Wednesday, January 16, 2008

N for Needles

It all started when my cousin’s wife from the US of A presented my aunt, her mom- in law with a magnificent shawl. My knitting roots were awakened. My grandma on my father’s side was called by me as wool-wool pati, a tribute to her knitting excellence. I had knitted on many a wintry day during my stay in the Himalayas. I quickly decided to start and recover my rusty skills. I found I could read philosophy and knit at the same time. It’s ideal to knit when you are an academic as you get a lot of listening and reading done. A small search for pattern books, websites and supplies informed me that the knitting world patterns from UK had moved to USA. The Needle and Yarn had got thicker and quicker. No problem, I still remembered Cable-work and the names of the stitches. I just also happen to know to adjust my tension. And know the expansions for PSSO is - pass slipped stitch over. Then after about three books and five patterns later, I set out to buy my supplies. I given way my old needles long time ago and needed to restock all the tools. I live in Bangalore and there would be many shops. Yarn was easy; knitting needles I knew would definitely be available in Chickpet but I did not want to try there first. I just had to go locally to what we call a ‘Fancy store’ selling bangles, cosmetics and cosmetic jewelry and toys. The odds and end stores were still around, and were not displaced by the many supermarket. Pony & Jyothi, the companies that made needles were in South India . So far it was my personal project. As I began to look for the needles, my wanderings became the story of my city, Bangalore! I did not expect find knitting needles in Koramangala, but I knew the more traditional areas such as Jayanagar, Basavangudi or Malleswaram would definitely have needles. Then begins my search in Bangalore for knitting needles size 8, ( 4mm) 6 (5mm) and 5 ( 5.5 mm). And circular needles. My friends in Calcutta could walk down the road and buy them easily .But here in hi-tech city, the art of knitting was dying. The famous 8th cross shop where my mother got all her knitting supplies was no more selling knitting needles. They were very kind and brought out a dusty card board box with the leftover supplies and even gave me a pair free! Indian sizes 10 and 12 are common for baby knits and so these were plentiful in supply. I got the various lengths and the circular needle number 10 but no stitch holders or wool- sewing needles. And no cable needle! Cable needles are small double pointed and essential to making knitting into a more complex art work. Needle number 8 ( UK Size) and 6 , I found in the next shop that also had some acrylic yarn. I decided to try other shops. No. no and illa. And then I found that my local fancy store was changed. There were more cosmetics, gizmo and toys and art items. I walked into one shop. Two young boys – almost invariably with pencil thin mustaches and a gold bead earring, staring at me . Pushing through women buying bangles and children brawling for toys, I raised my voice and I asked “Knitting needle idiya?” Huh? “Kya oon ka sililayiwala dandi hai?” (In Hindi – do you have the sticks that one uses with wool?) The assistant looks at the senior assistant and mumbles in what I think is Marwari. He points to a draw in the shelf. I eagerly push forward and find him taking out wool crochet needles. My face falls. I never learned to crochet properly. Knitting was my strength. Nahi ye nahi. Doosra. Aur lambi dandi. The assistant looks at me as if I am ignoramus “ Yahi behenji oon ka hai. Aapko teek patha hai?” ( these sister are for wool do you know properly?) My three, paneled cable sweaters with three cable patterns an bobbles, knitted in one year, flashed before my eyes and I couldn't’t even speak. With a retort “ isse sweater thodi banthe hain?” (Do these things make sweaters or what?) I walked out.“Sweater dookan se le lo didi!” he call after me! ( buy sweaters in the shop, sister) Numerous repeats of this events and conversation occurred in Sanjaynagar, Rajajinagar, BEL road, Gandhi bazaar, Indiranagar with minor variations. In Gandhi bazaar I walked into a shop that had some Kannada speaking locals running it. They looked like old timers. May be I thought, just maybe…. “We don’t keep things like that,” he said, spitting out ‘like that’ at me with disdain. I felt like I had insulted him. A next shop owner was kinder. “NR colony.” he said. “G’s shop keeps needles and all such craft items.” I wrote to my cousin from the US. Bring me needles I said. Next week I go to Chickpet. My search for needles will continue. I am going to use this search as an excuse to walk through this city’s markets and blog my journey. I invite you to join me every month on the knitting journal.

