I got a chance to go to Vietnam last November. Husband was there for work so I had some time to roam the city on my own alone. This was not a planned trip for me so I had no expectation or set some “101 things to do.” So with no particular itinerary, I naturally went looking for a yarn shop the first time I was alone.
But first coffee…
Unlike in Hanoi, finding yarns in Da Nang was closed to nothing. The google search results were useless. It was purely out-of-luck that I stumbled on a small stall among the hundreds of stalls in Con Market.
Con Market is like a public market or “tabo sa banay” or bazaar place where you can find detergent powders to underwears, party favors, along side with fruits, vegetables, meat, etc.
Unlike the shop I found in Hanoi, Vietnam, there was nothing much new type of yarns in the shop in Da Nang, Vietnam. There is the milk cotton yarn, the fingering-weight cotton I really love (which I hoarded a bit back in Hanoi), the soft acrylics, and wool (which I’m not really sure because the store staff could not converse in English, as well as I could not do Vietnamese). I noticed that milk cotton yarns is really abundant in Vietnam.
But it’s just so hard to resist so I picked out a few of the fingering weight yarns, few acrylic (or maybe they’re wool), and a big crochet hook (size 6). The crochet hook reminds of the black special edition of clover.
Quick review on the hook: This actually feels nice and light. It’s so light that it feels like it’s hollow, and I’m afraid that it might easily get bent when a strong force hit it. But it’s really nice. The black color is cool but the downside is it can be hard to find the hook when being used especially when it’s used with dark color yarns. I got this for 15000VND (which is around 30Pesos) so it’s not that bad. =)
For those who wanted to visit this yarn store in Da Nang, Vietnam, following is the address. The yarn shop owner gave me her “receipt” as her business card, so I have reference when I need to find her again.
To celebrate my discovery, I got myself a legit streetside dining. =)
I think this was Mi Quang. Mi Quang is pho equivalent of Da Nang, Vietnam. If it’s your first time in Da Nang, please don’t make the mistake of finding pho; look for mi quang instead! =) Pho is Hanoi’s specialty.
The other week, we were in Singapore. And the only thing that was in my mind on days leading to our trip was to go to as many yarn shops the google maps would allow me. @.@
Here are the yarn shops I was able to visit. It was really just more of “hopping” than shopping because, I believe, yarns do not really come cheap wherever we are in the world. (I reposted a list of yarn shops, which I got from a member of SG-based crochet group, way down below.)
NOTE: There’s a People’s Park Centre and People’s Park Complex which are just nearby each other. Golden Dragon Store is in “Centre.”
My first yarn store trip was to something familiar. I’d been to this place a few times in our last trip. This was where I learned to knit, and got my first sets of needles which were both 4mm (You can read more about this place in my previous post, Project Ugly Socks.). When we got home after that first visit of Golden Dragon, that’s when I got really hooked to crochet that you will never see me without a yarn or hook in hand after that. I guess the crafting vibes of the Titas of SG (huddled in a corner knitting or crocheting) was so strong, it followed me until Cebu. =)
I don’t think their yarns here are really that extensive but coming from an island without any legit yarn shop, it’s already heaven to me!!! I could just stare at their walls full of yarn display.
On their entrance is shelves of their discounted yarns.This is the cheapest yarn in the store. It seems to be the equivalent of our Monaco.
They have a lot of crochet hook brands, the popular ones, from Susan Bates to Hamanaka. Though, price-wise, you may score a better price from local fb sellers.
They also carry a lot of knitting needles from Clover, and Aero.
Either way, I think this is a good place to start your yarn shop hopping because it’s in Chinatown. They have a nice hawker station in this area though can be crowded because it’s a popular area.
Well, I think what I really love about this place is seeing the Titas of SG with their crafts, and eavesdropping to their chatters. It’s my kind of “tourist spot.”They also display some knitted / crocheted items.
The only thing I hoard from this place was this stitch markers, Clover and Hamanaka, because I have enough of the generic cheap stitch markers which break easily.
