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‟ Living in or near Johannesburg is just so convenient. I don’t live in the city itself, as it is very busy, but in a lovely old suburb just east of the city. Getting into the city is fast and easy with the freeways, and there are some amazing shops to visit. I am a knitter, so my “go-to” shops always seem to be the yarn stores. Other art and crafts are just as popular, and we have some large chain suppliers for the arty and crafty amongst us. Here are some of my favourite yarn shops: ”

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Shop

I am a knitter, so my “go-to” shops always seem to be the yarn stores. Other art and crafts are just as popular, and we have some large chain suppliers for the arty and crafty amongst us. Here are some of my favourite yarn shops:

There are so many beautiful yarn and wool stores, and I will list the ones I visit most often:

ABC Knitting and Habby [147 Webber Road, Hazel Park, Germiston] - A family owned business, that I have known the family since I was just a high school girl and starting on my knitting. They know knitters and crocheters very well, and are always keeping us up to date with the latest imports.

In my knapsack
(Checkers Hyper Centre, c/o Rondebult and Leeuwpoort Roads, Parklands, Boksburg)

Fabulous yarn store with lots of good yarns, local and imported. Always ready for a chat and good sound advice or ideas. Lots of classes to attend as well. Recently moved to their new shop in a busy shopping mall, much more to do, and have coffee as well.

Arthur Bales [62 4th Ave, Linden, Randburg, 2104, South Africa] - This fabulous store has been around since 1902. Yes, that long. And still going and growing. A huge selection of all kinds of yarns, cottons, fabric and all knitting and sewing goodies you could possible want or need. If they don’t have it, they will try and get it for you. They have a lovely little section where you can rest and have a cup of tea or coffee, or sit and browse patterns or just chat to your friends. Whenever I need fabric, this is my first stop to find a suitable piece.

Stitches yarn and thread emporium [132 Begonia Road, Witpoort (Beaulieu), Midrand] -This shop is a little further away from my home, but still very easy to get to with the freeway. It is my perfect excuse for a short roadtrip to visit the store and at the same time the mall. I always get unique yarns and dyed skeins here. Also lovely fabrics and project bags always to choose from.

Colourspun – natural designer fabric and yarn (Online store, and a small shop at the Bryanston Organic Market, 40 Culross Rd (off Main Rd) Bryanston Johannesburg) The market is normally open on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Handspun and dyed yarns. Fabrics created by hand. Unique and original and sustainable. Awesome ombre sets and kits to choose from in all colours. Always super cute little kits to choose from if you need to make a gift or two.

Rain (Rain Africa . com) various branches around the country, but the closest branch to me is at Shop 22, Village View Centre, Cnr Kloof & Van Buuren Road, Bedfordview, Johannesburg

Rain are delightful shops with beautiful handmade bath and body products. They only use natural and organic ingredients in their products. I absolutely love their bath salts and aromas.

Motherland Coffee - various shops around the country, but I also go to the shop in Rosebank, Shop G22, The Zone, Rosebank, Johannesburg

Love their coffees, and I will go out of my way for a Chai Latte from them. It is an organic chai made with Malawian black tea. Best I know.  Busy and vibrant coffee place with couches, chairs and tables. Inside and outside. Always perfect for a quick stop to check on emails too.

Pauls Homemade Ice Cream – a few little shops around Johannesburg. My nearest one is in the Bedford Shopping Centre, Van Der Linde Rd, Bedfordview, Johannesburg,

Best homemade ice-creams you could ever try. My favourite is “birthday cake” but one simply have to try them all. And now you can even have your ice cream with a waffle.

ABC Knitting and Habby
(32 Haley Avenue, Parkhill Gardens, Germiston)

A family owned business, that I have known the family since I was just a high school girl and starting on my knitting. They know knitters and crocheters very well, and are always keeping us up to date with the latest imports.

In my knapsack
(Checkers Hyper Centre, c/o Rondebult and Leeuwpoort Roads, Parklands, Boksburg)

Fabulous yarn store with lots of good yarns, local and imported. Always ready for a chat and good sound advice or ideas. Lots of classes to attend as well. Recently moved to their new shop in a busy shopping mall, much more to do, and have coffee as well.

