About a month ago, I wrote a guide to yarn stores in Taipei City for the Taipei Times. The weather was pretty grim then (as you may recall). It is gradually getting warmer, but it is still just cool enough to enjoy curling up with a cup of hot tea and a skein of yarn. You don’t even have to knit or crochet it! Just pet it. I’m kidding. I like knitting, but unfortunately I seem to have sprained my wrist. I say “seemed to” because I have no idea what happened. I had very bad repetitive stress injuries in my wrists during graduate school that only eased up after I started working at an office with an ergonomics consultant (actually an editor who was obsessed with ergonomic health and made sure my work station was properly customized). My wrist hurts in a new way this time, though. Oh, boo. I probably shouldn’t even be typing, so please take a look at my article for more stores than the ones mentioned here.
I highly recommend Yarn Passions (炙愛毛線). It’s an online store that specializes in earth-friendly and fair trade fibers (I profiled them last year). Ordering is currently on hiatus because the husband-and-wife who run it are getting ready to welcome a baby, but you can browse the lovely yarns, including merino and organic Peruvian cotton in natural colors (as a bonus, they have an English language Web site and you can order with PayPal). To shop Yarn Passions products in person, visit Earth Tree (地球樹), Booday (蘑菇) or Pure Harvest (自然結果) in Taipei City or Twine (繭裹子) in Taichung.
Shilin Yarn Supermarket (士林毛線超市, 2F, 607, Zhongshan N Rd Sec 5, Taipei City/台北市中山北路五段607號2樓, tel: (02) 2831-3777) is probably the best known yarn store in Taipei and a good place to hunt for bargains. It’s organized like a giant yarn warehouse and somewhat overwhelming, but has an amazing selection. There is a wide range of prices and fiber quality (ranging from scratchy acrylics to cashmere). Everything is in plastic bags, so you have to ask the staff if you want to feel a ball of yarn, but they are patient.
My favorite brick-and-mortar yarn store in Taipei is Lin Lin (ETA: Lin Lin has moved, please check their blog banner for new address info). It reminds me most of the yarn stores I visited back home in the States. Best of all, you can feel everything! And there is a store cat (named Lin Lin).