Yarn and The City

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Yarn and The City

Last Friday I had to go to Mexico City for some paperwork. We decided to combine the bureaucracy with some fun and stayed for a whole weekend. I planned way too much for the these two days – museums, walking, yarn shopping… Well, not everything was done, but I did two main things – visit to Chapultepec and yarn shopping!

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Chapultepec can be found right in the center of the city. Though it is surrounded by huge skyscrapers and crazy traffic, this place preserves its own special atmosphere. We had only a couple of hours there and it is just not enough, next time I want to devote the whole day to it. Chapultepec is the largest park in Mexico City, it used to be a retreat for Aztec rulers; the park is valued as a cultural and historical place. While walking in the forest, you can find huge “Baths of Moctezuma” carved from stones and a gigantic Chapultepec Castle – very impressive sight.

I was mostly impressed with vegetation. Most trees weren’t brought in, but were originally there, some of them must have witnessed great Aztec rulers! So exciting!
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If you ever find yourself in Mexico City, this is the place that you should visit – history, nature, beautiful architecture – you’ll find all of this here.

And of course I couldn’t leave the city without some yarn! I’ve been very, very good, trying to be kind on the family budget and was on a strict yarn diet for more than seven months now, working solely from my stash. So, I splurged. I deserve it, right? 🙂 Anyway I am so so excited about my new yarn addition!!! Beware of the yarn photos overload, I am sorry, I just couldn’t restrain myself!

The first one is the delicious blend of linen, cotton and silk (60% natural cotton, 30% linen, 10% silk). I worked with Italian linen/cotton blend for the first time knitting my Soho dress and I found it absolutely delightful.

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This one is made in Mexico and 10% silk makes such a huge difference, the yarn is strong thanks to linen and cotton, but silk makes it so smooth and gives it a slight luster.

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The colors are jut wonderful – earthly shades of beige, ivory and pistachio green.

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The yarn is probably fingering weight, I would guess 3-4 ply. It will be great for light summer tops and sweaters or a dress. I also tried swatching with two strands; oh, this texture is so so inspiring!

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The second yarn is 100% combed cotton. I never worked with this type of cotton before and in the shop it looked like usual mercerized cotton, but when I touched it, I realized that the difference is significant. Combed cotton is more expensive than the usual one, but it is worth the money.

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I did a research and that is what I found out. The cotton fibers go through special treatment that pulls out all the short fibers and impurities of the fiber from the thread. As a result, the combed cotton yarn is made only of long straight fibers that are evenly aligned. This makes yarn much stronger and, at the same time, softer than the conventional cotton.

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The yarn is very thin, so I will probably use it for a machine knitting project. It was so hard to choose colors! Dark green and turquoise stole my heart, I couldn’t let any of them go, so I got both!

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Yarn shopping is just the best therapy in the world! It feels so great to treat yourself once in awhile to all this beautiful fiber out there!

I am joining amazing crafters at Yarn Along! Join the fun!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!


By | 2017-01-08T09:00:05+00:00 March 16th, 2016|Travel, Yarn|47 Comments


  1. Melissa March 16, 2016 at 8:05 am - Reply

    Lovely! Glad you had a nice weekend and the yarn is gorgeous!

  2. Ady Grafovna March 16, 2016 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Well, that looks like a productive business trip! How fun to get to yarn shop in Mexico! I have never knit with linen, but I have knit with cotton (not combed cotton), hemp, and silk and it hasn’t been my cup of tea. When I knit with anything other than wool, my knitting looks wonky. Any tips for knitting evenly when you use materials that have less elasticity?

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      It is true that in plant fibers it is harder to make your stitches even. Blocking helps, but not like with wool. Linen really softens up after a good wash, a lot of people recommend washing it in the washing machine, but I never dared to put my handknits into the washing machine. What I do is give it a good soak with the hair conditioner, I love the result! I had only great experience with plant fibers. The handknits look perfect even after a long time, unlike wool plant fibers don’t “ball”, but they do have their drawbacks.

  3. Angela March 16, 2016 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Lovely color choices! Sounds like a very fun weekend!

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Angela! It was fun!

