Vlog: A Day in the Life of NOT Heart Evangelista

If you want to date a crocheter (or a crafter), find out where in Cebu you can bring her/ him in the latest vlog.

This place is a big part of my childhood. I guess all the 90s and pre-90’s generation knows this place very well. Then, new “hip” areas are sprouting in Cebu City, this area has became less and rare part of my Cebu life. Until I started crocheting, it brought me back again to this place. =)

Photo from @tomatofire_crochets

Osaka, JPN: Of 1st Train Ride & Yarns

One of the moments that I feel the smartest is when I could “crack” the public transport system of a new place. Having no trains or subways in my beloved city of Cebu, figuring them out is both such a delightful and scary experience for me.

So being able to go to a destination via train (preferably alone) is always on top my itinerary when in a new place. And, finding yarn shops is the perfect compliment to it.

So in every new place, I always have this mission of how many yarn shops (and coffee shops in between) I could cover with my “navigation and public transport riding” skills.

The bigger the city, the more thrilling it would be for me. Probably, Osaka was like the most new and biggest city for me. Then there’s the language struggle so there was a lot of scary thoughts inside me. I know it’s superficial though. Anyhow…

WALK. When it’s too confusing for me, I walk. I mean with the weather and scenery of Osaka, walking can feel dreamy. (Husband’s working (remotely) so I go around alone, unnecessary fyi.)

And, walking gets me to see a lot of stuff, like I don’t really need to go to Kyoto to have a photo with a Torii.

I walk to the nearest yarn shop on my list in Osaka, Japan. I consider 5KM as something I can just walk to; so when I say it’s just near me, it’s around that distance.

TEORIYA

It was the prettiest yarn shop I ever set foot in my entire crochet life. Of course, I’ve never been to a lot of shops.

TEORIYA, my photo does not do justice to the prettiness of this shop.

They have floor-to-ceiling shelves full of wool yarns in hanks that look so fancy. I just could stand there whole day, and just soak in the beauty of it all.

They were offering workshops in their shop, which I wanted to join just so I have a reason to stay longer. But then they could not accommodate me because I could not speak Japanese. “Alangan man sad sila mag adjust nako?”

1st TRAIN RIDE in Osaka alone. After Teoriya, I finally had the courage to test waters of riding a train. I’m really poor at holding directions inside my head thus just knowing which direction of the train I should take is really such a real struggle.

I’m not really sure why there’s a women boarding point but I guess this has to do with the harassments on women in public transportation. I witnessed one, but it was not in Japan, and it made realized why Japan has this.

AVRIL

I thought mall culture is just a Pinoy thing, but I guess we probably copied it from the Japanese. For some reason, their train stations or subways are interconnected with malls.

So the AVRIL yarn shop is located inside a mall, Hanshin Umeda. Going from the subway to the mall entrance was really such a pain for me to figure out. After our trip, I don’t think I ever figured out their subway. Japan’s cities’ subway are so huge, it’s like an entire different city down there.

I was going back and forth the subway and up into the “earth” to find the mall entrance, and I just could not figure it out. So I muster the courage to ask a Japanese local. And, yes, it’s true that Japanese would accompany you to point you to the right direction. So this nice lady walked me back to the subway, and showed me the entrance, which I passed by a lot of times already. Duh me!

One common thing of yarn or craft stores in Japan is that they always have a craft table where workshops are usually ongoing. I was so green with envy!

They have a different way of selling yarns. I mean it was my first time to encounter it. You buy it by weight / grams. So like if I wanted to buy a yarn sock, I would pick a yarn, and specify the weight grams I need. They were not prepacked so that explains the cones of yarns on display.

Avril, yarn / craft store in Osaka, Japan

Yuzawaya

Yuzawaya is a big chain craft store in Japan. The store I can think / encounter of that is similar to is Spotlight. If you just want a quick trip to yarn / craft shop in Japan, go straight to a Yuzawaya branch. They seem to be everywhere in Japan. They have leather, textile, carpentry, and all sorts of crafting materials, and also a lot of workshops for different crafts.

The Yuzawaya I went to in Osaka was inside a mall again, Hankyu Sambangai. Plus, it was connected to the main metro station of Osaka so the subways has too many levels and there were too many people, it was too much for my brain capacity. After a lot of missed turns here and there ,I finally gave up and just ask a local to point me to it.

