Monday, March 26, 2007

Yarn hunting in Europe part II- Switzerland

Blogger finally allowed me to post without "eating up " my photos. Today must be my lucky day!
Continuing my yarn hunting - part II in Switzerland.

First day in Zurich we visited a couple museums, explored the old town that consisted of many narrow and winding streets, full of antique shops, small boutiques, cafes, etc. Some of the old houses were dated back to 14th century. We strolled down the famous 'Bahnhofstrasse', known as one of the most beautiful shopping streets in Europe. Very nostalgic and romantic area.

We stopped at the tourism office to get directions and attractions information as we would be soon heading to Lucerne. I had an inquiry as well and you know what it's! Forgetting about my shyness, because when I think about yarn I completely seem to forget about it. :) I approached the old lady from the information desk regarding yarn shops. She took a glance at me over her glasses and said " Yarn shop? This craft ( knitting) is almost extinct these days. She took another good look at me. I felt that I was from the dinousar era . Then, she slipped off a little map out and circled an area around the famous street of Zurich that we had just strolled by momentarily ago. I heard the name of a department store Manor and DH soon remembered about seen it before ( great husband with great memories?) ;) I was a little embarrassed to leave the counter because once I turned my back , I saw this huge queue behind me. Perhaps we spent a little longer in our turn. And asking about yarn shops didn't sound too important, at least to these other people.
And this was my next stop,

Manor department store , 4th floor

This was a great shop, with a good selection of yarns. They carried Anny Blatt, Lang and their own Home brand. The Spring yarns were out and I could even take advantage of the cotton yarn on sale. The colors were not so distinctive to me, specially that I have a good stash at home in many colors. So I ended up choosing this light orange color ( All the tones are lighter than in the photo) . But the rest were regular price. The white ones are 50% cotton- 50% silk, the Home Brand and my favorite buy was Anny Blatt 100% cotton in this grey blue color. The colorful crochet threads are for my sister.
Later, on the same street I found this window display in a pharmacy?? I wonder what was the purpose of the knitting display? "Knitting is good for health" or "Healing with knitting"? Interesting, right?

On our way to Lucerne we stopped in a small city, Zug. In their small downtown, you could see a stunning view. With the morning fog it was just gorgeous! Indeed, this was my favorite spot.

Did you see me in that photo (left bottom) ? I felt like in heaven. It was sure true because it was so peaceful and enchanting to walk in that area. It felt even more like it was a dream when DH surprised me with this finding!

There was just one negative aspect about this store. It was closed for lunch!! Being already satisfied with my yarn hunting from the previous day in Zurich, I supposedly could not expect for more. There were still another 50 minutes before they would reopen for business. So trying not to show my disappointment, I told the guys that it was all right ( we had to head to Lucerne) and that a few photos for my blog would be sufficient!

Ooooh, the yarns looked like candy, don't you think so? This shop was filled with better quality stock than the other stores I had visited. I spotted lots of Lang brand and magazines inside!

So, I tried to console myself for the bad luck and tell myself that I had being fortunate enough to have found the other stores. Then someone ( my younger son) loudly announced that he was hungry!! The next thing I heard was DH laughing. He told to the boys that this plan would fit mom perfectly! I can only say that my guys are the greatest! And you know what was next after lunch...

A better look at the rainbow candies! So yummy, I wanted them all! Such an interesting display. You could see all the selection and pat a ball without fears that the yarns would fall all over.

In the photo below, there are rows of zippers but i didn't buy any. There was no time to think about future cardigans that would need zippers at times like these.

Could not walk out empty hands, right? I chose Fuchsia merino yarn from Lang, some sock yarn and a few balls of silk mohair. Found couple knitted lacy doily and tablecloth magazines. Too intricate for me to knit but it's so nice to just look at the pictures. This is the type of magazine you leave by your bedside so that you can have sweet knitting dreams! ;)

The lady from this shop was extremely nice and well mannered. It was a pleasure to visit her shop. Just wished that I had more time to chat with her and talk about her knittings. All the samples in the display were her work.
Once she learned that we were on our way to Lucerne, she gave me the address of another branch that carried sale stock.
This shop was located in the old downtown of Lucerne at a walking distance from our hotel.

Unfortunately the sale selection weren't the yarns that I liked. I had the feelings that this one was going to be my last shop. It was my last chance to get some blue cotton yarn-Lang Golf ( forget to take a photo).

My younger son soon came to look for me with a business card in his hands. He was holding a yarn shop address that he had found nearby. Oh he joked in selling it to me, knowing that mom wouldn't be able to resist it! At time like this, you think they are your little angels!

It wasn't just an ordinary yarn shop as they carried souvenirs as well. There were a good stock of Italian yarns and magazines. I didn't buy anything because I was starting to be realistic about the little space left in my luggage. After all you need to show some resistance to your kids, right?
And with that I finished my yarn hunting in Switzerland. We still had a weekend to enjoy and sightseeing around the city. We visited mount Pilatus with an extraordinary view. Can you spy a knitting lady?

