March 2006 Archives


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I haven't left for home yet but I already have nostalgia. The shopping time has been all too brief, so to answer Hollis' question- I didn't get a chance to look for the patterns. They also have a no photo sign in the shop so I didn't really get any photos. Though I will have a section in my photo album that is subtitled- Oops, I can't take photos here.

Over the last few days, we've hit Kyoto and Osaka hard, taking a brief break to sit in an outdoor hot spring watching the snow fall. That's right, snow, in the end of March. In fact, I got to see a few cherry blossom trees (sakura) covered with a bit of snow.

Tomorrow we spend a day in transit and then I will post pictures of almost all the food I ate. Seriously, just about every single meal's many courses were photographed. And you know what? Any pounds and natural dietary enhancements (aka natto and prunes) I ate were worth it. Even the Tofu here is extra tasty.

I have two choco-cro (chocolate croissants) waiting in my hotel room, where my mom is... I need to go eat them before she decides that she isn't as full as she thought. Why are we so full? Well, I had takoyaki (squid balls), then ramen noodles (the fresh kind), and polished that off with a big specialty crab dinner(veeery yummy!). Um, that was dinner. Then I bought two choco-cro as takeout, one for breakfast tomorrow as we leave at 5:30 am for Itami airport to Narita, spend a half day in Narita on a layover (said with half hopefulness of more shopping and half derision), then head home.


Somewhat Thwarted

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Hm. Well, I made it out of a YARN STORE in JAPAN ... WITHOUT BUYING YARN. The agony. I just didn't see much I felt was worth taking home, alas. However, I did buy a bunch of needles because they're different sizes from the ones in US and UK.

So, of the things I wanted to see
+ choco cro for Chocolate Croissant. Ohhh Yum, as good as I remember it.
+ okadaya for yarn. Note, there are two okadayas in the same building area. This is pretty common in Tokyo, having stores split into different buildings in the same area. If you want yarn a) 5th floor of the taller building, the one with beads in the bottom, not the FIVE floor cloth store. b) Bringing a sample of yarn helps when you don't know how to say yarn in Japanese.
- Daiso 100 yen store. Darn. I missed it.
- Tokyu Hands, missed it once again. So sad.
+/- Muji - I made it to the one in Narita but not the mecca Muji in Tokyo.
+ Itoya the 7 floor stationary store- I got your hole punch Melissa! But alas, I didn't find much I wanted to lug home myself. Yesterday was a bit hurried.
+ Yodobashi camera- Didn't find a case that fit my camera exactly. However, I didn't see any point and shoot Nikon's there, either.

Which leaves me wondering at 7 am in Tokyo, what oh what is open at this hour? And oh, is this in-room internet really "free" like my dad has ingeniously concluded.

Ah, and where is the ranking-ranqueen?!! I looked all over for it.

To breakfast we go. YUMM.


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Ohhh Vacation!

The reward for finishing Grad School. Ahhhhh. Today, I take on Tokyo and try to ditch the tour to go shopping. Tomorrow, we do the scenic drive to Atami for Hot-Springs.


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I'm rather pleased with my olympic knit- Cat Bordhi's Cashmere Cowl [pdf warning] It was knit up in Rowan Calmer and the only thing I'd change is that I'd make it bigger. That's right, bigger, so it would cover my shoulders.


Which means I can also post this much belated gold medal (my acceptance is late, not the Yarn Harlot's gracious presentation of it)


Lastly, Charlene has one huge ball of yarn here-

Green Beer Day

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For those of you who like to celebrate this international holiday (not really green beer day) St. Patrick's Day here's an actual Irish Pub you can raise your beer toast to:

green beer day

Ah yes, I had my first glass of Guinness here, in a small pub next to a cemetery outside of Dublin. You'd have to ask Melissa for the photo where I'm actually holding a beer. If you're looking for some of the motherland to raise a few more toasts to, here's the entire Ireland trip album

Have a good craic!

Oh, yes, that I live in a country where we get to learn about so many great holidays not of our originating culture is fantastico. Now I just gotta go find me something green to wear.

Serendipity - A better way to graft toes

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I read Felicia's Blog sweet georgia and followed the link to June's blog. June's post on Jaywalker socks pointed to how to graft socks without kitchener stitch. I've never been especially proficient with kitchener so I'm happy I came by these two links:
- Sock Toe Chimneys by Lucy Neatby
- How to do Kitchener Stitch with out Kitchener(ing)
Here it is folks, the probably not at all highly anticipated directions for the two other knitters out there who can't do Kitchener Stitch without it looking like it was done by ferrets.

How sweet knitter serendipity is.

