February 22, 2012

FALL COLORS: Knitting Shops in Vilnius II

Originally posted on 09/2010

Tomorrow I’m going on a Vilnius yarn shop crawl. Anyone want to come? In case you can’t make it, here’s where I plan to go:

Mezgimo Zona (The Knitting Zone), Pylimo g. 38

This is currently my favorite yarn shop in Vilnius. I found out about it from Sonata, the owner, who sent me a message on Ravelry when she opened the shop last year. It’s a very welcoming, well lit, and well stocked shop, with a fabulous international library of knitting books and a weekly knitting club meeting (with chocolates!). I’ve been at this shop several times already on this trip, although I only went to the knitting club once, when my friend Anna invited me. Just like at home, I always have good intentions of going to knitting clubs, but when it comes down to it, I usually stay home unless I’m going with a friend. But I will be stopping in this shop at least a few more times during my stay in Vilnius. Why?

1. New linen colors, and getting ready for a wooly winter! (Lithuanian language link)

2. I’m taking a workshop on knitting beaded wrist warmers with Irena Juškienė, author of Riešinės… more on this in the next post, due today (Sept 12)! after the workshop. I’ll also be writing an article about Irena and her work for Piecework magazine, which will be accompanied by a a project to knit a pair of wrist warmers designed by Irena. I’m also hoping to be able to import the book and materials to sell kits, and would like to help Irena hook up with an American publisher to put out an English-language version of her book.

Check out the new knitting book, Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions

Check out the new knitting book, Lithuanian Knitting: Continuing Traditions

3. I just love this shop and it’s a very comfortable place to visit and hang out at the big work table looking at books and knitting.

Geros Akys (The Good Stitch, or the Knit Stitch), Konstitucijos pr. 16, VCUP, 5 aukštas

This was the first shop I stumbled onto in Vilnius. At the time, it was a small shop with small windows hidden away in a small alley. Inside was a beautiful shop with a variety of yarns from Italy, Germany, and Lithuania. The shop had it’s own label on some of the yarns, and I bought some lovely Geros Akys branded laceweight mohair for my stash. I fondle it every now and again, but until this moment, I didn’t know what I wanted to make with it. I’ve suddenly decided to make a scarf in a pattern stitch I first saw in this shop. It’s a lacy knit stitch that looks quite a bit like crochet when the motifs are stacked up closely, but it has a very unusual look when they are spaced out between sections of stockinette stitch. I’m not sure why I didn’t make this right away, when I bought the yarn in 2007, but now I will have to wait until I get home to cast on!


About two years ago, the shop moved from this sleepy location into a large shopping center and, according to the website, carries knitting and crochet yarn as well as beads, polymer clay, and supplies for embroidery, felting, decoupage, and scrap booking. The name has been changed from Geros Akys “mezgimo siūlai” (knitting yarn) to Geros Akys “hobi centras” (hobby center), which leaves me wondering if it’s become more like the big box craft stores in the USA now. I will find out tomorrow.

Casa Lana / Siūlų Namai (House of Wool), J.Basanavičiaus g. 2

I have yet to discover why a Lithuanian yarn shop would have a Spanish name, but I suppose that’s not very important. It’s what’s inside a yarn shop that counts. This is a very modern shop, but not very Lithuanian. The yarns here are very posh and they are from Italy and Germany and other parts of Europe, along with the brands of knitting needles, crochet hooks, and other tools, most of what is here would be familiar to American knitters. As with many other shops in Lithuania, there is also a selection of embroidery and felting supplies. Casa Lana is located on a main intersection on the border between the senamiestis (old town) and naujamiestis (new town), but the dividing line is quite invisible to anyone new here, because all of the buildings look old and the border lies where the old city wall used to be! If you’re looking for a big selection of modern yarns, tools, and European knitting magazines, this is the place to visit. But if you want a more homey atmosphere and a sampling of Lithuanian-made products, look elsewhere.

Casa Lana sign

Diteksas audiniai ir verpalai (Diteksas Fabric and Yarn), Kestučio g. 3

I visited this shop last year with a friend who is a bit more adventurous than I am in exploring Vilnius. It’s outside the boundaries of the normal tourist areas, but still quite close to the city center if you hop on the trolleybus. There’s a comfortable couch where you can sit and knit swatches from the cones to test out the yarns and see what suits you, so bring your needles. But bring a Lithuanian-speaking friend as well if you want to do this or if you think you’ll have questions!

