Caught the knitting fever? Here are five shops across Japan where you can order a variety of ready-made kits and specialty yarns.
At Puppy, you can find a wide variety of yarn produced by Puppy as well as imported brands — such as Husky from Italy or Soft Donegal from the U.K. — all organized by season. Knitting kits and tools are available, too. If you get stuck on a pattern, professional knitters at the store’s Shimokitazawa location can answer questions and help you complete your project. You can also order online from Puppy’s multilingual website, and your items will be dispatched within two days after ordering (excluding weekends and holidays).
Kitazawa 2-26-4, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155-0031; 03-3468-0581; puppyarn.com
Located in the heart of Kyoto, Itokobaco offers beginner-friendly knitting kits that include yarn, needles and patterns packed in a box. (If you already have needles, more advanced patterns just come with yarn and instructions.) This means all you need to do is find an item you would like to create on Itokobaco’s website, order and wait for delivery. Itokobaco’s current winter lineup is full of colorful sweaters, scarves, hats and even indoor shoes. And if you need additional guidance, Itokobaco offers a beginners’ booklet explaining different stitches (¥330).
Shuzeicho 1071, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8155; 075-822-0011; itokobaco.com
Since its launch in 1973, the Aichi Prefecture-based brand Eisaku Noro quickly expanded its business to the global market, and now you can find its eco-friendly products at more than 2,500 stores in 30 countries. What makes the brand particularly notable is how it designs its yarns, which are dynamic and vivid. Multiple kinds of fiber — such as silk, wool and mohair — are mixed in one thread. Special care is taken when dyeing each material, since they react differently, and the end result is a unique mixture of color. Also, Eisaku Noro’s yarns are spun by hand whenever possible in order not to damage the fibers and preserve the thread’s texture.
shop.eisakunoro.com; orders over ¥5,500 ship free
Gigi Knitting offers a British yarn brand, Wool and the Gang. The brand is famous for its goal of “reinventing the craft experience” and coming up with unorthodox yarn designs. One of the most popular products is “Crazy Sexy Wool,” a chunky-yet-lightweight yarn. You may be able to complete a project sooner than you expect — apparently you can knit a hat in under an hour. An Italian wool brand, BettaKnit, is also available.
Yamanouchi 757, Kamakura, Kanagawa 247-0062; 080-4462-1536; bit.ly/gigiknitting
Soft, warm and durable alpaca yarn imported from Peru is Teami Tengoku’s specialty. It offers 21 different colors of yarn for only ¥500 per skein. If you would like to have a look at the actual color in hand, Teami will deliver a sample to you for free. Also, the yarn hardly generates lint even when washed in the washing machine, so it’s long-lasting.
Todo Monnomae 31-1-206, Uji, Kyoto 611-0013; 0774-24-2587; bit.ly/teamitengoku
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