Monster Knit Rally

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Japanese Craft Books: (The Long Awaited) Post 4

This book of button crafts is the last of the four Japanese craft books I got at Kinokuniya Bookstore in NYC. The title is all in Japanese and the ISBN is 4-579-11063-3. The majority of the projects in the book are jewelry, but there are also some embellished bags, scarves and wall decorations.
I would wear these earrings in a heartbeat. Even if they were too big and made my head look small and funny.

This bag is made entirely of buttons... I don't think I have the patience for a project like that.
This bag seem more reasonable, just using buttons as an embellishment.

As I found with the other books, although the majority of the instructions are in Japanese, the diagrams are remarkably clear. The English text in this book includes project and page numbers (so you can easily tell which diagram and instructions goes with which pretty picture) and measurements (in mm) along with each diagram.

Perhaps my favorite part of the book is all the amazing buttons. They run the gamut from kitschy and cute to delicately lovely, and I want to have them all myself so I can sort and re-sort them into little piles by color, theme, size, shape and so on. Does anyone else do this or is it just me?

See my other Japanese craft books in posts 1, 2 and 3.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A day of relaxation

Today was a rare, coveted day of no work, no obligations, no chores... nothing but sleeping in, a lovely hike and picnic lunch with my sweetie, a simple home-cooked dinner, and a little vegging out with TV and computer before bed.
The view from the rim of the canyon we hiked into.
Looks more like the Caribbean than Arizona. The shallower water was not this color, but many of the pools in the canyon had this amazing hue to them (partly due to algae I think).
An elk carcass, picked clean. If you look closely, you can see the clumps of hair scattered around on the ground. I also thought it was neat that the head is split open, and the brain presumably eaten, along with all the other edible parts.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Corners of my home and mail goodies

This is a spot I look at a lot - right on the counter next to the sink. I love the Japanese cat soap dish and the handmade lavender soap (both from my mom). The black bowl is filled with very strong ginger candies and some dried, salty plums (I think they are plums) which I have not been brave enough to try yet.
This is another spot in my apartment that I see a lot, though I rarely stop and look at it. The peephole has a tiny hinged door with a little latch to keep it closed. I think I opened and closed it about a dozen times when we first moved in to this apartment, then forgot about it.

Just as I was struggling to get over the flu a week or two ago, I received this wonderful package from my (formerly) Secret Pal. The swap was already over, and she had sent me several packages already, so I am thinking of this one as a bonus.
This lovely little Pea Pod Cardigan is from the book Knit 2 Together by Tracey Ullman and Mel Clark, that was part of the package above. I am tempted to make it, but it's hard to tell if it would be as cute on someone more busty than the model. Why are knitwear models always so lacking in curves?

Overall, I like this book a lot. There are several patterns that I would never make, several that are pretty similar to patterns I've seen elsewhere, and most importantly, several unique patterns that I would consider making, including knit bloomers (I know, I'm silly) and a neat carpetbag.

I think this was my favorite item that my Secret Pal sent - some Malabrigo yarn in a lovely pink and almost earth tone colorway. I immediately started making a cable and rib hat with it, which I finished a couple of days ago... just in time for some 60 and 70 degree sunshiney days. At least it's done for next winter.