After doing some crocheting some rows done in Golden Dragon Store, I moved on to something “new” place. This was fairly near to Golden Dragon Store. According to Google maps, it was just less than 2KM away from Golden Dragon so I just walked it than trying to find a bus stop (I really have a bad sense of direction.). Though a friend said that it’s far but there were interesting places on my way; I passed by Clark Quay, Caning Fort. And, when you’re in 1st world, pedestrian life is really not that haggard. =)
Spotlight is like a home furnishing / decors, party supplies, and craft store. There was probably more to it. I just got stuck in the yarns area. There were probably 4 rows of yarns.
If you love acrylics and wool, you can find a lot in relatively low prices here. At that time, I think the cheapest I saw was 4 skeins for SGD15.
I got out of this place empty handed! YAY! =) (I actually planned to check all the yarn stores, and go back to each of them to buy yarns but plans changed, more of it on the later part.)
Protip: There’s a Daiso store right beside Spotlight.
Because Daiso in Cebu does not have yarns, so it’s kind of fun to get inside a Daiso store and find yarns, and a bit of crochet and knitting notions. I think I got inside 2 Daiso stores in Singapore but I did not buy any thing. It was just for the fun of it.
All their stuff are priced at SGD2. It was so tempting to buy the crochet hooks but I stopped myself to save my chicken-rice-kopi-tiam money for the best. =)
ONDORI, Kewalram House, Bukit Merah
NOTE: They only accept cash. And, use Kewalram House to search it up in Google Maps as it’s easier that way.
Per Knitwerks’ recommendation, I ventured to this place. I made sure that husband was free to accompany me because it looks tricky on Google maps. But really, it’s not.
If you get intimidated with its location, don’t be. It’s located in a warehouse complex. If you’re in Cebu, it’s like you’re in MEPZA but only of warehouses. It’s an area full of buildings that are warehouses. You can find Ondori in one of the buildings.
Ondori is located inside Kewalram House. So I guess when you look it up on Google Maps, you search for Kewalram House. Once you reach Kewalram, you have to get inside the building.
They sale yarns by bulk, or as they say “peket” (packet). I think at least a packet may contain 6 pieces. They sell branded yarns: Katia, Schachenmayer, etc.
This shelf just looks so fluffy.
They have a specific shelves of yarns which are on SALE, where I got all my yarns. The lowest price I found was 20SGD for a packet but it was for some fancy yarns, which might just end up in your destash box. The nice ones were somewhere in 50SGD per packet (which consists of a minimum of 6 pieces).
They also have Tulip crochet hooks. I think they sell it at a relatively lower price. They also carry Addi knitting needles. I so wanted to get a set of the interchangeable knitting needles and Tulip crochet hooks; but it was a choice of needles, hooks, or yarns. So I picked yarns, then bought 2 circular needles. (The Addi needles really feel good.=))
I don’t know what’s in that place but it gobbled up all my chicken-rice and kopi tiam money. So if you plan to go yarn store hopping in Singapore, you can probably have this as the last destination because it’s just so hard to resist the yarns here. =)
After Ondori, I dared not go to any yarn store any more. This is where my yarn shop / store hopping in Singapore ended.
LAST PROTIP! If you ran out of money from yarns and such, visit one of their National Public Libraries. It’s so LIT!
Here’s a list of yarn shops that I got from a member of a Singapore-based crochet fb group. I’m just going to quote the member’s full reply:
“Found this list on a ravely forum but it is posted 9 yrs ago. Some of the shops may or may not still be ard.
1) Spotlight – Plaza Singapura
Description: Best for novelty yarns and Australian imports (also sells cheap plastic needles!) HUGE selection of other craft and home-making materials
Prices: Variable, mostly affordable (starting from ~$5 per ball)
2) Golden Dragon – People’s Park Centre http://goldendragon.com.sg/index.htm
Description: Huge handicraft store with one wall dedicated to yarn, with a few novelties
3) Yong Herng Co. – 211 Holland Avenue Holland Road Shopping Centre #02-12
Description: Tiny shop run by an approachable, friendly Chinese couple who don’t mind if you come in just to look. Small selection of plainer yarns, including Rowan, Butterfly…the shop also carries loads of ribbons and other fabric-craft-related items like buttons, zips, bells, cross-stitch etc.
The weather in my beautiful island in the Pacific, Cebu, is so crazy hot. For a tropical island dweller to complain about the hot weather, it is really burning hot… that I can’t help but keep thinking about Baguio.
