Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Talking Japanese!

I've been feeling a bit like Charlie-Boy the last few days, a bit worn out and just wanting to curl up. On Tuesday, I could resist no longer and a little trip to a certain emporium on Northcote Road saw me finally giving in to this delicious bedding, aided by a few of my hard earned pennies from the Fair. Charlie-Boy obviously approves!

Meanwhile, the old Miele had been taking a bit of a battering and some machine felting of the woollen blankets I bought in Ludlow has been taking place. One blanket is now a rather stunning shade of bright pink, one half of the other blanket has been left au naturel and the remaining half has turned a fetching turquoisey green. Although this half blanket was the correct weight to supposedly achieve the full bright turquoise colour shown on the packet, it actually came out as this jadey green and I think it's rather lovely. One of those funny quirks, had I wanted to dye the blanket this exact shade it would have proved impossible, no doubt!


I soon got to work chopping up a bit of the pink blanket and for what better cause than mine and the beloved's anniversary of the day we met 5 years ago. Only five?!

I enjoyed myself using the pink felted wool, my fave fabric which I bought from Donna at the Fair last Saturday, along with some vintage trims and buttons, also mainly bought from the Fair. I also tried out the lovely coloured ink pads I bought at the Country Living Fair - yes, yet more turquoise and pink!

I can't help thinking this would make a fabulous brooch...

Meanwhile, when we got back home on Sunday, I was very excited to find a little packet from Japan lingering in the porch. It contained this lovely book...

I first saw this via Jane's blog, Posy, and thought I needed to treat myself to it straight away!

It never ceases to amaze me just how fantastic the postal service is between here and Japan, a mere 5 days and you have your goodies.

So, Jane and Lucy (and anyone else waiting for this book,) look away if you don't want your surprise to be spoiled because I can't help but to show you a few pages and share the gorgeousness.

The projects are a mixture of knitting and crochet. The colours used are lovely and have you ever seen such fabulously simple but gorgeous styling?

Now the only little problem, which you may have guessed given the book comes from Japan, is that it is written in Japanese. Oh!

I also dislike the fact that the first half of the book is entirely made of page after page of lovely photos of the projects but that leaves all the instructional pages to the end so I forever found myself flicking between the photo page and the instructions page whilst I was crocheting away.

There are diagrams at the back of the book. Thank goodness because quite obviously, the Japanese writing is complete gobbledygook to me!

That said, I am still struggling to work out some of the diagrams, although I do normally like working from the stitch diagrams. I had a go at what I thought looked like the most understandable (easy!) project and I admit to winging a bit of it but I think it has turned out ok...

It was larger than I expected. I used a number 4 hook and mainly Rowan cotton DK. I have also blocked it to try and make it a bit more stiff and regular in shape (which has worked).

I bought my book on Etsy from here.

There are lots of lovely Japanese craft books in this store but I think I need to master this book before I move on to any more!


  1. Congrats on your five years - lovely post as usual.

  2. I love the colour of that blanket - I think I would like a nice felt skirt (or would I look like my old Sindy doll?)! I wish some of those Japanese books would be translated into English - I just can't cope with diagrams without words.

    Pomona x

  3. Hi Hen! Happy anniversary, you're such a fabby couple!
    P.S. I've seen somewhere on Flickr Mr HH's outfit for the fair, so posh and elegant!

  4. Oh gorgeous book Hen, but I agree with you about all the instructions being at the back. Wish there were translated versions of the Japanese books as I love them so but am put off by the language barrier. let us know how you get on x

  5. Owww... this book is lovely!!!! I've a few japanese books myself but I don't understand a word of it, haha! But the pics speek for themselves luckily! Now I see I múst learn how to crochet, I'm just a knitter. Well, that would be my goal for next year (hey... wasn't it my goal for this year too???)
    Leave you alone with your lovely book!
    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  6. Yes, I agree that heart on the card would make a lovely brooch....but would he wear it!!!

    Only kidding, it's gorgeous and a lovely way to celebrate your 5 years together.

    We also celebrated 5 years together this year, but neither of us can remember what date we met on....doh!!! (We think we've narrowed it down to the last weekend in October...ish.)

    Sue xx

  7. That book is such incredible eye-candy, but as I can't even crochet in English...

    My bloggy friend Mami is a Japanese blogger who tries very hard with blogging in English, although she finds it difficult(well, how would we find it in Japanese?). If there was anything specific you needed translating, she would probably have a go for you. Her blog is Mami's Photo Diary.

