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.
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 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.
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! =)
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
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:
“A hat is like an extension of the warmth of a mother’s love.” – Hija Mangapis
This February 2019, Cebu Crochet Group turns 1-year old. This tiny “young” group thought of celebrating it by creating preemie hats for the tiny young babies.
Premature babies (preemies) may be isolated from the mother for awhile as they’re needed to be incubated. They can be deprived from the mother’s touch and warmth until they’re able to catch up with their missed growth and development.
As such we thought of creating preemie hats, which may serve like an extension of the warmth of mother’s love. Hopefully, the babies can feel additional warmth from our hands and hearts when we created their tiny hats. When they feel warm, it can make them stronger faster.
After a month, 5 weekend sessions, we gathered 314 preemie hats, and more are coming. (If you’re still having preemie hats as WIPs (work-in-progress) feel free to continue making and sharing them with us. We’re happy to receive them, and deliver it to the hospitals once we have gathered enough.)
Photos from: Sarah Palmares, Yasmin Jumao-as, Hija Mangapis, Leigh Castillano, Brey Uy, Liza Selda
This is probably not my role to be saying THANK YOU! But anyhow, THANK YOU, for everyone in the Cebu Crochet Group for the preemie hats and time you shared.
Personally, I thank each and everyone in the Cebu Crochet Group. You are like my preemie hats. I totally feel the love. I hope that you too feel that our tiny community is your “preemie hat;” the preemie hat that may not “grow” your crochet skill into some Picasso-level, but at least it can make you feel the warmth of support (So feel free to share your projects and adventures and crazy ideas; we always have the “thumbs-up” button for that.).
Also, thank you to the babies of CENTCOM Station Hospital and tiny babies of Sotto Hospital for letting us share our love with them. Thank you to the hospital staff we coordinated with.
Thank you also to our families / relatives / friends, organizations and other individuals who collaborate with us, appreciate our work and existence, for letting us be, for being supportive despite that they can sometimes be weirded out by us.
Who would have thought that this group who started with humble granny square has produced 314 preemie hats, and more in between?
We, hookers of Cebu Crochet Group, rock!
Preemie Hats Mommies:
Adrianha Dayne Dess
Emily Abastas Abais
Enriqueta L. Enriquez
Floredith Papa Pragados
Jo A Nne
Judith Entica Saturos
Judy Desamparado Cimafranca
Sarah A. Palmares
Trisha Mae Veliganio
Venus Caralde Uy
This pattern has been on my to-do wish list, and I even bought the yarn for it way back in 2017. Yes, I am that kind of crocheter.
But it’s not until ENVY hit me that I finally pick up the yarn, and finally make it. I saw a friend crocheting this shawl pattern, and I was envious. Envious is such a great motivator! I’m also that kind of crocheter. =)