Monday, April 30, 2007


Blue Faced Leicester
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
But plying is waiting for me...

I've spun 200g of Blue Faced Leicester top. Started on 27th March, it took me two months to finish. Well, though I also spun other fiber, it took too long. The thickness of the yarn is quite different from the start and the end.
Still, I got improved so much from spinning BFL. The yarn thickness are getting constant and I can spin more than used to. The fiber was in good condition, that's why.
Now, I'm trying hard on spinning the yarn with constant twist. The yarn I spun has strong twist in some part and weak twist in other part. I'm not sure how I can achieve that goal, but anyway, I'd give it a go.

And I've already bought another 200g of BFL top (200g is a little more than 7 oz. by the way). I'm thinking of spinning it finer and knit some lace.


Sunday, April 29, 2007

Colourul Socks

Gentleman's Fancy Socks - Altered
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
I've made two pair of socks recently. All the knitting was done on the commute train or bus. Only a few parts such as turbular cast-off, Kitchner stitch, and so on, were done at home.

The green socks are made with Schaffer Anne and the pattern is _Gentleman's Fancy Socs_ in _Knitting Vintage Socks_. But I made a lot of changes. For example, the pattern says you start from the cuff, but I started from the toe with magic-cast-on; I chose short-row with wrap for the heels; I didn't add stitches for calves; and the length are shorter than the pattern.
Still, I followed some part of the pattern.

Rib and Cable Socks

The red socks are made with Koigu KPPPM. The pattern is Rib and Cable Socks from _Interweave Knits Fall 2005_. I've alwasy wanted to knit this pair. I thought the pattern would be in _Favorite Socks_ but it isn't. Since it's been my next-to-knit list for a long time, I followed the most of the pattern, except toe. The pattern tells me the toe length is 7.5cm. And that is too long for my short foot. So, I made a little change at the toe. That's all.

I really love this sock and probably I will make another pair.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Sometimes Silk

Tatting with Silk Thread
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
I have swollen tonsils. I sometimes think of removing them, but at the same time, I think, "Well, they are there to tell me that I need some good rest."

Anyway, I slept almost all day today. When I was awake, I tatted a little. The motif on the left of the photo is what I tat so far with silk thread. And those are the threads I use to tat occasionally, especially with beads.

They are originally for buttonhole stitches. So I heared. The thread has sheen of silk, of course, and it is very strong. And you can choose your favorite from a bunch variety of colours. Sad to say, the colour variation is getting less maybe because we don't use this kind of thread very much.

It's been a while to tat with silk thread. It's very slippery, but silk makes me feel so good.

Silk Threads



I was thinking of going to the office on the 2nd of May. My boss said that I might take a rest.
I have 9-day holiday!
But I've caught a cold again...
Or, as nobody was infected from me, I just have swollen tonsils.

Anyway, I need a good rest.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Like an Elementary School Pupil

One more day to go and there comes a long holiday!
Oh, I can't wait no more.

This holiday, I'm planning to spin as much as I want. And washing all the scarves and hats I put on this winter. Also I'm thinking of going to Rowan Shop for new spring/summer products.

But, the most important task is this : going to bed and get up early.
What a boring plan for a week-long holiday.


Thursday, April 26, 2007

Big Project : Go for It or What?

I'm thinking of making a tatting lace scarf with Finca No.16. It would be a bunch of motifs and each of them'd be made with one shuttle. The motif I have in mind is designed by Ms. FUJITO Teiko and one that I took picture the other day.

Of course I have some problems.
Is it possible for me to finish such a big project? I actually doubt it. It would likely to become a large (hopefully) doily or table mat. And that's O.K. with me. At least I would be able to make something.

More serious (but somehow funny) problem is, "Wouldn't it be too delicate and way too elegant to put on if I could tat a scarf?"
I'm sure I would just hide the scrarf deep in my closet if I could achieve the goal. And forget about it. I'm not a person of elegance. All I wear daily is T-shirt and denim pants with my handknitted socks. That doesn't call for a dainty tatted scarf at all.

