Le Passage du Grand Cerf
It is best to consult a map, as I have been here twice over the past seven years and neither of my taxi drivers has been able to find the store. Luckily, I had just debated in French with my cab driver about the evils of capitalism and high-paced living (him) versus the slow process of hand-making clothes (me) ---so, as I had established my credentials as a civilized person, the driver was now on my side and refused to abandon me on a corner somewhere in the district. Instead, he stopped random passersby until someone gave us detailed instructions on how to find the yarn store.
In future, when I go to Lil Weasel again, I will take the metro to Les Halles and walk down rue Montorgueil, the legendary market street which houses Stohrer’s Patisserie, among other fabulous finds, and make my way the boutique close by. I had no idea it was three blocks away until now. My Parisian friend Nicole, who met me at Lil Weasel, blew my mind by walking us over to Paul’s Boulangerie on rue Montorgueil a few minutes away from the shop so we could have coffee and chat, which just proves that the best way to learn how to navigate Paris is in the company of a local.
Lil Weasel organizes yarns by color rather than by weight, which is great for color-oriented shoppers. I prefer to see yarn organized by brand or weight but I know I am an exception. The color arrangement does create a visually stunning environment, and the boutique also had an interesting selection of hand-dyed yarn, both foreign and French:
I was most interested in finding local French yarn, so I purchased a skein of (Vi)laine yarn in a muted silver.
(Vi)laine’s brand name is based on a French pun, as it combines the word “villain” with the word “laine”, which means wool. Nicole has used this brand before, which is local to Lyon, France, and told me that the quality was excellent, so I did not hesitate to purchase it. It is a hand-dyed blend of 50% Falkland superwash wool and 50% silk.
Bin of (Vil)laine yarn at Lil Weasel
I also decided to pick up two skeins of the Hedgehog Fiber from the UK that I have heard so much about, as none of the American yarn shops I have visited have ever carried it.
The hedgehog yarn on offer was the Cashmere Merino, a blend of 50% cashmere and 50% merino, and the colors were simply scrumptious. I purchased two skeins in the Film Noir colorway, and plan to knit them into a shawl, because the yarn is so soft it will feel amazing around my neck.
After perusing all the yarn, Nicole and I went next door to check out the gorgeous Liberty of London fabric in Lil Weasel’s sister store.
Typically, Liberty fabric is way out of my budget, but the remnants in a bin in a corner of the store were very reasonably priced so I walked away with about a yard and a half of a gorgeous print I want to sew into a blouse.
Shopping at both the yarn and fabric boutiques was a delightful experience. The sales ladies were knowledgeable and kind, and overall the customer service was excellent. There were many beautiful and fun things to look at, such as the crocheted amigurumi on the door
And the knitted butterflies in a special case in the window which is a quirky touch.
Overall, I loved Lil Weasel, as well as other boutiques in the Passage du Grand Cerf which offered artisanal jewelry, antiques, and African decor.