Right now, although they have quite a large selection of fabric on their website, the only yarn they have listed is kid mohair on cones. I suspect they still carry a selection of other yarns in the shop but my guess is that the other yarns are things that are available on a limited basis, perhaps including mill-ends, close outs, and special bargains, so they don’t offer them online. The mohair they have on the cones is lovely and comes in a huge number of colors. If you’re a mohair fanatic like I am, or if you sew as well as knit, this shop is a required destination, well worth the 4 litas for trolleybus tickets.

Mezgimo Salonas, Verpalai (“Yarn”, a knitting salon), Vokiečių g. 4

I can’t find a website for this shop, centrally located on a main stretch in the tourist area, with large windows with a clear view of yarn and knitted samples to entice passersby. Inside is a rainbow array of European yarns, along with (if I recall correctly) Turkish yarns, linen for weaving, and an interesting selection of knitting tools. The odd thing about this shop, at least to American knitters, will be that many of the yarns are kept in class counters or stored on the walls in shelves behind the counters, so you must ask for help if you want to touch things. I think this is just a old Soviet-style shopping experience, because there are a few small grocers in town that are set up in this same fashion. If you can overcome timidity and ask for help, even if it’s just pointing to what you’d like to see, you’ll have a good time exploring this shop.

Vilnaus g.

There’s one shop that I keep stumbling on that shall remain nameless right now because I’ve forgotten the name! It’s on Vilnaus gatve, another main road right in the center of the tourist district, surrounded by restaurants, clothing stores, and lots of other interesting shops. It’s also near one of the Coffe-Inn locations, so if you’re hankering for a Starbucks-type of coffee or you just need a BIG dose of caffeine, you can take your yarn purchase to the cafe and cast on while you indulge.

This shop carries Rankdarbių Kraitelė magazine, a Lithuanain-language magazine about knitting, crochet, and other crafts. Some of the projects are quite fashionable and trendy, while others are old-fashioned and even kitschy. They have back issues in stock, so if you stop by, make sure you have time to look through several issues.

magazine cover

This shop had a very un-posh selection of yarn, including mostly plain wool and wool-acrylic blends, some from Turkey and some from Lithuania, and some which were completely unmemorable to me. But I did buy several skeins of Lithuanian wool and wool-blend yarns for colorwork mittens. The yarn, which was on the back wall of the tiny shop when I visited last year, is now in a new upstairs area, but I hope they still have some Lithuanian yarns in stock.

And more…

I also want to visit a shop I saw from the bus while riding to the mall a couple of weeks ago. It’s on Kalvarijų g., on the “other side” of the green bridge. I hope to have more to report on this shop tomorrow!

Second hand and clothing shops around town also carry yarn, but you will only stumble onto these finds if you look in the windows as you walk down the street.

Knitting articles by Donna
About Donna Druchunas
Donna is a Knitwear Designer featured in many publications over the years. Going on the 17th year as a business designer creating wonderful designs and contributing to the knitting community. Now semi-retired in upper Vermont USA. Read more about Donna on the about page.
  1. Wow. Great colours in the shop with the wall of cones!
    Eleanor x

  2. Thank you for this post! The selection of yarns in Geros akys is not any better than two years ago. And more expencive yarns are behind the counter (very Soviet-style indeed, you have to ask). Another shop belonging to the chain Verpalai (Mezgimo salonas on Vokiečiu st)has been opened in the very same shoping centre. They mostly carry Alvyta yarns, not different from the main shop on Vokiečiu. I completely agree with you that Mezgimo zona is the best yarn shop in Vilnius. New colours of linen, great! I am going to see it soon!

  3. I’d love to come on the yarn crawl, but I can’t get there in time! Enjoy your workshop with Irena. I’m jealous. You’ll have to tell me all about it and show me what you’ve made.

  4. I got to 5 shops today! Woohooo! A few more to go. Didn’t make it to Casa Lana, Diteksas, or Mezgimo Zona… I also need to get some beads for a scarf project.