Well, there still are a few solutions fot this.
First, try to be an elegant person that tatted scarf really goes well.
...Yeah, I'm just kidding.
Second, look for someone that fit the scarf. This is much more likely.

And this is what you call needless fear.


Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Finca No.16

I happened to get this thread and gradually become to like this thread.
For tatting, my favourite threads are DMC Cebelia, Cordnet Special, and Special Dentelles. Also, I usually tat with Olympus #40 and someimes with silk threads made for buttonhole stitches.

Once in a while, I imagine there'd be wonderful thread to tat that I haven't encountered. Somewhere in the world, that precious thread would exist.
So I just keep on trying new threads to tat.

Finca thread is new to me. At first, I thought I liked this thread more if it had a bit stronger twist. But the finished lace works are so soft. It is so soft that I think it would be pretty to make a shawl, or something to wear. I have only two balls so I can't make a big thinkg like shawl or stole, but a scarf would be nice.

Is it possible for me to tat such a big thing?
That is the problem.


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Following the Pattern

I'm knitting Rib and Cable Socks by Nancy Bush (IW Knits Fall 2005). I've already made one. I'm about turn the heel and that is a problem.
I have to follow the pattern and I don't usually bring the pattern with me.

As already written, the heel of the sock doesn't fit me. But I won't frog and I'm sure I'm going to follow the pattern.
Why? It is fun to knit something different. It is fun to try something I've never done before.
I usually use short-row heel with wrap or ordinary heel flap. They are fine and hardly uncomfortable to wear. Still if there's a heel pattern that I've never tried, I definetely knit that pattern.
After all, you won't know how does it feel unless you knit it and try it on. If it doesn't fit you, it would be a nice sample for the future socks you knit. It could be one of your collection of different heel pattern. And I like that.

Well, I have to memorise how to turn the heel or take the pattern with me.

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Sunday, April 22, 2007

2 Rows at a Time

Tatted Motifs
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
This weekend, I was working on tatting 2 rows at a time. That means I tried mock picots and split rings to clime up the row.
I like split rings. I like the way they look. But I seldom use them because it is somewhat difficult for me to tat.

I went to the exhibition of tatting lace early this month, and there I saw a lot of beautiful works. Some were so wonderful that I couldn't tell where the tatters hid their ends. I know they worked row-by-row since the instructor of all doesn't like innovative techniques, such as split rings, self closing mock rings, even shoelace trikcs. He even hates to use two shuttles at a time.

I have clumsy hands and I'm really no good at hiding ends. So I decide to use mock picots and split rings to achieve better results.

The left motif is designed by Ms.FUJITO Teiko. There should be four picots each for outer rings, but I happened to tat five, only one ring has four. The right one is ... well, I'm sure I've seen it somewhere, but I can't remember. I was tugging my memory while tatting this.
Each of them are made with Finca No.16 Colour #35. It is very beautiful pale blue, almost white. The twist on the thread is rather weak and the work made of this thread is so soft. It must be wonderful to tat a shawl or stole from this thread.

I'm keep working on these techniques to improve my skills. They promise me the better result, and besides, it is so fun to working on them.


Saturday, April 21, 2007

An Experienced Beginner

That's what I am : an experienced beginner of knitting and crochet. I'm so experienced as a beginner. I wonder when I will be able to call myself an intermediate knitter.

By the way, as a tatter, I'm an intermediate beginner.

Tatting Challenge

Well, just a trifle.
I've been wanted to tat a shawl or a stole. It'd be nice with yarn. That would be a tons of works needed.
Shawls and stoles are too big, so how about a scarf?
It is difficult to tat with yarn. Wouldn't it be nice to tat with silk or cotton thread?

That's what I've been thinking lately.


Friday, April 20, 2007

User-Friendly Tools

It is very irritating to use new computer software (application? program? Whatever!) at the very first time. It says it's user-friendly. Who in the world is "user", anyway?
Well, I've got to used to Word, Excel and all. I can take them as what they are. Still, I don't think they are user-friendly at all.

