On pins and needles for pins and needles

I hit the jackpot.

For the past week I halfheartedly sought out craft shops.  A few were smaller than I expected, and I was starting to loose a little faith in Japan’s craft craziness.  Then I found Okadaya in Shinjuku — 2 buildings with 7 floors each of so many crafts I didn’t quite know what to do with myself.  Some of the highlights:

The first photo shows one shelf of my favorite fabric, Liberty of London.  This is the usual selection you’ll find at a fabric store in the US, and Okadaya had at least 8 more shelves like this one.  The wall of embroidery floss was amazing.  The store was too small for me to get far enough from the wall to take it all in with my camera.  And finally, I discovered an entire level dedicated to craft books.  An entire level!

I showed incredible restraint, and left with just a few treasures:

First I found 刺し子 (sashiko, literally meaning “little stabs”), a Japanese style of embroidery.  I had read about this at Purl, and am excited to finally try it.  I also picked up a few squares of some great linen, which might find a home in my kitchen somehow.

As excited as I am about Okadaya, my next find was even greater.  Just 3 doors down, I stumbled into this place:

A tiny shop dedicated to nothing else but sewing machines!  It was a really small space, but probably had over 50 different machines on display.  I’ve been shopping for one (obviously) and have even learned how to ask a salesperson where to find them, so I was super pumped to find this little gem.  I definitely did not leave empty-handed…

TA DA!  I am pretty excited about my Brother ELU52.  It is a small machine with basic functions, but it will keep me busy while I’m here in Japan.  Good thing I already know how to work the little guy:

You should see the instruction booklet…

8 thoughts on “On pins and needles for pins and needles

  1. Angie! Ben and I finally read through your blog. It’s fantastic! Keep writing, please. I think this is my new gmail address, but am not 100%. I can’t wait to see what apartment you end up with and photos of the neighborhood. Congratulations on ordering food for the first time in Japanese. That’s a huge feat. xo, tt

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  3. i envy you so. though i thought of you when i visited the fabric warehouse in north phoenix last week (though in terms of organization and cleanliness, it pales in comparison to your find, obviously). glad to see you kids are enjoying yourselves!

  4. holy crap, you stumbled into crafting nirvana. i would like to request for japanese crocheting books, please. still working my way through the first one, but can’t wait to see more!
    i love this ang, i am so excited that you two are doing this. i miss you in my bones, but i can’t wait to hear about more adventures.

  5. First of all, I can’t believe the number of blog posts related to sewing. Second, I can’t believe the number of comments you have on blog posts related to sewing. Finally, I can’t believe that I read all of the blog posts and comments related to sewing.

    On pins and needles for more about fins and noodles.

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