  5. I’m glad Casa Lana is still there. I greatly enjoyed my visit there in — oh, my can it be that long ago? — 2006.

  6. This was a very useful posting, thank you! I went to Mezgimo Zona and loved it. I wanted local wool but it was pretty clear the quality is inferior. I loved all the samples of gorgeous things the owner has knitted and I particularly loved her invitation to me to come to the kntiing club later today. Real warm hospitality!

  7. That’s my favorite shop. And I’ve just booked tickets to go back to Vilnius in March. I’m so excited. I hope there’s still snow. I’ve only been in summer before. Did you have fun at the knitting club? I went a couple of times and had so much fun!

  8. Looking for a pattern for fiddlehead mittens and yarn. Thanks Linda

  9. I like to see this kind of Wool Dry Mop. Definitely, I will purchase it for my home.

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Past Club Projects

Starting the border on a shawl


Brioche Cowl Online Workshop
Brioche Cowl Online Workshop
Nov 12th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Materials: 2 balls of soft worsted weight yarn in different colors (approx 225 yards per ball), US size 101⁄2 (6.5mm) circular ndl approx 24″/60cm long or 2 circulars, basic knitting toolkit. This is enough yarn for the cowl and the December hat class.

Experience: Easy, need to know how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl.

Description: I combined soft and squishy Brioche Stitch, also known as Fisherman’s Rib, with one skein of wool and one skein of wool-silk blend. You can 2 any soft yarns that you like. We will learn how to knit 2-color Brioche in the round with this simple, meditative pattern that will give you a quick gift for yourself or someone on your holiday list.

Nov 12th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Brioche Hat Holiday Gift Workshop
Brioche Hat Online Workshop
Dec 10th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Materials: 2 balls of soft worsted weight yarn in different colors (approx 225 yards per ball), US size 9 (5.5mm) circular ndl 16″/40cm long and dpns or 2 circulars, basic knitting toolkit. This is enough yarn to make the hat plus the cowl from the November class.

Experience: Easy, need to know how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl.

Description: I combined soft and squishy Brioche Stitch, also known as Fisherman’s Rib, with one skein of wool and one skein of wool-silk blend. You can choose any soft yarns that you like. We will learn how to knit 1-color AND 2-color Brioche in the round to create a cozy hat that can be work separately or paired with the cowl from November’s class.


Dec 10th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Colorwork Mittens Online Workshop
Colorwork Mittens Online Workshop
Oct 15th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Materials: 3-4 balls of worsted weight yarn in different colors, set of 5 size 7 double-pointed needles (or 2 circulars or 1 long circular for magic loop), a crochet hook of the same size, basic knitting toolkit.

Experience: Intermediate, need to know how to knit with double-pointed needles (or 2 circulars or 1 long circular for magic loop)

Description: Learn to make fabulous colorwork mittens. Choose your own cuff style, thumb technique, and fingertip shaping from traditional options and decorate your mitten with Lithuanian colorwork motifs. A basic pattern is provided, but you’ll learn how to make custom-fitted mittens on the fly with just a few key measurements. In this class we will also learn how to embellish our mittens with knitted fringe, baltic braids, and a decorative cast on.

Oct 22nd, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Amish Oval Rug Workshop
Amish Oval Rug Online Workshop
Sept 17th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Materials: Size 10 1/2 needles, 5 skeins of Brown Sheep’s Burly Spun yarn, 1 skein color A, 2 skeins color B, 3 skeins color C or equivalent yarn, basic knitting tools.

Experience: Easy+ level. Students need to know to knit and purl, cast-on and bind-off, and have experience making 2-3 projects.

Description: Rugs provide a stress-free way to learn to knit. Even if you only know how to cast on and do the knit stitch, you can create stylish and functional rugs for your home. Since rugs are simple shapes, there are no armholes or necklines to shape, no buttonholes to remember, and no constant measuring to ensure proper fit. In this class, we will learn to make an oval knitted rug inspired by Early American braided rugs. Made from old rags, these early rugs represent frugality and parsimony, but their flamboyant colors speak of a love for beauty. This rug, made of alternating Garter and Stockinette Stitch strips, gives you the chance to bring the classic braided look into your own home.

