Winter Diamond FO: Sofa Rug, or Shoulder Shrug?

Finished the Ghost Cable Winter Diamond Room Throw today! My design. Fun and easy to knit. I say it again, recycled yarn is a great way to go.

Sofa rug or shoulder shrug?!

Sofa rug or shoulder shrug?!

It’s a very easy pattern, based on the Lion Brand Baby Love Diagonal Baby Blanket. The center has progressive cable fragments, called “ghost” or “shadow” cables, drifting sinuously to and fro. The many cables pull the square into a long diamond, great as a sofa topper or shoulder cozy in the chill of winter. 

Sofa rug? Shoulder shrug? Your choice. The icy gale shall not prevail! 

Check my Ravelry page for more pics and info on this project.

Finished edging the Origami Hat and Scarf with i-cord . . .

Origami Scarf and Hat with i-cord trim

So now on to BSJ, complete with i-cord trim. (But, may *lacivious wink* cast on Seraphim Shawl today . . .)

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My Pillow List: Yays and Nays of Knitting in Tokyo

Things I love about knitting in Japan:

  • Being Asia, bamboo needles are super cheap, even circs. I get them at 100 yen shops (about a dollar) and have lots of them. OK, yes, I mostly use my Knit Picks Harmony needles but I use my bamboo needles a lot every day as well. The yarn from 100 yen shops sucks but I have used some for theatre productions . . .
  • Japan is the home of Mitsuharu Hirose-sama, the Knitting Prince! the-knitting-prince
  • a little-known fact: tatami (rice straw flooring found in every Japanese home) is perfect for blocking. Imagine having a room-sized blocking mat to push pins into. Great for those big honkin’ lace shawls and crazy-long Dr. Who scarves! 
  • Japan is the home of Noro * drool* and Habu yarns. Also, Habu’s talented designer Setsuko Torii.
  • Japan has four very distinct seasons, with very strict divisions between them and appropriate activities for each. Knitting is Winter activity. Period. In that period, Japanese knitters knit like maniacs. Intense!
  • Japanese knitting means chart knitting. Fun and Interesting. 
  • Lots of indigo and natural dyed yarns.
  • Popular Japanese spiral paper clips (these shown are a German make but we have super cheap ones just like them here) make great stitch markers.
  • My job (university professor at Japanese university) gives me lots of time, both during the school term at school and off for months of vacation, to knit. 
  • I can knit anywhere or anytime I want. Since I’m a foreigner, I’m expected to do strange things anyway, so no one bats an eye when I knit on the train or in a cafe :).  

Things I Don’t Love About Knitting in Japan:

  • Not many yarn shops. Most yarns and knitting goods very expensive (like most things here).
  • Sock yarn nonexistent. Has to be ordered online. The sock-knitting craze, indeed the knitting boom, never hit here. Knitting is essentially the domain of middle-aged women (blouses) and love-struck teen girls (boyfriend scarves).
  • Knitting is strictly seen as A Winter Activity. (See seasonal comment above). Lots of craft stores put away their yarns in the spring and summer!