Ondori: knitting treasure trove in Singapore

Knitting isn’t the first hobby that springs to mind when you live in sticky, sweaty Singapore, but towards the end of my stay there I got a real urge to knit, triggered by my flatmate bringing home some beautiful soft skeins of ivory wool yarn from a trip to the US. Spotlight has a decent enough selection: lots of acrylics and cottons, some pure wool, mostly Australian, and that awful novelty yarn that knits up to something that looks a little bit like Animal from the muppets. Hippy grossness.

What I really wanted was cashmere, soft heavenly cashmere, to make something beautiful that could last a lifetime. I’d salivated at the online selection at the Wholesale Yarn Store, where a kilo and a half of cashmere goes for a measly $400, but my needs were more immediate. I needed yarn, stat, like a granny going through withdrawal. So one drizzly afternoon, my flatmate and I headed off to Bukit Merah, where I’d heard tales of a mystical yarn warehouse with a range unsurpassed by anything else the island has to offer.

We looked at each other anxiously when the taxi dropped us off at Kewalram House, in front of one of these gloomy light industrial estates that suburban Singapore is dotted with. We eventually found Ondori, past some loading docks and abandoned pallets, on the ground floor of the building. At first the welcome was a bit icy – what were we doing there? What did we want? But the sales assistants soon mellowed out and were pulling out samples and accessories for us and enthusing over the various types of needles on offer.

We spent a good half hour rummaging through the shelves and boxes. Most of it was weather appropriate: acrylics and cotton mixes, some bamboo yarns, some wool, most of them in a light weight most suitable for baby projects. There was some chunkier, brightly coloured wools on one shelf, and lovely pure cashmere yarn on offer but at over $200 for a box of 10 balls, it was a bit more than I wanted to spend. The bargain boxes had some really good deals if you aren’t looking for anything specific – my flatmate walked out with a big bag of deep green pure wool for $40.

A trip out to Ondori may not be worth it if you just want to browse, but it’s one of those enchantingly surreal little pockets of oddball Singapore that I loved discovering towards the end of my stay.

Where: Kewalram House #01-06, 8 Jalan Kilang Timor, Singapore 159305. The number 14 bus goes there from Orchard Road – catch it at the bus stop behind H&M.

Website: Not in stock.

Tips: Bring plenty of cash as they don’t accept credit cards. And combine with a trip to Ikea down the road to justify the trek!





16 Responses to “Ondori: knitting treasure trove in Singapore”
  1. Alison Cross says:

    I’ve just started knitting!!!! Unfortunately, due to my technical advisor being only 11 years old, I had to rip out 10 INCHES of finger-numbed ribbing and now I must mentally psych myself up for the Decreasing row, smaller needles and the final cuff ribbing.

    Then I go on to a 7″ circular needle.

    I *know*. The excitement!

  2. Susan says:

    I love their books also, just I don’t understand their signs. E.g. ~, or when I make a sweater, what means: 2 ~ 2 ~ 1….?

  3. Lilian says:

    What is the name of this shop and may I have the exact address please?

  4. Marion Jewell says:

    I am searching for one skein of Katia Bombay 100% mercerized cotton yarn in color #2004 and one skein of color #2011. Do you have it? If so, please advise to e-mail: Marionjewell@att.net.

  5. Natalie says:

    I just learnt how to knit in December in france. They had such big range of yarns there but here its so limited and hard to find. Thanks for the tip! Any idea whats the price range like?

  6. weirdlittlepony says:

    Hello! I just stumbled upon your blog via google search. Just wondering if you had Ondori’s opening hours? Since they don’t have a website? Thanks!!

    • fatpony says:

      I don’t sorry… Your best bet is during normal business hours during the week, I reckon. Or you could try giving them a ring? A quick google search will give you a number.

  7. jean-mari says:

    Hey thank you for the great blog! I am new lover of crochet
    Want to know if they stock. Any tshirt yarn thank you for the tips

  8. Julie says:

    Do they sell books?

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