FLAK baby cable ‘issues’

March 8, 2006

This is sort of a ‘help me, please’ message for those of you doing the FLAK knitalong…..

My baby cables look weird.  I’m prepared to continue them the way they are for the duration of the back, but would like them to look….better?….on the front.  Any chance you guys have thoughts on this?

The first picture is my baby cables (on either side of a horseshoe).  I have one right-leaning and one left-leaning.

The second picture is my honeycomb cables–made the same way.

You can click on the pics to enlarge them…..

I can’t figure out why they turn out differently, when I’m working them the same way?  The baby cables don’t *look* like cables, while the honeycombs do.

I’m working without a cable needle–right-twists are done by knitting the second stitch, then the first, while left-twists are done by knitting the second stitch from the back, and then the first.

Any ideas?


Thanks in advance.  🙂


My new dollie–might name her Alice.

March 5, 2006

I got a new doll yesterday.  🙂

She’s a wax over paper mache.  For you non-doll people, that means her head was made of paper mache, then dipped/coated in wax.  Then the wax was colored slightly to make facial features.  She’s got a mohair wig, and, the neat thing–sleep eyes!

Her body is cloth, and limbs are wonderfully molded/sculpted paper mache–she’s got these little blue boots, and even little dimples on the backs of her elbows.  She has a squeaker mechanism, which long ago stopped squeaking.  🙂  And her clothes appear to be original….

I think she looks a little Alice-in-Wonderland-ish.  🙂

Now for the pics:

Knitting Olympics update……

February 28, 2006

Okay, so I didn’t make it.

However…..I did learn and become proficient at a new technique, and I am 2/3 of the way done with the hat.  *Plus*, I did sit out a week ‘injured’ in the middle where my wrists hurt (guess I should’ve done some strength training before attempting this much two-handed fair isle knitting?).  So I don’t feel *so* bad…….

Meanwhile, here’s a pic:


knitting project pictures…..

February 17, 2006

Okay, here are the pictures:

First, Clapotis:  (since yesterday I’ve done the first three ‘drops’, as well–when I took the pic you couldn’t see much, ‘cept the pooling of the Noro Cotton Iroha I got in Japan)

Then, the Fair Isle Sampler Hat (so far I’ve only used nine of the fourteen required Jamieson & Smith colors):

And, finally, the FLAK sweater:  (for those of you not playing along with the FLAK group, this is the shoulder ‘saddles’ and the beginning of the back–and I’m using KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Snickerdoodle–I’m only on the third skein)

Sorry about the lighting–I was trying to catch the last bit of natural light, and the camera flash worked against me.  🙂  These are positioned on the railing of my back deck.  Since these photos were taken I managed to get ahold of some adequate needles for the Fair Isle hat–I was using a Boye interchangeable, and it kept coming unscrewed and catching the yarn–fair isle yarn is ‘sticky’ by definition, so it really slowed me down and was quite frustrating.  I’m still a lesson behind on the FLAK sweater, but I’m working on catching up.  And the hat has to be done by the end of the Olympics……the Clapotis has no deadline, but is my brainless knitting of the moment.  🙂

More Japan pics coming soon, I promise.  🙂


February 14, 2006

For those of you waiting eagerly for the next installment (hahaha….), know that I’m home, and de-jet-lagging.  I got to my house around noon on Saturday, Maryland time, and slept most of the day.  Yesterday was transitional, and I took today off ’cause my dad had foot surgery (he’s doing really well, etc….).

I will be finishing my Japan updates with pictures shortly, and updating on my non-back-burner knitting projects–the FLAK knitalong, the Knitting Olympic Challenge from the Yarn Harlot (I’m doing the Fair Isle Sampler Hat, from Interweave Knits, Winter 2004), and a Clapotis shawl (which was my relaxation knitting on the plane–I’ve worked a little over one skein of Noro Iroha, which I found, on sale, at Okadaya in Tokyo).

Photos to follow.  🙂


February 10, 2006

This is the area in which I’ve been working. Odaiba is right on the water. First, some photos of the Telecom Center, which is an architectural landmark.  The lobby, shown here, is also sometimes used by the TV studio nearby to shoot airport scenes.  There are three or four restaurants, a convenience store, and a coffee bar.

These are all shots of the lobby/inside area. I’m hoping to get one of the outside as well.

Also, Aqua City, home of Toys-R-Us. 🙂 It’s a little mall. These are exterior shots, of both Aqua City, and from the side of Aqua City of the Rainbow Bridge. And there’s a Statue of Liberty there, too.


*slightly* too much sake…..

