Wool shopping at the Wool Bazaar, Istanbul, Turkey

daveballarat's picture

Following MMario's info regarding a website selling a great variety of yarn from Turkey, RickeScott and I decided to investigate here in Istanbul. We decided to go to the most likely source of the yarn, the Wool Bazaar, behind the Spice Bazaar in Eminunu.
We walked the streets in search of the entrance to the Wool Bazaar (first pic)
We went in ... and scoured the area (second pic)
We went shop by shop on the ground floor, then went upstairs(third pic)

Ricke did most of the investigating ... has much better Turkish than me(fourth pic).
I succumbed first, I bought some AUSTRALIAN wool ... yes in Turkey... crazy... a weak moment... maybe I was feeling homesick or ...well... a lone Australian in this big country.... sob sob....Ricke again did the negotiating (fifth pic).

No luck on ground floor, so we headed upstairs... and no luck up there either(sixth and seventh pics).

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Ricke looking for ICEsml.jpg545.33 KB
handing over the goodssml.jpg612.95 KB
first floor insidesml.jpg476.17 KB
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etramblings's picture

Dave, Thank you for sharing

Thank you for sharing your photos! What a phenomenal place to be and have access to. They reminded me of the markets I used to shop when I lived in Mexico. I could spend hours there. Thanks for the view into your part of the world!

daveballarat's picture

The next time I go I think I

The next time I go I think I will take some action shots of bargaining and then afterwards we have lunch, so will show what the 'restaurant' at the Wool Bazaar looks like... it is a fun place (nearly 2 hours away though)but to be quite honest, there are days when I long to be able to just get in my car and go in to town to the woollen mill shop and buy interesting stuff, have a look at some intersting produce being created and ... those were the days, way back home... but ... no point crying over unravelled skeins... most of the stuff is acrylic here but as I'm no expert at knitting yet, so acrylic is fine, washable and colours are no a problem here... so acrylic it is.
I have to create an excuse to go there again soon... can't be due to lack of wool... I have 3 items on the go and 2 lots of wool sitting waiting in the queue... hmmm needles need to start clicking I think!
Istanbul, Turkey

sonics's picture

My wife and i really enjoyed

My wife and i really enjoyed your pics. Thanks for posting.

Btw...did you get any "Turkish yarn"?. Maybe we should do a yarn swap. My wife is part Haida. I can get the yarn the native Indians here use for Cowichan sweaters. Google it and see if you like. maybe we can have some fun with some kind of swap?

daveballarat's picture

MMario showed us a really

MMario showed us a really good website ... but on investigation, those yarns are only available on the export market, most of the yarns Rick and I saw were pure acrylic. There is little else here... not much of a swap I'm afraid. I will be buying up big when I go home to Australia and bring back lots of interesting yarns from there... but in the meantime it is head down and needles clicking while I master sock making and continue on my aran sweater.
With the socks I have got my speed up with the K and P ... after untangling all the needles... the next hurdle will be learning how to do the heel... I was surprise to learn how long it is going to take for me to complete a pair of socks... well I'm only a beginner... knitting a brave new world for me...

What size needles do they use to make the cowichan sweaters? They look lovely and warm. I'm not us to using two or more colours yet. I am interested but ... let me get the basics...as they use 2 or 3 colours and not use the slip stitch that my friend Rick uses... one day, one day I'll ask about it... back to my K1 and P1... on my sock.

Chat again soon,

Istanbul, Turkey

mrossnyc's picture

If I'm ever heading to

If I'm ever heading to Istanbul, I'll let you guys know. What a place!

daveballarat's picture

Rick and I would love to

Rick and I would love to have people over and show them the best of what Istanbul has to offer.
Drink Raki... get your mouth around as much kebab as you can handle :)... and do the wool bazaar. The sites here are amazing too. Take you to a good hamam. And there are the usual palaces, mosques and ex-byzantine churches to visit, artwork dating back 2000 years ...and food that is so incredibly delicious... and people ask me why I choose to work here...hmmmm.... is it the kebab ... maybe.
Istanbul, Turkey

chipsir's picture

Oh my......I am just a

Oh my......I am just a quivering, even though I am not a lover of acrylic the colours are wonderous and when I see all that yarn my mind turns it immediately into finished product......to bad my fingers don't glide as fast as my mind rofl.

albert's picture

If they did, you'd be up to

If they did, you'd be up to your arse in knitwear and yarn bills.