  4. Zeta March 16, 2016 at 9:22 am - Reply

    I can’t wait to see what you’ll knit with those yummy yarns 🙂
    My favorite is (of course) the turquoise.
    Love that color. So summerish!

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:18 pm - Reply

      I know! Turquoise is so fresh looking!

  5. AsKatKnits March 16, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    Wow, that yarn is gorgeous!

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      It is! Can’t wait to put in action!

  6. Katherine March 16, 2016 at 10:47 am - Reply

    Looks a lovely trip – I don’t know anything about Mexico City and was fascinated to read about Chapultepec (tricky to spell!) – had to follow your links for more info (thanks). What extraordinary tree roots! Lovely pic of you too. And nice yarn 🙂

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:19 pm - Reply

      Oh, you would love Chapultepec, such a special place! I hope you will have a chance to visit it someday!

  7. Corinne March 16, 2016 at 11:17 am - Reply

    That park really looks very interesting. I often find nature more alluring than building, and nature with a historical background sounds perfect. Good for you that you spoiled yourself a little bit 😉

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      I always try to find oasis in the stone jungle 🙂 Always so refreshing!

  8. akiba March 16, 2016 at 12:24 pm - Reply

    Those are beautiful soft colors – looking forward to see what you create. Love the photos of Mexico City. How did your husband like it??

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

      He liked it, except for the traffic 🙂 Will write to you tomorrow and tell everything! Miss you!!!

  9. Andrea @ This Knitted Life March 16, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

    Oh how fabulous. Do you have projects in mind for your new yarn? I particularly love your pistachio color! What was the yarn store like? Big? Small? Do you they have the fancy wools, or mostly just linen, cotton, silk, etc.?

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:24 pm - Reply

      I have some ideas, but I don’t want to rush it. When I get new yarn I always need some “quality” time with it – making swatches and putting them aside to look at 🙂 The store was pretty big. They have mostly acrylic yarn as it happens to be more popular in Mexico. The selection of cotton is very big. As for the wool, I saw only one kind – Australian virgin wool.

  10. Hayley Armstrong March 16, 2016 at 3:46 pm - Reply

    Hi Alina,
    I have become an avid reader of your blog since discovering it a few months ago. Like you, I am also a foreigner living in Mexico (Guadalajara) and I knit and crochet during my spare time. I would love to know where the yarn shop is in Mexico City as I sometimes have to go there for work. Are you able to share the shop’s name? If you ever came to Guadalajara, I’d be happy to take you to some yarn shops in town. It would be interesting to compare them. Chapultepec is lovely, isn’t it?

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:28 pm - Reply

      Oh, so happy to hear that, Hayley! I’ve been to Guadalajara once, but just for a couple of hours, while driving through it to get to Puerto Vallarta for the conference for work. I would love to stay in touch! I don’t remember the shop’s name, it was inside of a tall building and I don’t remember the address. Let me get in touch with my friend who got me there and I’ll let you know exactly where it is by email. I hope I’ll be able to do that tomorrow or on Friday. It would be so great to go yarn shopping with you in Guadalajara! Chapultepec is magnificent, I wish I had more time for it!

  11. Monique March 16, 2016 at 5:10 pm - Reply

    I wish I could have seen more photos of the park, but the yarn photos more than made up for it. Oh the yarn!!! I love both the linen and the cotton. I love how cotton just drinks color in! I really need to find a great summer knit that would go great with linen.
    Can’t wait to see yours!

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Monique! I wish I had more time for photos! Maybe next time! I am sure you can find a lot of pictures online, Chapultepec is so popular among the tourists! And I know what you mean about cotton – the colors are always so amazing!

  12. Becca March 16, 2016 at 7:50 pm - Reply

    That sounds like a really fun weekend! Those trees are gorgeous (and so is that yarn). I can’t wait to see what you knit with it.

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:31 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Becca! It was such a fun, though pretty exhausting weekend 🙂 Yarn is the best souvenir, isn’t it 🙂

  13. Debbie March 16, 2016 at 8:39 pm - Reply

    Yarn shopping, is most important….everything else comes second!! The yarn is beautiful, I like the soft, natural colors.

