Sunday, September 23, 2007

Lace Shawl by Hazel Carter

During my vacation in Japan, I knitted Hazel Carter's Legends of the Shetland Seas shawl with Lisa Souza hand dyed lace yarn in Sea Foam. Both the pattern and the yarn are just lovely. Actually, I saw the same shawl knit by my longtime internet knitting friend Laura one day this summer and I just fell in love with it. She brought with her many gorgeous afghans and lace shawls, but this Shetland shawl really caught my eyes. Her version was in darker color, called Wild Things, evoking dark stormy seas in northern Europe. I was going to knit it in the same color for myself initially. Then, I realized that my parents will be celebrating their gold anniversary soon. I thought the light sea foam color would be lovely on my mother whose hair is white. I still have a long way to go before I can start the edging as I am still on the center section.

Coming back home, I had to quickly seam up pieces to finish Belén’s cardigan. The pattern is from Phildar Enfants Printemps Été 2007 and the yarns used are Katia’s Sonrisa. We love narrow bands on the sleeves and cute flower buttons.

The back view.

And, Phildar version

Friday, September 21, 2007

More Japanese Books

We were on vacation in Japan for a few weeks and visited Nagoya and Matsumoto. Besides seeing my relatives, what I love to do over there is to go to markets and eat those morsels which are not readily available in the U.S. and to purchase craft books.

Here is a partial list of what I brought back: Four knitting books including Keito Dama Fall 2007, and Couture Knits no. 12 by Shida Hitomi. I also picked up Shida Hitomi's Couture Knits no. 8 and a back issue of SeKaINo Amimono from 2000, both of which are out of print now. I am quite excited about Ms. Shida's no. 8. There is one pullover in it with gorgeous cable design I must knit. I have yarns for it waiting for cooler days. Most of the designs from her no. 12 are knitted with fabulous and complex pattern stitches and simple garment designs, but there are a few which show new directions. It seems that my list of knitting projects gets longer every season.

I bought some sewing patterns books, including a book on skirts by Yoshiko Tsukii, on dresses and blouses by the same author, a fascinating book by Natsuno Hiraiwa, and Dress Up - Dress Down Simple Chic by Machiko Kayaki. The last book by Ms. Kayaki reminds me of a book I bought last year by Yuri Kaneko, which contains retro style garments.

There are few more books on other crafts I brought back with me. I will show them to you later.

With all these books, I thought my luggage might burst. Besides the increased weight of our luggage, there was another issue in returning home. The night before we were leaving Matsumoto, a relatively large typhoon hit Japan. Many railways were experiencing cancellations and delays, including JR Chuo line which we were going to take on the following day. Of course, our train was cancelled following morning and by the time we arrived at the Nagoya airport, we had only 45 minutes before our plane took off. I don’t know if it was this anxiety and nervousness but we had such a hard time overcoming jet lag this time. We were absolutely sleepy by 6 pm for a week! Things are back to normal and I just began to knit again.

Added: I just fond out that you can see more work by Ms. Hiraiwa here.