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I wanted to share with you the latest projects I have been working on. I just finished my first shawl for Joe and Sarah’s wedding. It has been a long journey to the first one done. I first had a problem finding and getting pure white long shawls. I thought I had them ordered from a store at the Atlanta Mart but when they came 8 week later they were off white. HUGGGGGGGGGG! Then I found some white ones on the internet and they really came rather quickly. I got them from Peach Couture. They had a nice variety of shawls for a good price.

 

I then thought I would embroiderer the three snow flakes on the shawl and decided to use one of the off white scarves to practice on and boy am I glad I did. It looked awful! The flakes looked heavy and pulled the scarf and left holes where the needle went in. I then tried different types of floss with no change in the holes. I then thought I would iron on backing to help hold the scarf together. That worked well! However, the snowflakes still looked heavy and not pretty and light at all!

 

I then talked with Karen Joe’s mom about the color and type of floss and we both agreed that silver would look very nice. Sarah’s colors are white and dark navy blue.  But we could not match the dark blue with a floss color.

 

So I thought, and thought, and thought about what to do with the snowflakes. I had wanted to copy the pattern from one of the books I brought home from Japan but they had embroidered the snow flakes on linen which is a much heavier material. The light airy scarves just could not hold up with that thick of a stitch.  I then got a brain storm that I could cross stitch the snow flakes with waste canvas. I had made my sister a beautiful throw with poinsettias several years ago and the waste canvas worked really well with that.

 

So off again to the craft store and I got silver floss, iron on backing, and waste cloth. Once again I worked on the trial scarf and was happy with the results. Now that I like the results I have sixteen weeks to complete eleven more adult and one child scarves before the wedding. I will be working on Christmas presents at the same time but I think I have enough time. It takes about four to six hours to do one flake and at that rate I will have plenty of time to finish. I hope Sarah likes them and I hope they look nice on the wedding party.

 

Here are a few pictures of the finished scarf. I will not be using the white on white again. However, I will mix the dark and light sliver together. The beads are crystal and really sparkle in the sun.

 

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While in Japan I purchased six books. One knitting, two embroidery, two lace crochet, and one crochet garment book. I thought I would share with you the books and what I found so interesting that I was willing to carry them back to the States. They were the heaviest items in my suit cases. We check three suitcases each were to be no heavier than 30 kg.    One was 27, the other two were 26 and 33 kg. The kind man at the check in let them go by with a cute commit of that he thought it all even out in the end. I still had more stuff in two carryon bags with my knitting and projects.

 

The six books have become my favorite treasures of the trip. I am not quite sure when I can start all the projects I want to make with them but I have plenty of time to worry about that in the future.

 

The first of the six books I wanted to share my favorite of them all. It is an embroidery book and not really a pattern book. I think of it as an art book and idea book rather than a how to book with patterns and instructions. It is called “Flowerworks” by Keita Maruyama. The garments in this book are stunning and just exquisite!

    

It gives me all kinds of ideas to use embroidery in different ways and on different items. The textures are intriguing. The book is a joy to look at and just beautiful. The ISBN is 978-4-579-10924-1. 

 

             

 

The second Embroidery Book called “Embroidery Book an Embroidered Linen” by Mori Reiko.  

 

  

This book does have patterns and directions on how to complete the projects. The reason I liked the book is that it had patterns for some really lovely snowflakes. I had been interested in snowflakes as a project for my friend Karen. Her son is getting married January 2009 and she wanted to have white shawls embroidered with blue snowflakes for the wedding party. I volunteered to help her with the project. The book has photographed pictures of the projects with good detail. The visual directions are clear enough to follow and the ideas are just great.  She even has details of how to build the boxes, purses and other accessories shown. I would be happy making and owning any of the projects offered. It is rare to have a book of projects that I am willing to say that.

             

The third book is the one knitting book I bought. It is a stitch dictionary and not a pattern book. It is called “250 Knitting patterns Book 250”  ISBN 978-4-529-04176-8 I do not know who it is by because I cannot read Japanese Kanji. There are seven sections dividend by color. From what I can tell they are patterns that are used in different ways. It appears to be by how large the overall pattern is. Some would be used as the entire front panel of a garment; some are narrower and can be used in combination with each other or as a small part of the garment. Some are for borders or edgings. I have several dictionary type books but I had not seen several of these patterns before. Most are very detailed and beautiful combinations of twists and cables. The charts are very clear and there are a lot of pictures to give hints in what the symbols mean. I am however, trying to purchase from Amazon Japan two books to help translate the kanji. The only problem I am having is that my credit card company will not clear the purchase. I will have to call them to get it straighten out I fear.

 

     

Back to the book I really enjoy the different patterns and the complex but beautiful designs offered in this book.

  

The fourth book is a crochet book which I cannot give you the name as I cannot read it. It by Sachiyo & Fukao and it is a pattern book of garments and accessories. ISBN 978-4-277-17227-1

 

 

I have become interested in crochet again because I have been listening to my favorite podcast “Yarn Thing” Marly is the producer and I just love listening to her. She has review several crochet authors and books on her podcast and they all sounded so interesting that I have been trying my hand at crochet again. Crochet has come a long way in design since my mother showed me how. There are some beautiful garments and items that were never available before. This book is my first crochet book in my collection and I wanted it to be well rounded in a variety of items to make. The hat catches my eye. I also purchased a hat kit at the same store in Yokohama and wanted a book with a few visual directions to help me complete that project. This book offers  some very good directions and pictures that I can figure out without needing to understand the Kanji.

     

The last two books are really wonderful too. They are both crocheting but they are crochet lace and jewelry.
The first one that I like the best is “Lace” by someone else I can’t read but will include her smiling face.
ISBN-10: 4-529-04575-7

 

 

 

I must say that this is my second favorite book I brought home and the favorite for patterns. The grapes and leaves necklace or collar will be the first project I make out of all of the books. It is beautiful! It reminds me of my mother’s era style yet contemporary enough to wear today. Very vintage but stunning.  They are visually detailed enough to follow.   There are also several sweater and top patterns that would be just beautiful to wear.

 

  

The second of the lace books is more detailed in directions and will help me understand what to do with the patterns in this book.

This brings me to the last of the books which is “Crochet Lace” by Someone I cannot read. But I have included her author page so you can at least see her face. ISBN-10: 4-529-04434-3 

  

I not only brought this book because of the great direction but it included several projects I have not seen patterns for before. It included jewelry, neckwear, barrettes, rings, and capes. The lace capes are very much like shawls but much smaller and neater. I think they will be great to wear instead of the extra bulk that shawls can and to your outfit. The garments offered in this book are very pleasing to the eye but very practical to use too.

      

Well there are all six books. I can wait to get started on them but they will have to wait until I finish the projects on my list. Alaina is due to arrive soon so I need to finish the tribal carrier, the baby blanket, and a couple of baby items for her. I need to finish Tracy’s Ana sweater (even if the pattern is boring to me) it will look great on her, and I must finish the red shell top as promised for Debbie. Once these are none I can play around with the patterns in the book. I will never be done with all the things I want to make for Alaina but many are for her when she gets bigger so they can be done later. There is one lace top pattern I found at the Knitch  http://www.knitchknitting.com/ I bought the yarn and pattern book by Rowan and I will share with you that pattern book later in the week.

 

 

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