Yay for the first annual Keito Date-o!!
I had a great time this past sunday in Yoyogi at the first annual Keito Date-O. Cassandra Harada of Fiber Republic and Hitsujidama did a great job organizing this event with the help of the fantastic yarn shop Keito.
At the event there was a show and tell, yarn tasting, spinning demonstration, a presentation from Takako Sasakubo about her project working with knitters affected by the 2011 tsunami and a prize drawing.
I had a lot of fun getting to know some other knitters and it was very exciting to see what everyone was working on.
I was on Pinterest the other day and I came across these super squee cat puppets. I thought they were amazing so I clicked through to find Oh Happy Day’s description of their Cat Party. It looked like so much fun so I decided to make a few of my own puppets.
Instead of cats, I decided to use photos of my family members. We are an international family so we don’t get to see each other very often and I thought it would be fun for my 3 year old niece to have these puppets to play with. I love the way they turned out and I hope my she likes them.
I’ve just released my new pattern Bone China. It is a lacy cowl/snood knit in a light soft baby alpaca. The pattern name comes from the creamy color of the yarn. It reminded me of beautiful porcelain cups decorated with delicate arabesque patterns. I can imagine myself wearing it while sifting though old needlework magazines at a flea market or enjoying a brisk spring walk.
Just a bit of local color. The cherry blossoms were early this year and are almost gone now.
I’m so excited! Xuxa is now available for download here.
Ock Pop Tock means east meets west and it is the name of an incredibly cool organization in Luang Prabang, Laos. This organization seeks to promote local artisans and increase awareness of Lao textiles.
This past fall, my boy and I were able to visit their Living Craft Centre where we took a half day class on using natural dyes. We started out in the morning at one of the two Ock Pop Tok shops in downtown Luang Prabang and were taken by tuk-tuk to the Living Craft Centre. After we arrived we had a tour of their onsite weaving facilities, we met some silk worms and learned a little bit about the worms and types of silk, we had a brief introduction to the ingredients used in natural dyes and then were taken on a tour of the garden where some of the ingredients were growing.
Then we got down to business. We each chose 3 colors- for two hanks of silk and 1 scarf. Out in the garden and we collected some branches of indigo and leaves of lemongrass. The lemongrass smelled wonderful but my hands stung a bit afterward. Preparing the dyes was a lot of hard work but fun. We had to chop the sappan wood into slim sticks (yes I cut my finger), crush the indigo with a mortar and pestle, pick the annatto seeds from their pods and then those seeds had to be crushed into powder. Then it was the dyeing process- lot of dipping, boiling, rinsing and repeating.
The time really flew by and the class was over before we knew it. We hung our items on the line to dry and then settled down in The Silk Route Cafe for some refreshments while we waited. The cafe was wonderful. It is situated near the banks of the Mekong so while you eat, you can watch the river peacefully flow by.
I was really pleased with the results. The colors produced by the natural dyes are so vibrant and alive. I have yet to decide what to do with the hanks of silk. They are very fine so they would be more appropriate for lace work.
If I had a chance I would love to go back and take another class. They offer weaving classes for the loom and also bamboo weaving as well as a class on Hmong Batik. I highly recommend their classes and everyone I met at Ock Pop Tok (at the shop and the Living Craft Centre) was incredibly kind and helpful.
Most photos taken by Soshi Sudo.
It was hard to choose which colors I wanted from the basket of neon Manos Maxima. I wanted them all of course but I decided on 2110 - Zinnia and 2431 - Helium.
After I got them home I spent the two months staring at them trying to decide how to artfully blend the two without having one color overwhelm the other. So after flipping through my stitch dictionaries, I found a simple graphic cable pattern that I thought would work perfectly as slipped stitch pattern.
The cowl itself is wide about 9” by 22” laid flat. I’m not sure but hopefully it will be able to be double wrapped.
I love how the two colors clash and I am very pleased with the end result. I want it to finish blocking soon so I can wear it!
ETA: I am planning on writing up the pattern and it will be available in the next few months on Ravelry.
Just finished! A baby blanket for a friend.
ETA: This is something I designed. There is no pattern for it yet.
I recently came across these photos of Fibrofiber’s Nightfall Worsted on Fancy Tiger’s blog and now I desperately want to get my hands on this yarn. I love black with anything but these vibrant colors are to die for (dye for?).
I was lucky enough to visit Fancy Tiger’s shop in December and came away with a major yarn haul that I have yet to tap. Unfortunately I didn’t see this yarn or it was out of stock. The blog also has some pretty awesome crochet projects made with this yarn. If you’d like to check them out you can find the post here- http://www.fancytiger.blogspot.jp/2013/01/magical-to-max-fibrofibers-nightfall.html