This was the entrance to it so I guess I could not blame my self for missing it.

Unlike the previous yarn shops I mentioned above which main item they sell is yarns, Yuzawaya also has all sorts of crochet and knitting notions.

There were a lot yarns too. Of course, they would come expensive to those with 3rd-world budget, but there are a lot of yarns on sale / discounted prices which can really come cheap.

But the yarn that gave me the most “kilig” was the sock yarns! They came a plenty of stocks, and they were on sale. Off the bat, the cheapest sock yarns are priced at P700 so when I saw them on sale at around Php300, I just want to cry, but I got to hold the urges. Nooooo!!!

SALIVATING!!!

I did not buy yet because we’re going to Tokyo on following days, and I might find a better deal?!?

My only Osaka loot. Konmari must be proud. =)

There were still a lot of yarn shops in my Osaka list, but my brain’s direction capability was maxxed out. It just have enough for me to find my way back to the hotel.

Wakayama, JPN: Me, Me, & Me, and Some Yarns

It was my first time to be in Japan last year, and just like my any 1st time in a new place, I’d go frenzy looking for yarn shops. I find Japan so huge that I don’t know how to blog about the yarn stores not looking like tangled yarns. =) Since we went to a few cities in Japan, I’ll post my yarn moments for each city in separate posts so it won’t be too messy to read, and also write. =)

The time we landed in Kansai Airport (Osaka), we went straight to a “small” less populous city, Wakayama, in Japan. I’m sorry that I’m no historical or cultural buff but it’s considered “holy” place because it’s center for Buddhism (or something like that).

We first went to a small city so that we would have a “relax” pace while trying to get a grasp of Japan’s way.

We stayed at GUESTHOUSE RICO,where every thing was just cute-sy. =)

Japan is so pretty, even their garbage bins are IG-worthier than me. =)

Enough of my, me, myself, and #bloggerpose…

Crochet and knitting, generally crafting and creating, is BIG in Japan. So it’s easy to ask them about crochet / knitting stuff, they could easily direct me to a shop. “Keto” is the Japanese of yarn. But the best way to ask about yarn or crochet or knitting, any where, is to simply show them a yarn.

So before leaving Wakayama, I was so happy to find a yarn shop (google maps direction here >>). =)

This was located in a “Shopping Street.” Shopping street is like a “strip mall” but not the modern kind of strip mall. It’s like different local businesses — from food, to fashion stores, crafting stores, and maybe hardwares — lining after each other. Basically, it’s like our “merkado” except it’s so neat, organized, and clean. =)

“Shopping street”

It was such a heartwarming to see handmade knitted and crocheted products displayed inside the shop.

It was a nothing-so-fancy yarn shop but it’s beautiful! Japan’s reputation of being such a beauty is definitely legit! =)

Yarn Store Wandering in Taiwan

Taiwan is where the milk tea is cheap and has no queue, but yarns and hooks are pricey; but Addi knitting needles are relatively cheaper.

When I say crochet hooks, I’m referring to the Japanese brands, Clover and Tulip; they’re default price is at equivalent of P500+. Surprisingly Addi knitting needles are cheaper compared to… mmmm Spotlight SG (it’s where I bought most of my Addi’s). =)

This was my only loot from Taiwan. Good job, self! I found out that Excel is a Taiwan brand. So, I guess, if you want something local from Taiwan, get some Excel items. =)

I have a few Excel acrylic yarns (not in photo), which are lovely soft; they feel like milk cotton. But I only got 6 pieces because they’re in small 40-gram skein. Each Excel acrylic yarn skein is probably 35TWD+.

Yarn Shops in Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei is not really that hard to navigate. It’s not that much of a huge city so going around is not overwhelming. For some miracle of a reason, finding my way through their substation is not that hard, and it’s not that crowded. But the bus system is a different story; I was struggling.

But finding yarn stores had a bit of a challenge to me because English subtitles are not that popular. I was able to get a good list of results of when searching for “yarn stores” in Google maps; the problem is that they’re in Chinese characters. There was only very few that has English subtitles. So searching for stores in Chinese characters was like playing puzzle. =)

TAIPIE, TAIWAN

Anyhow, here are the crochet / knitting / yarn stores I stumbled upon in Taipei, Taiwan.

