December 25, 2008

On Christmas Day

We found out that Santa brought my daughter a scooter, ate one cookie (we didn't serve him milk - I'm lactose intolerant... uh, ahem, I believe Santa is.)

And then, I found another package.   It was,

a music box from my husband and daughter, for me.

I cried.

Resolution 2009

1.  To participate in Sockdown:Ravelry! as much as I can, starting January.
2.  To spin more.  Considering my drop spindle is tucked deep in the bottom of my "craft" container, even a very small amount would make it.  
3.  To lose weight.  Seriously.  My upper body look exactly like my mom in my age (she had, no, still has,  much more cuter legs than mine.  Sad reality.)  Her diabetes, blood pressure problem, and hospital stays (twice this year) make me think about my health.  I'm completely healthy (had a check-up on August) besides overweight.  So was my mom when she was my age.

Happy holidays - my next post might not come up before mid-January. 

December 23, 2008


My husband's new iron set - a.k.a an indulgence to yarn buying. We both know well not to attack each other on buying reasonable amount of good tools. Reasonable, is a tricky word, and we know that well, too. On the course of rationalization to each other, I got some knowledge of the shape of golf clubs and my husband knows unneccesarily well about knitting needles.

December 22, 2008

from cell phone

Just trying a new device - posting from my cell phone in English doesn't seem practical,but this may make it easier for me to post pictures I take with cell phone.

Mittens mittens all the way

At mom's hospital, waiting for her surgery done, I was knitting a liner for this;
Casquette front
Yarn; tweed yarn from Avril Sanjo's bargain bin (840 JPY per skein - one skein made this)
Pattern; Casquette (キャスケット) by Clover Japan
Needle; US 7 circular needle

I love it.  My husband likes it.  My daughter says "mom, you're super cool and cute!".  I think I have to make one for each of them.

Yesterday, waiting between the visits to ICU, I finished the second mitten;
blue mitten with butterfly
Pattern; Annemor #2 in Selbuvotter by Terri Shea, with butterfly pattern from Butterfly Sock by Coriander and a little bit of flowers and veins added to make the stranding easier
Yarn; Knitpicks Essential (colorway; Gulfstream - blue) 20g and Kanebo Cattleya (colorway; 280 -pink) 14g
Needle; US 0 DPN (Brittany 5 inch - love this stuff)

Now I officially declare that I love mitten knitting.  Not gloves.  Before finishing these two, I had finished this;
swatch Selbu #1 done
Pattern; Annemor #7 in Selbuvotter by Terry Shea
Yarn; Ski yarn chu-boso, 1002 (natural white) 40g and 1003 (black) 26g
Needle; US 1 1/2 (2.50mm) DPN (Knitpicks Harmony DPNs.  I never regret buying the set.)

- and don't want to knit those fingers for a while.  One thumb per one mitten is OK.  Maybe I can do one or two fingers, but not four, and only one or two fingered glove surely looks stupid.  Artiodactyl Mitten?  NO.

I am trying out chu-boso (compatible to fingering weight in US standard) yarns from Japanese yarn manufacturer, a couple of them, to find out "my favorite, go-to yarn" in Japan.  I am not just knitting a swatch or two.  I will make mittens from the book above, Selbuvotter.

And before that, I have to make one fingerless pair because I made a promise to make a pair of these for my sister.
Mosaic Mitt
Pattern; Mosaic Mitts by Sandy Cushman, in Interweave Knits 2006 Holiday issue
Yarn; Knitpicks Essential, Navy, Pumpkin and Tuscany Multi
Needle; US 1 1/2 (2.50mm) circs - magic loop, if I remember correctly

My mother is recovering very well, to start talking yesterday afternoon.  So happy that I went ABC craft at Tennoji to get yarns for my sis's mitts and brim liner for my casquette, after I left the hospital late afternoon.

I have four mittens on my "next" list, thinking of it.  Two from Selbuvotter, one for my sis, and SpilliJane's lovely Heather's Mittens Pattern.  Looks like I never get sick of fingering yarn knitting.

December 21, 2008

the day after

Mom's surgery went well.  She is still under anesthesia, but the doctor is happy how the surgery went.

I got tons of knitting time yesterday, in the train and at the hospital.  Today, too, I hope.

My name is O-chica.  I am a Knitter.

December 19, 2008


My mom undergoes an open heart surgery tomorrow.  I should be folding laundry and getting ready to go to the hospital before 9:00 am, getting 7:18 train (train station is right in front of our apartment, so this doesn't mean I have to wake up at 5:00).  

And what I do instead is taking Nerd Test.  
I am nerdier than 70% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!
And another (ver.2.0). says I'm an Uber Cool Light-Weight Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Hh.  I guess I'd better pack up my knitting project to take to the hospital and go to bed.

December 18, 2008

Ode for Rug

My mother is hospitalized since last Saturday, to ..uh, get her heart fixed (this is how I explain the matter to my daughter.)  Today, my daughter and I visit her at her hospital first time.   I have to use this morning wisely, because I have too much time to rush out (visiting is limited 14:00 - 19:00), too little time not to mind the clock (it will take 1.5 hr from my house to the hospital).

