Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Yarn hunting in Sapporo

This was a long break, more than a month without blogging! As you have already noticed after my vacations , I have a tendency to take long time to get back to my normal routine. We spent the first three days in the ski resort in Niseko couple hours away for Sapporo, primarily knitting by myself in the room. I don't enjoy skiing due to my poor abilities in the sport. But I still like the winter vacation with the calm white scenery and I am happy to know that the kids are having fun. Oh, those aren't my boys, they were high up in the hills! I can enjoy some knitting as well, of course. By the way, the scarf I was trying to knit didn't work out. It was a rushed project. I started it too wide not leaving much yarn so that I could make it long enough for a scarf. So having multiple projects is always handy for travel occasions. I had nothing to take on this trip besides new ones ( not fully tested)! :( I had a great yarn hunting time in Sapporo. Though it was only one day, it was memorable!
My trip to Sapporo was narrowed to only one day after DH and I felt that the boys needed more time to settle in the area. We travelled to Niseko in a big group of 6 families in total. But that still wasn't enough assurance for me to leave the boys on the third night. You know, motherhood thing! By the end, the boys did well on their last day in the resort. Didn't leave anything behind, were on time with their schedule and the elder one even asked for a courtesy late check-out so that he and his brother could rest a bit after their half day ski session on the third day. Not bad! ;)

My precious day in Sapporo was basically dedicated to yarn hunting. I had found in advance an address of a Puppy yarn store and that was my main target. It took me some effort to locate it because the address was referring to a whole block without specific number. After asking around, I found the block but no signs of yarn. Soon, a fabric store caught my eyes. I decided that a fabric store would cheer me up and left DH continue to look ahead. After all, fabrics are fun too even though I don't do any sewing. Not so interesting from outside, but look at the array of fabrics in all sort of colours inside!

As I was looking around, I noticed that they had another floor. Could there be yarns? I thought to myself . Perhaps more quilting material but deep in my heart I was hoping for yarns... When I went upstairs, I saw this:
And this...
See, there is always hope isn't it? ;) I was so delighted and ran down to find DH to let him know that I found the store and that I would be spending some time on the second floor. Indeed, it was my lost Puppy shop without any clue from outside!! :) As you can see, it's a cozy and well organized shop. Most of the yarns were imported and they even carried the Rowan line though with a very high tag. A good excuse to skip them. There were some knitted garments for sale, the designs that are in the "Let's knit series" from Puppy publications. I often buy these books from Puppy, so it was exciting to see the designs knitted in person and the yarn in use as well. There was an embroidery section as well, packed with colorful threads. I didn't have much time to browse them. I think it would be hard to leave the store without a small kit had I had more time to look at them . The first things I gathered in my shopping basket were the Keitodama Spring issue, Let's knit, Puppy book vol. 2 ( couldn't find vol 1 or 3) , an old book with entrelac gloves ( sold out here) and this lace book with shawls and romantic clothing ( had seen an ad in Keitodama) that I so wanted to have but have never seen in my local bookstores. The last two books I mentioned, were the last copies at the shop, not in mint condition but that didn't minimize my enthusiasm in buying them. I am so lucky!

I found a yarn with an unusual composition of alpaca, cashmere and cotton in a caramel tone for my stash. Also spotted Anny Blatt on sale in my favorite colourway of plum tones ( 50% camel 50% wool), very soft so I had to have a set. Later, I found a note in the pack that says " It's imperative to knit this yarn with two alternating balls every two rows". Could this be the reason for the sale? Will worry about it next winter! Also got some knitting accessories, little things that I needed and a few others that now , they don't look to be so essential but I found them irresistible at that time. :D

The sales lady was very nice and helpful and even gave me the directions to another nearby yarn shop. However; DH knowing me from past experiences, soon said we needed a break for lunch. Hehe, I was ready to sacrifice my appetite and save the time for more yarn adventures. Soon, DH found my favorite crab restaurant just a few blocks away.

