitting the headband with my house mate has got me started on my next project. A headband. I could just cast on 15 stitches and garter stitch until long enough to go around my head. But i want a bit of a challenge, so i m working on one which is double sided and cabled. Version 1 looks good and its finished but its too small and has a few kinks that need ironing out in a second version. So i have ordered more yarn from the website above, and i am once again hoping that i have translated  it correctly and i will receive my new yarn soon. I'll blog about the headband later.


In other knitting new, I have started two other pairs of socks. I am knitting them in 4ply yarn, and they are not going so well. I am having real trouble handling the fine yarn and i can't get my tension to stabilize. I will keep on trying and hopefully eventually something will click.

Also over Christmas i also crocheted a few Christmas decorations. A star for the top of the tree and a snowflake for under the glass on the side table.