38 comments:

raindrops said...

Hi! Loved your piece about the torment you went through looking for knitting needles in Bangalore! I literally stumbled upon your blog when I was trying to find out more about knitting in India. I shall definitely keep a look out for your blog! Do put up the pics when you can manage! :-)

Meera said...

Thanks
Glad someone read the blog. I am also on the crafters forum!

Deep$ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Deep$ said...

I came across your blog while searching for shops which sell knitting stuff here in blore. Reading your blog jus made me aware of how difficult its gonna be for me to get some good stuff to knit.
I am a mom to be soon and wanted to try out my ahnd on knitting and create something spl for the baby.. :) now looks like my serach is just gona go on... I did get some basic stuff from these fancy shops as you also mentioned but frankly the quality isnt great. In places like Delhi and Pune, the local shops all have the required material and infact you will come across shops which sell knitting stuff exclusively.
anyways It was nice reaidn your blog. do let me know at any point if you get any info on any shops in blore where I can find knitting gear!

Meera said...

Try Surya emporium off commercial street. You can get some stuff there after I kept asking them to get me wool. try the funfur type of wool in Vardhaman that he has for your baby, its furry softness and lightness make it ideal for the baby wear.

getridofmyjunk said...

Am in bangalore for the week and would love to find someplace that sells knitting supplies - want to teach a co-worker to knit while I'm here - any suggestions?

Sunkan said...

all your needs get fulfilled in surya emporium it is vertical that is narayan pillai street and commercial street corner and parallel road with ravi craft, just next to surya emporium there is a knitting shop having all your needles needed...now help me how to get multi color double knit wool and which brand is good to buy...sunkan

The sun-kissed sand said...

Hi,Meera,Sunken..thanks a ton for the clue u gave to where i can find knitting needles n wool..i hope i find these things there...i'm expecting..6th month..n just like one of the guys here,in a mood to knit..love.ciao!

Ritu said...

I just came across your blog, while searching for wool in Bangalore. great work and loved the way you wrote about hurdles of finding yarn. I am looking yarn for my friend in bangalore any help would be great too, so far I see commercial street is a place to find some, can you let me know of any specific shops thanks a bunch.

einav said...

Hey there, Are you based in Banglaore? I'm making a documentary about knitting and I'm heading to Bangalore, I'm looking for someone to chat to about it, perhaps you can help? Check my blog, and get in touch if you are interested! Cheers!
http://einavleshetz.blogspot.com/

Harshita said...

Hi everyone,

Even i am now in bangalore and finding for wool of good quality l suppose vardhaman is to be the best. Thanks a lot. for the location. I wil check out in tht shop. on commercial street.. Good that i visited the Blog

Harshita

nalini said...

Hi Meera!I am also on a hunt for wool and knitting needles-I am new to knitting but have learnt the basics.So I am desperate to begin some projects.Have asked in many shops locally but they either show me the crochet needles or guide me to some readymade wool stores!Finally I have asked my son to bring them from Delhi-he is new to that place and is having a tough time searching-hope the search will be fruitful!

Chethana said...

hi
i wanted to learn knitting and ended up to your blog while searching for knitting classes. could u please tell me if u know any classes?

Chandramouli S said...

Hi-Five! I got that dirty look many a times here! LOL!

Su said...

Hello!! You can find all the knitting material at Raja market which is very close to Chikpet. I hope this helps.
Happy knitting/crocheting.

-Suvitha

Chandramouli S said...

For those who are looking for knitting and crochet needles, you may contact Apple Needles, Delhi. I got them to mail the needles to me. Check out their website and contact them.

Black Sheep Wool Store said...

We are a wool store selling natural, pure wool for the keenest of knitters and crocheters for whom itchy acrylic yarn would just not do!

Can you imagine a baby's sweater made out of acrylic yarn? Or knitting a romantic cashmere shawl with the itchy, artificial wool that you get in India?

We can't!