Kerry's picture

What a treasure chest of

What a treasure chest of yarn.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Wow, Dave - Great looking

Wow, Dave - Great looking piles of knitting in the raw. I think it would be more than a day's worth of browsing for me. Good thing - I'd have to limit myself to what I could carry home in luggage. As for stash - You never really get it whittled down without a lot of strong will power. I've been trying for years. MMMMM...chocolate coated coffee beans. The chocolate sounds divine; I'd even put up with coffee beans for the chance at good chocolate. (HMM...maybe I should change my signature line to reflect that.) -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

RickeScott's picture

Although I've bitched about

Although I've bitched about the lack of wool yarn in Istanbul, it does exist. Dave bought very nice wool yarn for his socks. I bought wool yarn, 3 skeins for 5 YTL (new Turkish lira), that's about $3 today. But if you want acrylic, you'd go absolutely crazy here. When you come for a visit, I'll promise you a tour of the yarn market.

Mnjack's picture

Great pictures, what a

Great pictures, what a wonderland of yarns. I will be looking for yarn spots in Spain, hope to find a few.

QueerJoe's picture

We need something like that

We need something like that in my town!

I would also own a sh!tload of yarn if I could wander through a place like that on weekends...it's like WEBS outdoors!

Man...those pictures were better than caffeine...thanks!

daveballarat's picture

Ha ... better than

Ha ... better than caffeine... it just so happens that while uploading the pics... I was stuffing my face with chocolate coated coffee beans... so I am riding high on caffeine at the moment.

I'm just about to walk my dog and then get down and do something about my backload of yarn... I will kick on with my aran sweater... I promised Joe_Wyoming that I'd start the socks tomorrow. But yes, so much yarn... some nice colours ... but most of it is acryllic. I'm not too fussy cos I'm still only a beginner. Once I learn to following instructions and produce something even half decent, then I can look critically at the wool ... but until then... I'd better get my fingers in to action... on the needles :)
Istanbul, Turkey

daveballarat's picture

Cheers Albert, Sorry for the

Cheers Albert,

Sorry for the messy way of posting ... but I had a few pics... I had to load 3 times.

So maybe you missed the last few pics... I took 7.

Yes a fun afternoon ... but the fallout is ... I have shitloads of wool and I am very slow at producing the goods... so the pressure is on to get knitting and get rid of the backlog.

Take care Albert,
Istanbul, Turkey

VTandPTguy's picture

Dave- Your pictures spark

Dave- Your pictures spark wonderful memories of the day last fall when Rick escorted me to and through the wool bazaar in Istanbul. What a great tour leader he is. The way into the bazaar is SO convoluted I NEVER would have found it on my own! (Nor would I have found my way out!) As a result of that trip, I have several skeins of a gorgeous 50/50 blend of cotton/bamboo sitting in my stash -- waiting for them to inspire a project. -John

daveballarat's picture

I'm guessing the cotton

I'm guessing the cotton /bamboo is the Nako brand... yes I can't wait to give that a try... but I have a bit of a backlog at the moment... my aran sweater is my big project and ... I'm great at buying yarn... just have to get my knitting as fast as the purchasing :)

Yes Rick is a great person to know... a wonderful tour guide. He has a few more places to check out for ICE and so do I ... so we will report back to each other next weekend... but I suspect it will be to no avail.

It's a bit like those cash crops in Africa where the locals look on while starving to death...export wool ... sob sob.

Istanbul, Turkey

albert's picture

Thanks for the pics, Dave.

Thanks for the pics, Dave. What a great way to spend an afternoon!