Sept 17th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Beaded Wrist Warmers Workshop
Beaded Wrist Warmers Online Workshop
Aug 20th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Beginner Knitter: 1 skein of Cascade 220 (or equivalent worsted-weight wool) in a medium or dark color, size 5 straight or circular needles (see homework)

Intermediate Knitter: 1 skein of Koigu (or equivalent fingering-weight wool) in a medium or dark semi-solid color, or equivalent fingering weight wool yarn, size 1 straight or circular needles (see homework)
Advanced: 1 skein of a fairly heavy lace-weight wool yarn,
something that has some body and is NOT cobweb weight, size 000 needles (see homework)

Everyone: crochet hook same size as needles or close, basic knitting toolkit, needle nose pliers (optional)

Homework: CO 30 sts and work in garter stitch for about 3 inches and BO. Make sure your stitches are tight and the fabric is firm. If they are loose and the fabric is soft, try again with smaller needles. Bring the swatch to class.
Experience: Beginners welcome! If you can do the knit stitch, you can make these beaded wrist warmers.

Description: Beads add a fabulous touch! Knowing just the basics of knitting, you can easily create colorful designs with beads. Using only garter stitch and learning how to read and work from beading charts, in this workshop, we will make beautiful jeweled wrist warmer cuffs that are inspired by those popular in Lithuania. We will also learn beautiful crochet trim stitches – with and without beads, for trimming the wrist warmers.

Aug 20th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Lithuanian Cuff Down Socks Workshop
Lithuanian Cuff Down Socks Online Workshop
July 16th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Materials: 1 ball of worsted-weight yarn (approx 100 yards), two sets of 5 size 7 double- pointed needles (or 2 circulars or 1 long circular for magic loop), basic knitter’s toolkit.

Experience: Intermediate, need to know how to knit with double-pointed needles (or 2400 circulars or 1 long circular for magic loop)

Description: Working from instructions I have translated from vintage Lithuanian knitting books, we will knit several types of heels and toes that I have never seen used in contemporary American knitting patterns. We will also look at different types of sock construction used in Lithuania in the 19th century, and discuss the history and cultural development of Lithuania, with a focus on influences on knitting patterns and techniques used in the country. We will learn how to knit an unusual short row heel that also has a gusset, a stair-step heel, and several variations of heel stitches for heels with flaps. We will also look at several ways to shape toes including two unusual spiral designs with decorative decreases. I will have a selection of hand-knit socks from Lithuania to examine up close. Students will also receive a collection of colorwork and lace charts for sock stitches that are popular in Lithuania.

July 16th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Grandma’s Knitting Workshop
Grandma’s Knitting Online Workshop
June 18th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Technique Class

Materials: About 50 yards of worsted-weight yarn, size 7 needles, basic knitting toolkit

Skill Level: All skill levels welcome.

Description: Learn the version of Continental knitting traditionally used in Lithuania and many other parts of Eastern Europe. This technique is sometimes called Combination or Eastern Uncrossed knitting in the west, but in Lithuania it’s known as Grandma’s Knitting. This is a fast way to knit and many knitters find it gives them the most even tension of any technique they’ve tried.

June 18th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Successful Lace Knitting Workshop
Successful Lace Knitting Online Workshop
May 21st, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Technique Class

Materials: Size 5 and 3 straight needles, approx 50 yards of worsted-weight and sport-weight yarn in any animal fiber, light colors are best, stitch markers, sticky notes (recommended) or row counter, and basic knitting tools.

Skill Level: For the advanced-beginner to intermediate knitter. Students should know how to cast on, bind off, knit, and purl, and should have completed several projects.

Description: For years I tried to learn how to knit lace, and was frustrated as I failed each time. I finally gave up because I wanted to have fun knitting and enjoy my hobby. I was able to knit cables, fair isle, intarsia, and even entrelac with no problems, but lace stymied me over and over again. I thought I would never be able to knit lace, until I stumbled onto Dorothy Reade’s simple techniques.

Working from charts, understanding decreases, and knitting with worsted-weight yarn and larger needles gave me the confidence and practice I needed to ease into lace knitting. If I learned how to knit lace after years of frustration and failure, I know other knitters can, too!