That's why we offer only natural, 100% pure natural wool for all your knitting and crochet needs. And at great prices! You can now knit with soft mohair or crochet with fuzzy, crazy-colored wool!

We ship anywhere inside India. Please call or email us to order and for enquiries.

Email: blacksheep.woolstore@gmail.com
Phone no. : +91-9741207000

Black Sheep Wool Store said...

Only online wool store in India stocking a variety of yarn, huge collection! Door delivery!

Check it out here:

http://www.freewebstore.org/anaswoolstore/

Black Sheep Wool Store said...

Only online wool store in India stocking a variety of yarn, huge collection! Door delivery!

Check it out here:

http://www.freewebstore.org/anaswoolstore/

Sanhita said...

Hi Meera!! Just stumbled upon your blog.
Needle crisis!! We all face it, but sometimes you do get some of the Pony manufactured items here in Bangalore, especially in Bombay Embroidery Stores in Raja Market and some in Delhi.
I do not know whether you are aware of it or not, there are quite a few of us knitters/crocheters in Bangalore itself. At least twenty/twenty five known to me. We all belong to an amazing craft-based networking group called Ravelry. Why don't you join Ravelry, if you are not a member already? We meet fairly regularly and show off our projects, knit/crochet together in the cafe, discuss/clarify projects and have lots of fun with coffee and food!
In Ravelry we belong to a group called South Asian Crafters and we keep in touch with each other and of course our knitting/crocheting projects, practically on a day to day basis. We have also managed to get the very best quality silk-yarn and mohair for knitting/crocheting in Bangalore itself!
We have members all over India and whoever finds good yarn anywhere else reports in the grp and we all build our stash happily!
Hope to see you in Ravelry soon! :-)

Shwetha said...

Hi,

M crazy abt knittin and want to get some yarn and kneedles urgently. Could you tell me where i can get knittin material in Bangalore, if thr's anyth in Malleswaram it would be great.

Please help me out.. :(

Shwetha said...

Hi,

Please help me getting knittin materials in bangalore. Anything in and around malleswaram will be of great help

Chandramouli S said...

Hi Swetha,
I don't know about Knitting supplies in Bangalore but I would suggest that you buy needles from Apple Needles (http://www.appleneedles.com/) if you can't get it anywhere else. The good thing is you get circular needles from them. It was a blessing to me because I developed shoulder pain while using the straight needles so I searched the Internet for months and found this company. Though they only do bulk orders, you can coax them to send you needles if you buy, say, 10 sizes. I bought circular needles sizes 2 mm to 6 mm from them. I now wish I had asked him for metal needles, because the aluminium needles with nickel plated over them don't have a strong joint at the cables. Anyways something is better than nothing, eh.
Regarding the yarn, I couldn't find anyone selling cotton yarns here (Chennai) locally so I had to once again search online and I came up with this http://www.hpthread.com. They sell you in kgs. Once I empty my stash of wool, I plan to buy the cotton yarns this summer. Hope that was of some help to you. Happy knitting! Don't hesitate to ask any Qs. They're welcome always...

projects niipl said...

Hi All!

Ponycraftstore !

We are India’s 1st and only exclusive craft store. All our products are from the world renowned and trusted Pony brand and you can rest assured that all products carry the Pony guarantee of quality and affordability. We have over 400 products in stock and you can buy any product from Knitting Needles & Sewing Needles to Crochet Hooks & Dress Forms. We guarantee that you will find shopping at the Pony Craft Store a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Click here to get started...

Angry Blue-green Bee said...

Hi... I live in North India, and there are so many stores here that stock knitting needles of all sorts. If you get really desperate for some knitting supplies, drop me a line - I love helping fellow knitters!

Khurshid said...

Hi! Loved reading your blog on how difficult it is in bangalore to find a simple craft item like knitting needles, specially circular ones. I have gone through this exercise. It can be very frustrating at times.
Finally getting fed up I bought this wonderful knitting needle set online called Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles from www.knitdenise.com and am very happy with my purchase. I bought this about three years back and don't remember how much I paid for it.
Just now while searching for a where to buy good quality wool in Bangalore I came across this website www.houseofhachi.com. It's an online store which houses some wonderful wool. Have a look. They also have circular and straight bamboo knitting needles which you don't get to see anywhere here in Bangalore. An okay quality wool is available at Commercial street and Raja market in Chickpet.
Happy Knitting,
Khurshid

Venkat said...