Let me make a throwback to my first ever trip to the summer capital of the Philippains to hopefully bring in some coldness to this island.
We’d been wanting to go way further up to the Northern Luzon but long bus rides and the bus accident of Tado made me always put Baguio trip down at the bottom of “bucket list” (which I don’t really have one.). Then came crochet, and the idea of seeing Baguio yarns in its original place bumped it up to top of the list. =)
The first thing that I saw when we landed in Baguio was the “Baguio broom.” I got so excited to see my favorite broom, Baguio broom, in its original place! It’s like visiting a friend in his place; I feel so giddy!
I really prepared for this trip. I made a twinning beanie cat for me and the husband, and a sort-of poncho for me in orange shades, my favorite color. And, it was a big mistake so…
Please do not ever wear a beanie and a top / poncho / jacket in orange colors; and wear them all at the same time, unless you want to look like a traffic cone.
Traffic-cone fashion or whatever, me no care!
We arrived in Baguio so early in the morning so we just roam around the Burnham Park.
The famous strawberry taho. I was not really crazy over it though.
The most important thing on that trip was the trip to HANGAR MARKET because YARNS and COFFEE.
Honestly, I was kind of disappointed in the yarn department. I think I just did not know my way around that I did not find much that interest me but nevertheless I still ended up with a lot.
The most yarns I found there at that time were the acrylic: the indophil and lanalon. I think the guy in the photo was spinning indophil. I was not able to buy much acrylic because I still had quite a stash at that time. The kilo there (at that time) was P350/kg.
I have not seen much classic straight cotton. They’re probably always sold out, or I did not know my way around.
The other abundant yarns I saw were the Baguio Cotton Kulot / Curly, which was sold at P150/kg. I was not really interested in getting them but these lady has a lot of interesting colors that I ended up with 6 kilos, which was a very wrong decision because I had to ship it in advance via 2GO because we still need to go to Sagada after Baguio. I cannot be lugging around 6kilos of baggage with me. (The prices from online resellers of these yarns can be high but it’s really more practical getting it from them.)
I love coffee. It makes crocheting less lonely; it makes every thing less lonely. =) This was located down below the yarns floor.
Hangar Market is an interesting place. I really wanted to roam around the market but husband was already grumpy carrying the yarns.
We stayed in a Japanese-owned backpacker kind of place, Tala. It was located beside Cafe Yagam, a homey kind of restaurant somewhere in the Mines View area. And, there’s really a big difference when you crochet in a cold weather, compared when you’re in a beach under a blaring hot sun.
It just feels cosy.
BLOGGERPOSE / TREK
And, the rest of what I did in Baguio was #bloggerpose. =)
Morning walk to Mines View Park. Cold-weather really makes trekking and walking and roaming romantic.
Coffee Harvest Tour. It was timely that the place we’re staying, where an NGO about coffee farmers was based, was organizing a coffee farm tour. We were the few Filipinos in a group of Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese, Chinese.
Baguio has a lot of foreigners, mostly Asian, studying ESL so it’s common to see them around.
The coffee farm was located in Tublay, Benguet.
This woman had a unique baby carrier.
Posing with the women coffee farmers! #girlboss
#Selfie with the coffee cherries.
USA VISA-free trip. I’m in USA… property! =)
We went to Camp John Hay, and trek the Yellow Trail from a friend’s recommendation. Going around the trail, you would find a signage “PROPERTY of USA.” So yeah, that was my first trip to USA… property! =)
And, to culminate our trip to USA property, we had breakfast at a diner. It’s really my wish to eat in a diner, like those in American movies kind of diner.
Then, we moved on to Sagada, which was an endless zigzag to Heaven kind of ride.
PS. I think I lost / left my hook (the one in photo) in The Coffee Library. If you found, kindly love it! =)
This Vietnamese coffee with coconut milk is YUMMM!
If you’re one of those complaining of the summer heat, I hope this brings you a little relief of coldness. 🙂
Before I will go on my crochet yarn drama, I want to make a “crochet blogger” drama first. I thought a million times before putting up this blogsite because my gut feeling said that I just could not keep it up. And, somehow, my gut instinct is right. Crocheting takes soooo much time on top of the real-life tasks. So I just have to say “kudos” to crochet bloggers who can actively maintain their website, crochet, and put up tutorials.
