Friday, March 28, 2008

Mailman Came!

Yesterday afternoon I got two new Japanese knitting books from Marsha at the Needle Arts Book Shop. She carries a really excellent collection of these treasures which aren’t easily available from other sources. I got Clear & Simple Knitting Symbols and Knitting Patterns 300 Lace. The first book is going to be very helpful with reading the symbols in the other Japanese books I have. Even if you are a very experienced knitter, the Japanese use some innovative stitch combinations that I haven’t seen before which necessitates new and unfamiliar symbols. Each symbol has a clear set of illustrations showing how to do the stitch. You don’t need to be able to read Japanese to follow them. Some of these illustrations are also included in my other Japanese knitting books but this is a more comprehensive list. There are increases and decreases, bobbles and wraps, drop and slip stitches, cables and other traveling stitches, and all manner of inspiration.

The second book is yet another of the stitch pattern collections that I so love. These are shown as all-over patterns and some are familiar and some have little tweaks or combinations that make them look quite fresh and new. They mostly aren’t as complex as the ones in Knitting Patterns Book 250, the one that I got last time. There are other books in this series also, including 1000 Knitting Patterns Book that actually has about 300 crochet patterns as well. That one is nearly $80 so I’m holding off on it. Indefinitely.

Also from Marsha I got another set of Addi Lace 24” circular needles. Her prices are very reasonable if you’re looking for Canadian mail-order vendor, although it isn’t immediately obvious that she sells them. (Here’s the direct link.) She recently got in the new larger sizes up to 5.5mm so I ordered a 4.5mm. As I’ve mentioned before I’m really fond of these needles and not just for lace. The slim points are my favourite style and a definite improvement over the blunter points of the Turbos which I don’t like at all. For larger needle sizes or when I need shorter or longer cables I use my Denise set which also have good points even though they’re plastic. Every knitter to her/his own, eh?

Later on yesterday T-Man and I went for a walk along the water heading west from the Vancouver Museum. The seawall, or a rough trail version of it, extends almost all the way around the shoreline of the city but we only did a short portion of the southwestern end of it. Then we spent several hours in the museum, first in the Vancouver History section (where we really got a nostalgic kick out of the 1960’s part — yes, we met in 1968!) and then the Contemporary Craft exhibit, which was very good. T-man was a little disappointed that although there were a number of wood pieces, none were turned apart from the seat on one chair. There were plenty of textile pieces though in just about every technique and most by someone I know personally. Also glass, ceramics and a very little bit of metal. We finished up the evening with dinner at our favourite Thai restaurant. A lovely evening for sure.

While we’re on the art-craft subject, here’s another take on the old “Art vs. Craft” debate. Ragged Cloth Café looks like an interesting site to peruse, doesn’t it?

Well this morning we had a surprise when it started to snow on the cherry blossoms:

Not that the weather man hadn’t predicted it, but they were the biggest flakes I’ve ever seen — they would have covered my palm if they didn’t melt first! They stuck on the ground a little but after an hour or two we’re back to rain and the snow is all melted away. It’s still pretty darned cold out there though. Glad I filled the empty bird feeder yesterday.

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