Arthur Bales (2 4th Avenue, Linden, Johannesburg)

This fabulous store has been around since 1902. Yes, that long. And still going and growing. A huge selection of all kinds of yarns, cottons, fabric and all knitting and sewing goodies you could possible want or need. If they don’t have it, they will try and get it for you. They have a lovely little section where you can rest and have a cup of tea or coffee, or sit and browse patterns or just chat to your friends. Whenever I need fabric, this is my first stop to find a suitable piece.

Stitches yarn and thread emporium (Shop 52A, Kyalami Corner Shopping Centre, Kyalami)

This shop is a little further away from my home, but still very easy to get to with the freeway. It is my perfect excuse for a short roadtrip to visit the store and at the same time the mall. I always get unique yarns and dyed skeins here. Also lovely fabrics and project bags always to choose from.

Colourspun – natural designer fabric and yarn (Online store, and a small shop at the Bryanston Organic Market, 40 Culross Rd (off Main Rd) Bryanston Johannesburg) The market is normally open on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Handspun and dyed yarns. Fabrics created by hand. Unique and original and sustainable. Awesome ombre sets and kits to choose from in all colours. Always super cute little kits to choose from if you need to make a gift or two. Herbert Evans (Johannesburg art supplier, I always visit the shop @ Shop F14, The Zone Upper Level,Oxford Road, Rosebank, Johannesburg)

An art supply store that literally has everything you could want as an artist. (not yarn that is) They are known for their yearly sale in August, and I literally save money for the sale to get speciality pens and markers, canvasses, and such each time.

There are various art and craft markets around. Some are permanent, like the Bryanston Organic Market or the East Rand Traders Square. East Rand Crafters Market is a pop up type on weekends.

Also very popular is the Neighbourgoodsmarket. The Johannesburg market is at 73 Juta St, Cnr De Beer & Juta St, Johannesburg. Open on Saturdays, and extremely vibrant. I find the best home baked bread here, and amazing and fresh cheeses. Lovely food, and a must visit if you are looking for a special gift for someone. Take your time, buy something to eat and drink, and join the people at the market around any of the long tables. Conversation always happens. Best part is, my Doggie is always more than welcome at the market too.

Also a good place to visit is the Arts on Main Food and Design Market. Open every Sunday with a great selection of foods from around the globe. On the first floor is lots of little shops where local designers sells their stuff.

Addresses for the above:

Bryanston Organic Food Market 40 Culross Rd (off Main Rd) Bryanston Johannesburg

East Rand Traders Square 4 Frank Rd, Bardene, Boksburg

East Rand Crafters Market 9 Aerodrome Dr, Northmead, Benoni

Neighborgoodsmarket 73 Juta Street, corner of De Beer and Juta Streets, Johannesburg

Arts on Main Food and Design Market 64 Fox St & Berea Road, Maboneng, Johannesburg



Eat & Drink

For dinner, head to The Windmill [26 4th Ave, Parkhurst] in Hartbeespoort for signature Dutch dishes and local cuisine. Make sure to get fresh produce and preserves from the huge farm shop. And make sure to try Che Argentine Grill [303 Fox St, Jeppestown] for fine food and wine in the very heart of Maboneng Precinct.

Eat & Drink in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

For an amazing Milkshake, you have to visit Cocobel in Maboneng. 300 Commisioner street, Corner Fox and Albrecht streets, Maboneng. My absolute favourite is the banana and peanut butter shake.

I do not drink, so my hang outs does not include any of the local bars, etc. Will have to give this section a miss.



Craft

The Johannesburg Zoo (Jan Smuts Ave, Parkview, Johannesburg0 is a great place to visit, spend the day, see the animals, and take your crafting with you. Next to the Zoo is the Military Museum, which is just as interesting.