Take a look at my knitting needles, crochet hooks, tatting shuttles, and spindles. They are the simplest tools among the world. Some see them too daunting, maybe because they are so simple.
But simplicity is the name of the game.

Excel was originally software for Macintosh. At that time, it was great. I had to work on other spreadsheet software before I came to know Excel. Oh, how horrible the software was! And, hey, what excellent software Excel was! I almost loved to work on it. Well...not actually. But it was far betther than other software like it.
But then, Excel has become humongous. The same is true of Word. Yeah, I know, the early versions of Word were not so kind to us. But still, it was word-processing software at that time. Now, can you call it word-processing software? Maybe, though you can do (or they insist you can do) much more things with using it. There are so many features that you can't name them all.

You only knit when you use knitting needles. Well, some of you might use them as hairpins or temporarily save your cops on them. But usually, knitting needles are used for knitting. The same can be said for other tools listed above : crochet hooks to crochet, tatting shuttles to tat, and spindles to spin.
I said they are somewhat daunting. I'm afraid that would be taken as their user-unfriendliness. It sounds a bit paradoxical, but the harder to approach, the more fun you will get once you acquire how to use them. And I can say that because you can easily see what you can do with them.

Well, I want to express more but right now this is the furthest I can go with my Englsih skill.
I know the logic here is too thin. I would make it thick.


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Running out of Thread

Gee, I've run out of thread! I have only a few more rings (4p4) to go... And a few more chains, too.
Oh, I can't gather myself up for a while.


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Heel of Sorrow

My commuting project is Rib and Cable Socks by Nancy Bush in IW Knits, 2005 Fall. Using Koigu yarn, I've just finished the first sock. It really looks nice.
But, alas, the heel doesn't fit me!
As the project proceed, I put it on several times to see it fits or not. I didn't think it would not fit. The heel is rather large so I made toe a bit shorter.
Now, the toe isn't the problem. It fits well. I didn't follow the pattern for that part. I have a somewhat short foot. I don't need a sock with long toe.
But, oh, the heel! My feet are rather small but wide. So are my heels. I was quite certain that the heel was just for me.

Well, but it was hard to tell during working on a sock whether it would fit or not. You can tell that when it is done. And I know that now.
I'm going to start the latter sock tomorrow morning and also start to look for a pair of feet that would fit these socks.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Finer, The Better?

As usual (well, I think it is a usual thing), I started to learn tatting with thick thread. The number is different from manufacturer to manufacturer, so I can't give an exact number, but it was thicker than DMC #10. The thread I used was Olympus Emy Grande. It is not very strongly twisted, but has enough twist to tat.
Then I stepped up to #40 thread. I usually use Olympus thread and its #40 is about same size as DMC #20. As I developed my skill, I became to tat with finer thread, such as DMC Special Dentelles, Cordnet Special #100, and Coron #160. At that time, I thought #160 was too fine for me to tat. But, on the second thought, I would not be able to tat with such fine thread when I would become old-sighted. Actually, #160 was too fine for me. I loved to tat with Special Dentelles, though.

As written above, I usually use Olympus #40 a lot these days. It is easily-available and the completed lace works are easy to use. The lace works made with #70 thread or finer are too delicate for the daily use to me.
And sometimes I think it would be difficult to tat well with thick thread. It seems that stitches are not very even when you tat with thick thread, doesn't it?


Sunday, April 15, 2007


As I'm browsing web, I see a lot of delicate and beautiful knitted-lace. In my country, as far as I know, working on lace means usually crochet lace. I love crochet lace, but sometimes, I'd rather prefer something finer. Crochet lace tends to be thick. You can use finer yarn or thread to achieve finer fabric but that would be difficult to crochet.

I've tried lace-knitting several times. Knitted fabric are often finer than crochet one when you use same yarn or thread.
But, I always ended up with mess. I supposed I followed the pattern exactly, but after several rows, I found the left stithces were not enough, or too many. Where did I do wrong? I looked for the error I made, but I could never find one.
After all, I'm not a Lace-Person, so I thought.

But, wait! Hey, I've made some lace socks. I can knit lace socks, why not lace scarves, shawls, or something else?