February 9, 2006

Went out tonight with the fellows I trained on the system, and the guys I worked with while I was here tonight.  I had a *little* to much sake.  🙂  But it was a lot of fun…..I enjoyed it.  Except for the fact that I smell all smoky now.  😦  The food was interesting–we had something called nabe, which is more a style of food.  The main part of our dinner cooked in an iron pot on a portable gas stove for most of our meal.  Veggies and meats and tofu cooked in it for awhile, and then we dished some out into little bowls containing egg and some kind of sauce.  Aside from that there was tofu, and sashimi, and noodles, and salad, and even french fries and deep-fried oysters (that plate looked like chicken nuggets and fries to me for awhile….).  Everything was quite good.  🙂  And, despite the language barrier (only two of the guys with us were very proficient in English, two more are okay with it, and the rest knew very little) we had a lot of fun.  🙂  I do have pictures, but at the moment I’m feeling a little lazy so I won’t hook up the digital camera till tomorrow.  🙂

I have the TV on in the room and I think I’ve been watching the Japanese equivalent of the Carol Duvall show.  I just watched a lady make very realistic-looking baskets using magazine pages and wire–the papers were wrapped around something to make little tubes, and the tubes were put over wire, and used to make baskets.  Once they were painted, you had no idea they were just magazines……

The bulk of our work here is done, and it went quite well.  I’m pretty happy with it.  Glad to have things come together, but sorry to go home so soon.  I could spend another week sightseeing and still not have enough time.

Now I’m starting in on repacking the suitcases…..I’m a terrible overpacker to begin with, so this is always a struggle for me…..

I’ve been watching much too much CNN–mostly because it is in English……usually in the evening there’s an American/English-language movie on one of the channels here–tonight it’s something that maybe could be Laurence of Arabia?  It looks like it could be, anyway.  I watched most of Casablanca the other night.  But sometimes the movies are dubbed, rather than subtitled in Japanese, and that isn’t good for me.  I think I’ve increased my 12 words to 25 or 30, but still it’s not enough to enjoy a movie in the language. Just enough to torment me when I watch Japanese cartoons over here.  😦

I’m going to work some more on my FLAK sweater before I go to sleep–hopefully the sake won’t cause *too* many mistakes…..  🙂  I made a bit of progress while at the Tokyo Stitch-n-Bitch Tuesday night (which was *great*!  Lots of fun!).

More later, with some pictures–I figure those of you who are reading are over-pictured at this point, anyway.  🙂

Sunday in Harajuku…..

February 8, 2006

Okay, so I know I’m posting a lot, but I’m trying to compartmentalize and to share pics and info with a lot of people at once.  So, try and keep up.  🙂  I’m only here for three more days, anyway…..  🙂

 Spent the early part of the day Sunday in Harajuku. Went with the intention of seeing the Togo Temple, and the flea market they have there a couple Sunday mornings a month. From the Harajuku station, we wandered down the street with all of the trendy and punk shops……

From there we went to the Togo Shrine, which was lovely, despite the extreme cold. There was also a couple getting married–I got a picture. And I met a lovely family from Chicago, and took their picture with their camera-in return they took a picture of me with mine.

And there was a cat which I had to immortalize for my cat-loving friends.  There were actually several, but this was the only one that was cooperative…..

I guess there is a resort of some sort next to the shrine? 

A wedding couple in traditional clothing……wish I could’ve gotten a better pic of her kimono, it was beautiful……

And, in an area next to the shrine, was the flea market! A lot like the antique show/flea markets I frequent at home. Except for the language barrier…..

The booth where I got two kids’ kimonos and a kids’ vest….to display or use for silk fabric, haven’t decided……anybody have silk laundering tips?

This is where I found my boxed Ichimatsu doll. 🙂 And some used silk childrens’ kimonos, and a small $1 bobblehead kokeshi, and a $5 1930s-ish Japanese cloth doll. Very Lenci-like, actually. 🙂 It was neat–they had a lot of china, and household goods, and interesting furniture with lots of little drawers. And netsuke, but I restrained myself on that count–not to mention being out of cash. 🙂 I barely had enough to get me back to the hotel…. 🙂 We also had pizza at Pizza Express, which was lovely, after being without pizza for so long. 🙂

Then we went to *KIDDYLAND*! I got some doll books I’d wanted, but nothing else. It was mobbed, as it was a Sunday and the young people were out in full force.

And, for those of you who are worried, no new dolls from Kiddyland. Couple of books, but no dolls. 🙂

comic relief: the Hamamatsucho dude.

February 8, 2006

My coworker and I were on the train one evening, looking out the window. The train stopped at Hamamatsucho, and we heard water running. We finally realized there was a fountain on the platform, and turned to look.The fountain was one of those little cherubs peeing. I think the original is in Belgium? In any case, there were lovely flowers planted around it, and someone had dressed the little guy like an Olympic skier! Check it out!


Saturday Evening at Yuzawaya……

February 7, 2006

Saturday after my doll excursion I returned to the hotel briefly to drop off packages and get some water. Then I was off again. This is a view from the walkway between the hotel and Shimbashi station.

Then, a view up one of the longer escalators, in the Tokyo train station.

And a view of the washi paper selection at this great craft place called Yuzawaya. It was so overwhelming and fun that I forgot to take more pictures! They had to kick me out when it closed at 8:30–coincidentally, just as I found the yarn section. I played dumb and acted like I was looking for the elevator…. 🙂

Found some amazing fabric, which I think I’ll use to make some kind of a throw. It depicts Japanese-style 1930s rag dolls. Aren’t they cool? One fabric is square panels, the other is an all-over print. I also got some (heavily clearanced….) regular quilting fabric with a Japanese print. That picture didn’t come out–will have to re-take that one.