Dear Knitters,

Pony Craft Store is happy to announce that, based on popular demand and several requests from our customers, we will soon be launching a range of high quality,imported natural and synthetic yarns to complement our existing range of knitting, sewing and crochet products. These fine imported yarns are being made available in the Indian market for the first time, and you can rest assured that all the yarns offered by us will be backed by the Pony brands guarantee of quality and affordability. Keep visiting our website and Facebook page to know more.

Pony Craft Store
www.ponycraftstore.com
Phone: +91-423-2517942/43/44 Ext:382/347

Venkat said...

Dear Knitters,

Pony has the pleasure to inform you that Pony Craft Store is now a one stop shop for all the knitting needs as we have started selling imported fine yarns from turkey with different designs and shades.

Please visit the yarns page: http://www.ponycraftstore.com/index.php?keywords=Insert+Product+Name&ptype=16&product=&module=product&event=catProducts&submit=GO

Pony Craft Store
E-mail: info@ponycraftstore.com
Ph: +91-423-2517942/43/44
Ext: 347/382

kalai selvi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kalai selvi said...

Hi! You can find a store in Ulsoor, Bangalore just opposite to Ulsoor Police Station. They sell variety of crochet yarns.

Sunkan said...

does anyone know how to crochet or knit a bolero here i want to do a piece for my niece and i am stumped not able to understand how to go about that

Rchugh said...

I live in delhi and looking for double point needle, circular needle and worsted weight yarn. If any body has information about any retail store please reply quickly.

Thanks, :)

Anu Jaiswal said...

i too am searching for knitting needles and other related items. if you can tell me any shop in delhi or buy online.
Also please upload some indian knitting on youtube it would be very helpfull for indian knitters like me . I think we dont have any knitter on youtube. I have searched it very badly.

Chandramouli S said...

Hi Anu Jaiswal,
Nice to meet an active Indian Knitter online. I thought I was alone :D
Anyways, regarding the needles you could contact Apple Needles. They are based in Delhi (http://www.appleneedles.com/).

The good thing is you get circular needles from them, but I really am not satisfied with the quality - two of the cables came out of the needles after few projects. Anyways, I guess we gotta live with it for now.

I recently found this website that sells needles: http://www.houseofhachi.com/accessories/circular-knitting-needles.html

I haven't bought from them yet as I don't have the need for now. A sweet friend of mine from Germany sent me few circulars, so I am living with them for now. I love the Hachi Circular needles because they are bamboo! I'd sure try them soon. Let me know if you do.

If you have any queries, hit me at chandramouli.s@gmail.com

Knitpick said...

Hi,
Its heartening to see quite a few knitting n crochet enthusiasts. Have been picking up various techniques and stitches mostly online. But its rather discouraging for any avid knitter not to find the right yarn when you are so eager to try out a pattern that you come across. I have tried many indian online stores, but they seem either so expensive or absolutely mismatched for the pattern you choose :(
Yes, even i searched high n dry for the needles. Then the yarn i got from the same so called 'bangle n fancy' store was so unappealing. But since i really really wanted to try out some projects before my second one was born, i learnt both knittingn crochet with the same limited tools. Then i heard a radio ad for pony craft store having an exhibition in Safina Plaza and hurrah i made my mom go n buy whatever seemed to catch my knitting fancy!! But yea the search for good yarns continues. My mom did tell that she had pucked some yarn from raja market when she started knitting. So have motivated my mom to make that trip to raja market.:)

Soma Ray said...

Hey Meera, luckily came across your blog while searching for knitting material stores in Bangalore.. Planning to go today to the store you mentioned here. Hope am able to get all what's needed.. Thanks a lot :)

Soma Ray said...

Hi,
i am new in Bangalore and looking for stores to purchase wool. It would be really helpful if you could tell me the location, any landmark or guide me the direction of the store in commercial street.
thanks.

Textile2day said...

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