When you buy knitting yarns in Turkey you very rarely get a written pattern or magazine to help you visulise what it will look like knitted up, a little different from the European or American experience! But i must add that there are more patterns now than when i first came to live here 10 yrs ago.There is now, but never used to be, an informative label with tension, meterage or weight on each ball but rarely dyelots, this term seems fairly unknown here. A grate deal of yarn is sold from cone, weighed and cut when you’re ready to pay, and if you happen to like fancy novelty yarns (made in acrylic) in all kinds of colours, you’d be in heaven. Turkish women perfer their yarns in bright colours. They also like a bit of sparkle plied in, to make the yarn more interesting. In fact, the stores will ply together two or three different yarns for you. Almost all women knit and here in Kusadasi the streets are lined with stalls selling their hand knits. Walking throught the back streets of town you, will very often pass a group of women sat chatting and knitting whilst watching over the children playing.
Synthetic yarns are prevalent. It’s cheap and easier to care for. Turkey is a very dusty country, so everything needs to be washed frequently. Almost all yarns have some quantity of acrylic. Most are 100% acrylic. There are a wide variety of yarns now readily available, plain double knitting, cashmere, lurex, beaded, sequined, ribbon, boucle, chenille, and silk to name but a few, in every colour imaginable.
Sheep is a regular feature in the Turkish diet, but the bulk of that wool is coarse, suitable for rug and upholstery not for garments. The wool for knitting yarns is often imported from New Zealand and Australia (that came as an big surprise to me). Turkey is a major exporter of cotton. So cotton yarns of varying grades are plentiful and very cheap. Pamuk (turkish for cotton) is available in hundreds of colours. The other good buy is mohair, which is labelled as Angora (as in angora goat, not rabbit). Kid mohair, is also very inexpensive for good quality. Another suprise is that most yarn shops are run by men!
You’ll be pleased to know that i came away from today’s shopping not only hot and tired but with yarn in hand ready to start a new Project to share with you tomorrow.