İplik (n.: yarn, thread, rope) Finding my new favorite local yarn store

… Or perhaps this should be titled “Yet more proof I’m an eighty year old trapped in a twenty-nine year old’s body” …

So if you didn’t know this, I love textiles and fibers.  I think this might be why I started knitting in the first place really, because who needs that many scarves/hats/mittens/sweaters?  (I still have yet to master the sock, but I have a whole list of Christmas gifts that need to be handmade so I just might give it a go this fall.)


I started knitting after leaving the US, so have had to learn new vocabulary in each place I’ve lived since — as well as learning these terms in English! — about knitting and fibers.  In Germany there were some lovely yarn stores with great supplies, but I was so spoiled I didn’t know that I should have stocked up.  Bosnia had some okay fibers, but not such great needles and such.  And a lot of the yarns were mostly acrylic so I would stock up at my favorite stores stateside any time I made it home.

Yarn store #2 and 100% wool!

I assumed moving to Turkey there would be lovely yarns: wools, silks, angora, cottons, Oh My!  When I started doing my online research (ravelry’s forums rock), I found a lot of complaints about lack of quality yarns.  I decided I had to get out and check for myself, so I went to Kızılay which is the part of town most people suggested.  And it makes sense since Kızılay is really what most people consider the heart of Ankara.  I found tons of stores!

So not all quality, but something to be said about quantity, no?

I found the stores that were recommended by fellow bloggers and ravelry forum friends as well as a few more.  I must say that the vast majority of the yarns were, sadly, acrylic in nature but there were a few nice wool or wool blends to be had.  I would compare the stores and selection I found to a local Hobby Lobby or Micheal’s store in the US.  Not where I want to go just to peruse and enjoy the fibers, but they’ll do.  Especially because, unlike Micheal’s or Hobby Lobby, these stores are SUPER affordable.  If I’m buying not great yarn for super cheap, I’m not so upset about it being not so great…  But even the wool was rather reasonable.

My new steal! (And bad flash.)

Then as I was walking to my bus stop to return home after a fun afternoon of perusing (but impressively not buying), I spotted a sign that led me to a basement level store that was having a sale.  The selection was the same as the others except for a bin towards the back of the store filled with unwrapped yarn loosely balled together into skein-like shapes.  I asked how much they were and was told they were sold by their weight (40 TL/kilogram).  When I asked what they were (fiber-wise) and why they weren’t in wrappers I was told they were meant for export but were colors the company didn’t want to send and were cotton-acrylic blend (75-25 respectively, which I am pretty sure was just a guess).  While I have plenty of stash yarn and a project list that’s already too long, I couldn’t help myself.  I pulled out a blob of beautiful, soft purple yarn.  Turned out to be four skeins weighing about a fourth of a kilo (meaning 9.5 TL or about 5 bucks!).  Now I get to find a new project to use it on!

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