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"Travel Blog: Paris"
Author:  planetpurl
The adventures of a yarn addict in Paris in desperate need of a fix.
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Lost in Translation [Back to Blog]
"Fil" vs. "Fil"

Armed with my handy Planet Purl French dictionary (you can dowload it from our site for free in the travel guide section), my spreadsheet of shops organized by arrondissement, and my individual folders of printouts by district -- I said I was organized -- I picked out what I thought might be my best bets.  Generally, these had been touted in French blogging sites as great places for buying "fil" -- yarn to us.  You know, the stuff you work up on "aiguilles" -- needles.  My first stop reminded me of the nuances of language, darn it.  No pun intended. 

Paris Department Store

Paris Department Store

Des Fils and Une Aiguille

I was feeling pretty good about how quickly we found this shop.  Looked like it was going to be a very productive day right off the bat.  Well, really, ummmm -- not so much.  Fil can mean yarn, but it can also mean thread.  And aiguille is used for knitting needles and sewing needles.  And this particular store meant embroidery & quilting thread and needles.  But it had a terrific selection of kits that would make great souvenirs if you embroider or cross-stitch, so I included it our review anyway. 

The shop is at 1 rue de Chabanais in the first district.  It's pretty much centered between four Metro stops: Bourse, Pyramides, Opera, and Quatre Septembre.  As always, I strongly suggest you print a Google map of the address to take with you.  Then check the map of the area in the Metro station to choose the exit closest to your destination and orient yourself as to direction.  No sense wasting good yarn shopping time being lost!

Paris BHV

Paris BHV

Paris BHV

Cat' Laine

Our second stop definitely produced some yarn!  Lots of it!  In fact, every visible vertical or horizontal surface of the store was covered with boxes of yarn.  My only problem, after a rather dry spell in the hunt for yarn, was where to look first.

The shop carries a lot of brands -- French brand Fonty, Filatura di Crosa, Grignasco, On Line, Katia, Lanas Stop, Tahki, Anny Blatt, among others, and lots of novelty yarns.  Walk around a few times before making your purchase -- there's a lot to take in.  I found my yarn for my planned Planet Purl Paris Bag, but I'm not going to show you until I've knitted it.  It's a surprise!

Cat'Laine is easy to find.  Even if it weren't painted hot pink.  It's at 19 rue St. Marc in the 2nd district.  You can get to it easily from any of these four Metro stations: Bourse, Grands Boulevards, Quatre Septembre, or Richelieu. 

Paris BHV

Paris BHV

Paris BHV

Huguet & Cie

When I was  in Florence a couple of years ago, I found a yarn manufacturer's work room behind the cathedral, where you could buy wool by the kilo.  This funny little shop in the 3rd district is like that, but on a smaller scale. 

The sign on the window tells you that they sell yarn for both machine and hand knitting.  When you walk in, there is yarn stacked everywhere.  Some of it is brand name yarn from Grignasco, Filatura di Crosa, Fonty, Lanas Stop, Lane Monterosa, Georges Picaud.  You kinda have to dig around as it isn't sorted or displayed an any discernable manner.

Then there are boxes and packages of bulk yarn and bobbin after bobbin of machine yarn everywhere.  The stuff goes to the ceiling.  They will wind off as much yarn as you want from the bobbin so you only buy what you need. 

This was the only yarn store I saw during my 10 days in Paris that had wool roving for spinning.  I only spotted it undyed, but if you spin and hand-dye and are looking to bring something home, this may be your shop.

Open Monday through Friday and closed on the weekends.  The shop is a treasure trove if you're willing to hunt a bit.  Located at 36 rue Reamur, with the nearest metro stop at Arts & Metiers.

Happy hunting!  I think I need a pastry now.

06/10/2008 0 comments | add comment
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