Having had a big Japanese breakfast, we couldn't eat much. So we shared a set with crab cooked and served in many ways. It was delicious as you can imagine! Though, deep in my heart I was hoping that the food could be served a little faster.
With a satisfied appetite, we headed to the next yarn store. It was one of those crafting buildings with each floor carrying material for a specialized craft. I soon found the yarn section and spent a good time browsing through colorful balls.
I selected some Diadomina yarn, it was cheaper than my LYS and also found a similar yarn that is wool blended with silk though much more expensive . It looked so beautiful and irresistible, must have some for my stash. Bottom ones are Richmore Kidmohair in colourway. I haven't knitted with kidsilk before but without much hesitation the beautiful balls found a place in my basket. The dark wine colour ones are novelty yarn ( which I rarely buy) that will be knitted with the mohair one, it will yield to a shinning stole. There were a group of ladies knitting in a corner section. How I wished that I could speak some Japanese, it looked like that they were having a good time. Also because I needed some clarification from the stole pattern. Unfortunately, the teacher from the store didn't speak any English. And despite our big efforts to understand each other, it didn't seen that I was going to understand the tie part of the stole. stole. The funny thing happened when DH decided to join our conversation and amazingly, with the few Japanese words he had acquired in the past, when he worked in Japan , he helped me understand what the teacher was saying. So did I tell you that husbands are a big help in yarn hunting? :D

On my way back to hotel, just around the block I spotted another yarn store. There weren't any special yarn, so I just did a quick visit since I was already happy and satisfied with my previous store purchases. It was a short ( I wished for more yarn shop hours) and a long day as I went to visit the Snow Festival very late in the evening. I found that it would too hard to justify to my non knitting friends that I spent a whole day in Sapporo and didn't visit the Snow Festival event. Luckily, all these stops were within a walking distance from our hotel.

That was a really long post! I kept loosing my post today, the internet connection has been very unstable these days. I hope you enjoyed my yarn hunting experience in Sapporo. I have more yarn adventures to share because after this trip ( in 3 days ) I went to Europe. Indeed, it was a very long winter vacation, almost perfect if I were in a better health condition. Unfortunately, I had a hormonal imbalance making me very weak during my trips. So despite not feeling well ( it was too late to cancel the trip), I was able to travel to Europe under medications. It looks that I have recovered these days but I will have to be checked again soon to see if I have anything more serious. So that was the main reason that I have not been in the blog sphere for a while.

I should be posting soon again, so until next time with more yarn hunting! ;)


opportunityknits said...

Hi Mimi, so glad to read your post. The yarn shop looks real pretty. All that fabric too! Now you have yarn to knit scarves and shawls next winter. Looking forward to the next instalment of your yarn shopping adventures. By the way, my son is so tickled by the photo of you standing in the snow with your knitting :)

yuvee said...

Glad to have you back, Mimi! Sounds like you had an amazing time, I love your yarn shopping adventure!

Peggy said...

Welcome back! Sounds like you have a wonderful trip and kudos to the preserverence... you finally found the yarn shop. The stock looks amazing!

Laura.Y said...

What a wonderful adventure! It was really lucky you were interested in fabrics as well LOL. Those shelves full of yarns looks so amazing. I'm glad u r recovering well too. :)

mona said...

I am so envious!! look at all that yarn! And here I am having a stash diet ....

I'm staaaaarving for yarn.
I'm glad you're enjoying your stash - you deserve it.

joy said...

Sounds like a fabulous time, especially the end when you found that yarn shop. :-)

Hope you're all better now!

Knitnerd said...

It's so much fun reading your yarn hunting stories! You are the luckiest woman in the world that you married a nice and patient husband!

handknit168 said...

very happy to see your post and the process of yarn hunting. Do you have any location information about the 2 yarn shops you visited ? I would like to have it so that I visit them during my next visit to Sapporo.

Hope you are feeling well now.

yarnlot said...

A very nice post: the yarn shop looks delightful and the crab restaurant must be temptful. Is it possible to buy RichMore, Amu and World Knitting Magazines online somewhere?
I do hope your trip to Europe was nice and inspiring...

Siow Chin said...

So good to hear from you again, Mimi! And what an adventure you've had. Can't wait to hear more from you but please do take care too!

Anonymous said...

Yes, please give us address details to the shops you visited in Sapporo. I live in Sapporo and would love to check them out. Thanks!

Pax *knits said...

Hi Mimi, do you have email address? I have a question ask you.

Robyn said...

Can you send me the addresses for the knitting shops you visited? I live in Indonesia (too hot, no wool!!!), but am visiting my in-laws in Sapporo at the end of September and would love to indulge my cravings for yarn!!!

楊雅韋 said...