July 17, 2006
France -- where do I begin? Do I start with the friendly -- yes friendly -- people? The wonderful cheese? The interesting sights? The funny language stories? The family fun? The yarn shopping? Ah, that got your attention!
When I travel I love to check out the local knitting scene. Not only does it give me a feel for the place, but I come home with the best "souvenirs". France was no exception. My travels took me to 2 great places to buy yarn, Le Bon Marche (Rive Gauche) and La droguerie. But first, check out my souvenirs...
Le Bon Marche
The 3rd floor of Le Bon Marche (Rive Gauche) in Paris is a delight -- offering yarn from 4 vendors, a wide range of needle work and sewing supplies, and a small branch of La droguerie. Knitting yarn tends to be purchased from a specific yarn vendor instead of from an all-purpose yarn store. Le Bon Marche included 4 yarn vendors -- Phildar, Rowan, Anny Blatt, and one other I cannot remember. Each vendor had its own section displaying its pattern books and yarn along with its own sales clerk. The modus operandus is to find a project in the pattern books, choose your yarn from the display only yarn wall, and then tell the sales clerk your selections. She disappears into the back and returns with your yarn and pattern book ready to go. I liked it -- lots of choice without being overwelming.
Since Rowan and Anny Blatt are available in the States, I decided on Phildar. It was easy to find a pattern I liked -- the French really have a nice sense of style -- and to locate the proper yarn. Although the yarn was a wool, acrylic blend it was reasonably priced and seemed nice. The Phildar patterns are well written and have been a fun puzzle to translate.
This store is an absolute must for craft enthusiasts -- yarn, buttons, trim, ribbon, beads, jewelry supplies, felt, etc, etc, etc. Everything was beautiful and of wonderful quality. I could have spent my entire trip in this store and was on a high when I left. There are branches all over France and I hit two of them -- Paris and Strasbourg. What I loved most was how they mixed and matched the buttons, trim, and beads with the knitting. It's amazing what a special button or pin closure can do for a simple sweater. The sales gals were all young, friendly, and very patient with my limited French. I would go back to France just for this store -- and I mean it! More information on visiting La droguerie can be here.
Wow - gorgeous finds! I like searching out the local knit scene - but haven't had a chance to explore this in other countries. What fun!
Posted by: jillian | Jul 17, 2006 5:31:05 PM
I LOVE shopping in France, most recently in Lyon. La droguerie is the BEST. I also like to translate French patterns. I knit a bolero from Phildar KidMohair. From my visit to Lyon, I have stash to knit from for a long, long time. Glad to read that you had a good time there. Your stash looks great!
Posted by: Brenda | Jul 17, 2006 6:12:21 PM
What beautiful finds! So glad you're back!
Posted by: Susan | Jul 17, 2006 7:14:30 PM
I LOVE La Droguerie too!
Too bad I missed Le Bon Marche last time...but there'll definitely be next time.
Your new French WIP looks very promising ;)
Posted by: yuvee | Jul 18, 2006 2:23:51 AM
Like I needed another reason to go back to Paris. *L*
Posted by: Cookie | Jul 18, 2006 9:12:58 AM
Welcome back! That whole experience sounds amazing. Would you believe I wasn't able to go to any yarn stores in the UK? UGH!
I continue to live vicariously through you. And now to save up for France....
Posted by: Aura | Jul 18, 2006 11:12:59 AM
Hey Nona, thanks for sharing the beautiful haul. Someday I may get to France then I'll check out those stores. Welcome back, you were missed.
Posted by: Kelly | Jul 19, 2006 9:29:30 AM
I just got back from Paris last evening. While there I checked your blog and got all excited to go and find this La Droguerie. I found it and fell in love with it. I got some gorgeous mohair and some lovely wool along with some very funky beads and velour flowers for sewing on a yet-to-be knit felted bag.
I also made it to Le Bon Marche and checked out their yarn supply.
Posted by: Kim | Jul 20, 2006 3:56:16 PM
I also just got back from paris 2 weeks ago, and been to these stores!
loved it. alpaca for me at La Droguerie.
Posted by: hPNY knits | Jul 22, 2006 10:21:29 AM
so cool! When I was in Rouen last summer I went into a Phildar shop and had this lovely conversation with the clerk about the knitting craze in the US. She thought I was batty, spending my vacation allowance on yarn!
Posted by: Renata | Jul 28, 2006 8:35:31 AM
Hi from the south of France !
La Droguerie is really one of the best yarns and beads shop in Paris : it openned in the seventies, and in the begining, it was a very small shop, always crowdy; I loved to go there when i was going to Paris!
Le Bon Marché is OK, but they dont have a lot of yarn : often not enough skeins, or not the color you're searching for ...Anny Blatt and Bouton d'Or (same spinning mill)are really good and pretty yarns, but sometimes a bit expensive : I live beside Orange, in the south (Provence), where the spinning mill is, and they have a shop there, with really good bargain prices.
In Paris, you also have an interresting yarn shop called Cat'Laine : 19 r St Marc 75002 Paris
Nobody seams to know about it.
Posted by: Jocelyne | Aug 1, 2006 3:40:15 AM
I am going on a trip to London, paris, and provence. Any info on knitting stores would be much appreciated.
Posted by: suzanne Filbey | Aug 2, 2006 10:10:52 AM
I am working next to the Droguerie and this is TERRIBLE for me..lol
Veronique in France
Posted by: Vero | Aug 6, 2006 8:21:22 AM
Nona, Your descriptions of French yarn stores are making me drool. Haven't been to Paris in years, but I loved it there. What pattern are you knitting? C'est magnifique!
Posted by: BeachKnitter | Aug 7, 2006 8:00:42 AM
I'm a little late, but I have to jump in and say that I've also been to La Droguerie in Paris and in my hometown of Strasbourg. I'm sitting here squinting at my computer screen, wondering if it's possible that we both bought turquoise bamboo yarn...
Posted by: Veronique | Aug 21, 2006 12:52:54 PM
I'm going to Provence too and wondered if you have any suggestions for yarn shops? Is there a La Droguerie in Aix?
Posted by: Kyle | Sep 4, 2006 8:21:09 AM
I just looked in the phone book here in my apartment and the nearest yarn shop is in cavaillon. Aix is less than an hour away, so if anyone knows about a yarn shop there, or in Arles or Avignon, etc., please advise!
We came here thinking it would have warmed up by now, but nstead the Mistral has arrived. I want to knit a scarf!
Posted by: Judy in Lourmarin | Mar 24, 2008 6:52:25 AM
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