    This area looks like the best of both worlds, a fun city and some natural landscape!!

    Thank you for stopping by today, I was excited for you to see my finished project!!

    • Alina March 16, 2016 at 10:32 pm - Reply

      Yarn shopping definitely comes first. I wouldn’t miss it for anything 🙂 Chapultepec is such a great place to take a break from the megalopolis rush!

  14. caroline March 17, 2016 at 7:32 am - Reply

    That yarn (all of it) looks lovely. Can’t wait to see what you make!

  15. karen March 17, 2016 at 8:04 am - Reply

    I’m really glad you went off your budget for the yarn, I try really hard to not buy yarn but if I’m traveling I consider the buy to be sort of a remembrance of where I was 🙂 Lovely additions!!

    • Alina March 17, 2016 at 9:57 am - Reply

      I agree, Karen! I am pretty frugal and budget-aware most of the time, but when we go travelling, I want to relax and enjoy myself to the fullest! And I always considered yarn as a smart investment 🙂

  16. sustainablemum March 17, 2016 at 1:05 pm - Reply

    What beautiful yarns, such lovely colours. Enjoy them!

    • Alina March 18, 2016 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much! I am enjoying them!

  17. Carol Turner March 17, 2016 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Those yarns are amazing.. I’m looking forward to what will come out of them after your hands do the magic

    • Alina March 18, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

      Thank you so much, Carol! I am so glad I found them!

  18. Julie March 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm - Reply

    Way to make the most of an errand! That park looks incredible, I can’t get over the size of the trees. And your new yarns all look wonderful, and perfect for warm weather knitting! Love that cotton/linen/silk blend.

    • Alina March 18, 2016 at 9:36 pm - Reply

      I am so happy that I had to take this business trip! And the trees, oh my! You would really love Chapultepec!

  19. Alexis March 18, 2016 at 5:22 am - Reply

    What an exciting trip and how fun to buy new yarns. (I treated myself to new yarn today too! I bought a super wash wool, so not quite as adventurous, but I love its color -mostly smooth with little variations). I’m curious about linen for a garment. Wouldn’t it be stiff?

    • Alina March 18, 2016 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      Linen is definitely stiffer than wool, but a good wash softens it up. It also depends how thick the thread is and how loose your gauge is. Linen can create a very beautiful drape. I also found it amazing in dress knitting, it holds shape so well! Have fun with your new yarn!

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  20. Olena March 18, 2016 at 7:11 am - Reply

    Amazing colors of the yarn you’ve bought! Beige and pistachio ones are my personal favorite. I’m looking forward to see the projects you’ll use them for.

    • Alina March 18, 2016 at 9:42 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Olena! Yes, these shades are my favorite too!

  21. michele September 30, 2016 at 11:50 am - Reply

    Lovely article ! I am leaving for DF tomorrow and look forward to my stay. I would love to know where you went for your yarn purchases (if you remember) and the approx. cost(s) in MX peso. I plan to purchase some yarns but have no idea where to start ! Your article is inspiring 🙂

    • Alina October 2, 2016 at 8:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Michele! So sorry for a late reply – didn’t see your comment! I hope I am not late, and you are still in Mexico City. Will check the address of the shop and send it to your email!

  22. Zoe Crosher March 20, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    Hi there – I am also in Mexico City for a few days and need to find yarn. Can you please let me know the name and address as well? Many thanks – ZC

  23. Juanita April 28, 2017 at 11:04 am - Reply

    Hi. I am leaving for a visit to Mexico City next week and would love to know the name of the yarn shop you visited last year. Can you please share the name and/or address? Thank you.

  24. Hannah February 10, 2018 at 11:16 am - Reply

    Hi, I too would love it if you could please post the name or rough location/neighborhood of the yarn shop(s) as a comment here! I go to CDMX frequently but my family members there are only familiar with places that sell cheap acrylic and I would love to find locally sourced natural yarn. Thanks!!!

  25. Sara October 14, 2018 at 6:05 pm - Reply

    Nice to reas! I just moved to Mx city and would love to know where you bought the yarn, its beeen hard to find good yarn so far! Thanks

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