WWKIP Honolulu

Posted on by MK Carroll

A bit last minute, but just in case anyone has been wondering and didn't get the updates on Ravelry, Twitter, and the Aloha Knitters Yahoo! Group:

Worldwide Knit In Public Day: June 13 2009 (today!)
Aloha Knitters will be meeting in the center courtyard of the Aloha Tower Marketplace from 2 - 5 pm. I've added the marketplace to the map below in case anyone needs directions (the red marker sitting in Honolulu Harbor). If you plan to drive, I recommend finding street parking downtown and walking over - the Aloha Tower Marketplace does have a pay parking lot, and it gets very full rather quickly. Also, the Kamehameha Day Parade is today - it starts in downtown and goes to Waikiki; by 2 pm I'm thinking downtown will have cleared up but just in case, you may want to allow a little extra time for traffic.

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Yarn Tasting at the Hawaii State Library

Posted on by MK Carroll


My current plan is to have a short talk on the library collection of knit/crochet books and specific books particularly applicable for our climate, and then a quick review of the yarns. I haven't chosen and acquired all the yarns yet; Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton and Skinny Cotton, Cascade Eco Wool, Lana Knits Hemp for Knitting, and a seacell/silk blend are on the for-sure list, though.

Quick update:

"Come to the library for quick reviews of knitting and crocheting books in the library collection and a yarn-tasting! Sample bags will include mini-skeins of yarns good for tropical-weather garments as well as yarns good for use in felting and making warm garments and accessories for cold-climate friends, relatives, and charitable organizations. Feel free to bring a project to work on during the presentation, or to show off afterwards if you like. There will be a brief Q&A session if you have any questions about knitting/crocheting in Hawai'i. No how-to knit/crochet/spin lessons will be given at this event; reviews of instructional books, videos, and DVDs will be included in the presentation, though, and a handout of yarn shops and where you can take lessons will also be available."

Knitting on O'ahu (Honolulu Advertiser article)

Posted on by MK Carroll

If you are here because you read Karen Iwamoto's article in the Dec. 05 2008 Island Life section of the Honolulu Advertiser, um, hi! Karen did a great job interviewing me (she's very easy to spill your guts to - good thing I'm not in politics), and Rebecca Breyer, the photographer, did a great job too (and we even small-worlded it and figured out that she used to live in the same town in Wisconsin that one of my friends grew up in, and where I saw snow up close for the first time).

O'ahu has several yarn shops, and I know that there are shops on the island of Hawai'i (the "Big Island") and Maui. I've been maintaining a list of yarn shops and a list of craft stores that carry yarn; if I'm missing any, please let me know. The list of yarn shops in Hawai'i is also available as a free PDF download.

I like to hang out with the Aloha Knitters (and crocheters and spinners) on Thursday nights at Mocha Java (Ward Shopping Center, 7 - 9pm) Please join the Aloha Knitters Yahoo! Group for the most up-to-date information including when/where for Windward and Leeward meetings. It's free, open to all ages and skill levels, and it's fun!

Etsy is a fantastic online marketplace for handcrafts and handcrafters. I have a storefront there where I sell patterns in PDF format (you can also buy them as instant downloads if you use the links on the left sidebar of this page). Occasionally I sell finished items as well; if you really really really want a hat or scarf from one of my patterns but do not knit or crochet, you can check my Etsy Favorites for Etsy sellers who have finished items from my patterns, or use the Alchemy feature to find a crafter for hire. Etsy also has a Shop Local feature (Honolulu!) so you can find items from local crafters, like The Opalescence (handspun yarn and stitch markers) and Acornbud (project bags, stitch markers, and adorable stuffies like Snowball the Cat With a Christmas Hat).

Knitty is a free online magazine, edited by Amy Singer, with patterns, articles, and a forum. The Womb pattern was published in the Winter 2004 issue because Amy has got a sense of humor like mine; if you have any questions please check out the Womb FAQ first.

The Alt Fiber show (curated by the super-talented and always on-the-go Shannon Okey) took place at the Assemble gallery in Cleveland, Ohio, in January 2006.

The hats shown in the article were all knit using the Top-Down Ribbed Beanie Recipe, which you can download for free. It's easy to customize, and a great way to show off unusual yarns like the handspuns used for two of the hats in the photos.

Mobile Monster Piggy is in the Stitch 'N Bitch Nation book, edited by Debbie Stoller. You can find it in the craft section of most major bookstores, along with the original Stitch 'N Bitch, Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker, and Son of Stitch 'N Bitch (featuring knit and crochet patterns for men).

The crochet Sushi Pillow pattern is in the book Get Hooked!, edited by Kim Werker. It is also available through many major bookstores.

The Rosetta flower hairclip is a crochet pattern in progress, as are the scarves seen in the photos (yep, there's a lot of crochet going on in the photos - it's okay, the yarn muggles generally can't tell the difference between knit and crochet and ultimately I don't think it matters. I love both.). Feel free to nudge me into getting those patterns formatted, photographed, and published...but know that I am really, really good at procrastinating.

Interested in learning to knit, crochet, and/or spin? Check out this post for Honolulu.

...and if you still need a reason, please read Page 197, or 10 Reasons To Knit a Sweater in Hawai'i.

