Monster Knit Rally

Friday, November 24, 2006

Japanese Craft Books: Post 2

As promised, here is another of the Japanese craft books I recently acquired. The Japanese bookstore had the infamous (in the blog world) Machine Made Patchworks 1 & 2, but after leafing through several options, I went with this book instead:
Suzuko Koseki's Patchwork Quilts: Tradition, Textile, Machine a Coudre, ISBN 4-529-04182-4. I had no idea when I bought it, but when looking it up online, I discovered it has the same author as the Machine Made Patchworks books.

These bags are very cute. The circle shapes are very typical of the crafts I've seen inspired by Japanese craft books. Even though I've seen a lot of circles (this pouch, these totes, these tags, this bag), it doesn't make me like them any less. However, it did make me more excited to see something quite unexpected:
I really love tree and leaf shapes in crafts, so when I saw these, I couldn't resist this book. I don't think my sewing skills are up to this level of applique, but I can drool. Perhaps I'll try to knit something with a leaf shape soon... I've seen some cute knitted leaf earrings.
Here are the botanical shapes done on a larger scale. It's almost too much, but I still adore it and would love to have something like this in my home!

I don't sew much, and most of what I sew is very basic, so I don't think I'll be doing many of the projects in this book, but I hope to work up to them eventually.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Japanese Craft Books: Post 1

As I mentioned, I picked up a few craft books at a Japanese bookstore in NYC. They are all so gorgeous, and have a very different aesthetic than most American craft books. Who cares if I can't read most of the instructions? They're mostly for inspiration anyway.

I have four books to share. I've decided to share them one at a time to keep my posts manageable, and also tease you a bit.
The only English on the cover is the word Tanu (I was able to find it by searching "tanu" at and the ISBN is 4-529-04306-1.
The book is divided into sections: snow, penguin, scenery, flower,
forest of autumn, and baby leaf (actually sprouts).

The instructions have plenty of photos and illustrations, so despite the lack of English text, many of the projects should be fairly easy to figure out. The book has both wet-felted and needle-felted projects, and I really like the occasional incorporation of other materials (as in the mobile pictured above).

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Thanks, Secret Pal

When I arrived home from my trip, there was a package waiting for me from my Secret Pal. (She thoughtfully sent it early in an attempt to gave it arrive before I left, but packages seem to be slow arriving here, so it was a nice treat to come home to.) Inside, I found Rainbow Boucle yarn in the perfect colorway for me (red, deep red, a little brown), a needle case for carrying my straight needles on the go, a needle guage, and some cute little sticky notes for marking pages in whatever craft or cookbooks I currently have out from the library. Yay! An excellent package (thanks again, SP!), and I can't wait to see what else is in store for me.

The pal I secretly send things to has received her first package, and it seems to be quite a hit. That's all I'll say, as I don't want to reveal too much and have my pal figure out who I am.

On the other hand, I need to do a little detective work to start trying to figure out who my Secret Pal is. Any hints, SP?

Saturday, November 18, 2006


So November hasn't been a very productive blogging month for me so far, but I have a lot to share, so I will try to remedy that in the next week or so.

The rest of my trip to Budapest and Romania was wonderful. I got to spend lots of time with a very good friend I hadn't seen in much too long, as well as get acquainted with someone very important to her. We also visited several castles (pictured below is Bran Castle in Romania), ate some very good food, and enjoyed the season's first snowfall. It feels really good to be home, but it also would have been nice to have more time to travel and explore.

I spent a couple of days in NYC on either end of my trip, and I have a few restaurant and shopping recommendations to share with you in a future post. I also got to visit a Japanese bookstore there and buy my first Japanese craft books. There were so many choices, I ended up with 4 for myself, and one for a friend. They will require a post of their own. And finally, you can also look forward to a post about my Rhinebeck acquisitions, as soon as I get a chance to take pictures.

Hope you're all doing well!