Pedal the yarn crawl through Copenhagen

August 2012

Normally we walk a yarn crawl. But for Copenhagen, I suggest embracing the Danish lifestyle. Rent a bicycle. Be a Dane for a day! While you can certainly walk all around town, a little pedal power will enable you to cover more woolly territory.

To begin the yarn crawl, first pick up a good map. They're free at the airport, at the tourist information counter. Show the tourist-helper this list of yarn shops. Be bold and ask them to mark on your map the location of every yarn shop. With me, the information counter lady was so amused by my desire for a yarn crawl, and she was happy to mark up my map. If you don't catch the tourist-helpers at the airport, then there's another tourist information center at the northwest corner of the Tivoli pleasure gardens in town.

By the by, this guide was written during my trip to Copenhagen in August 2012. Beware, opening hours and such may have changed by the time you arrive! All knitting destinations are closed on Sunday.

So anyway, here goes. Start the yarn crawl at the Sommerfuglen yarn shop, which is near the National Museum in the center of town.

Vandkunsten 3
Hours: Monday-Thursday 10-5:30, Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-2.
This is a really nice, posh yarn shop in the center of the old town, a really quaint area with cobblestone streets. The shop has a good and varied selection of yarn and supplies as well as kits of the Danish knitwear designer, Hanne Falkenberg. I covet Hanne's Mermaid cardigan, but the kit is just too expensive. I unfortunately must forego the knitted bliss that is Hanne Falkenberg. OK, when you're finished with Sommerfuglen, then you can proceed to the next shop on the yarn crawl.

Fiolstraede 13
This is a really great yarn shop, in the center of town. The gals who run the shop were very friendly and helpful. There's a great selection of sock yarn, much of which I'd never seen before. This shop has a lot to offer we knitters. OK, after you've had enough of this great shop, walk on down to the corner, at the intersection of Fiolstraede and Krystalstraede, and there is another yarn shop called Strikkeboden, which hasn't got a great selection, but you might as well stop in since you're passing it anyway.

Those three yarn shops are the only ones I found in the very center of town. Does anyone know of any others?

Now you can walk to the next shop, but it's a real hike. For fun instead, and to cover maximum territory at the highest speed, I suggest a little pedal power. Bicycling is the way to go in this town. I rented a nice bike for 60 kroner (US$10) per day, not bad. The only time I ever used public transportation was the subway ride from the airport into the city center. Otherwise, I either walked or biked everywhere in Copenhagen.

Rasmilla Garn & Strik
Hallandsgade 3
Hours: Monday-Wednesday closed, Thursday 6-9, Friday 10- 6, Saturday 10-2.
This is my very favorite shop in Copenhagen. It's wonderful, with a friendly atmosphere and a cozy nook with table and chairs where they host a ktog every Thursday from 6 to 9. I wish I had known! I would have liked to have met some real Danish knitters during my travels. This shop has an extremely wide color selection of solid sock wool of the Arwetta brand, a Danish company, which was great for me since I want to knit my sister some Fair Isle socks. This shop carries an interesting overall collection of knitting needles and yarn, many brands I knew not, which is great. On the map, it looks like this shop is way south of the Black Diamond, but I assure you, it's not far. Nothing is far in Copenhagen! I rode my bicycle to the shop. By the way, this shop was the only place in Copenhagen that actually accepted my U.S. master card, which was good...everywhere else I had to pay cash, which was annoying. This shop is on the knitting cutting edge.

Osterbrogade 138
I rode my bike from Rasmilla Garn & Strik on up to Garnstuen, which was far but not a complete trek. It's a nice bike ride, if you enjoy putting the unmotorized pedal to the metal. Garnstuen is a nice shop. There wasn't much insofar as sock yarn is concerned. Going to this shop is a good excuse, though, to check out the surrounding neighbourhood, which looked lively on the Saturday noontime that I was there.

