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.
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.
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. =)
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! =)
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. =)
Anyhow, here are the crochet / knitting / yarn stores I stumbled upon in Taipei, Taiwan.
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.
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. =)
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.
“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.”).
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.
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.
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.
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! =)
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.