Sunday, June 21, 2009

Lazy Days

On the way home from Japan, we stopped in Maui for a family reunion. This vacation leg was the complete opposite of the first in every way. Slow, laid back island pace, beaches, tropical music, etc. It was jarring to adjust to this after living at a frenetic but exciting pace in Japan. Still, we managed :)

Up to this point on vacation, I hadn't felt an urge to knit. I admit I still don't, but that's due to my annual summer slump rather than lack of interest. In Maui, since I had a lot more free time on my hands, I finally picked up the needles again and worked on a sock. It's the Earl Grey sock pattern by the Yarn Harlot in Cascade Heritage Paints sock yarn.

On the beach with the sock.
From Maui June 2009

Thanks to Ravelry, I located two yarn shops in Lahaina. At The Needlework Shop, the yarn selection was small, but I bought a skein of sock yarn dyed by a local artist, the Maui Dyer.
From Maui June 2009

Standing with my new yarn, Pineapple Upsidedown Cake.
From Maui June 2009

Next, I found the Yarn and Needlecrafts shop, but it was closed that day. Peeking through the window, I saw a small yarn selection, but I never made it back to explore during business hours.
From Maui June 2009

Back to real life. I will update some projects I completed like two months ago. I finally got around to taking some pictures of the FOs.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


On Sunday, we finally came home after a long vacation. First, we visited Tokyo and had an amazing time. There was so much to do there that we couldn't possibly fit it all in our schedule. Each night, our aching feet and legs could attest to the amount of walking we did all day. Even though I brought my knitting, I didn't have the energy nor feel the urge to knit at all while we were there. Of course, I managed to check out two craft stores and was on the lookout for the craft section at the department stores.

First off, Yuzawaya in Kichijo-ji. Before I went, I had a vague idea it was the Michaels of Japan but really was clueless. It was huge!!! Like the mothership of craft stores. 7 floors or something like that. Big floors too, not like the tiny, narrow buildings I was used to seeing in Tokyo. It isn't Michaels at all, as Yuzawaya seemed to have a good selection and variety of everything. Not just a little bit of everything. If only I could sew, I would've gone crazy on the fabric floors. I took a few pictures of the yarn aisles but it really doesn't do it justice. The knit and crochet section only took up maybe a third of a floor, but they had a bigger yarn stock than most of the LYSs near me at home.

From Japan Trip- Tokyo

There were aisles and aisles of yarn. Mostly, Japanese or Asian brands such as Puppy, but some brands I knew. There was the Noro aisle (missed taking the picture). I was tempted to buy up a bunch of Noro sock yarn because it was on sale for $12.50!!!! I must have been crazy tired to have passed that up because I did.

From Japan Trip- Tokyo

Be sure to look up at the top of the shelves.
From Japan Trip- Tokyo

Lots of samples everywhere!
From Japan Trip- Tokyo

So inspiring. I think the yarn companies must provide the sample garments, since I saw some similar ones at a different store. But I don't know for sure. It's a fantastic way to showcase and sell the yarn and pattern book. Samples at our LYSs are not provided by the yarn companies, I'm pretty sure.

Later that day, in Shinjuku, we came across Okadaya. Although the yarn selection was nice, it was a much smaller store than Yuzawaya. It was a very narrow building with several floors and only one small elevator. We took the stairs and stopped at every floor until I hit yarn. I should've learned the Japanese character for yarn or knitting, so I could read the store directory. Still it was fun exploring.

Days later, off in Kyoto, I walked by this:
From Japan Trip- Kyoto

Silk yarn and a spinning wheel. It was closed at the time so I'm not sure if this was a textiles shop or a tailor's, but it seemed to come out of nowhere. Maybe this was Avril but I didn't know it? By that time, I had stopped looking for craft stores and had forgotten about the famous Avril store. There was so much more to see and do, but it's funny how I can't get away from my craft!

Eventually, at the end of my Kyoto stay, I bought a pattern book at the Daimaru department store on Shijo Dori. The 7th floor has a small yarn department. It's amazing how universal knitting can be. I felt so at home in these departments it didn't matter that I couldn't really speak to the store clerks. I managed :)


A tea cozy for a friend. Stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's 1st Treasury. Fun to knit and finished it within a short time.

From made by stacey