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
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.
The things a crocheter would go to just to get her yarn fill. I made this video last December 31, 2018; I realized that I spent the last day of my 2018 haunting for yarns in a stormy weather. I should have an award for this! =)
The video is not so clear but nevertheless, ENJOY! =)
Over a year ago, I posted about the different yarns and yarn sellers I found locally here in Philippines. I deliberately put “Part 1” to the title because I was planning to post more details about each seller or type of yarns I found locally… but hooking and life happens, as well as hoarding of yarns happened.
I “stopped” buying yarns this 2018, and unfortunately, the yarn stash also stopped moving. For some reason, they just did not decrease in numbers. So the previous day, I found myself boxing a portion of the yarns so that I could store them away. There’s just no way I could use all of them up in 2018, and also, to free some space for other more necessary things. (And, sorry, I’m not giving them away because I’m attached; I know one should not get attached to material things but yarns and hooks are totally different kind of things.=))
I boxed first the yarns that I’m mostly “attached” to. They are from local fiber artists. Looking at them, I honestly could not recall why I bought them before aside that they all look pretty, and I’m just so proud that local artists were/are creating them. And, most of all, they’re all created by women.
So I’m sharing photos of them again because this kind of beauty are meant to be shared, and to honor the talent and time put into these yarn creations.
I’m not really the rainbow-y unicorn-y type of person but it’s just hard to resist rainbow-themed yarns. I had more cakes of these color combination before but, yeah, amazing that I used and gave some of them. =)
Most of the local fiber artist use fine cotton thread (or other types of thread), and mix them to create beautiful mixes and gradient yarns. It can be tricky to use them especially for first timers, but you’ll get the hang of it after some time. Just be patient, and you’ll be blessed with pretty finished crochet items.
Following are some plied yarns I purchased. Is it worth it or not? I should make a review but I’m not going to promise. Just a tip for using hand-plied yarns, minimize “undoing” your work because it could “un-ply” the yarns.
From Sugar Free. It looks like a thicker type of cotton thread is used.
GRADIENT YARN MIXES
These are the yarns that I have most. This type of yarn is best use for huge continuous type of project like shawls, seamless tops/dresses, blankets, and others to get the full effect of the yarn mix.
Sugar Free Fiber Arts
They have yarn mixes that use different types of thread in one mix.
I forgot the name of this mix, but my most favorite. It’s perfect for that classic vintage effect. It’s perfect for doilies, and such type of projects. I’m not sure for wearable because is has this silver strands which I’m not sure if it’s plastic or thread.
Dazzle. It uses poly-cotton thread. I actually love this for its “shiny” effect.
Pure Cotton Mix. I forgot the name of this line. This is the most kind of thread used in mixes by local yarn artists.
Aren’t they all beautiful?! I pat myself on the back for really being able to control my buying impulse this year. It’s a bit hard to control it especially when there are more new local yarn artists now. Let’s see my “strength” this 2019? =)
We went to Hong Kong last March 2018, and for this 3rd world citizen (I should retire using 3rd world but I could not find any better adjective to use), I could not deny that I definitely could not afford that much in Hong Kong. But I definitely could afford topping up my Octopus card (HK’s public transportation card), and just go around to find some yarn shops.
We stayed in Kowloon area in first few days, and so I was just really able go around this part of Hong Kong. I did not feel crossing to Hong Kong Island because I felt it’s really quite far and it’s probably more expensive there. I mean Kowloon feels more like I’m in downtown Colon of Cebu, while Hong Kong Island feels like more you’re somewhere uptown in business districts of Cebu. You know what I mean.
I’m just going to post photos of the shops I was able to find while I was trying not to get lost in Hong Kong.
Lai Chi Kok Area
We stayed in this area, somewhere near the Mei Foo station. The first time I tried to go around, I got lost after 500 meters it’s because my google maps’ Location Services setting was not set on “Always,” and I just realized that when the address says “Street,” it can mean the whole long Highwayyyyyy. @.@ There was a big stupid blooper story on this but I’ll spare you from the boring details.
It’s inside D2 mall. This was really more of a craft store for your different crafts so there was not much type of yarns there. Mostly, yarns that can be used for other crafts not solely for crochething or knitting. But this store also has crochet hooks. It’s on the pricey side.
This place is just near HandCrafter but in a different building. But KPC Yarn is actually a yarn brand so this place was really more of an office. Their yarns are wool. There was showroom for their yarns, and some crochet and knitting gears from Clover and Addi. It’s where I actually find the lowest prices of Clover and Addi stuff among the shops I stumbled upon in Kowloon area.
I think you can also stay in their showroom to work on your projects.
Mong Kok Area
The next area I went to was Mong Kok because it’s like the most familiar to me, and google search results also pointed a lot of shops in the area. So on a Sunday, I went there alone, and it was a bad idea because some of the shops are closed on Sundays.
So I just do with what were open on that day.
I landed in Fa Yuen Street Market because I thought it was like a bazaar market, like Ladies’ market. But it was really literally a wet market / farmer’s market.
Is it just me? But English is a bit harder in Kowloon area compared to Hong Kong Island or Lantau Island. Thankfully, I was not so bad in picking up a noodle dish by just making “turo-turo.”
Thankfully, someone in the diner was able to point me out to the “street market” that I was looking for, and from there it was easier for me to navigate to other yarn shops nearby.
Just one more block away from the Fa Yuen Street Market was a street market of wearables, like Ladies’ Market. One of the stalls there is selling yarns.
This place was where I found the lowest priced yarns. Its yarns mostly reminded me of those I found in Vietnam so I was not that tempted much. And, it’s still way cheaper back in Vietnam because well HK’s 1st world.
This on a parallel road of the street market, which building was facing the main road / highway. This is definitely YARN HEAVEN, but every thing was just expensive for my 3rd world pocket so I just stare and feel. =)
DAISO is called Living Plaza in Hong Kong according to google search results. So if you want to look for Daiso shops in HK, search for Living Plaza.
This Living Plaza was along Nathan Road, which was the nearest from Fa Yuen Street.
I tried visiting other yarn shops in my list, but either they were closed because it’s Sunday or permanently closed. Anyhow, I had fun roaming around Kowloon.
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.