Monday, March 29, 2010

Of Daikon and Droids.

So, Dan's Daikon MkII has been completed. This time, with a face. I think he's gonna be called 'Dai-kun.

He's so cute! I'm pretty happy with it.
I used a special fabric pen for the face. It looks more or less like a normal permanent pen, but after you draw your design, you iron it to fix the ink, and it becomes washproof. Maybe we have this kind of pen in Australia too, but I guess I've never looked for them before, so I'm not sure. I really like this black one though, so I'm probably gonna go back and buy more in other colours, in case I can't get them back home. I love the idea of being able to just easily draw a pattern on some plain fabric, and make my own one-off prints.

Something I'm pretty sure I couldn't find in plentiful supply in Australia is tenugui. These are lengths of wonderfully printed cotton, usually about 35x90cm, which can be used for anything you find a length of cotton useful for: a towel, a bandana, crafting material, etc. The print is generally something kind of tradtional, but more modern tenugui also exist. There are some really cool patterns, and I've often been tempted to get one, but they aren't cheap, maybe 1000 yen (at least) for just that slip of cotton. But there was no way I could leave this one I found the other day...

Ahhh... Spring in Japan: Mount Fuji, cranes, sakura and.... C-3PO and R2-D2. Spring x Star Wars, apparently. Now, I'm not a massive Star Wars fan, but I appreciate pop culture icons, and this made me laugh so much. I did have a tough decision between this one, a pink one with C-3PO holding a paper umbrella while the droids wandered through the sakura, and a grey one with sakura raining down on Darth Vader. But I liked the colour of this one best, it seemed the one I'd be most likely to actually use.

After this, it's gonna be quiet around here for a while. We're packing up and heading off for a bit of travel, and then back to Melbourne at the end of April. So there won't be too much opportunity for me to be making stuff in a big way, and even less time for me to be posting. I do have one portable project in progress, though: A smidge more sashiko. This one is just a big square of the traditional sayagata (or key-pattern) design, using some funky, modern space-dyed yarn. I think the warm oranges and reds look really great against the indigo background. The lighter blue in the thread looks nice too, but it's hard to see in the photo.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zig-zag Pizzazz!

Just a quick note to show that I've finished the 'Jaywalker' socks. The toe didn't finish quite so neatly on the second one, so no close-up shots this time! But they're still nice and comfy to wear.

I wore them to work yesterday, and showed my colleagues, who had seen them in progress. There was much excitement. They think I'm some kind of magician.

Oh also, I know I've previously pooh-poohed the hype around Noro yarn, but I buckled and decided to splash out on some, because it is beautiful , and I'm in Japan and all. I was in for a pleasant surprise, because although the balls were marked at 819 yen each, a bag of ten balls was discounted to 5600 yen! A bulk-buy discount, I guess... So, yeah, of course I'm going back for another bag in another shade! This bag is shade #256, but there's also a very nice bluey/greeny/purpley shade that I nearly bought. Oh, and I think there's a sort of rainbow colourway, too... Ohhhh...

To be honest, what really sold me on getting a serious Noro stash was the Ten Stitch Twist pattern by Frankie Brown, on Ravelry. It's such a simple, but gorgeous, idea. It shows off the yarn's colours perfectly, and the colour is what I like about Noro yarn. And, being a blanket, I don't have to worry about it going with my wardrobe. Phew.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Young Man and His Daikon

This is my mate, Dan. Everyone say 'Hi, Dan!'.

Dan, a.k.a. Spacebot, makes 8-bit music. He's up there, workin' the gizmos, keeping the crowd dancin', remixing Mario for all he's worth. But it's a little lonely up there under the strobe lights. I know what he needs! A daikon soft toy!

Look how happy it's made him, awwww...

Haha, actually, Dan always used to dance around with a real daikon when he was doing a show, but due to reasons of food wastage and weight (daikon are HEAVY mofo vegetables, srsly) he was looking for an alternative. So, I offered to whip something up for him.

The daikon was one of those projects where you say "Sure! No problems!" right off the cuff, and then when you look at it later you go "Ohhh, but how will I do that bit....?". In this case, 'that bit' was the green stalks at the top. I don't cook with daikon much, so it wasn't until I procured a specimen for study that I realised the stalks are upright, not floppy. Floppy is easy to sew, upright, not so much. I was forced to go and wander around a craft store for inspiration. Oh, the agonies... But I was pretty happy with the solution I came up with. I got some thick, green cord and some 40cm lengths of fine florist's wire. Starting with a length of florist's wire folded in half, I stuck it through the hollow core of a length of cord (about 2/3 the length of folded wire), and ended up with a very servicable stalk. I had to twist the wire around the cord at one end to fix the cord in place, but it was otherwise pretty sturdy. So, I made a handful, sewed them into a bunch, and stuck 'em into the top of my daikon.

These pictures are from the maiden voyage of Faux Daikon MkI. We were pretty happy with it. The final version will have a face on it though, something like the one in this picture from Wikimedia: