Finding Yarn in Beijing

Work has pretty much consumed my life. I haven’t had time to knit, read or blog. There have been some very exciting developments though. I am at the starting point of a three-month stint in Beijing. The husband and the boys have been very supportive but I miss them, and it’s only been a week! The plan is for them to visit in mid-June. I hope to know my way around better by then.

On my first weekend here, I ventured over to the Silk Market. The old market has been modernized with each vendor occupying a glass-walled store inside the building. There are aisles and aisles of leather bags, shoes, watches, silk scarves, electronics, pearls, costume jewelry, and the regular assortment of Chinese bric-a-brac. The most important part of the Silk Market experience is the haggling. No matter how high the starting price of an item, go as low as you can and be firm. They won’t sell it to you if they’re not making money off of it.

I have really enjoyed the food. I found a great dumpling restaurant nearby called Dintaifung. You can watch the chefs shaping the dough through a window. Each dumpling is filled with your choice of pork, shrimp, or vegetables and each holds a pocket of delicious broth inside.

Shrimp and Pork Dumplings

I’ve also become fond of these sautéed bitter greens and bamboo shoots.

Sautéed Bitter Greens

My next priority was scoping out yarn stores. In my search for yarn, I decided to brave the subway system. I had seen YouTube videos of the Beijing subway rush hour – mobs of people squeezing into the cars. Thankfully it was Sunday, and negotiating the subway system turned out to be fairly straightforward.

I exited the subway at the Dengshikou exit. Initially I walked the wrong way but a kind soul pointed me in the right direction. The Wansha Cashmere store is located off of Dongdan North Street, about three blocks north of Jinbao Street. The address is 14-2 Dengshikou Street. The store isn’t very large and you sort of have to be looking for it. Inside, it was stocked floor to ceiling with yarn. They carry wool, cashmere, mohair, cotton, camel and novelty yarns.

Wansha Cashmere 1

Wansha Cashmere 4

The women were very helpful and let me browse to my heart’s content and even snap a few photos.

Wansha Cashmere 2

Here are my purchases. First, a large hank of cotton yarn. I really liked the green speckled look. It sort of reminds me of a robin’s egg except in green. The price was determined by weighing the yarn on a scale.

Cotton from Wansha Cashmere

I also picked up these bright balls of wool yarn. Some are 50 gram and some are 100 gram balls.

Wool from Wansha Cashmere

This set of knitting needles cost me 10 yuan or about $1.50 US.

Knitting Needles from Wansha Cashmere

All in all, it was a good first weekend in Beijing. Hopefully I’ll find time to do some knitting soon.