Thursday, January 03, 2008

Happy New Year!

The past 4 months since I got a new job has been pretty hectic, and I think I got carpal tunnel so not much knitting done. But here are some belated pictures from November and December.
We got dressed up for Hubby's birthday celebration at the Michelin 2-starred Michel Troisgros. I liked the raw cauliflower with walnut oil and very thinly shaved cheese:

The pumpkin veloute with bleu cheese and orange zest was my favorite.

Cutie appreciated the fancy butter:

But of course, he is still 6 and plays with the napkin holder:

We made these for Christmas this year:

In 2008, my knitting resolutions are to finish up all my projects on my needles, and to use up stash yarn before I buy anything new!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Blue Shedir

My first chemo cap "Shedir" from knitty was knit in the round exactly according to the pattern, but somehow ended up very very big.
Rowan Calmer is so so soft, it was a pleasure to knit. The cable pattern keeps it interesting. I would definitely knit this again.
It has already been gifted to a friend's hubby who is fighting cancer.

Cutie models it here to show how big it is:

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Clapotis for my Grandma

Ever since I discovered the world of knitting blogs and, I wanted to knit the Clapotis. When my friend S went to New York for a business trip, I sent her off with a long list of Lorna's Laces colorways that I liked, but purl didn't carry any of them in Lion and Lamb. After visits to Yuzawaya and Okadaya, I always came home disappointed that they didn't carry similar, silk 50%/wool 50% blends in variegated colors.
One day, I found a similar yarn at Okadaya that wasn't a variegated colorway, but had some sparkly silver in the yarn. The Diacouture Silklame is silk 40%/wool 58%/polyesther 2% with a gauge of 21-22 stitches per 10 cm. I figured that was close enough. I had also wanted to knit something for my grandmother, and decided this was my chance to try out the Clapotis pattern.
I LOVE knitting this. Dropping the stitches is fun to do. I knit this in Tokyo, Dublin, and Paris this summer. I will definitely knit this pattern again!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I'm back!

We lost everything on the hard drive, but I am back. Here is the Baby Bolero from One Skein, made for baby K, born in August. I had to improvise and make a few changes since the gauge was different, so the left side and right side turned out to be a little different, but it knit up very fast, and I am very happy with it!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Socks That Rock!

There has been a lot of knitting in the past month, but our PC is down and sadly, we are told it is something serious and it may take a while to get it back up. I finished knitting Cutie's second red/white/black/gray Fjordlook sock. Also finished DH's scarf. I casted on a pair of socks for me, and another for Cutie.

The first package of the Rockin' Sock Club from Blue Moon Fiber Arts arrived today, and the yarn is a beautiful green/purplish gray colorway, and it came with a binder to file the dyer's notes and patterns, and a bumper sticker, and the cutest keychain! The pattern is called Inside Out, for a sock that can be worn either way. Should be an interesting knit!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Socks with self-striping yarn

Yarn: Fjord-Look (100 g = 420m, 75% wool, 25% Nylon, color 716, Made in Italy)

Pattern: Six-stitch, top-down, with Slipped Stitch Rib, from Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch

Needle: Clover Takumi bamboo size 3 circulars, 40cm & 60cm

Thanks to Fyberduck and, and this tutorial, I learned how to knit 2 socks on 2 circulars. I LOVE knitting socks this way. It is very nice to have both socks done at the same time!

Since this was my first project with self-striping yarn, I knit a swatch to see how the striping came about, then used the ball-winder that came in this ridiculous box. This Japanese company, Royal, must have such a dominating market share that they don't bother shooting a new picture for the box.

After the swatch, I had 2 balls of yarn, 42 grams each.

The 6-stitch pattern was easy, and since these were for Cutie's little feet, I was done in no time!

There was still a lot of yarn left, so I have started another pair. The toe-up, 5-stitch version will be coming soon!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The power of knitting blogs

Time flies and it’s already the second month of 2007. I hadn’t been checking the Red Scarf Project 2007 blog for a while, but realized the OFA must be busy getting the care packages ready for St. Valentine’s Day, and clicked to see what was going on at the knit along site. It turns out they got more than 7,000 scarves, way more than their goal of 2,500! It’s so nice to know there will be thousands of foster kids getting a hand-knit scarf on Valentine’s Day.
There was an article in a New Hampshire newspaper:

“hand-knitted scarves from all across the country and from as far away as Australia, Japan, and Turkey.” --- wow, I guess this means my scarf got there on time!

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Felted Boxes

I knit these boxes and filled it up with cookies and candy for Cutie's Kindergarten teachers as Christmas gifts. The pattern is from the Mason Dixon book. The yarn is Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, the same as the one skein felted bags. Cutie decided the pink one should go to Miss J and the green one is for Miss S!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Happy belated birthday, sis!

