Monday, October 29, 2007

Shawl, Twin Set, and Something New

The main panel of the shawl is done and I am working on the edging. One of my knitting friends at the Knitsmith Claire gave me the red crochet ball bag shown above. It is just the perfect thing for my lace yarn. Thanks Claire!

I could not resist pinning the lace fabric on my ironing board.

I've finished DD2's tank top to match with her cardigan sometime ago. Here is how they are put together.

The tank top is based on a Katia pattern from last summer, slightly modified.

Here is the beginning of my new project. I bought this gorgeous yarn, Schachenmayr Diva in grey, from my LYS on sale sometime ago. It is a blend of wool and polyamide and I have 7 balls.

I have been swatching this ribbon yarn quite some time, started with simple stockinet stitches which I thought was boring, and moved onto various lace stitches, most of which were way too elaborate. In the end, I settled for garter stitches. But, I need some fun stitches, like yarn over, ssk or k2tog. So, what you see in the top section of the swatch is what I will be using. It was adopted from my old project and I changed it slightly. We shall see how it turns out.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Pattern Magic

The second volume of Pattern Magic by Ms. Tomoko Nakamichi will be out on November 11th.

Update: Yes Asia has the book listed here for non-US order and here for US order.

Monday, October 15, 2007

What I look forward to when I visit Japan

No knitting or sewing contents today. Just about foods!!

There are many good and great Japanese restaurants in the U.S., but nothing compares to those you grew up with. I love to visit Nawate Douri in Matsumoto. It is a small section along Metoba river which is lined with small shops. I always visit there at least a couple of times when I visit my parents. Just stroll along the river with hand-made osenbei and taiyaki. Very simple and pleasant moment I always look forward to. For more excitement, my sister and her husband always have some new restaurants for us to try. This summer we went to Ayu Tei restaurant. My brother-in-law is a friend of the chef and they treated us with such abundant delicacies. We could hardly finish all the dishes served. I actually don’t remember how many courses there were. What impressed me most was a sashimi salad. I would go there anytime. We had pictures taken with the chef, Uchiyama-san, and his assistant, miss pirate.

We did not have a chance this time, but we love to visit Pamplona, yes, Spanish restaurant in Matsumoto area. They have paella, of course, but also black rice, which is cooked with squid ink. Absolutely delicious. Apparently, there is a meat shop in Japan producing sobrasada for some years now, not to mention jamon and chorizo, and they had them at the restaurant. Being from Spain, my DH tried the sobrasada. He said it was quite good.

Last but not least, we always visit Abura-Ya Chinese restaurant. It is a small shop but always busy. My DDs talk about it all the time, dreaming of going back there.

I am sure there are many more places I should be visiting. For one, I need to go to Sakura-ya where they serve only eels, that’s it.

Well, I am writing this entry at night and I’d better stop. Or else, I will need to snack on something.