A Note of Advice on Safety when Travelling in Johannesburg: When out and about in the Johannesburg city and areas, it is always advisable to keep safe and be vigilant. Keep your belongings safe. Try and keep to groups, and not walk alone. The Malls have security and surveillance cameras. Do not carry all your cash with you and keep your cellphone in your pocket. Carry only what you need. Know where you are going. Check your route first and note landmarks to guide you. Do not trust strangers that offers to help. Some areas are best avoided, these includes Hillbrow, Yeoville and Berea. Go with a trusted guide that is familiar with the areas. If you should be hiring a car, keep the windows rolled up, and keep your belongings in the boot / trunk, out of sight.
It is not advisable to use the local minibus taxi system. Ask at your hotel about transport services, or rather make use of Uber or similar type of transportation.

I belong to a knit group that meets about every 2 – 4 weeks for a chat, cake, tea, and crafting. We try and pick a different and interesting venue each week.
The yarn store “In my Knapsack” (mentioned already) is lovely and hosts regular workshops.

Any of the mentioned yarn and craft stores are great to meet new crafty friends. The staff are always helpful and friendly and full of good advice.



See Something Special

I think I have mentioned all the interesting places that I know off, but always feel free to google Johannesburg and find out more. 

Beads and beaded goodies are most popular. The really popular ones would be the giraffes. They come in just about any size and colour. You would probably find a little figurine of your favourite animal too.
Shopping during festive seasons are also fun, as you could find really cute and interesting Christmas tree decorations, and easter goodies. Wooden and / or stone carved animals and figurines can be found just about everywhere you go. Stone items may be heavy when traveling back home, but a small bowl for candy or small change may not be heavy and could fit in anything. Ostrich eggs are stunning, and make beautiful decorations and gifts. They are however very fragile, and should be carefully wrapped, boxed and packed, and taken in your hand luggage if at all possible.
Local fabric is stunning and hard wearing, and can last for ages. You get lovely placemats, tablecloths, table runners, and much more.
Little handmade African dolls from fabric and beads are also popular, and once again, you get different sizes and styles. They are based on the various tribes and traditions in South Africa, so you will see a great variety of dolls. If you are the knitting or crocheting crafting type, definitely indulge yourself in getting a few skeins of the local hand dyed yarns, cottons, and bamboo. We have stunning yarns and dyers that really produce the most wonderful yarns and colours. Be sure to do your homework on the various dyers and where you can obtain their yarns.



Inspiration

Johannesburg is a very old city, started in 1886. The oldest buildings in Johannesburg would be:

Hy Many House (1860) (64 Fox St & Berea Road, Maboneng, Johannesburg) The oldest stone structure in Johannesburg is west of the city, in Randpark Ridge.

The Fort (1892) (11 Kotze Road, Johannesburg) The Old Fort complex was originally built around the prison to protect South Africans from the British.

Rissik Street Post Office (1897) (144 Rissik Street, Johannesburg) The building as it is today is not the original. Most of it burned down during a massive fire in 2009. Reconstruction was started in 2016.

The Rand Club (1904) (33 Loveday St, Marshalltown, Johannesburg) The iconic Rand Club was founded in 1887, the present structure was built and handed over to the fraternity in 1904.

Historic sites to visit would most definitely have to include:

Constitution Hill The Constitution Hill precinct is located at 11 Kotze Street in Braamfontein, Johannesburg near the western end of the suburb of Hillbrow. Constitution Hill is the seat of the Constitutional Court of South Africa

Mandela House The Nelson Mandela National Museum, commonly referred to as Mandela House, is the house on Vilakazi Street, Orlando West, Soweto, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum The Hector Pieterson Museum is a large museum located in Orlando West, Soweto, South Africa, two blocks away from where Hector Pieterson was shot and killed. The museum is named in his honour. It became one of the first museums in Soweto when it opened on 16 June 2002.
8287 Khumalo Rd, Orlando West, Johannesburg

Apartheid Museum The Apartheid Museum is a museum in Johannesburg, South Africa illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa. The museum, part of the Gold Reef City complex, was opened in November 2001. Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Rd, Johannesburg

Cradle Of Humankind The Cradle of Humankind is a paleoanthropological site about 50 km northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, in the Gauteng province. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, the site currently occupies 47,000 hectares and contains a complex of limestone caves

