Thursday, October 16, 2008

Christmas Knitting Begins

Technically, it began when I started the Stripey Zo, which is for my godson, but now it has started in earnest with the beginning of the first of several pairs of Fetching for friends.  Now, I love knitting these gloves - they are quick, easy but interesting, and pretty.  But I finished my pair a while ago and am not sure if I will ever actually wear them.  Yet here I am planning on pairs for three of my friends.  Am I thinking more of them or myself?  Well, myself, obviously.  But since I will be spending Christmas in Vietnam without a single member of my family within three thousand miles, they can suck it up and accept a thoughtful hand-crafted gift that they damn well better feel too guilty to throw out.

So I began this first pair of gloves in a Naha, Okinawa hostel.  I was waiting for my phone to charge so I could wander off, and I cast on.  Naturally, some chick about my own age wanders in and acts all astonished at me.  She politely asked what I was doing and I answered pleasantly enough.  She had kind of a creepy vibe, though, and she didn't seem to know what to say, so I volunteered that Japan had all kinds of great yarn.  She replies, "Who knew?" and I thought myself, "Duh, knitters and crocheters everywhere."  I have hereby resolved not to say "Who knew?" to people when it's clear that plenty of people knew besides myself.  Anyway, I continued knitting the next day at a Naha Starbucks, and didn't get any reaction at all.  

That brings the Christmas Knitting tallies so far to this:
WIPs: 2
FPs: 0
Knitting in Public: 
Stripey Zo - train to Kumamoto, dentist's office
Xmas Fetching - Naha hostel, Naha Starbucks

Also, while in Okinawa I did not end up seeking out any yarn shops.  I posted to the Knitters in Japan forum kinda late and never got any responses (bummer), so I didn't know where to go, and I really didn't need to be spending money on that anyway.  Nevertheless, yarn found me. While attempting to browse the Tsuboya Pottery area, but finding only one store that just had the same kinds of shiisa as everyone else, I wandered back to the shopping arcades.  Down one little street, rather far off Kokusai-dori where most of the tourists, especially foreigners, were conspicuously absent, I found the saddest little craft store you've ever seen.  There were some tables with stuff outside, and a fair number of 80's-era buttons on one wall, but most of the shop was empty.  Shelves with maybe a scrap of fabric, drawers of thread that mostly empty and covered in dust.  I mean, it was like a going-out-of-business sale on it's last day, but I feel certain that they weren't intentionally going out of business.  The only yarn they had was this Hamanaka Garcon (not in Ravelry) stuff I bought for ¥105, and some fingering weight stuff that was an odd shade of yellow.

I also went ahead and got the size 1 dpns for those bab
y booties topping my queue that I'll need to get around to before Sheila is due.  The old lady who worked there was giving me the evil eye at first (tall white woman, likely American, wandering around desolate Okinawan store and getting evil eye from old Japanese lady is not surprising), but then she seemed so happy that I bought stuff.  I'd like to think that I impressed her with my polite Japanese, but let's not get too carried away.  I'm sure she was just glad when I paid and left.

But for real, no more yarn!  How on earth will I save anything for grad school when I'm buying ¥100 yarn every time I turn around?

And the geek knitting project I am YEARNing to start is still so far away.  Sigh.

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