I got a lot done in the past week. I finally gifted my felted one skein bags, with a cute ceramic rice bowl and a box of strawberry Pocky!
And I baked a marble cake with my new Kouglof mold from my beloved, another recipe from Tania's book. And I sent out a belated birthday present to my sister. This is the Shifting Sands pattern by Grumperina. 4 balls of Rowan All Seasons Cotton Cassis, including the fringe, with only a little bit leftover, knit in Japanese size 10 bamboo Clover circulars. It's the same yarn I used for the Red Scarf Project 2007. I sent both of them out on Monday via air mail, so it should arrive this weekend or early next week.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I've been tagged!

I think I got tagged by Anonyknits while I was knitting by the beach in Tangalle, Sri Lanka.

RULES: "Each player of this game starts with the "6 weird things about you." People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don't forget to leave a comment that says "you are tagged" in their comments and tell them to read your blog."

So, here I go, even though I am very very late:

Six Weird Things About Tokyo Knitter

1. In Japanese, the term “knitting” is a word that covers both “straight needle knitting” (knitting) and “hook needle knitting” (crocheting), so until I discovered the world of knitting blogs and knitting in English last year, I was completely unaware that English speakers differentiate so much between knitting and crocheting. I know how to crochet but have never attempted a whole project, just to make cords or trimmings for my knitting projects. But I think I may try some crocheting projects from the One Skein book this year.

2. When I was pregnant with my DS, I was disappointed that I didn’t have any bizarre food cravings. I was actually looking forward to finding out what I would beg my DH to go hunt for: pickles and chocolate chip ice cream at 2 a.m.? Or would I hate my favorite foods, or suddenly love Natto? But nothing like that happened. Bummer.

3. Last year, I tried out eyelash perm, and I liked it. I didn’t think I was vain enough to spend 3,000 yen ($25) on just eyelashes, but it is not bad for 2 months of not having to curl my eyelashes and skipping mascara most of the time. And the world seems clearer. I was kind of shocking to discover that when your eyelashes are all perfectly curled and out of your way, you can see better, without a grayish fog on the rim of your vision!

4. During college, I went on a long vacation in Thailand with my girlfriends for spring break. One night, we took a break from Pad Thai, Tom Yum Goon, and coconut ice cream and went to an Italian restaurant in Phuket. We shared everything, and everybody ate the same thing. But the next morning, I was the only one with with extreme abdominal pain. My first and only time I got on an ambulance, and the first time to stay in an hospital over night was in Thailand for food poisoning.

5. When I went to school in the U.S. (most of elementary school and senior high), I made straight A’s and was a top student. But in junior high in Tokyo, I was an obnoxious teenager who never paid attention to my English teachers (poor things) because I despised their bad accents, and barely passed my math classes since I didn’t study much. So I know how it feels to be both the teacher’s pet and a delinquent.

6. I hate math, accounting, numbers, and taxes, even though I used to be in investment banking, and still sit behind a desk in a finance-related job. Last weekend, I saw a hand knit baby sweater in a very very very easy pattern, in a nice, soft organic cotton yarn with a price tag of over 9,000 yen ($75), and it made me wonder if I can knit for money. I sooo admire people who make a living out of what they love to do.

I think that, after about 30 or 35, it is hard to find something weird about yourself, since you are so used to being you, and you don't care that much about how weird you are anymore. I had to read several other blogs with this meme thing, and then racked my brain to come up with 6 things. And these 6 aren't THAT weird. But it was kind of fun, so I guess my first meme was kind of interesting.

I’m tagging disdressed, smoking hot needles, splityarn, a strikke, fluffbuff, and tricoquelicot. Sorry!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Happy holiday season!

We are leaving tomorrow for a beach vacation, so these are my Happy Holiday photos for you.
These 2 gingerbread houses were made, again, from Tania's book. (I am so flattered that 12 out of 12 amazon customers have clicked on behalf of my review.)
It basically took a whole day to make 2 batches of dough (just in case any of the pieces cracked, but none did), chill it in the refrigerator, cut out the pattern, cut the dough according to the pattern, chilling the dough again, baking the dough, making the icing, assembling the house, then decorating it with candy. Whew! It was a lot of work, but we had fun and the house smells wonderful. Thanks to my mom who helped with the assembling and decorating. The decorating was designed by Cutie: he decided which candies to put where. The left one turned out excellent, but the right one wasn't cold enough when I cut the dough and transferred it on to the baking sheet, so it was a little lopsided and needed some biscuits at the top of the roof. Cooking is an art, but baking is science, and it's all about precision!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rowan striped baby hat with pom pom

Meet baby H, 7 months old. I started knitting this hat when I visited him, and knit while I had a delicious pasta lunch and caught up with his mom, my girlfriend from college. H had lunch, a short nap, and was a good quiet baby the whole time, thanks to his Grandma. I got a lot of knitting done on the way home on the train, and finished it that same night!
Yarn: Rowan Handknit Cotton. Needles: Clover size 10 Takumi bamboos. Pattern: modified from the Yarn Harlot's watermelon hat.
It was a nice, quick break from Hubbo's socks, and fits the baby perfectly!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Bread Baking class #2: dinner rolls

I baked 6 of these in my second class. The kneading went well. They tasted very good, but I rolled them too tight, and some of them cracked a little bit. So, I learned that it's important to roll them up very loosely, and not to brush on too much eggwash, or it will drip down and you end up with baked egg pieces.