So, I decided to start from 4-row lace pattern. I chose 2006 IW Knits Sweet Something. Recently, I'm suffering from sore throat a lot. I have sore throat through winter and it gets better when it is warmer. But not this year. My throat is sore even now. I need something to protect my throat.
I started knitting Penobscot silk scarf with bamboo and cotton blend yarn. So far so good.


Saturday, April 14, 2007


Originally uploaded by Garyou.
This is my first time to knit single yarn. For my own handspun yarn, I've knitted only plied and blocked one.

Today, I carded fiber to blend colour. First, I chose almost same amount of five different natural shades merino; white, light grayish brown, light brown, medium brown, and dark brown. Then, I added a bit of pink, very light lavender, and dark purple fiber.
It is fun to card and blend colour of fiber. I've just started card-blending and usually fell into a mess. I like to use natural (not dyed) colour and add a little bit of dyed fiber.

After several tries, I've found out that it looks so different after I spin a card-blended fiber. It looks OK in fiber, but not at all in yarn.
This time, I've come to know that it looks alos different after I knit the yarn.

I think I can spin evenly in thickness, more or less. Now I'm trying hard on spinning evenly twisted yarn.


Friday, April 13, 2007

What Should I Do with This?

Originally uploaded by Garyou.
It is supremely delightful to tat. You manipulate a tiny shuttle or two and let it go back and forth, back and forth, and ta-dah! A fantastic lovely lace work in your hand. It is such a fun thing to do.

But, what should I do with this lovely lace work, anyway? Doily laces certainly do not suit my home. I've already written that I'm not a bookmark-person. I seldom feel a need of bookmarks.

This insertion was supposed to be a bookmark. It turned out to be too wide for a bookmark. I knew that. It was sure that it would be too wide. I realised that while I was in the first row. However, I couldn't stop tatting. It was too fun to stop.
I knew it would be no use, but I just kept on tatting. And here it is, well, what should I call this, Unbekannt, maybe.

Is is extremely fun to tat. It is surely addictive. I can't help stopping to tat.
And I think, sometimes it is important to make something that hardly useful, but beautiful.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

Favrourite Tools

Whitby in Progress
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
My friend told me the other day about the time that she'd mentioned seeing me to one of her friends. Her friend said, "Oh, that Sock-Person!"
Yeah, I'm a Sock-Person. Most of the works I knit are socks. I'm proud of being called so.

As a Sock-Person, I knit a sock from cuff-down, toe-up, heel with flap, heel without flap, lacy socks, cable socks, rib socks, plain stockinette socks, knit any socks I like.
Especially, I love rib socks. It is not always fun to knit rib socks because it tends to be a mindless-knit. But usually it makes me delighted to knit them. The rib socks fit well and also, suit both men and women.

At the same time, cable socks are my favourite. It is always fun to knit cable stitches. The cable stitches are not very stretchy so it would be go well with rib patterns.
Like this Whitby.

However, I'd like to show you something else today. That is a set of DPNs. They are Clover Takumi Size 2 (2.7mm) Double Pointed Needles. They are about 16cm (6.3 inches) long. The very best length for a sock-knitting. But I can't find this length of needles these days. Maybe they're out of production. These Size 2 were found at the local handicraft shop on the way to the office. There were almost no yarns there, but they carries goods left such as the DPNs.

There's no handicraft shop you can pass by.

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Can't Help It

At the office, suddenly that feeling came over to me.
That feeling, "I desperately want to spin!!"

I know too well I shouldn't think about it while I'm at work. And furthermore, I desperately want to knit, tat, and crochet, too.
And here's much more important thing. I desperately need sleep and I mean it.

But, I started carding as soon as I got home. Made 5 rolags and spun. Ain't I contented.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

When Can I Spin, Anyway?

Bombyx Hankies
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
It was one of the bad days today. While I was walking toward the station from the office, all of a sudden I had stomach ache. At first, it wasn't so bad. At least I was able to walk. But soon I was afraid if I could not get to the station. I managed to make it to the station and got on the train, but there came a limit. I got off at the next station though I had two more stations to go.
So, I repeated getting on and off the train several times and finally got home. Whew!

