This season's "iiiii Tokoro" is "The Daiso"! You can roll your eyes if you like, but with the recession on, I personally think it is an amazing place to buy yarn, and knitting gadgets without destroying your budget.
Case in point: Daiso thick knitting wool
100% wool from New Zealand
Made in China, but so far I have had no problems with dye, too many fuzz balls or unintentional felting. I have yet to wash my items too many times, but I don't know that many people that don't hand wash their woolens.
Daiso wools are also a safe and economical way to test a pattern that you aren't positive you will love. Especially if you are a designer with "limited resources", it is a great fiber in a basic weight to test your ideas without testing the limits of your yarn fund. If you are a bright color lover, I am afraid the Daiso doesn't have a ton to offer, but you can get some basic shades of pink, grey, black, white, green, blue and brown.
Even better: If you run out of yarn, and you ask the manager nicely, they will typically order you a whole pile of whatever yarn you want! The yarns are usually seasonal though, and while I haven't tried to order outside of seasons, I have had fantastic luck with dye lots, and being able to get the yarns I needed.
Yarn isn't the only thing waiting in the confines of your local 100 yen. Just near the yarn you can find lots of interesting notions such as wooden buttons, zips, darning needles, pins for blocking and one of the most interesting discoveries of my tenure in Japan: 100 yen bamboo knitting needles. For the beginner these are a perfect mixture of light weight and beautiful. They are easy on the fingertips and they offer many sizes and lengths. The more seasoned knitter may find these needles a bit dull and difficult for getting things done quickly, but in a pinch they will work.
Another thing you will find in Daiso's craft section is a selection of interesting beads, dangly things and ornaments for incorporation into your knit work. The possibilities are endless, and although I prefer hand spun, Daiso is proving to be a good place for me to shop for basics sometimes! Happy shopping and most importantly, Happy Knitting!