So now on to the yarn drama… You can check my previous post, “Buying Yarns in Cebu…” if you want to get started yarn hunting in Cebu, Philippines.
Cebu (Philippines) has pretty much limited availability of yarns for crochet or knitting. So one option is to order online, and have it ship to Philippines or group buying with friends to save on shipping, or you can go around asking relatives to bring it with them when coming home. But this does not really interest me much because as “passively chill” I could be, I’m very impatient. I don’t like waiting for 3 months for unnecessary stuff. @.@
Until I randomly stumbled upon Baguio yarns via google. Searching for “yarns in Philippines,” it’s the Baguio yarns that would keep popping up. But it can be tricky to find them, unless you’re in Baguio, because you can mostly get them from “online / facebook mom and pop yarn sellers.”
And, once you’d find them, there’s the doubt of “are they legit?” So first thing first, I never encounter any problem buying from the facebook yarn sellers in Philippines I have transacted with. They’re the most hardworking, honest, creative, and reliable group of individuals I met. And, they’re all women. Thus, it’s hard to resist to become a yarn addict especially when you’re transacting with sweet moms. So I listed the name of the sellers along with the yarns below.
I don’t know how to “systematically categorize” the yarns I bought locally but here’s my attempt.
Imported Brand of Yarns
Gantsilyoguru.com. I think by default, Gantsilyoguru is the first online store a newbie crocheter would go to. And, I think it’s because they are the only one who has a very updated website. So this was where I got the first set of hooks and Lily Sugar n Cream cotton yarns, which I bought for my Nanay.
Pomelo LLC. This is owned by a friend. But I think she no longer carries yarns because I bought all of them. @.@ It was a mix of Premier yarns, Lily Sugar N Cream, Bernat, and others. I got them when I started so I was not really picky with yarns.
I love Lily Sugar n Creams because they’re worsted (5mm up hooks) so it’s easy to finish projects with them. (They probably have thinner cotton yarns.) But they tend to be so bulky / heavy, which is probably would feel so cozy if you’re living in colder climate but it can be blahhh in our tropical weather. But this kind of bulky yarns are something I highly recommend to beginners.
I did not get addicted with imported brand of yarns because expen$ive! And, so that’s why I get to do more digging about yarns I could source locally.
For some reason, almost all yarns I got locally are called Baguio yarns. I’m not sure if they’re really produced in Baguio, or Baguio businesses got them from China or somewhere and sell them in Baguio. Either way, let’s just stick to calling them Baguio yarns.
Baguio yarns have 2 basic types: Acrylic and Cotton. As I mentioned in my previous post, “Buying Yarns in Cebu…,” acrylic is synthetic fibers meaning they’re chemically fabricated, while the cotton is plant-based so they label it as natural.
And Baguio acrylic and cotton yarns has also different kinds under each, see below. Correct me if the following is wrong.
Classic – Or they call it straight
Kulot / Curly
Handspun / Plied
Boucle was my very first Baguio yarn I got. Some would say you can consider it as fancy yarns.
I was totally a newbie when I got them so I really have no clue as to the different textures of yarn. My daughter was asking for blue sweater because she loves blue color. Then I found these, and they look pretty.
But since I was a beginner when I got them, I had a hard time handling it. First is its “messy” texture that would make finding the stitches and holes very hard to do. To make it worse, I got dark colors making it more harder to find the stitches. Also, it appears “worsted” because of its messy look but it’s actually thin, so that would be another challenge especially if you started with the worsted Monaco acrylic.
If you’re a very newbie, you might get this in the later stage of the career to avoid frustration. =)
Classic / Straight Cotton. Since, I was having a hard time with boucle, I looked for another yarn. So obviously, I went for the “straight” type of yarn.
Since it was again my first time, it did not occur to me that the Baguio Classic Straight cotton are actually like that of “sewing threads” grouped together. So when buying and you want to have all the yarns have uniform thickness, you need to ask details about how many plies / thread in 1 pull.
For very beginners like me a year ago who was used to the Monaco acrylic, dealing with loose threads can be really tricky especially when you do not know how to control much your grip. I actually gave up on this and hid them.
