Knit, purl, blog.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Japanese kniting/crochet books

I found the Japanese crochet book at a Japanese bookstore in San Francisco (in Japantown). They also had knitting books, so I picked up a stitch dictionary, too.

A number of pattern books included both knitting and crochet, and I gather it's common for people to know both. I never got the weird dichotomy here. I expect more knitters here will learn to crochet, which should fuel a growth in good crochet pattern books.

Monday, June 27, 2005

We Interrupt This Knitting Blog...

to bring you an experiment in crochet.

Yes, the pictures of the mysterious Japanese cat are here.

I don't know really know anything about this cat, as the book is in Japanese. But for some reason, I have to make it.

Does this help explain the obsession?


Anyway, the body is done:

I'm not sure about some of the other directions, but how wrong could I go?

By the way, I'm convinced that if I study this pattern long enough, I'll learn Japanese. The same way that if I spend enough time with the La Boheme libretto, I'll learn Italian.

Back to knitting.

This thing that looks like nothing is the Flower Basket Shawl. My progress is painfully slow. Like, row-by-row slow. But look, I'm almost done with the first skein. That means I'm halfway through.

Okay, the baby is crying and the dog is vomiting up barely chewed shrimp parts. I am needed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Mmm... books

I've been tagged by Elizabeth. To prove I'm still alive (but swamped with baby and work these days), here goes:

Total number of books I own?
Good question. I really have no idea. I just know that whenever we get a new bookshelf, it seems to fill itself instantly. The office-cum-babyroom is filled with them, and then we have a few bookshelves in the living area. And some of my college books are in boxes.

The last book I bought?
That would be Primo Levi's "The Periodic Table." We're reading it in my bookclub, and it's excellent.

The last book I read?
Probably a baby-related book, like "Baby Signs." Because in my prodigious amounts of free time, I'll be teaching my baby sign language.

Five books that mean a lot to me?

1. Like Elizabeth, a Shakespeare collection is high on my list. My mother often took me to his plays when I was a kid, and I've always enjoyed reading them. Recently, my uncle gave me a collection that belonged to my father. It's ancient and falling apart (he loved books, and sought out old editions -- not for value, but for character). In it was a picture of me. My father died when I was nine, so it was nice to have a reminder of him -- and his love for me.

2. Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet." They're beautiful, of course, and inspirational.

3. Nabokov. Do I have to pick one? Sometimes people for whom English is not their native language use it with the most creativity, freedom, and playfulness.

4. "There's a Wocket in My Pocket," by Dr. Seuss. Okay, I picked that particular Seuss at random because I read it last night. I'd probably pick "The Lorax," if I had to choose one. I am rediscovering Dr. Seuss with my baby. The man is a genius. I also recently saw a PBS special on Geisel, and it was fascinating learning how his politics affected even his children's work.

5. I'm fickle, and I'll leave #5 for whatever book I'm loving now. Right now, it's "The Periodic Table." A few years ago, I was obsessed with Rushdie ("Midnight's Children," in particular). Before that it was Marquez ("One Hundred Years of Solitude," especially).

Okay, and in knitting news, well, I'm very slowly working on my shawl. I am also having a love affair with a Japanese crocheted cat pattern. Do I read Japanese? No. Do I crochet? No. Did I let that stop me? Of course not. I'm teaching myself just enough crochet to do this project. I've completed the body so far. I've worked out most of the instructions, and I'll bluff my way through the rest.