Monday, December 31, 2007


Knitting Japanese

...I really think so.

I brought several knitting books home from Japan five years ago, and I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't made anything from them until now. The catalyst was one of our favorite customers at Dublin Bay, who came in for help with a pattern from one of her extensive collection of Japanese pattern books. Rusty as I am, I can still figure out enough of the Kanji to decipher gauge and needle size, and if the yarn type is written in Hiragana or Katakana, we're golden. In any event, I think she was satisfied with the limited help I was able to provide, and gave me the suggestion that I offer a class to help knitters decipher Japanese patterns. I really liked that idea, so as a refresher, I knit up that cute little bunny cap from the book pictured above. (The title reads, "Konna no hoshii", which means, "I want one of these". )

I thought I'd put together a little teaching proposal for some of the LYS's and see if there would be any interest. Unfortunately, I can't crochet worth a dang, so I wouldn't be able to help with amigurumi--but if someone needs help with a knit hat or sweater, I can do that. If I did get hired to teach that sort of seminar class, I would use the little hat for a sample. To get around the copyright issue, (photocopying books is a no-no,) I'd translate the pattern from Japanese and schematics to English text with a photo of my finished item, if anyone wanted it.

Oh yeah, the yarn I used for the cap is Zitron Loft. I absolutely love it. It's a very squooshy-soft merino single ply, comes in a great color range and is a good felting yarn.

FO's in Plain English

Finally, the Dublin Bay Socks I started back in September are done. The only thing I like about these socks is the color. I used Lang Jawoll, which is a little finer gauge than I like for sock yarn. It's soft enough, but doing socks with a super-thin yarn and needles smaller than a US 2 starts to feel like purgatory for me, way before I'm done. Yet I like my socks thin, not bulky--so I guess I just have to suck it up. As for the pattern, well, blegh. Didn't enjoy it nearly as much as I thought I would, so my next socks will be variegated Opal in a plain-vanilla pattern.

Completing this scarf means the end of my Christmas knitting is in sight. Just have Jason's sweater to go. I knit this with 2 balls of Simply Shetland Silk & Lambswool, in a basic prayer shawl pattern on size 2's, for my brother. He had told me he wanted a scarf, but it had to be fine gauge. Wanted to make me work, I guess. And work I did, 'cause I trucked on this pretty much every day for a couple of weeks. Finished it too late for Christmas, obviously, but there is still a couple of months of winter to go. I'll spare you the current family squabbles, just suffice it to say that the last time we spoke, he said something that made him sound like a complete dickhead. And here I am giving him a nice handknit scarf, go figure.

It's New Year's Eve, and I'm staying home and knitting! What do you think, guys, is that messed up? 'Cause to be perfectly honest, it's just what I wanted to do. We don't drink, and while I wouldn't call us anti-social, we just don't go to a lot of gatherings. Michelle is going to an alcohol-free party at her friend's house, so it'll be just my spousal unit and me. And he usually retires by 9:00 pm. I don't think I can take this much excitement, dude.

Thank you for visiting my blog, and reading my twice-weekly caffeine rap. You are my buddies, and I wish everybody a 2008 filled with happiness, contentment, peace, love...and beautiful yarn!!

My first post of 2008, I plan to make public New Year's resolutions for the first time, and since I am having a colonoscopy on Friday, I'll probably be rather cranky. But the resolutions should be amusing. Chickenlips out!

I don't think that's messed up at all, Clay and I are just hanging out, coughing up phlegm. (hawt)

Happy New Year to you and yours, sweet friend
I would so love to go to a tutorial like that. Especially since I was eying some Japanese knitting magazines on my last trip to San Francisco. Sadly, though, I'm tucked away in Cali and wouldn't be able to make it. :( But maybe if I decide to pick one up next time, I can bribe you into deciphering it? ;)
That bunny hat is so cute, the title really fits! You most definitely should be teaching. All your projects are so great! I hope your new year is wonderful, and all my Christmas decorations are still up too (I use the excuse that I am Ukranian, and Ukranian Christmas is January 7th!)
Oooh, Japanese knitting magazines! We just booked our trip to Japan for the beginning of February for the snow festival. We are going to Hokkaido and Tokyo, 2 weeks. Where can I get my hot little hands on said books? Do they have bookstores like we do that sell them or magazine stands? I totally clueless about it, so any help is appreciated.

: )
Missy--while in Japan, you can find knitting pattern books at most department stores. Not all bookstores will have them, though--while in Osaka & Kyoto, we found book shops that were exclusively devoted to manga (comics).

I'm sooo jealous, I wanted to go to Hokkaido but didn't get the chance. Have a wonderful time!
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