And can you see what was wating for me?
Bombyx hankies in Opal colourway and Merino-Tencel in Moonstone colourway! Yey! I bought them from Crown Mountain Farms.

I want to spin them immediately, but also, I'm a bit afraid spinning them. I might messing them up since I'm still a novice spinner.

Well, I will take my time and enjoy spinning them leisurely.
Maybe this weekend.



Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Spindle Craze

My favorites are Bosworth Mini (purpleheart whorl and birch shaft) and Bosworth Midi (quilted maple whorl and molado shaft). I usually take either one when I spin sitting on the desk chair. I call them "A pair of jewels," means the most valuable two persons or things. It's rather a classical idiom but I often use it.
When I sit on the floor and spin, I choose Spindolyn a lot.
I decided to buy Spindolyn because I was looking for a spindle to spin cashmere. Last Feburary, one of my friends and I went to the event held by a shop specialise in cashmere. There, I have spun cashmere for the first time. Before that, I'd thought it'd been to difficult for me to spin cashmere since its fiber is very short. A lady there taught us how to spin cashmere, and I've spun some. It was such a wonderful experience.
Then I got some cashmere web (well.. I think that is called web), and tried to spin at home. I haven't got suitable spindles and that was what I found out. The lady told us that spindle does not have to be extremely light, but shaft must be slim. Later, I've come to spin with my Bossie Mini, but at that time, what I spun was too thick for cashmere.
So, I've looked around the web a bit, and found Spindolyn. Well, some says it is not their taste, but I watched the video instruction of Spindolyn and was so impressed with the elegant movement of the spinner.

At first, I had hard time spinning with Spindolyn, but after three days or so (I stay at home for few hours a day, that's why it took so long), there was no matter at all. I can spin so comfortably with Spindolyn.
I still spin merino with it. After I finish merino, I'm going to try cashmere. And I'm looking forward to it very much.


Monday, April 09, 2007

Tatting Craze

GR-8 Buttersly
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
I'm inspired so much from yesterday's exhibition. Today, I've been holding my shuttle all the time. Well, almost all the time.
I'm now making a bookmark, but also, I've made this butterfly.
The pattern is made by GR-8 Brothers. You need to tat split rings and self-closing-mock-rings, SCMR.
I'd rather prefer abstruct motifs and geometric ones. I don't particularly care for concrete ones. That may be why I don't have a taste for cross-sttich. I love to see the designs, though.

But, this pattern is one of my favorite. It's abstruct enough for me and at the same time you can tell this is a butterfly.
I once made this as a bird. You can do that with making the last split ring 12-4 instead of 8-8 and make false picot inseatd of antennas.



Sunday, April 08, 2007

Veni, Vidi

But not Vici.

I've been to an exhibition of tatting and other laces and bead works. It is held annualy, and I'd been there once. It inspired me a lot since I'd never seen others works of tatting lace. I'd been all alone struggling to figure out how to tat.

And this year's exhibition was also very inspiring. How did he/she tat all those wonderful and delicate doily with #100 and #160 thread? Why do the ends of thread seem almost invisible? How long did it take to tat those huge doily? I really wonder.
There were some works of bobbin lace and they were tremendous, too. I believe they are called Honiton lace (maybe I'm wrong), and they are made of one of the finest threads.

The works of my friends were beautiful. She told me that she'd made a doily with #70 thread. It has huge number of picots and so dainty.

Now I'm crazed with tatting. I bought lovely apple green thread at the handicraft shop near the exhibition site and already started tatting a bookmark. The picture follows tomorrow, if only I can.


Saturday, April 07, 2007


Tomorrow, I'm going to the exhibition of tatting lace works. Also, I'm meeting with a friend there. We bring several lace and spinning stuffs to show each other.
Ain't I excited!

Friday, April 06, 2007


I'm not a bookmark person. I seldom feel the necessity of a bookmark while reading. When I have to leave a book half-read, I just check the page number. That's all. Sometimes I forget which page I was reading, but that doesn't matter usually. A few flipping will do.