SO EASY CRAFT WORLD

The first store I went to because it’s in English, and it was also the nearest to where we stayed. The crochet and knitting notions in the photo above were all from this yarn store.

It carries nice yarns. There’s a lot of wool and wool blends. There are also those cotton threads for lace crocheting. It carries imported brands which I would just find in crochet / knitting magazines. Imported branded yarns (mostly European brands) are something very common in Taiwan. That’s why I was not able to buy a lot of yarns because they’re just so pricey for my 3rd-world budget. =) But nevertheless, I had a lot of fun just “window shopping” at their yarn stores.

So Easy Craft Store in Taipei, Taiwan

There was a crafting table inside the So Easy, where I stayed for a bit to work on my doily. I also wanted to test the Excel crochet hook because I was thinking of buying more if I would like it. =)

佳美手藝材料行

I just copy and paste the Chinese characters of the yarn store from Google maps >>. =) This is just in the same area of So Easy. But it was on the other side, and I need to cross a street or went through the subway.

This knitting / crochet shop is kind of cramped. But it has more yarns compared to So Easy. They have a lot of European brand yarns so I got out from this store with nothing in my hand because pricey. I was planning to get sock yarns but it would cost me around P2000 for a pair. Cray-cray.

The few “affordable” acrylic yarns of the store, and they don’t really look that tempting. Good thing though!

BEAR MOM DIY (Bear Mama DIY)

“DIY / D.I.Y.” is a keyword you can use to find yarn shops / crafting store in Taiwan. This is something common I noticed with their yarn stores; it has DIY in their names. So maybe a local Taiwanese can understand me better if I would ask them for DIY stores.

If I could only go to one yarn / craft store among the shops I’d been to in Taipei, Bear Mom DIY is what I would pick. It may not have the biggest yarn inventory, but the place is spacious (so not cramped), and it has a crafting place (but I’m not sure if it’s like in So Easy where you can make “tambay.”).

Crafting area

I had not gotten any thing from the store because like other yarn shops in Taiwan, their items can be too pricey for my budget. =) So I’ll just share photos from the store.

This is a Taiwan brand yarn. This is acrylic, and has a similar feel to the Excel brand.

The best thing about going to BEAR MAMA DIY store is that there are a lot of crochet / knitting shops nearby. If you were from Cebu, going to this area was like I was in downtown Colon where I could find all sorts of stores like hardware, textile, and others. And, Bear Mama DIY location is like Manalili Street where the yarn stores are located just in proximity with each other.

Yarn Store in 103, Taiwan, Taipei City, Datong District, 永樂里

After Bear Mama DIY, I kind of just aimlessly walk around the area then I stumbled upon this sidewalk store. It’s like our “sari-sari” store except that its display are yarns. =)

135 Yarn Store, 245 Chang’an West Road, Taipei, Taipei City

Across the yarn store above is where you’ll find this “135” Yarn Store. It looks rather small and outdated from the outside, but it has quite a huge yarn inventory. It’s probably the crochet / knitting shop with the most yarns, expensive nice yarns, I came across.

Outside the store is already a lot of yarns on display, which looks like they’re on a discount.

The yarns were beautiful but I could not afford them. @.@ So here’s just snap of photos from that store.

One of my favorite find of that store. I just took a photo of it because that’s all I could afford. =)
Milk cotton yarns are the affordable ones.
This looks like milk cotton too.
This green shade though =)

There was a wall display of crochet hooks, knitting needles, and other crochet / knitting notions. And, I just look at them. =)

There were a few other crafting stores on this street. So if you feel adventurous, go and taiWANDER. =)

It’s in this area where you can find the “only” coffee shop that serves coffee beans grown in Taiwan.

San Coffee =)

LOUDONG, YILAN COUNTY, TAIWAN

We spent a few days in another town of Taiwan, Loudong, which was something like 80KM away from Taipei. So it was like from Cebu City, we went to Moalboal. According to Wikipedia, it’s the smallest town of Taiwan.