Wits Adler Museum Of Medicine Rare books & exhibits about the history of medicine & dentistry in the Wits medical school York Rd &, Carse O'Gowrie Rd, Parktown, Johannesburg

Johannesburg City Hall Johannesburg City Hall is an Edwardian building constructed in 1914 by the Hawkey and McKinley construction company. The plan for the building was drawn in 1910 and construction was started in 1913 and finished in 1914. The Gauteng Provincial Legislature currently occupies the building Rissik Street, Johannesburg

Museum Africa Museum Africa or MuseuMAfricA is an historical museum in Newtown, Johannesburg, South Africa 121 Lilian Ngoyi St, Newtown, Johannesburg

Johannesburg Trades Hall The Trades Hall is one of the oldest Edwardian buildings in the city of Johannesburg. Beyond its architectural importance, the building has historical significance as the previous headquarters of the Trade Unions. It is associated with many historical events such as the 1922 Rand Revolt Rissik Street, Johannesburg

The Lindfield Victorian House Lindfield House is a Victorian Museum in Auckland Park, near Johannesburg, South Africa, built circa 1909–1910. The original plans have been lost. The first owners of the house were a Dr and Mrs Stawell, who lived there until 1924. The house is named after a village in England 72 Richmond Ave, Auckland Park, Johannesburg

I would suggest a visit to the Gold Reef City Theme Park at the Corner of Northern Parkway and Data Crescent, Ormonde, Johannesburg. A lovely and big theme park, with lots of entertainment and rides. A casino and a hotel. You can also pan for your own gold, take a helicopter flight, go down a mine shaft into a mine, and watch gold being melted and poured. You can even get married here.

Another fun experience is a bike tour of Soweto. Book your bikes and your guide will take you to Soweto and show you everything and everywhere that is to be seen and visited. A must do experience. If you are of the brave kind, do a bungee jump at the famous “Orlando Towers” a previous power station that is now no longer in use.

Maropeng – the cradle of humankind is a fascinating place to visit, less than 2 hours outside the city centre. It is a World Heritage Site. Take a drive or book a tour. Visit the exhibition centre, have lunch at one of the restaurants, and you may even consider a tour of the caves underground. People who suffer from claustrophobia, asthma or chest problems may find the visit too difficult though.

Nelson Mandela Bridge in Johannesburg Nelson Mandela Bridge is a bridge in Johannesburg, South Africa. It is the fourth of five bridges which cross the railway lines and sidings located just west of Johannesburg Park Station, the first being the Johan Rissik Bridge adjacent to the station. It was completed in 2003, and cost R102-120 million to build Smit St, Johannesburg

Orlando Towers, Soweto, Johannesburg Orlando Power Station is a decommissioned coal-fired power station in Soweto, South Africa. The power station was commissioned at the end of the Second World War and served Johannesburg for over 50 years Chris Hani Rd, Klipspruit 318-Iq, Johannesburg,

Nelson Mandela statue in the Nelson Mandela Square, in Sandton Johannesburg The statue of Nelson Mandela is a large bronze sculpture of the former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, located in Nelson Mandela Square in Johannesburg 5th St, Sandown, Sandton

Ponte Tower (landmark and apartment building) Ponte City is a skyscraper in the Berea neighbourhood, just next to Hillbrow, Johannesburg

Maboneng Precinct (make sure to visit after sunset and have your picture taken under the well known “Maboneng” street sign) 276 Fox St & Kruger Street, Jeppestown, Johannesburg

Always capture the city sunsets or sunrises. We have stunning ones, and the colours are inspirational.

Drive out to Hartbeespoort Dam and drive across the wall of the dam. Stunning place for beautiful photos. 1 ½ to 2 hours drive out of the city centre.
Plan a stay-over for a night or two and visit a strawberry farm, a cheese farm, visit the Elephant sanctuary, or the Monkeys or Cheetahs. Take an early morning hot air balloon ride.
North West Province GPS Coordinates 25°44′51″S 27°52′1″E