Travel Preparations of a Knitter

This comic featured on Lion Brand’s Facebook appeared on my newsfeed today. Why is it so true?

“Look for yarn shops at travel location”

“Create yarn shop route”

I didn’t bring a project with me because I figured I wouldn’t have time, which is partially true, but I did end up buying notions to start a project hehe.

And a third post about Hong Kong yarn shops is long overdue but I’m going to try to hit up the last few before I leave this crazy city next Friday. Eep! Only one week left here!?!?

Hong Kong Yarn Hunt, Part Deux

One day last week, I was having a horribly unproductive day at work so I decided to leave early and Knitting World, located somewhere between Mongkok and Yau Ma Tei Stations. Yarn always seems to help out on these kinds of sluggish days.

This shop is a little tough to find, but if you end up in a market place, you’re nearly there. Look past the fruit stands and situated on the third floor of Prosper Commercial Building is Knitting World. They don’t have as big or high quality of a selection as Filo Kilo, but definitely one of the better yarn shops I’ve visited so far. The employees at Knitting World were not very skilled in English but still welcoming. I wasn’t planning on buying anything but once I was in there and saw some of their options, I couldn’t resist. I bought one skein of cotton in the color of the sunset which I’m hoping I can salvage enough for socks which costed around HK$50.

At this point I had attempted to visit three yarn stores, had success with two, never managed to catch the other one when it was open, and bought cheap wool and needles from a market stand. I was beginning to believe that I would not be able to visit all 15 the yarn stores on my Hong Kong yarn shop list. With only three weeks left, some of them just seemed too far away and not worth the subway fares if I was’t going to stop on the way for something else.

However, this past Saturday I had what may be the most amazing day I’ve spent in Hong Kong, and I wasn’t even on Hong Kong Island. I took a solo trip up to New Territories, Hong Kong which is located in the northwest and is connected to mainland China to walk the Ping Shan Heritage Trail. You can read all about it, and in great detail, on my study abroad blog. Because I was already going so far up north, why not make a pit stop to three yarn stores on my list?

I planned on hitting up Wool Workshop, PC Knitting Co, and Mei Fung Wools Co, all located within a 15 minute walking distance from Tsuen Wan station. (For anyone who’s interested, I’ll be compiling a comprehensive list of all the stores I’ll have visited during my trip and writing directions and need-to-knows as well.)

Wool Workshop was the absolute cutest, most warm, and welcoming of all the yarn stores I’ve been to in Hong Kong. It is located in Fortune Commercial Building. The atmosphere is very cozy and colorful. When I walked in a small group of ladies were crocheting. With my other experiences in Hong Kong yarn shops, I wanted to keep to myself since I wasn’t sure that they spoke English and I didn’t want them hovering down my back, but one of the employees was very good at English and so extremely nice! She asked me where I was from and how I found the store since it is located in a very local area of Hong Kong and I explained that there was a list floating around online. She gave me a chair and let me browse their small selection of yarns and pattern books. They didn’t have many novelty yarns, mostly just plain colored wools, so I didn’t feel compelled to buy anything because I could get something similar back home or online. I soon observed that this shop is very crochet-oriented, specializing in Japanese wool and crochet books. I told the employees that I don’t really crochet and she said that I could learn how to read Japanese patterns right there at the shop. I was really fond of the offer but I told the ladies that I lived a 45 minute MTR ride away. How unfortunate! I totally would have gone back. After a little more looking and some photos I thanked them and was on my way to stop #2.

After a bit of wandering and luck I found myself in the Tsuen Fung Centre where PC Knitting Co is located. The shop is tiny, the staff doesn’t know much English, and they honestly didn’t seem very happy to see me. The also didn’t let me take pictures inside the store but I did mange to get one of the front. It was really hard to browse because the shop was so small. I couldn’t move with three other women in there knitting and chatting. It was kind of a let down after Wool Workshop.

P1060918I had so much trouble trying to find Mei Fun Wools Co which was supposed to be a 5 minute walk away and when I thought I found it, I didn’t find any yarn! Now that I go back and look at the address I realized that it’s located on the second floor of the Wah Kin House, not the first. I will never get used to all these skyscrapers! I can see the tiny staircase on Google Maps now. Darn, I should have been suspicious of the fact that I walked into a clothing boutique that didn’t sell anything knitted while believing that it was a store with wool in the name.

With that disappointment of believing that the store didn’t exist/didn’t sell yarn, I made one last stop on the MTR line to Sham Shui Po to go to the Dragon Centre to buy some souvenirs for my sister. Little did I know that the street markets that lined the way to the mall were a DIY heaven! I didn’t find yarn, but I found all kinds of beads, buttons, lace, and fabric. I didn’t buy anything, but seeing craft supplies always warms my heart. It’s apparently known as the “Bead Market.” My pictures weren’t too great so I won’t post them :/

In the Dragon Centre I went to this section called Apple Mall, which also has DIY things, of the Japanese variety. I bought myself a cross stitch kit for a Hello Kitty keychain and some candy making kits and keychains for my sister. When I was walking around I magically found Elegance Workshop, a Hong Kong yarn shop that was not mentioned by any source that I used to compile my list. This definitely made up for not finding Mei Fung Wools Co. Elegance Workshop was pretty small but had decent variety. I wasn’t able to look around long because the shopkeeper’s incredibly shy son came back and wanted to go into the store but with me blocking the way I decided just to leave and come back later, but then I forgot (whoops!) I’m guessing they have Japanese yarns since most of the items in that mall boasted Japanese origin.

Today was a failure in terms of doing what I had planned. Lesson learned: if you want to do something, do it yourself. I wasn’t planning on spending all day shopping on Granville Road, but I was able to find Yoko Labs, another yarn store. However, it was closed today since it was a public holiday. I’ll make another stop after work one day to check it out when it’s open.

So far I’ve been good about not buying yarn in every place I look. I guess I just lucked out in finding great selections in the beginning. There have been some hits and misses but I guess it’s not possible to find every yarn shop in Hong Kong. I have three weeks left and I’m hoping to see at least three more shops. Be sure to visit me on helloiminhongkong as well!