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.
I really did not get horrendous amount of yarns, but it was more than what I usually buy, and it filled up almost an entire duffel bag.
It’s hard to be asking for suggestions or directions from the local when the yarn stores because we just have not common language. So I was very happy when I stumbled upon a yarn store on our first day of just aimlessly walking around the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Old Quarter reminds me of Colon / downtown area of Cebu with a lot of foreigners milling around like Boracay.
I was really itching to get away from the crowd, when this happened:
LEN – KHAN. Though Vietnamese language is written similarly to our alphabets but I’m still having a hard time figuring out what it means. Any how, let’s just call this yarn store as LEN – KHAN. (According to a blog I read, “Len” means “yarn.”)
The most yarns they carry, that I could understand, are acrylic, cashmere, and milk cotton yarns. Prices were relatively way low. In this yarn shop, 2 milk cotton in a pack was 100,000 VND which is around P200+; so basically it’s around P100+ per 100g milk cotton. Their milk cotton is similar to the ones in Gantsilyo Guru.
Here are some other photos of yarns from that store.
This one is similar to the Indophil yarns, which I could usually get from Baguio.
More inside the store…
I was drawn to this yarn. It’s like 6-ply combed cotton but just way softer, and feels lighter.
I was not planning to buy any yarns on that day yet but I could not resist it. So on my first day of roaming around Hanoi, I went back to where we stay with this:
Not bad for Day 1 in Vietnam.
Along this road are stores that sell knitted / crocheted items, and they also has few yarns for sale but are pricier compared. There are also thread stores.
2. Dung Thao Len. I found this yarn store through this blog post, Hanoi Yarn Shops. I was glad that I did not buy a lot at the first store because their prices are way lower. For the 2 milk cotton in a packet, it was priced at 70,000VND instead.
For the 2 milk cotton in a packet, it was priced at 70,000VND instead.
They also has more yarn choices. I spotted some fancy yarns, and some yarns from Japan.
They also carry crochet hooks, and knitting needles (straight and circular).
This was where I get a bit crazy getting yarns. @.@ I wanted to get a lot of milk cotton yarns, but I was really drawn to the ones that I first bought at the other yarn store. I bought 2 cakes for each color. If ever I would add more to it, I thought that we no longer have a luggage space for it.
This was my receipt from this store. If ever you visit Hanoi, and want to check this yarn shop, I think you can use the address, 20 Dinh Liet, on this receipt to spot it on Google Maps.
Here’s my saved Google maps of the yarn stores / shops in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Last month, I had a chance to be in Pasig, Metro Manila. And, I was like, “seriously, what’s in Pasig?” Forgive this probinsyana who rarely gets to be in the big metro. Until, I realized that Gantsilyo Guru Yarn Studio is in our hood (hood to be millenial-sounding.) EXCITING! =)
My first set of big hooks, and cotton yarns were from their online store. I order a few items from them from time to time. So visiting their physical store would feel like meeting your online friend, like eyeball. =)
And, I think Gantsilyo Guru Yarn Studio is probably the most popular local yarn shop (LYS) in Philippines. So it’s like meeting a celebrity.
So here are very few photos I took during the “fan meeting” because I was feeling shy. I was really hoping to get a photo with Trey, but my shyness overwhelmed me on that day! ARGHHHH!!! Major regret!
It can be a bit tricky finding the shop because it’s inside a building so you will not find a facade from the street. The studio is located inside this building.
I just bought a few hooks and knitting needles because I just recently received a package from them before going to Pasig.
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. 🙂
I was planning to post my first “crochet pattern” this week but as I worked on it, it’s not EASY. The pattern I’m even creating is a very simple basic kind of crochet pattern but I’m way too far from getting half of it. So shoutout to all pattern designers, much respect!
Instead of getting frustrated at my first attempt of writing down a pattern, I’m just gonna CHILL with a throwback.
Last month, I got to be in Panglao Island, Bohol. I tagged along with husband and friends who attended RubyConf. Since I was not part of the conference, I had 2 days in Panglao Island alone, on my own.
And, I was not more excited to be alone… with my yarns and crochet hooks. =)
It was spent “eating my own dog food.”
One of the most requested item, few friends ask me to crochet, is swimwear / bikini. I’m hesitant to create it because I could not see how functional it would really be especially when you’re going to really swim in it. So I want to test it first before creating them.
I had tested raylon, mercerized cotton thread previously; and then Bohol came which was a perfect opportunity to test the worsted cotton thread, or it’s really more of combed cotton (not really ideal for wearables?) which I experimented hand-dying it. (I’ll post about the feel of these different threads / yarns on a bikini top.)
So Day 1 was spent at Alona beach, which was a first time — it was my first time to swim in it.
It was swim, and sunbathing beside the caucasian. Emphasis on caucasians because I noticed that Asians are mostly wrapped in beach cover-ups under the shade, far from the sun. So I think obsession on having a “fair skin” is an Asian thing, not just a Pinoy thing.
There was also hooking in between.
With this 8-ply hand-dyed cotton thread, it’s perfect for sunbathing. It’s owkei for a bit of dipping here and there, but definitely not for swimming competition or aqua/triathlon.
It’s really tad heavy. Since it was tied around my neck, it chafed that area a little because of the weight so maybe use another material for the “tie.”
OOTD. Stabilo highlighter inspired crochet pinafore, pattern inspired by Little White Dress by Sarah Cooper.
No more swimwear testing on this day because I was too proud to wear sunscreen on Day 1 that I got very bad sunburn. It was was so bad that even a slight touch on my back (which was the most exposed part since I was lying on my tummy when sunbathing) was so painful.
So all I could do was hop from one souvenir store to another in Alona Beach; and I noticed that no one was selling any crocheted swimwear.
It made me think, I could probably make a living here by just sitting at the beach, crochet swimwear, cover-ups, hats, and whatnots. That would be so romantic! =)
And, if all things fail, let me just soak in the view and people-watch…
…if only those are enough to make ones’ stomach not grumble. =)