Monday, July 5, 2010

A Knitter's Tour of Vancouver, Part I

I recently returned from a trip to Vancouver. What a beautiful city! We traveled with friends, so I did not indulge my yarnie desires as much as I might have if I were on my own, but I did have some fiber-related finds to share with you.

We'll start in Richmond, which is a large, predominantly Asian district. In the Aberdeen Centre, there is a really fun Japanese $2 store called Daiso. I tell you, this place had everything, and it was so fun to browse the 2 stories of merchandise! No pictures were allowed, so you'll have to take my word for it. In the craft section was a selection of crochet booklets, yarns, needles and hooks, along with cute premade crochet appliques. I restrained myself and only got some bento supplies since I haven't seen them locally. This is the only Daiso in Canada, but there are others in California and in the Seattle area, as well as hundreds worldwide, if you want to check it out for yourself.

In that same Aberdeen Centre is a Chinese bookstore called Sup. There were a craft section with a fair number of crochet books and only a few knitting books.

Across the street from the Aberdeen Centre is the Yaohan Centre. This second mall is not nearly as nice, but it has more fiber-related options. There, I spent almost 2 hours checking out the selection of books at Iwase.

I came away with a book called Tiny Crochet, Tiny Motif Patterns (you can see it at the front of the photo, the one with the candles) and another called Motif/Edging, which is really fun and the ideas for using the motifs reminded me a lot of Crochet Adorned:

I noticed that there were 3 whole pattern books for finger knitting! Who knew it could be that useful and versatile?! There were also a couple of books for making these cute little string dolls. They have simple heads made by wrapping a yarn ball, kind of like the base of a temari ball. Then the bodies are made by wrapping yarn around a wire, and they're "dressed" in felt.

There was also a store called Alpha Crafts. I had already spent about an hour at the Iwase bookstore and came out so dazed that I walked right past and didn't notice the shop at all until my husband pointed out the cute crocheted things in the window

By then, though, we needed to leave to meet up with some friends, so I returned another day to look at Iwase some more and to check out this shop. At first, I was awed because I saw several bins of Japanese books underneath a shelf, but it turns out those were the owner's and not for sale. There were some interesting imported yarns, but everything was kept in bags, which was of course not conducive to any kind of tactile browsing. Even though the shop was really small, the owner still made space for a table in the back, where some regulars congregated to crochet (I didn't see anyone knitting), and I thought that was nice. Although the books were in Japanese, I'm pretty sure everyone was speaking Chinese, which goes to show you how useful the charting system is. Anyway, I ended up getting this completely adorable book, along with a small selection of noses and eyes to hopefully make something

I'll have more to share from Vancouver in a future post.


  1. I was in Japan last year and fell in love with a lot of the knitting books - but I can't understand the patterns. Did you buy any?

  2. Sounds like you had a great time! The $2 store sounds amazing!

  3. I love Vancouver. When I lived in Seattle (and the US dollar was actually still worth more than the Canadian dollar!) we used to drive up regularly. It has more and better Chinese food than Seattle, and I loved wandering around. I could totally live there.

  4. Wow--those Japanese critters are adorable!!