My very own Scandinavian yarn crawl

Before our trip to Copenhagen, I dreamt of yarn stores on every corner. I compiled a list of stores to visit determined to find yarn that was “Made in Denmark.” Here is a recap of my very own Scandinavian yarn crawl.

Ulstedet, Vendersgade 3: The website for this yarn store beckoned with knit and crochet shawl kits, yarn and notions. When we showed up at the address, it simply wasn’t there. Strike 1.

Strikkeboden, Krystalgade 16: We found this yarn store on a pretty corner very close to the Round Tower, a 17th century astronomical observatory. It’s quite tiny but full of yarn in cubbies on the wall, in baskets and in window displays. Unfortunately, I was greeted by a very surly woman who seemed disturbed that a customer would actually enter the store. She practically barked, “can I help you.” I scanned the store, turned around and left. Strike 2.

Sommerfuglen, Vandkunsten 3: Sommerfuglen is located close to city hall and is bursting with yarn from floor to ceiling. It was a busy morning with many customers coming and going. The sales ladies were busy but very helpful. One sales lady explained that most of the fibers are imported since Denmark does not itself have many fiber-producing animals but some yarns are either spun or dyed or both in Denmark. I picked up this nice wool/silk blend. I thought it fitting to take a photo of it in Denmark. Home run!

Design Club DK, Duo Silke/Merino, 65% Wool, 35% Silk

Bette Design, Klosterstræde 20: I read about this yarn store on several blogs and set out to find it. It was very close to the Church of the Holy Spirit off Strøget, a wide pedestrian shopping street. We found the location, it even had a pretty sign hanging over the entrance, but the store was empty. By the ladder and bare walls, it may have been unoccupied recently. Strike 3.

Our next yarn forage took us to Malmö, Sweden. We rode a train over the 10 mile Øresund bridge connecting Copenhagen to Sweden’s third largest city.

Garn David Hall, Jörgen Ankersgatan 12: We found this store tucked away on a side street near the center of Malmö. Alas, it was closed. All I could do was stare at the fluffy yarn through the window. Strike 1.

Princess Garn, Lundbergsgatan 4: We walked a long way in search of Princess Yarn but it was not to be. We found the address but there was no yarn and no store. Strike 2.

Irmas Hus, Kalendegatan 21: Third time’s the charm. Irmas Hus is not a yarn store. It seems that it used to be and also carried fine fabrics. They had a wall full of little boxes filled with buttons. They now specialize in clothes but in the middle of a sale table, sitting in a couple of bins, I spotted yarn. These giant hanks are hand-dyed by a woman who lives outside of Malmö. And to make it even sweeter, the sale was a two for one! I picked up these two hanks of hand-dyed merino wool. Another home run!

Handy-Dyed outside Malmo, Sweden

Hand-Dyed outside Malmo, Sweden

Here’s a street band in Malmö celebrating my yarn find.

Malmo Street Band

Do you know of any Scandinavian yarn stores we should have tried?

44 thoughts on “My very own Scandinavian yarn crawl

  1. This is great! Those blues in the first photo are delicious! My uncle lives in Denmark, it’s fun seeing stuff from there. I recently had a similar experience trying to find yarn stores here in PA- lots of mysteriously closed and no-longer-yarn stores.

    1. It is sad about the yarn stores. We had one popular yarn store close down in Houston about a year ago. I was kind of shocked because I went there all the time and one day, the building was “for lease.”

  2. When I visited Norway I could not believe how many yarn shops there were in Kristiansand alone, and how lovely they were! Wish I could have come on your yarn crawl!!

    1. Must add Gothenburg, Sweden to my travel wish list. Actually, several Scandinavian detective novels I’ve read take place in Gothenburg. Maybe I can do a murder mystery tour / yarn crawl combo trip…

      Thanks for the link.

  3. Great post! Your yarn crawl was impressive – and the photos, as always, lovely… Sad to hear of so many yarn shops that have vanished; it’s tough to find that perfect balance of good yarn, good location, and good service/attitude. Love the band!

    1. At Irmas Hus, the proprietor and I talked about that. She said she had noticed a marked drop in yarn sales. Her impression was that people just prefer to buy items already made rather than make them themselves. We both thought it was sad. But the retailers have to survive so in her case, she shifted to clothing. Even textiles were dropping, which was her real passion. She said she used to carry high quality fabrics but lost sales to larger stores that bought in bulk. Very sad indeed.

  4. You really have perseverance! I was in Amsterdam in December, 2010, during some really cold and snowy weather. Before I went a friend suggested that I look up some quilting shops, so I did a little research and set out to find a couple of shops. The first one was like a few of yours – just not there. I wonder if they just do web business. The next one was small and I was the only customer, but the storekeeper was friendly. Probably everything I bought was from an American company (and probably woven and printed in Korea), but it was still fun and brought me out to see things I would not normally have seen. I also went to a bead store and a wonderful art supply store. If I go again, I’ll look for a yarn store!

  5. Thank God for Etsy.com

    We have lots of sheep in England, Wales and Scotland, Ireland too maybe? Then there’s New Zealand? Be far maybe. You should definitely go to the Highlands.

  6. Thanks for the memories… Tucked away in the cedar chest in California, 2 meters of wool fabric I wove in 1969 at the International People’s College in Helsingør, Danmark. Lots of yarn shops back then! Actually, I will wear the hat I crocheted with the leftover yard, when in NY next month.

  7. Finding yarn on my Europe trip next year is on my list of things to do. I want yarn from all 5 countries and then to make a memory project.

  8. Great post! And l love the marching band at the end; I’m just getting into knitting myself and was wondering what you knit with that beautiful yarn. When I travel I always hit a fabric shop and so now have a growing stash. I might as well add wool to my purchases from away.

    1. Isn’t that marching band cute?! It made me grin widely when I saw it. I have not used that yarn yet. I have a couple of other projects on my needles and am resisting starting another until I finish. I love the colors and will have to find just the right project!

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