April 23, 2008

As a knitter...

Now it's been official for almost two months, I really need to start working on the move back to Japan.
I called to the moving company (Nippon Express Houston Branch), talked with the mighty nice fellow Japanese lady (not only she is from Japan, but also from my home city, Osaka) about the schedule.

My feeling is really torn between the life in the USA and in Japan.  Here, we have space.  Our daughter is running, kicking and throwing balls even in the living room.  In Japan, we have family.  She will learn a lot from her Grans, aunts, uncles and cousins.

As a knitter, I feel as if I go to a whole new country.  I am now thinking of  "stitches per inches", not "per 10 centimeters" and, in  "fingering, sport or worsted weight"  not "Chu-boso, Ai-buto or Goku-buto."  I love knitting socks, but sock yarn is very hard to find in Japan. There are no domestic yarn manufacturers who make sock yarns.  I am way more comfortable with "*K8, K2tog* repeat between *s to last" style instruction than those itsy-bitsy symbol in squares. 

Well, I could re-write the instruction to American by myself.
Well, I can find knitters in Japan through Ravelry.  I could even contribute to Ravelry as a volunteer editor in charge of Japanese yarn company.

Well, it's gonna be OK.... it's my native country after all.  But, again, as a knitter, I feel I am leaving my native country.  

April 18, 2008

elbow-length sleeve grey sweater

elbow-length sleeve grey sweater
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

Yarn; Nikke Victor Wool land 11, 11 50g balls
Pattern; Takashi Sorimachi "My sweater" (Lady Boutique series no.841, Butikkusha, 1994)
Needle; JP 8, 10

Right after I finished baby blanket, my finger itched badly looking for "something more." There, I had this yarn (leftovers from my husband's huge sweater), pattern book and time. I finished back, front and got overwhelmed by the combination of the heat of Texas summer and pregnancy. It was abandoned.

Two years later, right after I finished my daughter's flower cardigan, it asked me to finish, or so I felt. Problem is, I wasn't sure if I had enough yarn for sleeves. My mother was visiting us at the time for holidays, and advised me to; set aside one ball for finishing, split the yarn into two, pick up stitches from armholes and knit down to cuff.

The result? Elbow-length sleeves.

This was surprisingly useful for me. I don't need to roll them up every time I use water!

Later, I carelessly washed it in the washer (my goodness, in cold water) and got slightly felted. OK. It is warm.

April 07, 2008

baby socks

baby socks
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

These were for the baby girl of the lady who works at my daughter's pediatric doctors' office. She is one of few people who knows my daughter was a small baby.
At 6 lb 2 oz, my baby was completely healthy and came in full due, but small enough to make a new mom nervous. She caught up very fast, hit in the right middle of "average" area in growth curve at 2 month check-up and have been staying there since.

When I heard about the always kind and smiling receptionist's maternity leave, I wanted to send her something special. I had to be very quick, because her due date was coming in 10 days. I breathed deeply (twice), and went to nearby Michael's to get the finest baby yarn I could get. I had the pattern. I had one full week to finish it, for my daughter's flu shot was scheduled one week later. I wasn't so sure that I could do it, because I have not finished even a single pair of socks yet. Not a single pair of booty. I don't know even until this day why it had to be a footwear, I just set myself to it.

My yarn was not fine enough as the direction says, and my friend had a single ball of very fine cotton yarn, which I can use. I thanked her very deeply, and casted on.
It wasn't a piece'o'cake, but it wasn't as difficult as I had been afraid of.

I didn't make it before the baby girl came, because although I finished them in time, she came 2 days earlier before I brought it to the office. The present was taken when they visited the office for 7 days check-up.
The baby who received these is now 18 months old.
I have knit more than 20 pairs of adult and toddler size socks since then.

April 02, 2008

Fair Isle color planning

Another "future list" a.k.a. daydreaming.

When we visited Canada(Ottawa,where my husband had a conference to attend and one day in steam engine trip to Wakefield, Quebec) last October, the autumn leaves were literally shining.  Most of the one week stay, the weather was cloudy to rainy, wind was chilling.  The leaves were still beautiful under the grey sky.  But, on the day we were planning a train-ride, it was clear, sunny and warm enough for us to have lunch outside, right by the river.  Blue sky, red, yellow and green (lots of shades of green) leaves, quiet river.  One day, I will make a sweater of those colors.

One more sweater planning.
We named our daughter after Bluebonnet flower, the State Flower of Texas.  Naturally, we go out for a photo shoot every year this time, to take pictures of my daughter and "her flower."  This year would be the last, because we are moving back to Japan as my husband's job demands.  I feel sentimental to whatever I see this spring.  Yes, spring time in Japan is also beautiful and I love to see those cherry blossoms and young leaves of willows over the little stream of Kyoto.  But, but....
So, I decided to make a sweater of Texas spring wildflowers.  Indigo blue, blue-purple, white, pale pink, bright orange-red, yellow, and bright side of greens. 

I am not an "intarsia person".  I would love to make these sweater with Fair Isle style small pattern works.  For Canada Autumn Sweater, background will be dark grey-charcoal grey-black and pattern color moves from green, yellow , orange, red to blue in bright tones.  For Texas Spring Sweater, background will be somewhat muted greens and pattern color will be the colors of all those flowers.  Small lice in red, big circle or cross with  fill-ins in Bluebonnet flower color. 
I will spend a lot of time choosing the yarns.