Jorun Garn
Godthabsvej 51
Hours: Monday-Friday 11:30-5:30, Saturday 11-2.
This is a great shop! There was an entire wall of sock yarn, what joy! Yes, I bought some yarn to make socks for my sister. Shocking, I know. There are lots of handknit items in the shop, for inspiration and/or purchase, which is good, I suppose, if one wanted to knit something other than socks. The woman working in the shop was so nice and sincerely friendly. She's from the Faroe Islands, she said, and knitting is a lot bigger there than Copenhagen, apparently. I can't believe it. She said there are several good knitting shops in the town of Klaksvik in the Faroe Islands. You know how this story ends. I'm feeling a Faroese yarn crawl in my future. Stay tuned!

Vesterbrogade 31
Located just west of the fabled Tivoli pleasure gardens. This shop has some yarn but mostly haberdashery. They were nice, though. I asked them about sock yarn and they told me to go to the yarn shop right down the road. How nice of them to pass along business like that! So, I hopped on my bike and pedalled down the road.

Therese Garn
Vesterbrogade 75
Hours: Monday-Tuesday 10-5:30, Thursday-Friday 10-5:30, Saturday 10-1.
This is a pure knitting shop: small, but packed. Not poshly arranged. Nothing to distract from the knitting. Yarn everywhere, a little chaotic, but worth a trip there.

Nicoline Garn
Fyensgade 1
Hours: Monday-Friday 11-5:30, Saturday 10-2.
This yarn shop is basically on the northeast corner of the Assistens cemetery. The shop is right off Norrebrogade street, which runs alongside the cemetery. Before or after you go into the shop, I suggest getting a little picnic lunch to go, and then walk on over to the Assistens cemetery, which is more like a poshly landscaped park than a cemetery. It's a nice place to ride a bike through or sit on a bench and knit. OK, now back to the yarn. The shop is ok. I bought some lowbrow Mayflower sock yarn, which apparently is a Danish company. The shop has a table and chairs (although not so cozy) and I asked the lady if they host a ktog. She said sometimes in winter they do, but they might not this winter. Oh. OK. I get it. Oddly, this store is connected to a kids' shoe shop. You can walk from the yarn shop to the kids' shoe shop, via a doorway, without ever going outside. I felt like Alice in Wonderland walking through a secret doorway. Curiouser and curiouser.

Smallegade 26
Hours: Monday closed, Tuesday-Friday 10:30-5:30, Saturday 10-2.
This is a tiny shop but posh and nicely arranged. Small selection of yarn but an interesting yet abbreviated selection of quirky cotton print fabric for sewing. There are lots of funky buttons displayed in vintage cutglass bowls and stemware. Nice sense of visual display. I was there at 11:30 on the Saturday morning, and across the street was a funky antiques flea market. This looks like a cool part of the neighbourhood.

Bette Design
Klosterstraede 20
I had heard this shop was nice. I walked to the location, and there was indeed a Bette Design sign hanging above the door. But the store was completely empty. It's gone out of business! Or perhaps it's moved somewhere else? Does anyone know?

Amager Strik
Terosevej 4
Hours: Monday-Tuesday: 10-5, Wednesday closed, Thursday 10-5, Friday 10-6, Saturday 10-2.
I didn't make it to this shop. So, I have no knitting report. I wonder if it's a real treasure trove. Does anybody know? Yoo-hoo, anybody out there?

My last bit of knitterly advice is this: If you only have time for a few knitting stores in Copenhagen, then, in my opinion, these are the top destinations, in my personal order of preference:

Rasmilla Garn & Strik
Jorun Garn

It's amazing how many knitting shops are in Copenhagen! There is so much yarny goodness. In the knit-and-purl ranking system of KnittingJenny, Copenhagen gets two knitting needles up!

Next time I visit Copenhagen, I'll hopefully have more time. I'll drop the 479 kroner (US$80) for the 72-hour Copenhagen Card, which covers the train from the airport, all transportation in and around town, as well as entrance to 70 or so museums and attractions, including the fabled 19th century Tivoli pleasure gardens. On this visit, I wish I'd had three whole days to kill, just going around town as a normal tourist. Instead, I was a knitter on a mission!