This comes directly from http://www.shanghaiguild.com/
, an organization that fosters a knitting community in Shanghai and supplies yarn and the necessary tools to anyone interested in donating their items to local good causes."
You can use this list of places to find your knitting/crocheting necessities:
Yarn and Other Supplies
Ruijin Lu between Fuxing Lu and Taikang Lu: Those seeking good yarn at reasonable prices can generally find everything they need in the yarn shops sprinkled along this stretch of Ruijin Lu. Conveniently, they are just around the corner from our meeting place, so you can shop and knit all in one afternoon! The shops are located at the following addresses along Ruijin Lu: 388 (at the top of Taikang Lu), 272 and 217 (near Jianguo Lu), 204 and 202 (on the other side of Jianguo Lu – there are actually TWO shops numbered 202, separated by a few storefronts, for a total of 3 shops in one short block), and 149 (near Fuxing Lu). (Be aware that the Chinese have a habit of assigning a single street number to an entire block, so don’t be put off when you find 388 and see it attached to a clothing shop – just keep looking along the block.) Most of the Guild's yarns come from no. 149, where prices are sometimes a bit cheaper.
As labels are in Chinese it can be hard for inexperienced knitters to know the weight of yarn – ie dk, worsted, etc. – they are buying. You can also find bamboo needles here but once again, there are often no indications of what size needle you are buying. If you take along a picture of what you’d like to knit, however, you’ll be shown what yarn to buy, how much of it, and what size needles you’ll need. And the prices are much cheaper than anything you’d find in the west.
Puppy Yarn: Wan Ping South Road No. 223, tel. 021-6426-4080. This lovely store is owned by one of our Guild members who has been very generous with donations of yarn. Here you find high-quality Japanese yarns and every possible knitting accessory, as well as help with your knitting questions (demonstrations, or answers in Chinese or Japanese languages). This store will seem similar to what many are used to in the west.
Beauty Wool: 891 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Shimen Yi Lu (just a few doors down from Marks & Spencer), tel. 021-6271-1696. Stocked with beautiful imported yarns (with hefty prices to match), this is also the place to find knitting needles with the SIZE clearly displayed as well as those elusive cable needles for knitting in the round. Knitting assistance is also provided to those in a jam, although bear in mind that a dearth of English speakers means that non-Chinese will be shown rather than told how to get out of your fix. Other branches might be found on the (Chinese-language only) website.
35 Shimen Yi Lu: Another nice little shop with prices comparable to those of Ruijin Lu shops.
Yingdu (Mandarin name) Ningdu (Shanghainese name) Lu Yarn Market: We visited this market in March 2010 after an absence of several months and were surprised by the change! It's no longer an outdoor market of stalls, but several covered buildings. There are still lots of yarns -- primarily very fine, suitable for machine knitting (and indeed, you can order items to be made for you). But if you keep searching, you can find heavier yarns. In March, we were able to find some wool at 25 RMB per jin (pound), but we had to search; on the whole, prices didn't seem much better than on Ruijin Lu, so it may not be worth the inconvenience of a trip unless you are buying a large quantity. There are lots of vendors of knitting needles and crochet hooks in all sizes for as little as 1 RMB for a crochet hook and 2-5 RMB per set of needles. Click on the Photos link from the home page to see. For namecards to help get you there, click here.
Shi Liu Pu Fabric Market: Located in stall 304 of this fabric market (168 Dongmen Lu) is a small yarn store that's worth a look if you are otherwise in the area. They will also custom make sweaters there for you. Denise Nico reports that Lily Lee (second floor, no. 286-288) has a decent selection of flannel as does the man in the corridor on the way to Lily's shop. He is just down the little steps from the main part of the second floor on the left. Denise adds that a piece of flannel large enough for a blanket (app. 40" by 50") costs about RMB 22.
Lujiabang Lu Fabric Market: Cotton flannel may be found just across from the main fabric market at Nan Cang Lu No. 187-89 in stall no. 10 on the first floor. Expect to pay 12 RMB/meter.
Shokay Yarns: Taikang Lu Lane 274, Building 9. High-end yak-down yarn from western China is sometimes available at this shop, which also sells ready-to-wear items.
Sue's Knitting Needle Lady: 225 Fuyou Lu in what is sometimes called the "Small Commodities Market" in the Yu Garden area, stall number C74. Here you can find bamboo needles, darning needles, crochet hooks and big safety pins. Wendy adds that at stall number B27 you can find other notions, including row counters.
Renmin Lu west of Henan Lu (just north of Yu Garden): Haberdashery bliss. Stall upon stall in one multi-story building, all selling very reasonably priced buttons, bells, beads, thread and needles, ribbon, and any other notion you would like to work into your knitting. Custom-made woven labels are available at B122.
Qing Fang Market, 1618 Cao An Lu: A bit of a hike, especially if you live in Pudong, but well worth the trip for someone seeking cotton cloth. In the colder months their flannel comes out, which is useful for backing knitted blankets. It generally goes for the very reasonable price of 7-15 RMB per meter depending on the quality and width. This is also a good place to come for batting for quilts and stuffing for toys, etc. You can also find a some reasonably priced yarns here. Stall 10-31 is recommended for yarn and stall 9-33 for flannel.
193 Nanchang Lu: This little fabric shop is tucked away on Nanchang Lu between Shaanxi and Maoming. It’s worth a stop if you’re in the area as the staff are nice, they have a good selection of patterned calicos AND, uniquely in Shanghai, they sell a decent selection of plain (as in not printed) flannel, useful for backing blankets.
Wendy's funky "yarn": you know, the thin stuff with big balls previously thought to be available only in Hong Kong, may be found in the Yu Garden area at Fuyou Lu No. 427, North Building No. 1. (The building is called Fuyou Men Shang Sha.) 11 RMB buys one ball, which makes one fun scarf.
Submit your favorite shop (or let us know if any of the above have become obsolete) here!