But first let me repost Yasmin Jumao-as’s invitation last year to give you a history of how Cebu Crochet Group started contributing handmade knockers.
“This will probably be my longest post in our group. Not solely crochet, but still fiber art-related.
Seven years ago, my mother was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. She had a number of procedures before she finally had a total mastectomy. She still has annual check-ups – thank God she is cancer-free. For a number years after her surgery, she used a silicone prosthesis, as she opted not to undergo breast reconstruction. This was uncomfortable for her as the prosthesis was heavy, would abrade her scar and was very warm to the skin.
Early last year, I learned about the knitted knockers movement in the US. I downloaded both the knit and crochet patterns for the knockers and was able to make a few for my Mum and very good highschool friend who was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy last year. They say the handmade knockers are definitely more comfortable than the silicone prosthesis.
Last October, I made a few knockers and donated them to the ICanserve foundation. This year, I hope to make more so that somehow, in my own little way, I am able to help these courageous women and let them know that they are not alone in their fight against breast cancer.
Please let me know if you are interested in making and donating knockers, too. I’ll be sharing the crochet and knit patterns for the knockers in the comments below.”
This year, we received an overwhelming support from the crocheters / knitters, and also support from outside the crochet group.
Special thanks to sponsors of knockers through Judith Saturos. Proceeds will go to purchasing knocker materials so more yarns, more happy crafting time, and more knockers for our survivor friends. So thank you again to the kind sponsors.
Big thanks also to those who donated yarns and fiberfill. Wishing you more blessings and good health! =) You know who you are. =)
Thank you also to the iCanServe, survivors, clinics, and recipients of the knockers. Thanks for the happiness we got from making these knockers for you.
Big shoutout to all the friends who shared their time and skills to make the knockers! You made it all more fun!
It was a random meetup with the hooker friends, and when crocheters are together, alams na where they would most likely end up.
So @sugbo_sinulid wanted to have refill of fiberfill for the knockers, and supplies for birthday giveaways, while @tomatofire_crochets wanted to buy supplies for her parent’s wedding anniversary’s giveaways. It’s giveaway season! =) And, I, am just happy to tag along.
Here’s a video compilation of snapshots of the places we went to in the downtown area of Cebu to get crochet and other related crafting supplies.
For reference, we went to:
Cebu Progress for fiberfill and bag clasps
Prime Basics for charms, key rings, tassel accessories
I don’t know how to describe Freedom Park, Carbon. It’s part of being a Cebuana; you don’t frequent going there but you know that if all things fail, there is Carbon. (Freedom Park is a section of Carbon. And, I don’t know how exactly huge is Carbon.)
Cebu has no fancy huge crafting supply store but we have Freedom Park, Carbon. So if you’re into crafting or making, it’s on top of your vocabulary.
Every time I would be looking for a material so hard to find, chances are friends would tell you to go to Freedom Park or Carbon. Or, if you show something you think you got for a low price, chances are friends would tell you that you can get it at much lower price at Carbon. Chances are I would also give you the same reply on where to find stuff in Cebu.
So here’s a day of I and @yourfavoritethingsbyhija looking for something rare and low because we’re budget Heart Evangelista.
I never heard about handmade knitted or crocheted breast prosthetics, or called as knockers, until Yasmin / @sugbo_sinulid shared to us her annual tradition of creating them. She would then gave the prosthetics to the survivors. Some members of Cebu Crochet Group joined in her tradition last year, and I guess we are now making it our own annual tradition.
The Cebu Design Week had a lot of activities, and it spanned for months (To know more about it, please head to their website, cebudesignweek.com.). But I was not able to check on the other events because I got too focused and busy with Makers Market, which was just one of the Cebu Design Week’s many events.
It was my first legit bazaar experience, because I did one at my kids’ school. It was in a way such a privilege to be in the same space where Kenneth Cobonpue, Happy Garaje, and other great designers of Cebu were also exhibiting their works.
So THANK YOU to the team behind the Cebu Design Week.
But most of all, THANK YOU to all the friends who made our little 2x2m corner, Hinimo Cebu, of the Cebu Design Week venue possible.
To our supportive friends in Cebu Crochet Group and other Cebu crafters, we feel the love! We the beast! =)
To the friends and families who dropped by, big hugs!
Also to all the people who buy our creations, we’re so kilig!
Other photos from the Cebu Design Week.
Again, thank you to our friends in Cebu Crochet Group. It’s wonderful to be in a very supportive bunch. Cry big tears of joy!
By the way, hinimocebu.com online store is up. It’s a bit wonky, kindly bear with us! =)
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. =)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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!!!
I did not buy yet because we’re going to Tokyo on following days, and I might find a better deal?!?
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.
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.