lala no omiyage!

a couple of weeks ago I got a fabulous package of goodies from a friend who has been living in Japan for the last four years. I think he might have been stockpiling stuff to send me and finally had to throw it all in a box and ship it because he was leaving the country and couldn't put it off any longer. just a theory. I was thrilled to bits to get snacks, stationary, and (wait for it!) a couple of awesome personalized cotton tote bags that are so perfect for holding projects. May I present:

My Japanese is getting rusty but I'll go ahead and translate this as 'Lala's gifts'. Omiyage are usually presents brought back from a trip someone has taken, and various places in Japan specialize in selling specific types of goods that are then recognizable to the recipient back at home - they know where you've been.

Tonight I've been snacking on these delights:

Hmm, how to explain? They're like very crispy rice cakes with a savory soy flavor. Yum yum yum. Not a substitute for dinner but I seem to have spoiled my appetite munching on them...

I'm compensating for not having any new craft pictures. I might have to introduce more pics of my Japanese goodies when I lack crafting eye candy in future. Here's the unillustrated status report, however: I knit six feet of i-cord this week (!) for my Booga Bag. I've just rejoined the second ball of yarn to the body of the bag so now it's up to me to decide how big this thing is going to get. Also, I picked up my Lotus Blossom tank today for the first time in a couple of weeks, and finally finished the first 16 row repeat. Yeah, I had knit about 12 of the rows. There are 200 sts on size 4 needles involved, in my defense, and after screwing up my cast on three times and having to start over, I was a little anxious about understanding the lace patt so I can read it as I go and know that I'm doing ok. Actually, I picked the lotus up last night but the combination of chianti and no natural light plus starting back up with a pattern I haven't been working on led quickly to me making a mistake after half a row, and I put it down again and stepped away. That was a good move.

I have just now, before the light faded, been working on the edging for a project of CK's - this winter she knit herself a lovely cosy bolero shaped wrap sort of thing out of gorgeous alpaca - and now it has been languishing for lack of crochet action. I promised to show her how to do it but with other projects getting preferential treatment, there just hasn't been time. Also she said she wouldn't mind if I just went ahead and did it for her. I'm not crochet expert but it's not too complicated. Just a ch5 in the 4th st around sort of set up and then you ch5 and sc into the tops of your previous ch5. I think I've done this sort of edging before. Ultimately you get bell shaped chain link sleeves and the same edging around the neck and front of the piece. The patt is called the Glimmer Shrug from the Dec 2006 issue of Knit n Style and I see that not a single person has entered it on Ravelry. Not the most popular of patterns, I guess, but this one is going to be useful as well as attractive and cosy once it is finished! just in time for summer...