The town center of Loudong felt like I was in downtown Colon street. It looks vintage. =) But I love it! I love small cities so I could easily navigate it! =)

DoDo*Family

For a “smallest” town of Taiwan, it has quite a variety and stocks of yarns.

The yarn shop has a crafting table, and there were a few crafters doing crochet and knitting. I really wanted to join but I was feeling shy because no one was talking in English. In my experience, though Taiwanese may not speak in English to me but they’re very patient in accommodating me, like they would not give up or turn their back on me even if they would not understand me. They would stay with you until we got into a resolution. =)

These are local brand acrylic yarns like Excel. It’s in this store that I found the lowest price for Excel like 35TWD. It’s around 40TWD+ in other stores.

Yarn Store in Heping Road, Luodong, Yilan, Taiwan

This is just nearby the DoDo Family crochet / knitting shop in Luodong, Taiwan. I just turn a corner, and I stumbled upon this yarn shop.

I find the prices here higher compared to Dodo. So all I did was just look. =)

There was a tug in my heart leaving this quaint little town.

Crochet Shawl / Poncho: Leafy

Crochet Shawl / Poncho Pattern: Leaf Stitch from mypicot.com
Links to Pattern: mypicot.com
Yarn: Ashley’s Crochet “Afternoon Glove” / 214 grams
Hook: 3.25mm
Finished Dimension: approx 20 inches width, 28 inches length


I rarely keep crochet projects I made. Most of the time, I dispose them right away once I’m done with it because I’m just really after the “journey,” not the destination / finished product. =)

Originally, I made this shawl for my mother-in-law. But I fell in love with it so I kept it for myself. =)

I decided to stitch the opposite sides, and make a poncho out of it so that it will not keep falling off. =) 

So let the bloggerposes and selfies begin from the corners, to the beaches, to the universe. =)

Obviously, this has became my most photographed crochet item since then. 

 

Cebu Crochet Group: April 2019 Meetup Session

Upcoming meetup session: May 2019 Cebu Crochet Group Session 05/19, details >>

We receive a few inquiries about wanting to learn to crochet, or learn new tricks, or how to make certain projects. So we thought of having a regular once-a-month meetup session to tackle crochet-related stuff with fellow crocheters. Please note that this is open to public, non-members of the group are very welcome. We are lonely creatures stuck with hook and yarn so we do welcome new type company. =)

But, reall, don’t get intimidated, we just want to “chismis.” Think of it as a good excuse to take a break, sit down, and just betch. =)

I was the designated “hostess” for the previous’ session. So here a few photos from Berns Dy of 5chubbyfingers.com.

Liza, Schena, Grezley
An, Judith
L-R: Grezley (@grezleymarieescaner), Meg, Berns (@5chubbyfingers), Marmie (@wistehuffmarmie), An, Judith, Ayen (@aiyen_dm), Bev, Liza, Schena

More photos from my phone:

Thank you for coming, besh! Also thank you to Yasmin for the yarn giftaway!

See you this May 2019 crochet session!

Social Impact or Self-Indulgence?!?

Crochet is like sex to me.

I really have a problem when it comes to selling crochet items. On a few times that other friends / people would ask me why am I not selling crochet items, I always have a hard time explaining to them why. I would go around making excuses.

On our way to the last day of crochet workshop in Sevilla, Bohol, this topic was discussed again. This time, I confessed that it’s really hard when it comes to making money from crochet because it’s like sex to me. If I accept money from crochet, it feels like I’m prostituting myself. Though, there’s nothing really wrong with prostitution as long as you’re for it. But you get what I mean… I/we just cannot have sex with any one.

Now on to helping facilitate a crochet workshop for a women community, I always say that I hope crochet can unlock more than learning how to crochet in them (My previous post, Crochet WOKEshop >>).” I hope crochet can spark whatever undiscovered “madness” / passion inside her that would give them immense self-pleasure that they would do any thing just to achieve it.

But thing is, for most community workshops, the main goal is mostly about uplifting financial status, social impact, and whatever to-help-others tag line. Any thing NOT about contributing to the greater good of the community / financial impact does not deserve to be spent money on, be given budget by the government or any organization (Even I would probably question it.). Why is “giving ones’ self pleasure” not actually a worthy cause?