Crafty Genetics

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I may have been enabled into crafts by my Aunt Tracy but my mom is pretty talented, too. Okay, well, my mother has always claimed that she can knit, sew, and crochet, but has other things she'd rather do with her time. Haha! I lured her in from a 20 something year hiatus in knitting by bringing back some bulky yarn (oh yes, Mom is expedient.) and she asked if purple was available. Well, a lavender-ish shade certainly is. I stole her knitting while she's out and snagged a pic. Look at what Mom did in about an hour last night!


Look how darn even her knit stitches are. Oy.

She remembered how to cast on and knit without a single refresher course. We joked that she could liken it to ride a bike, you never forget the mechanical action, but my mom never learned how to ride a bike.

Clearly, I come by this crafty stuff genetically ;)

Oh, she also decided that she still likes the orange-yellow shade of Plymouth Handpaint (purchased from fullthreadahead in-store) so I think I'm going to buy a few skeins and make a mobius for her as a secret gift. I'm lucky this stuff is bulky.

The other thing which allowed me to enable? It's been about 50 degrees F with lots of rain and our upcoming trip to Japan just promises more of this weather.

Olympic Update: Yes, I do need to post the gold medal. I still need to post a picture of the FO (finished object) first and hope to get to that this weekend.

I'm not the only Lame-O

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There are days like today when I feel like a Lame-O. Just something I did, a mistake I made, or something I didn't do. Then I step back. I looked at GMail, which happens to be (unscheduled) down right now at a prime time and has been down for at least 10 minutes. Yeah, I've been hitting my refresh button and wondering when it'll be back up. Truth is, everyone's Lame-O sometimes.

The parts that count-
a) reduce your lame-osity frequency by actively trying not to do something lame. Do your best to prevent it from occurring.
b) have a plan in place to recover from lame-o-ness. Practice it ahead of time so you can recover from disastrous occasions. Practice your recovery plan in pertinent situations. If possible, have an alternate which can perform the recovery. Refine your recovery plan. Sometimes the Lame-ness is catastrophic with far reaching consequences. You really don't just want to go with the first plan that popped into your head, that's not much better than trying to fix things on the fly.

Now if you'll excuse me, GMail is back up (saved by a good recovery plan, no doubt).

ARRR Matey

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To my secret pal from nipper's Booty Swap, thanks for signing up! Here be some resources if ye be a scratchin the noggie for what this pirate be wantin'.

Old Secret Pal entries
Secret Pal Questionaire

We be good mates and I share me grog with ye. Mebbe if you have those question thingies, I be answerin. Mebbe I be practicin me swashbuckling or out on a raid. Leave word at the pub (comments).

Back to the homework. Argh, a graduate's pirate work never be done. Cuts into the knitting time and Project Runway, it does ;)

A Realigned Style

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There's a new style here folks. It was time for a realignment.

I call it a Realigned style because I really changed it to feature the content instead of the context. In short, I felt that the current blog style was less than efficient. With a few style tweaks and keeping everything in the same place you'd expect to find it (still a 2 column layout - entry on the left, navigation and scattered details on the right), hopefully you'll be drawn more to the post than to my background. The new style facilitates comprehension and retainment.

- The header photo features a beach in Napier, NZ
- There's no picture of yarn in the header. It's my blog and I feature what I want to ;)
- I managed to fit in some lime green, which I promised myself would be in the next version if I could suitably work it in.
- This entry was composed in Performancing for Firefox (extension).

For those of you who just read the RSS feed, here's a screencap of the new style.


From my todo-list

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Here are a few things I am considering and would like to implement. Please weigh in to see if it'd be useful for you (because I don't want to blog to read my own blog. That's just... bleh)

1. Whipping up two RSS feeds to keep the knitting stuff apart from everything else. Just so I don't bore you non-knit people to death *crickets chirping* Anymore than I already have, that is. This would make for 3 feeds- 1) all, 2)knit only, 3)all but the knit.

2. Putting in a status page like Merlin Mann's because those of you who want the quick update on freecia, without being inundated with freecia info, should be able to get a few interesting points and some conversation starters. Once you make a goal public, you have more incentive to stick to it.

3. Working on an interview with elisa, hilarious opiner (No, that's not an official word- opine is though) You are Not a Unique Little Snowflake, Muffin Tops are Not Tasty, and Elisa Thinks You Should Embrace the Thong and For God’s Sake, Pull Up Your Pants Day are my favorites. Done laughing? Good- The topic of the interview will be:
Booty Billboards
Oh yes, we're going there. Pointing out exactly why you should not willingly pay good money for words written across your bottom masquerading as fashionable wear. Have questions? Use the comments section to write them in and I'll consider them for the interview.