And last but not least, we visited the "The Dying Lion of Lucerne". It was carved in memory to the Swiss that had died in the French Revolution. In fact, Mark Twain called it "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world."

On our way back to Zurich, we had lunch in a French border city but it was Sunday , so no yarn hunting! Will be on my future list of places to visit.
In case, you're wondering about my real knitting activities. I have been knitting , though not a lot these days. Just have been busy and not being able to concentrate. Besides my Flower Basket shawl, I am working on two more projects that I will show next time.


yuvee said...

Wow!!!! Those are some awesome shops you found!
This post gave me the urge to just book a ticket to Switzerland and go yarn shopping ;) Too bad I don't have the visa for it.
Your family totally deserve some handknits!

handknit168 said...

Oh, you have visited so many yarn shops in Europe. I like the way of their yarn display inside the shop, it is quite different from HK. Switzerland is so beautiful and I should go there. I have been Germany, but not much up to my expectation.

opportunityknits said...

Thank goodness blogger finally let you post these photos. You managed to visit so many beautiful yarn shops!! I can't imagine how you managed to choose the yarn, they all look so pretty. I like the pink mohair cardi and the white cabled sweater in the window. But best part in this post is how all the men and boys in your life are so supportive of yarn hunting.

Jan said...

What lovely shops. I wish I just had one or two in my neighborhood, though it would be bad for my budget. The scenery is so beautiful there. It looks a lot like Austria where my husband's relatives live. And what nice boys you have! So understanding!

Peggy said...

What a wonderful journal of your trip and explorations! It's always exciting finding new yarn stores. :)

Dipsy said...

My gosh, these yarn stores!!! My heart was jumping with joy when I saw all these pictures - and thank you so much for sharing your interesting travel story! I've been to Switzerland so often when I was a child, but unfortunately didn't get around to going there in the past couple of years. With your entry you've certainly inspired me to go again - it's such a beautiful country, and now that I know more about the yarn stores, thanks to you, it's even way more interesting for me ;)

Cafe Knitter said...

I am so jealous of your yarn hunting trips... I doubt my husband would let me spend much time yarn shopping when we go on vacations. Those yarn shops look so tempting...

Andrea said...

Your pictures are beautiful. I absolutely enjoy yarn hunting while on vacation. I recently returned from vacation and found yarn shops in Vietnam and Fukuoka.

emy said...

Mimi, my hubby has always been wanting to visit his mecca - the Omega watch musemum in Switzerland.

After reading your blog entries, I think I'll be encouraging him to save up so that we can make that trip soon! (Then it'll be yarn shopping for me too!) LOL!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this blog/post. I was just hunting for shops in Zurich as I will be there next month and wow, what a find! Not only did you find the Zurich shop but perfectly perfect you found one in Zug. My sister has lived in Zug for the past 2 years and I am going over one last time before she moves home. Thank you!!!

juanita said...

Hi there, Mimi.
I have to thank you SO MUCH for this blog post!

I will be moving to Zurich next year, and one of my biggest worries is not having an assessable yarn store to feed my knitting frenzy. So I did a random Google search on "Zurich yarn" this morning.

It's just great that you had the really clever mind to ask the lady at the information desk! Who would have thought that? Now that's one less worry off my mind :)

Thank you so much,

Sally said...

Hi Mimi,
My mom is looking for Aarlan yarn from Switzerland. She inherited some yarn and is knitting a sweater but is afraid she will not have enough. Do you have any information on the aarlan store you took a picture of? Can you post the address or the city? I'm not sure where you were when you snapped the picture. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks so much. I was in Lucerne about 30 years ago, it was beautiful then and still is from the pictures you posted.
Thanks again,

Mimi said...

Hi Sally,

I could not reply to your email as it has no return address or any info about your blog. So I will leave my reply here.

I'm so sorry that I oould not find the business card of Aarlan anymore. I can only tell you that there are two shops ( both Aarlan) that I visited. Ones is in Zug and another one in Lucerne. The last one was located inside a department store.

Hope your mother have enough yarn to knit the sweater!


Sally said...

Hi Mimi,
Thanks so much for answering me about the aarlan yarn. I'll keep looking. I appreciate you taking the time to reply. Happy knitting!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mimi,I have just discovered this site of yours and I think its wonderful that you can share this with so many. I wondered if you could help me.I am looking for a copy of the Arrlan Journal 44 - baby knitting . I had one for ages and it has gone missing .I have a first grandchild on the way and would love to knit some of the patterns in it. My email address
if anyone could help, I would really appreciate it. Cheers!

Just Getting Started said...

I currently live in North Carolina and my husband has just accepted a two year rotation in Zurich. I am still very much just getting started as a knitter but I love this craft and I have become quite addicted already. I was thrilled to see your blog and I look forward to leaning on you in the future as I start my own quest for yarn shops in Zurich in early July!!!

Pascall Photography said...

great blog article. the swiss sure know how to display craft items. cheers.

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