Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Quest For Yarn in Saudi Arabia

When my husband suggested a road trip to Al Khobar in Saudi Arabia, the first thing I did was troll the internet looking for places to visit. One of the first things I like to search for in a new country, is where to buy yarn and craft supplies. I was thrilled when I found Al Zamil Stores mentioned on an expat forum. It is a family owned business which has been in operation since 1964. It is 4 floors including fabrics, notions, patterns, needle craft accessories, scrapbooking supplies, costumes, a custom styrofoam department, and much more! A truly fascinating place to visit!  I love vintage haberdashery items, and I think some things in the store had been in that store for 30 years or more! A great place to treasure hunt! I just wish I had been looking for something in particular. I also wish I had this store in my area. I would be a frequent customer!

 There was one aisle of yarn, mostly from Turkey, in solid colors and a few novelty yarns.

I don't think sewing patterns are purchased very often. It was quite a vintage collection. I  don't think there was a pattern there more current than 1980! They even had them covered with plastic so they don't get dusty.

I found this section so unique. I have never seen such a variety of looms before. They seemed quite popular, too. People were buying them for their children to use in a class.

I love rick rack, and am always on the lookout for unusual types. I haven't ever seen any like this before. It could be stunning on the right project. At this moment, I am really wishing I had bought them both!

This was very unusual knitted jersey yarn from Italy. I woke up in the middle of the night with a vision of crochet motifs made from this. We stopped by on our way out of town, but they had just closed a few minutes before! They close for noon prayer, and don't reopen until 4pm. Unfortunately we couldn't stay longer, to wait for them to reopen! Maybe the yarn will still be there if we make another road trip there... In the future I think I need to schedule two visits to places like this, when we are on a trip. One to get the feel of the place and take it all in, and a second after I have had a chance to think about all of the possible uses for what I have seen. A lesson learned!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Hairpin Lace- a Fashionable Crochet Trend!

This past weekend, my family decided to pack up and take a road trip to Al Khobar, in Saudi Arabia. It was quite an adventure, and an interesting weekend getaway. One that we will never forget! It was my first time visiting Saudi, and searching for crochet was high on my to do list. The first day I didn't find any crochet, and I was getting a little discouraged. Fortunately, we struck gold the next day at the Mall of Dharan. Interestingly, all of the stunning crochet I found was hairpin lace! I would definitely say it is a fashion trend at the moment, and well worth trying a hand at. I need to get out my Jenkins hairpin lace loom again, and really try getting creative with it. I need an extra day added to the week, just for practicing new crochet techniques!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Announcing the Winner...

And the winner of my new favorite things for knitting and crochet is: GildersHooked! I will contact you via Ravelry to get your mailing address.

Thank you to all who visited my blog and entered the contest!

It is the weekend here in Kuwait, and I have plans to finish up an extra special crochet project. I hope you all have stitching plans as well!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Giveaway: My New Favorite Things For Crochet!

One thing I love about living in Kuwait, is that you can find such unique things in the market. My local supermarket has a stationery store that never disappoints! When shopping for back to school items for my daughter, I found these amazing mesh bags. Of course the colors caught my eye first, then I got the idea to use them as project bags. I was in a hurry that day, and I couldn't decide what color to buy, so I left without one. For the next few days, they were on my mind. When I had the chance to go back for one, they were gone! Of course that made me want one even more! I asked the manager if they were going to get them in again and I guess I was lucky, because he had a few left that were in the back. I bought all 4 of them! They are great for carting small projects around with you. I love that it zips, (no fear of losing my precious Etimo hooks or scissors), and that you can see what is inside. I used to put my projects in regular bags, and I would forget what was in them, and not want to dig through, because often there would be small pieces in them that I didn't want to lose or mix up. I would end up starting a new bag. It was getting out of control! This new bag is helping me to be more organized. It is light-weight and can easily be made more compact to fit into a purse if needed. I usually carry it by the little rope loop on the zipper. I keep it packed at all times, so it is ready anytime I will be going out. You never know when you might have even 5 minutes to crochet when you are waiting somewhere!

I bought one extra, large red bag, and since I love them so much, I want to give one away to one of my dear readers! Along with a handy counter, (my other new favorite thing) that can be worn on your finger like a ring, to keep count of your rows and repeats when you are crocheting. I will announce the randomly chosen winner here, in next Thursday's blog post. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If you are on Ravelry/ Twitter, you can leave your username so I can contact you there as well, if you are the winner!

This is how I use the bag,  a few balls of yarn, hook, and a tape measure, and I  am all set!

Digital counter for keeping track of rows and repeats.