Needles and Hooks in Cambodia

NEW: Cambodian Creations now has a full selection of bamboo double point needles, straight needles and 80 cm circular needles as well as aluminum crochet hooks. Visit us here during the week.

Knitting and crochet are not hugely popular in the Kingdom, but there are some supplies available at local markets.  Perhaps the best selection can be found at Orussey Market in central Phnom Penh.  There are three stalls selling acrylic yarns from Thailand, buttons, scissors, hoops, embroidery threads and, of course, needles and hooks.

There are two types of needles:  cheap and cheaper.  The cheap ones range from 4000 riel to 6000 riel a pair depending on the size.  They are metallic colour, with red tips where the size is indicated.  The sizes are not metric or US, but the lesser used Canadian or Chinese numbering.  So a size 10 on these needles is 3.75 in metric or size 5 in US.   The thinner sized ones are fine to work with, but the thicker needles are a bit heavy and might strain your wrists after a while.

The cheaper needles are only 2000 riel a pair but are highly unrecommended.  They come in many colours, colours which quickly end up on your yarn, ruining whatever you are working on.

Pretty to look at, but low quality.

Crochet hooks are limited to very thin metal ones, as Cambodian women only crochet with the finest threads (usually in hot pink and fluorescent green and yellow).

Finding your way:  Psaa Orussey is a giant, sprawling monster and it is easy to get lost, confused, distraught.  The craft supply stalls are on the top floor (3rd floor for Canadians, 2nd floor for those of you that call the first floor, the ground floor) near the shoe stalls.  If you are familiar with a compass, this is the north-east corner of the market.   It’s best to enter the market from Street 111 or Street 116, closest to where these two meet.  Find stall number 135-136 and you’re there.  It might help to look out for the plastic blue hoops as these are hung above the stall and are easy to spot.

Near stall 135-136, are two smaller stalls, both within one aisle, that have pretty much the same products, so you can check them if the first stall doesn’t have your size.

Also check out Emma’s comment below about supplies at Russian Market.

There is a great option for online shopping too:  http://www.8season-knitting.com/.  This online store is located in Shanghai.  They sell a huge selection of bamboo and acrylic needles including circulars and double points, crochet hooks galore and lots of accessories.  Their prices are fantastic too and even with the shipping you’ll be getting a better price than any Western shop.   Just make sure you clarify that you want EMS shipping.  They ship smaller orders through regular post, but you’re unlikely to get it through the Cambodian postal system.  Be really clear with them that you are happy to pay the extra few dollars for EMS or your order will ‘disappear’.  Cambodia Knits has ordered hundreds of needles from them and we’ve never been disappointed with quality. Plus, their customer service is amazingly friendly and helpful.

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About MonikaN

Like to Stitch and like to Bitch
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17 Responses to Needles and Hooks in Cambodia

  1. Emma says:

    Just to add to that: I just got back from the Russian Market. I found a woman who sells crochet hooks, knitting needles and acrylic yarn. She is in the row of tailors, on the right of “The Best Tailor”. She sells a heap of buttons and sequins, and as the needlework circles hanging around too! I spoke with her for a while and I wrote down the words “crochet hook” and “knitting needles” in her book so she will know when people ask for them. Again, not a great variety of sizes in crochet hooks, very tiny for lace crochet, but she does sell acrylic crochet cotton too…

  2. MonikaN says:

    Thanks Emma. But aren’t all tailors in Cambodia the “best” tailors 🙂

  3. Emma says:

    They think they are! but these guys actually call themselves “the Best Tailor” – very presumptuous!

  4. Jo-Ann says:

    Just wanted to add that the owner of Stall 135-136 usually refuses to bargain and they don’t have a great selection of embroidery threads. I found a craft store in one of the shopping centres – Psar Sovanna – that sells hundreds of embroidery threads by DMC. It’s cheaper than the market guys’ threads at 1000 riel per skein and it’s in an airconditioned shop. Take the escalators to the top floor and there is a craft shop right outside the video arcade, mainly selling painting kits and a few cross stitch kits. You have to ask to see the embroidery threads as they are not on display. I would bring some embroidery thread to show them what you are looking for as the shop assistants only speak Mandarin and Khmer.

    Happy Stitching,

    Jo-Ann

    • MonikaN says:

      Very true! They will also try to overprice their products if you let them and especially on your first visit. I still remember they wanted 2$ for the needles and their son tried to double the prices of the yarn with me. Just be stern and say that is not the usual price.

    • judy says:

      Jo Ann, Thanks for the tip on DMC but I also need the fabric, can I buy that at the same place? Judy

  5. Alana says:

    I have about 10 balls of Alpaca yarn for sale if anyone is interested? If you are check out the pictures on the Expat Forum http://www.expat-advisory.com/forum/asia/cambodia/buy-sell-swap-cambodia/yarn-sale Looking for around $30-40 for the lot.

  6. Emma says:

    Hi Alana,

    I may be interested in the yarn. What colour is it? I tried to find you r post on expat advisory but gave up as I forgot my password!!

  7. Monica says:

    Hi, does anyone know where I could buy cross stitch kits in phnom penh?

  8. Lili says:

    Hi, I am looking for yarn in Phnom Penh, is it good quality? how much do they sell? Thanks

  9. MonikaN says:

    Hi Lili,

    Most yarn at the local markets is acrylic and very cheaply priced at about 5000-8000riel a ball. CK has some cotton and wool yarns for sale, but limited in quantity as mostly sample from yarn companies.

  10. Meiti Hakim says:

    Hi Emma and all,

    Do you know the place or class to learn crochet here in Phnom Penh? I know the basic, but I would love to learn more and being able to read the pattern.

    Thanks for advice,

    Meiti ~

  11. Emily says:

    Hi there,

    I’m currently residing in Phnom Penh and unfortunately landed myself in the hospital for a week. I was wondering if it was at all possible for me to purchase supplies for crocheting and receive them at the clinic.

    Thanks for your time,
    Em

  12. Caroline Durbin says:

    Hello,

    I will definitely check out the places listed for the DMC and the needles, but what about the Aida cloth? Any leads on that?

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