That Sunday (January 2015) after a week of reacquainting myself to knitting through the internet – how to’s, what beginners can do, what materials are needed, what knitting materials are available in the Philippines, accompanied by my gay uncle, I headed to Market Place – a wet and dry market with a mini-mall in Mandaluyong City to scour the place for yarns and knitting needles.
While not completely surprised, there were no knitting needles to be found in any of the stalls of that four floor commercial space. There were two stores that carried solid color yarns and crochet hooks. Desperate that day to get my hands on any knitting something, I purchased red, orange, yellow and brown yarns around 12 small balls (35 yards/ball) for PhP 15 each. The dry market stall owner had to ask what the yarns were for. When I responded that it is for knitting, her curiosity forced her to further probe what is knitting. Trying to explain that knitting is like sewing or crocheting using two long straight needles with yarns, she gave me a wide grin, a bobbing head and a quizzed look as if seriously asking from what planet did this girl come from.
To complete my first ever knitting loot needles had to be found. So, me and my uncle pushed on to Megamall, one of the bigger malls in the Philippines, full of hope and anticipation. Spanning two blocks (I guess) and five massive floors of mall space, we found two, (yes also two) stores selling knitting needles. Notions of SM itself only carried metal needles. While Carolina’s sold only the bamboo ones. Both had did not have the complete range of needle sizes. But still purchased bamboo needles from Carolina’s worth around PhP 45 per pair allowed me to pause, breathe and avoid a pending panic. To boot Carolina’s also carried affordable multicolored yarns at PhP 17 per ball.
Heading home, a silent thank you prayer was said for what to me was a crucial first step in a quest, in an unexpected journey called knitting.