winter knitting

I found it!

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I finally found some Iwaizumi Spin Craft yarn! Spin Craft is a small workshop in the northern coastal area of Iwate, where they dye the yarn naturally and then spin it by hand. The “Homespun” industry in Iwate is quite prolific, but most of the products are woven scarves and jackets. They’re warm and light but I’ve always wanted to try the yarn itself. I knew it existed, but it’s not sold in any shops in Morioka. But recently I was in Tokyo and visited our Iwate Plaza in the big city. Whaddya know – they were selling a few skeins! I guess Tokyoites are more able to spend 4,000 yen on a hank of yarn…

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I had been thinking I’d love to knit a garment with this All-Iwate Yarn, but frankly, it’s too rough for that. It’s corriedale (or a mixture with mostly corriedale), and it’s quite scritchy. It wouldn’t be appropriate for a sweater or something else that touches the skin. MAYBE a hat would be acceptable. But I think this is more suited for an outer jacket or maybe a skirt, like the idea I had in the last post. It would be lined, after all.

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I’ll have to play around with it a bit. There were a number of colors, but I loved how this dark blue (black?) had flashes of greys and browns. It’s quite rich and masculine. If none of my swatches speak to me regarding the skirt idea, maybe I’ll make my husband a hat.

winter knitting

a chill in the air

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Last night, there was a real chill in the air.

We’ve suffered weeks of hot, muggy weather here in Ihatov – so hot that not even the night can bring relief from the swampy air. I have no air conditioner at home, so that sucks. The only good thing about the heat is that I’ve got a nice tan. I still knit and knit (in between Pokemon GO outings), but it’s been mostly cotton and linen for months now.

It didn’t really bother me, because I enjoy summer knitting. But last night was cold enough to need a blanket. Cold enough that the walk to work was a good deal more pleasant than it has been, walking languidly by the flowing river.

At lunch time, I stopped in the bookstore, where they had a few new knitting books. The knitting section is sparse in the summer, as most people are normal and don’t, you know, work with hot fiber in 30+ temps. So these were all a welcome sight. I flipped through a beginner’s knitting book, with instructions for simple scarves and cowls. Inside was a gorgeous blue and dusty pink cowl that looked like it was made with random odds and ends. Sparse hats with little sewn-on homemade labels. Grey and blue fair-isle mitts with a stripe in neon yellow. Even a book about ugly crochet sweaters. And in my heart flashed a small spark of inspiration.

For me, fall always seems to feel like the “beginning” of things. I suppose it’s just something drilled in from my school years: September is always the beginning of the school year .. in the states. Here, in Japan, everything started in April. The season of cherry blossoms is the point where all new things begin. New school, new jobs, new beginnings. But for me, that sharp crisp breeze in the early morning is what feels like “the beginning.”

And I’m beginning to look forward to winter knitting.

(…but not the fall allergy season)