This past week, after a morning appointment in downtown Seattle, I found myself free! Me, free, for a whole hour in downtown Seattle, what to do, what to do. So I ended up driving to one of my favorite parts of Seattle, to the International District.
I stopped by Uwajimaya, an Asian grocery store with an adjacent book store. I wanted to get some much needed (hah!), tea paraphernalia. While I was there I decided to stop in the book store, Kinokuniya, just to look at the pens and other paper goodness. But before I could look at anything else I saw that the book store had created a craft section right in the front.
I saw many cute books and but was drawn to two. The first one is called the Handmade Felt Book, an unusual choice for me as I have not felted for ages. In addition, this book utilizes carded wool/rowing to felt with rather than first knitting and then felting. If I could make an analogy I would say that this form of felting looks like free-form felting and the book is very illustrative with a large number of photos and not much text – no matter, I cannot read a word of Japanese text but I so wish that I could.
The fact that I cannot read Japanese text does not mean that I will not be trying to make the hats that I came to adore and the beautiful bags that I want to felt. The book also has two felted tea cozies that are begging to be made. These projects are destined for my desk for later in the year, possibly mid-summer to early fall. I have yet to decide which will be my first…most possibly the bag with leaves. Then the hats, I hope I can make one that will fit my head the right way. I have quite a bit of research to do. I need just the right materials; for the wool I am thinking that the fiber should have some mohair to give the felted fiber texture. In addition, I need some molds so as to make sure both the bags and the hat come out right and fit. Do you have any ideas as to what I can use?
The second book I purchased was a complete surprise because of the range of projects that it has within. It is called Vintage Knitting in Tradition and has beautiful color work and lace. In my opinion a unique combination and a lovely one at that.
I am determined to make at least two of the patterns a part of my current projects. The first one is Myrthen, a triangular lace shawl worked in a solid dark color. I have different ideas as to choice of color but I intend to cast on and make this shawl but I need help! As with most Japanese pattern books this book is also very illustrative with multiple charts and lacks in instruction – again, not like I can read Japanese text. If you are reading this post and you have knitted Myrthen please help; if you know of someone who has knitted Myrthen please forward this post to them, and if you know of resources that could help me decode Myrthen please let me know. And, finally, if you would like to knit Myrthen with me please let me know so that we can start a KAL and support each other through out the project.
The second project that is calling me is Der Blumenbrief, The Message of Flowers. It is easy to see why it is called the Message of Flowers and I think it would be beautiful if knitted with Kauni with the assumption that I can manage the gauge. I think Der Blumenbrief is simple, clean and beautiful. The above request for help applies to this project as well as the invite to start and knit it with me. I probably will not start this project until well after I have casted on Myrthen and have made some progress. Fair warning I am a slow knitter.
Just a couple of final notes, I have no affiliation with Uwajiyama or Kinokuniya bookstore. With that, I found their books well priced and the service courteous. I will be making a trip to Kinokuniya again later next week to see if they have other goodies waiting for me. Plus, I was told that I could search through and special order from their home base in Japan! So there you go, I have started collecting knitting books that I cannot read – smart move on my part but I cannot seem to help myself. So please help, I am collecting a series of resources online and otherwise that would be helpful in decoding these lovely books. Don’t be shy please write with any suggestion you may have. You know you want to knit one these projects, you know that you do.