Thursday, January 13, 2011

Nearly there twice ...

Today's post has two projects which are nearly there, the secret one which I can't provide many details of yet has a deadline which has expired. This is a team effort and two of us are working the first relay .. and the second relay team is standing by ready to do their share, its not a race but it is only fair if I complete my section in time for the next participants to complete theirs. The second project that is nearly there is my first socks of the year, which are pretty much done sans the ribbing at the top of the second one and weaving in the ends. These socks have also turned into a team effort. The third part of this post is nothing to do with knitting, or yarns or spinning, but does have a fibre link .. albeit a thin link.

Secret projects are not really compatable with blogging or with Ravelry. How can one fill a post or project page with all the details of a project when one can't share it yet? Even posting photos can be difficult, Oh its fairly easy to make a photo black and white, and to photograph a teasing little section that will make guessing hard. What is difficult is showing progress without giving away any hints about the size of the project ....but I think I've managed it. This project is colourwork, stranded, and I'm nearly ready to cast off. The working needles are a wee way away from the cast on and start of the tape measure shown here. I should be able to share my bits and the whole project with you all soon.

I can share the first pair of socks of 2011, which are nearly done. I was pleased that I made good notes on the first heel .. so much so that I was able to follow them for the second heel. I wound off a little section of the yarn so I could start the second sock with the same colour yarn section .... and so far the socks are turning into a fairly well matched pair.

This is the project I took up to my Dads to collect the cubs. Smallest cub sat next to me on the couch and dropped fairly clear hints that she wanted work on my knitting. The hints ran along the lines of 'I forgot to bring my knitting', 'I've never knit with needles as small as that', and 'oooo - you are knitting, is there any purl in that round? I can knit you know'. What really convinced me to hand my knitting over was her interest in the self patterning yarn, she couldn't work out how the pattern was made. Eventually I just handed it over, showed her how magic loop worked and kept an eye on her. She did well, the tension is a little looser than mine, she worked the first few rounds of this grey and white colour change, and it was only the next day I spotted the one drooped stitch. She came with me to knit night this week, where she got bored with her knitting and again worked on my sock, and even went home with sock yarn of her own .... how can one deny a beginner knitter new yarn? I won't take her every time, she needs her sleep, and she can't cast on for socks until the hat is nearly done ... I'm mean like that. Start 'em young and keep 'em keen.

And so the end of the post departs from things knitterly and heads off into the vintage fountain pen and pencil section of my life. I now have several (ahem .... nearly two dozen) fountain pens, mechanical and clutch pencils and vintage ball points I have been looking at ways to store them safely and neatly. Some collectors use purpose built storage drawers,, some use cigar boxes which are customized for pen display or storage, some of these customized boxes are very very very nice with built in display sections. If you have a collection that has between 2 and 140 pens .. there are all sorts of ready to use storage boxes out there for you. All of these strike me as being particularly adaptable for knitting needles and tips. However I'm not yet in the market for something as formal as that .. but I was looking for something that was nicer than a shoe box or plastic tray. In Waimate I spotted this little lacquer box in the window of a junk shop. A little hand written tad identified it as 'old sewing box', which sort of identifies it for a fibre craft. I tried the three pens in my hand bag in it, and they fit.

Back home I cleaned the box up using pen cleaning products from Tryphon Enterprises. I thought that vintage lacquer was probably not terribly different to vintage pens. The box easily holds my longest pens and pencils, has three stacking trays and all that fits into a neat matching tray with carry handle. For now the pens rest on a layer of folded kitchen towel .. but I will be fitting black pen trays as soon as they arrive. That will stop pens drifting around if I move the tray.

Please - if any one can give me more into on what this little set of boxes was originally intended for, or if you have memories of simillar boxes - please let me know. I'm curious, about when, and what, and how, and where, and who ... you know all the usual questions.

so .. take care, knit some, the weekend is upon us, relax some,
na Stella


Kitsune said...

To me, those boxes look like something one would have carried several lunches in, or some kind of delivery. I could be wrong though, that's just a guess.

Needlesyarngin said...

I think Kitsune nailed it. They look like stacked bento boxes.

On New Year's Day in Japan, the hardcore moms and grandmothers make osechi, a variety of dishes with some significance or wish for the new year attached to them. They arrange the dishes on two or three trays, and the family digs in. That's how my Japanese mom served it up for me my first year here.

KathyR said...

The two previous comments are probably correct as I have a small, lidded, lacquer rice bowl which was given to me by a Japanese friend. I think it is made of some type of light wood covered with the lacquer paintwork; a much darker colour than the striking orange of your box. I believe this type of material was used for food containers in Japan before plastics became more popular.

If you hadn't ordered pen trays, I would have suggested you could felt (or knit, then felt) inserts for your pens to lay on. You could even have included ridges during felting or by sewing in later.

Knitting Linguist said...

I was going to say what everyone else has said - this looks like a Japanese stacking lunch box. I have a woven wood one that I picked up a few years ago, and I just love it. I keep knitting notions in the shallowest tray, and I put complicated projects, like beaded lace with all of the accoutrements, in the deeper ones. Yours is lovely! (BTW, congratulations on the knitting daughter - I love hearing how well she's doing :) ).