    Happy Anniversary!

  8. You're better than I would be... I have enough trouble trying to decipher the english language versions!!

    Victoria xxx

  9. I have a Japanese Knitting Book that was also rather tricky to read seeing as I don't understand Japanese.

    Here are a couple of links that may be helpful:

    The doily looks perfect that you made. Maybe a little bit of spray starch would help stiffen it up.

    I have the knitting version of this book and it's so helpful.

  10. I do like your little anniversary card.

  11. Hello Hen
    Love the blankets! I have been using old lilac ones from a college halls of res. to make cushions & curtains, they are really cosy.
    By the way I loved your dress at the V&H, is that your normal style?

  12. The card you have made is really lovely -lucky man! The projects in your book look really good; would be terribly worried about working out those diagrams though - I mean how do you know what each symbol stands for - or are they universal? That would at least make it clearer. I shall be v interested to see how you get on. A pretty book to have at any rate. Am loving what you have done so far, I salute your perseverance and love the colours you have chosen - they complement each other beautifully. Also love those dyed blankets; wonderfully vibrant. Glad you have recovered after putting your feet up a bit.

  13. Gorgeous book..happy anniversary to you both have a wonderful day. Kitten collection tomorrow so i'll post some fluffy pics!

  14. Lovely new bedding set!
    I didn't know yoiu could crochet in Japanese - how clever! ;-)


  15. congrats on your anniversary - just adore the heart card! your crochet looks amazing and what a book!


  16. I have the same bedding and I'm hoping to get those stripey pillowcases for Xmas...if I'm lucky!
    Love the card you made for hubby... and look forward to seeing what else you make from the new book.


  17. ahh that anniversary card is just so sweet,
    and congratulations on your anniversary!


  18. Hello Hen

    Sorry to hear that you are feeling a bit worn out. All that preparation and hard work leading up to the fair must be catching up with you. Having a bit of curling up time if oviously what's needed right now.

    I have been waiting for quite a while now for the King size (bouquet)to arrive back in stock online. CK assure me that they will be back in stock next week! Such a beautiful pattern! I have the PJs in that design and love wearing them, wonderfully soft flannel!

    I saw the japanese book in Jane's post the other day and it had the same impact on me...MUST HAVE IT! I can't wait to get my copy in the post. The pictures are so appealing

    Take care ;-)

    Isabelle x

  19. Oops forgot to wish you a Happy Anniversary! It's clear from your blog that you are both a good match for each other. XXX

  20. congrats on five years!! the book looks wonderful. photos help inspire us, don't they?

  21. I love all your photos but the first one beats them all :) My cat is very much practicing the same routine as your Charlie on daily bases, especially now it's got cold and horrid out there. I think I should try and do the same myself until the spring comes :)

  22. Hi! Your card is so sweet.
    I have the same book! I can read the book because I'm Japanese, but... I don't know how to knit.. Your crochet is really wonderful.

  23. Oh Hen, I love the card! but tell me please, where do you get the blankets from? I can't seem to find any. Makes me wish I had saved all those pre- duvet ones! Lovely post! suzie. xxx

  24. blog/mayberry/show log22 November 2009 at 05:14

    Oh Hen let me say I love your blogger and in inspired me to start my blog, Mayberry. I've just used up some wool making Granny squares, and thought I'd make it to a bag and your lovely Japanese book has given me a great idea, so I'm off to make pom-poms.

  25. Hi Hen, so inspired by your blog have started one myself. Have taken up the old crochet needle after 25 years, thought about making a bag and after seeing your lovely Japanese bag, I soon will be making pom-poms.

  26. Hi Hen, What a gorgeous book, beautiful images and wonderful colours in the yarns. Your first attempt looks great, you must be pleased with it?
    Hope you and Mr. HH have had a lovely weekend and Happy Birthday to him,

    Sarah x

  27. Whoops, I mean happy anniversary! great card too by the way!
    Oh my pie I have too many Birthdays to contend with at the moment, it has seeped into my subconscious!

    Sarah x

  28. I'm curious where you bought your Japanese books...
    I am wanting to purchase "Hello Kitty Vol.3 Knitted dolls and goods, ISBN #: 4387990325 but can only find it via and I can't read Japanese. Any suggestions?
    Kindest Regards,
    OM girl


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