Monday, August 11, 2014

Moving day

Hello friends!

I've started a new website and moved my blog over there as well.  This is my last post here. You can find it at  Hope to see you there.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Before and After: Pincushion makeover

I've been using the cheap felt pincushion on the left for almost ten years, when I bought it thinking it would hold me over until I could make something better.  Years and years later, I am so sick of using that thing!  I've been constantly reminded of how much I dislike it while doing lots of handwork for the Trip Around the World Challenge, and despite falling a bit behind on the challenge, I just had to whip out a new one before I could sew another stitch.

I'm quite pleased with the way the chevron pattern worked out, and hey! now I can use those colorful straight pins I had been saving for no good reason.  This weekend it's down to work!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

My Trip Around the World Challenge

I was talking with my mom a few weeks ago when she told me about Brigitte Giblin's Trip Around the World Challenge Facebook group.  Although I do have a few projects in progress, I'm always keen to start something new and this challenge gives me enough external motivation to stick with it.  We hung up the phone and I was already pulling fabrics out of my stash.  Despite bringing quite a lot of fabric back from Japan, I have a lot of small quantities so it wasn't easy to decide what to use.  I spread out all of my favorites and played around with them for hours.  I was about to give up when I decided just to take the top fabrics off the pile.  

I wasn't convinced that I had picked the best fabrics but I am enjoying how they all come together.  The piece grew steadily at first and after finishing row 5, I was on a roll!  As I have gotten further through the rounds though, I've gotten busier and seem to have less and less time to dedicate to my project each evening.

I've got 8 rows down now and I'm just itching to pick out the fabrics for the next assignment, rows 10-18.  We have a bit less time to finish these first assignments than I was counting on, but I'm still optimistic. It's obviously called a challenge for a reason.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Back to Blogging: Then and Now

Then and now

I started my first blog ten years ago, and I was a dedicated blogger for the first six years I lived Japan.  It all started as a way to share my adventures overseas with my friends and family at home, and get my mom's input on my knitting projects.  I never expected that people who didn't already know me would be interested in what I was writing, but I was surprised to make many new friends through my blogs in addition to everyone I knew at home.  

After moving to Tokyo for a new job, I traveled a lot and what little free time I had was spent exploring new hobbies rather than posting to my blogs.  As my posts were slowing to a trickle, I missed a notice from my blog hosting domain and my blog disappeared into an online poof of smoke.  Just like that!  All my years of goofy posts were gone in a flash.

I was so upset!  The content of my blog posts was intact in html form, but I didn't have the time or energy to reconstruct my blog online, so I took it as a sign.  I wished for a way to get in touch with my readers about my site's untimely end, but just reached out with a few personal emails and moved on. Luckily, I could stay in touch with many friends over the years and have recently been reunited with others through social media these past few years as well.

Looking at the photos above, it doesn't seem like a whole lot has changed.  I can't believe how much time has passed since my first post in 2004, but I'm happy to be back online again for a lot of the same reasons I started blogging in the first place.

Monday, June 9, 2014


I started Bitterroot a few weeks ago when I was in need of a new lace project.  I've been picking up and putting down my granny square project for years now, but it can't seem to keep my interest beyond a few squares.  This is the perfect lace project to keep my attention, and started with some yarn from my stash, too.  I was about to post how this is my favorite part of a triangular shawl project.  Just far enough in that I have memorized the lace pattern, but not so close to the end that the rows are pushing 300 stitches. 

You might notice that there are no needles in this photo though.  Even worse than interminable rows at the end of these projects are those moments when you realize you messed up some increases a while back.  At least I found it before making it much further!  I spent a bit of this rainy afternoon carefully making my way back to the problem area, and now I'm all set to enjoy the project again.  The details are on Ravelry.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Colorful designs for everyday life

As it's gotten warmer here, I've spent less and less time beneath my quilt and more and more time working on a whole new line of projects on the computer.  I've enjoyed making my own stationery and holiday cards for the last few years, so I decided to start an Etsy shop with some new card designs this spring.  It's still a work in progress but I've finally gotten my shop up and running.  Let me know what you think!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Replenishing my dishcloth stash

Ever since finishing my Echo Flower Shawl I haven't been focused enough to do the casting on for a completely new project so I've just been cranking out these handy ballband dishcloths from Mason Dixon Knitting.  I've made so many that I don't have to count rows, check needle size or any of the other project prep that keeps me from starting all those other patterns in my queue.  The only problem is I'm running low on Sugar'n Cream so it won't be on deck as my permanent standby project much longer.  

Currently accepting suggestions for mindless spring knitting.