But I love to tat bookmarks. Tatted bookmarks are rather easy to make. They are also good for experimenting new patterns. And they are generally small.

Most of the tatted bookmarks I made are under my friends' hand now. I gave them as little extra with main presents.
But, I made a bookmark that doesn't look good. I had really fun time to tat it, but still, it's not worth giving to others. So, I gave it a try and started using it. The bookmark has long tatted chain at the end and that works quite fine.
I'm now tatting another bookmark. It's originally an insertion pattern. I don't particularly like tassels, so I'm thinking of adding a long chain like the one I'm using now.


Thursday, April 05, 2007

Sleep is Important

I've had trouble with sleep dificit for a few years. I want to sleep. But it is difficult to sleep mainly because of the workplace environment. I have to commute for more than two hours (nearly five hours a day!), I have to come home by the last bus and get home after midnight, and so on.

When you lack of sleep, you want to do nothing. Even you don't want to go to sleep. You are too exhausted to do anything.
Still, I can knit, tat, crochet, and spin when I'm very very sleepy, but usually end up with the mess. I need to rip back what I have accomplished.

So, tonight I think I go straight to the bed and sleep now.
As already written, sleep kills curiosity, not Macbeth.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Sock Knitting Today

As always, knitted sock on the commute train and bus. Now I'm knitting rib socks from _Knitting Vintage Socks_. I arranged a bit, though. In the book, the pattern tells to knit from cuff-down, but I started with magic cast-on. Also, the pattern suggests heel with flap, but I used wrapped short-row heel.
Magic cast-on and short-row heel with wrap are the most used patterns for me. Magci cast-on is one of the most easiest method with a circular needle. Short-row heel is not so easy but I tend to knit heel with flap too large once in a while.

But, heel with flap is my favorite. I love the gusset. I don't particularly like heep flap, but that triangular gusset appeals me a lot.
Whitby makes me feel good with its hell flap.
Oh, I knitted a little bit of Whitby, too.
Before finish knitting Whitby, I'm thinking of making sock blockers with wire hungers.

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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I Love This Heel!

I Love This Heel!
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
I know, I know. I must stay in bed. And I've been in bed as long as possible. I wonder why I can take sleep after sleep during daytime and have a hard time sleeping at night.

But, I need something that makes me feel good. And I've started so-called home project, Whitby from _Knitting on theRoad_ by Nancy Bush.

I've already made a pair and I love this sock. Especially, this heel. When turning heel, the pattern, slip 1 knit 1 continues. Wonderful.

Usually, I knit socks only on the commute train or bus, anywhere outside my house. I seldom knit them at home.
When I catch a disease, I suddenly want to knit lacy shawl or stole. And I'm aware too well that the project results in catastrophe. Disease makes me feel dizzy and I just can't follow the pattern. The end.

Still, I want to make something. And I've started knitting Whitby. So far so good.
I have to find time to knit it, though.

Whitby in Progress

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Nothing Done This Weekend

Colour in Dream
Originally uploaded by Garyou.
Because of fever, I had to rest this weekend. Called in sick on Friday, got a little bit better on Saturday, and again, felt worse on Sunday. Gee.

To make myself feel a little better, I did card-blend fiber a bit. I wanted to blend in dreamy colour. To me, it's almost violet or lavender, maybe perwinkle, and a bit of light blue and pink.
So, I prepared 50% lavender, 20% light blue, 20% pink, and natural white, light green, yellow, and dark purple for rest of 10%.
I think main colour (this time, violet) must be plenty enough, or, you would end up with dull and blurr colour. That's what I've got from card-blending these days. And strong colour (this time, dark purple) might be same shade with the colour you finaly want, and must be added to avoid blurr colour.
Well, I'm still a novice, though.

This time, I got the result as almost what I had in mide before card-blending.
But after I spun, I thought I should have added more strong colour. It really become different when it is spun.
I need more experiment and I desperately want to experiment.

Uh-oh, it seems my temperature gets higher again...

Colour in Dream