Monday, July 28, 2008

the staycation

knitting has been on  hold. i am finding i am not as in love with my knitpicks options as i thought i was. so i don't feel like knitting with them. maybe all i need is a break from them. the summer heat and my ufo add has me crocheting quick and dainty projects. plus, i just LOVE my hamanaka rakuraku crochet hooks. to pieces! i have both the regular set and the lace hooks. somehow this summer i became a threadie. who knew!

so, Nozomisan was nice enough to translate that freaking book for me. the whole book ! in like a week. she's crazy. but i am thank-ful. i learned the tatting. it's hard stuff. i made this little motif practice thing with size 10 thread. 

sure, i made a mistake or two but i got the gist.
 i immediately took up the size 80 and tried a different motif with that. ha! size 80 is no joke. i have had to cut the thread like three times. i will make that stupid thing though! -i think. somehow. it's hard work. now that i know the mechanics of tatting i just dunno what i wanna make. collar edgings and table runners aren't really my style. plus those are kinda huge projects. i have to conquer this other motif first then i will worry about that.

Nihonjin kurafuto?
my adoration for all things cute-ly crafted inevitable-y and eventually lead me into the world of  crafts japanese style. it doesn't help that-well, actually it does help, it does, that i have a Kinokuniya a hope, skip, and jump from me. amigurumi, tawashi and little crocheted coasters and fabulous little fluffy handmade yumminess-i am into it all. and still i haven't woken up with the magical ability to read and speak japanese fluently like that girl did in Heroes. poo. until then i will have to make due. ( i do have that Rosetta Stone. i give it a thumbs up. i just don't do the lessons as often as i should.)
 i have learned, from these japanese books,  to read a chart. a wonder in itself, the charted crochet pattern allows for no loss in translation. actually, i can't go chartless now. there is just too much ambiguity in written out patterns. even in english. 


the business end
all this dabbling in japanese craft and acquisition of many japanese pattern books inevitably and naturally led to a search for japanese yarns. the yarns they make for tawashi are silver ion treated acrylic with antibacterial properties ideal for cleaning ( ehem, 'ta-washi' carries an audible resemblance to the english words 'to wash'. coincidentally that is the purpose of tawashi, to wash. dishes...etc.). the cottons they use for these home projects, even just through photos, seem of a different origin. much more representative of the cozy comfy cotton we use for clothes. more reminiscent of the plant the fiber came from. in texture and weight that kitchen cotton cannot compete with. 
the antibacterial acrylics like Cafe Kitchen iw as able to find in ichigonopantsu's etsy shop. gotta love the ravelry connections. but delicious cotton! that was different task.  this project from this book as seen on this blog  started it all. 
substituting this yarn was waaay more difficult than i thought it was gonna be. the yarns that i found were too thick too thin and too rough looking. so i started lookin for this Hamanaka Paume which is the yarn suggested and  couldn't find it anywhere! now i got my own etsy shop,, so the next person looking for it won't have to look that hard.
this bag was made with a sport weight or dk cotton called CottonnottoC . also a hamanaka concoction. i haven't found that one... yet.

Monday, July 7, 2008

tatting is japanese to me!

like the language i can' t decipher this new craft demon, which is only one of so many, taunts me by making me buy this book:
i wasn't even looking for it! i was in Kinokuniya checking out the crochet books and BAM! this here tatting book was on the shelf. it was the only one and the demon inside snapped it up with no concern of cost. or more pertinant, how will i use this book if i can't read it.

whatever. it's part of my library now. there are some cute motif-y charts in there. which are the most elementary tatting practice i have found so far. i think the tatting demon is satisfied enough to rest. for the moment.