Sunday, March 02, 2008

Yarn Hunting in Kuyshu

It has been almost a month since I came back from Kuyshu. I wanted to post sooner but lately I've been involved with my kids' studies. We had a great get away during Chinese New Year holidays over there, despite the cold weather. Yarn hunting wasn't so abundant as I expected. I found very few yarn shops during my visit. First stop was Yuzawaya in Fukuoka. It's located in the district of Tenjin on the 6th floor of a department store named Mina (if I'm not mistaken). Not comparable with its store in Tokyo at all. There weren't many yarns that I would like to bring home. A lot of the yarn stock weren't sufficient to knit a long sleeve cardigan (very few stock left out. I believe there was a sale going on just a few days before leaving little yarn for me. Sigh...Here is a little tour of the shop. The buttons selection were amazing. Unfortunately, no time to dedicate to these colorful rainbow display.
In a way, it's good that I don't sew. It would be heavy to bring some samples of these fabrics home.
Not satisfied enough with Yuzawaya, I decided to ask around about more yarn shops. And finally found this little shop nearby. It's a small shop with a high end selection, mostly Italian yarns. I didn't find any yarn to buy. They were too expensive.
I was lucky that I found couple knitting magazines that were just released on the day. And they happen to be my favorite titles. :)
As we travelled further south to Oita, where DH wanted to refresh his memories of the old town he had worked before. It's a smaller city, things haven't changed much after more than 10 years, as I recall. Walking around the downtown area, I spotted this yarn shop. Looked nice with the sale bins but so sad only acrylic yarn, the ones to knit dishcloths or some mohair yarn. I only got some Clover bamboo straight needles to complete my collection. I have now a complete set of clover bamboo straight needles in Japanese size ( except size 1, not much of a possibility to use super thin needles) ) and they have the size mark in the top. Some of my needles bought previously only had the mark on the shaft (? the long part) and it's almost invisible after constant use.
Well, in a way it was good that I didn't get to buy much yarn. Something that I realized when I got home and looked at my yarn stash. The ones I got last year in Japan are still untouched.
At least I got two packs of merino wool from Yuzawaya. The wine color I got 13. It should be enough for a long sleeve sweater. The beige only had a pack of 10 available. Perhaps will suit a vest.
I finally bought the embroidery scissors. Having seen it previously in Keito dama magazines ads. I had wished to own one for a while. It's just too expensive for a small scissor ( about $36) . The store only had one in stock, so that helped me to decide quickly though I still think it's too costly for a tiny scissor. Spotted some nice bamboo buttons that followed me home. I also bought 3 very pretty mother-of-pearl flower shaped buttons but unfortunately I lost them.
The best part of my trip was a night stay at Yufuin Hot Spring. We stayed at this traditional style hotel that was very relaxing. I had the chance to soak myself in the Onsen 3 times. It was just so wonderful. The spring water leaves your skin so smooth and silky feeling. And to make you feel even more relaxed, the supper is served in your own room. Next photos were taken on a little stroll at the main street in Yufuin. It's so interesting, they had shops with animal theme, like cat, dog, owl and even a bee shop!
And if you are feeling hungry to see the cake shop ( bottom right photo) , you'll need a second closer look because they are instead mini towels rolled as cake forms. Didn't find any yarn shop but spotted some hand knitted gloves.
Not much knitting going on in my corner. I think I stopped knitting for too long. I feel that my hands are feeling all rusted. At least, I have a scarf and a hat to show in this post.
I like this hat very much, except that I pulled the string, to close the top, too tightly. Thus, yielding this big lump on the top. Otherwise, I like the cabling border. It gives that special touch to the hat.
Both the scarf and hat were knitted using Diadomina yarn. The patterns are from this book.

Lately, I 've been distracted by my Keito dama and World Knitting collection. Somehow, they never cease my enthusiasm to look at the designs over and over again. I 'm looking for inspirations to bring my knitting mood back. I don't think I could have enough of these magazines in my lifetime. I decided that I will start to buy less of other titles that I keep bringing home wherever I go to the book shop. Well that sounds to be an old story but at least I am getting conscious about it! ;)

Lastly, some knitting magazines that DH got at Liberty in London for me. I had just requested the new Rowan but he found the other two magazines at a bookstore. I couldn't think of what yarn to ask him to buy when he called from Liberty. Do you think I am suffering some kind of yarn withdraw lately? There are three designs that I want to knit from this Rowan, Astral (that has been already started in my needles), Geno and Purity . ( The designs can be seen here) I hope I can finish my wips ( almost ufos). That should bring up my knitting mood level back to normal. Let's hope so!


yuvee said...

The city looks gorgeous! I'm a bit jealous you get to stay in a hot spring, I could use an Onsen right now ;)

Agnes said...

All these shopping, eating and sight-seeing! What fun!

Celia said...

Looks like a fun trip! I also got the new Keito dama book and looking to buy the other "European Handknit" book that you got there. The embroidery scissor is very pretty, looks like a crane.

Koko said...

I could enjoy to read your report as if I'm in Kyushyu!! I have been to Fukuoka and Ohita two times but haven't been to Yufuin before so, it's interesting and even more fun looking.
Please show us your bamboo needles collection some day. and I'm sorry to hear that you've lost the mother-of pearl flower shaped buttons. I love that kind of buttons too...

Jan said...

The places you visited look very interesting. What a nice start to your year. I love the Japanese magazines but they are so hard to find here. They seem to have better designs than some of the other magazines you see around. I am interested in whether you like the latest Rowan. Can't decide whether to order it or not.

JL said...

What a wonderful trip, and beautiful craft stores.

handknit168 said...

Japan is always a wonderful place to visit many many many times that u won't feel boring. Specially yarn hunting and knitting books hunting.

Hemraj said...
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