October 31, 2009

eyeless fish


My Halloween post for 2009.

This semi-dry fish is popularly served for breakfast, or as salty treat in Japanese cuisine. We eat this as it is, head and bones and all, after lightly roasting it.
It's called mezashi (speared at eyes, literally) or maruboshi (dried whole, literally).
It is "dried sardine, held together by a bamboo skewer or string piercing the eye sockets" (by tangorin.com).

It's just.. yummy.

Happy Halloween!

October 27, 2009

Mission; kotatsu

kotatsu completed
Originally uploaded by O'Chica

About 3 weeks ago, my daughter, born and spent her first 4 years of life in Texas, was watching TV and asked me, "Mom, what is this stuff?" On the screen was a kotatsu. We have one, but have not been using it as its original form - I mean, it was just a square coffee table for us these years.

I had thrown away both of kotatsu futons (shiki-futon and kake-futon, mattress and blanket, that is) before we move to Japan (yes, I took them to Texas). My daughter and I picked up a set (happened to be the most inexpensive one in the shopping catalogue - good eye, girl!) and it was delivered yesterday.
It's not really cold enough for a kotatsu yet, but we just HAVE to get it ready NOW.

This morning, I cleaned up the living room floor and got it. A basket of Unshu (Satsuma) oranges is essential. Lots of coloring and drawing, snacking, TV-watching, knitting, reading, card games and not-so-intended naps are going to happen here this winter.

October 23, 2009

Do (again, if you need) it right

I haven't finished any knitting project for a while.

I'm working on these;
impulsive rainbow back
My daughter's jacket/cardigan.
I'm using Omega Synfonia in my stash to use up most of them. It's a mercerized cotton yarn I bought at Hobby Lobby long ago, leftover from this colorful snake.
Ms. Slee and Choo-choo
I had such a fun time using this colorful yarns on various projects, but it's about time to say good-bye... I feel pretty bad to keep ten (or more?) partial balls of mercerized cotton. It's not that I don't like it, but.. you know.

My daughter LOVES colors. Rainbow colors. I hope this cardi/jacket wears more than one season. In fact, she grew one whole inch during two month in this summer. I am really trying hard, making the body long and all, but, now, I'm counting on the "grow" of the cardi itself. Oh, the god of gravity, please, please mercy me.

I did the body in one piece, split and joined at the shoulders. I picked up the sleeves, and working two sleeves one time on two circs.

Earl dark grey
My husband's socks, one done. I'm using Earl Grey by Yarn Harlot, and Patons Kroy sock yarn on Brittany 5 inch DPNs. This combo is so comfortable, so natural, that... I knit the foot too long and had to rip it back about 1.5 inches. I added another light grey yarn to make the toe thick and durable, as of my husband's request.

MiL's glove doin' it right
My mother in law's gloves. I will not really "finish" this project before she tries them on and make final adjustment on fingers (or palms, if needed). These are made for "a perfect fit". I am wondering if her hand is really this big, but I'll not make any speculation.

I made the second cuff almost to the bottom of the palm, and realized I counted wrong. It is "a twist every 5 rounds", but I made it every 4 rounds a few times. As a result, I had to choose between adding one more twist and go on or ripping it back to almost cast on edge and do it right. I, proudly, chose the latter. It's a Christmas present, so I still have time.

All these three project required some ripping and re-doing. I feel proud and really matured of myself, to have done so.

After finishing all these three, I'll cast on fingerless gloves for my sister in law. I think I found a perfect pattern for a mother of three who loves playing flute and wants a pair of fingerless gloves for driving hot summer days and chilly mornings.

October 09, 2009

Living with a girl

Here's my dughter's fluffy scarf, "huggie" towel, and a "tail" for her kindergarten bag.

all stars

Patterns; Noro Striped Scarf by Jared Flood, and Mitered Hanging Towel in Maxon-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. Both are arranged a bit.
Yarn; Chaton (orange) and Chaton Print (mix) from Naska, 100% nylon
Needles; US 11 (8.0mm) plastic single points
Notes; Scarf is made 2 rows of orange and 4 rows of mixed colors, instead of 2 rows alternate colors of the original. Towel is made "top down", from handle to increased bottom, to use up all the yarn. The tail? It's just a piece of yarn, folded. It's just tied to her bag's shoulder strap.

We went to a small shopping mall to get my daughter's new pair of indoor shoes. I wanted to get a button for her sloppy lacy bolero, so we hit the craft store (Lupinus) just for a button. (I just realized I have forgotten to take a pic of the improved bolero. Ha!)
I wasn't going to see a yarn because I have enough (I'm tired to even think of it. Enough.) yarn for coming twenty years or so, but my daughter walked into the yarn aisle like a planned visit. ( That would tell something about my yarn habit.) I had to go with her. Before I say "oh, not today, you've got a runny nose and I'm not gonna....", she took a skein and cuddled it like a baby doll, put it on her cheek, saying "aaagh, this one is so soft! so fluffy!" (Well, she's speaking Japanese all the time these days. I'm a bit sad that she says she forgot how to speak English, but delighted that she says it's because speaking in Japanese with her friends is such a huge fun.)

I had to buy the skein. And a little more to make it work. I ended up buying three skeins of furry 100% nylon yarn.
Partly because the yarn was really soft to touch and thought it would be fun to deal with this kind of yarn (oh, I'm talking like a yarn snob) from time to time. But mainly because it was the only thing my daughter really wanted that day.
She is growing up. She is not a baby who would only accept anything her parents think good for her. She's got her own taste, and I sometimes get really really impressed how good it is.

It's still a little too warm for wearing a scarf. She just have "a tail" on her bag for now, and it helps her really well to touch it on the way to the kindergarten in the morning she's not so excited to go.
The towel doesn't work a bit for drying hands. I knew it. I was just afraid that she likes the feel of the scarf so much that she might secretly take it in her bed at night. I just had to make something which will not strangle her. It's beautifully working every time she or her buddy cuddly horse Mar-kun needs something soft on their cheek when they fall asleep.

And you know what? My husband liked to touch the scarf, too. Big guy apparently needs a little fluffiness, too.