Friday, March 28, 2008

Japan Booty

My apologies for not being able to post sooner. I usually blog during Maxime's morning nap (after such minor details as showering and cleaning up the morning's mess), but he decided he'd had enough after 45 minutes this morning (as opposed to his usual hour and a half). I'm hoping he'll make up for it by sleeping longer this afternoon.

Without further ado, here's my Japan loot, as promised:

Great, huh? What? You wanted more details than that? Oh. Well, OK then. ;)

First up, here's 5 balls of Diaexceed Silk Mohair. Even though, as it turns out, there's no actual silk in this yarn (it's a cotton, wool, mohair and nylon blend), I really love the sheen on this yarn, it gives it a subtle, luminescent hue. And I adore the colour. I'm thinking of using this for Juno. You know, someday. Maybe.

Next, we've got this reeeeaaaaally soft yarn. I was pulled towards it by the name (it's called Cashmere Touch, and being a softness ho', I couldn't NOT squeeze it) and I really loved the colour and texture. So I bought 5 balls, thinking I'd keep it for some as-yet-to-be-determined project. Then, yesterday Kate-the-Enabler and I were trying to figure out just how much cashmere there actually WAS in this yarn (I knew it was a blend, 80% something, 10% something, and 10% something else). So after Googling around for a few minutes, we stumbled on this great site (I had actually bookmarked their Japanese-English Knitting Dictionary before we left), and discovered, much to my inner fiber-snob's horror, that it was 80% ACRYLIC!!! Aaaaaaack! As Kate said, I wish we hadn't found that accursed site, I would never have known that I had been duped by deceptive softness into purchasing acrylic. However, it DOES have 10% cashmere, so that's what I'll be focusing on. We shan't speak of the rest.

I also picked up this cute package of 3 skeins of Make-Make, by Olympus, a DK weight wool/mohair blend, featured here with a cute wind-up sheep that Phil bought me in Kyoto (isn't he adorable???). There's a whole story behind that sheep, and Phil's been bugging me to tell you all about it, but I don't know how much time I've got here, and we've still got lots of yarn to cover, so I'm sure he'll be glad to tell it in the comments (when he gets around to reading this). I've got about 200 yards worth in this kit, but I don't really know what I'm going to use it for yet. Maybe some mittens? Love the colour.

Now, when I first mentioned I might be going to Japan, Robyn emailed me telling me that I absolutely had to go, and that I must purchase some Hello Kitty yarn. I remember wondering if indeed there WAS such a thing? I didn't find any (not that it would have surprised me if I had, there's freakin' Hello Kitty stuff EVERYWHERE over there), but I did pick up a Hello Kitty BOOK!!!It's actually mostly crochet patterns, but when Jun picked it out for me in Tokyo, I knew I had to buy it. I also picked up a copy of Men's Knit, Clear & Simple Knitting Symbols ('cause they're not the same as ours) and a book of crochet flower doilies (I couldn't find a link for that one). Wow!!! Can you believe the Needle Arts Book Shop's selection of Japanese knitting books????? I knew she had SOME, but I had no idea how many!!! I could have stayed home! :)

All this stuff was from Yuzawaya, by the way, our FIRST stop during our yarn crawl. From there we went to Avril (or Habu textiles), where I picked up these little gems. First up:

A lovely skein of really raw, 100% silk. I can't really be more precise than that (other than to say it appears to be lace weight, and I really like it), because Avril has these really great, descriptive names for their yarns (like A-13, or N-19 knitted ramie), and even THAT'S not written on the label. This yarn just spoke to me. It looks and feels very organic, and I think it'll make a fabulous something or other some day :)

Finally, there's this lovely variegated wool/silk. You'll notice (how astute of you!) that it's on a cone. The thing about Avril is that most of their yarns are on cones along the wall, and when you find something you want, you take the cone to the lady at the counter and tell her how much you want and she winds it up for you (it's actually pretty neat). The only problem with that is that they don't calculate yarn quantity by length in Japan, but rather by weight (so, for instance, you'd tell the girl you want 100 grams). They do give you a rough estimate of length for a certain weight, however. For instance, 100g would equal 400 meters. Considering that a) despite living in Canada (and using the metric system) I can't figure metric and yarn quantities (how many YARDS, man???) b) I then had to use math to figure how many grams = how many meters = how many yards and c) I never know how much I need for any project besides socks, even when I have all the relevant information, when it comes to this yarn, there is but one certainty: no matter what I choose to make with it, I will run out.

And I think that about covers it! Moderate stash enhancement (definitely not so much that I had to mail some home to myself!). I'm now on a yarn fast until I get the Japan debts taken care of.

I'll end this post with a picture of my daughter, Émilie, proudly showing off her newly pierced ears this morning. She's been talking about wanting to get her ears pierced since we got home from Japan, and we finally went yesterday afternoon. She picked out the earrings by herself, and didn't cry a single tear when they did it, as opposed to her mother who, despite being considerably older when she had her ears pierced (I was about 8), cried like a lunatic and wanted to run out of the jewelry store after they had done only one side (they do both at once now). I was so proud of her!!!!! My little princess is really starting to grow up.

Oh, and one more thing: my apologies to those of you who have a slow Internet connection and clicked on my Japan pictures. I didn't have Photoshop on the laptop while we were there, so I didn't resize them to my usual 800x600 when I posted them on the blog, and I sort of forgot about it when I got home. These are resized, so you can click away! Sorry!


Mrhide said...

- The wind-up toys story -

For some reason, I had in my mind that japan stores would be full of wind-up toys. Turns out I was wrong so we searched and searched for those things every where without finding them, including a 7 story toy store that had "USB Humping Dog" (google it!!) but no wind-up toys.. (still should have gotten those dogs!)

Anyway ... finally I think our very last day in kyoto, somewhere in the ginormous train station don't I find, wind-up toys AND IT'S A SHEEP!! how good is that !

oh .. and don't I bring Emilie to see the sea monster in 3d at IMAX in montreal to find that the "science store" right next to it is full of, you guessed it, wind-up toys !! I ended up buying 7 of them ... ( whale, dolphin, boat, submarine, frog, turtle, robot)

Knit & Purl Mama said...

That's some nice loot! You better bring some on Monday so I can fondle!

I was 4 when I got my ears pierced by Jenn's next door neighbor. (Got my ears pierced at Jenn's house). They did one ear and had to fight me to do the other. (And now, I have like 12 holes between 2 years - LOL) She's such a cutie with her ears pierced!

Knit & Purl Mama said...

That wasn't me about Hello Kitty - I actually despise Hello Kitty!@

Jessica said...

I'm so glad she decided to do it. Bravo Emilie! Hope you had a good weekend. :)

Sereknitty said...

Ooooh, what yummy yarn! I can't wait to see what you create from it. Your little cutie looks so adorable, proudly showing off her newly pierced ears. So brave! Like you, after they did the first one for me, I was about done!

birana said...

Nice shopping! I love the one you want to makes mittens with. Too cute you little Emilie with her earrings.