And, don’t get me started with “Who am I / we to have the say that they need uplifting or they need some social impact form of activity?” I mean they’ve been doing “social impact” their whole life probably.

So it makes me so happy when I’d hear from the participants that crochet can make them forget house chores, their husband… I’d like to believe that for once, these hardworking women — who spend most of their waking hours thinking and serving others — just forget about the world and immerse their selves in doing something selfish, on something which might only be beneficial and pleasurable to her alone.

I can probably easily talk about self-pleasure as we might not have the same reality. But who does not want pleasure for the sake of pleasure? I guess we all deserve it, wherever we are in the spectrum of “all walks of life” (Anyhow, screw the spectrum!).

If ever you get to the end of this post, if you receive a crochet item from me, please do not think dirty of it. I actually think of any one having this great passion on something as “sex.” Like you can be obsessed with baking, and I would see your baking as your kind of sex.

So there! =) Let me go back to #bloggerpose.

Photo by Hija Mangapis

Status: In a RelaSHAWLship

Crochet Shawl Pattern: Heart Shawl by addicted2thehook.com
Links to Pattern: Ravelry, Mijo Crochet Website
Yarn: Ashley’s Crochet “Fox Glove” / 246 grams
Hook: 3mm
Finished Dimension: approx 74 inches width, 43.5 inches length


I started this in February 14, 2019, the VALENTINES DAY because cliche! 🙂 Then I finally reached the end of the yarn this March 10, 2019. This took me almost a month. It feels forever. There’s really forever! 🙂

Making this is probably like in a romantic relationship. It was exciting in the beginning.

Picking the right crochet hook at the start is one of the most exciting things for me.

Then, it got boring, dragging in between. But then you can always find ways to make it exciting.

We travel together.

We coffee-date… a lot?!

I think we’re a great tandem. We made a total of 120 HEARTS, and infinite #bloggerpose! =)

Hopefully, this will warm the heart of the person who is going to receive it! =)


Upcoming Cebu Crochet Group event:

Happy 1st Birthday, Cebu Crochet Group!

First of all, we would like to thank friends who shared crochet-related stuff to us, which made the party more funner: Grace of Your Handmade Happiness, Knitwerks and Crafts, Pretty Crafts, Yarnia, Hirayah Crafts, Tomato Fire Crochets, and many more from individuals (yes, we brought prizes for ourselves because we’re self-sufficient like that! sorry, i did not take notes of the names.)

Thank you @5chubbyfingers for this yummy #yarncake! Every yarn addict’s dream cake! 😂

Now to the photos:

We games like queens!

The hooks and yarns are part of games, and life!

…and food!Special thanks to Shakey’s Robinson’s Cybergate for accommodating us! 🙂

And #WIPS, and finished crochet items!…and we live by the saying, “just 1 more row…”

To 1 more ROW-RRRR, Cebu Crochet Group!

S/O to Sarah @tomatofire_crochets & Berns @5cbubbyfingers for putting this up!!! 😘😘😘


Photos: Sarah Palmares, Bernadette Dy, Sharol Valdez

Crochet WOKEshop

Cebu Crochet Group “goes” to Sevilla, Bohol for a crochet workshop. A crochet workshop was organized by DTI & Sevilla LGU, and another organization invited us to facilitate the crochet workshop.

Whenever I get so passionate about some thing, there’s that big enthusiasm in me to invite and sometimes “forced” them on others. But of course, I grow old, and realized that not every thing is for everybody just like I don’t understand why others find zip-line exciting.

Thus, I now have this sort of reservation when helping facilitate a crochet workshop; like I hope I don’t waste this person’s time, as well as mine. I hope no one forced him/her to be in this workshop.

But then, I’m really MORE EXCITED to be in a workshop. There’s that magical feeling in me seeing someone make their first “chain.” There’s that hopeful feeling of what the crochet can unlock in this person, of what possibilities crochet can open in him/her. It does not necessarily be about crochet, but whatever passion she/he has inside like his/her unique creative instinct, entrepreneurial skills, and other skills/talent that has been long hibernating inside them.

So thank you to the women community of Sevilla, Bohol for that “magical feeling.”

More photos from the 1st crochet workshop in Sevilla, Bohol: