September 29, 2008

American cupcake

Originally uploaded by O'Chica

Pattern;Think Pink Cupcake (Pattern #: 70602AD) from Lion Brand website
Yarn; Lion Brand Cotton Ease (maize) for "cake" and Hamanaka Rosier for "icing"
Hook; US D

Patches is a toy kitten. My English teacher Ms. Suzy gave her to my daughter, as a farewell present. She meant that an American Kitten would become a great companion for an American-born Japanese girl traveling through America to Japan. One of the moving fuss-ups worked against her (and our) will, and Patches (named because her dress has cute patches and my daughter saw a kitten named Patches in Handy Manny a few days before) was shipped in a box, via surface. I felt so bad.

When I found these yarns in my "bits and pieces" bag in my stash and made this cake, my daughter decided it was for Patches. I didn't have any Styroform or cotton fillings, so I just rolled a small towel into a ball and finished the cake.

Looks a little too big for the little kitten, but, hey, she is an American girl kitten.  Can there be a "too big" cupcake for an American girl?

I miss you, Suzy. While I was unpacking, I cried when I took out your present for me (water pitcher with blue bonnet paintings). My daughter saw me crying and came to me, patting my back and said, "It's OK, Mom, you can talk her anytime on the phone."
4 years. Long enough to grow a child to appease her mom. I am almost crying again just thinking of it.

September 18, 2008

Hurricane Ike

Galveston 200806
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

This picture is taken in Galveston, TX this past June, about two and a half month before Hurricane Ike hit there.

My friends in The Woodlands, TX are suffering from power outages for about one week now.

Friends, my prayer is with y'all. Just don't know what else to send. A dozen AA batteries for each? Nah, it's not a time for a joke.

September 17, 2008

Big Girl Bag

Big Girl Bag after felting
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

Pattern; modification of a pattern for glass cases in Domino-Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro (Japanese title;ヴィヴィアンの楽しいドミノ編み 2001 文化出版局
Yarn; Cascade 220, leftover from Celtic Knot Afghan 7805(pink) 82g and 9422(red) 24g
Needle; Knit Picks Options circular, US 10, 24" and 40"

As I mentioned in last post, my daughter needs a bag for her hand towel and everything. Thus, this bag.  Just for small things for her to be prepared as a lady, however young she is.

Problem is, I made it too big for her and I can't find a good reason not to put her dolls in it. I have a strong feeling that this bag ends up on my shoulder a lot of times, being too heavy for her.
... I think there's just the amount of yarn for another, smaller bag left (40g of pink and 24g of red).

Tell the truth, I didn't like Domino knitting method so much. I think I just don't like to cut the yarn so often. This method is very much like piecework quilting for me. If the yarn is that short anyway, I would love to use it up this way. I can't decide which method I like less, entrelac or Domino knitting.  
... Striped bag, maybe.

September 10, 2008


Moving overseas means (almost) total renewal of appliances.  You have to buy from vacuum cleaner to refrigerator, not to mention TV.  And you have to bear the "are they newly-wed? Why is this girl speaking English?" look from the service person at appliance store. 

We are through.  Only a few things is left to buy.  They are...
・coffee grinder; we were going to bring the one we were using, but I dropped it on the stone floor and got a crack two weeks before the final shipment.  Now, we are doing with pre-ground.  Problem is, we brought KRUPS coffee maker (makes 10 cups) we got in the USA back here.  Usually, coffee makers sold in Japan has only 5-cup capacity, which leads most electric coffee grinder sold in Japan has only about 50g capacity.
・paper shredder; not the desktop model, since we have absolutely no space on our desk for a shredder, or, no home office desk to begin with.  We are doing all paper work on our small  dinner table, which itself is pretty common in a Japanese family.
・iron; except I'm in no hurry.  My husband's job doesn't require wearing jacket everyday.  And all of his dress shirts are wrinkle-free.  I only use iron for my quilting, which I don't think I can find a time for.  

Shopping these things can be a lot of fun itself, but doing this kind of things day in day out....  not really.  I am sick of looking up lists on and elsewhere.

