Thursday, 23 October 2014

Cat Walk

Sunday saw Pooch and I at the Kagurazaka Bakeneko Cat Parade near Iidabashi (pronounced Ee-der-bashy). I went for the black cat look, complete with ears.
Me at the Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
The van is for the most common delivery company in Japan and just happened to be outside when we were leaving. Pooch went for the completely-not-dressed-up look, as per, but coped very well with being accompanied by a wife sporting cat ears as we ate lunch at a pizza restaurant and traversed the metro. When we got there it was like I was finally meeting with My People.
Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
There were probably about 200 people dressed up and another 100 or so there to support them at the start point. All 28 of my photos are here but a few personal favourites...

A running nun cat, catching up with the end of the parade.
Nun at the Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
Freddie Mercury Cat, accompanied by Batman and friends.
Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
This kitten.
Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
French maid cats.
Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
And of course, traditional dress cat, blowing a conch shell. This guy was about 6 foot tall and very polite and serious when I complimented his outfit. He stopped to bow.
Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
I suppose you could say, he...paws'd.

Oh yeah.

There was also a band, including two bagpipe players, all dressed as cats and possibly not all playing the same tune.
Kaguraza Bakeneko Cat Parade
It can be hard to tell when bagpipes are involved...

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Three Little Men in a Flying Saucer

It's finished!
Three Little Men for Jasmine
I started this project back at the beginning of the month and finished it yesterday. I am very happy with it for now but we'll have to see how it stands up to play, or if she actually plays with it at all. My sister was saying on our last Skype how she was looking for toys to spark Jasmine's imagination so hopefully this will help with that. I've added little pleather handles so she can carry it around.
Three Little Men for Jasmine
It looks like a gnome's briefcase.
Three Little Men for Jasmine
Inside there is a zip on the flying saucer for the three little men to sit in.
Three Little Men for Jasmine
I was thinking of Ghostbusters when I cut out their hair, hence the one on the right modelling an "Igon Spendler" do.
Three Little Men for Jasmine
The numbers were iron on ones I got locally. The stars were from a length of wired ribbon type stuff, detached and dewired. Everything else I just made up.

I have been collecting "quiet book" page ideas on Pinterest (this Board) and if she likes this I'll definitely be making more.

Three little men in a flying saucer
Flew round the moon one day
They looked left and right
But they didn’t like the sight
So one man flew away

Two little men in a flying saucer...

Monday, 20 October 2014

Day One on the Black Cat Bloghop! And a Giveaway!

Oooo I had so much trouble deciding what to make with this one. I have had two of the fabrics from the Black Cat Crossing range since the start of September but they were not speaking to me at all. I couldn't think of anything at all so I decided to take a break from them and make something else I'd been thinking of for a while. I took inspiration from the Japanese designs I'd been seeing...
cat metal frame purse
I used some of the lovely woven japanese fabric oddments I've been picking up for all the outside fabrics.
cat metal frame purse
The inside is a thrifted handkerchief. The frame was added with glue which is not strictly the japanese way, but my preferred way. As is traditional, the amount of glue you get on the fabric is related to the amount of trouble you took over decorating it - meaning I got a lot of it everywhere. But I did end up with a pouch to keep nail varnish and a small bottle of remover in.

This still left me with the black cat fabric and no ideas. I went back to flicking through a recent Japanese quilting magazine (my favourite is a bimonthly called Patchwork Tsushin and you can have a good dig around the website using the translate function on a Chrome browser) and saw this.
Japanese Traditional Woven Bag Pic
Aha...I cut five strips roughly 48mm wide across the width of the fabric and got to work with my new bias binding maker, which I picked up in Kyoto.
strips for black cat bloghop
This gave me a series of 25mm strips ready for weaving. I cut the cream ones into four and left the black ones whole. I ironed thin interfacing onto the back of the whole to keep it in place and whipped up this drawstring bag.
drawstring bag for black cat bloghop
drawstring bag for black cat bloghop
drawstring bag for black cat bloghop
The string is made from a thinner strip of the black fabric.
drawstring bag for black cat bloghop
Phew - I finished this yesterday morning, just in time for the bloghop. Thank goodness inspiration struck at last!

Many thanks to Wicked Wendy and Madame Samm for this hop, and please go to the end of this post to see the full schedule and especially who else is taking part today - go and visit them too!

The Giveaway!

Regular readers might remember this Sew Together bag I made a few months ago?
Patchwork Sew Together Bag
Despite travelling a few times since then I have never actually used it. Deliberately challenging my usual colour palette is all very well but does tend to leave you with something that is not to your own tastes. Duh! So, would you like it? To win you just have to complete the Rafflecopter below. You get one entry for commenting (about anything) and another if you are a follower. I'll post internationally.

Now go and visit today's hoppers!

Monday, October 20

Tuesday, October 21

Wednesday, October 22

Thursday, October 23

Friday, October 24

Monday, October 27  

Tuesday, October 28

Wednesday, October 29
A Stitch in Time     

Thursday, October 30

Friday, October 31

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Thick Socks

Time for a quick knitting catch up. These cabled socks came off the needles last month but never got photographed.
cabled sock side
cabled sock
The cables make them very spongy and the yarn - Madelinetosh Sock, bought many years ago in Amsterdam - helps with this too. The pattern is from a two-at-a-time-toe-up book but I only used the stitch count and cable chart and went cuff down. The second pair are made with the same yarn in a lighter shade.
slip stitch sock
These are a free Knitty pattern called Twisted. I have had it queued since 2010 and finally got it going this year. I have only made one sock so far but they knit up quite easily with just knits, purls and slips.

I have been looking to reduce my stash with a return to the UK in mind, hence my finally using the good stuff. Plus, what is the point of hanging on to yarn indefinitely and buying other yarn to use instead when the stuff you've got could get moth eaten or spoil some other way? Yes - a big change to my old yarn buying and stashing habits! I must be getting old...

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