A few months ago, I picked up crocheting as a hobby. It was something that I learned on my own as a high school student (from the pages of an illustrated crochet manual from Book Sale). I guess I decided to try it again after rekindling my interest in crafts, which is now trendy in the Philippines.
(Skip this part and go to the Divisoria Trip subhead if you get bored)
I first tried making paper flowers (thanks to a class at CraftMNL) and while the result was fabulous, it was time consuming and required a lot of space (I live in a tiny condo unit).
And then I realized how accessible crocheting is. You only need a crochet hook and some yarn. And you can buy both from the nearby bookstore. Of course I soon learned that bookstore-bought acrylic yarn are only good for school projects and non-wearables. They are usually inconsistent in quality, size and texture, in addition to some of them being rough on sensitive skin.
Because I was serious about getting into crafting, I bought a crochet kit and some really nice yarn on Amazon. My boyfriend bought them home to the Philippines after visiting relatives in the US.
Until now, I have not used up all of the yarn but since I wanted to buy more for upcoming projects, I decided to check what local stores had to offer.
I have been checking out yarn stores online but I just couldn’t decide which ones to order because I’m still quite ignorant when it comes to local yarn. (Aside: I discovered this awesome blog post of CraftNanay on the different yarns made in the Philippines) Also, I wanted to see the actual color and feel of the yarn. So I ended up going to Divisoria this weekend.
My boyfriend and I went on a Sunday so when we got to Tabora Street (near 168 Mall) and started asking around for yarn, the vendors told us that many of the shops were closed.
We walked the whole stretch of Tabora and did not find any yarn, except for several pieces of sad-looking acrylic yarn in a store selling ribbons and buttons.
We made our way to Tutuban where I finally found a store that sold yarn, in addition to a dazzling array of craft supplies (I got myself 50 pieces of floral wire for P45). The store had a dozen or so Familia yarn cakes for P175 each. I’m not familiar with this brand so I continued to look around.
Luckily we found “Michelle’s Ribbon and Lace Center” at the ground floor of Tutuban Mall. This is where I found a lot of yarn from the brands Familia, Red Heart, Cannon and Monaco.
For those wondering how much their yarn costs, here’s their price list as of September 2018:
Monaco – P35 plain, P40 multi-colored
Cannon – P35 plain, P45 multi-colored
Familia – P13 for a small skein (P11 wholesale price) / P150 per cake (I’m guessing it’s around 250 grams)
Red Heart – P20 for a small skein (100g), P250 for a medium skein (141g), P350 for a big skein (250g)
Unbranded super bulky Chenille yarn – P600
I wanted to buy the Chenille yarn to make a pouf or bean bag but they did not have the color I was looking for. Also, I felt that P600 was too much for that amount of yarn. I’ve been eyeing Gantsilyo.com’s chenille yarn sale so I might buy online instead or wait until next year and order from the US, which is cheaper (at least for this particular yarn).
In the end, I bought just a white Cannon yarn to practice on crochet lace patterns. My boyfriend also bought a pack of purple Familia yarn for a project we’re working on together.
You can also buy crochet hooks from Michelle’s…and all sorts of embroidery and sewing supplies.
While I was disappointed that we didn’t get to see all the craft stores in Tabora, I was happy to find Michelle’s. At least now I know how much the yarn costs there and what brands they offer. Perhaps next time I’ll visit on a weekday.
If you’re a veteran at crocheting, kindly comment and share your thoughts on the yarn I found and if you have tips you want to share. 🙂
Some tips: (1) Visit in the morning so you can get a good parking spot at Lucky Chinatown Mall. We arrived at 10:30am and the parking lots in Divisoria were all full except for Lucky Chinatown. (2) Try to leave after lunch. By this time, the streets are already filled with people, especially since the “-ber months” have started. (3) I don’t go to Divisoria often so I was quite amazed at some of the specialty stores. There are stores in 168 and 999 Mall that beauty vloggers will love. And in Tutuban and Tabora you can buy elaborate gowns for a fraction of the cost charged by designers.
Next time I’ll post about my yarn purchases on Amazon and some of my crochet projects. I know friends will probably tease me for choosing a “very tita” hobby but so far crocheting has helped me deal with stress. More about that in another post.