Thursday, March 13, 2008


Because I live in a world of sunshine and ponies, where everything always works out (also known as the realm of the 50s sit-com), I have been planning fun things to do in the South of France. You know, just in case Skip's passport ever arrives, and we actually ALL get to go AS A FAMILY on this Family Vacation....

All hail, Ravelry!

I put out a little request to residents of Marseilles and environs, and asked about the Yarn Shopping Flavour.

And boy-howdy, did I get responses.

Now, if ONLY I could actually get there.

Check it out:

re: Local Yarn (LYS?) question
Sent at 8:19 AM Today

Hi Kemma! I did the exact same thing as you last month before I went to Torino… How much I love Ravelry for this! I did bring back some yarn souvenirs myself from Italy b/c someone answered the exact same request!

Alright. Marseille. There are no LYS per se, as “Independent yarn stores” France is a country of brand yarn stores and of this we have several :

The most common is Phildar which has four stores in Marseille, two of which are in the city center :

* 15 r St Ferréol 13001 MARSEILLE (that’s in the main shopping street)
* 31 r Trois Frères Barthélémy 13006 MARSEILLE (that’s in the artsy neighbourhood)

Then you have Anny Blatt / Bouton d’or (same company - more expensive but nicer yarns. Two stores :

* 2 r Moustier 13001 MARSEILLE (close to the main shopping street)
* 48 r Trois Mages 13006 MARSEILLE (in the artsy neighbourhood)

Then you have Bergère de France ( which I am not a big fan of… and there is one store :

* 77 r Rome 13006 MARSEILLE (close to the main shopping street)

In the artsy neighbourhood you also have one independent store which sells mostly Italian brands called “Les Laines du Chat Botté” :

* 28 r St Michel 13006 MARSEILLE but the store is dark, the yarn under plastic so I find it very difficult to see

Close to the main shopping street you also have La Droguerie ( which is EXPENSIVE! But sells really nice stuff :

* 42 r Vacon 13001 MARSEILLE

Then you have one store which sells different brands but mostly the spanish “Katia” from what I could see called “La ronde des pelotes” :

* 59 av Mar Foch 13004 MARSEILLE

And then slightly on the outskirts of marseille there is an outlet store calles Laines Center :

* 4 bd Gueidon 13013 MARSEILLE

You can use the website “” to plug in the addresses and see where they are in relations to each other.

Let me know what you find!

From: Kemma
Local Yarn (LYS?) question
Sent at 1:51 PM Yesterday

I will be traveling in your area (well, from near Ales, through Marseilles) at the end of this month, and am hoping to find Local Yarn Stores, to take back French Yarn Souvenirs of my trip. Of course, I haven’t got a clue how to find French yarn stores from my nest here in California, and so, am hoping that someone like you might have a recommendation or two. I will have a car, and can drive all over the countryside, hunting down the elusive Perfect French Yarn Store, if only someone will point me to it. Can you help me?

*kisses her new French best friend*

But wait! There's more!

re: Visiting France with Questions.
Sent at 9:28 AM Today

This part of the country is almost a total yarn wasteland in some ways. I say this because most LYSes are not full of tons of brands and beautiful colors here. They’re not bad, exactly, but they tend to sell one manufacturer’s brand of yarn or maybe two or three at the most. That certainly limits things. No lovely hand-dyed goodness here, for sure. So, the LYSes aren’t so great around here, but near Orange there is the Anny Blatt/Bouton D’Or Factory Outlet store.

33 rte Ste Cécile 84830 SERIGNAN DU COMTAT

The part in caps is the name of the town it’s in. It used to be inside Orange, but they moved some time in the last couple of years. I’d recommend looking it up on mapquest or something to find it.

Here is there phone number: 04 90 11 80 88

They have pretty decent yarns, actually, but they can be pricey if you buy them in an LYS. The factory outlet store has really good prices most of the time. They can be somewhat limited in color choice, though.

If you really want to feast your eyes on some beautiful colors, you can go to La Droguerie. Again, it’s a chain where only the house brand of yarn is sold. They have gorgeous displays, though. They hang all of their skeins from the walls in beautiful arrangement and have lots of sample garments up, too. They are also a “mercerie,” which means they sell lots of buttons and jewelry-making goodies. I know there is one in Montpellier (which is the closest big town to me) on Boulevard du Jeu de Paume.

Apparently, there’s one in Marseille as well…

42 rue Vacon 13001 MARSEILLE

04 91 54 39 18

Just a little warning to you, though:

Don’t expect excellent service in any of these places. They just don’t work that way. Not a customer oriented culture. It’ll help a lot, though, if when you enter any place of business that you say “Bonjour” to the people working there and other customers when you walk in. It’s a cultural thing. They even say it to people in a waiting room at the doctor’s office when they walk in and people are already there waiting. One bonjour will suffice for the whole place to when you first walk in. Then, if you want help with something, you should start with Bonjour when addressing the person. I’ve often started with “Excusez-moi” or “Pardon” like we would in the US, but they don’t react well if you don’t say hello first.

Anyway, that’s all I can think to mention. I honestly don’t do tons of yarn shopping, because I don’t like Phildar much, and that’s what’s closest to me. I also don’t like the service or prices in the Anny Blatt store near me, so I just don’t make the effort. I tend to load up when I go the the US, or I go to Anny Blatt factory outlet once every couple of years, or I just buy off the net.

I do hope you have a good time, though. Enjoy your trip.
From: Kemma
Visiting France with Questions.
Sent at 1:15 PM Yesterday

Hey, completely random person here. I’m going to be visiting the area around Ales and down to Montpellier and Marseilles, next week, and was hoping to find some yarny goodness while I’m there. We’ve got a car, and are probably going to be driving like fiends, trying to see everything and be everywhere, and I’m hungry for any pointers that a local (or semi-local, I see you’re not exactly close to the area, but we’re flexible, and always up for a drive) could give us (or rather me! I’m the yarny one) about where to find the good local yarn. Is there good local yarn? I’m so ignorant, and I don’t want to miss ANYTHING in the week I’m there.

So I'm punching the addresses into the Garmin, and looking at driving distances, and thinking about logistics, and wheeeee. All I need is Skip's passport.

1 comment:

Dominique said...

hello Kemma,

thanks for posting this. I will be in Marseilles at the end of May (workshop with Nancy Bush), and was hoping to do some yarn shopping too !