July 04, 2009

Summer is here.

Slows down blogging. Slows down knitting & crocheting. I just joined worldwide mom's band of "summer break, what the xxxx." My daughter's summer break is not here yet (Spring, or 1st term ends on July 16th), but I can feel IT already.

I have finished HÉLÈNE SOCKS;
Helene done
Yarn; Osaka TOA Prism light fingering (from a company long ago gone. one of the inheritance yarns)
Needles; US 1 (2.25 mm) Brittany 5 inches DPNs

The pattern is written for US 10 size, with sport weight yarn and US 3 needles.. To fit my feet, US 5 1/2, I decided to use fingering and finer needles. I thought 2.25 mm needles go better with this yarn, but in retrospect, I should have used 2.50 mm - finished socks are very, very tight on my feet (wearable, though).

Pattern includes beautiful, speaks-out-itself charts. After the first heel turn, I didn't need to reference the main chart. I could have start reading what I've made at much earlier point if I had tried to do so. I was too lazy, and ended up using more mental energy than I needed. Foolish me.

I used wooly nylon thread for reinforcing heels and toes for the first time. The hardest part was to find the right thread, which is not really "hard" once I figured out which thread I should get. Maybe the close second hardest was to find out the right color. Wooly nylon was sold at my trusty craft store (Yoshikawa @ Kyoto tower basement), in 50 zillion colors or so.
Brittany needles are not really famous for their sharpness - if I want sharp tips, I'd go Knitpicks Harmony or Options - but working on complicated traveling & cabled pattern or picking up the stitches on gussets with them were not so frustrating. I love their bare wood finish. I love their length. I always think of switching to 6 inch Knitpicks DPNs only when working on the first several rounds of gusset decrease, most of the time just think and keep on using Brittanys.

Now, I got...
BSJ organic cotton on the way
a BSJ with organic cotton yarn in my new knitting bag.

Friendship & love comes colorful
These are from my dear friend Janet in Texas. I can't believe we only saw each other in person just a few times - and I regret it. I was living so close to her home and her work. Again, I was lazy.
Our "visiting each other" happens now mostly on Flickr or on blogs, and e-mails. And, a little care package from time to time. It's sad we can't actually see each other often, but thinking of, finding goodies for, and sending packages to each other totally has another fun.
Her pictures on the blog and Flickr site always amazes me. I should learn more from her works; pay attention to lights and layouts when taking pictures, and consider well when choosing colors for projects.

When I saw her blog about getting new knitting bags, my heart pounded. She had told me she was waiting something for me to be delivered. Yeah, this beautiful green bag might be for me, oh, but... no, I shouldn't be greedy, oh, oh, ...
Big relief and joy it was, what I felt when I found the bag in her package.

Her love and care goes to my daughter, too.
Love comes in a blue box & a yellow box
When we opened her package, my daughter, delighted, used the new crayons from "Janet - uh, MISS Janet" to color her then-working drawing ("Mom and Dad and me going to the zoo") right there. My daughter loves drawing and painting. Now she has any color of crayons she wants, and has learned mixing colors when she paints. This shooting-star, rising-sun artist has got a power.

Her package gave me some firm strategy to wade on this summer. Macaroni cheese for lunch. Small knitting(socks?mittens?)/crocheting (how about granny squares?) while she paints, draws or plays at playgrounds. Glasses of tea and lemonade.

Happy Birthday, USA.

1 comment:

Twisted Knitter said...

Your Helene socks are amazing -- I'm impressed with your patience with the traveling stitches too - they are my nemesis!

Thank you so much for your big and small kindnesses as well . . . you are such a sweet friend and thanks to email, blogs, and Ravelry, you don't seem so far away. However, I let time get away from me while you were here too. I feel so bad about it that I didn't make it a priority. But then there are those memories of running into each other at Kroger or at the shop; it makes me smile.

I'm so glad you enjoyed the goodies I sent! I will send the yarn this week. My in-laws were in town for several days (including 5 kids!) and all the cleaning and preparation leading up to it meant things got stashed away in other corners of the house! (Do you do that too?! Hide the clutter before people come over?!)

By the way, I do love your photos -- I especially love the ones you take on your balcony -- the light is always nice there and it's fun to see what you're growing. And keep taking photos of Aika's art too - especially while she is doing it! Now that the kids are all growing up, I wish I had done more of that myself. It's so great that you are nurturing her artistic talents!

We had a nice Independence Day and a great fireworks show. Wish you were here (and I wish I had thought to take photos of the fireworks!)