Where can I buy yarn in China?
September 7, 2010 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Where to buy yarn in Shanghai and Beijing? I'm a new knitter, but would love to take advantage of what I heard are great prices for yarn in China. I'm looking for store suggestions, or advice about specific types of yarn that would be a good buy.

When I say I'm a new knitter, I mean I've now knit one scarf, and have so far purchased two skeins of yarn (bamboo/cotton mix), like, ever, so please be as specific as possible. Thanks!
posted by odayoday to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you on Ravelry? It's an excellent knitting/crochet resource.

I did a quick search of the forums for shops in Beijing and found these links:


A list:
Wan Sha Jin Dian - Ground Floor, No 14-2, Deng Si Kou Da Jie. Dong Cheng District. My favorite LYS in Beijing. BJ is such a huge city and the traffic is a nightmare. This location is very near to the Wangfujing area (a major tourist area) making it possible for me to catch up with them between work and dinner (shop closes at 7pm during summer and 8pm in winter), the yarn selection is also the best among the ones that I've been to. And here is their Chinese store name/address/phone: 万纱经典纺织品 - 北京市东城区灯市口大街14- 2号 Tel: 65127090

Yizhao Yarn Store on Liang Guang Lu, Chongwen District. The Chinese directions are 亿兆商店 - 崇文区 两广路边上的光明日报社的西南角了 ! 可能你还不明白,就是: 1. 台基厂往南走祈年大街,过两广路后再往南,路西就到了! 2. 从崇文门上两广路,往西走,到光明日报社的十字路口,左转,路西就到了! 有个小店上写着"毛线和羊绒"的地方就是. Tel: 67075620/21

Daqian Yarn Stores - this is a chain and has a few locations. I've only been to the first one on the list in Xuan Wu District.

96A, Yong An Lu, Xuan Wu District 宣武区永安路甲96号 63038504

45A, An Le Lin Lu, Chong Wen District 崇文区安乐林路甲45号 87267522
1, Guang Qu Men Wai Ma Chuan. Chong Wen District 崇文区广渠门外马圈1号 67780542
96, Dong Zhi Men Nei da Jie. Dong Cheng District 东城区东直门内大街196号 64071770
120, Xiao Dao Kou Nan Da Jie. Dong Cheng District. 东城区交道口南大街120号 84048415
6, Xin Jie Kou Wai Da Jie, Xi Cheng District 西城区新街口外大街6号 62020352

Some recommendations regarding yarn and knitting in China:

Below are the most common fiber contents in Chinese, I have translated them by collecting the names from yarn labels and by asking from different yarn stores in Beijing.

Try to look if you find your fiber content from this list, if not I would be interested to see the character (some new fiber ???) and will try to translate it for you.

棉 (mian2), 棉花 ( mian2 hua) cotton
丝光棉 (si1 guang1 mian2) mercedised cotton
亚麻 (ya4 ma2) linen
大麻 (da4 ma2) hemp

羊毛 (yang2 mao2), 澳毛 (ao4 mao2) wool, australian wool
小羊毛 ( xiao3 yang2 mao2) lambswool
新羊毛 (xin1 yang2 mao2) new wool, virgin wool
美丽奴羊毛 (mei3 li4 nu2 yang2 mao2) merino wool
雪兰毛 (xue3 lan2 mao2) shetland wool

丝 (si1), 真丝 (zhen1 si1) silk
羊 绒 (yang2 rong2), 开士米 (kai1 shi4 mi3) cashmere
驼 羊 毛 (tuo2 yang2 mao2) alpaca wool
驼 毛 (tuo2 mao2) camelhair
马海毛 (ma3 hai3 mao2), 安哥拉羊毛绒 (an1 ge1 la1 yang2 mao2 rong2),安哥拉山羊毛 (an1 ge1 la1 shan1 yang2 mao2) mohair
安哥拉兔毛 (an1 ge1 la1 tu4 mao2), 兔毛 (tu4 mao2) angora

竹纤 (zhu2 xian1), 竹纤维 (zhu2 xian1 wei2) bamboo yarn
大豆 (da4 dou4), 大豆纱线 (da4 dou4 sha1 xian4) soy bean yarn
牛奶纱线 (niu2 na3i sha1 xian4) milk protein yarn

东丽绒 (dong1 li4 rong2), acrylic fiber “Toraylon”,made by a Japanese company TORAY
纤维 (xian1 wei2) viscose ??
尼龙 (ni2 long2) nylon
人造丝 (ren2 zao4 si1) rayon
锦 纶, 金纶 (jin1 lun2) polyamide
晴 纶 (qing2 lun2) acrylic
涤纶 (di2 lun2) polyester
posted by naturesgreatestmiracle at 3:19 PM on September 7, 2010 [2 favorites]



Hope you find some sources!
posted by naturesgreatestmiracle at 3:25 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

The woman who blogs at Little Purl of the Orient lives in Hong Kong but I believe she has blogged about purchases in Shanghai and Beijing before. I bet she knows where to get good stuff. Maybe you could email her?
posted by chelseagirl at 7:11 PM on September 7, 2010

Here's a map of yarn stores in Shanghai, which I only found after I left, so I didn't get to visit any of them.

You absolutely should ask Ravelry -- there's at least a couple of groups specific to China, plus a few expat groups besides.
posted by mgar at 7:23 PM on September 7, 2010

Nth-ing asking on Ravelry. Besides the relevant regional groups, there's also a database of yarn shops. I don't remember China being on the list of locations when it was created (I helped lead the volunteer effort to make lists of shops waaaay back a couple years ago :) but it has presumably expanded.

Honestly, I can't think of a knitting question for which "ask Ravelry" isn't a right answer these days.
posted by booksherpa at 7:39 PM on September 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have no idea about buying yarn in China specifically, but I would recommend looking on Ravelry to get the general idea of yardages for basic categories of garments/knitted items for your size. That way you can make sure to buy enough yarn to make a sweater rather than ending up with only enough to make a shrug. I know I've made the mistake of buying one skein of a bunch of yarns that caught my fancy and then had problems figuring out what to make with my limited yardage. It might also be helpful to have a project or two in mind both for the yardage of yarn required and also the weight and fiber content.

In very general terms, yarns made mainly or only of fibers like cotton or alpaca tend to grow or stretch out a lot. This can cause issues with things like shirts/sweaters or skirts but not so much with things like shawls or scarves. "Superwash" wools are treated so that they will not felt up in the wash the way that regular wool yarns will. Good if you want to make socks you can machine wash, bad if you want to make a felted handbag.
posted by radioaction at 8:14 AM on September 8, 2010

Wow, awesome! Thank you guys so much! I did ask about shops on Ravelry, but only in the Shanghai group page, so this is a huge help. Cheers!
posted by odayoday at 6:32 PM on September 8, 2010

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