But now, I got a better grip and I’m quite comfortable handling them now. I think it was making amigurumis that train me better with my grip. I’m bad at amigurumi but the little kids you’d be making them for don’t really bother, and it helps a lot exercising your grip and control of the hook.
These women mixes threads (can be in different types: polyester, acrylic, cotton, and others) to produce these yummy yarns. The photos below do not give justice to their work of art so kindly visit their facebook pages to appreciate their work better.
I think I will create a separate post with more details about these yarn mixes.
They would usually call it “Baguio Merce” for mercerized cotton.
Chunky cotton. Gantsilyo Baguio call this “Baguio Merce” but I also saw other sellers call it “chunky cotton.” This one is thicker than the usual Monaco mercerized cotton thread. It’s closed to 4-ply of Monaco undye cotton threads, the ones usually used in hand-dyed yarns. I have not used it so I could not say much about its characteristics.
Baguio Merce #20. I’m not really sure if this #20, but this is thinner than the monaco mercerized cotton thread, which is #10. The white one in the photo is even thinner than the others.
My first encounter with this yarn is from Miss Crochet a Lot, and I love it. It’s so soft that I think it would be fine to use it on baby stuff. But I have yet to make a blanket of them yet. It’s what I used in beanies / hats.
The Indophil yarns are way softer than the Red Heart regular acrylic yarns. Like the classic cotton, the indophil yarn cakes are composed of many threads / ply of indophil.
I first encounter these yarns in our first trip to Baguio. The first on my itinerary was Hangar Market, nevertheless. (I will also create another post for that.)
I’m not sure which is softer, Lanalon or Indophil (I have yet to make another post also for this to detail their differences.) But what I like with Lanalon is they’re single ply (just make sure to request it from the seller) so I have a control if I want to make it thicker or just use 1 ply of it.
When we went to Hangar Market, Baguio, this was the most available aside from the Indophil and Lanalon. I just probably did not know my way around that I could not find much supply of the Classic cotton. I was hesitant of getting them because they remind me of boucle, they’re challenging to use. But the colors on display were so yummy, I ended up with 6 kilos. Plus, they were so cheap there but the shipping was not. So yes, it’s still practical to get them from facebook sellers. =)
I came across a post before that it’s curly or kulot because they’re from the trimming of cotton fabrics which are winded to become yarns. It’s kind of “upcycle” actually.
I cannot much recommend these type of yarns to beginners because it’s hard to find the stitches and holes because of its “messy” character.
Kulot Gradient Yarns.
Though I tried to avoid the Curly cotton yarns but it was just hard to resist when I saw this rainbox mix from YarnLine. Yarnline did a good work on curly cotton yarns, which you might want to check.
I have a Velvet yarn, which I got recently from Miss Crochet a Lot from the latest package I got from her. But I haven’t tried it yet. I saw whisper yarns when I went to Hangar Market. I think they’re kind of the same, or I think the Velvet tends to be thicker. I avoided getting these yarns because they reminded me of boucle.
But now that I have a better grip, I will get back to them one of these days, and make a new review from there.
I guess I covered the different Baguio Yarns that I acquired along my crochet journey. And, this is getting long. So I will make a part 2 for the following yarns I got locally:
* Japan Surplus (JS) Yarns. Most of them can be the wool type.
* Hand-dyed Yarns
* Vigan Yarns
* Local Brand Yarns
* Imported Repacked Yarns.
* Destashed Yarns. Yes, it deserves its own category. =)
Before I end this, I would like to share that I put up an online SHOP >>. I’m inviting you to please visit it. There’s nothing much there yet. But feel free to share it around. Because I certainly need some dough for this addiction. =)
“Sis, where do you buy your yarns?” is a question I would get from time to time in instagram.
This was also the very first question I had when my nanay tried crocheting again. I think I had tried all sorts of places where I think it’s possible to buy yarns: from the “merkado,” neighborhood school / office supply stores, book stores, malls, and downtown / Colon of Cebu. Cebu does not have a dedicated store for crochet / knitting supplies. We could mostly find yarns in fabric / sewing notions suppliers.
Just a quick note, the most available yarns in Cebu are acrylic and the mercerized cotton threads. Acrylic is a synthetic type of yarns, and tend to be warm. The cotton are of course come from the cotton, so they’re closer to being natural and cooler.