Tomiko and I love knitting and crocheting (and are getting into felting, too), so here is a list of our favourite Toronto yarn stores.
By far the biggest of the Toronto yarn stores at 6,000 square feet over two floors, Romni Wools carries a varied selection of natural fibre yarns, including llama, mohair, cashmere, silk, alpaca, camel, goat, and more. According to a small piece about Romni Wools in an old Vogue Knitting International magazine (Fall 2008), the shop has been around for forty-three years and specializes in natural fibres, as the previous owner was allergic to acrylic (also be warned; someone on the staff is also allergic to oranges, so don’t bring any oranges inside the shop). There used to be group classes way back, but Romni Wools had to end those to make room for more yarn!
Needles and other notions are affordable and they also carry supplies for weaving and spinning. They also have a whole wall full of books and magazines and patterns. The clearance section in the basement has many good deals on discontinued skeins of yarn. After Boxing Day, Romni Wools has a mega sale where everything is 25% off and the crowds really pack into the store, but the atmosphere is jolly and the checkout line moves quickly.
The downtown location is on the streetcar line and easy to reach by bike, which is a big bonus for us. The new, second location is on Weston Rd near the Stockyards neighbourhood of Toronto. We haven’t visited yet, but the photos on instagram look lovely! They say they carry mostly mixes of wool and cotton poly/acrylic mixes that they wouldn’t normally carry at the Queen Street location, as well as embroidery and tapestry yarns and accessories. They also plan to have classes as well.
658 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1E5
New, second location:
208 Weston Rd, Toronto, ON M6N 3P5
Out of all the Toronto yarn stores, Ewe Knit is the most walkable for us. Ewe Knit is just blocks from the Bloor-Danforth subway line (Ossington Station) and just a short walk from where we live. They used to be housed in a brick Victorian house that was a warren of rooms in Mirvish Village, but their new location is in a storefront on busy Bloor St.
They carry many nice yarns at various price points (no acrylic), as well as many pattern books, pamphlets, and magazines. Numerous, gorgeous samples are laid out all over the shop, and they do a good job of inspiring the browsing shopper with new projects. Ewe Knit also carries a full spectrum of embroidery threads as well as sewing supplies with indie patterns, quilting cotton fabric, Liberty fabric, embroidery and sewing and knitting kits. They also run classes on weaving, knitting.
832 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M6G 1M2
The Purple Purl
A bit far from us, The Purple Purl is located on Queen St East. They have a comfy seating area and a built-in cafe. We only heard of The Purple Purl after shopping at their booth at the Toronto Knitters’ Frolic at the end of April, and then made the trek there some time in May.
Have you seen the movie “The F Word” (also sometimes called “What If”)? If not, you should because apart from starring Daniel Radcliffe and Adam Driver, it does such a great job featuring Toronto as itself (as oppose to disguising it and making it into New York City). There is a scene where Chantry (played by Zoe Kazan) meets with her friends and they are knitting in a cafe. This scene was shot in The Purple Purl!
The store didn’t have as big a variety of yarns as the other two Toronto yarn stores listed here, but they did have very beautiful luxury yarns as well as inspiring sample knits hung up throughout.
The location is on the streetcar line and easy to reach by bike.
1162 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M 1L5