In Search of Yarn at Tuanjiehu Market

I had been wanting to visit Tuanjiehu Park which is fairly close to where I am staying in Beijing. Then I received a tip from the contact at the Beijing Guild that the Tuanjiehu Market might have a yarn booth or two. That’s all I needed to know so off I went. The day was rainy but I was determined. After taking a subway, I found the park entrance.

Entrance to Tuanjiehu Park.
Entrance to Tuanjiehu Park.

Nearby, I spotted this romantic bridge.

Jie Xiu Bridge.
Jie Xiu Bridge.
Jie Xiu Bridge Banister.
Jie Xiu Bridge Banister.

I took cover from the rain under some branches where I was able to observe local Beijingers enjoying the park. This young girl in a pink kimono and traditional wooden shoes walked across the park trying to stay dry.

Tuanjiehu Park - Pink Kimono

A young couple kept dry under a large umbrella.

Couple under Umbrella

Locals sat out of the rain under the gazebo. A husband and wife enjoyed a game of cards. Every now and then you could hear the loud slap of the cards on the bench.

Gazebo at Tianjiehu Park.
Gazebo at Tuanjiehu Park.

I was delighted when I encountered this woman crocheting by the lake. She was making a dainty cardigan-like top to wear over a blouse. I bought this amigurumi bunny for ¥50. I paid too much but I wasn’t going to haggle for a hand-made item.

Crocheting by the Lake.
Crocheting by the Lake.

Many families were enjoying their outing. Kids were feeding the fish in the lake. The paddle boats were all lined up waiting for a sunny day.

Feeding Fish near a bridge

Paddle Boats for Rent.
Paddle Boats for Rent.

After walking through the park, I found Tuanjiehu Market. There are several buildings selling different items – one had fish and meats, another fresh fruits and vegetables, and a larger building had rows and rows of stalls. The stalls were mostly filled with a variety of household items – notepads, pens and pencils, shoes, some kitchen items. There were several fabric stalls with women sitting at old sewing machines working on pillow covers and bedspreads.

I found one yarn stall. A man sat next to it on a small stool playing with a Rubik’s Cube knock-off. I managed to ask him if he carried natural yarns and showed him the characters for camel and mohair. He laughed. I took that as a no. I did not buy any yarn. The selection was limited and I wasn’t impressed with the colors or textures. I did find some other goodies, though. I picked up these cute nail polishes. I couldn’t resist the bottles. I paid ¥10 for both, or about $1.50 USD. The bags were ¥10 each.

Tuanjiehu Market Buys

At one point, it occurred to me that I was the only non-Chinese person in the entire market. It seems the market caters to neighborhood residents. Some of the vendors spoke a word or two of English but not much. It was fun listening and communicating in Chinese. Overall, a good day, despite the yarn fail.

21 thoughts on “In Search of Yarn at Tuanjiehu Market

    1. It is very interesting. It’s like survival of the fittest every day. Rush to catch a cab before someone else beats you to it. Forget about staying in line to get on the subway. And if you’re pregnant or old or disabled, tough luck if you don’t grab a seat on the subway before the able-bodied. It sounds bad but actually there’s a lesson there. There are so many people that you have to fight to get ahead. No complacency here.

      1. Thank you for your very interesting reply!
        It’s a lifetime experience , with its good and its bad sides and it makes you reflect on many essential things. It’s an enormous enrichment to your life and it broadens up your view on people and life in general.
        Enjoy this experience as much as you can, which I’m sure you do! Sorry if this all sounds too philosophical, didn’t mean it this way.

    1. So glad you enjoy them! I worry a little about making this an all about my time in China blog vs. a knitting blog. But I like being able to capture experiences with both words and pictures.

  1. I always found the yarn at Tuanjiehu rather poor quality (but there’s a good dumpling restaurant just south of the park’s east gate…). Have you looked in Guo Mao? There used to be a lovely store there.

    When I last lived in Beijing (2009/2010) there was also a yarn / knitting market in the north west of Beijing (毛纺城批发市场). Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll dig up some more info for you 🙂

    1. Thanks for the tips! I will go seek out this dumpling place. I haven’t tried Guomao but I am within walking distance so I will have to scope it out. I think I found the place you are referring to in NW Beijing. Stay tuned for a future post!!

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