I always have an urge to document my yarn and fabric shopping exploits in case I revisit a city, or to help readers visiting a city for the first time. Vancouver and Vancouver Island will not be an exception.
I didn’t cover all the shops as I was far more interested in playing tourist than adding to my stash, but here are some of the ones I did visit.
My first visit was to button, button. This shop is not open on Sundays or Mondays, but it is well worth waiting to visit it. There are some beautiful vintage buttons as well as handmade buttons and lots of interesting pieces. I did not buy any as my button collection is already rather extensive, but I did enjoy browsing and the shopkeeper did not seem to mind at all. Button button is in Homer Street.
We took the bus out to Urban Yarns, which is at 4437 West 10th Avenue, and again, it was well worth a visit. I got too carried away to get a photo in the shop, but they sell quite a bit of local yarn, which is nice. I bought this lovely local indigo dyed wool from Sweet Georgia yarns, and I am planning to knit another ANKESTRiCK jumper with it. I did start winding the wool in the shop in case I had time to begin knitting on this trip, but after three skeins I lost the will to live and gave up!
Dressew is a shop with a good range of fabrics and notions, and their buttons and zip selection are very comprehensive. I was mostly tempted by the interfacing, but resisted. I’ve read the reviews about the rude staff but the only person I interacted with seemed to be a doorman and he was quite friendly. I didn’t test the sales staff, so can’t report on them.
Right across the road from Dressew is Atex Designer Fabrics and I have to say that this is my kind of shop. They have a large range of natural fabrics and I did buy some stretch silk that was on sale for around $20m as I’ve seen similar silk for $99m in Australia. They had some magnificent wool and I loved their heavy boiled wools, but managed to restrain myself as the opportunities for wearing boiled wool are a little limited in Perth.
Granville Island Markets are well worth a visit (or two). Twenty years ago I bought a hand woven silk scarf and some silk underwear from the Silk Weaving Studio, and I was pleased to see the shop is still there. The scarf is still going strong and I brought it with me on this trip out of some sort of nostalgia – it’s the pink one that is in many of my photos. As the name suggests, there is a fair bit of silk spinning and weaving going on and some gorgeous things to buy. I didn’t buy anything but I may have gleaned a few ideas!
Granville Island is home to the Fibre Art Studio, which has some beautiful yarns and creations. Also worth a visit.
The Cloth Shop is a beautiful shop with lots of quilting fabrics. I did enjoy a leisurely browse, but clean forgot to take a photo. Likewise with Maiwa, which has two shops in close proximity. I did buy a bit here and it has mordanting and natural dye materials for those people with an interest in such things. It has an online shop as well. The shop has a Foundation which aims to reduce poverty in rural villages in India and has a range of really lovely fabric which is ethically sourced from artisans in those villages, as well as naturally dyed yarns. I bought a couple of remnants, with which I’m very pleased and I note that indigo is becoming a bit of a theme for me on this trip.
Both the Cloth Shop and Maiwa are on Granville Island.
We spent the day in Victoria on Vancouver Island where I caught up with Jessica (@jessicawalkeryyj) and Linda from nicedressthanksimadeit. They were both really helpful with enabling my shopping habits and pointed me in the direction of the Beehive Woolshop. This is housed in another gorgeous building and it’s only as I looked at the photo below that I realise that it must have been a Masonic Lodge at some point. They have some beautiful yarns, but I did resist!
Linda and Jessica both also helpfully alerted me to Gala Fabrics, which is just down the road from The Beehive Workshop.
I managed to sneak a photo inside and was quite impressed with the range of fabrics. They had some gorgeous 100% cotton sweater knit which sorely tempted me, but we are only just at the beginning of our holiday and I figured that Mark might object if I colonise his suitcase for new fabric this early on!
Whilst cruising around Vancouver I came across the Marimekko shop on Homer Street. Mark suggested that I have a look and yes, I bought a small amount to add to the Marimekko fabric I bought in Stockholm and still haven’t sewn!
In summary, Vancouver has a good range of fabric, yarn and notions. It does, however, have a lot more to offer, which will be the subject of my next post.