Holiday Yarns

Holiday yarn shopping

We went on holiday to Italy recently and in Lucca I found this wonderful yarn shop!

Of course I couldn’t resist going in to have a look…..

Inside the shop it was a bit like stepping back in time. The shop was literally full to the ceiling with yarns and yarn craft kits in wall cubby holes, glass fronted counters and display racks. It was a dream come true for any yarn lover like me!

I got chatting to the owner, fortunately his English was excellent. Far better than my sketchy Italian. He explained that he lived in Torquay for several years and I told him that I spent my childhood in Teignmouth, not far away. What a coincidence! He also told me that his grandfather started the shop 75 years before, his father took over, and then he took it over from his father. He also explained that his family are not interested in taking on the shop when he retires so sadly it will close.

We got chatting about wool, Italian yarn and what Italian yarn crafters like to make…. He told me that most Italian knitters and crocheters only want natural fibres and he has very little acrylic yarns in his shop. He also said that Lucca is well known for it’s silk and linen production so I asked to see some Italian brand yarns. (You aren’t encouraged to reach and feel the yarns from the shelves for yourself at all. Very unlike the UK where the initial squish of yarn is so important when making a purchase. )

My purchase

He reached down a selection of boxes of Sesia Vivienne, a mohair and silk 4ply yarn and propped them open on the counter so I could see all the available colours. The choice was mouth-watering! From soft lavender, bright pink, red, honey, blue, turquoise and more…. In the end, I chose this:

I also bought some raffia and the man in the shop asked if I was going to crochet a hat? No, I explained, I was going to naturally dye it to see how it takes up colour. This got us talking about natural dyes and dyeing, that’s another story….

After a very happy half hour I left the shop, delighted with my holiday purchases, and also feeling like I had enjoyed a precious time with this man chatting about wool in his lovely shop. My regret is I didn’t ask his name. (If you know this shop and the owner, please let me know!)

My message is: wherever you go on holiday, seek out the local yarn store and make a purchase, however small. You will have a souvenir and remember the shop, the moment, the purchase….


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