Books & Music (Used): O'ahu

Posted on by MK Carroll

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I read a lot. With the sheer volume of reading that I do, buying new books would outstrip my income quickly. I am a big fan of the public library system, and borrow a lot of books. I also have a tendency to run up a lot of overdue fees, and there are also the times when I want to take a book to the beach, or on an airplane, or be able to just toss into my bag and not worry about too much. This is where used bookstores come in. I like bookstores that carry new books too, and it's nice to be able to walk into a bookstore, look up a title, and get it off the shelf quickly. The lifespan of a book can be very short when it is new and quickly disappear from the shelves of the big shiny bookstores, yet have a relatively long life cycling through the stacks of used bookstores. When I travel, I like to check out the used bookstores (which is how I wound up reading Langston Hughes' The Big Sea while in Dublin); used bookstores tend to be small and quirky, with no two being the same (and then there's Powell's City of Books - huge and quirky).

The Google map I've put together includes more than just books - there's a lot overlap with books, music, comics, and games, so Stylus (music and clothing) winds up on the map even though there are no books there. This isn't a complete list of all the used music/book stores on O'ahu - I'm limiting this to the ones I go to and can give at least a partial review of.

Jelly's Comics & Books
'Aiea (Central O'ahu)
98-023 Hekaha St # B1-9
Aiea, HI 96701
phone: (808) 488-5245

Kaka'ako (Honolulu)
420 Coral Street
Honolulu, HI
phone: (808) 587-7001

The 'Aiea location is big, with a mix of new and used music, books, games, and comics. The book buyer is selective, which I think works well for the mix of books on the shelves, but also means that it would be a good idea to call ahead if you have books you'd like to sell. There is a craft section, and I've found a few knit/crochet books there, but it's a small selection. The fiction/literature selection is good, and there's a shelf of seriously marked down books that can yield fun items like an Italian phrasebook from the 1940's.

I haven't checked out the new location in Kaka'ako; I think I'd like to do so on a day off when I can also have lunch at the medical school cafeteria (the desserts are excellent). I've heard that it's big and airy, with a music section reminiscent of Amoeba.

Rainbow Books & Music
1010 University Ave
Honolulu, HI 96826
phone (808) 955-7994

'Aiea (Central O'ahu)
9-185 Moanalua Rd # 100
Aiea, HI 96701
phone (808) 487-8867

If you like sifting through stacks, you'll like Rainbow's. When I say stacks, I mean as in stacks of books on the floor, books shelved two deep, and piles of books that creep into other sections. They also do some business in previously owned magazines. They buy books (including textbooks at the University location). Both locations are small and densely packed, so you'll want to be prepared to scoot around for other customers. Parking is tight at the University store; you can pay for parking in the Puck's Alley structure across the street or the Varsity parking lot. The 'Aiea location has a parking lot behind the building. Please note that both locations have an adult section; the 'Aiea location has it curtained off with a sign, and the University location just has it down at the end of the same aisle that carries best sellers.

Book Rack
4510 Salt Lake Blvd # C7
Honolulu, HI 96818
phone (808) 487-8350

Located in Stadium Mall, the Book Rack is convenient to Pearl Harbor, COMPACFLT, and Camp Smith. You can trade in books for credit towards more books based on price and category (they do only trading, no buying of books), so some of the books will come back into the store repeatedly. The selection includes lots of mystery/crime, sf/f, romance, military history, and westerns. It's a small family-run operation; the patriarch is a charming conversationalist on just about any topic and can make recommendations if you aren't sure what you are looking for. There's a table of books on sale for less than a dollar each - great for finding something to take to the beach.

600 Kailua Rd # 126
Kailua, HI 96734
phone (808) 261-1996

I don't go to Kailua very often, and I've only been in the store a few times. There's a larger selection of children's books than I've seen elsewhere, and a bit more space to move around in than most of the other stores.

Gecko Books & Comics
3613 Waialae Av
Honolulu,Hawaii 96815
phone (808) 732-1292

Primarily used and new comics and graphic novels, as well as collectibles. I haven't been here in a while, because I am reminded every time I do that I stopped buying comics and graphic novels for financial reasons. My budget just can't handle it.

Other Realms Ltd. The Comic and Game Specialist
1050 Ala Moana Blvd # 2300
Honolulu, HI 96814
phone (808) 596-8236
Their name says it: comics and games. Miniatures and supplies for painting/modding them are also available. Located in Ward Warehouse, upstairs in a fairly quiet section of the mall. The staff is friendly and helpful - they are even nice to kids.

Stylus Honolulu
2615 S King St # A301
Honolulu, HI 96826
phone (808) 951-4500

No books. None. Music, yes, including very deeply categorized and sub-categorized vinyl, and a selection of new and used clothing that includes Threadless t-shirts, local/indie handmade/reconstructed items, and most of the previously owned clothing is under $10. Buy, sell, or trade clothing and accessories (no shoes). The clothing buyer is selective, so don't go in with an armload of worn-out schmattes. The result is that what you find on the racks is clean, in good condition, and stylish. The people behind the counter are also the owners, both with a lot of experience doing what they are doing. The building has validated parking.

Yarn Shop Map!

Posted on by MK Carroll

I'm going to tinker with this a bit before I insert it into the longer blog post reviewing the shops. If I missed a shop, please let me know!

Hawai'i Yarn Shop Google Map

Edited: I removed the embedded map and replaced it with a link; the embedded map is problematic for some web browsers. The map includes craft shops that carry yarn and shops of potential interest (needlepoint, fabric, quilting, beads and a Japanese bookstore that carries knitting/crocheting books).

The list of yarn shops is still available as a free PDF download too.