In this workshop we will discuss the tools and yarns used to knit lace, learn how to follow lace charts, and make one swatch in worsted- weight yarn and one in sport-weight yarn. Students will then be ready to knit a lace-weight swatch on their own, and move on to making a simple project such as a lace scarf or hat.

May 21st, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Bosnian Sock Class
Bosnian Toe Up Online Workshop
April 16th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Materials: 2 balls of worsted-weight yarn in different colors (approx 100 yards each), set of 5 appropriately sized double- pointed needles (or 2 circulars or 1 long circular for magic loop), a crochet hook of the same size, basic knitting toolkit

Experience: Intermediate, need to know how to knit with double-pointed needles (or 2 circulars or 1 long circular for magic loop)

Description: In this class we will learn how to make a fascinating Bosnian toe-up sock that has a rectangular toe that is knitted flat, but without purls! The rest of the sock is knitted in-the-round with an “after thought” heel, and decorative finishing. I have several examples of hand-knit Bosnian slipper socks that we will examine closely. We will knit a complete mini sock to learn the techniques, and you’ll have a pattern to knit full-sized socks on your own.

April 16th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Stories in Stitches Workshop
Stories in Stitches Online Workshop
March 19th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Technique Class

Materials: Approximately 2 skeins of approx 100 yards of worsted-weight yarn (each a different color) for knitting a sampler, size 7 (4.5mm) or 8 (5mm) knitting needles, basic knitting tools.

Experience: Intermediate. Knitters should have basic knitting skills plus experience with reading charts.

Description: In this workshop, we will learn about stories from knitters around the world, and we will learn to knit a pattern stitch from each region and knit a sampler. Stories and techniques will be different in this workshop.

We will go over topics as diverse as: Bavarian twisted-traveling stitches, Irish cables from the Aran Islands, two-color knitting from Norway, Danish texture patterns, Japanese bobbles, Ukrainian lace, Estonian nupps, Andean popcorn stitch, Lithuanian two-color braids, Latvian fringe cast-on, and Swedish twined knitting.

March 19th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Victorian Knitting Online Workshop
Victorian Knitting Online Workshop
Feb 19th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Project Class

Materials: Any spare yarn for swatching and appropriately sized needles.

Experience: Intermediate. Knitters should have basic knitting skills plus experience with knitting lace and reading charts.

Description: Have you ever found a beautiful pattern in an antique knitting book with bewildering instructions that gave you a headache? In this class, we will look at several Victorian knitting patterns and discuss how to interpret the instructions for today’s knitters. We will discuss gauge, sizing and materials and will look at a glossary of knitting terms that compares those from Victorian times with modern terminology and techniques.

We will also learn how to chart lace and texture patterns to make them easier to work with. We will go over the basics of charting using graph paper and pencil, and we will also learn about a variety of charting fonts, spreadsheet tools, and software programs for Mac and Windows.

Feb 19th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

Pi Shawl Basics | Jan 2023
Pi Shawl Basics Online Workshop
Jan 22nd, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time
Technique Class

Materials: 1600 (XS, 54′′), 2000 (S, 60′′), or 2400 (L, 72′′) yards of sock yarn and size 4 double-pointed needles plus circular needles of varying lengths (interchangeables work great for this), or one long circular for magic loop. This is the yarn for a complete shawl. You can bring 1 skein of yarn with the appropriate needles for the class.

Experience: Intermediate. Knitters should have basic knitting skills plus some experience with circular knitting and reading charts.

Description: With the simple pi-shawl shaping pioneered by Elizabeth Zimmermann and the beautiful lace stitches designed by Dorothy Reade knit in fingering-weight yarn, and a knit-on border, you won’t get bored even though there is a lot of knitting! This pi shawl is made as a sampler using lace stitches with diamond and circle motifs. I made this up as I went and chose a pattern stitch that had the number of rows I needed for each section as well as a repeat that was close to what I needed.

You can copy my design exactly or choose whatever stitches you like for each section. We will discuss each chart in the workshop so you can see how I adapted Dorothy Reade’s original pattern stitches for use in this shawl. We will also learn how to begin a circular shawl on double-pointed needles or a long circular with magic loop, as well as using a crochet hook, how to work special stitches used in Dorothy Reade’s lace motifs, and how to work a knit-on border.

Jan 15th, 2023 | 1pm – 4pm Eastern Time

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