On the Hunt for Sock Yarn in Germany

July 2012

Since I've been immersed in my sister's sock wardrobe, I was especially on the lookout for good German sock yarn.

On this trip, I went to Munich, Nuremberg, and Berlin, all wonderful knitting destinations.

Wherever you go in Germany, do pop into any department store, and inevitably there is yarn for sale. Yarn is so easily had in Germany. Love it!

Even if you have but an hour layover on your train in Nuremberg, trust me, and do this: Walk through the underground pedestrian tunnel, leading from the Nuremberg train station to the center of town. The town square is really nice and picturesque. There are two big department stores there, with good selections of yarn. When I was there, it was a warm sunny day, and there was a nice outdoor food market to enjoy and have lunch. I like Nuremberg.

In Munich, I suggest making a beeline to the fabled Glockenspiel at the Marienplatz in Munich, with its 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures. It's all very fairytale-ish. From there, a few yarn shops are but a stroll away, such as:

Ludwig Beck
Marienplatz 11

As you're standing in front of the Glockenspiel, facing it, on your right is a department store, and Ludwig Beck is just around the corner, down the street. It's nice and big and has all sorts of haberdashery. I thought the solid sock yarn selection was especially good and useful if you want machine-washable solids to knit argyle or Fair Isle sock patterns.

As we continue the Munich yarn crawl, we now progress to:

Wolle Rodel
Rosental 9
80331 Munich

Wolle Rodel is a nice yarn shop that sells its own store-branded yarn. The shop is small but nice and a short walk around the corner from the Glockenspiel. It's also across the street from a nice outdoor food market, with some great German food. Love it!

In the spirit of the yarn crawl, you might as well go for glory and end up at the historic Hofbrauhaus, within walking distance of the Marienplatz. But listen to me now and hear me later: plan ahead and make a reservation for the upstairs, which is quite civilized, as civilized as a beer hall can be.

Downstairs, though, requires no reservation. But if I were you, I'd steer clear of the downstairs, unless you're a teenager on gap year or just lookin' for trouble. Upstairs, on the other hand, you can enjoy the traditional German oom-pah music and fine food with no beer brawls to interrupt the evening. Those can be had downstairs.

By the way, this was the first time I made the effort to visit the 1972 Olympic park in Munich. I was so surprised and impressed by the park and its Olympic buildings. Even 40 years later, the swimming hall and the stadium really stand out; they've stood the test of time; I like the design.

As much as I've always liked Munich, Berlin blew me away. I suspected that it would be interesting, but I had no idea it would be beautiful, too.

There are so many nice yarn shops in Berlin. These are the ones I made it to:

La Leine
Kantstrasse 145

La Leine is near Savignyplatz station; exit right then turn right again. La Leine is a nice posh yarn shop with great atmosphere and yarn selection. I bought some nice German sock yarn there.

Woll Boutique
Kaiserdamm 33
14057 Berlin

For Woll Boutique, take the subway to Kaiserdamm. Take the exit for Konigin-Elisabethstrasse, go upstairs, walk straight, and it's on the right-hand side of the road. Make sure you hunt for #33 because it's on the corner and could easily be missed. Really nice small unpretentious shop with a delightful German woman who helped me immensely though we didn't speak each other's language. I bought some nice German sock yarn there.

By the by, nearby is the 1936 Olympic stadium. It's just a hop and skip away from Woll Boutique, on the subway. I do enjoy walking around old Olympic venues. This time, I really wish I'd packed my swimsuit!

Handmade Berlin
Monbijouplatz 9
10178 Berlin

Handmade Berlin is within a knitting cafe, so if you like to shop and knit and have cake and tea, then this is the place for you. All the yarn was quite high end, mostly unique and often hand dyed. This shop is in a nice neighborhood of Berlin. Definitely worth a visit.