While making a batch of smoothies for my daughter's breakfast, I knocked off my trusty handy blender and spilled applesause/frozen raspberry/milk mixture on the floor.  Horrible.  And there he was.
Rug.  Made from my daughter's baby clothes, cut and tied together "calamari" way in the Mason Dixon Knitting ( I coudn't find the right page to link with "calamari", but you know what I mean.)
It soaked up everything and the floor under it was almost dry.  I just threw it in the washer with several towels which also needed to get washed, hit the button, listened the sound telling me "laundry is done (only the washing part, though)" and took it to the balcony for drying.
laundry dryer
It's not common to have a laundry dryer for a household in Japan.  Except for wintertime in heavily snowed area of north-eastern part, we just don't need it. 

By the time we come home from the hospital, it will be dry and ready.  I love it.  Only this moment at this situation, I love it more than my husband.

December 12, 2008


When I was a little girl, little girls wore wool cover shorts.  Everyone did.  And almost everyone hated them, was ashamed to have them on her bottom.  I, too, loathed them.  They itch.  They are too thick, too padded (though were knit with fine fingering yarn.)  They seemed to be the symbol of obedience, the focal point on those endless battle against THEM - parents, elders, authorities (of course, I didn't aware of that word at that time).

And now, thirty-some years later, I knit this;
Slide-a-go-go on Stitch frontSlide-a-go-go on Stitch back
Pattern; my own.  Trace my daughter's panties on a paper, measure it, and knit a little bigger.
Yarn; Kanebo Cattleya (207m/50g, 50% wool, 50% nylon) in brown(271), pink(280), white(201)
Needles; JP 2 (2.70mm) DPNs

I am pretty satisfied with the finished garment, but feel complicated about telling my daughter to put them on.  For now, she doesn't care.  She doesn't like them as socks, but treat them just like socks - doesn't put them on until the last minute before going to a playground, and takes  them off the moment she comes back home on a warmer day, but not so quick on a colder day.
I am afraid, and waiting for her to say "NO, mom, I do NOT wear them.  I hate them."  This is a kind of a tradition.  We have to pass it on to younger generation, no matter how they don't want it.  And when the time comes, they will give it to their own offsprings.  And we laugh together.  In order to laugh later, I have to bear the coming rejection.

About the needles, I felt a little nostalgic and had decided to use 5 DPNs to knit round.  And asked my mother for an instruction.  She told me to use a piece of paper (often it was a re-used wrapping paper) to transfer the targeted size ("pair of panties or pants, anything does").  I asked some gauge-related questions, how thick the yarn was, how many stitches she usually casted on, something like that.  Her answer was, "Ah, I machine-knit them, you know, so the gauge was never off.  I don't really remember the exact thickness of the yarn.. something with nylon, it's sure.  I just knit three or four pairs in one day, and grafted the crotches on the next day."
I felt I looked for "a traditional granma's pie recipe" and ended up making a medieval lard-rich savory pastry using a wood-fire oven.

It took longer than I first intended, set aside while I was busy on Christmas knitting.  I showed the finished one to my mom.  On the first look, she said "This crotch is too wide."  Just that.

Really.  Thank you.  Now I'm determined to make another, a better one.

Talking of what I didn't like, I didn't like socks, neither, when I was a little girl. They were always too toasty. I didn't like hats, neither. They were too itchy, even if it were made of cotton. I didn't hate mittens or gloves, but I just couldn't find them when I wanted them. It was OK, I had always pockets on my jacket.  And, I thought all the wool was itchy.


December 02, 2008

Done, done, done and done. And more.

I finished this year's Christmas knitting.

Christmas Socks 2008 all

From left to right; plain 2x2 rib with Zwerger Garn Opal Regenwald / Rainforest (color 2033), Peace socks with Diana Collection Naif Mela (color 6655), Lighthouse Gansey Sock with Hamanaka Field (color 1), and Jaywalker with ONline Supersocke 100 Holiday Color (color 999).   I think it's just a coincidence, that all these four yarn has their colorways in number, not  something like "mystic forest green" or "fantasy cream" .

I had finished Jaywalker way back in July (or June?), as a tranquilizer-type knitting during the stress of moving.  The rest are done in November.  All of them was very satisfying to knit.  All different, all good, all not-so-free-of-worrying (do they fit??).

Am I sick of socks?  A little bit.  What I'm knitting right now is..Rainbow on the way
Another pair.  My daughter's 6-in foot socks with ShibuiKnits Socks (color 41301, number again!).  Plain, stockinette stitch socks with a little lacy ladder on sides.  This is not a holiday knitting.  She outgrew two pairs and kept patiently waiting for a new pair.  This is an everyday knitting.

After this, I'm going back to Swatch Selbu gloves
swatch selbu #1 right
which miraculously fits my husband.  Again, this is not a holiday knitting.  I'm just trying out new yarns.  This is a study knitting.

For mindless knitting, my daughter's knit cover shorts.  After those, I must be sick of fingering yarns.  Or not?  ... Anyway, I need a new hat.  A casquette with gorgeous tweed yarn from Avril.
This is hobby knitting.  Fun, and Joy.

'Tis the knitting season.