I started knitting my daughter's everyday shoulder bag for felting using Domino knitting  (by Vivian Hoxbro).  She needs a plain, hands-free bag to carry a small towel, a clip to make it into an apron when she eats, and a pocket tissue.  Sometimes restrooms in public space doesn't have paper towel to dry our hands.  Most of the time they have warm-air-type dryer instead, but my daughter doesn't like winds blow onto her face.  It's understandable (but it sounds snobby a little when she says so).

September 06, 2008

Sleeping on my stash

My yarns are mostly assigned to certain projects.  I consider them not as "stash", but a long line of queued projects.  The exception is sock yarns, which I just bought and stocked them up because they are sock yarns.  But, hey, they describe themselves.  They are for socks.  I like my socks with nylon reinforcer, and I like other garments without, so I seldom use sock yarns for other project for socks.  

Now, my yarns are almost settled under our bed in one cardboard under-the-bed-organizing box and three huge Ziplock (am I supposed to insert ® here?)/Hefty (and here?) bags.  The box is for sock yarns with nylon/polyamide.  Three bags are for;
1. yarns which are clearly assigned to a project.  Some of them are on my Ravelry page as "hibernated", others are on queue.
2. yarns which are not assigned to a project.  Any leftovers go here, too.
3. knit/crochet related or not, anything I want it to be here.  My spindles and rovings are in this bag, too.

I had to make second category 1. bag, which is predicted.  
It turned out that the biggest group in 2. is crochet thread.  Oh.  I have not listed it up on Ravelry stash page.  I remembered now that I re-winded those thread balls to remove the cores, to reduce the volume before packing.  Still, I could make a pillow using them as stuffing.

And I have not touched my quilt fabric (torn and cut shirts remains) yet.

One month after moving in this house, the road to "Done!" is still far.

September 02, 2008

I thought I would never say this;

I don't have a time to knit.

My day is spent on unpacking and organizing and thinking of it.  Both my husband and I had known that we were going to face an impossible puzzle, like fitting 100 pieces to 50, or 20 pieces-space.  We are pretty cleverly working on it, and getting some sort of triumph on several tactical situations.  That's it.  We have started wrong.  We have too much stuff in a too small house. 
My during-my-daughter's-nap and after-the-dinner knitting time is mostly replaced by organizing the kitchen and dining space.  Cooking and eating is the most important activity at home after taking a good sleep.

Today, most of the empty boxes were taken away by the transportation company (I have been using the term "moving company", but they are not just that.)  Now we have an access to oshiire, Japanese traditional 'mattress closet'.  We made up our mind not to have voluminous traditional type mattress or futon (people, futon is not a word for a sleeper couch) and instead keep space-eating western style bed to sleep in, which means we have whole oshiire as a storage space and supplemental closet. 
I am thrilled to think about how we use our oshiire.  Thrilled, and at the same time, sick of it.  I need an oshiire fairy to help me.  Or oshiire monster.  Whoever works for me without telling me to reduce the amount of things we are trying to put in.

And in the meantime, we began looking for the kindergarten for our daughter. It's common to have a 3-yr kindergarten education here in Japan these days. It wasn't in my (and my husband's, we graduated high school in the same year) time. We decided two years like we had would be enough for her to get ready for an elementary school, means she will start next April.   If I didn't Google "Kyoto kindergarten" on Monday night, we wouldn't know we are behind.  What I found out was that Kyoto Private Kindergarten Association have limited the start of registration process at each kindergartens no earlier than September 1st, actual registration no earlier than October 1st.  Means September 2nd. is the day a lot of kindergartens have their first open schools for '09 registration.  
My husband and I had agreed that we would choose one in the walking distance from home.  I picked up two kindergartens to match that, and learned one of them are having an open school the next day, the other on this Saturday.  Phew.  We were almost behind.
One more thing we learned from a quick research on the internet is that there seems to be no big difference in the tuition between public and private, considering we probably can get some support from Kyoto city for having our daughter in a private kindergarten.

Anyway, my knitting time just kicked away by this research.

I am not totally away from knitting-related activity.  Finding a storage space for my stash is becoming a hot topic at last.  Uh.