Tuesday, 11 December 2012

The little yarn shop

As promised, let me introduce you to my favorite yarn shop in the Tokyo metropolitan area, Avril.

Avril sells Habu yarn. You should have a look at the Habu Textiles website for more information about  the different fibers they sell. Be careful not to stay there too long ;) 

Avril is located in Kichijoji, at the end of the Keio Inokashira line which you catch from Shibuya. I am lucky enough to live close to the shop; it takes me 20 minutes from door to door! So this little yarn haven has a very interesting business model: they sell yarn by weight, with 10g as the minimum purchase. All of the walls in Avril are covered with huge spools of yarn. The labels tell you how many meters are equivalent to 10g of each type of yarn. Once you've selected your fiber, a shop assistant will reel your yarn on a spool.

If you find a great fiber but not in your desired color, you can always buy natural yarn and dye it at home. More interestingly, the shop's staff can help you create your own yarn by combining different fibers together.

For my Autumn cardigan, I chose this super-soft LilyYarn mix of wool and nylon: 150g of melon color and 190g of red. I've probably got only 10 meters of each color leftover. A nice lady in Avril helped me calculate the necessary amount of yarn; the people there are super-duper friendly!

When I returned to Avril last week to buy more yarn for my future jumper, they recognized me and we talked as if we had known each other for ages. If you are interested in buying some yarn from Avril, they do support English-speaking customers and ship internationally. Have a look at their online catalogue and order by email. Avril sells yarn sample catalogues for each type of fiber as well for only 150 yen (approx. $1.80). I am praising this shop so much because, in knitting as in sewing, a great result depends on the quality of the material.

Are you also into knitting?


  1. Wow! What a fantastic store concept! I love your yarn colours- they're very autumn-y. I'm learning to knit at the moment but it is taking me a ways :)

  2. Awww, natsukashii! My husband used to live in Kichijoji (before I knew him), and it was our favourite part of Tokyo! Have you ever been to Cottonfield? It's a fabric and notions store not too far from Avril... It's not huge, but it is crammed with lovely stuff and has a very peaceful atmosphere!

  3. Of course, I know Cottonfield and other cute craft shops in Kichijoi! As I live on the same line as Kichi (in Shimokitazawa), I go there every other weekend :)

  4. Wow, what a fun way to shop for yarn! Sounds like a great place!

  5. What a neat shop. Other than its name - I love the name Avril - I think it has a great business motto. It seems like they tailor their business to give the customer what they want (i.e. creating different yarn but mixing different colors together). I also think its interesting that they sell yarn by weight!

  6. Wow. It's like a salad bar, but for yarn. I love it! I would love to say I'm into knitting... but I'm currently not. If I keep seeing creations like yours and the other lovely knitted garments by others, I'm eventually going to have to do something about that. Damn you multi-craft-talented people! :P