At home, I made this. We Japanese LOVE purin. Otherwise known as custard pudding, creme caramel, caramel custard, or flan. I tried the Gatten recipe. It is one of Cutie's favorite shows on NHK. Because I used a caramel tablet before pouring in the egg mixture, when I flipped it out on a plate it came out like this. It looks like the moon! But the recipe is great since all I did was put in a dishtowel then my metal otoshibuta in my biggest Le Creuset, put in the purin covered with aluminum foil, and fill it up with boiling hot water so that it goes up halfway of the height of the ramekin. Heat it on high for 5-6 minutes, then turn off the heat, close the lid, and wait 25 minutes. It came out very nice and silky smooth.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

My first pair of socks

I finished my first pair of socks for my Cutie!
From Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch, these are a 4-stitch Garter Rib, knit down from the cuff.
It is a great book, with all the information necessary for a beginner to knit a sock, and told me exactly what to do.
It has patterns for many socks, rated Easy, Intermediate, and Experienced.
I started with the first Easy one, and am thinking of working my way up to Experienced.
Of course, Hubbo likes the big green sock on the cover.
Obviously an Experienced sock.
And like father like son, Cutie wants me to knit him "the No. 3 sock", meaning the black and white Maze sock on the cover, the third one from the left. Also an Experienced sock.
I told them they need to be patient with me while I learn more sock knitting skills!

Friday, November 24, 2006

My meathead hat with Doraemon

This is my meathead hat for Larissa's knit along. Cutie chose the Doraemon attached to the brim. I wanted to embellish it with something a little more classier, but my LYS had very little to choose from, and it wasn't like I could knit or crochet a cute flower for him..... Because I followed the pattern for an adult size hat, using double strands of Lamb's Pride Bulky and 10mm needles, I didn't bother to check about gauge, and it came out very small. I didn't realize I knit THAT tight. It is almost too small for Cutie, but he likes it enough to have worn it to Kindergarten yesterday: The main part is Oatmeal, and the stripe and pompom is in Brown Heather. I had fun using a pompom maker. It was a very quick knit; done in one night!
Kiddo has a great time bobbing his head back and forth, "I'm making a ball bounce on my head!"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

Even though Thanksgiving is an American holiday, and we don't live there now, I wanted to celebrate it since Cutie learned about it at Kindergarten. Today was also a holiday in Japan. Very similar to Thanksgiving Day, Kinrou-kansha-no-hi is literally, A Day To Be Thankful for Hard Work. It's November 23rd every year, not the fourth Thursday of November. But this year, it turned out to be the same as the American Thanksgiving Day. So, what a perfect excuse to roast a turkey! I had to order an American frozen turkey at the supermarket in advance. 3980 yen ($34) for an 8-pound turkey. It is probably an insane price, but I don't remember what turkeys cost in the States. The people in the meat department at the supermarket seemed VERY happy to get this for me. I thought they would get a couple orders, but I guess not. It came out like this:

and tasted very good! This year I made mashed potatoes, roasted green beans & radicchio with garlic, and wild rice stuffing with apples and cranberries. All the recipes are from And turkey gravy (Lawry's), and canned cranberry jelly spiked with a dash of Grand Marnier, and store bought bread. The cute Crate & Barrel placemats with colorful buttons were a gift from my sis (correction: my sister's husband, then boyfriend. Sorry Garrett!). The striped ones are el cheapos from Ikea.

The wine was this year's Beaujolais-Village Nouveau, from a Domaine Bel Avenir. I have been hearing good things about this year's Beaujolais, and I agree. I liked how it was full of fresh and fruity flavors and aromas, the beautiful bluish purple color.

Cutie made dessert! Fruit Parfait, following the recipe he got from an event at his cooking school. Here he is in action, mixing raspberry jam with lemon juice, after cutting the kiwi fruit and counting the pieces to see if there were enough for the 6 of us.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The tooth fairy left 100 yen (about 85 cents)

The highlight of Cutie's last weekend was that he lost his first tooth. He was VERY happy, since most of his friends have already lost a tooth or two. After I took this picture, he immediately asked me to "put it on the blog". He seems to enjoy seeing pictures of himself on the computer.
I thought about how long it has been since the last benchmark of him growing up. In the first 2 years of a child's life, so much goes on: they sit, they crawl, they eat, they walk, they talk, they start potty training. But I realized that it had been a long time since such a big parenting event had happened. He started kindergarten in September, but it didn't feel like such a big deal since he had been going to the same preschool everyday for the previous year, and everyday life didn't change at all.

He modeled his first sock for me last night, while watching Gatten, one of his favorite shows on NHK. He showed an amazing level of concentration watching the show, which was about how to make delicious egg custard. You will probably be seeing the photos pretty soon.